March 13, 2020
Dear Two Rivers Families,
Earlier this morning we shared that we would be following the Mayor's recommendation to close schools from Monday, March 16th until Tuesday, March 31st. We understand this may be unwelcome news, as it brings with it anxiety about public health and personal worries about how to balance full-time work and care for your children. We know this is difficult, and hope to provide some routine and structure for students over these next few unusual weeks. As a school community that thrives on nurturing relationships, learning better together, and experiencing and growing in a community setting, the next days of 'remote learning' will challenge us to find new ways to live our mission. We are about to embark on unchartered territory!
To minimize the disruption to our students' education, we are activating our remote learning plan on the following schedule:
● March 16 - First Day of School Closure - Students Off
○ Staff on paid leave to make personal preparations
● March 17 - Second Day of School Closure - Students Off
○ Staff convene virtually to prepare for launch of remote learning
● March 18 - Third Day of School Closure - Launch of Remote Learning for Students
○ Regular teacher-student remote check-ins begin
○ Students follow plans set out for them by their teachers
● March 20 - Remote Learning Day
○ This is no longer a Professional Development Day
● March 31 - Anticipated Last Day of School Closure/Remote Learning for Students
We were surprised to learn that DCPS was moving spring break to next week, and made the decision not to follow suit. However, we are concerned about two factors that may cause us to move spring break: the requirement to extend our school year to meet required instructional days, and the loss of crucial instructional time for our students. We are currently considering whether we should move our spring break to the week of March 30-April 5 and would like your feedback. Please complete a brief survey by Monday (3/16) here: http://bit.ly/TRSpring. We anticipate a decision by the middle of next week. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to balance multiple considerations.
STUDENT LEARNING & SUPPORT SERVICES Middle school students will be doing the bulk of their learning virtually and elementary school students will be doing the bulk of their remote learning through printed materials. Some students received materials in their backpack today, while others will receive them through the mail. Included with these materials is a letter that outlines our expectations and supports for student learning during closure. It is attached to this message and available here: www.tworiverspcs.org/community/news. Thank you in advance for helping your student continue to learn and grow during closure!
INTERNET & COMPUTER ACCESS Two Rivers is working with District agencies to ensure that all students have internet access during school closure. We have already reached out to families based upon recent survey information to offer assistance to those in need. If you did not complete our recent survey and are in need of internet access, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can find information about no-cost offerings from Comcast here: internetessentials.com/covid19.
Additionally, if you indicated that you do not have a computer in your home AND your child is in Grade 2 and above, we have set aside a computer to loan you during school closure. A parent/guardian will need to sign the loaner agreement prior to taking a device home. Laptop pick-up will be available on Monday, March 16 at Young ES only. If you are in need and have not already completed our survey or received outreach from TR Staff, you can email email@example.com.
Please note that given the limited number of hours that remote learning will involve, Two Rivers is not loaning laptops to homes where there is already access to a device, even if that device will be shared by multiple family members.
FOOD We are grateful for the donations of the Two Rivers community, which helped to make it possible to send groceries home with nearly fifty families who rely on school meals. Thank you! Starting Monday, free meals will be available at select DCPS schools to any child in the District under the age of 18, Monday - Friday from 10am-2pm. Feeding sites are listed here: https://dcps.dc.gov/coronavirus. Continue to check back as new sites may be added.
We understand what a stressful time this is for students, families, and staff. For updates on school closure, please rely on School Messenger. Follow us on Two Rivers' social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter with the handle @tworiverspcs) for tips on remote learning.
Please let us know if there is additional information that would be helpful to have. As always, we are open to your questions and suggestions. We are crew, not passengers!
Aurora Steinle, Chief of Staff
Gail Williams, Director of Operations
Jeff Heyck-Williams, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Jessica Wodatch, Executive Director
Kenneth McCants-Pearsall, Chief Academic Officer
Khizer Husain, Director of External Relations