July 3, 2020
Dear Open High Family:
This has been a challenging time for our community, our city, our state, and the entire world. Seeing our students graduate last week--if only for a masked moment--was a beautiful and sobering reminder of what school is for and why Open is so special. Our mission is to develop responsible, creative, and independent students who are engaged with causes like equity, racial justice, and the environment. I feel such pride when I think of all the students--past and present--who are working to make the world a better place. I also feel pride in our devoted faculty and staff who work hard to make our humble building into a home of deep learning. On behalf of the entire Open High team, I want to say thank you for trusting us with your precious human beings, and thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate a new reality in the midst of a pandemic.
As we now know, the future is indeed uncertain, but successfully adapting to uncertainty is a skill we must continue to develop. In fact we are always in the midst of change. As we approach July Fourth, I was moved to reread Frederick Douglass' 1852 speech on the meaning of Independence Day--the promise and the paradox. If you haven't read this eloquent and scathing admonishment, please do. What is clear is that we still need "the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake" to move our country further. At Open, we support an anti-racist agenda and equity in everything we do--from admissions to the novels we teach. And at Open, we listen and learn from the younger generation. Their voices will shape the future, and we are here to help amplify them.
Report Cards and Transcripts
Due to Covid-19 there has been a district-wide delay with report cards, but look for them in the next week or so. We also know our recent graduates are anxious for their transcripts to be sent to colleges. These should be available after July 15th. Please contact Micah at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific concerns. Again, we appreciate your patience and will continue to ask for grace.
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Thanks to Brigette Newberry and parents Priscilla Wright, Pam Embrey, Audrey Kelly, Kay Bollan, the PTSA, and all the families who supported our online auction. We raised almost $3000 for the art department!!
We are also thrilled to be working with Building a Better RPS and parent Scott Garnett to renovate our student lounge. Add to this Emily Betts' tireless work on our garden where we have thriving native plants and pollinators. Look for a permanent sun shade to go up soon!
When we do return to Open we want it to shine!
Survey (English): www.rvaschools.net/reopening-survey.
Survey (Spanish): www.rvaschools.net/encuesta-reapertura.
The School Board will meet on July 9th to make decisions which will shape our reopening plans. Make your voice heard! Our Open High Return to School Committee also meets weekly to discuss possible scenarios for next year.
Class of 2020
Last week was a special week for the Class of 2020. If you missed the Open High Virtual Commencement Ceremony you can view it here:
And thank you to Griffin for filming the In-Person Diploma Recognition which you can view below. We will be in touch regarding the professional photographs of the graduates.
Open Receives 2020 VA Board of Education Highest Achievement Award
Once again Open High and Richmond Community High have been recognized by the VDOE. Both schools were Accredited during 2019-2020 and demonstrated high levels of success across all school quality indicators, including success in narrowing achievement gaps. For more details see the press release below.