Open High School (Virginia)

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Coordinates: 37°32′16″N 77°27′03″W / 37.53769°N 77.45088°W / 37.53769; -77.45088

Open High School is an alternative public high school in urban Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. It was established in 1972 with the intention of helping students become independent, self-determined thinkers and learners. Students volunteer at a variety of locations, take college courses for both high school and college credit, and independently develop and maintain a class schedule. The school building was originally built with money and on land donated by Grace Arents.


Open High School has a community-based structure where advisory groups known as 'families' direct students in the development of school activities and functions, and other school related activities. Each 'family' selects two students, "reps", to represent them in a Student Representative Council. At meetings of this council, student reps bring forth questions, disagreements, or ideas that a 'family' may have and would like to discuss with the whole student body. If a concern gets enough attention, the concern is brought to the 'town meeting' where the entire administrative staff and student body together discuss and vote on anything that a single student or group of students may deem important. Open High School doesn't contain as many students as other High Schools throughout Richmond. Students also create elective classes with teacher 'sponsors.'

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  1. ^ Staff, Writer (2016-08-27). "Kaine's Wife, Anne Holton, No Stranger to Political Stage". The Associated Press. The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  2. ^ Freewheelin' 78 A Publication of the Open High School. p. 132.