Dear Osprey Students and Families,
At Animas High School, we recognize the importance of supporting students as individuals and whole people, paying attention not just to their academic growth but also their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. We take a multifaceted approach to health and wellness education, often working with community partners to provide students resources and knowledge to help students make informed, healthy choices.  While we do not have a traditional health class, students are exposed to health and wellness programming through a variety of avenues over the course of their four years with us.  For the 2016-17 school year, we currently have the following health and wellness programming in place:
Healthy Relationships and Sex Education

  • SASO educators will also offer the Healthy Relationships Training to 10th graders (10/28) and Sexual Violence Prevention to 11th (11/4) and 12th graders (date TBA)

Substance Awareness

  • Today in advisory, we will analyze the data from last year’s Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), which our students participate in every two years.   The statewide survey is designed to help us understand what factors support teens making healthy choices.  Individual advisory groups are encouraged to select some of the data and create an an educational action piece around it that will help to move our community in a positive direction when we take the survey again next year.  We hope that this will result in student-driven and student-created resources around substance use and abuse.
  • We will host a handful of Osprey Parent Talks throughout the year, providing our families with an opportunity to dive into conversations about raising healthy teens.  The first Osprey Parent Talk of the year is Tuesday, October 11 from 5:00 to 6:00 in the AHS Commons.  AHS counselor Arava Geva will be joined by Spanish teacher/Osprey parent Susy Raleigh and Lauren Patterson from the Celebrating Healthy Communities Coalition for a dialogue about how families can talk in open and productive ways about high risk behaviors including substance use, using the 2015-16 data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey as a springboard for conversation.
  • We are in the process of researching potential speakers to invite to a NEST Meeting to share research about drug and alcohol use and its impact on the developing teenaged brain.

Driver Safety
In December, we will welcome ThinkFast Interactive to a NEST Meeting.  ThinkFast is an evidence-informed prevention intervention that uses active learning to connect young people with factual, relevant information.  Our program will focus on safe driving.
Physical Education
Our revamped XBlock program has students engaged in a variety of physical exercise once a week for a two hour block of time.  We require three years of physical education for graduation, which exceeds the state requirement.  This semester, students are enrolled in one of the following XBlock classes, most of which meet off campus: Swimming, Hiking, CrossFit, Skateboarding, Field Games, Tennis, Rock Climbing, Yoga/Mindfulness, Field Games, Volleyball, Athlete Study Hall.
Social-Emotional Wellbeing

  • Advisory and grade-level activities and excursions often include an opportunity for individual reflection and social-emotional learning.  For example, our students have taken a social styles inventory as a way to increase self-awareness, and have engaged in team building and leadership training at AHS Founder Phil Bryson’s ropes course.
  • Our school counselor, Arava Geva, is available for individual support as needed.  She is on campus Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Student Clubs
Several of our student clubs also work to promote wellness in our school community.

  • Peers Owning Wellness (POW) is devoted to promoting wellness through student-led initiatives.  They are in the process of planning a Halloween dance that will provide a drug and alcohol free environment for students to socialize and celebrate together.
  • The Animas Restorative Team (ART) is a group of students who have been trained in restorative justice practices and facilitation so that they can help students in conflict with one another or with our community expectations.  Through facilitated communication circles, ART helps their peers reach workable solutions that support a healthy school community.
  • The Gay Straight Alliance meets weekly to actively cultivate a culture of acceptance and kindness by involving all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

As the year continues, we will undoubtedly come across additional opportunities to infuse health and wellness into our curriculum at AHS and as we do, we will keep you updated.  Please feel free to reach out to us with any ideas, resources or feedback as we all work together to give Ospreys the tools they need to lead healthy lives.
All Best,
Arava, Libby and Sean