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About Us

Open High School was established in 1972 as an alternative public high school in Richmond, Virginia. Established on the premise that students are self-directed, independent learners, Open High School offers a college preparatory education to approximately 200 high school students in a small personal setting. Successful students develop the initiative, independence and responsibility to manage an individualized schedule and maneuver around the city.  An emphasis on relationship, relevance, and rigor guides our program’s direction. Teachers work collaboratively to make lessons relevant to real world situations. All classes are geared towards preparation for the upper level rigor of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment course offerings.

Who we are as a school is a reflection of the outcomes we expect from our students. During the 2015-2016 school year a group of teachers came together to define the most prized dispositions expected of all members of our community.  These dispositions enhance our school’s mission statement and embody the ideal Open High School staff member and student.     


The mission of Open High School is to develop responsible, resilient, creative, and compassionate students who value intellectual inquiry and social responsibility.



  1. Perseverance
    Persistence and Resilience. The willingness to work through difficult tasks or situations. The ability to remain whole through adversity.
  2. Intellectual Curiosity
    The desire to explore topics further. A questioning mind.
  3. Interpersonal Skills
    The ability to work well with others. A sense of open-mindedness. Strong listening skills.
  4. Community Engagement
    A participatory nature. Commitment to OHS community values such as volunteerism, class and town meeting attendance. A willingness to give back.
  5. Self-Advocacy
    A person who can ask for what they need. The ability to speak up for one’s needs and desires.
  6. Creativity
    Original expression of any kind. The ability to think “outside the box” to dream of better or different ways of being and doing.
  7. Organization
    The ability to create systems that ensure the completion of tasks in a timely manner. Organization includes punctuality, time management and study skills.
  8. Self-Reflection
    The ability to recognize personal strengths and weaknesses and to create goals for improvement based on an honest understanding of self.
  9. Articulation
    An effective communicator. A person who thinks before they speak, then speaks clearly and confidently.
  10. Responsibility
    The display of self-governing behaviors. Accountability to systems and ideas that define individuals, our school, our school division, our community and our nation.