October 15, 2021
9th graders engage in an AHS rite of passage: mask making for the Socialization Project
a selection of masks await the next stages of development into Beautiful Work
Greetings Ospreys,

Our New Campus Celebration was such a great event! Thanks to all who were part of the ceremony. Read more below.

This is the time of year we begin to see tell-tale plaster in the hair of students that indicates the Mask Project is in full swing. Since they weren't able to craft masks last year, sophomores are joining 9th graders in mask-making this fall. Their Humanities projects are slightly different, with 9th graders focusing on socialization and the formation of identity with Ashley Carruth while 10th graders examine the work of adolescence with Lori Fisher. Both grades with share their learning in a joint Humanities Exhibition on Thursday, 11/18.

As many of you know, science teacher Tina Trujillo has been out for a couple of weeks tending to a family situation. She has decided to take a leave of absence, potentially for the remainder of this semester, to continue to support her family. While we all miss having Tina at the Nest, we know that family comes first and are happy to support her in this way. Fortunately for us all, Tina's students are in good hands, as her student teacher Madi Neukirch has been able to jump in as a long-term substitute. Madi is enrolled in Fort Lewis College's Teacher Licensure graduate program and will be supported in her role both by FLC faculty and ours. She is already doing a great job connecting with students and creating engaging curriculum!
Next Week's Events
Student Led Conferences take place after school on Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 and are mandatory for all 9th, 10th and 11th grade families. Please sign up for your SLC time below if you have not yet done so:


Read full details about SLCs here and remember to gather Professional Dress together this weekend. We look forward to seeing families on campus for these valuable conversations!

On Wednesday morning from 9:20 to 11:20 in the AHS Commons, AHS seniors and their Humanities teacher, Sara Price invite our community to join them for the Justice Project Exhibition. Students will use the content they have studied to answer the following prompt, "What is the most just way to balance our energy and economic needs, human and environmental health and protection of sacred lands?" In the form of a monologue or speech, they will each bring their own environmental ethics and unique arguments to the table in an effort to work toward a greater understanding of what environmental justice includes. View the Exhibition Schedule to see which seniors are presenting when. Please join us and support these powerful young minds!

Sophomores will continue with their sexual and relationship health classes on Wednesday morning, and Student Council will host our October NEST Meeting during Advisory that same day. Wednesday will also be the final time 1st quarter XBlock classes meet. We'll send out information early next week about 2nd quarter XBlock offerings, and students will once again submit their top 3 choices so we can place them in a class they'll enjoy.

Fall Break begins next Friday 10/22 and students have no classes on Monday 10/25, which is a Professional Development Day for staff.
Save the Date
The AHS Mountain Biking Team is heading into the Colorado High School Cycling League State Championships at Durango Mesa Park Regional Champions in their division, with several team members qualifying to race against the best riders from across the state. This is a super fun event for our community and we encourage everyone to head up to the Mesa to cheer on our student athletes Saturday 10/23 and Sunday 10/24. Running an event this size requires significant volunteer support and we'd love to see Ospreys chipping in to help. Sign up to volunteer here!

The Fort Lewis College Admissions Office is hosting An Evening with Fort Lewis College on Wednesday 11/3 at 6pm. Osprey parents are encouraged to join FLC's President Tom Stritikus, faculty and staff for an exclusive behind the scenes look at Fort Lewis College and the abundant opportunities it has for your students. Sip on beer or wine, savor appetizers and enjoy a coffee and dessert while you explore FLC’s incredible network of resources, mentors and programs designed to help your student succeed in their educational pursuits and life beyond the classroom. Register here.
AHS Breaks Ground at our New Campus in the Sky!
Rio Edmondson, Roan Harvey and Quill Staff

Wednesday, October 13 the Osprey community celebrated a groundbreaking moment in AHS history. During what would usually be XBlock, students and teachers joined our founders, parents, alumni and members of our new extended FLC family to celebrate the groundbreaking of our new building on the Fort Lewis College campus, which we will be moving into next school year. 
As attendees gathered, they were welcomed by the music of class of 2017 alumna Julianne Marqua and AHS music teacher, Jesse Ogle of the iAM Music Institute. Julianne’s older brother Zach, class of 2013, was also on hand, filming for Durango Local News. Humanities teacher Jessica McCallum was elated to see her former students there continuing the beautiful work that they were able to flourish in as AHS students, gushing: “You see, kids! It’s not just about high school! It’s about the people you are becoming! Project-based life!”

The sentiment of being a part of something bigger was in the air as Head of School Sean Woytek gave his opening remarks: “Those of you standing here today are a part of something unique, something that will outlast us all and hopefully inspire others to reach for innovative partnerships such as what we have formed.” 
Sean quickly handed the microphone off to FLC Dean of Education, Dr. Jenni Trujillo, who invited us to honor the complex history of the ancestral lands where our new Nest will be built. She acknowledged the forcible removal of the Nuuchiu (Ute) tribe from this territory and the communal and ceremonial connections of the Jicarilla Apache, Pueblos of New Mexico, Hopi Sinom and Diné (Navajo) Nations, explaining, “It is important to acknowledge this setting because the narratives of the lands in this region have long been told from dominant perspectives, without full recognition of the original land stewards who continue to inhabit and connect with this land. Thank you for your attention and respect in acknowledging this important legacy."
Dr. Trujillo also welcomed our community, not just as tenants of this land, but as partners in our educational mission: “We are excited to grow and welcome Animas High School to not only be housed on this campus but to join with us in many common educational endeavors. Fort Lewis College exists to provide the same exceptional educational opportunities to every student who walks through the doors of any campus building, and Animas students that includes you!”

“We look forward to working and learning together—high school and college students, teachers and professors, sharing spaces and incubating and implementing creative ideas,” Dr. Trujillo continued, reminding us of the amazing future opportunities for collaboration. “This is a place of authenticity and care. Follow the Skysteps and together we can reach new heights!” She then introduced the Skyhawk Nation Drum Group, who blessed us with several songs of welcome, adding to the atmosphere of reverence and celebration.
We also heard from FLC Provost Cheryl Nixon and AHS Founder Giselle Pansze in addition to a beautiful performance by the newly-formed Animas Color Guard in celebration of how far we have come as a school and a community. 

Most of the AHS founders were present to commemorate this moment, and Giselle’s remarks inspired the AHS community just as they did 12 years ago at the ribbon cutting for the original Animas school: “It was, and still is, an incredible honor to be a part of such a dedicated and talented group whose legacy continues today at this groundbreaking.” 

“Now that we have the foundation of the past, the successes of the school speak for themselves. Throughout the years, Animas has maintained true to its core beliefs as a public charter school through a project-based educational model that values personalized academics, strong student-faculty relationships, and integration with the local community,” Giselle reflected. 

This integration with the local community has come full circle, and we are thankful for the local partnerships that have helped this dream come to life. This moment was over 13 years in the making. Animas High School has applied for the BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) grant three times over the years, hoping for a new building to bring our project-based learning style to a new level. We were finally awarded the grant in June of 2020 and have been fundraising for our required match ever since. Thanks to our partnership with Durango 9R on last year’s bond measure and a generous donation from the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado, we have been able to finally begin our journey to a new school. 
AHS alumnus Cooper Stowers glowed with pride for his alma mater throughout the ceremony. He shared, “Speaking for the inaugural AHS class of 2013, my classmates and I have been dreaming of this moment since we took the chance on AHS and sat down in those strip mall classrooms 13 years ago. We made use of the space we had at the time and we made it our own, as did the following classes in the current trailers. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world, but to see the site of the future campus is so exciting! It solidifies AHS as a strong, permanent fixture of Durango. I can’t wait to have our 10 year reunion at this awesome new campus!”

All in all, this momentous occasion was an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate the rich history of our school, and look forward with pride to our future. The Ospreys could not be more excited to soar with the Skyhawks in our new campus in the sky!
COVID Updates
We had no new COVID cases this week.Contact etoile.hening@animashighschool.com with any positive COVID results, questions or guidance you might need.


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

Student-Led Conferences: Tues. 10/19, 4-6pm

Sexual/Relationship Education (10th grade): Wed. 10/20

NEST Meeting: Wed. 10/20, 1-1:40pm

Fall Break (no classes): Fri. 10/22

Durango Mesa Pursuit: Colorado High School Cycling League State Championships: Sat. 10/23 and Sun. 10/24 at Durango Mesa Park; sign up to volunteer here

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 10/25

Vision and Hearing Screenings (9th grade): Tues. 10/26

Ropes Course Field Trip (9th grade): Wed. 10/27, 8:30am-12:45pm

2nd Quarter XBlock Classes Begin: Wed. 10/27

Junior College Night: Wed. 10/27, 5:30pm

Race & Identity Elective Field Trip to Ute mountain Ute Tribal Park: Thurs. 10/28

Osprey Parent Coffee: Fri. 10/29, 9am at AHS

An Evening with FLC: Wed. 11/3, 6pm at FLC

Mask Exhibition (9th and 10th grades): Thurs. 11/18

Thanksgiving Break (no classes): Mon. 11/22 through Fri. 11/26

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 11/29
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