August 26, 2022

Greetings Ospreys,


We have had a very full first week of school. Juniors went rafting on their first day and sophomores frolicked at Lake Nighthorse. Seniors started their day hiking up to the Fort in the early morning hours and having breakfast with their advisors afterwards. Our new freshpeople got a head start and two full days of orientation culminating in a mini project to express who they are using a haiku and a selfie. Those are framed in the hallways for all to see. In fact, the whole school walked around and acknowledged our new community members giving them praise and feedback along the way.

One of the themes that seems to be emerging this year is from the expression slow is smooth and smooth is fast. We have intentionally slowed down this week and done our best to get to know our students and help them get to know each other. We are reestablishing and recommitting to the norms and expectations of AHS so that we can live and learn together productively. In this way, we seek to find the current and avoid eddies, trying to avoid getting caught up in places that take us away from the flow and magic that is AHS. This is a slow process, but when we calm the waters, we will be able to move fast.  

We have established a standing Leadership Team Meeting on Thursdays from 3:45-4:45. This is a time for staff, students, families to have their voices heard or ask any questions. Come talk to us if you have something on your mind and would like to have a live conversation.


Thank you for your support. We appreciate you.



Rebecca Ruland

Head of School

Upcoming Events

The AHS Mountain Biking Team is heading up to Leadville for the first race of the season this weekend with the Colorado High School Cycling League. We're wishing them good luck and great speed! 

The memorial service for Ande Lloyd's father, Leo Lloyd is on Tuesday afternoon at 4pm at the Community Concert Hall. We hope to see a big AHS turnout to support the Lloyd family and celebrate Leo's contributions to our community. 

Wednesday afternoon, in place of XBlock classes (our PE program, which uses the community as our classroom), we will follow Advisory with a NEST Meeting and the Osprey Student Activity Fair. Students will learn about 1st quarter XBlock class offerings and opportunities to join various clubs. Stay tuned for communication coming next week outlining choices and how to request XBlock classes.

Wednesday evening from 6-9pm in Animas City, Steve Smith's Advanced Chemistry students will collaborate with the Good Food Collective to share two "weird science" food demonstrations: color changing tea and the science of spherification at the Weird Science Animas City Night Bazaar in the alley behind Mountain Middle School. Ospreys from the Great Lunar Exploration for Everyone (GLEE) club and the American Rocketry Challenge team will be on hand, too, showcasing the fun physics of rocketry. Come geek out with us!

On Friday, Steve will take his Chemistry students off campus for more work in partnership with the Good Food Collective (GFC). Juniors will help glean apples that might otherwise go to waste as a way to address food scarcity while studying the chemistry of food preservation. Students will donate some of the apples and then work with the CSU Extension Office to preserve apples the following week. We need parent volunteers to help transport students for this field trip. The earlier we hear, the better as we need to be sure to check for a clean driving record and gather insurance information for all volunteer drivers.In addition, if families have an electric hot water canning bath that they would be willing to let AHS borrow for the canning day that would be greatly appreciated. Please reach out to if you can help with driving or can loan an electric canning bath.

Next Friday is the end of the Add/Drop period for 1st semester. Students must make schedule changes by the end of next week by reaching out to Maureen or using the Add/Drop Form.

Breakfast and Lunch Service

Please preload money on your AHS Infinite Campus account if your student plans to get breakfast of catered lunch at school. We're serving breakfast daily for $2.50, no need to order ahead.

Lunch prices vary depending on day. As a reminder, students need to place all online lunch orders by noon the day before.

Please be sure to complete the application for Free/Reduced Lunch even if you don't believe you qualify by logging in to your Infinite Campus Parent Portal where you'll select "More" and then select "Meal Benefits"

We are seeking parent volunteers to help serve lunch. If you can commit to one day a week, 11:30-12:30, email Helping serve lunch is a great opportunity to get to know our students!


The nature of project-based learning means that consistently being on time and present in class is extra important. Please communicate with Bridget in the main office by calling (970) 247-2474 or emailing when your student is excused from any part of a school day. If you are excusing your student during the school day for an appointment, please come inside the main office to sign them out. For planned absences, students should complete a Pre-excused Absence Form, have all teachers sign it and turn it in to the main office as a way to ensure good communication with teachers so as not to fall behind. Copies are available at Bridget's desk.

Families can check on student attendance through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal and we send daily emails home when students are not in class and have not been excused by a parent of guardian.

COVID-19 Guidance

As COVID-19 continues to become a common part of our daily lives we would like to offer a few reminders that will allow our students and staff to remain healthy throughout the school year. AHS follows the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidance for schoolswhich includes:

  • Stay home and test when symptomatic.Use the At-Home Symptom Screening Tool to help determine if you should stay home. 
  • Report illness and positive cases to our main office; we will offer guidance on returning to school using the How Sick is Too Sick? tool.
  • We will use Addressing Symptoms at School to help determine when students or staff need to go home due to illness and can provide testing on campus.
  • We are a mask friendly school and there may be some instances in which students or staff may be asked to wear a mask.
  • Students and staff can keep up-to-date on vaccine boosters with the CDC’s COVID-19 booster tool.

Thank you for doing your part to keep us all healthy!

Opportunities to Join the AHS Community

Enrollment for fall is open until September 30, and we have a few spots open in our 9th grade. We will reopen enrollment for 2nd semester on October 1, provided seats are open.

Our Inclusion Department is looking for just the right person to step into the Academic Coach role and we are looking to fill 2 Americorps Mental Health Associate positions through the Spark Health Corps. Both are excellent opportunities for someone looking to gain experience in a school setting! Full details below.

Enjoy the weekend and thanks for a great first week of the school year! 

Upcoming Events

Leo Lloyd's Memorial Service: Tues. 8/30, 4pm at Community Concert Hall

NEST Meeting and Student Activity Fair: Wed. 9/1

Weird Science Animas City Night Bazaar: Wed. 9/1, 5-9pm

Chemistry Field Trip with Good Food Collective (11th grade): Fri. 9/3

Add/Drop Period Closes: Fri. 9/3

Labor Day Holiday (no classes): Mon. 9/5

XBlock Classes Begin: Wed. 9/7

Family Orientation: Wed. 9/7, 5:30pm

Development Committee Meeting: Thurs. 9/8, 1pm

Men in Heels Fundraiser for Women's Resource Center: Tues. 9/13, 5:30pm downtown Durango (come cheer for the AHS team!)

College Fair: Tues. 9/13, 6-7pm at Durango High School

Senior Family Postsecondary Night: Wed. 9/14, 5:30pm

AHS Board of Directors Meeting: Thurs. 9/15, 5:30pm

Osprey Back-to-School Social: Fri. 9/23, 5:30pm

AHS Events Calendar
AHS 2022/23 School Calendar
Donate Now to the Elevating Animas Campaign
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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