SWOS Celebrates 30 Years!

30 Year logo 4

Greetings from your alma mater! You are part of the proud history of Southwest Open School. Whether you knew it as the Southwest BOCES Alternative School, SWOS, SWOHS, the Alternative High, or the Open High, your presence here helped shape Cortez’ alternative high school into the place of learning it is today.

The school began in 1986 with one building, 20 students, and a staff of three. Today, 160 students and a staff of 24 practice the 6 Ps, hold circle ups, and present portfolios on a campus with 11 classroom and office buildings. Since those early days the campus has been transformed from an almost-empty lot into one graced with shade trees, fruit trees, herbs, flowers, native plants, and a vegetable garden with an outdoor classroom. Our former students are river guides, business owners, counselors, community leaders, tattoo artists, and college graduates. That’s worth celebrating!

Dragon Directory:

As part of the 30th Anniversary Celebration of SWOS, we will be putting together a Dragon Directory. The directory will have information on former students and staff members.

We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to since your days at SWOS. Please take the time to fill out the proper survey by clicking one of the buttons below.

SWOS Alumni Student Survey

SWOS Alumni Staff Survey

The party starts early with our annual Fall Fest on October 15, 2015 on the SWOS campus

  • 3:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Family-friendly event with games, crafts, and activities
  • Grand opening of permaculture garden
  • Chili Cook-Off
  • Live music 5:30-7:00

What’s happening during the 30th year

  • Series of open houses
  • Capital campaign for much-needed new buildings
  • Creation of Dragon Directory (former students and staff)
  • Alumni newsletter launches
  • Spring Mingle Fling on May 6

What you can do now

  • Complete the online survey at your earliest convenience.
  • Like us on Facebook to stay up to date on 30th anniversary news and events.
  • Plan to attend at least one anniversary event this year.
  • Ask former students you know to contact the school—we want to reach as many as we can!

Hope we see you soon!