Open Announcements

August 22, 2021

Dear Open High Family,

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!

We know that students and families may be anxious about the coming year. As the situation continues to evolve, we ask for your patience and understanding. Our top priority is a safe and healthy learning environment. Please help us by doing your part. We are asking that all students get vaccinated. While masking and physical distancing will still be required, vaccination is the best way to combat the transmission of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. For more information on vaccinations, please visit:

To answer questions about all things Open, please join us on Wednesday, August 25 at 6:00 p.m. for our VIRTUAL TOWN HALL at Zoom Link Meeting ID: 978 5105 4629; Passcode: 868299. At this time we will review our schedule as well as health and safety protocols specific to Open. We will be following RPS Health and Safety Measures for Fall 2021 which are attached below for your reference.

Thanks to those who came out last week to help with our green spaces despite the wet weather. We've scheduled another Volunteer Day for Saturday, August 28 from 9:00 - 12:00. Sign up here to help get our school ready!

See below for info on how to join the PTSA and help support our school all year long. Schools with involved parents and caregivers are always stronger!

I want to introduce another staff member--not new to us--but someone who will be with us more often this year--Mimi (Jan) Westbrook. She is our full-time sub, and part of our Open High family. You can read more about her below. If you're new to Open you will have an opportunity to meet all the faculty and staff at our Back to School Night later in September. This will be virtual, and due to the current situation, we are discouraging parents from coming in the building unless absolutely necessary. More about this and other measures on Wednesday evening.

While we know this year will be another year of challenge and change, we also know that the Open High community is strong and resilient. With your support we will rise joyfully to this occasion.

With great appreciation,

Clary W. Carleton


804-780-4661 (school phone); 804-229-9961 (work cell)


Here are other upcoming dates and information to keep in mind:


Classes begin Monday, August 23, 8:30 - 11:20 AM (Note: these may change.) For those students catching the bus from Open, the bus leaves at 8:22 AM. DO NOT BE LATE! We will welcome all our ECA students on September 8 when you join your Family after your morning classes. We will have a second day of Orientation, and you afternoon classes will begin at Open on Friday, September 10.


Fall Block classes begin on Tuesday, August 24. If students are taking a class in the fall, they will receive email updates with login credentials prior to this date.


RPS does not provide transportation to Open. Students can be dropped off by parents, but we also encourage our students to take the GRTC. All fares are free of charge. Please visit their website to plan routes and learn more about riding safely. While in the past, we have used the downtown YMCA as our offsite location for Grade 9 and 10 Health/PE and Social Studies, this year we will use Randolph Community Center at 1415 Grayland Ave. Students in Grade 10 should be dropped off at this location beginning Friday, September 10 no earlier than 8:15 AM. Randolph is also accessible by the GRTC. Students will walk back to campus for their afternoon classes during the extended lunch hour.


As most know, we do not have a cafeteria, but we still have lunch options. Unfortunately, the cafeteria at Virginia Housing will be closed to students until further notice. We were also unable to provide the food delivery service we hoped to try. However our newly renovated Student Lounge has a refrigerator and microwave for student use. RPS also provides free, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for everybody. And our convenient location affords other options for those students who drive.


All families should have received our summer letter which includes details on our schedule, Grade 12 vaccination requirements (see below), and other important information. We will continue to communicate via email, so let us know if another member of your family wishes to receive this newsletter. We will also continue to use Remind text-messaging. Please text @openhig to 81010 and download the app to receive messages from the school. Teachers will also be able to communicate with students and parents through this app once classes are set up. In addition, our brand new website will be launched later in August and will be a repository for all things Open.


Please visit the RPS website for general information on how we are preparing for the fall including the Family Letter & Checklist. For the very latest information from the district, subscribe to RPSDirect.

Parent Teacher Student Association

Please join the Open High PTSA today at You will receive regular updates on PTSA fundraisers and activities. For instance whenever you buy a pie from Papa Johns, join with code OPENHIGH and we'll get a percentage! Here are board members for the 2021-2022 school year:

President: Pam Embrey:

Vice President: David Kitchen
Treasurer: Joel Simpson
Recording Secretary: Michele Cox
Communications Secretary: Hope Norman
Ad Hoc: Brigette Newberry
Hospitality Chair: Priscilla Wright
Fundraising Chair: Dean Sadak

Mimi (Jan) Westbrook

I was raised on a farm on the Cherokee Reservation in Oklahoma by my grandparents. I moved first to California and then Europe after High School graduation. Soon after I got married (to a Virginia guy), I moved into the Richmond area where I have lived for 50+ years. I obtained my college degrees (BS Ed., MS Ed, and MA History) from VCU (GO RAMS!!). I have taught in Richmond Public Schools for 40 years--first at Community and then here at Open for the past 12 years. I am currently the on-call sub for Open, and I really look forward to seeing you all this school year.