Open Announcements

March 21, 2021

Dear Open High Family,

Happy Spring! As the weather warms, and we move towards the end of the school year, it's essential for our students to stay fully engaged in their learning. We understand that motivation can be a problem, with students feeling isolated and disconnected. Remember, each week during Friday's Family we bring students together to address social-emotional issues while helping them share, reflect, and have a little fun. Family, Class, and Town are essential parts of the Open experience, so students should be in attendance just like any other class. Parents are responsible for letting our Office Associate Ryan know when absences are unavoidable. She can be reached at reldridg@rvaschools or 804.780.4661.

As you may have heard, the Richmond School Board decided that the 2021-2022 school year will begin on September 7. They also committed to year-round school for the 2022-23 school year. Regardless of how you feel about the decisions, I think it's important to show appreciation for our wonderful students who wrote to the School Board sharing their perspectives: Nicholas Hall, Meredith Nunnally, Vilma Jones, Stella Bryant, and Rose Field. At Open we love seeing students use their voices to engage with community issues and make a difference!

I also want to thank all the students and families who supported our campaign to help the houseless in Richmond. We donated over 200 snack bags to Homeward, with the Class of 2023 contributing the most! At such a difficult time, it's even more important to raise up others as we can. And special thanks to Brigette and Lucy for all their help!

Thank you to the following student leaders and Vic, who on Friday participated in the 30th Annual Student Leadership Conference with the theme of “Cultivating Just & Joyful Schools": Wilber Arias, Heaven Cannady, Logan Cox, Azahni Jones, Kimarah Massey, Nakesha Reid, Sydney Wright, and Morgan Yeatts. We can't wait to hear more about your experience!

Also on Friday, the following students were honored at Zoom with a Boom for their guaranteed full-ride to Virginia Union University upon graduation: Kamirra Jackson, Madisyn Willis, Cameron Allen, and Quinton Wallace. We're thankful to VUU for making this opportunity available to so many RPS students.

Congratulations to the new Early College Academy cohort: Lizzie Childress, Spencer Frank, Owen Goodman, Lucy Aikin, Wilbur Arias, Sydney Wright, Delany Stevenson, Evelin Medrano, and Kamirra Jackson. If you were waitlisted, just remember that you get to spend more time at Open which is not a bad thing at all!

The Open Hive T-Shirt Contest deadline is Monday, March 22. Students can send their designs to Vic at

Regular meetings for SAT Prep also begin this Monday from 4-5 pm for juniors taking the SAT on April 13. A Google Classroom has been created for all who signed up. There are prizes for students who spend the most time on Method Test Prep! If you have questions, please contact Emily at

Finally, keep reading for AP Testing Updates and other important information. 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


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.

T-shirt and Hoodie Fundraiser!

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

High School Testing, 2020-2021

SOL Tests Requirements:

  • 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.
  • English: all students currently enrolled in AP English Language and all 11th grade ECA students will take both the Writing and Reading components of the English exam.
  • 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. Regular meetings for SAT Method Prep begin on Monday, March 22 from 4-5 pm. A Google Classroom has been created for all who signed up. 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.

Class of 2021--A Year to Remember

Senior Memory Book

Ryan is still trying to fill ALL the pages for the senior Memory Book. If you have a senior quote, you can still send to Ryan at

Senior Pictures

We WILL be offering senior pictures after all! Thanks so much for your patience as we work out the details of how to best ensure safety during this event. We'll offer at least two days with evening and weekend hours. More info to come.

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, Caroline, or Clary or call the school 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!

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.