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Animas High School wins ‘Performance with Distinction’ award

School treasurer says new school building has helped with enrollment
The new Animas High School building, which opened in January 2023. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Yet another Durango school has been awarded the “Performance with Distinction” designation from the Colorado Charter School Institute.

Animas High School announced the accomplishment Thursday, joining Mountain Middle School as another Durango charter school to win the honor.

The academic portion of CSI’s “Performance with Distinction” rating is based on students’ performance on state tests in English Language Arts, math and science.

PSAT and SAT scores, dropout rates, matriculation rates and graduation rates are considered when determining a high school’s rating. The CSI school performance framework also considers charter schools’ financial and organizational practices.

“The Performance with Distinction rating is a reflection of the hard work of our outstanding students, faculty, staff and board paired with the ongoing support we continue to receive from our families and community partners,” said Head of School Rebecca Ruland in a news release Wednesday. “This year began with our move into our newly constructed, beautiful building on the Fort Lewis Campus, made possible through extraordinary community support over the past 14 years. Closing the year with word that we have been recognized for our excellence in this way is a sweet bookend to 2023.”

The AHS administration credits its project-based learning and tight-knit connections with the community for its students’ success.

“Being on the FLC campus creates increased access and equity for our students, as they can walk to college classes during their school day,” said dean of college and career counseling Erin Cummins-Roper. “Research shows that students who participate in concurrent enrollment are more likely to enroll in and complete postsecondary degrees, which in turn helps AHS graduates find success in life after high school.”

Furthermore, the school reports that its financial state is on a sustainable trajectory. Treasurer Greg Phillips said the new school building on FLC’s campus has helped the school grow in enrollment.

“Over the past several years, our focus on continuous improvement in our academic programs, the relocation to our new campus and our collaboration with Fort Lewis College have allowed us to deliver an increasingly attractive experience for our students as they prepare for college and postsecondary success,” said AHS Board President Jay Gob in a news release.


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