Student and Family Handbook
Table of Contents
Located in Durango, CO, Animas High School opened in the fall of 2009 to offer rigorous, individualized college preparation based on the design principles of the nationally acclaimed High Tech High model. Animas High School is a public charter school serving approximately 250 students in grades 9-12. We are chartered through the Colorado Charter School Institute. AHS graduated its first class of seniors in 2013. Our dedicated faculty and staff are lifelong learners who are invested in our school and students. Of our 20 full-time faculty, over half hold advanced degrees or are enrolled in master’s programs. Complete faculty profiles can be accessed from the school’s website at www.animashighschool.com.
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:
Animas High School is committed to offering a transformative educational experience to students of all backgrounds and ability levels. In preparing students for post-secondary success, Animas High School fosters the fundamental attributes of perspective taking, advocacy, perseverance, evidence use, and refinement. Students strive to cultivate personal, academic and cultural excellence, and learn to embody professional standards of behavior and scholarship. Ultimately, students will become active and informed citizens who meaningfully engage in their communities.
We believe this is best accomplished through:
Rigorous Academics: Animas High School believes in supporting and challenging all students academically, and values a rigorous project-based approach in which students and teachers are continually encouraged to make choices to take their learning deeper. We believe that every student deserves an education that gives them choices and that prepares them for post-secondary success.
Engaged Learning: We value the use of project-based learning and adult world connections to help students realize the relevance of their education. At Animas High School, we strive to design projects and institutional supports that foster many opportunities for real and relevant local and global connections.
Personalization: At Animas High School, we value students as individuals, both personally and intellectually. Teachers and staff are committed to a learner-centered, project-based approach that supports and challenges each student, and that allows for student voice and choice in all aspects of the learning process. We believe that reflection and self-knowledge are key aspects of the learning process, and support students in developing these skills.
Educational Equity: Animas High School is committed to educating a diverse and integrated student population, and believes that having students from different backgrounds working together provides a rich educational experience. As a school, we value approaches to learning that create shared experiences among our students and common threads through diverse academic experiences.
Teacher As Designer: At Animas High School, teachers are highly valued as professionals, experts, and leaders in their field. As a school, we rely on their experience, skills, and abilities to develop original project-based curriculum that draws on their expertise and passions. Teacher voices are valued and represented at every level of the organization, as teachers play a significant role in critical decisions about program design, curriculum, assessment, hiring, and other significant areas.
AHS has received recognition in the following ways:
During the school year, the school is open from 7:30am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday.
Animas High School
271 Twin Buttes Avenue
Durango, CO 81301
Phone: (970) 247-2474
Fax: (970) 247-2483
Animas High School will recruit students in a manner that ensures equal access to the
school and does not discriminate against students of a particular race, color, national
origin, religion, language of origin, sexual orientation, or gender, or against students
Registration is open for students who are eligible for matriculation, grades 9-12, in the following school year. The number of senior transfer students admitted in fall is capped at 6% of the total number of returning seniors.
Animas High School endeavors to accommodate all students who are interested in attending. The below is required following admission and prior to enrollment:
If the school receives more applications for enrollment than it has spaces available, priority for enrollment shall be assigned in the following order:
Animas High School will hold a lottery in order to identify admitted students and prioritize the waiting list. The lottery will be held March 1. After capacity has been reached for each grade, names shall be randomly placed in a grade-level waiting list. As space becomes available, Animas High School will notify applicants that they have the option of enrolling at the school. The letter will give the applicant at least five full business days from receipt of the letter to notify the Head of School, verbally or in writing, of the applicant's intentions. In the absence of an affirmative and timely response by phone or letter, the school will eliminate the applicant from the list and proceed to notify the next applicant from the waiting list. Students will be admitted off the waiting list only until Pupil Count Day of each year, in order to ensure that all graduates of Animas High School have experienced the full value of the school’s academic program. All waiting lists expire annually at the end of the school's formal academic year, or as otherwise determined by the Board.
Animas High School recognizes that students may choose to change schools mid-year. We endeavor to continue our fair and equitable enrollment process through our second semester enrollment which opens after Pupil Count Day and concludes at the end of first semester. If a student completes an intent to enroll after the conclusion of first semester they will have to wait until the following year to be considered for enrollment.
Registration is only open for students who are eligible for matriculation, grades 9-11, in the current school year. If the school receives more applications for enrollment than it has spaces available priority for admissions shall be assigned in the following order:
At Animas High School, we value open, direct and honest communication and we encourage students and families to reach out to us when questions, concerns and ideas arise.
Animas High School will communicate with students/parents regarding weather closures in the following ways:
It is vital that Animas High School has the most current contact information for you and your student. If you move or change your contact information you must provide the main office with the updated information within one week of the change. If you would like a copy of your student’s Animas High School records (including transcripts, report cards, attendance records) please contact the main office.
Animas High School has the following fee schedule:
Type of Fee
Annual Technology Fee
Offsets cost of providing technology infrastructure for school
Mandatory for all
Waived or reduced for those who qualify
Art Core Class and Electives
Offsets cost of art supplies
Mandatory for those who take Digital Art and optional electives
Waived or reduced for those who qualify
Biology Core Class
Offsets cost of dissection materials
Mandatory for all
Waived or reduced for those who qualify
Offsets cost of dissection materials
Mandatory for those who take course
Waived or reduced for those who qualify
Offsets cost of providing physical education
Mandatory; cost depends on which course student selects
Waived or reduced for those who qualify
Offsets cost of weeklong excursions and courses
Mandatory; cost depends on which course student selects
Waived or reduced for those who qualify
Fees are waived for students that receive Free Lunch and Reduced Lunch status. Families can fill out an economic data survey to see if they qualify for free or reduced lunch. In addition, there are optional fees for some physical education courses and for Osprey Week; these also have free options available to students.
Students have opportunities to present thier work to authentic audiences in ways including Exhibitions, Student Led Conferences (SLCs) and Presentations of Learning (POLs). All of these are mandatory for students. Students who miss one of these events will have an incomplete in their classes, at teacher discretion, until the experience is remediated.
These unique learning measures and alternative assessment opportunities augment state accountability requirements. They offer ways to gauge and demonstrate the levels of attainment in vital aspects of our design principles that are not readily or adequately measured by standardized assessment.
Projects are presented publicly by students to authentic audiences consisting of their peers, teachers, parents and/or community members. Showing students’ work is important because it's motivating; exhibitions increase students’ effort and improve the quality of the final product. Animas High School sponsors multiple exhibitions each year, some on campus and others offsite to encourage community attendance and promote public access to students’ work. Exhibition is an essential experience for all AHS students. Professional dress and participation are mandatory.
Student Led Conferences are similar to traditional Parent-Teacher Conferences but the SLC is facilitated by the student. Students lead a focused dialogue with their parents/guardians concerning their performance and growth at Animas High School. SLCs are an integral part of the reflective process and result in a clear understanding and agreement of “where students are at.” SLCs occur once a semester and require professional dress. SLCs are mandatory for students and at least one parent or guardian.
A Presentation of Learning is a formal presentation given by students to a panel comprised of peers, community members, administrators, teachers and/or parents at the end of each semester. Before POLs, students practice their presentations, focus on specific public-speaking skills, receive feedback from teachers and peers and finally refine and rehearse their POL delivery. At the end of second semester, transitional presentations are used to determine whether students are ready to advance to the next grade. Requirements for TPOLs are grade-level specific, but typically include an oral presentation, use of the student’s digital portfolio and evidence or artifacts from their core classes. Students who attempt but do not pass POLs/TPOLs are given additional opportunities to present once they have refined their work based upon the review panel’s feedback. Students must continue to redo their POL/TPOL until they pass.
Animas High School is characterized by a rigorous curriculum. Honors options are available to juniors and seniors in Humanities. Challenge Extensions are available within other courses for those who would like to go deeper with the curriculum. Students are also able to pursue concurrent enrollment at local colleges when it does not conflict with core classes or the ability to be considered a full-time student at AHS.
To receive a high school diploma from Animas High School students must:
Students must complete the following academic coursework to receive an AHS diploma. These requirements align with the University of Colorado MAPS requirements, thus ensuring all of our graduates meet the minimum requirements for the University of Colorado system:
Language Arts (in Humanities)
Social Studies (in Humanities)
3 years of lab science
2 years of the same foreign language
12 semester-long electives.
Art Foundations and the first 2 years of foreign language do not count toward elective credit requirements as they fulfil other requirements. Project Application may not be used to fulfill any graduation requirement.
Class of 2019: Exploratories taken prior to 2016-17 school year count as elective credit
Accepted into at least 1 college
At AHS, there are 7 academic periods in the day plus a shared lunch period for grades 9 through 12 on all days except for Wednesdays, when only core classes (Humanities, Math, Science) meet. The following table outlines required courses and elective choices at each grade level:
9th Grade REQUIRED COURSES
9th Grade ELECTIVE CHOICES
All 9th graders will be automatically placed into the following courses, which are required:
In addition to their required classes, 9th grade students have 2 periods available for electives or Project Application (descriptions below). Options include:
Freshmen at AHS may not have free periods
* We recommend that 9th grade students select Project Application as an elective to help them successfully transition to the expectations of a rigorous high school curriculum
10th Grade REQUIRED COURSES
10th Grade ELECTIVE CHOICES
All 10th graders will be automatically placed into the following courses, which are required:
In addition to their required classes, 10th grade students have 3 periods available for electives or Project Application (descriptions below). Options include:
Sophomores at AHS may not have free periods.
11th Grade REQUIRED COURSES
11th Grade ELECTIVE CHOICES
All 11th graders will be automatically placed into the following courses, which are required:
In addition to their required classes, 11th grade students have 3 periods available for electives or Project Application (descriptions below). Options include:
Juniors at AHS may not have free periods.
12th Grade REQUIRED COURSES
12th Grade ELECTIVE CHOICES
All 12th graders will be automatically placed into the following courses, which are required:
In addition to their required classes, 12th grade students have 4 periods available for electives or Project Application (descriptions below). Options include:
Seniors MUST take at least 5 periods of on-campus offerings. That means that at least 2 of their elective spots must be filled by AHS offerings.
Because we are committed to keeping class sizes small, some elective classes may fill and some students may not receive their 1st choice. We give priority in the following ways:
Elective classes are academically rigorous and specialized in their content. All elective courses are graded (with the exception of Project Applications), and will factor into a student’s GPA.
AHS does not accommodate independent study requests.
AHS does not accept online classes in place of core classes or elective credits, except in rare instances or summer school remediation. Students interested in pursuing online instruction must meet with the Head of School. In order for AHS to grant credit for an online course, it must be offered through an accredited program that has been pre-approved before the course begins. There are many accredited online schools and programs. Please consult with the school to select the best one, based on cost and post-secondary goals. Families are responsible for the cost of online classes. Students must ensure their grade/transcript from their online course is submitted to AHS in order to receive credit.
Seniors are encouraged to pursue concurrent enrollment at local colleges to further their studies in a way that works well with the AHS curriculum. Younger students may pursue this option with approval from Head of School. Please note that concurrent enrollment cannot be used to replace any of the core classes (Humanities, Digital Art Foundations, Math 1-4, Physics, Biology and Chemistry), but can give a student elective credit. For concurrent enrollment classes, students will receive the same credit per semester they would receive for for an AHS class, 0.5 credits, unless the class includes a lab, in which case they will receive 1 credit per semester. The grades from concurrent enrollment classes will not be factored into a student’s GPA. Please note that not all concurrent enrollment classes will provide students with college credit. Not all colleges will accept concurrent enrollment classes for credit; it will be up to the student’s future college to make this determination. Students must ensure that concurrent enrollment transcripts are submitted alongside AHS transcripts to their post-secondary college in order to potentially receive college credit at that institution.
It is important that students understand that they must schedule their concurrent enrollment classes around their AHS classes. For Seniors, this means that any concurrent enrollment classes must meet in the morning before 10:00am or in the afternoon after 2:30pm. Students should not enroll in any college classes outside of these times, as it will interfere with their success in their AHS classes.
Due to a collaboration with Pueblo Community College (PCC), some courses offered at AHS are available as dual enrollment classes. This means that these classes have the potential to give students both high school and college credit. Transfer credit to any college is determined by that institution. Dual enrollment classes must meet the same course objectives as their equivalent courses at Pueblo Community College, and may require students who choose this option to complete work with higher academic expectations, deeper content knowledge and more difficult assessments than the regular class assignments.
Students may choose to opt in to a dual enrollment course option within the first two weeks of the semester if they meet the placement requirements by passing the prerequisite class, or by placing into the class via Accuplacer or other placement tests determined by PCC or AHS. Teachers will give students more information about this option in the first week of school. We offer dual enrollment for the following courses and are working to expand these offerings:
We believe that most students benefit from four years of high school experience. However, in some cases, students are ready for postsecondary education or other opportunities at an earlier age. Therefore, the Head of School may grant permission to students wishing to graduate early, provided the student has met all district graduation requirements in accordance with this policy.
We are thoughtful and intentional about how we determine a student’s schedule, and we do not place students in classes based upon individual student or parent requests for a particular teacher. Please understand that we believe this to be the most fair and equitable system for all of our students.
AHS uses a 4-point grading scale to evaluate academic work, where a grade of A equals 4.0 points, A- equals 3.7 points, with the scale continuing as indicated below. The minimum passing grade is C-. No credit is assigned below a C-, but points are still calculated into the GPA. The highest attainable grade is an A. We do not award A+ grades. Grades and grade point averages are not weighted. A grade of “A” represents academic achievement of 94% or higher.
A = 4.00 B+ = 3.33 C+ = 2.33 D+ = 1.33 F= 0.00
A- = 3.67 B = 3.00 C = 2.00 D = 1.00
B- = 2.67 C- = 1.67 D- = 0.67
Some classes are graded on a credit/no credit basis, including Project Application, XBlock and LINK. If a student drops an elective class in the first two weeks it will not appear on the transcript. After the drop date, withdrawing from a class will result in a “W” on the transcript.
Animas High School requires that students receive a C- (70%) or higher in all core academic courses and electives in order to receive credit. There are two options for remediating a credit when a student does not pass a class:
All Animas High School core courses are approved and transferable to other schools, and are recognized by colleges and universities. Animas High School does not offer the same courses or the same sequence of courses as many other high schools. In some instances, this has caused 11th and 12th grade students transferring to other schools to make-up courses that were not offered in the traditional sequence, or at all, at Animas High School. Students and parents/guardians are advised to take Animas High School’s unique academic program into account when making decisions to enroll at Animas High School and to transfer to other schools.
At Animas High School, learning is connected to the world beyond our classrooms. As a graduation requirement, all juniors complete a LINK Internship for three weeks, participating in a year-long curriculum that prepares them for the experience. LINK stands for Leading Internships for New Knowledge. Students create resumes, engage in interviews and document the internship experience through digital portfolios. LINK culminates in an exhibition in which students showcase their learning and their internship projects. Through an internship, students connect their coursework to the working world, learn how to thrive in a professional environment, refine college and career goals and give back to the local and global community. Students have participated in internships across the nation and around the world.
All students must successfully complete Senior Project to graduate. Senior Project is an in-depth study of a focused, individually-selected research topic, under the guidance of a Senior Project Advisor. Senior Projects include a college-level research paper, an action project, a thesis defense TED-style talk and an exhibition of learning.
As a learning community, we are dedicated to helping our students learn and practice five effective Habits of Heart and Mind. These habits drive our work as a community academically, socially and culturally. Habits of Heart and Mind give teachers and students a common language to help them deepen their thinking and relationships with each other. We encourage all members of our community to use these mental processing techniques, and reinforce them to the point where they become “habits.” The Habits of Heart and Mind at Animas High School, which we remember through the acronym PAPER, are:
The AHS Advisory Program is designed to nurture and support students’ personal and academic growth as they work toward postsecondary goals. Beginning in 9th grade, students are paired with a staff member who is their Advisor for their entire time at AHS. Advisories are made up of about 10-15 students in the same grade and they meet weekly as a group. Advisors serve as their advisees’ advocate by tracking their overall academic progress and social-emotional wellbeing and by facilitating communication between home and school. AHS’ culture is strengthened through Advisory activities that create community and a sense of belonging for all students.
Osprey Week is a week-long educational adventure that allows students and staff to learn new content and develop skills while participating in enriching hands-on activities. AHS’ culture is strengthened through shared experiences which build stronger relationships between students, staff and community members. For Osprey Week, our classroom is the world beyond our school walls. Osprey Week takes place in late March and is required for all students in each grade level.
The students of Animas High School, united in a spirit of mutual trust and fellowship, mindful of the values of a true education and the challenges posed by the world, agree to accept the responsibilities for honorable behavior in all academic activities, to assist one another in maintaining and promoting personal integrity and to follow the principles and procedures in our Code of Academic Integrity.
Plagiarism and cheating are two examples of violations of the Code of Academic Integrity. What is Plagiarism? Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means:
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward. But can words and ideas really be stolen? According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.
Cheating results in a loss of integrity on the part of the individual committing the act and on the educational process that is undermined by the act of cheating. It is a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity for any student to gain or attempt to gain an unfair advantage over another student or to undermine the learning goals of an assignment by unfair or dishonest means. If you are unclear about an assignment, the methodology for the assignment, or the permissible bounds of assistance for completing your work, please speak to your teacher and ask for clarification.
Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity may include receiving a zero on the assignment, failing the course, suspension, and/or expulsion from school.
At Animas High School, we deeply value our close community and our Culture of Excellence, both of which depend upon all of us agreeing to collectively uphold a shared set of expectations for engagement, communication and actions. All students, parents/guardians and staff are rigorously responsible for and actively participating in shaping our school culture and therefore must fulfill the school’s expectations for conduct. Anyone who fails to meet Animas High School conduct expectations may be subject to discipline including the possibility of suspension or expulsion proceedings.
As a student at Animas High School, you have the right to expect:
Animas High School exists to create the opportunity for sharing, learning, innovation and personal development. To this end, it is critical that all members of this community respect each others’ rights, values, opinions and individuality. Each community member is expected to practice this respect with regard to how we talk/interact with one another and how we treat each other's and the school’s property and space. Willfully causing physical or emotional harm, fighting, bullying, threatening violence or subjecting another member of the Animas High School community to verbal threats, harassing language, violent, sexual and/or inappropriate messages is a violation of this code. Further, it is the policy of Animas High School to prohibit harassment of any kind, including harassment based on gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or of a sexual nature.
In order to support our unique school culture, Ospreys act in a manner that shows respect for themselves, others and our campus. They:
Sexual harassment refers to behavior that, among other things, is not welcome, is personally offensive, or undermines or weakens morale. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome verbal, physical, visual or electronic conduct that has the purpose and/or effect of creating or contributing to an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment or that unreasonably interferes with the recipient's educational progress or personal security. It includes, but is not limited to, pressure for sexual activity, demands for sexual favors accompanied by implied or actual promises of favors, unwanted physical contact such as constant brushing against another's body, hugging, patting, stroking, and other touching as well as jokes and comments that are sexual in nature.
Any person who believes that he/she has been subject to harassment or who believes that he/she has observed the same, should immediately inform the person engaging in the offensive conduct that the behavior is unwelcome and must stop. A student who believes that he/she has been subject to harassment or who believes that he/she has observed the same, should inform a trusted staff member and/or the Head of School. The Title IX coordinator is another person that a student or family may contact, as this person will investigate any claims made. Animas High School’s Title IX coordinator is Erin Skyles (School Counselor).
Behavior constituting harassment as defined by this policy is subject to disciplinary action including the possibility of expulsion proceedings. Likewise, because a false report of harassment can have damaging effects on the reputations of innocent individuals, false accusations are also subject to the same form of disciplinary action.
Animas High School is a professional environment. As such, excessive public displays of affection are not tolerated. Although the boundaries of this may be difficult for teenagers to understand, school staff will enforce this expectation through this lens: if it is inappropriate for a professional workplace, it is inappropriate for Animas High School.
No one is to injure, destroy, deface, trespass on or steal school property. Because a well-maintained, functional learning environment is important to all, vandalism and theft will be dealt with severely. Parents/guardians will be responsible for paying for any damage or theft done to the building or school equipment by their student. People with any information about damage or theft done to the building or its contents should report it to the Head of School. Vandalism, the defacement/damage to or theft of another member of the Animas High School community’s personal possessions is also a violation of this code.
Students (and in lieu of the student, that student’s parent/guardian) are responsible for repairing and/or replacing any school resources they damage, break or lose. This includes but is not limited to technology, books, furniture and building fixtures. Animas High School is not responsible for damaged, stolen or misplaced personal property. It is our students’ responsibility to keep track of their personal belongings. The school will work to help retrieve any lost or stolen personal belongings but ultimately students and families take on full responsibility for any personal property brought to school.
The US Supreme Court has called public schools a "marketplace of ideas" where the protections of the First Amendment are particularly important. "The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools. " Shelton v Tucker, 364 U.S. 479, 487 (1960)
At the same time, the law is clear that a student's right to free speech is not unfettered and that the free speech/press protection does not prevent a school from imposing certain restrictions and/or imparting discipline for certain forms of speech that may be considered disruptive to the community, in violation of school policies and/or considered harassment, bullying, threats and/or intimidation. In short, Animas High School reserves the right to place reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on speech where the faculty and/or administration determine that such a restriction is appropriate.
Examples of student speech that may be restricted include:
We value integrity, honesty and responsibility in our community. Students are strongly encouraged to self-report to AHS administration any significant issues that occur outside of school time, especially those that involve drug, alcohol or tobacco use or run-ins with the law. This allows us to provide informed support for our students as necessary.
In order to provide a safe and secure school, Animas High School is a closed campus. Students are required to remain on campus--which consists of our two school buildings, the area immediately surrounding our buildings and the upper parking lot--from 8:25am to 3:30pm unless we have received permission from a parent/guardian to release them. The lower parking lot and the area west of the west amphitheatre are considered off campus. Seniors have open campus privileges and may leave campus at lunch or other times when they do not have classes or other on-campus responsibilities; juniors receive off-campus privileges one month before LINK Internships begin. Students may eat lunch in the Commons, in a supervised classroom or outside within campus boundaries. Students in 9th through 11th grade may leave campus during the day only if they are accompanied by an AHS teacher or if a staff member, parent or guardian has given permission.
Students are welcome on campus between 7:30am and 4:00pm on days when school is in session. After 4:00pm., students may be in the building if they are with a teacher or staff member. Once a student arrives on campus and until they leave in the afternoon, AHS assumes responsibility for their well-being and therefore, students are responsible for following school rules.
The project-based nature of Animas High School makes daily attendance extremely important. Students must be on time and present for classes. The academic day starts at 8:25am and ends at 3:30pm. Significant absences, repeated unexcused absences or tardiness can lead to academic and/or disciplinary consequences. AHS requests that families schedule appointments, vacations or special programs so as not to conflict with school. In particular, the final two weeks of any semester are critical, as they culminate in the student exhibitions and presentations upon which faculty base their assessments.
In the event of an unplanned absence (i.e., illness or emergency), a parent/guardian must call the main office or email email@example.com to inform the staff. If the school does not receive a call from a parent/guardian, the absence will be marked as unexcused. For any planned absence that is known ahead of time, students should complete a Pre-Excused Absence Form, have it signed by a parent/guardian and turn it in to the main office prior to the absence. These forms are available at the front desk. School staff will keep these forms on file for the duration of the school year to track excused absences for the student. Written permission or a phone call from a parent/guardian is required for students to leave school before the end of the day or during the school day.
Tardiness can be very disruptive for all involved. We ask that parents and students do all they can to avoid arriving late for the school day or late to a class. If a student will be late for school, a call or note from a parent/guardian is required for the tardy to be excused. Unexcused tardies are recorded in Infinite Campus. Students who arrive late to school or who are returning from a midday appointment must check in at the main office before they go to class.
Any student who has an excessive amount of absences in a semester will receive a consequence as determined by the administration.
When a student misses any class without an excuse from a parent:
1st time: main office emails home and informs teacher; teacher speaks with student to figure out why the student skipped class; teacher gives student “0” on any work s/he missed that day
2nd time: main office calls home and informs teacher and advisor; advisor speaks to student; teacher gives student “0” on any work s/he missed that day
3rd time: main office informs teacher, advisor, head of school and assistant head of school; assistant head of school emails parent; advisor conferences with student and parent. Consequences include but are not limited to work crew, mandatory office hours and other consequences that are appropriate for the individual situation.
When a student misses class (excused OR unexcused)
10 total absences (classes, not days): main office calls home home
20 total absences: school contacts home (i.e. Infinite Campus messenger)
30 total absences: school contacts home (i.e. Infinite Campus messenger)
40 total absences: advisor contacts home and documents
50 total absences: school counselor contacts home and documents
60 total absences: administration meets with student and parents, documenting detail of the meeting
70 total absences: administration creates attendance contract and contact La Plata Youth Services as the student is officially truant.
If a teacher feels as though an excessive amount of absences are occurring in their particular class, it is their discretion to start down this intervention path.
Any student who has missed four (4) days of school per month (28 classes) without any contact between their family and the school may be considered truant and subject to disciplinary proceedings. Any student who has missed ten (10) consecutive days of school, even with contact from their family to the school, may not be granted credit in courses in which the student is enrolled. In addition, such a student may be subject to disciplinary proceedings including suspension or expulsion.
In addition to individual classes, all students are expected to attend and participate in each of the following, barring pre-approved exceptions: Student-Led Conferences, Exhibitions, Presentations of Learning, Osprey Week, All School Meeting, Advisory Olympics and Advisory.
Parents, guardians and community members are welcome and encouraged to visit Animas High School at any time. Please speak directly with our staff and administrative team to set up appointments with individuals directly. When you do come for a visit, please check in at the main office where you will be issued a visitor’s badge and a parking pass. Visitors must remember to sign out before leaving the school.
In general, Animas High School does not permit student visitors on campus unless they have set up a shadow day as part of considering enrollment or have been invited to participate in a specific class or activity. During lunch, student visitors will be allowed on campus at the discretion of the Head of School. Any student visitor must sign-in at the Main Office.
AHS students may invite non-AHS guests to AHS sponsored off-campus events. Each Osprey may bring one non-Osprey guest who attends a different high school and/or is under 21. When they arrive, the Osprey will sign in his/her guest with the staff member at the door. AHS students are responsible for the behavior of their guests and all attendees are expected to follow AHS rules, whether they attend AHS or not.
Students may not possess, use or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on campus or at school-related functions off campus. Smoking and smoking materials--including but not limited to cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, vaporizer pens, e-hookahs, etc.--are not allowed on campus or in the lower parking lot. Animas High School students represent themselves and the Animas High School community at all times and should always keep this in mind when making choices or choosing behaviors outside of school hours. Issues related to student use, possession, and/or sale of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco occurring outside of school hours and school-sponsored functions must be reported to the Animas High School Head of School. If the school learns of an infraction by means other than a student’s own self report, Animas High School reserves the right to take further disciplinary action. If the student does self-report, Animas High School will work with that student to get whatever support, counseling, and/or treatment he/she needs. Animas High School will also work with the student and his/her family to address the impact his/her behavior has had on the Animas High School community. Animas High School reserves the right to impose disciplinary action on students for behaviors/infractions occurring outside school time.
Students must never be in possession of a weapon at AHS, including knives, guns, clubs, etc. If a student mistakenly brings a weapon to campus, they must immediately take the item to the Main Office. Possession of a firearm at Animas High School will result in the following:
Gun-Free Schools Act definition of “Firearm” per 18 USC 921: Handguns, rifles or shotguns are specifically reported as these types of firearms on an annual basis to the Colorado Department of Education. “Other” firearms, in contrast to handgun, rifles, or shotguns, must also be reported. “Other firearms” must fit the definitions below in order to be accurately reported per the Gun-Free Schools Acts as firearms.
Note: This definition does not apply to items such as toy guns, cap guns, bb guns, pellet guns, and Class C common fireworks.
According to Section 921, the following are included within the definition:
Animas High School reserves the right to examine and/or search all student possessions when, in the judgment of school administrators and officials, there is cause to believe that the student may be in possession of alcohol, drugs, weapons, stolen goods or any other materials that may be harmful or disruptive to the school community.
We value self-expression and have developed our dress code with the belief that it helps us create a professional, safe and respectful learning environment. The dress code applies to students and staff and is in effect during school hours on campus, field trips, site visits and other school-related activities. Appropriate attire for academic internships varies by workplace
Students who are not meeting dress code expectations will be asked to remove or cover up the item, change into clothing provided by the school or have a parent bring something more appropriate from home.
Exhibitions, SLCs, POLs and some other school-related activities where students are presenting to community audiences require professional dress, which means that in addition to the guidelines described above, students must wear a button-down shirt and tie, shirt with finished neck, sweater or blouse; a nice pair of slacks (no jeans), skirt or dress; dark socks to match trousers and dress shoes (no sneakers, no excessively high heels). Faculty will remind students when there exists the expectation of professional dress and will assist students in planning for these experiences. Please communicate with an adult at school if procuring professional dress clothes is cost-prohibitive; we will find a way to help.
Seniors may choose their own photographer for senior photos in the AHS yearbook. However, any portrait intended for the yearbook must be submitted prior to the deadline as determined by the Animas High School yearbook staff, and is subject for review by the Animas High School yearbook staff and AHS administration. Requests for a new portrait may be made if the portrait is deemed sexually provocative, inappropriate or in violation of the Animas High School dress code, or if it is not in accordance with the ideals, values, or mission of Animas High School. Attire for senior portraits may include school issued athletic uniforms, formal wear (exhibition clothing, dresses for dances or other formal wear) and any clothing that follows the Animas High School dress code.
Students may use personal electronics, including cell phones, before/after school, at lunch or during class with permission from an AHS staff member. At all other times personal electronics must be stored in backpacks/bags and turned off; teachers may ask to collect phones during class.
Animas High School provides technology for the educational benefit of members of the community. When using personal electronics on campus, students must refrain from accessing any material/content that is inappropriate for school, including videos/pictures of a violent or sexual nature. Students may not play inappropriate video games (as determined by the Head of School) while on campus or at a school-sponsored event.
Animas High School uses a secured network consisting of firewalls and web filters. We filter content to keep students safe and on task. In addition, at AHS we share a limited bandwidth among all students and staff members. Certain categories of the internet including gaming, excessive downloading (including torrents) and live video streaming are strictly prohibited. Any tampering or use of services such as VPNs (virtual private networks) to interfere with or ignore our firewalls and web filters are strictly prohibited. Animas High School reserves the right to impose disciplinary action on students for behaviors/infractions pertaining to prohibited internet usage.
Each student at Animas High School is required to have a laptop computer for school as well as a USB thumb drive. 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. Using a phone or tablet to complete schoolwork is not an acceptable alternative to using a laptop computer. Students who have their own laptops should bring them to school. Students bringing computers and electronic devices to school do so at their own risk. The school and its administration will not accept responsibility for any loss, theft, or damage of any personal electronic device brought to school by any student. Further, the administration will not conduct any investigation or search for any electronic items missing or stolen from any student in school.
Students who do not own a laptop can borrow one for the school year from Animas High School. The school requires a $150 security deposit which will be refunded when the laptop is returned in satisfactory condition. We will work hard to ensure that this policy will not preclude anyone from attending or finding success at AHS. Families for whom this creates an economic hardship should speak with the AHS administration.
If our Code of Academic Integrity and Community Code of Conduct are disregarded, it weakens our community and diminishes our educational experience. When students do not meet our cultural expectations, teachers, staff and administrators work with them to determine appropriate next steps. In all cases, it is important to us to treat individual students with respect, compassion and understanding, to consider the safety and wellbeing of our community and to find ways to address issues that are just, fair and equitable.
Animas High School staff is committed to creating a positive, safe culture. To that end, the following offenses are considered non-negotiable and will lead to a mandatory suspension and possible expulsion hearing:
The purpose of disciplinary action at Animas High School is to ensure that individual students, their parents/guardians, and the Animas High School community stay focused on growth and learning while fostering a safe environment of tolerance and respect. Prompt resolution of the problem or issues is expected.
Types of response may include any one, a combination of, and/or all of the following in any order depending on the circumstances, and at the school administration's discretion:
Disciplinary issues that result in suspension or expulsion, as well as incidents of academic dishonesty, will be reported to colleges when students apply as seniors.
The Head of School or his/her designee has the authority to impose suspensions and expulsions. The Head of School or his/her designee will conduct an investigation of the circumstances presented, including consulting the student and affected parties. The Head of School or his/her designee will consider whether alternatives to suspension or expulsion may be appropriate.
The Head of School has the discretion and may impose a suspension directly if he/she determines it is appropriate. If the Head of School determines that a student is to be suspended, the Head of School shall provide written or verbal notice to the student's parents and/or guardians of his/her determination, including reasons for the suspension and the time period for the suspension. Academic make-up work is required.
If the Head of School determines that consideration of expulsion is warranted, the Head of School shall impose a suspension pending an expulsion hearing. The Head of School shall provide written notice to the student's parents/guardians of the reasons for suspension and explain the expulsion hearing process. The Head of School will hold an expulsion hearing in which a neutral third party shall serve as the hearing officer. The student shall have the right to representation and the right to present evidence at the expulsion hearing. The hearing officer will consider evidence and/or testimony as appropriate and will render a decision that shall be in the best interests of the student and the school.
If the Head of School determines that a student is to be expelled, the Head of School shall inform the student's parents and/or guardians of his/her determination in writing including the reasons for expulsion. The Head of School’s written notification to the parents/guardians shall also include information about due process rights in regard to the determination.
The parents and/or guardians (or, if at least 18 years of age, the student) shall have ten (10) days from the Head of School’s written expulsion determination to submit a written request of appeal to the Animas High School’s Board of Directors.
In response to the written request for an appeal, the president of the board shall convene a committee consisting of the president of the Animas High School Board of Directors and two additional members of the Board of Directors appointed by the president. The committee members appointed will be knowledgeable about the school's reason(s) for expulsion and the procedures regarding expulsion. The committee shall have the right to rescind or modify the expulsion. The committee shall convene a hearing on the appeal within ten (10) days of receipt of a timely written request for an appeal.
At the hearing on the appeal, the student shall have the right to counsel and the right to present evidence; The evidence presented should not be different than what was presented or heard at the original expulsion hearing (from either the school or the student). No new findings should be heard. The decision should only be made on the original evidence presented. . The committee will consider evidence and/or testimony as appropriate and will render a written decision that shall be in the best interests of the student and the school. That decision shall be final.
As a parent of a student at Animas, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teacher who instructs your child. This is a requirement for all districts that receive Title I funds. Federal law allows you to request certain information about your student’s classroom teacher. The law also requires the district to give you this information in a timely manner upon request. Listed below is the information about which you have the right to ask for regarding each of your student’s classroom teachers:
Please contact Christine Imming, Director of Finance and Human Resources, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive any of this information.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and those students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records. These rights include:
The School may also disclose educational records without consent in over a dozen other specific circumstances identified in the regulations implementing FERPA. These include, with certain requirements, such cases as health and safety emergencies and responding to judicial subpoenas. For more details refer to section 99.31 of the regulations: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/2012-final-regs.pdf
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) and Colorado law afford parents of elementary and secondary students certain rights regarding the conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include, but are not limited to, the right to:
Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas:
Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of such surveys and:
Inspect, upon request and in a timely manner:
These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law.
Should the School undertake a survey or activity covered by PPRA, it will provide appropriate advance notice and opportunity to opt out, as required by law, at that time. The School may unilaterally undertake formal threat assessments or suicide assessments, report suspected child abuse or neglect, perform routine health screening required by law, administer educational exams, and allow journalism students to conduct surveys under teacher supervision.
If you believe FERPA or PPRA have been violated you are, of course, welcome to bring this to the School’s attention. You also have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA and PPRA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Animas High School, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Animas High School may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the Animas High School to the contrary in accordance with Animas High School procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Animas High School to include information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. [Note: These laws are Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. § 503(c).]
If you do not want Animas High School to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the Animas High School in writing by September 1st or within 2 weeks of enrollment. Animas High School has designated the following information as directory information:
The Animas High School Board of Directors (“the Board”) is committed to maintaining a professional workforce whose conduct conveys respect for themselves, their peers, our students, and the greater community we serve. While federal and state laws, regulations and other district policies impose expectations of staff and prohibitions on their actions, the purpose of this policy is to ensure timely notification to parents of students when the school learns that an employee has been convicted of certain felony crimes.
The Colorado legislature has provided a list of disqualifying offenses that it determined pose a risk to the educational setting. Animas High School recognizes that employees accused of committing these offenses are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but Animas High School understands and respects that these charges can be very concerning to our students and families. Consequently, when Animas High School receives notice that a current or former employee has been charged or convicted of any of the statutory enumerated offenses, Animas High School will provide parents and guardians information regarding the charge or conviction. Animas High School may partner with relevant law enforcement agencies to determine what information should be included in the notice regarding the charge or conviction.
Additionally, when Animas High School receives notice that an employee has been charged with one of these offenses and the underlying allegation implicates or poses an ongoing risk to students, Animas High School will place the employee on administrative leave. In accordance with state law, all employees convicted of one of these enumerated offenses will immediately be disqualified from continued employment.
For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Employee” means an employee of the school [TK3] whose employment requires or required the employee to be in contact with students or whose work area gives or gave the employee access to students. “Employee” includes a former employee if the individual was employed by the school at any time within 12 months before an offense is charged. If a school has contracted with a private entity to operate an online school, the employee of the private entity is deemed to be an employee of the school.
“Parent” means the biological or adoptive parent or the legal guardian or legal custodian of a student enrolled in a school at the time notification is made.
School’s Responsibility to Monitor Criminal Proceedings
School routinely receives reports from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (“CBI”) relating to employees who have previously been subject to a background check.
If Animas High School receives a report from the CBI that includes information that an employee has been arrested for any of the crimes listed below, the school shall monitor[TK4] the criminal proceedings to determine whether the employee is charged with an offense listed below and whether a preliminary hearing has been held if the charge is eligible for a preliminary hearing.
In addition, any time Animas High School finds good cause to believe that an employee has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, other than a misdemeanor traffic offense or traffic infraction subsequent to such employment, Animas High School shall require the person to submit a complete set of his or her fingerprints for a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.
Crimes that require further monitoring and potential notification to parents are:
Within two school days after the preliminary hearing is held, waived or deemed waived by the employee, or within two school days after the date on which the employee is charged if the charged offense is not eligible for a preliminary hearing, the school shall provide notice to parents.
Notice should be sent to parents of all students who:
The notification shall contain:
If a school has already provided notice to parents about the employee’s charge which substantially conforms with these notice requirements, the school need not provide additional notice of the charge.
A second notification is required within two school days after the school confirms the disposition, or outcome of the charge. The disposition notification shall provide notice to parents of the disposition of the charge and shall be in the same manner as the original notification.
Notifications shall be in the same manner by which the school notifies parents of important school business, which may include email, other electronic communication, or by first-class mail.
The school may provide additional information to parents regarding the underling facts or circumstances relating to the charge but shall not disclose the identity of the alleged victim.
Parental notification may be delayed if requested by law enforcement.
Notification must be sent regardless of whether or not the circumstances of the charge occurred when the employee was off duty.
Notification When School is Out of Session
The duty to notify parents of qualifying charges and convictions against employees continues while school is out of session. Accordingly, [INSERT 1-2 RELEVANT INDIVIDUALS AT Animas High School shall continue to monitor CBI reports and criminal proceedings during scheduled breaks to ensure notification requirements are met.
Reporting to CDE and CSI
If an employee of the school is dismissed or resigns because of an allegation of any one of these enumerated crimes, and such allegation is supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the Board shall notify the Colorado Department of Education (“CDE”) and the Colorado Charter School Institute (“CSI”). The Board shall provide any information requested by CDE or CSI concerning the circumstances of the dismissal or resignation. The school shall notify the employee that information concerning the employee’s dismissal or resignation is being forwarded to CDE and CSI unless the notice would conflict with the confidentiality requirements of the “Child Protection Act of 1987”, part 3 of article 3 of title 19, C.R.S.
If Animas High School learns from a source that a current tor past employee of the school has been convicted of, pled guilty to, pled no contest, or has received a deferred sentence or deferred prosecution for any of the above enumerated crimes, the school shall notify CDE and CSI.
Safe School Plan
This policy is incorporated into Animas High School’s Safe School Plan.
C.R.S. 22-1-130 (Notice to parents of alleged criminal conduct by school employees – legislative declaration – definitions)
C.R.S. 22-30.5-110.5 (information provided to department)
C.R.S. 22-30.5-511.5 (Background investigations – prohibition against employing persons – institute charter school employees’ information provided to department)
C.R.S. 22-32-109.8(6.5) (Prohibition against employing persons)
To maintain a safe learning environment, school employees may, within the scope of their employment and consistent with state law, use physical intervention and restraint with students in accordance with this policy and accompanying regulation. Such actions shall not be considered child abuse or corporal punishment if performed in good faith and in compliance with this policy and accompanying regulation. This policy applies to incidents that occur on school property or at an off-campus, school-sponsored event or activity.
In accordance with state law and the State Board of Education rules governing the Administration of the Protection of Persons from Restraint Act (1 CCR 301-45), the following definitions apply for purposes of this policy.
The requirements of this policy shall apply to all school personnel, before and after school providers, and any public or private entities with which the School contracts during any and all educational programs, activities, or events provided, supervised, or sponsored by the School, including off-campus school-sponsored events.
C. Basis for Use of Restraint
Restraints shall only be used:
D. Duties Related to the Use of Restraint – General Requirements
When restraints are used, the School shall ensure that:
E. Proper Administration of Specific Restraints
F. Notification Requirements
G. Documentation Requirements
H. Review of Specific Incidents of Restraint
3. If requested by the School or the student's parents, the School shall convene a meeting to review the incident. For students with IEPs or Section 504 plans, such review may occur through the IEP or Section 504 process.
I. General Review Process
J. Staff Training
The prohibition on the use of mechanical or prone restraints in this policy and accompanying regulation shall not apply to:
A student or a parent or legal guardian may file a complaint about the use of restraint or seclusion used by an employee or volunteer of the School utilizing the School’s Grievance Policy and/or the state complaint procedures established pursuant to 1 CCR 301-45.
C.R.S. § 18-1-703 (use of physical force by those supervising minors)
C.R.S. § 18-1-901(3)(e)(definition of a deadly weapon)
C.R.S. § 18-6-401 (1) (definition of child abuse)
C.R.S. § 19-1-103 (1) (definition of abuse and neglect)
C.R.S. § 22-32-109.1 (2)(a) (adoption and enforcement of discipline code)
C.R.S. § 22-32-109.1 (2)(a)(I)(D) (policy required as part of safe schools plan)
C.R.S. § 22-32-109.1 (2)(a)(I)(L) (policies for use of restraint and seclusion on students and information on process for filing a complaint regarding the use of restraint or seclusion shall be included in student conduct and discipline code)
C.R.S. § 22-32-109.1 (9) (immunity provisions in safe schools law)
C.R.S. § 22-32-147 (use of restraints on students)
C.R.S. § 26-20-101 et seq. (Protection of Persons from Restraint Act)
1 CCR 301-45 (State Board of Education rules for the Administration of the Protection of Persons from Restraint Act)
This regulation applies to all requests submitted pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-72-201 et seq., to inspect public records in the custody or control of Animas High School . Animas High School is committed to the guiding principles of openness, transparency, accountability and responsiveness.
This policy is intended to balance the demands of the Colorado Open Records Act and Animas High School’s obligations as a public school within the State of Colorado.
Protocols for Requests
Before making a request for records pursuant to this policy, requesters should refer to the school’s website, [animashighschool.com] to see if the information sought is posted and already publicly available. If there are any questions regarding what type of information is posted on Animas High School’s website, or the posting schedule, please contact Sean Woytek.
Requests for records:
Animas High School is required to produce records in response to qualifying requests made pursuant to CORA. Animas High School strives to be as transparent as possible; however, not all documents maintained by the school are available for public inspection. Some documents must be kept confidential to respect the privacy of students and families or otherwise comply with relevant laws.
For the fastest and best response, requesters should avoid vaguely worded inquiries. Each request must be as specific, clear, and narrow as possible. Requests should include:
A statement explaining the requester’s reason for making the request is helpful for Animas High School to fulfill the request, but not required.
If a request fails to meet these guidelines, the school may be unable to fulfill the request. If more information is needed to process the request, Animas High School will make reasonable efforts to contact the requester at the contact information provided within the timeframe for responding to the request.
Requests to inspect public records must be in writing to the Custodian of Records. Requests may be mailed or faxed to :
271 Twin Buttes Avenue, Durango Colorado 81301
Fax Number: (970) 247-2483
**As a general matter, the school will neither accept nor respond to requests for public records that are submitted via email. The reason for this rule is that, due to the school’s spam filters and staff turnover resulting in inactive or incorrect email information, the school cannot guarantee that such requests will be received. Requests to inspect public records may not be made by phone.
Public records not subject to disclosure
The school is prohibited by law from disclosing certain confidential records. Additionally, some records are not subject to disclosure because they are privileged under the law.
Below are examples of records generally not subject to disclosure. For a full list of records not public, please see C.R.S. 24-72-202 – 204.
Records generally not subject to disclosure include, but are not limited to:
Sometimes the records requested do not exist. CORA is not a record retention statute and the school is not obligated to create records that do not exist or maintain records outside of relevant legal guidelines or school’s policy on records retention.
General questions and requests for information
As described above, not all information constitutes a public record for purposes of a CORA request. General questions and requests for information that are not submitted in writing pursuant to this policy are not requests for “public records” as defined by the law. Therefore, the school is not required to respond to them according to CORA’s specifications. Although it is not required, the school may respond to all such questions and requests for information.
Responses to Requests
Time for response to records requests shall be as follows:
Requests to inspect records will not take priority over the regular work activities of school’s employees.
Charges for copies of requested records shall be as follows:
If charges are expected to exceed $25, Animas High School will provide the requestor with an estimate of the cost of responding prior to responding and may require a deposit. If the requestor wishes to proceed once receiving an estimate, he or she must respond in writing. By responding in writing, the requestor agrees to pay all fees associated with responding to the request. The time between the date of the custodian’s estimate and the receipt by the custodian of a written response to proceed will not be counted against the time period set forth above for responding to the CORA request.
If a requestor wishes to inspect available records in advance of receiving copies, such inspection shall be by appointment only during normal working hours. Such inspection must be supervised by a school representative and the requestor may be charged for any employee time exceeding one hour associated with such inspection.
Manipulation of Records
Animas High School may manipulate existing records to redact or exclude information not subject to disclosure or, at its sole discretion, create a new record in order to respond to a request. If the school is required to manipulate data to generate the record, the school may charge an hourly fee that applies in the same manner as the research or retrieval of records.
Generally, if a public record is stored in a digital format, it should be provided in that format to the requester, including any searchable or sortable functions unless doing so would violate a copyright or licensing agreement, result in the release of a third party’s proprietary information, or if it is not feasible to permanently remove any information that is excluded from the request without need for additional software or programming. The actual costs of manipulating such data and generating such records will be assessed. This may include the hourly fee that applies to research and retrieval as well as any additional actual costs, such as a fee equal to the incremental costs of maintaining a computer database or running a computer program used to analyze or compile data into a single report.
For questions related to CORA requests please contact: Sean Woytek at 970-247-2474 or email@example.com
Address all CORA requests to: Sean Woytek, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. For students, taking the tests that lead up to the SAT can help improve their performance and scores, as they become more familiar with the format and practice the skill of test taking. You can view a list of over 1000 colleges that are test-optional in their admissions process here.
Also, when we are evaluated, as a school, by our authorizer--the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI)--and the by the Colorado Department of Education, 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, we also want to be clear that 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 a letter expressing your decision to the Main Office, signed by a parent/guardian. Parent refusal notices will be gathered and maintained by Libby Cowles, Assistant Head of School.
We will keep you posted if we make any changes or additions to the testing schedule outlined here. As always, please don’t hesitate to share your questions, thoughts and concerns with us.
The CMAS will be administered online rather than with pencil and paper; we have determined, in consultation with staff and parents, that this is the most efficient and effective method and the AHS Board of Directors has approved this decision. ACCESS is only available as an online assessment. The PSAT8/9, PSAT10, PSAT/NMSQT and SAT will be administered using pencil and paper. There is no cost to families for any of these tests, with the exception of sophomores who choose to take the PSAT/NMSQT on October 16. All tests listed above will be administered during regular school hours on campus.
Colorado law requires students who attend a public, private or parochial kindergarten - 12th grade school to be vaccinated against many of the diseases vaccines can prevent. Please review information from the Colorado Department of Public Health here to learn more.
The Animas High School Board of Directors (“the Board”) strives to honor families’ private medical decisions while ensuring a learning environment free of disruption. To accomplish these goals, Animas High School restricts the administration of medications, including medical marijuana, unless administration cannot reasonably be accomplished outside of school hours.
Administration of medical marijuana to qualified students shall be in accordance with this policy and state law (C.R.S. 22-1-119.3). Administration of all other prescription and nonprescription medications to students shall be in accordance with applicable law and Animas High School’s policy concerning the administration of medications to students.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:
1. “Designated location” means a location identified in writing by the Head of School in his or her sole discretion and may include a location on the grounds of the school in which the student is enrolled in Colorado or on other school property[BM1] .
2. “Permissible form of medical marijuana” means non-smokeable products such as oils, patches, tinctures, edible products or lotions that can be administered and fully ingested or absorbed in a short period of time.
3. “Parent or legal guardian” means the qualified student’s parent, guardian or primary caregiver that is identified on the student’s Registry identification card (as defined in Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution). In no event shall another student be recognized as a primary caregiver. Any primary caregiver seeking access to the school or school property or school-sponsored event for purposes of this policy must comply with the Board’s policy and/or procedures concerning visitors to schools and all other applicable policies.
4. “Qualified student” means a student who holds a valid registration from the state of Colorado (license issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) for the use of medical marijuana and for whom the administration of medical marijuana cannot reasonably be accomplished outside of school hours as evidenced by a written recommendation signed by the student’s physician. The Valid Registration from CDPHE must be non-expired and be replaced prior to expiration date to allow for non interrupted administration.
Permissible Administration of Medical Marijuana to a Qualified Student by a Parent or Legal Guardian
A qualified student's parent or legal guardian may administer a permissible form of medical marijuana to a qualified student in a designated location on school grounds or at a school sponsored field trip, only IF all of the following parameters are met:
1. The qualified student’s parent or legal guardian provides the school with a copy of the student’s valid registration from the state of Colorado in advance of requesting authorization to administration of medical marijuana pursuant to this policy.
2. The qualified student’s parent or guardian signs a written acknowledgement assuming all responsibility for the provision, maintenance, and use of medical marijuana under state law, and releases the school from liability for any injury that occurs pursuant to this policy.
3. The Qualified student’s parent or legal guardian provides the school with a written recommendation from the student’s physician that details the purpose, form of medical marijuana recommended, dosage, frequency, and length of time between doses for the administration of the non smokable medical marijuana.
4. Animas High School determines, in its sole discretion, that a location and a method of administration of a permissible form of medical marijuana are available that do not create risk of disruption to the educational environment or exposure to other students.
5. After administering the permissible form of medical marijuana to the qualified student, the student’s parent or legal guardian shall remove any remaining medical marijuana from the grounds of a school.
6. Animas High School prepares, with the input of the qualified student’s parent and legal guardian and Head of School or his/her designee, a written plan that identifies the form, designated location(s), and any protocol regarding administration of a permissible form of medical marijuana to the qualified student. The written plan shall be signed by the school principal or his or her designee, the qualified student (if capable), and the parent or legal guardian. [BM2]
No school personnel will be required to administer medical marijuana to qualified students.
AHS is Exempting from administration of medical marijuana to a qualified student by school personnel due to the current conflicts with Federal law on this matter.
This policy conveys no right to any student or to the student’s parents/guardians or other primary caregiver to demand access to any general or particular location on school property, or at a school-sponsored event to administer medical marijuana.
This policy shall not apply to school grounds or school-sponsored events located on federal property or any other location that prohibits marijuana on its property.
A qualified student’s parent or legal guardian may be permitted to attend a field trip for the purpose of administering medical marijuana IF located within the state of Colorado, not on federal property or any other location that prohibits marijuana on its property. The qualified student’s parent or legal guardian is responsible for determining, in advance, that the location of the trip is not prohibitive. The qualified student’s parent or legal guardian is responsible for transporting, storing, administering, and ensuring all laws are properly followed. Other students will not be permitted to travel with a parent or legal guardian transporting medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana is not permitted to be administered on school designated transportation.
Permission to administer medical marijuana to a qualified student may be limited or revoked if the qualified student and/or the student’s primary caregiver violates this policy, demonstrates an inability to responsibly follow this policy’s parameters, or if the administration of medical marijuana creates a disruption to the educational environment or causes exposure to other students.
Student possession, use, distribution, sale or being under the influence of marijuana inconsistent with this policy may be considered a violation of Animas High School’s policy concerning drug and alcohol involvement by students or other Animas High School policy and may subject the student to disciplinary consequences, including suspension and/or expulsion, in accordance with applicable Animas High School policy.
If the federal government indicates that Animas High School’s federal funds are jeopardized by this policy, the Board declares that this policy shall be suspended immediately and that the administration of any form of medical marijuana to qualified students on school property or at a school-sponsored event shall not be permitted. Animas High School shall post notice of such policy suspension and prohibition in a conspicuous place on its website.
Adopted: December 19, 2018
Colo. Const. Art. XVIII, Section 14 (establishing qualifications for use of medical marijuana)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.3 (3)(c), (d) (no student possession or self-administration of medical marijuana, but school districts must permit the student’s primary caregiver to administer medical marijuana to the student on school grounds, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.3 (3)(d)(III) (board may adopt policies regarding who may act as a primary caregiver and to establish reasonable parameters on the administration and use of medical marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.3 (medical marijuana will not be administered to a student by either a primary caregiver or school personnel unless a written plan for the administration of medical marijuana is agreed to and signed by the school principal or his or her designee and a parent or legal guardian)
[BM1]Note that any of these locations are considered “school property” and medical marijuana may be administered there.
[BM2]This is only required in 1286, however it is likely prudent to include a signed written plan for when a parent is administering.
Animas High School recognizes that even in an organizations with excellent communication processes that grievances may arise. In the event that these issues arise, parents and staff are encouraged to use the following process to address a grievance. Throughout this process, AHS expects all adults to be models of good character, even if the circumstances are difficult. If any step of this policy would require you to report a concern with discriminatory harassment to the person you believe is engaged in harassment, you can skip that step and go to the next step.
NOTE: A grievant is not required to address the issue with the person directly involved if the grievant is alleging harassment or discrimination. In case of grievances relating to allegations of harassment or discrimination, please see the school’s Respect for Self, Others and the School Community available in the Animas High School Student and Family Handbook
Level 1:Individual Staff Member If your child is or you are experiencing a problem in the school environment, contact the staff member with whom the issue pertains. Work together to develop a solution for, or awareness of, the issue.
Level 2: Assistant Head of School If this communication with the staff member does not resolve the problem, arrange for a meeting with the Assistant Head of School (AHOS). The AHOS will work toward finding a solution for all parties involved and will document this meeting with the following information: date of meeting, persons present, concern, points of agreement/disagreement, resolution/impasse. The AHOS will have 7 days to return communication and 7 additional days to receive the communication back. If no communication has been received from the parent/student/staff member after 14 days, then the issues will be assumed to be resolved.
The complaint shall be in writing and shall detail (i) the date of the incident (if applicable); (ii) the School staff member involved; (iii) a description of the incident, decision, or practice that gave rise to the issue; (iv) the conflict resolution strategies that have been attempted thus far; and (v) the grievant’s requested resolution. Within five calendar days from the date on which the written statement was received, the AHOS will either issue a written response to the grievant or contact the grievant to schedule a time to discuss the issue.
Level 3: Head of School If there are still points that cannot be resolved with the meeting with the AHOS, you may request a meeting with the Head of School (HOS) through completion of a Conflict Resolution Form (which can be obtained at the front office). All documentation will be forwarded to the HOS upon this request. The HOS will use the Conflict Resolution Form and AHOS documentation to work toward resolution. The HOS will have 7 days to return communication and 7 additional days to receive the communication back. If no communication has been received from the parent/student/staff member after 14 days, then the issues will be assumed to be resolved.
The complaint shall be in writing and shall detail (i) the date of the incident (if applicable); (ii) the School staff member involved; (iii) a description of the incident, decision, or practice that gave rise to the issue; (iv) the conflict resolution strategies that have been attempted thus far; and (v) the grievant’s requested resolution. Within five calendar days from the date on which the written statement was received, the HOS will either issue a written response to the grievant or contact the grievant to schedule a time to discuss the issue.
Level 4: Conflict Resolution Committee In the event that resolution is not achieved at Level 3, you may request a meeting with the Conflict Resolution Committee (CRC) comprised of two board members in an effort to find resolution. The Conflict Resolution Committee will review all documentation regarding the grievance and interview the relevant parties and work toward a solution. he CRC will have 7 days to return communication and 7 additional days to receive the communication back. If no communication has been received from the parent/student/staff member after 14 days, then the issues will be assumed to be resolved.
The complaint shall be in writing and shall detail (i) the date of the incident (if applicable); (ii) the School staff member involved; (iii) a description of the incident, decision, or practice that gave rise to the issue; (iv) the conflict resolution strategies that have been attempted thus far; and (v) the grievant’s requested resolution. Within five calendar days from the date on which the written statement was received, the CRC will either issue a written response to the grievant or contact the grievant to schedule a time to discuss the issue.
Level 5: AHS Board of Directors If resolution is still not achieved, you may make a written request at least 7 days in advance of the next regularly scheduled board meeting that the Conflict Resolution Committee present a summary of your complaint and its recommendations at the meeting for a board vote. All parties involved in previous levels will be invited participants to this meeting. Decisions rendered at this level will be in writing, setting forth the decision. Once approved by quorum by the Board of Directors, the decision will be transmitted promptly to all parties involved.
The complaint shall be in writing and shall detail (i) the date of the incident (if applicable); (ii) the School staff member involved; (iii) a description of the incident, decision, or practice that gave rise to the issue; (iv) the conflict resolution strategies that have been attempted thus far; and (v) the grievant’s requested resolution. Within five calendar days from the date on which the written statement was received, the BOD will either issue a written response to the grievant or contact the grievant to schedule a time to discuss the issue.
Level 6: Colorado Charter School Institute If a grievant has followed the Institute School’s Grievance Policy and procedures, and wishes to pursue a concern because it has not been resolved to his or her satisfaction, the Institute will guide the grievant to follow the Institute Grievance procedures, which will at a minimum include the following:
Note that the Board of Directors has empowered the administration to make student disciplinary decisions. Rarely will the Board of Directors meet to discuss a student discipline issue. It is the full desire of the AHS staff and board to resolve conflicts at the lowest level possible. We value our students and parents, and will work hard to create positive, professional relationships. In a community that values and models high character, it is assumed that the need for the higher levels of this policy will be few and far between.
Updates October 2021