October 22, 2021
Dave Farkas and Steve Smith get the crowd hyped for their Ice Skating XBlock at NEST Meeting
freshman Wells Wait and his mom Marci check in on his progress during Student-Led Conferences
Greetings Ospreys,

How lovely to see Ospreys kicking the dust off their professional dress clothes this week for Student-Led Conferences and the first formal exhibition of the year, the seniors' Justice Monologues! These opportunities for students to publicly share their self-reflection and learning with authentic audiences are a key element of an Animas education and it was inspiring seeing Ospreys back in the swing of being articulate, poised presenters.

Also this week, AHS culture was reinvigorated through Student Council's well-led NEST Meeting, which included beautiful live music performances from seniors Sailor, naima and Tiernan, heartfelt appreciations, celebrations of our AHS Mountain Biking Team and...Steve Smith rocking some pretty awesome silver lycra in XBlock course pitches,

Speaking of our bike team, we hope to see you at the Colorado High School Cycling League State Championships at Durango Mesa Park this Saturday and Sunday, cheering them on! Sign up to volunteer here.

Fall Break begins tomorrow, with no classes Friday or Monday. Staff will gather for a Professional Development Day on Monday.
Next Week's Events
At the NEST Meeting, Student Council announced Spirit Week costume themes for each day next week. We look forward to seeing plenty of creativity on display!

  • Monday--Ferris Bueller's Day Off (no school!)
  • Tuesday--Senior Citizen Day
  • Wednesday--Monochromatic Day
  • Thursday--Dress Like a Teacher Day
  • Friday--Halloween Costume Day

Tuesday, 9th graders will have vision and hearing screenings and Wednesday they head off to AHS co-founder Phil Bryson's ropes course for a rite-of-passage field trip that builds trust and teamwork.

New XBlock classes begin Wednesday afternoon and students will be able to see which class they've been placed in by Monday. Please be sure to make note of locations where each XBlock class meets so you know where students will be at the end of the day!

Juniors and their families are strongly encouraged to attend the Junior College Night with Erin Cummins-Roper Wednesday evening at 5:30 to hear important information about how to prepare for senior year and life after high school.

Thursday, students in Ashley Carruth's Race & Identity in US Literature elective will visit the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park in conjunction with their study of Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony.

Thursday is also the Student Ambassador Program application deadline for students who would like to interview to join this team. Ambassador responsibilities include welcoming visitors to campus via tours and shadow days, staffing Information Sessions for prospective families and representing AHS at community events.

Finally, all Osprey parents and guardians are welcome to visit with us on campus Friday morning at 8:30am for Osprey Parent Coffee. Bring your questions, input and feedback--we'll provide the coffee and tea!
Save the Date
Ande Lloyd's Math 10 students are next on deck for an exhibition of learning, with the Tessellation Exhibition scheduled for Tuesday 11/2, 5pm.

An Evening with Fort Lewis College is open to all local parents on Wednesday 11/3 at 6pm. Explore FLC’s incredible network of resources, mentors and programs designed to help your student succeed in their educational pursuits and life beyond the classroom. Register here.
Seniors Exhibit Environmental Justice Monologues
Bryan Gnehm, Animas Quill
Animas High School seniors dug into the intricacies of environmental justice and energy issues, in their Justice Monologues Exhibition on Wednesday, October 20th in the AHS Commons. Students took an in-depth look at situations from local to global which challenged their preconceived notions of justice from the perspective of environmentalism. Each 2 to 3 minute monologue represented a unique perspective of the student’s individual environmental ethics applied to a real world example of environmental injustice. 

Senior Cooper Macichek shared his excitement for having a platform for “conveying the perspective that has not been seen before.” Cooper’s monologue dealt with the ironically massive need for coal power to build wind turbines. 

Twelfth  grade Humanities teacher Sara Price remarked on the benefits of the project: “I think what I have learned is it offers a theoretical framework for how how justice applies to all aspects of society, from policy to local goals of non-profits, to school board decisions, we make change from a place of what justice includes. Knowing the core of what justice means to the individual allows for a guidepost of how to live one’s life as well, how to find the complex balance of liberty, equality, security and truth.” 

Look for some example monologues in the Fall print edition of the Animas Quill, coming soon as an insert in the Durango Telegraph!
Studio Art Class Exhibits Intention Flag Prints in Lunchtime Art Sale
Maddie Tharp, Animas Quill

Britt Blasdell’s Studio Art class gathered for a quick exhibition in the school’s parking lot last Monday, to display and sell samples of their latest work, printmaking, in the form of intention flags depicting positive Osprey culture. 

“It started out [that] we wanted to make something for our future building depicting Osprey life, positive Osprey culture, so we made prayer flags or intention flags to be installed permanently at our new campus,” Britt shared before the lunch presentation. “Then we also decided that we should allow the staff and student body to have cheap good art so we’re doing a flash printmaking sale.” 

During this lunch exhibition, the Studio Art class demonstrated their printmaking processes. Interested buyers could buy designs that they fancied for a dollar apiece, and watch the artists print their designs on a piece of cloth or cardstock paper. Britt explained the process: “They carved their design after much thought and critique, into linoleum blocks. And then we print using printmaking ink on paper or fabric. Each of the flags has a certain element; these elements also depict a certain type of positivity depending on [the students individual] image.”
Each artist was able to represent their individualism and share their own opinions of positive aspects of AHS. Jadin Pierce remarked on the theme of her design: “ I did an owl to represent wisdom going forward into a new building and just a generally positive message of making sure you’re being wise about the decisions you make”. She also described all of the steps she took in her design, “ I did a five-step process of learning about the flags and what they mean, then finding a color flag I wanted to use to represent my message. We did a sketch on paper then transferred that sketch over to a linoleum block, and after we carved it we put any color ink we wanted and transferred it over to the flags.”

Porter Hilgenberg spoke to the hopes she has for the symbol she created to share with the larger AHS community: “I did my rendition of the sacred heart, which is a symbol from Roman Catholicism, but I'm not religious, so I wanted to make it more universal by adding peace signs, because I feel like every person, no matter what religion they are, can relate and understand what a peace sign means and it basically just symbolizes hope. And I hope it kind of unites people.” 
Julia Glotfelty discussed how her print represents Animas: “I just made a print about uniqueness, my print was an octopus, it's kind of odd but it’s also just unique and what I think of Animas it is being unique.” 

These intention flags will be a great representation of Osprey culture to carry over to our new school next year to help set the example of positive AHS culture and beautiful work for current and future Osprey generations.
COVID Updates
We had 2 new COVID cases this week in our 10th grade as well as 3 new cases among our staff.

Our staff has become eligible for COVID-19 booster shots and many will be taking advantage of that opportunity in coming days. Unfortunately, with a rise in the frequency of breakthrough cases locally, it seems it's time to re-commit to being diligent in our daily interactions. Spending time with others in close proximity without masks on, even if fully vaccinated, is currently a risk for contracting COVID. As the weather cools and we move indoors, consistent masking will be a critical mitigation strategy to keep students and staff in school. Antibodies wane by 6 months post-vaccine and the Delta variant is proving to be extremely transmissible.   

One additional strategy we are implementing to help reduce COVID numbers is free, voluntary, weekly testing on campus along with incentives for students to participate. Thanks to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's Free COVID-19 School Screening Testing Program, AHS students will receive $25 for the first test administered on campus and $10 for each one thereafter. We haven't yet identified the start date for this program at AHS, but we encourage families to register now by using this sign up link. Our school code is C0075.

As always, contact etoile.hening@animashighschool.com with any positive COVID results, questions or guidance you might need.

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

Fall Break (no classes): Fri. 10/22

Durango Mesa Pursuit: Colorado High School Cycling League State Championships: Sat. 10/23 and Sun. 10/24 at Durango Mesa Park; sign up to volunteer here

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 10/25

Spirit Week: Tues. 10/26 through Fri. 10/29

Vision and Hearing Screenings (9th grade): Tues. 10/26

Ropes Course Field Trip (9th grade): Wed. 10/27, 8:30am-12:45pm

2nd Quarter XBlock Classes Begin: Wed. 10/27

Junior College Night: Wed. 10/27, 5:30pm

Race & Identity Elective Field Trip to Ute mountain Ute Tribal Park: Thurs. 10/28

Osprey Parent Coffee: Fri. 10/29, 8:30am at AHS

Tessellation Exhibition (10th grade): Tues. 11/2, 5pm at AHS

An Evening with FLC: Wed. 11/3, 6pm at FLC

Mask Exhibition (9th and 10th grades): Thurs. 11/18

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

Professional Development Day (no classes): Mon. 11/29
Purchase your 2022 Be Local Coupon Book through AHS and support our school while supporting local businesses! More details coming soon...
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