A Glimpse at New Schools: Animas High

Guess what? It’s that time again — time to highlight some of the exciting new educational options opening up for Colorado students and parents this fall. Last year we were able to give readers a glimpse at 10 new schools. My goal is to do at least that many for 2009.

First on the list, we start at the far end of the state in Durango for the opening of a new public charter school for 9th graders. Authorized by the Charter School Institute, Animas High School. Animas, which is intentionally modeled after San Diego’s innovative High Tech High, is slated to add grades each year so the first class will graduate in 2013.

Durango’s newest high school is premised on offering a strong liberal arts education using active, non-traditional project-based learning. Students will be given individual attention through their teacher-advisor, who will serve as the primary contact point for parents. Students will “develop a sense of belonging to the school community” through interacting with the other members of their cross-grade advisory group.

Following the High Tech High model, Animas is committed to ensuring that school is not isolated from the surrounding community. Adults from the area representing different careers and specialized hobbies will have the opportunity to come in and talk about or demonstrate their expertise. Meanwhile, students will be able to get outside and add relevance to their classroom learning through a wide range of internship opportunities.

If you live in the Durango area, and are interested in more information on Animas High, there’s a meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday, July 21) at 6 PM at the Durango Public Library.

And if you think you have what it takes to be a teacher at Animas, they have announced openings in math, science, and Spanish.