February 25, 2022
Ospreys Cassidy, Maddie, Maddox, Cooper and Waylon enjoy a little free hot cocoa on a chilly Friday morning, courtesy of StuCo representatives who were out reminding folks that the deadline to order for the Desert Sun Coffee. Fundraiser is next Wedensday!
Greetings Ospreys,

Thanks to all who joined the sophomore class for their Little Shop of Optics Physics Exhibition last night and well done, class or 2024! Read the full story below.

AHS will hold a special online Board of Directors meeting tomorrow morning at 9am to vote on potential updates to our mandatory masking policy. Durango 9R and other regional schools and schools across the nation have been moving towards increased decisions to make masking optional. We recognize that there are a variety of strong perspectives on this issue, and we invite stakeholders to email input to board@animashighschool.com by 8am Saturday morning or attend the online meeting via meet.google.com/csz-cvgq-kuv. You may also call in to the meeting by dialing (262) 546-7537, PIN 510 188 836#.
Jude Kassay and Clay Poitras rocking their safety goggles at today's Chem Lab at Fort Lewis College
Kade Marion-Wagoner learns about food calorimetry by measuring temperature changes when burning food to determine the amount of energy stored in it
Next Week's Events
Please note: AHS is in session on Monday, February 28. Because Durango 9R has the day off from classes, we will not be able to offer the Hub Bus between DHS and AHS on Monday; please plan accordingly.

Sophomores will host the Model UN Exhibition on Monday (morning pod) and Tuesday (afternoon pod), 9:20am to 1:40pm in the AHS Commons. Lori Fisher's Humanities 10 students have taken on the roles of individual nations to try to solve some of the world's most current and pressing issues through the United Nations. They are tasked with taking on the perspective of their nation and advocating for its interests, while also attempting to pass real and lasting resolutions that will lead to a more just and peaceful world. This year, students must generate resolutions to address the Taliban's role and human rights issues in Afghanistan. Please swing by to see how they work towards resolving these very real international dilemas.

Students and families are encouraged to attend Junior College Night on Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 in the Commons where Erin Cummins-Roper, our director of Career and College Counseling, will share critical information about creating a strong college list, considering how to pay for college and checking in on where students in the class of 2023 should be in the college application process.
Desert Sun Coffee Fundraiser
AHS Desert Sun Coffee Fundraiser Order Forms are due to the Main Office next Wednesday. Please reach out to a current AHS student to purchase your coffee for $15/bag as a quick and easy way to support our school!

Enrollment Lottery and Registration Information
AHS Enrollment Lottery for next year's 9th, 10th and 11th grades is next Tuesday, March 1. To be entered in the lottery, families must complete the Intent to Enroll Form for New Students by midnight Monday, February 28. Siblings of current AHS students are guaranteed a spot for fall 2022 only if they complete Intent to Enroll before the lottery date. 

On Tuesday, we will email fall 2022 registration materials to all current 9th, 10th and 11th grade families, as well as to those new families whose students are offered a spot in the lottery. We will also email those on the wait list to share their position.

All current and new students who are offered a spot for fall 2022 enrollment MUST complete specific enrollment steps outlined in the March 1 Registration Letters no later than Monday, March 14 in order to claim their spots.

Midyear Parent Survey
We believe that feedback is a critical piece of constantly improving and thus are asking our parents and students to complete midyear surveys this week.

Staffing and Hiring Updates
Charlie Malone, class of 2016 has joined Ande Lloyd in the small, elite group of alumni now teaching at AHS. Charlie has stepped in as the long term substitute for Digital Arts and Photography for the remainder of the school year. A graduate of Fort Lewis College, Charlie says, "I've been a Durango local for most of my life with a passion for rock climbing, photography, reading, and piano, and a flourishing love for teaching and leadership." We're glad to welcome him back to the Nest!

We are now actively seeking candidates for the open Head of School position, with news of Sean's departure for Texas to be with family. This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic, talented school leader with a passion for student-centered, innovative project-based learning to help us make the most of the move to our brand new building on the Fort Lewis College campus next school year! Please help us spread the word by sharing the Head of School job description widely. Accepting applications through March 15; full details here.

We are also currently accepting applications to fill our Physics Teacher and Digital Arts Teacher vacancies for Fall 2022; full details here.
Little Shop of Optics
Maddie Tharp, Animas Quill
Yesterday evening, the sophomores gathered in the far end of the Michel Ackerman wing to present their exciting work in the “Little Shop of Optics” project for Madi Neukirch’s Physics class. The students had created, either individually or in groups, interactive demonstrations of the concepts they had been working with and learning about for the past semester. Projects ranged from demonstrating the concepts that go into creating a simple rainbow, which is hardly as simple as one would think, to complicated, but not impossible, invisible shields. 

Nervous yet excited students, dressed in their exhibition best, stood proud next to their projects, itching to show off the intriguing things they were able to accomplish and create with light. Some students had their projects in Dave’s room where there were overhead lights, while other students who needed complete darkness displayed their projects in Madi’s room where strange colors and odd things, akin to MeowWolf, popped up in the darkness. 

Llewellyn Schill exhibited their project demonstrating the concepts of thin film interference, refraction with wave interference. Their table was set up with a variety of objects to help in their explanation, a tub of water to explain wave interference, a bubble machine to show thin film interference, and even a suitcase and a swatch of astroturf to demonstrate light refraction. “Refraction is the concept of when light hits an object it changes its speed, usually slowing down and it changes direction because of that,” Llew described, speaking of how the suitcase in the grass was a good tangible demonstration of how light behaves while passing through different media, such as air and water. “Thin film interference is refraction hitting multiple layers and being refracted out in different directions. Then the waves interact, which is why some bubbles are really clear. Where you can't see anything to bubble, that is rainbow as refraction changes and [light waves] mess with each other.” 
Ariana Silva and Illyria Brunner presented their project in black and white optical illusions, shown with different illusions printed out on wood with a laser printer. “Black and white optical illusions differ from colorful illusions in the way that they play with your eyes. Colorful optical illusions use the light sensors in your eyes and the different ways you perceive light to send that message to your brain to what you see in the image, while black and white optical illusions rely a lot on positioning and depth.” Illyria explained. They presented an example on a computer where the negative space created with dark and light seemed to make a square on the screen. “If you were to do this with colors, it wouldn't work because the optical illusion of the square would be thrown off by the color,” Illyria furthered. “I really liked being able to create my own optical illusion, it was really fun!” Ariana exclaimed. 

“My project was about light diffraction, which is when light has been split and has nowhere else to go,”Adrian Tyler explained, while flipping through the slide show he had created. “The hardest part about my project was trying to build a physical representation of diffraction which I wasn't able to do, sadly, because it broke the day before the exhibition. I was going for Young’s double slit experiment, which is where you have a laser pointer and you have a wire in the middle which then splits the light, showing diffraction.” Even with all the trials he went through Adrian still said that his favorite part was researching and learning about diffraction. 

Another project was set up in a far corner of the dark room. The group involved was showing a famous illusion called Pepper's ghost, which was invented in the 1800s for stage performances. Elias Foutz, Shea Davis, Zoell Lhomi, and Pierce Beyer showed off their colorful project. “This was used as a stage trick to give the illusion of ghosts, phantoms, and spirits,“ Elias explained. “[The project] utilizes the law of reflection,'' Zoell said, showing the centerpiece of their presentation, a piece of plexiglass with a computer screen reflecting off the surface making it reflect off the glass. “The angle of the light that it is hitting the object at will be the exact same that it reflects at.” Shea added, explaining what the law of reflection means. The project took a lot of trial and error. Pierce explained how it took him nearly 10 hours to place all the plexiglass correctly. Though they all agreed that the final project and presenting was the best part. 
Get Tested, Get Paid
Cyrus Holt, Animas Quill
Though getting a COVID test might not seem like as big of a deal as the pandemic slows down, we students at Animas have the opportunity to get one of these tests every week, and we get paid! I sat down with Susan Wells, and Sky Clemton, two of the nurses sent by Novir, the company that organizes the tests. 

Susan explained, “It is an initiative through the state, and the governor of Colorado, and at Novir we were awarded the contract to test at all schools in the Durango area.” When I asked about the payment, and how it works, Susan stated that  for our first test we will get $25 and an additional $10 every week on a Visa credit card, and that the money will come in the mail with the name of the tested student on the envelope.

If you are like me, you have been wondering when and where this money gets to us.  “A big problem right now is there is a backup. And it could take up to 6 to 8 weeks,” Susan stated. We the students at Animas are lucky to have this opportunity, and though we may have to wait on our money, my advice is to get tested. It helps our community, and we get paid, so why not get a q-tip swirled around your nose? If you haven’t already registered, have your parents sign you up here. Our school code is C0075 and once registered, students can test weekly on Tuesday afternoons without re-registering.
COVID Updates
This week, we identified 2 new COVID cases in our school community, both staff members. There were no new cases among students for the second week in a row.

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

AHS Board of Directors Special Meeting: Sat. 2/26, 9am via meet.google.com/csz-cvgq-kuv

Open House for Prospective Families: Mon. 2/28, 5:30-6:30pm at AHS

Fall 2022 Enrollment Lottery: Tues. 3/1

Humanities 10 Model UN Exhibition (10th grade): Mon. 2/28 (morning pod) and Tues. 3/1 (afternoon pod), 9:20am-1:40pm at AHS

Junior College Night (11th grade): Wed. 3/2, 5:30-6:30pm at AHS

Sophomore Inspire Week (10th grade): Mon. 3/7 through Fri. 3/11

Online Information Session for Prospective Families: Tues. 3/8, 5:30-6:30pm via meet.google.com/gdy-jdsp-hvg

Student-Led Conferences (9th through 11th grades): Tues. 3/15, 4-6pm

Spring Break: Mon. 3/21 through Fri. 3/25

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 3/28
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