Open Announcements

March 28, 2021

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Dear Open High Family,

We can't wait to see some Open spirit this final week before Spring Break, April 5-9! It's been a long year for everybody, and the extended time is surely needed to refresh and renew. As RPS Superintendent Kamras acknowledged in his most recent RPS Direct, many of the students and teachers throughout RPS are simply burnt out with the demands of virtual school. As we have said all year, our primary concern is for the well-being of our students and staff. No one should feel alone at this time. If you need support, please reach out to us and take advantage of these local resources if needed:


Please congratulate Vic Carll, the OHS Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021! Vic is an extraordinary teacher leader, and we're so lucky to have her skill, devotion, wit, and wisdom. She is our Language Guru, our Family Coordinator, our Reps Co-sponsor, and so much more. She was also just accepted into the High Tech High Graduate Program for Educational Leadership, and we're very excited for her. Thank you Vic for all the love and learning you bring to Open!

Marking Period 3 Report Cards will be available the week of April 19. VCU Tutors are still available this week to support students! See schedule below.

Family Cup Update. Lucy's Family remains in first place followed by Vic's Family. Emily & Cesar's Family and Caroline's Family are tied for third place. It's not over until it's over! May the odds be ever in your favor...

See below for important updates on Course Selection for 2021-2022, SOL Spring Testing, and

Senior Pictures. If you have any questions never hesitate to contact me at or at 804.229.9961.

As always, be well, stay safe, and keep celebrating Open minds!

Clary Carleton


Course Selection for 2021-2022

This week we begin planning classes for next year using a new platform--SchooLinks. Micah, our School Counselor, will have two student sessions this week to walk students through the process:

Wednesday, March 31 @ 1pm

Thursday, April 1 @ noon

Also, on Thursday, April 1 @ 6 pm we will host a Family Info Night on course planning. Micah and teachers will be available to share information on SchooLinks, graduation requirements, and course selection. Zoom Link:
Meeting ID: 994 4291 0121
Passcode: 169575

Guidance documents can be found attached to the bottom of this newsletter. Student have until April 16 to complete.

Fundraiser Ends TODAY!

We are so excited about reopening for the 2021-2022 school year! Help us raise some additional funds to support our students. This is the LAST DAY to get your T-shirt, hoodie, or mask, and show the world how OPEN you are!

Class of 2021--A Year to Remember

Senior Pictures Update--Mark your calendars!

Dates: April 22, 1-6 and April 23, 3-6

Our vendor, Strawbridge, will share an online portal for scheduling appointments and purchasing pictures. There will be a $25 session fee applied to the purchase of pictures. Students/parents must sign a waiver to wear supplied formal attire. Please wear a white t-shirt if you plan to wear a tux and wear a tank top or garment that allows you to have bare shoulders if you plan to wear a drape. Students will pick up caps, gowns, and announcements at this time. Covid safety procedures will be in effect. Look out for an email from Ryan!

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: which can also be found on our website homepage. If you have any questions or concerns please email Ryan at 804-780-4661.


Tentative dates for graduation are as follows:

  • Virtual Graduation: Friday, 6/18, at 7:00 p.m.
  • In-Person Graduation: Tuesday, 6/22 at 10:00 a.m. Oregon Hill Overlook

Scholarships & FAFSA
  • PECS (Personalized Exploration for College Success) at VCU is providing a flexible, free, and virtual essay feedback portal. Students can submit their college or scholarship essays to our form and receive personalized feedback from trained PECS mentors within a week of submission. All feedback is completely remote, and students can access the flexible portal at whatever time is convenient for their schedules.
  • 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 Here is a link from CollegeBoard on how to complete the FAFSA: Ms. Dixon ( from GRASP and Ms. Kennedy ( from the Future Center are also available to assist your families with this process.

More scholarships can be found at Micah's Counselor Connection Classroom. Don't hesitate to reach out to Micah ( with any questions about planning your next steps, regardless of the direction!

High School Testing Updates

SOL Tests:

The End of Course Writing SOL (for all students currently taking AP English Language and all ECA juniors) will be administered on one or more of the following Saturdays: April 17, April 24, and May 1. A parent survey will be shared next week to register. All students must have this verified credit in order to graduate.

All other End of Course SOLs in math, science, and reading will be administered on Saturdays starting May 1 to June 19. All students must have verified credits in math, science, and reading in order to graduate.

  • Math: 9th grade students who are currently taking Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II or students who took Algebra II last semester and have not yet tested/passed.
  • Science: 9th grade students who took Biology or Chemistry during the Fall 2020 semester who have not yet tested/passed.
  • History/Social Science: 9th grade students currently enrolled in World History I will receive a local assessment administered virtually.
  • Students who were to take SOL End of Course tests in the spring of 2020 can receive Locally Awarded Verified Credits under emergency guidelines from the VDOE.

SAT School Day for juniors is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13. The window to sign up has closed. SAT Method Prep is available for support and regular meetings will be held Mondays and Tuesdays from 4-5 pm and Wednesdays from 1-3 pm. on Google Classroom. There are prizes for students who spend the most time online preparing! If you have questions, please contact Emily at

Students in English 9-10, Algebra I , and Geometry will take the MAP Growth Assessment in the spring.

AP Testing Update

Here is an important update from the division on AP Testing this spring:

  • All students are expected to take AP exams.
  • Students will take AP tests digitally at home with the exception of *AP Spanish Language.
  • Students enrolled in the fall semester will take their AP exam in Administration 2. The exceptions are AP Calculus and AP Statistics.
  • Students enrolled in the spring semester will take their AP exam in Administration 3.
  • Students and teachers can access and practice the Digital Testing Application, available via the College Board on April 8, 2021. Students with a personal computer can download the app at this time. Tech Services is developing a plan to support the download of the testing app on division Chromebooks.
  • Portfolio submission (AP CSP and AP Studio Art) deadlines are May 20, 11:59 pm (with earlier student deadlines).

Administration 2

  • AP US History, May 19, 12:00 pm
  • AP Art History, May 19, 4 pm
  • AP US Government (SM1), May 20, 12 pm
  • *AP Spanish Language, May 21, 8:00 am (at Richmond Community HS)
  • AP Human Geography (SM1), May 28, 12 pm

Administration 3

  • AP English Literature, June 1, 12 pm
  • AP US Government (SM2), June 3, 12 pm
  • AP English Language, June 7, 12 pm
  • AP Computer Science, June 7, 4 pm
  • AP Human Geography (SM2), June 8, 12 pm
  • AP Calculus, June 9, 8:00 am
  • AP Statistics, June 10, 12 pm
  • AP Biology, June 11, 12 pm
  • AP Environmental Science, June 11, 4 pm

The 4x4 schedule makes preparation for spring AP exams challenging, but there are many supports in place for students to continue their learning throughout the spring. All AP students have access to College Board's AP Classroom with AP Daily videos and other valuable resources. RPS also partners with the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI) to provide teacher and student support for AP. Students should register with NMSI (see Course Registration below) to take advantage of Live Online Student Sessions as well as on-demand modules. Consider setting up weekly tutoring sessions with VCU tutors to review material from first semester courses. Even Khan Academy provides free prep for multiple AP courses.

Open-Honors Connect Tutoring

Tutoring with VCU Honors College students through Open-Honors Connect is a fantastic opportunity for our students to get homework help or to review material for spring exams (SOL, AP, SAT). Good students seek help from others! Please complete this form at the end of each week, so we can give our tutors a heads-up on who to expect.

Remember to introduce yourself, and let the tutor know what you're working on. The tutors are eager to help! Here are the links:

Student Opportunities

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!

The Mayor's Youth Academy provides development opportunities to youth throughout the city of Richmond which include: job readiness training, leadership development, exposure to entrepreneurship, mentoring, and post-secondary career exploration. Deadline is March 30.

Art Opportunity for RPS Students – Art 180 is now accepting applications for their Edward Dean Robinson Artist Residency for RPS rising juniors and seniors. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with nationally recognized professional artists, develop new skills, and build a portfolio. Applications will remain open through April 1. If you're interested, please email Maurice Jackson at with questions.

Congressman McEachin invites all high school students (grades 9-12), living in Virginia's fourth congressional district, to submit an original work of art for the 2021 Congressional Art Competition. Students should submit a high-resolution photo of their artwork and a completed Student Release and Information form via email to with the subject line "Art Competition" no later than 4:30PM Monday, April 26, 2021. Please see below for full competition rules and regulations and to download a release and information form.

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.

The James River Leadership Expeditions (JRLE) is a year-long leadership program for all high school students who are interested in advocating for the future of the James River. This is a fantastic program that many of our students have participated in. Deadline for applications is May 3.

OHS Art Expo & Auction 2021

Please save the date for the annual (virtual) Open High Art Expo 2021 May 31, 2021 - June 5, 2021. Each year Open High School depends on the Art Auction to help fund the art department. This year our goal is to raise $5,000 to purchase art supplies for all of the art classes in school year 2021-22. The Art Expo & Auction 2021 is seeking art, sponsors & donations:

  1. Art: All Students! We would love to receive your donation of any piece of art you make - painting, ceramic, jewelry, macrame, etc. (It is not necessary to be in Brigette's art class now or ever :)
  2. Sponsors: Will your business or family sponsor the Art Expo or match donations?
  3. Auction Items: Share your talents and gifts - perhaps some families would like to put together a basket for auction - wine, food, garden supplies, services, etc. Creativity welcome!

Please contact Pam Embrey or Brigette Newberry if you have questions.

SchooLinks Documents