September 25, 2020
Hello Ospreys,

It's hard to believe that we're a month into the school year already! As we all find ourselves getting used to new practices and routines, we also se opportunities for Refinement, one of our Habits of Heart and Mind (Perspective, Advocacy, Perseverance, Evidence and Refinement--just think of the acronym PAPER!).

As a small, independent school, we are able to engage in ongoing assessment of what's working and what isn't, and we can make changes quickly. We appreciate the feedback we received through Parent Orientation and Parent Coffee this week, as well as ongoing input from our students, and want to share out a few examples of refinements in the works.

Viewing Grades in Google Classroom and Infinite Campus
One refinement we're working on is to sync up Google Classroom with IC so that the grading teachers do in Google Classroom automatically transfers into IC, where students and families are used to viewing grades-in-progress. School-wide use of Google Classroom is new for us this year, and we are all in the learning zone. Parents are encouraged to check in with students for a tour of Google Classroom, where you can view assignments from all classes in one location and get a sense of how your student is doing. This quick Introduction to Google Classroom for Parents video gives a helpful overview as well. At this point, some classes have all grades entered in IC, and some are still not fully syncing up. We hope to have everything working smoothly together very soon!

Attendance Notifications
Starting next Monday, we will send home daily attendance emails through Infinite Campus (IC) any time a student is marked absent for either online or in person classes. We have been working with IC to trouble-shoot issues connected to tracking attendance for online classes and now have those issues resolved. Students and families can always find attendance information in their IC accounts, as well. As a reminder, students are expected to attend online class meetings for electives on Wednesday and online class meetings for core classes on the two other days they are not on campus.

As our grade-level teams discover what's working well and what can be refined, we will see some minor adjustments in schedules. Sophomores will roll out a slightly altered daily schedule next week that allows for longer Humanities classes. You can view the new sophomore schedule on the Fall 2020 Master Schedule. Juniors will move from four pods to three pods soon to provide core teachers a prep period while still maintaining safe pod sizes. Stay tuned for more specific details coming to junior families next week.
Student Activities
Social distancing and our special hybrid schedule are creating some new challenges for student clubs and activities, but Ospreys are, of course, discovering creative solutions.

The AHS Student Council is reimagining the Bridge Program, which historically pairs 9th and 12th graders together to provide mentorship and community connection for our youngest Ospreys. This year, Bridge Groups will consist of one or two students from each grade level who share some common interests and who can support one another remotely with a goal of keeping our community connected. StuCo also sends representatives to Board Committee meetings to share critical student perspective, and they are planning for a socially-distanced blood drive this fall. Elections for new StuCo grade representatives are coming up soon, with deadline to apply next Wednesday.

The AHS Mountain Biking Team may not be traveling across the state for races, but they are still training together and competing in fun non-travel-based challenges through the Colorado High School Cycling League. Congratulations to newly elected team captains Ainsley Haggart and Finn Bridgham!

Have an interest in helping create the 2020-21 AHS Yearbook? We don't currently have a faculty advisor and Osprey Parent Acasha Mick, who helped guide the team last year has moved to Texas. If you might be interested in helping produce this year's yearbook, please reach out to Libby.

Next week, we'll begin sending out Osprey Opportunities, a bimonthly communication about ways that Ospreys can get involved beyond the classroom. Have an opportunity you'd like to see included? Send it to
Meal Service
Our free breakfast and extra sack lunches are proving popular with students and we're glad to be able to provide this service this fall! Please refer to this letter for all the updates to our food service program. Please be sure to complete the Meal Application Form by Wednesday 9/30.

Remember free breakfast and lunch are available to ALL students through the end of December, but AHS pays $3 for each catered lunch we provide. If your family is able to make a donation to AHS to cover the cost of catered lunches that your student receives, it will help our school better stretch our limited funding. Please consider making donations through the donate button on the AHS website.
Exploring "The Why" with Ashley Carruth
Senior Humanities teacher Ashely Carruth is co-founder of San Juan Mountain SOLES, which aims to inspire young women to lead healthy, fulfilling lives rooted in big mountains, confident leadership and authentic community engagement. Several Ospreys have participated in SOLES since its inception, and our school community has benefitted from their leadership development.

Recently, Ashley published an essay called "The 'Why'" reflecting on this summer's SOLES backpacking expedition in the context of a world overturned by COVID-19 and social justice uprisings. Our faculty are a talented, inspiring bunch of human beings who practice what they preach and create beautiful professional work in addition to working their magic in the classroom. Have a look at Ashley's excellent, moving essay here.
Ballot Issue 4A: Capital Improvement Bond for Durango Schools
As you may have heard, the Durango 9R School Board voted to allocate $2.5million to AHS if the 4A Ballot Issue passes in November. This would meet a significant piece of our fundraising need to construct our new campus at Fort Lewis College. You can read more about Bond Issue 4a here. Want to get involved in raising awareness about the Bond Issue? Reach out to Osprey Parent Amy Hewitt at

AHS Enrollment Closes Next Wednesday
We have seen significant interest from families who have enrolled their students at AHS since the beginning of the year. The deadline to enroll at AHS for the fall semester is next Tuesday, September 30. On October 1, we will open enrollment for a small handful of spots for second semester on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information or to complete Intent to Enroll, visit our website here.

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

Future of Work Online Event (11th grade): Tues. 9/29, 10am

Deadline to Submit Student Council Application: Wed. 9/30

PSAT/NMSQT Exam (11th grade): Wed. 10/14

Online Osprey Parent Coffee: Fri. 10/16, 9am

AHS Board of Directors Meeting: Thurs.10/22, 5:30pm

Professional Development Day for Staff (no classes): Fri. 10/23

School Excellence Committee Meeting: Wed. 10/29, 4:30pm
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