December 11, 2020
Hello Ospreys,

Presentations of Learning are underway, with seniors leading the charge and students in other grades presenting next week. In POLs and student exhibitions, we emphasize the concept of creating Beautiful Work, as defined by progressive educator Ron Berger. Our youngest Ospreys are diving into Berger's seminal essay and working to apply his definition to their own experiences this odd semester, as evidenced by Olivia Schill's infographic. Asking students to think critically about what it means to them to create Beautiful Work puts them in the driver's seat of their education, an important goal for us as a school.

Senior POLs serve as an exciting transition to Senior Project, as students share their initial research and ideas about what they will study in depth for their final semester of high school--driving themselves to the culmination of an Animas education, if you follow the metaphor to its logical end. Senior Project topics are always a fascinating glimpse into the diversity of Ospreys' interests; students in the class of 2021 are diving into subjects as far-ranging as Colorado's reintroduction of wolves, the mental health benefits of cycling, the importance of cross-cultural awareness in teaching and the potential benefits of exosuit technology. We'll keep you posted as seniors develop their ideas, craft college-level research papers, apply their knowledge through action projects and present their learning via TED talks this spring.

Students in 9th, 10th and 11th grade are using key texts to anchor Socratic Seminars for their POLs and we hope that families might dive into conversations exploring the nuances and implications of the following readings:

Parents are welcome to attend POLs; links to online meetings are embedded in the following documents:

POL week is always an exciting time, filled with powerful reflection, meaningful conversation and honest feedback. We appreciate everyone's hard work and adaptability as we embark upon these important end-of-semester rites of passage.
Beautiful Work
For those who were unable to join in on the sophomore Photographs of Physics exhibition last night, we invite you to view the slideshow of student work here, which showcases sophomores' photos and writing exploring the concepts of refraction, dispersion and reflection in the context of studying light and optics.

Last night's Chemistry exhibition proved to be an in-depth, thoughtful conversation exploring the pros and cons of returning to in-person learning in the New Year. Schools and communities across the nation are grappling with this very decision and Steve's students did an excellent job weighing multiple perspectives. Ultimately, they felt it was safest and wisest to return to a hybrid model three weeks after Winter Break, though there was not full consensus.

Tina Trujillo encouraged party hats for the Photographs of Physics exhibition and the class of 2023 did not disappoint
AHS Board Vice President Tom Morrissey and Chemistry teacher Steve Smith listen in as juniors discuss whether or not AHS should resume in-person learning in the New Year, taking on roles including student, parent, teacher, administrator and public health official.
COVID Updates
In real life, we are waiting at least another week before finalizing any decision about whether or not we will return to in-person learning in January. The local COVID-19 transmission rates in our community continue to rise. Please be sure to contact Etoile Hening if your student tests positive for COVID, even though we are not meeting in person, so that we can offer appropriate support.

Cedar Diagnostics is now contracted with a larger company and is offering drive up testing in the Durango Public Library parking lot 10am to 3pm, Monday through Friday for anyone who wants it. The cost is covered by most insurance with the exception of Centura, Blue Cross Pathways and Denver Medicaid. Results are generally available in 24 to 72 hours. Register at

Community testing is also available at  La Plata County Fairgrounds 10am to 4pm Monday through Thursday and Saturday. There is no fee for testing and doctor’s order is not required.

Please continue to follow public health guidelines to stay safe and healthy while La Plata County remains in Safer at Home: Level Red.

XBlock Credit

XBlock forms are due NEXT FRIDAY December 18.
Click here for full details and links to the forms.
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!
Osprey Community Charrette: Help us Design our New Nest!  
In the design world, as many of you know, a "charrette" is a collaborative session in which a group drafts solutions to design challenges. The AHS Design Advisory Group and Anderson Mason Dale architecture firm invite our community to join in on an Osprey Community Charrette on Tuesday, December 22 at 5pm via this Zoom link (Meeting ID: 921 7173 8125 and Passcode: 290927).

The work to design our new school will move quickly in the nest couple of months--with a goal of braking ground this summer--and we want to be sure to provide opportunities for meaningful community input. Families, students, alumni, staff and interested community members are all welcome to join in for the Osprey Community Charrette to learn about the project and express hopes for the design plans. Join us if you can!

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

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

Osprey Community Charrette: Tues. 12/22, 5pm

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

First Day of Second Semester: Tues. 1/5

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (no classes): Mon. 1/18

NEST Meeting: Wed. 1/20
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