Open Announcements

May 2, 2021

Dear Open High Family,

Open High has once again been recognized by US News and World Report as one of the best high schools in the region and state. Read all about us here. This would not be possible without our exceptional faculty. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, so don't hesitate to show your love for these dedicated educators. They have worked so hard to reinvent their instruction and adapt to the challenges of virtual school. I am extremely proud to serve alongside them, and I wish them all a fantastic week.

Please read about the Reopening Plans for Fall 2021 which will be regularly updated. See details below.

Get Vaccinated!

Everyone 16 or older can get the vaccine. While it's not required at this time, it may be in the future. Just text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more about mental health and wellness tools here. Also check out our partners at the CKG Foundation who regularly provide elective classes at Open on mindfulness and self awareness. On May 19 at 7 pm, CKG and Dr. Catherine Franssen will discuss the neuroscience of the teenage brain. Register Here! #Tools2Thrive

Summer School

Some students may need to attend Summer School: June 28 - July 23 for four weeks, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., at the Richmond Technical Center. Students can take up to two high school courses in Edgenuity, with online or in person support, during the four weeks of summer school. Students are HIGHLY encouraged to attend in person to receive support. Students needing SOL remediation can also sign up for summer school and choose to attend the SOL Academy during the four week session. Read more about summer options and register here.

The deadline for Course Selection on SchooLinks has been extended again to May 7. See details below.

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


ReOPENing Fall 2021

Please read Superintendent Kamras' Family Letter and Checklist. RPS is also hosting Community Conversations to ensure families are prepared, informed, and excited to #ReopenWithLove2.0! For all the latest information from the district, subscribe to RPSDirect. Open will also be hosting a Virtual Town Hall later in May to answer questions specific to us. Stay tuned for time, date, and link!

OPTIONS FOR 2021-2022

  • Five-day/week in-person learning option OR
  • Five-day/week virtual option through Virtual Virginia.

We hope all of our students will choose to come back in person. If you choose to attend Virtual Virginia for health reasons, you must complete the 2021-22 Virtual Enrollment Form (Formulario de intención de instrucción virtual) form by June 1, 2021. Please read more about the virtual options here and reach out to Clary ( or Micah ( with questions. Online classes with Virtual Virginia begin on August 24.


Read about Health and Safety protocols for next year. Open will also have a full time nurse and clinic for the very first time!


Sign up for one of our Open Volunteer Days to help us beautify our learning environment!

NEW! SOL Testing Updates

Federal and state education departments have not waived state testing as they did last year. Virginia high school students must pass approved tests to earn verified credits for graduation in certain subjects. More info on End of Course (EOC) SOL Testing is attached in the document below.

If you indicated that you will take an in-person test(s) on the SOL Intent Survey, RPS will send you a confirmation by email prior to the test. In-person testing for Open students will take place at Richmond Community High School. Safety protocols will be followed according to CDC guidelines. Students who do not take in-person End of Courses SOL tests this spring will be marked as "absent" or "parental refusal." In order to receive verified credits, students will be required to test during a future test administration.

All tests begin at 8:30 a.m. Students will be provided breakfast, lunch, and transportation (if requested). Students should bring a charged RPS Chromebook with a power cord. If you still need to pick up a Chromebook, please contact Clary ASAP at .Here are the Saturday dates and tests being administered:

  • May 8 End of Course Reading SOL for students currently taking AP English Language and all ECA juniors.
  • May 15 Biology and Chemistry SOLs for 9th grade students who took during the Fall 2020 semester who have not yet tested.
  • May 22 Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra 2 SOLs for 9th grade students who are currently enrolled or who took last semester and have not yet tested.
  • June 5 Make-up Testing/Expedited Retakes/EOC 11 Writing Part 2
  • June 12 Make-up Testing/Expedited Retakes

9th grade students currently enrolled in World History I will take a local assessment, administered virtually. This is in lieu of the EOC SOL history test.

NEW! AP Testing Update

All AP Students should

  • Know their College Board username and password. If you click Remember Me you won't have to log on each time. DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSWORD.
  • Download and install the AP Digital Testing App now. The App has been pushed out to all RPS Chromebooks. Find the App waffle at the bottom left corner of the screen. Click and select the 2021 Digital AP Exams where you can login.
  • Practice sample questions in App or through AP Classroom.
  • Complete exam setup 3 calendar days prior to exam FOR EACH EXAM.
  • Check into exam 30 minutes early. THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL.

Please see the latest AP Newsletter below for more information. AP FLOAT Tutoring is also provided by RPS teachers. Sign up here. In addition, 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.


  • 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.
  • 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

Course Selection on SchooLinks

The deadline for Course Selection has been extended to May 7. Please remember that course requests are not set in stone. We know there are some glitches with the platform which we don't control. We also know what classes students need. What is essential is that you communicate which electives you want, as well as alternatives. As most of you know, your final schedule will depend on which classes are available at which times, and there are built in limitations at a small school. Still, we make every effort to ensure you get what you want. If you have errors that you can't eliminate, look at the bottom of the page with a line saying "Course Plan Notes." On that line, please type in "Finished" or "Complete" and you should be able to submit. If you have questions, please contact Micah at

We encourage rising juniors and rising seniors to take AP Seminar which you can read more about here. This innovate elective course will provide superb preparation for college regardless of major. Other new courses we are proposing for next year are AP Modern World History (for all 10th graders), AP European, and Sociology. As a reminder, students in Grades 9-11 should have 7 courses, and students in Grade 12 should have 5-6 courses for a full schedule.

All guidance documents for SchooLinks can be found on our school website.

Class of 2021: A Year to Remember

Open's Virtual Commencement and Diploma Pick Up have been canceled. We now await an announcement from RPS regarding the division's plans for Commencement 2021. Thank you for your patience!

LAST DAY of classes for seniors is Friday, June 11.

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!

Early College Academy

Maymester for Juniors begins on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 with two classes added to the SPA 102 schedule - through June 11th.

All ECA student--current and future--are reminded to regularly check their emails for updates.

Math Beauty Contest

The study of mathematics asks students to think in new and different ways which is simply good exercise for the brain. But mathematics--as our beloved math teacher Irina will tell anyone--is also beautiful. To glimpse the beauty of math, check out this short video about Cornell professor Steven Strogatz on the secret universe of patterns revealed by mathematics.

This year, Open is excited to be participating in the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2021 Math Beauty Contest. Students show their problem solving ability in "beautiful ways" by choosing one of two problems for Algebra I or for Above Algebra I. Entries should be submitted to Irina by May 5 and postmarked for mail entry by May 7 according to the instructions provided. Read the Official Rules here. Each entrant from Open will receive a prize just for trying!

Open-Honors Connect Tutoring

May 3-6 is the last week for VCU 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! If you are looking for an opportunity, contact us and maybe we can find a match.

Interested in Study Abroad?

Check out these programs through the US State Department. Scholarships are available!

PECS is a VCU Honors-College 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to delivering college application mentorship and guidance for high school students in Richmond and neighboring areas. The 2nd annual PECS Summer 2021 Virtual College Essay Bootcamp will once again take place virtually via Zoom and will consist of two separate, three-week sessions that cover the basics of the college application and essay writing process with students. Students also have the opportunity to be paired with mentors so that they are able to receive personalized feedback to prepare them for their senior year. Rising juniors and rising seniors are encouraged to attend! See flyer with dates and sign-up link below.

OHS Art Expo & Auction 2021

Please save the date for the annual (virtual) Open High Art Expo 2021 May 31, 2021 - June 5, 2021 sponsored by our Parent Teacher Student Association. 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 next year's art classes. The Art Expo & Auction 2021 is seeking art, sponsors, and 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.