Richmond Public Schools (VA) Partners with Open Up Resources and EL Education to Provide Acclaimed English Language Arts Curriculum

The District is Prioritizing High-Quality Curriculum and Flexibility of Instruction in Midst of Unexpected Future

MENLO PARK, CA and NEW YORK (July 22, 2020) – Open Up Resources (Open Up), a nonprofit whose mission is to increase equity in education is bringing top-rated EL Education K-8 English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum to Richmond Public Schools (VA) in support of the district’s Dreams4RPS strategic academic goals. The partnership will impact more than 19,000 students in grades K-8 and more than 600 teachers and administrators in the district. 

In addition to access to EL Education’s ELA curriculum, the partnership will equip Richmond Public Schools with a full-service, multi-year professional learning plan to support teachers, plus access to peer-to-peer communications within Open Up’s EL Education digital community. 

“There is no time to waste in ensuring all children, especially early elementary students, are provided a research-backed ELA curriculum that can flex to the needs of today’s classroom and world. It’s clear, through this partnership, that Richmond Public Schools are prioritizing innovative teaching and learning in this unprecedented time. This partnership and high-quality curriculum will give teachers and students across 12 schools in the county the tools they need to successfully increase reading proficiency and provide engaging instruction during these uncertain times,” said Jessica Reid Sliwerski, CEO of Open Up Resources. 

“All students deserve access to a high-quality literacy curriculum that will prepare them for success in school, career, and life. We are proud to be part of this partnership with the Richmond Public Schools District whose mission is centered on ensuring students are contributing members of society and prepared for success,” said Scott Hartl, President and CEO of EL Education.

"RPS is thrilled to have EL as our K-8 ELA curriculum, offered in partnership with Expeditionary Learning and Open Up Resources. The quality of the curriculum and professional development, as well as the partnership offered by both EL and Open Up, redefines what school systems deserve from the education publishing sector. The curriculum itself, and its depth of teacher resources and guidance, enable every teacher to plan and provide engaging, challenging and purposeful daily instruction where every student meets success. The professional development and partnership from EL and Open Up are unparalleled. In just a few weeks since our formal adoption, we have been able to launch virtual professional development that our teachers and school leaders are raving about--both in terms of quality and engagement; our teachers and leaders have received the curriculum materials and text sets-- and as the academic leader of our division, I too have received all of the incredible texts our students will be reading in 2020-21-- my summer reading has never been more enjoyable!"  - Dr. Tracy Epp, Chief Academic Officer 

The EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum is a comprehensive, standards-based core literacy program that engages teachers and students through compelling, real-world content and builds equitable and inclusive learning opportunities for all students. The curriculum has received top marks from independent reviews, including



Open Up Resources is a 501(c)(3) that exists to increase equity in education by making the highest quality curriculum freely accessible to educators and providing implementation supports to the broadest number of teachers, empowering them to effectively and sustainably improve student outcomes in pre-K-12 English Language Arts and Mathematics. To learn more about Open Up Resources' mission and work, visit



EL Education is a leading K-12 nonprofit empowering teachers to transform schools in diverse communities across America. For more than 25 years, EL Education has brought to life a three-dimensional vision of student achievement that includes mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work. By promoting active classrooms that are alive with discovery, problem-solving, challenge, and collaboration, EL Education’s curriculum inspires teachers to fulfill their highest aspirations and motivates students to achieve more than they think possible.



Richmond Public Schools is an urban, PreK-12 school system with approximately 24,700 students representing the region’s diverse socioeconomic mix. Richmond Public Schools (RPS) is comprised of 25 elementary schools, including one charter school, seven middle schools, five comprehensive high schools and three specialty schools. U. S. News and World Report ranked Richmond Community and Open high schools among the state’s top public high schools. And, Franklin Military Academy stands as the nation’s first public military school. The district also operates two regional Governor’s School programs. The mission of Richmond Public Schools is to prepare our students to become successful, contributing members of society through innovative and compassionate learning communities. RPS’ strategic plan, Dreams for RPS, is guided by our three (3) core values of equity, engagement, and excellence in order to prepare our students to be college, career, or civic ready.