March 8, 2024

Greetings Ospreys,

With back-to-back exhibitions of learning this week, our community has enjoyed having the opportunity to gather to hear from students about what they've been working on in Humanities 9 and Physics so far this semester.

The 9th graders' Satire Project is hung on the walls at the Durango Public Library for the month, so swing by if you missed Tuesday's exhibition. There's plenty of beautiful work on display, with students tackling a variety of current issues through a humorous lens via cartoons, mock newspapers videos and more.

The Nest was filled with curious learners last night for the Making Waves exhibition. Sophomores explained how waves are constantly transmitting energy and information all around us, presenting projects that demonstrated their understanding about a wide range of topics connected to sound, light, color, vision and more. Thank you to all who turned out to ask great questions and celebrate their learning!

Seniors hit a major milestone this week, turning in their Senior Thesis portion of Senior Project. Senior Humanities teachers Lori Fisher and Greyson Acri report that there is some excellent research and writing among the pile, and have praised the class of 2024 for their engagement and curiosity in the process of crafting these college-level papers. Now, their attention turns to TED Talks and Take Action Projects, where they will, respectively, present their research and put it into practice. Stay tuned for the TED Talk schedule, which shows which students are presenting when, and what their Senior Project Research Questions are. TED Talks will happen April 1-10, during the school day and are open to the public. Curious to learn where our seniors are heading next? Check out the @animashighschoolclassof2024 Instagram feed!

Dean of experiential education Ashley Carruth's Intro to Avalanche Education students ventured up to Molas Pass Wednesday to work with San Juan Expeditions guide Matthew Cecil to begin officially working towards their AIARE Level 1 Avalanche certification. It's pretty fun to see Anne Chase, AHS class of 2017, director of Silverton Housing Authority, among the list of SJE guides, too! Students are learning how to use an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe, what gear to bring to stay safe in the backcountry, how to read an avalanche forecast, how to understand the formation of a snowpack and characteristics of avalanches, how to select safer routes, how to rescue a comrade and more. They'll wrap up certification next week, traveling back up to the San Juans on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Academic Advising and 2024/25 Student Schedules

Our Career and College Department, Erin Cummins-Roper and Elliot Baglini, began one-on-one spring academic advising meetings with students this week. These conferences, which will happen for all 9th, 10th and 11th grade students over the next several weeks, include individualized counseling about postsecondary goals and the best pathways to achieve them. Erin and Elliot will do a personalized credit review with each student to be sure they are on track to meet all graduation requirements, and will use the 2024/25 Course Catalog to review next year's elective offerings along with honors, concurrent enrollment and Career Technical Pathway opportunities. Our goal is for all students to feel empowered to make well-informed decisions about their schedules, and to have a solid understanding of how course selection supports postsecondary plans.

Students and families have plenty of time to consider options carefully before we set aside time for course requests in May, which will happen via Infinite Campus, with support from staff during school hours. Students and families who are transferring to AHS or joining our 9th grade next fall will have an opportunity to meet Erin and Elliot next Wednesday at the Welcome to the Nest event, where they can also sign up for individual academic advising appointments.

We will communicate this spring with families of students who need to complete summer school coursework. We're currently exploring options for summer school credit remediation. One option for those behind on credits is the Girls Who Code Summer Programs. Please reach out directly to [email protected] for more information and to see if this is a good fit. Application deadline is March 22, details below.

Next Week's Events

The March TWIGS Parent Coffee is Monday at 6pm. This month's coffee is online, to accommodate those whose schedules make it challenging to attend our monthly coffees on Friday mornings. Log in via to join the conversation with head of school Rebecca Ruland.

Sophomores will engage in their Humanities 10 Model UN Conferences Tuesday through Thursday, with each pod conferencing on a different day during their core class periods (see full schedule here). Families and community members are welcome to attend. Each student will take the role of a particular nation, using what they've leaned this semester about international relations and diplomacy to work towards a resolution that addresses the conflict in the West Bank.

Juniors will head to Durango City Hall on Wednedsay afternoon to participate in a Mock City Council Meeting as fieldwork for their current project on civic engagement.

This week, we offered admission to over 80 new students who are interested in attending AHS next fall. We currently have a waitlist for 9th grade and there are still a few seats open for 10th through 12th grade. We hold seats for all current 9th through 11th grade students, and will send re-registration information out next week.

On Wednesday evening at 5pm, we encourage all newly admitted families and students to attend the Welcome to the Nest event to meet our teachers and get any lingering questions answered. Student ambassadors will lead tours for anyone who hasn't yet visited, and we'll share more information about various programs. We look forward to welcoming our newest Ospreys to the Nest!

Spring Break is coming up quickly, beginning March 16. Please note that the Monday after Spring Break is a Professional Development Day, so students will return to the Nest on Tuesday, March 26.

Returning to the Nest to Teach Welding

Zoell Lhomi '24 and Jax Novak '26, Animas Quill

This semester, Animas added a fun and creative new course to our Maker Space offerings. Students can now take Welding, taught by none other than a former Osprey!

Class of 2015 alumnus Dylan McClain has returned to share his professional skills and knowledge with our makers. He shared, “It's really neat to return to Animas. A lot has changed. The building was a huge upgrade. It's really fun and exciting that there's still a lot of the same teachers here. It says a lot about Animas. And then also to get to teach with other students I went to school with like Riley and Ande.”

In this course students learn more than the basics of welding. They learn how to tune their welder to best melt/bond a particular size and type of metal; they learn safety and how to use a variety of equipment; and most importantly, they learn how to tap into a creative mindset and how to work around problems.

Dylan shared the skills he hopes to teach to his students: “Motivation to learn and excitement about learning: that is something I took away from Animas and has really helped me in college, post-college and career and the rest of my life. Being able to get excited about learning and then knowing how to go about learning whatever you want is a really valuable skill.”

Welding student Remi Esperes expressed, “In this class we are learning how to weld, prep the metal for welding, how to use all the tools in the MakerSpace and just make cool stuff. I think this class is important as welding is something I want to pursue outside of school and hopefully for a career one day, and this class can help teach me the skills I need as well as getting me a welding certificate.”

We are so grateful to have Dylan and this awesome class for our makers!

Advocate for Charter Schools!

One important way the Colorado League of Charter Schools supports schools like AHS is by monitoring legislation that might impact charter school success in our state and encouraging advocacy when appropriate. We'd like to share a message from the League with our community and ask you to consider speaking up in support of school choice.

"HB24-1363, sponsored by Representative Lorena Garcia, Representative Tammy Story, and Senator Lisa Cutter, was introduced in the Colorado State Legislature this week and aims to undermine some of the most foundational aspects of public charter schools. HB24-1363 disrupts well-functioning systems and creates division between charter and traditional schools rather than improving public education, and we need your voice to stop this harmful proposal and to protect Colorado public charter schools’ autonomy, diversity, and innovation. The bill will be heard first in the House Education Committee, so fill out this form to send a message to all members of that committee to VOTE NO on HB24-1363 in support of our students, schools, and communities."

School Supply Drive

A group of students in Julian's Outdoor Education elective have set up a supply drive for our school community. They are hoping to learn more about the leave no trace (LNT) principles by implementing the idea of planning ahead and preparing in our classrooms. If you have any extra school supplies (pencils, notebooks, paper, highlighters, notecards, etc.), please bring them to the box in the main entrance hallway of the school next week.

Fall 2024 Enrollment

Fall 2024 Enrollment is now open for incoming 9th through 12th graders, with limited seats in each grade and a waitlist for our 9th grade currently. Families considering AHS for next school year are strongly encouraged to visit our campus or attend an online information session. The next Campus Tour is Thursday, March 14 at 8:45am. View all dates and RSVP here. Email [email protected] with enrollment questions.

Have a great weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!

Upcoming Events

TWIGS Evening Parent Coffee: Mon. 3/11, 6pm online at

Mock City Council Meeting Field Trip (11th grade): Wed. 3/13, 12-2:30pm

Avalanche Awareness Elective Field Work in Silverton: Mon. 3/11 and Wed. 3/13 through Thurs. 3/14

Welcome to the Nest for New Families: Wed. 3/13, 5-6pm

AHS Campus Tour: Thurs. 3/14, 8:45am; RSVP here

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 3/14, 5:30pm

Spring Break: Mon. 3/18 through Fri. 3/22

Professional Development Day (no school): Mon. 3/25

AHS Campus Tour: Tues. 3/26, 5:30pm; RSVP here

StuCo Presents Ospreys on Ice: Fri. 3/29

Senior Project TED Talks (12th grade): Mon. 4/1 through Wed. 4/10

CMAS Science Test (11th grade): Wed. 4/10

Application Case Study Workshop: Sat. 4/13, 9am to 12:15pm

PSAT10 (10th grade): Wed. 4/17

SAT (11th grade): Thurs. 4/18

PSAT8/9 (9th grade): Fri. 4/19

TWIGS Teen Mental Health Event: Tues. 4/23, 6pm

Animas Wilderness Experience: April 19-26

AHS Prom: Sat. 4/27

AHS 2023/24 School Calendar
23/24 Daily Schedule
AHS Events Calendar
Animas High School prepares all students for college and postsecondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:
Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
Strong student-faculty relationships, where students are well known.
Engaging learning, where students see the relevance in their education

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