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AHS Robotics at State

AHS Robotics at State

Aspen High School did so well in regional competitions that it sent TWO robotics teams to the state tournament in Denver in February. The 20 high school students on the robotics teams (a club open to all who are interested) had an amazing year acquiring real-life tech skills--writing business plans, project management, coding in Java, mechanical engineering, CAD, building custom robot parts, complex decision making and working on a productive team. The RoboYeti team will advance to compete on the world stage in Houston, TX in April.

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Watch this video to get a peek at the action happening at the state tournament, and follow the teams on Instagram at @AHSRoboYetis5196 and @BackcountryRobotics! 

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College Counseling

 College Counseling

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Our Aspen High School seniors exemplify our schools at work.  Not so long ago, they were learning science from Mr. G, preparing for their 8th grade Outdoor Ed solos, and wide-eyed on the first day of high school.  Today, almost every one of them has taken full advantage of our college counseling department, and the proof is below:

93% of our seniors applied to college (wow!)

77% of those who applied have already received letters of acceptance (amazing! - and it's not even mid-February)

These offers of admission have come from 108 different public and private colleges and university schools from all over the country!

While most seniors have until May 1st to decide where they will matriculate, some have already committed to attending the following schools:

Harvard University
Columbia 
University of Chicago
Syracuse University
Pitzer College
Washington University in St Louis
College of Charleston
University of Colorado, Boulder  

Congratulations to our seniors! Thank you to our parents and to everyone in college counseling. 
We couldn't do it without you! 

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AHS Band - Among Colorado's Best Musicians

AHS Band Among Colorado’s Best Musicians

The All State Orchestra committee blindly reviewed over 500 audition tapes to select 200 of the finest high school student musicians in Colorado for the All State Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras. Of the five chosen from Western Slopes schools, two were Aspen High School sophomores.  Violinist Andrew Seybold and french horn player Dan Jansen spent three long days in intense rehearsals with distinguished conductors Alexandra Arrieche (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) and Larry Livingston (Illinois Chamber Orchestra).  This culminated in two concerts at Griffin Concert Hall in Fort Collins, where they performed challenging programs of Gershwin, Dvorak, Shostakovich, Elgar and Verdi to standing ovations.

Also last weekend, two 10th graders, percussionist Jeremy Martin and trumpet player Sam Vesey, represented AHS in the District 8 (Western Slopes) Honor Jazz Band.  Jeremy had been selected as an alternate at the Colorado All State Jazz Band in Colorado Springs two weeks ago.

All of our talented high school band students will be performing in the pit orchestra for the upcoming Aspen High School musical Peter Pan in March.

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ASD’s AEROnautics Program: Redefining “Higher Education”

ASD’s AEROnautics Program: Redefining “Higher Education”

The AERO (AEROnautics, Engineering, Research, Opportunities) AV8R Program at Aspen School District transforms learning math and physics, which can be challenging and often dry subjects, into a fascinating, hands-on educational experience through building and flying airplanes. It is the only program in the country that integrates all aspects of flying into the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) approach to learning. It starts with summer camp, and before/after-school programs for elementary and middles school students that include everything from constructing motorized, remote controlled, model aircraft to operating flight simulators. Middle schoolers can then deepen their knowledge in the Junior Ground School and Explorations program. Their exceptional classroom consists of a state-of-the-art flight simulator, three huge flat screen TVs to show flight videos, a bank of desktop flight simulators with pedals, models of airplanes, and the feeling of soaring above the trees. The opportunities become expansive for high schoolers with a host of Experiential Education courses, and formal training that has led to several students earning their pilot’s license!

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“The four core values that are woven through the program’s lessons, activities and structure are commitment, perseverance, respect and honor. In addition, students are taught incredibly valuable life skills such as responsibility, time management, goal setting and achievement, decision making, how to think on their feet (or in the seat), and a higher level of technological literacy. Not only can students receive college credit, they create an impeccable resume.”
Greg Roark, Director of AEROnautics at the Aspen School District

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A Future in AEROnautics

There will soon be a critical shortage of pilots. The AEROnautics program is hoping to help fill that gap. Career exploration and readiness is a large component of the program that serves over 200 kids annually. Through exposure to aircraft manufacturers, designers, pilots, educators and historians – participants get a clear understanding of the industry. Students who pursue a career in AEROnautics have been accepted into top educational institutions and flight programs including the Air Force Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stanford University, MIT, and The U.S. Marine Corps.

It takes about $300,000 to run the program annually. While the Aspen School District hosts the program, all funds come from grants and donations.  The needs of the AEROnautics program are many and include:

  • Creating more depth in the programming

  • Creating more depth in the programming

  • Developing team-teaching opportunities in the classroom

 

 

 

 

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ASD’s International Baccalaureate Program: Readying Students for College and Beyond

ASD’s International Baccalaureate Program: Readying Students for College and Beyond

Do you want your kids to think independently? Become culturally-aware? Learn a second language? Engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world? This is just what the International Baccalaureate (IB) program cultivates at Aspen High School (AHS).

“IB is a powerful experience to all students involved. A student’s exposure to rigorous courses that promote time management, prioritization, balance, problem solving and perseverance sets them up for the intensity of their freshman year of college and life beyond.” Tameira Wilson, Aspen High School Academic Coordinator
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The program is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. AHS takes pride in its open enrollment policy, allowing any student to participate in the IB Program provided he/she has taken the course prerequisites. We currently test around 70 percent of the senior class in at least one IB subject every year. This year, we have grown the program to include an additional 50 students. The full IB diploma numbers have increased by 30 percent, with 26 juniors enrolled in the diploma class of 2019.

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Current needs of the IB program:

  • Professional Development – Send additional teachers to IB training
  • Professional Development – Send additional teachers to IB training
  • Expanding class offerings – Offer additional IB classes to serve the interests and future needs of students in grades 9 through 12
  • Promote IB for all – Weaving the philosophy and expectations into all classes

 

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ASD’s Robotics Program: Learning + Fun to Increase STEM & Collaborative Skills

ASD’s Robotics Program: Learning + Fun to Increase STEM & Collaborative Skills


Robotics is a hands-on, innovative and fun program designed to engage students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) while developing social/emotional skills involved with teamwork and collaboration.

“Students become builders, engineers and problem solvers while learning programming skills and fostering creativity. They struggle through conflicts, deal with failure, learn about problems in the community, and then take part in a public exhibition. I have had students tell me it was the most significant experience in middle school, and many have gone on to engineering and other STEM programs because they realized their passion for the subject.” Caroline Hanson, Aspen Middle School Enrichment Coordinator and STEM teacher
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The high school team allows students who have a deeper interest in engineering and team collaboration to explore mechanics in greater depth, develop coding skills to make a robot operate, communicate with an international community of learners like themselves, and promote a team in the community and beyond.

Friendly Competition
Both the middle and high school programs culminate with local and regional tournaments that inspire friendly competition and real-world learning. The competitive format gives students an authentic audience and motivates them to achieve at a high level against students throughout the state and western region. Aspen Middle School has fielded teams at the state, national, and international level, and the high school team is not only a state-ranked team, but last year was one of five teams in the state to compete against teams from 16 Western states.

History
The program celebrates 10 years of success and growth – starting with two teams in 2009 and now serving up to 30 AHS students, and allowing 90+ middle school kids to compete and another 200 to take exploratory classes. In addition, the middle school hosts a regional tournament.

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The needs of the robotics program include:

  • More material and parts to build and repair robots
  • More material and parts to build and repair robots

  • Travel and registration fees for tournaments

  • Additional staff to support program growth

 

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The Educational Experience at ASD: College Counseling

The Educational Experience at ASD: College Counseling

The Aspen High School College Counseling Program is dedicated to helping students consider options and achieve admission to the college of their choice. The college counseling staff is committed to every student and family, no matter the level of readiness for college or career planning. Their goal is to enable students to discover (and realize!) their potential and possibilities for the future. Counselors help identify the programs that are a good fit for each student, assist with the tricky application process and help families find the financial aid they need.

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Building relationships is the heart and soul of the program. Whether they are guiding students, advising parents, collaborating with teachers, connecting with admissions directors on the college side, or learning and sharing best practices with peers in the profession, the college counseling staff is continuously developing relationships that empower them to share their expertise and knowledge with students and their families.

The program provides 150 hours of service to students over their four years at Aspen High School.  This is more than 200 times the national average of 37 minutes. Each student is offered educational evening meetings and workshops, college readiness classes and individual counseling over the course of four years.  The results are phenomenal: 96% of AHS graduates in 2017 moved on to a two-year or four-year college program.

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What are the needs of the College Counseling Program?

Through the support of AEF, the College Counseling Program was able to provide a second counselor and office coordinator, as well as fund a College & Career Discovery class, all of which has elevated the access students have to college counseling and career planning.

Additional funding would enable:  

  • Professional development to continue to improve staff and keep them on top of industry standards and best practices
  • Professional development to continue to improve staff and keep them on top of industry standards and best practices

  • College readiness programs for first-generation students and their families, additional financial aid and scholarship education, test preparation and more
  • Improvement of outreach, education and services to meet the increasing demands of students as they prepare for their post-secondary future
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“One of the most frequent comments we hear about our office is, ‘We are so grateful to have you. We can’t imagine what we would do without you!’ Our families benefit immeasurably from our guidance, wisdom and experience as they navigate the complicated landscape of admissions, applications and postsecondary choices. They know that we are here to help them discover options and achieve their dreams.” Dr. Kathy Klug, College Counselor

“A comprehensive and holistic approach to College Counseling enables students to not just get accepted to college, but to actually go to a college that fits their needs in every way. College Counseling empowers students to go for it - to apply themselves at school and in the community, starting in 9th grade, so that they have plenty of choices by the time they graduate.” Melissa Lustig, College Counselor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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