September 8, 2023

Greetings Ospreys,

That's a wrap on our first round of Osprey Blocks! The past three weeks have been chock full of exploration, deep learning and relationship-building, laying a foundation for the 23/24 school year as we prepare to shift back to our regular daily schedule next Tuesday, after the three-day weekend. Ospreys have been learning and growing in some pretty spectacular natural environments, climbing mountains, swimming with sea lions and paddling through canyons as they connect classroom learning to the world beyond our campus.

Back on campus, learning has been hands-on and connected to real-world questions. How can we grow food in a sustainable manner? How can a deeper understanding of the politics and science of water in the West help us better manage this precious resource? What are the cultural, economic and environmental impacts of tourism? What is the legacy of the colonization of Indigenous people in our region? How can scientific advancements change the way we look at the world around us? What are the unique challenges rural healthcare and emergency responders face? What is more important to pursue in a life of wellness: happiness or meaning? How is Animas High School part of the transformation of education in society?

We are grateful to all the community partners who have supported learning in and out of the classroom these past three weeks, including Osprey parent Bart Deming who spoke with the Water in the West group this week about his work on the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project with the US Bureau of Reclamation.

If you have expertise or professional experience you'd like to share with our students, please reach out to our dean of enrollment and community outreach at [email protected] and we'll work to find a good fit with a project or program.

Next Week at the Nest

Our regular class schedule resumes on Tuesday after a professional development day for staff with no school for students on Monday, September 18.

First quarter XBlock classes begin on Wednesday afternoon. As a reminder, on Wednesdays, students are released from their XBlock locations, most of which are off campus. Log in to Infinite Campus to view XBlock assignments on students' schedules and reference the XBlock class list to see details about where classes will meet, clothing/equipment needs, etc.

Representatives fro colleges in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Arizona will be at the Durango High School College Fair Tuesday evening from 6-7pm, and Animas students and families in all grades are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to learn more about a variety of regional schools as part of the process of discovering what constitutes a good fit for you. Our dean of college and career counseling Erin Cummins-Roper will be there to check in with and support Animas families--be sure to look for her. Erin sends out grade-level specific College and Career Newsletters every other week, and they're filled with valuable information to help guide you along to prepare for what comes after high school. Mark your calendar now for the appropriate grade-level Fall Postsecondary Night to hear from Erin about what students and families can be doing now to help the transition to college and career go as smoothly as possible.

The first TWIGS Happy Hour of the school year is Wednesday evening at 6pm at 11th Street Station. Join in for an opportunity to connect with other Animas families in an informal social setting. Look for the TWIGS banner to find the group. TWIGS Buds will provide appetizers to share.

The Advancement Committee meets Tuesday at 1pm to continue their work of ensuring our enrollment, marketing, fundraising and communication are all working together to help our school thrive, and the AHS Board of Directors meets Thursday evening at 5:30. Agendas and minutes for both groups are posted on the AHS website regularly, under the "Our Board" tab and all Board and Committee meetings are open to the public.

Durango Open Studio Tour

We're excited to be participating in this year's Durango Open Studio Tour the weekend of September 23-24! This community event invites folks to explore local art studios, discover inspirational art and connect with artists. Swing by the AHS art studio to view artwork from a handful of our most dedicated student artists, including alumna Ellise Lopez and seniors Col Hinds and Porter Hilgenberg, along with art department teacher/artists Britt Blasdell and Drew Semel. Students in the Wilderness Exploration and Landscape Studies Osprey Block will also display their work. This event is a good opportunity for prospective students and families to visit and learn more about our art program.

Student Activities

The Student Activity Fair will take place during the school day on Wednesday, September 27, and Ospreys will have a chance to pitch new ideas for clubs, learn about what's being offered and sign up to join those that feel like a good fit.

We love it when students take the initiative to start something new! Sophomores Max McGee and Brandon Papi came to the Leadership Team with an idea last spring that they've brought to fruition, and we now have an AHS coed soccer team, the Animas Ospreys, competing in the Durango Parks and Rec Adult 7 v 7 league. Swing by the Smith Sports Complex fields this Sunday morning at 10:30 to cheer them on!

Senior Photos

Seniors will turn their focus to writing college essays in Humanities class next week. It's an exciting time for the class of 2024, as they begin college applications and thoughts of life after high school become less theoretical. The final year of high school includes many milestones.

Humanities 9 teacher Cameron Elder's sister Jordon is a professional photographer who does senior portraits through her business Ponderosa Portraits. All seniors will eventually need to submit photos for the AHS Yearbook, which is produced by our Journalism students. These do not need ot be professional photos, but for those who chose to go this route, we encourage you to consider Jordan when exploring local options.

Lunch Program

Every student at AHS can receive a free lunch each day this year, if they want one.

Students can order lunches from local restaurants online through the AHS website under the "Our Families" tab --> Catered Lunch. Orders must be placed by 9am and orders for the entire week can be placed on Monday morning. Peanut butter and jelly sack lunches are always avialble and don't need to be ordered ahead of time. In addition, snacks are available for purchase using exact change.

Thank you to our stellar team of lunch volunteers, Christy Deem, Martha Minot, Kelly Geygan, Denise Storm and Jen James who are helping feed hungry teens alsongside staff sub/assistant to the director of operations Melissa Machiceck.

Enrollment Updates

Fall 2023 enrollment remains open through October 1. We have just a few open seats. Interested in enrolling for this semester? Contact [email protected].

On October 2, we will open enrollment for midyear transfers and fall 2024 enrollment opens January 17. Student ambassador-led tours begin October 19. View dates and RSVP here.

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

Upcoming Events

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

Regular Classes Resume: Tues. 9/19

Advancement Committee Meeting: Tues. 9/19, 1pm

DHS 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

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

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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