December 4, 2020
Sophomore Charlie Bridgham's short film "A Change of Pace," created for Stephen Sellers' Filmmaking elective--even with teachers as amazing as ours, during these online school days, it's definitely okay to "want to break free" and step away from the computer screen!
Hello Ospreys,

We are thrilled to share the happy news of the arrival of the newest Osprey, Cheyenne Elaine Prekup, born to our rock star Inclusion specialist Heather Prekup over Thanksgiving Break, on November 27. Congratulations to Heather, Joe and big brother Chambers on this sweetest of additions to your family!

Presentations of Learning
First semester classes are wrapping up this week and next as students transition into preparing for Presentations of Learning. POLs are a critical piece of an Animas eduction and as such, are required for all students. While POLs will be online this December, they will still require students to engage in authentic reflection about their progress and present themselves in a professional manner. Please refer to the POL letter to families for all the details on expectations and scheduling. Stay tuned for more specifics coming next week for 9th, 10th and 11th grade POLs.
Upcoming Exhibitions
Sophomores have been exploring the concept of optics through the lens of photography with Tina Trujillo this semester via the Physics of Photography Project. Next Thursday evening at 5:00, they will exhibit their learning, with each student choosing their own physics phenomenon to represent in a photograph and/or short video clip. The exhibition will take the form of a short movie that we will watch together. Party hats and snacks are highly encouraged! Join via this Zoom Link.

Also at 5:00 next Thursday, a self-selected group of juniors will discuss the pressing, real-word question "Should we return to in-person classes after Winter Break?" to exhibit their learning from their most recent Chemistry project, which focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of the students will represent the perspective of different stakeholders in this decision. Perspectives include that of a student, parent, teacher, public health representative, CDPHE representative, local politician, air quality expert and local mental health expert. In order to allow for maximum student engagement invitations to this exhibition are limited. Please contact Steve Smith if you are interested in being invited.
Beautiful Work
Seniors have wrapped up their Justice Projects and we want to encourage folks to swing by Beads & Beyond downtown to view the holiday window put in place by the Students for Environmental Justice group, encouraging Main Avenue shoppers to donate to Conservation Colorado.

Another example of beautiful work coming out of this project is a high-quality 'zine called Justice that includes compelling artwork, poetry, essays and photography from a group of seniors committed to combatting racial injustices. Plans are in the works to have the seniors' publication printed and distributed, but for the time being, have a peek here.

Osprey art is also on display at the Durango Public Library and We Fill, thanks to students in Britt Blaisdell's electives. While the Friends of the Library was unable to host their annual bookmark contest this year due to COVID, they sponsored a contest just for Britt's Drawing classes and the winners' work is displayed in the library's front windows. Congratulations to Grayson Milam, Lindsay Levine and Madilyn Kendall! Over at WeFill, Britt and senior Alex Pavon recently installed Studio Art students' paintings made from recycled materials, created to raise awareness around the impact of single-use plastic on our oceans and rivers. Swing by and have a look. Thank you to these community partners for providing a venue for beautiful work!
Madilyn, Lindsay and Grayson's artwork on display at Durango Public Library
Alex and Brit installing recycled art at WeFill
XBlock Credit
Why are we asking students and families to document 30 hours of wellness-supporting activities in order to receive XBlock credit for the semester, you may ask? We'll let a few student voices provide the answer:

  • I feel being able to split up my school work with some physical activity has improved my productivity by a lot. If I had to actually do a full 8 hours of school online I would see a huge decrease in my mental health. --junior Jack Tescher

  • Yoga helped my mental health just as much as my physical wellbeing, with everything going on right now it was nice to clear my mind and be able to strengthen my body at the same time. At-home workouts also helped me stay healthy during the quarantine. --sophomore Madilyn Kendall

  • Exercise and fresh air were helpful during Covid to not feel as isolated. --sophomore Rio Edmondson

  • Golf makes me think of how the ball will roll and travel. Also I walk and get to be with other people who have played for years and they help me. --freshman Vincent Zufelt

XBlock forms are due Friday December 18.
Click here for full details and links to the forms.
Staying Connected as an AHS Community
One important way to combat the isolation of online learning at home is to stay connected to your community--even if it can only be through a screen at this time. This week's NEST Meeting, facilitated by Student Council, included sweet appreciations and a vigorous debate over whether or not there's any food that cannot be made tastier with the addition of maple syrup (thanks, Farkas, for leading that one!).

Another opportunity to connect is RECESS (Radical Exercise of Exquisitely Stupendous Students!), an informal online check-in open to all, being offered 2-3 times a week at various times. Student Council is co-facilitating RECESS with Erin Skyles, but the meetings are not counseling sessions. Rather, they're just a chance for Ospreys to hang out and get to know each other. Students should look for Google Meet invites through their school email accounts. RECESS will be in session on the following days/times for the final stretch of this semester:

  • Monday 12/7, 12:30
  • Wednesday, 12/9, 3:30
  • Tuesday, 12/15, 11:30
  • Thursday, 12/17, 1:00

Advisory groups will check in next week as well, to provide some end-of-semester support and good cheer. And don't forget, parents need connection and community, too! Join us for the December Online Osprey Parent Coffee next Friday at 9:00am via
Be Local Coupon Book
Purchase your coupon book(s) using the Be Local Coupon Book Order Form (click here); we will contact you to coordinate a time for pickup and payment options.

Help support our school while supporting our local economy this holiday season!
Puppies Available for Adoption
Meet Timber and Oscar! These two are about 8 weeks old and our College Counselor, Jess Morrison, is fostering them through Soul Dog Rescue. They will be up for adoption soon and she would love to keep them in the Durango community. The pups were picked up on the side of the road in Towaoc. They are great fun, lovable, very social and get along well with other dogs. They are likely a shepherd mix with some type of cattle dog and will probably be about 40 pounds when full grown. If you are interested in learning more or doing a puppy play date with them outside reach out to Jess Morrison at
Enjoy the weekend and thanks for all you do to help Ospreys soar!
Upcoming AHS Events

Online Information Session for Prospective Families: Tues. 12/8, 5:30pm via

Photographs of Physics Exhibition: Thurs. 12/10, 5pm via Zoom Link

Final Day of Elective Classes: Wed. 12/9

December Online Advisory Meetings: Wed.12/9, 12:35

Online Osprey Parent Coffee: Fri. 12/11, 9am via

12th Grade Presentations of Learning: Fri. 12/11 through Thurs. 12/17

9th Grade Presentations of Learning: Mon. 12/14 though Wed. 12/16

10th Grade Presentations of Learning:Tues. 12/15 though Thurs. 12/17

11th Grade Presentations of Learning: Wed. 12/16 and Thurs. 12/17

Make-Up Presentations of Learning: Thurs. 12/17 and Fri. 12/18

Winter Break: Mon. 12/21 though Fri. 1/1

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 1/4

First Day of Second Semester: Tues. 1/5

NEST Meeting: Wed. 1/13
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