Dear Osprey Community,
The Animas High School Board of Directors, administration, and staff are committed to the long term sustainability of our organization. We have grown and changed in many ways since the early days, when a brave group of ninth grade students and their families took a leap of faith and joined us before we even had a facility. Now in our sixth year, we have proven the impact and effectiveness of our model; enrollment is high, and our programs are strong. We used to talk about building the ship while we were sailing it; now that boat is built and sailing!
We are excited to share the news that at our Board Meeting this week, we unanimously approved our school’s new mission statement. We are proud of the process that has brought us to this decision and appreciative of the extraordinarily thoughtful, engaged input from all facets of our school community. Truly, our new mission captures both who we are and what we hope to accomplish:
Animas High School prepares all students for college and post secondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student centered, project based curriculum.
Bravo to all involved for this highly collaborative, successful journey of crafting the revised mission statement!
Re-authorization Charter School Institute
Also at our meeting, we unanimously agreed to reauthorize our charter for the period of one year through the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), our current authorizer. Our decision to authorize through CSI provides us with excellent support and the autonomy that we value as an organization.
Facilities Twin Buttes BEST Grant
The biggest challenge Animas High School currently faces is our facility. Our current classroom buildings are a temporary solution made possible through a generous, anonymous donation that has afforded us the time explore options, forge partnerships and strategize our long term sustainability plan. The modules are working well for the time being, but they have a limited life-span and, because of increasing enrollment, we are rapidly approaching a situation where we are outgrowing them. Simply put, we need to figure out where our permanent campus will be, and we need a plan for how to get there.
We are committed to finding a way to build our school, and our hope is for the permanent campus to be constructed on land up the hill from our current campus, land that has been designated as ours in Twin Buttes. Our charter caps our student body at 400 students, and we want a state of the art, green built campus in a beautiful location for those students to engage with our talented, dedicated faculty in project-based learning for many years to come.
In order to help us achieve this vision, we have hired Jim Ketter from KPMC Consulting to guide us through the process of obtaining funding, focusing primarily on a capital construction grant program known as Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST). We have applied for the BEST grant in the past, and have not been awarded it; however, we feel we are better positioned now to be a strong contender. If we were to obtain the BEST grant, we would be able to solve our facilities issue and would then reauthorize with CSI indefinitely.
Partnerships 9R and MMS
We are so appreciative of the partnerships we have created with both the Durango 9R School District and Mountain Middle School and we look forward to continuing to develop these relationships in a variety of ways. While we are not currently engaged in the process of switching our authorization to 9R or fully merging with MMS, we view both of these organizations as key partners in the broader mission we all serve in our community: providing excellent educational choices for our young people.
Board and Committee Opportunities
The Board continues to work hard on many issues to set up Animas High School for long term sustainability. We are seeking to fill the position of Board Treasurer and we would like to develop a strong Finance Committee to help in the refinement of our Business Plan and financial documents related to long term plans. If you are interested in getting involved in Animas High School on the board or committee level and have a strong finance background please email the board at: Board@animashighschool.com.
Please plan to join us at the Fall Friendrasier on Wednesday, November 12th from 5:30 to 8pm at the Henry Strater Theatre so we can continue to celebrate our students and faculty. This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and we are well on our way to achieving our goal of raising $75,000. A handful of students will be presenting their work from a variety of classes; plus, we’ll have an array of speakers sharing their perspectives about the value of Animas education.
Thank you for your continued support. We are honored to serve this school community at such an exciting time and we look forward to helping Animas High School enter the next phase of its development.
Animas High School Board of Directors
Melissa Youssef, President of the Board, Board Administration
Danielle Sullivan, Vice President, Governance Committee
Christy Duke, Secretary, Fundraising Committee
Ann Laffaye, Chairperson, School Excellence Committee
Thomas Morrisey, Chairperson, Governance Committee
John Witchel, Chairperson, Fundraising Committee
Mark Williamson, Chairperson, Facilities Committee
Gordon Henricksen, Chairperson, School Excellence Committee
Board Letter 11-03-14
Dear Osprey Community,