February 14, 2021
Dear Open High Family,
No school Monday, February 15. Keep enjoying the long weekend!
Don't miss RPS Live! Intergenerational Experiences of Black Richmonders this Wednesday at 7:00 pm. Several RPS students including our own Cameron Allen will participate in a panel discussion with adults about growing up in Richmond--now and in the past. Panelists will also include Douglas Powell/Roscoe Burnems, First Poet Laureate of Richmond and Tamara Copeland, author of Daughters of the Dream which students will read in the REAL Richmond course.
For Black History Month, we are asking Open Families to create short slide presentations about local Black-owned businesses or influential community members. Families will present these at Town Meeting on February 26th. Start thinking about who in the Black community you want to honor or celebrate.
Don't miss the PTSA Fundraising event at Pies & Pints on Broad Street on Thursday throughout the day. We receive 15% of the proceeds which is fantastic! Order out and stay safe. See flyer below.
We are also participating in a school-wide volunteer project to help the homeless in Richmond. We are asking students to provide snack bags for Homeward--a group that provides access to a Safety Net Shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness when the temperature is below 40. Covid-19 has significantly restricted typical resources. Your compassionate meal/snack bags will help keep individuals healthy and hopeful during the winter months. Details will be discussed in the rescheduled Class Meetings on Friday after Family.
Continue reading for other important information and upcoming dates to add to your calendar. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or at (804) 229-9961.
As always, be well, stay safe, and keep celebrating Open minds!
Mark Your Calendars!
Monday, February 15
- School Closed
- Semester 1 report cards mailed out
- RPS Live! on Intergenerational Experiences of Black Richmonders with our own Cameron Allen, 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 18
- Pies & Pints PTSA Fundraiser, ALL DAY You can order for pickup or even get a gift card and 15% to OHS still applies! (see flyer below) Please join and donate to the PTSA here.
Friday, February 19
- Class Meeting after Family
ON THE HORIZON
- Feb. 22, ECA application deadline
- Feb. 27, Rescheduled science SOLs for select students
- March 15, NEW DEADLINE for Spring 2020 Edgenuity/Performance Tasks (see below)
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Edgenuity and Performance Tasks from Spring 2020 due March 15
Performance Tasks can be found here for Art, Creative Writing, African American Studies, and all CTE courses. Edgenuity can be accessed here. The requirements for Edgenuity modules has also been reduced from 80% to 60% completion! Intensive sessions to complete can be arranged with VCU tutors and/or with Clary.
SOL Testing for Select Students
RESCHEDULED: Testing for Open students in Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science will take place at Richmond Community High School on Saturday, February 27 at 8:30 a.m.
At this time, SOL testing is only for 9th graders in their first high school math or science class (taken first semester), and 12th graders in need of a verified credit. If you do not plan to take the in-person SOL in February, it will be deferred until the spring when 9th graders will also take Algebra I, II, or Geometry. Juniors (or those enrolled in AP English Language) will take the English SOL in the spring as well. If you plan to take an SOL, you must have an RPS issued Chromebook.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided. A picture ID is needed to be admitted to testing. If you have any questions about testing, please contact Clary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early College Academy, SY 2021-2022
Applications are now available for the Early College Academy (ECA) (see below). The application window closes on February 22 at 11:59 pm. ECA decisions will be shared with school counselors and letters will be postmarked on March 12. Reach out to Micah at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Important Information for Seniors and Senior Parents
Mid-year senior reports are not yet available. Remember, mid-year reports are the transcripts containing first semester grades. For RPS, the first semester ended on Feb. 5th and teachers had until Feb. 12th to input those grades. Now that grades have been entered, GPAs and class rank will need to be updated. This process is handled at the district level, not by the school. Once updated, the transcripts will be sent to your requested colleges and scholarship organizations as soon as we receive confirmation that the process is complete.
Seniors need to verify their name for their diplomas now. Your name must be just as it is on your birth certificate. Please complete the following form: https://forms.gle/qhSgu9x642Ah2snp6
- Senior Dues for the Class of 2021 are due by April 16, 2021. The total due is $68.00 and this will pay for your cap/gown/tassel and announcements. Senior dues can be paid online by using this website: https://osp.osmsinc.com/RichmondVA/ which can also be found on our website homepage. If you have any questions or concerns please email Ryan, Caroline, or Clary or call the school at 804-780-4661.
College Application Timeline: February and March
- Confirm applications – Most colleges will send you a confirmation that your application has been received and is being processed. If you haven't gotten receipt confirmation for any of your applications, do so as soon as possible.
- Financial aid – You submitted your FAFSA in December, and by now you should be receiving a Student Aid Report, or SAR. Review this carefully and verify that everything is accurate. Discrepancies on this form may result in the loss of thousands of dollars in financial aid.
- Late applications – Some schools have late deadlines or rolling admissions policies, meaning there is no set deadline and applications may be submitted anytime in the winter or spring. As with everything else, it is still wise to apply as early as you can. You never know how competitive open seats will be.
- Acceptance letters – Acceptance, rejection and wait list letters may start arriving as early as February or March. In most cases, you will have until the end of April to make a decision. If you haven't received any letters yet, don't worry. It is common for letters to go out in April.
FAFSA & Scholarships
- If you haven't already completed, make time TODAY to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if you're not sure about next year, completing this will give you more options! The application is available online at www.studentaid.ed.gov. Here is a link from CollegeBoard on how to complete the FAFSA: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/financial-aid-101/how-to-complete-the-fafsa Ms. Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org) from GRASP and Ms. Kennedy (email@example.com) from the Future Center are also available to assist your families with this process.
- If you meet with Ms. Dixon, you will qualify for a 2021 Last Dollar Scholarship. See application below.
- Check out the scholarships available from the Community Foundation.
- The Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), is a new program designed for college-bound Black and African American students in the United States. Eligible high school seniors applying or intending to enroll as a full-time undergraduate in any four-year accredited college or university in the U.S. can receive a needs-based scholarship grant of up to $20,000/year. Scholars who continue to meet the criteria, remain in good standing and maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA will be eligible for annual renewals. Upon graduation, all scholarship recipients who have met their commitments will be guaranteed a full-time job with Visa. The establishment of this program is aligned with Visa’s commitment to cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace that supports the development and advancement of all. See application below. Click here for application.
More scholarships can be found at Micah's Counselor Connection Classroom. Don't hesitate to reach out to Micah (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions about planning your next steps, regardless of the direction!
Open-Honors Connect Tutoring
Remember to introduce yourself, and let the tutor know what you're working on. The tutors are eager to help! Here are the links:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays 3:45-4:45 https://vcu.zoom.us/j/99199506284 Meeting ID: 991 9950 6284
- Wednesdays 12:45-3:45 https://vcu.zoom.us/j/91390061855 Meeting ID: 913 9006 1855
There are so many wonderful opportunities for our students to develop and explore their interests, even in a virtual environment. We encourage all students to actively pursue experiences outside of school. Your school counselor, principal, and teachers are happy to assist you with applications!
AI Camp (www.ai-camp.org) is offering 10 scholarships for their Introduction to AI lecture series. This lecture series is the same series that offered at Stanford University last summer and will introduce AI and careers in tech to you. No coding experience is needed. The opportunity is first-come, first serve, and the deadline for registration is at the end of this month. You can register it here: www.ai-camp.org/free-lesson. AI Camp is founded by Stanford Ph.Ds and advised by a Stanford Professor and CTOs in Silicon Valley.
Do you ever think about pursuing a policy-related degree in college? Consider the Summer Academy for Policy Leadership and Public Service Online (SAO) form June 27-July 10, 2021. This is an immersive 2-week introduction to public policy decision-making and the elements that affect policy. Scholarships are available. The application deadline is May 1.
Current high school students, parents, guardians, and education professionals are invited to register for the 2021 Summer Pre-College Virtual Program Fairs, taking place beginning in January 2021. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with representatives from leading US colleges and universities to learn more about Summer 2021 academic programs for high school students. Feb. 3 and Feb. 20. Registration is FREE to all attendees for this: https://www.summerstudyintheusa.org/virtualstudentfairs/
The Global Health Leaders Conference at Johns Hopkins University invites students in grades 9-12 to learn about issues in global health, public health, and medicine directly from world leaders in these fields, forge friendships and connections with like-minded exceptional students, and share their own work and ideas on global health-related topics by presenting in our student speaker series. Virtual conference no more than $39, but may be waived upon acceptance if a barrier to participation. Visit https://glohea.org) to apply by Feb 28, 2021.
Attendance, Aspen, Spring Semester Schedules
All students are expected to be in class and on time. If you are not in attendance, it is expected that we receive a note from a parent or guardian. Please send absence/tardy/early dismissal notes or any other administrative concern to Ryan at email@example.com. She can also be reached at (804) 780-4661. Parents and students can also request access to the Aspen Student Portal. Here you can access attendance record, student schedules, grades, and additional information.