April 10, 2020
Dear Two Rivers Families,
Next week's spring break would traditionally be a week for Two Rivers students and staff to take a
break from school by spending time with family, traveling, or engaging in additional enrichment
activities. We realize this year's break will be different, and likely falls at a time when many of you are
already feeling overwhelmed from balancing work, childcare, family health, financial stress, and more.
Our hope, and our advice to staff, is that the break will provide relief from school work and offer some
opportunity to recharge and tend to the many other things on your plate. As in the past, Two Rivers
staff and students will not be expected to work over spring break.
We're also using spring break as a checkpoint to think about how our students and families are doing
after nearly a month of distance learning. Since we first started, we've made adjustments to class
schedules, streamlined resources for classrooms and families online at
www.tworiverspcs.org/community/covid-19-closure , and implemented new security measures to
protect students while learning online. Please be sure to see our latest guidance and information about
Zoom and Go Guardian attached to this letter. To help us gather further family feedback, please
take five minutes to complete this survey at https://bit.ly/TRFamilyCheckin by Sunday, April
19th . We appreciate your input and will use the results to inform planning as we continue to navigate
While Mayor Bowser has not officially extended school closure, she has publicly acknowledged that we
will not go back to school on April 27th as originally anticipated. The mayor recently submitted
legislation to the D.C. Council that extends the public health emergency in the District until June 8th,
2020, but emphasized that it is still possible that schools will reopen in advance of that date. Her team
has committed to giving us at least two weeks of notice prior to reopening schools. While we await
further guidance, the Two Rivers leadership team is engaged in planning for several scenarios, ranging
from reopening in May to reopening next school year. We will keep our families updated as planning
In the meantime, we hope you are able to find some relief during spring break, and look forward to
resuming our distance learning with renewed energy on Monday, April 20th.
Aurora Steinle, Chief of Staff
Gail Williams, Director of Operations
Jeff Heyck-Williams, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Jessica K. Wodatch, Executive Director
Kenneth McCants-Pearsall, Chief Academic Officer
Khizer Husain, Director of External Relations
Guidance for Families on Distance Learning Safety & Security
Zoom & Go Guardian Teacher Update
What our schools are doing to manage behavior and protect safety while using Zoom for
We are addressing the concerns around the digital safety of Zoom by working closely with Zoom
representatives and applying security features to all meetings. Specifically, all of our Zoom links have an
embedded password. Moving forward, we are going to require students or family members to enter that
password before entering the Zoom meetings. Those passwords will be shared by your child's teacher.
In addition, we have implemented the use of Zoom waiting rooms. This allows the teacher to accept or
reject anyone trying to enter the meeting. Related to this, one helpful tactic is to change the name on
your Zoom settings to the student's name before entering a meeting so teachers are able to recognize
the students as they enter. Both of these measures help to ensure that people not invited to a Zoom
meeting are not able to get into the meeting. Finally, you'll find that in some cases teachers are disabling
the chat function and/or placing all students on mute where appropriate to support a safe and
productive use of group time.
We've also added a program called "Go Guardian Teacher." Go Guardian Teacher is a classroom
management tool that allows teachers to monitor online student activities during class. Teachers use
the tool to instruct class while students are online and to make sure students stay on task during class.
While logged in, Go Guardian also monitors student web searches and flags for the teacher any
inappropriate searches that are attempted.
What we need from families:
We need the partnership of our families to help reinforce digitally responsible behavior from students.
These unprecedented times serve as an opportunity to teach students the importance and skills of being
a digital citizen. Please additionally refer to your Two Rivers Student and Family Handbook regarding
the uses and consequences for abuses of technology.
To support the use of Go Guardian, we also need families to use Google Chrome and ensure students
log into their Two Rivers accounts. Families using personal machines should log in through Gmail.
Teacher monitoring only occurs through the student's email and will not continue to monitor other
uses of the device when the student is not logged in.
A note about recording Zoom calls...
We record our Zoom calls and make them available for other students that may not be able to sign on
to access the content of live lessons. If any family does not want their child video-recorded, they are
responsible for making sure their video is turned off during live Zoom lessons