Middle School Central

The Power of Student Voices in Poetry

The Power of Student Voices in Poetry Cover
On February 26, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced this remark into the Congressional Record, which is a permanent call out to Two Rivers teachers and students. A designer from her staff created the booklet above, which she emailed to her Congressional colleagues.

The poems are the written by Two Rivers 7th graders for their showcase. Please click on the photo above to enjoy the poems.

Letter from the Principals

Dear Middle School Families,

We are excited to partner with you and our middle schoolers for the 2020-2021 school year to help all of our students reach our mission: To nurture a diverse group of students to become lifelong, active participants in their own education, develop a sense of self and community, and become responsible and compassionate members of society. Our mission guides the work that we do with your children every single day. This year, we will be focused on students becoming leaders of their own learning. We will facilitate more opportunities for goal setting and tracking their progress on academic and social learning targets.

It is with tremendous pride that I introduce the 2020-2021 middle school leadership team:

Muronji Inman-McCraw, Principal

I am humbled and thrilled to continue serving the middle school this year. Last year, the middle school students, families and staff welcomed me with open arms. I am looking forward to continuing learning and leading alongside the fabulous educators of the middle school. This marks my 15th year in education and each year I learn more about myself and am recommitted to this work. Prior to Two Rivers I served as a special education teacher in DC and held several leadership roles at Harlem Children’s Zone. I am a lifelong learner and am currently pursuing my doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. When I am not at work or UPenn I am at brunch with my husband and three sons, running in Anacostia Park or binge watching Law & Order.

Hakim Johnson, Assistant Principal of Instruction

Hakim is originally from Atlanta, GA, but has been in Washington DC since childhood. With an Engineering Degree from Dartmouth College, and a Masters in Secondary Administration from National University, he has served the DC educational community since 2009. He taught Middle School Mathematics for a number of years, and in addition served as a Math Department Chair, Teacher Leader, Instructional Coach, and Assistant Principal before coming to Two Rivers PCS. He believes in holding students to high expectations and pushing them to new heights. He is excited to have that vision here at Two Rivers.

Mark Nash, Assistant Principal of Culture

Born and raised in Johnstown, PA and still maintains deep ties with his hometown. Mark is an educator, military veteran, entrepreneur, and an unapologetic champion for students, especially black and brown boys. He has over 25 years of experience as an educator, serving as a teacher, special education coordinator, assistant principal, and principal. He spent the last fourteen years working for DC Public Schools and Dorchester County Public Schools. Mark has focused his attention on designing and implementing programs for students at risk of not graduating high school. He created an innovative "twilight" program at Ballou High School, helping the highest risk students recover credits, putting them back on track to graduation. He co-founded a groundbreaking mentoring program, 100 MORE at Eastern High School, providing young men with supportive relationships with adult males on campus. Mark is married and is passionate about his most important role in life, being a father to his amazing children! Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from Indiana University and a Master of Arts and Teaching from Goucher College. He holds an Ed. S in Educational Administration and Leadership from Walden University. Mark has his certification in Administration I & II and Special Education.

“We are crew, not passengers”

While COVID-19 has upended our traditional notions of school, this pandemic has forced us to recommit to our core values and who we are as a school. The EL Education tenet, “we are crew, not passengers” is a belief that is more important than ever. All members of the school community must exhibit the spirit of crew, in which students, staff and families learn, grow, and succeed together. Starting the year remote means that families and staff have to reconfigure our partnership in new and creative ways.

We know that as our students’ parents and families, you are their first teachers. Partnering with you to develop lifelong learners is a critical aspect. We are looking forward to the ways that we can partner with you to help build the spirit of crew even from afar.

How can you help our students reach our mission:

  1. Be transparent about your learning. Talk to you kids about how you learn from your mistakes and when life gets challenging, how you persevere. Model a growth mindset.
  1. Ask your kids about how they engaged in our scholarly habits on a daily basis. Having discussions with you helps them internalize them and communicate to them that you think they are important too!

Our Scholarly Habits are:

    • I know myself. (Self Awareness)
    • I am independent and resilient. (Self Management)
    • I show compassion and embrace diversity. (Social Awareness)
    • I can connect and collaborate. (Relationship Building)
    • I act with integrity. (Responsible Decision-Making)\

  1. Make sure that you get your students logged on (while we are virtual) and to school on time. Every day begins with a crew meeting and when students miss even a portion of it, they feel less a part of the community and miss key skills. On-time attendance matters...even remotely!
  1. Sleep & Predictable Schedule. Studies have shown that kids of all ages need adequate sleep in order to learn and grow. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 8-10 hours a night for middle school students. Setting reasonable bedtimes and sticking to them help your middle schooler be happier and ready for learning. Keeping a predictable routine is especially important while students are working and learning from home. For example, waking up at the same time, getting dressed and starting the day as if they were still coming to the school building.

  1. Attend school-wide events. Though many of these events may take place virtually this year, they are key parts of our school culture and community. Stay connected through Student-Led Conferences, Showcase of Student Learning, Math Festival, Literacy Festival, Spanish Night, and/or any of our Parent School Association (PSA) meetings. Even when our kids are older and more independent, they need you to be involved in school!

  1. Be aware of your child’s presence on social media. Middle school is the time when students use social media more often to talk to each other and we know that adolescence is often a time when kids engage in more risky behavior. Please be aware of what your kids are posting on social media.
  1. Communicate & Collaborate. When families and school teams are communicating and working in concert with each other our kids thrive. Use office hours, email, phone calls, text messages and social media to communicate with us. Ask teachers how you can support the work they are doing in class and they ways you need support from them.

We approach this historic 2020-2021 school year knowing that it will be challenging. Yet, because of our culture of crew and our focus on real-world learning, we have an opportunity to reimagine what is possible for school and shine in new ways. Thank you for your patience and your trust as we navigate this unprecedented moment of significant flux. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us via email or phone. Here’s to an amazing school year full of our students becoming leaders of their own learning and contributing to a better world.


Muronji Inman-McCraw, Principal



Hakim Johnson, Assistant Principal of Instruction



Mark Nash, Assistant Principal of Culture