March 11, 2024

Greetings Osprey Students and Families,

At Animas High School, we assess learning in lots of ways, using innovative strategies like Exhibitions, Student-Led Conferences and Presentations of Learning in addition to more traditional methods such as papers, quizzes and exams. Standardized tests are a piece of the assessment puzzle, too, as they provide data that helps us examine student growth and how we’re doing as a school.

We are proud that for every year in our entire history as a school, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has named AHS a Performance School, their highest performance rating. We have also been recognized as a Performance with Distinction by school by our authorizer, Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), their top category. These school ratings are based on student achievement and growth as measured by testing, along with other measures such as graduation rates and fiscal stability.

The SAT and ACT can play an important role in determining college and scholarship options for students, and we take seriously our role in preparing them for these tests. We have students practice for the SAT by taking grade-appropriate PSAT tests in 9th, 10th and 11th grades, following up after they’ve taken the tests to help them see where they were most successful and where they can focus to do better the next time around. This helps them build skills to do their best when they take the SAT in the spring of junior year. In addition, we administer the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) test to juniors in the spring. This year, the 11th grade CMAS is a Science test. 

In mid-April, we will administer state testing for all 9th, 10th and 11th grade students as follows: 

9th Grade

  • Friday, April 19, 8:30am: PSAT8/9 (about 2 hours)

10th Grade

  • Wednesday 4/17, 8:30am: PSAT10 (about 2 hours)

11th Grade

  • Wednesday April 10, 8:30am: CMAS Science test (about 2 hours) 
  • Wednesday, April 18, 9:25am: SAT (about 2 hours)

Students will be excused from core classes on testing dates but will be expected to attend classes that meet when not testing. Those with extended time will be released from testing later than other students and will be excused from classes that meet while they are testing. 

All tests are free-of-charge and will be administered online. Read more about the transition to online format for the SAT suite of tests here. Students can use their own laptops or school-issued computers. We are visiting with all grades during core classes ahead of time to do a digital testing readiness check and review what to expect on testing days. During this process, students taking the PSAT10 and SAT have the option to sign up for the College Board’s BigFuture School app, which allows them to receive test scores quickly, receive customized career information and receive information about scholarships and financial aid. 

Make up date for CMAS is Tuesday, April 23 and make up date for PSAT8/9, PSAT10 and SAT is Wednesday, April 24.

Accessing and Understanding Individual Test Scores

The fastest way to access PSAT and SAT scores is by signing up for the BigFuture School app or creating a student account on the College Board website. Students will always receive scores before the school does for all college entrance exams. To learn more about how to interpret scores, visit the College Board website.

Preparing for the Tests

We believe that being engaged in their learning is a key contributing factor to student success on standardized tests. Our teachers are intentional in the way they teach content and skills that the PSAT, SAT and ACT measure. That said, there are many resources available for students to do independent preparation beyond what we offer during the school day at AHS, some for free and some with a cost attached.

Kahn Academy has partnered with College Board to offer online test prep that is free and personalized; you can access that here. Being familiar with the format of the test and doing practice tests ahead of time can also help students improve their scores.  Arriving on the day of testing well rested and fed, helps, too, of course!

Opting Out

We recognize that some families have strong feelings about standardized testing and choose to opt out of them. It’s important to understand the impact of opting out of standardized tests. Many colleges rely on the SAT and/or ACT scores in determining college admission, though some do not. Students and families can see which colleges are test optional by visiting For students, taking the tests that lead up to the SAT can help improve their performance and scores on the SAT, as they become more familiar with the format and practice the skill of test taking. 

Also, when we are evaluated, as a school by CSI and CDE, student test scores are a key data point. Having all students participate in standardized testing gives us the most accurate picture of our data.

That said, no students or family will face negative consequences from the school for opting out of state assessments. We recognize and respect that this is a decision you will each make individually, and only ask that you make an informed choice. If you do choose to opt out, please submit an email or letter signed by a parent/guardian to [email protected]. Please submit Opt Out Letters no later than the day before the exam. Opt Out Letters will be gathered and maintained by Libby Cowles, Dean of Enrollment and Community Outreach.

As always, please don’t hesitate to share your questions, thoughts and concerns with us.

Upcoming Events

TWIGS Evening Parent Coffee: Mon. 3/11, 6pm online at

Mock City Council Meeting Field Trip (11th grade): Wed. 3/13, 12:20-2:30pm

Avalanche Awareness Elective Field Work in Silverton: Mon. 3/11 and Wed. 3/13 through Thurs. 3/14

Welcome to the Nest for New Families: Wed. 3/13, 5-6pm

AHS Campus Tour: Thurs. 3/14, 8:45am; RSVP here

AHS Board Meeting: Thurs. 3/14, 5:30pm

Spring Break: Mon. 3/18 through Fri. 3/22

Professional Development Day (no school): Mon. 3/25

AHS Campus Tour: Tues. 3/26, 5:30pm; RSVP here

StuCo Presents Ospreys on Ice: Fri. 3/29

Senior Project TED Talks (12th grade): Mon. 4/1 through Wed. 4/10

CMAS Science Test (11th grade): Wed. 4/10

Application Case Study Workshop: Sat. 4/13, 9am to 12:15pm

PSAT10 (10th grade): Wed. 4/17

SAT (11th grade): Thurs. 4/18

PSAT8/9 (9th grade): Fri. 4/19

TWIGS Teen Mental Health Event: Tues. 4/23, 6pm

Animas Wilderness Experience: April 19-26

AHS Prom: Sat. 4/27

AHS 2023/24 School Calendar
23/24 Daily Schedule
AHS Events Calendar
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

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