November 12, 2021
concurrent enrollment students Julia Earley and Gavin Davis work to determine the height of mountains on the moon based on shadow length during this week's night class for Steve Smith's Astronomy class
Britt Blasdell's art students demonstrate their appreciation for local artist and gallery owner Karyn Gabaldon's recent generous donation to our art program, which allowed them to get a slew of new materials
Greetings Ospreys,

Just in case you need further proof that founding Humanities teacher Lori Fisher is a smartypants, check out her dazzling recent performance on the trivia competition podcast Teacher vs. Teacher here! It's a quick, fun listen. (Spoiler alert: Lori won. Of course.)

Many thanks to the Colorado League of Charter Schools for their recent article about our new building, "BEST Grant, Multi-level Collaboration Helps Ospreys Soar to New Heights." It sure is exciting to see all the excitement around our new campus.

With just three weeks of classes left in the semester students are hard at work, planning for end-of-term exhibitions of learning and holiday events. There's lots to track in the coming weeks--read on!
Osprey Theater Company to Perform at DAC
AHS theater students have immersed themselves in the one-act play The Hope and Heartache Diner, which they'll perform at the Durango Art Center December 10-12 alongside the youth theater production of Willy Wonka Jr. Purchase tickets here soon as they are likely to sell out. To create the set for the play, theater teacher Joy Kilpatrick and her students are searching for two diner booth benches, ideally red vinyl. If you have anything that might work, please reach out directly to [email protected]. Ospreys will get a sneak peak of the play at next week's NEST Meeting.
AHS Board Welcomes New Member
We're thrilled to welcome Fort Lewis College English Department Senior Lecturer and Osprey parent Michelle Bonanno to the AHS Board of Directors.

Michelle shares, "When our family learned that AJ would be part of this year's freshman class at AHS, we were eager to connect with this amazing school community. Serving on the Board seemed like a great way to learn more about the school and support all of the wonderful work that is currently underway. In particular, as a longtime employee of Fort Lewis, I'm excited to imagine the possibilities for collaboration between FLC and AHS. This is my first time serving on a Board of Directors, and I am grateful for the opportunity to build relationships and gain leadership experience" We're grateful for Michelle's dedication to supporting our school's future in this role!
students from Ashley Carruth's Race & Identity in US Literature class explore the latest exhibit at Fort Lewis College's Center for Southwest Studies
Next Week's Events
The Be Local Coupon Book goes on sale next week. Purchase Coupon Books from the AHS Main Office by paying $25 in cash or check made out to "Animas High School" or order using this form and we'll send your books home with your student. Coupon books make great holiday gifts and we get $6 from each one sold!

Britt's Studio Art students' will exhibit their Prayer/Intention Flags at the opening of the juried art show Looking UP next Thursday from 4:30-6:00pm at the Fort Lewis College Center for Innovation. The show features work from artists FLC's School of Art and Design alongside other community members and will be on display through March 15.
Going Gaga for Design Thinking
Madalynn Tharp, Animas Quill

While looking for ways to improve our campus, Sara Price’s Design Thinking elective came up with the idea of creating a Gaga Ball court after hearing multiple opinions about students wanting more lunch time activities and connectivity. 

Sara Price’s Design Thinking class is all about giving students skills that they will need in their future workplaces, such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving. “Design Thinking to me is a mindset, and it’s a way of thinking.” Sara explained. ”What does it mean to go slow to go fast? What does it mean to really empathize with whoever is going to be using the product?” With this mindset the designers and inventors in Sara's class can create products that actually benefit the AHS community instead of just a shallow idea that has no backing to it. 

Designing products that will have a positive impact on AHS takes a few different steps: empathize, ideate, and prototype are just a few. “Right now we are in the prototype stage of the project, and what that means is that [the class] has to make and play with their ideas so that they can get feedback from the users,” Sara explained. In this case, the users are the teachers and students who already submitted their feedback to the class through Google form.

However, before any prototyping could happen, the students first had to find something that AHS needed. To find this missing thing each student conducted a few interviews. “Their goal was to just figure out what students need and want from Animas that they are not getting right now,” Sara shared. A common theme was that AHS students want to see improvements at lunch time, such as better seating options, more options for activities and opportunities to expand connections during lunch even beyond their friend groups. Design Thinker Bryan Gnehm explained “ We figured a Gaga [ball] pit is something a lot of people would like and a lot of people could enjoy during lunch.” 

The class split into three groups with one of them focusing on designing the Gaga Ball court. The group scouted out and discovered the perfect place for the court, on the north side of the west building, where in past years a skateboard ramp resided, but now is known by some students as “the no man's land.” 

At first, the Design Thinking class only hoped to use the makers space lab to build the gaga ball pit but after a serendipitous miscommunication, it turned out that Brayden Harms from the Makers’ Space Club had already designed a Gaga Ball court. Sara recruited Brayden to come to her class to collaborate with the Gaga group.

After receiving feedback from their peers, the group started on their second round of prototypes, where the project is slowly manifesting into a reality. Bryan described the design idea for the gaga ball court “ We decided that we are going to go with Animas colors, maybe with a mural hopefully done by the Art Department.” Part of the design that was quite important to the class was making the Gaga Ball pit portable so that it can be moved to the new campus next year. 

The timeline for the remainder of the project will be making a proposal for head of school Sean Woytek, which Sara believes will take about a week. “And within a week ideally we'll be getting materials and we’ll be starting to build.” As a semester-long class, the students will only have four weeks after their final prototype to implement their designs.  

The Design Thinking class and their projects are a representation of the beautiful work that AHS strives for in their students, advocating for change in our school community and project design and implementation. 

Gaga Ball court image designed by junior Asher Rehman using the 3D image program Blender.
Sick Chicks Doing Sick Tricks
Zoe Ramsey, Animas Quill

Come out tonight, November 12, to North Zia from 6-8pm to see the premiere of two freeskiing films, including one by our very own Osprey alum, Lucy Hall! 

Lucy’s film Novia will be screened alongside Faction’s Roots another ski film. Over the pandemic, Lucy and her passionate freeride skier friends Maisie Wagner and Ellie Huff, were inspired by JYOSEI, a ski film made by an amazing group of women. They wanted to make something that would leave an impact on the ski community, showing the importance of women in it, so decided to make a film that would ignite a new generation of freeride ladies. Lucy transformed the idea into her Senior Project at Animas. Later on Caroline Ungar, Ella Haverkampf and Ulla Libre joined the team and set out to make this film a reality.

These ladies all grew up in ski towns. Lucy is a Durango native, an Animas High School 2021 graduate, and one of few female members of their local big mountain teams. Lucy added “Novia is a film by girls for girls! It all started as my Senior Project and turned into so much more. Our mission is to 'Inspire young girls to find confidence within' and we plan to continue to do this through this film and many more to come.” Now their film is premiering all over the country. Tonight’s screening is free, but donations are strongly encouraged. The proceeds will go to Four Corners Freeride Team.

Lucy will be at next week's NEST Meeting to screen Novia and share a bit about her experience making the film with our school community, too.
COVID Updates
This week, we had no new COVID cases. Contact [email protected] with any positive COVID results, questions or guidance you might need.

To register your student for our weekly, voluntary on-campus COVID testing sign up here. Our school code is C0075 and once registered, students can test weekly without re-registering. Learn more about the program here.Parents must provide consent for students under 18. Students receive $25 for first test and $10 for each thereafter.

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

NEST Meeting: Wed. 11/17

Studio Art Exhibition: Looking Up: Thurs. 11/18

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 11/18, 5:30-7:30pm

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

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

Holiday Gift Drive 4 the Children: Tues. 11/30 through Fri. 12/10

Student Ambassador Training: Wed. 12/1, 1:45-3:30

Student Council Holiday Blood Drive: Thurs. 12/2, 9am-2pm; sign up to donate blood here

Get a Job Fair: Thurs. 12/2, 4-5:30 at Fairgrounds

Humanities 10 Mask Exhibition (10th grade): Thurs. 12/2, 4:30-6pm

Last Advisory and XBlock of the Semester: Wed. 12/8
Biology, Humanities 9, Math 9, Chemistry and Humanities 11 Exhibition (9th and 11th grades): Wed. 12/8

Last Day of 1st Semester Classes: Fri. 12/10

Ospreys on Ice Holiday Party: Fri. 12/10, 7-8:30pm at Chapman Ice Rink

Osprey Theater Company: The Hope and Heartache Diner: Fri. 12/10, Sat. 12/11, Sun. 12/12

iAM Music Winter Student Showcase featuring AHS Music Students: Sun. 12/12

Presentations of Learning: Mon. 12/13 to Fri. 12/17

Winter Break: Sat. 12/18 through Sun. 1/2

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 1/3

First Day of 2nd Semester: Tues. 1/4
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