Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Animas High School

Animas High School Contact Information:

20091 Highway 160
Durango, CO 81301

Phone: 970-247-2474

New CES Affiliate

Visit Website


Animas High School prepares all students for college and post-secondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:

* Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
* Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
* Strong faculty-student relationships, where students are well known
* Engaging learning, where students see the relevance of their education

Located in Durango, CO, Animas High School opened in 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 280 students in grades 9-12. We graduated our first class of students in 2013.

Animas High School is chartered through the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI), and has been named as a Distinction School by CSI for excellence in academic, financial and organizational performance

Animas High School’s pedagogical approach is interdisciplinary at heart. Our faculty-developed, integrated curriculum reflects our mission, values and academic passions. Our rigorous and compelling academic program exceeds state standards, ensures mastery of critical content and promotes students’ preparedness for college and for lifelong learning. It fosters authentic engagement, thoughtful inquiry and in-depth analysis, rather than adhering to more traditional approaches that rely on memorization and broad coverage. Students are asked to transform and apply knowledge that is relevant to their community and their lives.

Our 2016 Essential Question:

How are we fulfilling our core value of personalization while also maintaining strong community and common intellectual mission? How are we providing appropriate challenge and access for all of our students? In what ways are we doing this well and what can we keep doing better?

Our Competencies and Strengths:

At Animas High School, we excel at creating strong teacher-student relationships, which are foundational to the personal and academic success of our students. Our use of project-based learning supports engaged students who see the relevance of their learning. Through project work and public presentation of learning to authentic audiences, students build vital 21st century skills that set them up for success beyond high school. In the junior year, all students complete a full-time, three-week internship, which takes them beyond the classroom walls in order to clarify personal, college and career goals while teaching invaluable professional skills and life lessons. In addition, 100% of our students gain college acceptance.