May 8, 2020
Dear AHS families.

The course request process is now open for next year, and we (the math department) wanted to reach out with a final summary of the various options and developments coming up next year regarding our math program. As teachers who are lucky enough to work for a school that promotes continual refinement and progressive education, we are excited to roll out some additional offerings. Many you learned about these via our March Math Department Open House or student reports home. The refinements are:

  • Renamed Core Courses: Math 9, Math 10, PreCalculus, Statistics. This renaming in no way changes the core curriculum, but is simply being done to more effectively communicate to colleges that students learn PreCalc and Statistics content in their core classes, and to avoid confusion with Math 1 and Math 2 courses offered through Durango 9R.

  • Streamlined Advanced Math classes: Full year "Advanced Algebra" and "PreCalculus" electives will be replaced by the new spring semester course, "College Algebra." This course will give students the algorithmic and advanced trigonometry practice needed for students to succeed in our Calculus and Advanced Calculus courses. This refinement removes redundancies between our core classes and math electives.

  • New Elective Courses: We have added math electives designed to engage students in applying mathematical tools to solve relevant real-world problems and develop specific skills (including testing skills). In addition to 1) College Algebra, we are excited to also add: 2) The Art of Mathematics, 3) Engineering Mathematics: Tiny Home Construction, and 4) SAT Prep. Check out our course catalog for more information regarding these classes!

  • Interdisciplinary Courses: We are lucky enough to have teachers at Animas with wide-ranging and interdisciplinary skills, educational backgrounds, and interests. Due to streamlining our advanced math classes, our math teachers are also able to offer the following courses: Geology, Psychology, and Positive Psychology. Dusty Grannis, our IT director will also offer Introduction to Computer Science: Python (Terms 1 and 2), and our director of finance, Christine Imming, will continue to offer Consumer Math and Advanced Consumer Math (available for concurrent enrollment).

  • Honors Option: We are adding an Honors Math option to Precalculus and Statistics (our core Junior and Senior Math classes). This option recognizes students who regularly choose to engage with challenge task options throughout our core math courses and provides a codified way for students to dive more deeply into course material. For students who may apply to highly selective colleges, this provides an added opportunity to demonstrate a rigorous course selection, while holding true to our values and research regarding tracking. Juniors and seniors will receive more information in the first 2 weeks of class.

For more information on the math department, including our philosophy, Clorado state standards, core classes and electives, please visit the AHS Mathematics website . This recent article from USA Today also provides a particularly apt summary of the philosophy at the foundation of our program.

We also want to mention that we recognize that we are in the midst of planning for many eventualities next year as a school, due to coronavirus unknowns. While choosing to continue to move forward with the above refinements, we recognize that situations out of our control may force unforeseen changes. We’re waiting with bated breath to see what takes place in our world and community, and we know you are, too.

Thank you for your continued support and questions, and for entrusting us with the opportunity to support and educate your children. They are a wonderful bunch, and we're looking so forward to seeing them in person as soon as possible.

The AHS Mathematics Department (Torrey, Kyle, Julian, and Dave)