September 8, 2023

Greetings Ospreys,

We had a strong turnout for our first TWIGS Parent Coffee of the year this morning, and appreciated hearing our families' impressions of the first three weeks, which included reflections on how Osprey Blocks are helping students feel connected to teachers and peers across grade levels. One suggestion that came out of the coffee was to share the AHS Student Contract again so families can see information about our school's cultural expectation and practices. There's lots in there for meaty family conversations at home.

As one parent put it in an email after his morning's gathering, "I just wanted to thank everyone for the coffee chat this morning Everything about Animas speaks to the kind of education I want for my daughter and this morning just reconfirmed it all. Not only the information given, but the constructive criticism was so well received and makes for a cohesive community to provide the best for the students. Well done!" It was really great to have so many new families at the coffee, and we're excited to see folks looking for ways to get involved.

The next TWIGS Buds Meeting is Monday at 6pm here on campus, and all are welcome to join. This intrepid group of parent volunteers will be checking in on family engagement and staff appreciation events they have scheduled for the year ahead, and they're always curious to hear ideas about what would be useful and interesting to others. Email them at [email protected].

We hope to see a good-sized flock of Ospreys cheering for the AHS team at next week's Men in Heels relay race on East 2nd Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets. The fundraiser for the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) begins at 5:30pm on Tuesday. Look for our green and gold flags along the sidelines to join the group making some noise to support 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, too--any amount is welcome and appreciated!

Donate to the Women's Resource Center's Men in Heels Fundraiser

Osprey Block Updates

Week two of Osprey Blocks has had many of our students out in the field, with one group exploring museums in Albuquerque, another camping, hiking and backpacking, one off to Mexico and another two paddling on the Colorado River. It's been a bit quieter than usual on campus with so many away on overnights, but there is a palpable sense of purposefulness as students build, learn and create, with frequent trips to pick up materials as needed (thank you to the Powerhouse Science Center for donating an aquarium to be used for an aquaponics system!).

Thank you so much, too, to Durango Arts Center for hosting our documentary film crew this afternoon for a private screening of the Academy Award-winning film My Octopus Teacher--and even throwing in free popcorn! Our student filmmakers have a very cool opportunity on deck for next Thursday afternoon when they will have a virtual visit via Zoom with journalist Katie Couric after a screening of the documentary she produced in 2017, Gender Revolution.

It's been sweet to see Ospreys rolling back onto campus this afternoon, a bit dirty perhaps, but glowing. Upon their return from the Lower Piedra Campground this afternoon, junior Stuffy Lanus came into the main office saying it was "the best camping trip I've ever been on," with particular shout out to the "lovely and diverse group of people" on the trip.

By the end of next week, which is the third and final week of fall Osprey Blocks, groups will turn their attention to reflecting on and presenting their learning, with pop-up mini-exhibitions in the works as a way to share their discoveries with others. We look forward to debriefing with students and staff to gather feedback, with an eye toward refinement for spring Osprey Blocks, which will take place May 1-21 for all 9th and 10th graders, when juniors will be completing their LINK Internships while seniors wrap up Senior Projects.

Our regular class schedule will resume on Tuesday, September 19 after a professional development day for staff with no school for students on Monday, September 18, and XBlock classes begin on Wednesday, September 21.

Lunch Program

As a reminder, we are excited to participate in the Healthy School Meals for All and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) this year, which enables all students to order one free lunch each day from four local vendors or choose a peanut butter and jelly sack lunch. These meals are at no cost to families and meet the requirements of the National School Lunch Program. We appreciate our community partnerships with local restaurants who provide lunch weekly.

Please be sure to complete the free and reduced lunch application online if you haven't already:

To order lunch:

  • Students must be signed into their AHS Google account when they place their order online through the AHS website (look for "Catered Lunch" under "Our Families")
  • Orders must be made by 9am
  • To cancel a lunch order, contact Bridget in the main office

Enrollment Updates

Fall 2023 enrollment remains open through October 1 and we are near capacity, with just a few open seats. If you are interested in enrolling for this semester, contact our dean of enrollment and community outreach at [email protected].

On October 2, we will open enrollment for midyear transfers and fall 2024 enrollment opens January 17.

Our Campus Tour and Online Informaion Session calendar is set for the year, with student ambassador-led tours beginning October 19. View dates and RSVP here.

Good luck to the AHS Mountain Biking Team, who left early this morning for this weekend's race in Glenwood Springs--we'll be rooting for you!

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

Upcoming Events

Fall Osprey Blocks (regular classes do not meet): Mon. 8/28 through Fri. 9/15

TWIGS Buds Meeting: Mon. 9/11, 6pm

Men in Heels Fundraiser for Women's Resource Center: Tues. 9/12, 5:30pm

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 9/18

Regular Classes Resume: Tues. 9/19

College Fair: Tues. 9/19, 6pm at Durango High School

1st Quarter XBlock Classes Begin: Wed. 9/20

TWIGS Happy Hour: Wed. 9/20, 6pm at 11th Street Station

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 9/21, 5:30pm

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

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

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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