September 22, 2023

Greetings Ospreys,

With our return to the regular daily schedule this week after fall Osprey Blocks, students have transitioned back to their core classes and electives. Student feedback about Osprey Blocks suggests it was a successful pilot of this new Animas program:

  • 94% said the topic of their Osprey Block was important
  • 87% reported they came to appreciate new students in their blocks
  • 95% felt their Osprey Block teachers were passionate about the subject matter
  • 94% liked having mixed grades in blocks

Gathering feedback is key to our core value of refinement, and, as a charter school, we can be nimble with making changes as needed. Our Instructional Leadership Team will work with the input we've received from students, families and staff as we consider systems and changes we might implement next time around. Please reach out to if your student had a particularly meaningful experience on Osprey Block--we'd love to gather testimonials about the program's impact.

Projects are underway in core classes, including the Rocketry Project for our sophomores. This week, they've begun the engineering design process in Ande Lloyd's Math 10 and Julian Springer's Physics classes, creating prototypes of their water-powered rockets and conducting initial launches as they study of the math and science concepts that will help them describe the maximum height, time, air resistance and velocity of flying objects.

As a reminder, teacher Digital Portfolios are a great resource for families to learn more about projects, coursework and expectations for various classes. To access them, visit the Faculty & Staff page on our website, click on a teacher's photo, scroll down to the bottom of their bio and click through on the words "Digital Portfolio."

This week in Lori Fisher's Humanities 12 class, seniors have been crafting and refining their college application essays, tackling, as Lori puts it "the very real problem of how to make colleges like you in 300-500 words" while honing their narrative nonfiction writing skills. With early action and early decision application deadlines about 5 weeks away, the class of 2024 is narrowing in on postsecondary options, through individual meetings with dean of college and career counseling Erin Cummins-Roper. Senior families should plan to join Erin next Wedensday evening at 5:30 for the Fall Senior Postsecondary Night, where she'll cover important information about the steps seniors should be focusing on now to set themselves up for success after graduation.

We were pleased to see a good turnout at the DHS College Fair this week as well as strong attendance at a session on campus the next day with the admissions rep from Colorado School of Mines. Be sure to dig into Erin's bimonthly College and Career Newsletters for all the details on opportunities like these.

Durango Open Studio Tour this Weekend

We're opening up the AHS Art Studio this weekend as one stop on the Durango Open Studio Tour. This community event invites folks to explore local art studios, discover inspirational art and connect with artists. Swing by the AHS art studio Saturday or Sunday between 10am and 4pm to view student and staff artwork and learn more about the role of arts education at our school.

Next Week's Events

Men in Heels, a fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) has been reschedulued for 5:30pm next Tuesday, September 26 with a weatherproof, inside venue change to the County Fairgrounds. Join us to cheer on AHS Student Council members Zoell Lhomi '24 and Cyrus Calderwood '25, plus faculty members Dave Farkas and John Grotenhuis as they run--in tutus and heels!--against teams from community businesses and organizations. Please help us support the WRC with a donation--any amount is welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday during lunch and the start of Advisory period in the Commons, students will have the opportunity to learn about various clubs and extracuricular activities at the Student Activity Fair, sponsored by Student Council. Speaking of activities, the AHS Mountain Biking Team will be in Eagle this weekend for their 3rd race of the season and we're wishing them good luck.

On Friday morning, our 9th grade will have the chance to visit with Charles Darwin--or, rather, Chautauqua performer Brian Fox Ellis. We're grateful for the opportunity, presented as part of the History Live Durango program.

Ellis will offer two evening performances while in town as well. On Thursday at 7pm in Noble Hall 130 on the Fort Lewis College campus, he will present as naturalist John James Audubon, and Friday night at the Powerhouse Science Center, he'll speak as Darwin once again. We've loved welcoming Chautauquans to AHS over the years as they bring history to life in entertaining and informative ways!

AHS Enrollment

Next week is the last opportunity to enroll for this semester. On October 2, we will open enrollment for midyear transfers. Fall 2024 enrollment opens January 17.

Student ambassador-led tours begin October 19. View dates and RSVP here. Contact with questions.

Our apologies to stellar lunch volunteer Jennifer Bayer (mom to 9th grader Lukas) for getting her name wrong in last week's newsletter. We appreciate you, Jen!

Enjoy the weekend and thanks for all you do to help the Ospreys soar!

Upcoming Events

Durango Open Studio Tour: Sat. 9/23 and Sun. 9/24

Student Activity Fair: Wed. 9/27

Fall Senior Postsecondary Night: Wed. 9/27, 5:30pm

Chautauqua Performer Brian Fox Ellis as Charles Darwin (9th grade): Fri. 9/29

January 2024 Enrollment Opens: Tues. 10/3

Fall Break (no classes): Fri. 10/6 through Mon. 10/9

PSAT/NMSQT (11th grade): Tues. 10/10 and Wed. 10/11

Fall Junior Postsecondary Night: Thurs. 10/12, 5:30pm

TWIGS Coffee: Fri. 10/13, 8:30am

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 10/16

AHS Campus Tour: Thurs. 10/19, 8:45am RSVP here

Student-Led Conferences (9th-11th grades): Thurs. 10/19, 4-6pm

AHS 2023/24 School Calendar
22/23 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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