Dear Osprey Families,
Welcome to the 2017-18 school year!  We are excited to enter our ninth year of providing rigorous project-based learning to prepare students for college and post-secondary success.  We appreciate that you have chosen to be Ospreys and we look forward to both supporting and challenging every student in the year ahead.
This letter will provide answers to questions you may have as the start of school draws near; please read through carefully and don’t be shy about reaching out with questions you might have.  We also encourage you to refer to the Student and Family Handbook (accessible online here and on the AHS website) for information about our programs and policies.
Student Orientation
Student Orientation for ALL students in ALL grades begins Monday, August 21 and continues through Wednesday, August 23, from 8:25 to 3:25 each day.  Orientation activities will take place all day Monday, all day Tuesday and in the afternoon on Wednesday of that week. All students will begin meeting in their grade-level core classes (Humanities, Math and Science) on Wednesday, August 23; elective classes will begin on Thursday, August 24.
Our Student Orientation activities are designed to help students prepare for the year ahead, set goals, build community and strengthen relationships with peers and teachers and we expect all students to attend, just as on any other school day.
On Tuesday morning, the day begins bright and early for seniors, who will meet at 6:45 at the base of the ABC trail head (also known as the Centennial Trail), located at the corner of E. 10th Street and 6th Avenue.  They will head up the trail to the chapel at the south edge of Fort Lewis College’s campus for Senior Sunrise, a very special tradition for our school, before joining the rest of the AHS student body back on campus for the day.  We are asking all seniors to refrain from using their off-campus privileges for lunch for the first three days of school so that they can help us make the 9th graders and other new students feel welcome at the Nest during lunch.
All students will be asked to sign the 2017-18 AHS Student Contract during Student Orientation.  We use the Student Contract as a way to communicate about community expectations that support our Culture of Excellence.  A copy of the Student Contract is attached here for your reference.
Student Schedules
Schedules are now ready to be viewed in Infinite Campus (IC).  Please login to your IC portal and go to the schedule tab on the left hand side.  We use IC as our student information system.  Students and parents are provided with IC accounts and are encouraged to use IC to track grades, missing assignments, attendance and lunch balances. Every person has their own login information to IC. Students and parents have individual user accounts. Parents with legal guardianship of their student will be able to view all of their student’s information. Each school that uses IC uses their own URL. Animas High School’s IC can be found by going to>Our Families>Infinite Campus (or go to ). Login information was sent via an email.
If you are having trouble accessing your account, contact our IT Director, Dusty Grannis, at [email protected].
Students will be able to request changes to academic electives once school begins through the add/drop form which Laurel will send out in the first week of school. Students will select XBlocks (physical education) to fill their Wednesday 6th and 7th period slots once school begins.  You can view our daily schedule here.
If there are empty slots in a student schedule, besides the Wednesday 6th and 7th periods, it is because of one of the following:

  • If you are a new 9th grade or transfer student, Laurel might still be missing some required documents for your registration to be complete and so she will need those things before you can complete your course choices.
  • If you are a returning student, you might not have selected academic electives at the end of last year, or the academic electives you selected won’t fit in your schedule and you will need to select some alternate courses.

As a reminder, all seniors are required to take five classes each semester at AHS and must fulfill all graduation requirements by the end of the year
Laurel will continue to fill empty slots over the next couple of weeks before school starts and will reach out to those that she needs to speak with before school begins.  If you have any specific questions about your schedule, besides an add/drop request,  please reach out to Laurel at [email protected].
School Supplies and Laptop Computers
We do not distribute school supply lists for families at the start of the year.  When classes begin, teachers will communicate with students about what they’d like them to have for their particular classes.
Please consider doing your school supply shopping at the Durango Office Depot; when you mention at the register that you’d like a percentage of your purchase to go to Animas High School, they will make a donation to our school.  Stay tuned for more information coming soon from our Development Director, Ashley Hein, and our Parent Advisory Committee about other ways you can get involved in supporting the school through fundraising and volunteering opportunities.
Each student at Animas High School is required to have his/her own laptop computer for school. As a college preparatory school, we put a strong emphasis on preparing our students to work effectively with a wide range of technology, especially personal computers.  Students who do not own a laptop can borrow one from AHS. We require a $100 security deposit which will be refunded when the laptop is returned in satisfactory condition, and ask families for whom this creates an economic hardship to reach out to us so we can find a way to support the student.
If a student wishes to use their own laptop at AHS it should meet the following criteria:

  • It must be tough, sturdy, rugged, and able to take more than one hard knock!
  • Laptops should not exceed 5 years of age.
  • AHS campus is completely wireless and students are able to access the internet anywhere. Student laptops are required to support wireless 802.11/G at a minimum. Wireless 802.11/B is no longer supported on AHS campus.
  • It should have adequate RAM by today’s standards. 4GB+ is recommended.
  • A VGA port for an external monitor/projector is sometimes required for presentations (Mac users should have the proper dongle).
  • Have a reasonable battery life, 2 hours or more.
  • AHS is on a Google Apps for Education platform. This includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Drive, Calendar, Gmail and more. Microsoft Office and Adobe suites are nice but not required as the Google platform can perform most needed tasks.
  • Mac, Chromebook or PC? There’s plenty of information online that argues the value of one over the other. However, students and staff utilize all platforms/operating systems at Animas High School every day.

Our partnership with Durango 9R School District allows us to provide transportation for AHS families.  Students may board their neighborhood 9R bus in the morning and transfer at Durango High School to the AHS Hub Bus, which leaves DHS at 8:05 to take them to AHS in time for our 8:25 start.  The AHS Hub Bus also provides transportation to DHS at the end of our school day so our students can participate in DHS after-school activities or hop on 9R busses to return home.  We are not able to offer the AHS Hub Bus on Monday afternoons, as 9R schools have early release.  Please plan for alternate transportation.
AHS Hub Bus service will begin on Monday, August 21.  Any student who plans to ride the bus must return the completed Durango 9R School Bus Rider Registration (attached) to Bridget Stowers in the AHS Main Office before he or she will be allowed to use this service.  You may also drop the form off at the 9R Bus Barn, or email it directly to 9R Transportation at [email protected].  
Students are welcome to drive to school and are strongly encouraged to carpool.  All student parking is in the lower lot, with a handful of spots that will be made available to seniors only on a first-come-first-served basis this year.
Catered Lunch Program
We partner with locally-owned restaurants to offer catered lunch for $6 daily. This year’s caterers include Serious Texas Bar-B-Q (Monday), Cuckoo’s Chicken House (Tuesday), HomeSlice (Wednesday), East by Southwest (Thursday) and Zia Taqueria (Friday).  Lunches must be ordered and prepaid online by 9:30am of that day; more details on how this works can be found here: Catered lunch will begin on Monday, August 21.  
Seniors may leave campus for lunch; we have a closed campus policy for all other students, with juniors gaining off campus privileges at the end of second semester in preparation for their LINK Internships.
As a reminder, we offer a free/reduced lunch program for those who qualify.  If you believe you may qualify, please be sure to complete the Economic Data Survey (attached).  Each year we need a new economic survey from every family that would like to be considered for free/reduced lunch, so please be sure to complete the form if you didn’t already do so with your registration materials.  We will honor any family that qualified last year through September 30.
Medical Needs
Please be sure that we have up to date information about medical needs on file at the school.  As a reminder, we need Immunization Record OR Immunization Waiver (access waiver online here) for all students, as well as the following for those students who require them:

  • Asthma Care Plan: access online here
  • Allergy & Anaphylaxis Care Plan: access online here
  • Medication Self Carry Form: access online here
  • Authorization to Administer Medication at School Form: access online here

Please remember that students are NOT permitted to self-carry controlled substances or anti-depressants at any time on campus or at any school sponsored activities.   Please reference our 2017-2018 Medication Administration Policy for procedures to follow regarding medication use during the school day or at school sponsored activities.
Help us ensure that students have any necessary emergency medications with them for all school activities, including asthma inhalers, EPI Pens, Glucagon/insulin/quick acting carbs for diabetics, etc.  We are happy to keep these stored at the school and have staff transport for your student when they leave campus.  We recommend that all students with possible emergency medication needs self-carry their own supply and have a back-up supply stored at the front desk. Please turn in medications clearly labeled in original containers along with appropriate forms signed by a physician to the front desk by the first day of school.
Please contact our health consultant at [email protected] with any health related questions or concerns.
Extracurricular Activities
AHS students have many choices available to them for participating in extracurricular activities and we encourage students to get involved.  We will host a Osprey Student Activity Fair during the first week of school, providing students with the opportunity to learn more about AHS activities and leadership opportunities as well as ways to get involved with groups beyond our campus. Groups and teams represented will likely include Student Council, Rotary Exchange Interact, Student Ambassadors, Gay-Straight Alliance, Mountain Biking Team, Animas Restorative Team, San Juan Mountain Tribe, AHS Solar Car Team, Durango Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, Pine Tree Youth Circle and more.
Thanks to our partnership with Durango High School, many of our students play on DHS athletic teams and participate in other DHS after-school activities.  Durango High School​ Boys Golf begins on August 7 and all other fall sports begin August 14.  A completed Proof of Insurance, physician-signed Physical Clearance Form, Athletic Code of Conduct Form, Medical Consent Form, and participation fee must be brought to the DHS Activities Office in order to receive a red card which allows athletes to tryout and participate in DHS Athletics.  The DHS Activities Office is accepting paperwork and participation fees to issue red cards from 12:00 to 4:00 daily and the deadline for receiving fall sports red cards is August 10.  The mandatory Fall Parent/Coach/Athlete Meeting will be tonight, August 7 at 6:00pm at DHS.
For contact information for DHS coaches, links to forms, practice schedules and more, please visit the DHS Fall Sports webpage here; you will also find information about DHS winter and spring sports here.
Upcoming Osprey Family Events
Involved parents and families are key to student success and the success of our school.  Please mark your calendar and  join us for as many family events as you can.  Thank you to all who turned out for the Osprey Painting Party this weekend–our school walls are looking colorful and fresh!
At the Feathering the Nest Campus Clean-Up on Saturday, August 26 from 1:00 to 4:00, we will tackle a variety of projects to help make our campus beautiful, safe and welcoming.  Come for as much time as fits into your Saturday schedule–this is a great way to pitch in and get to know other Osprey families.
We will host a Parent Orientation at school on Wednesday, September 6 from 5:30 to 6:30; families will have the opportunity to meet your student’s advisor and classroom teachers, learn about upcoming projects and goals for the year and gather answers to questions about our programs.  All new families are strongly encouraged to attend; returning families are welcome to join as well.
Join us for the AHS Back-to-School Social, which will take place in the Rochester Hotel’s Secret Garden on Saturday, September 16 from 4 to 6.  Head of School Sean Woytek will share his State of the School address at this event, outlining goals for the year ahead alongside celebrations of ways in which AHS is excelling as a school.  It will also be a fun evening for all ages, providing a chance for Osprey families to mix and mingle.  Special thanks to the Rochester and Leland House Hotel and the Bank of Colorado for sponsoring this annual event.
Finally, we have attached the 2017-18 Academic Year Calendar here for you.  It can also be found on the AHS website here.
Our new staff members–Shane Nelson (Humanities), Summer Sanford (Science), Kat Jackson (Spanish) and Erin Skyles (Counseling) are with us on campus today, getting oriented to the Nest (see attached photo of this stellar and stoked group of educators).  Our entire staff will gather Wednesday morning and head over to Moab for some boating, camping and hiking before we devote next week to preparing for the arrival of our fabulous students.
We hope you all enjoy the final stretch of summer break and we can’t wait to welcome you back to campus in two weeks!