Dear Two Rivers Families,
As we approach the start of our final quarter of this school year (Q4), I’m glad to share that we will reach our goal of serving 20% of our students on site this quarter. Additionally, with more of our staff receiving vaccination appointments each week and anticipated changes to health and safety guidelines, we feel confident that we will be able to reach or exceed our goal of serving more than 30% of students onsite by the end of this school year.
In crafting onsite opportunities for Q4, we grounded in our Design Principles. Specifically Health and Safety, Equity and Access, Continuity of Learning, and Connection, Joy, and Hope. Currently, our in-person opportunities for students in Q4 include the following (see this table for more detail):
- At 4th St. Elementary School, six new onsite pilot options reflect the varying needs of our school community and staff. They include a new preschool (PS3) class and range from weekly targeted intervention time to opportunities for connection and support four days per week to regular outdoor crew and expedition time.
- At Young Elementary School, the team focused on options for our youngest learners and on supporting social and emotional learning. Young is launching a new Outdoor Crew option in early April to reinforce communication, collaboration, and Scholarly Habits. Additionally, Young has identified our first full grade level team prepared to come on site to provide deeper academic support, including specialized instruction.
- At Middle School, current cohort restrictions prevent students from mixing across teachers and classes. New opportunities in Q4 at the middle school ensure we do not disrupt schedules and further expand Learning Hubs. The Middle School is additionally focused on building crew through conditioning days for sports teams and Wednesday crew meetings on site.
Based on family feedback and academic data, all of our schools will be focused on increasing onsite specialized instruction with special educators, with the goal of offering every student receiving special education services an opportunity for onsite instruction this quarter, and generally maximizing the provision of related services on site, whether with our staff or contracted support.
As we shared at the Town Hall, families can expect to hear from their crew leader or special education teacher directly if their child is eligible to participate in a new, onsite pilot. We anticipate more activities will become available as vaccination continues to increase and social distancing guidance is updated. We will update TR families prior to Spring Break.
Over summer, we plan to further increase onsite instructional options for students and serve more students over summer compared with past years. By the start of School Year 2021-22, we will offer in-person, live instruction onsite with our teachers to all interested families, while maintaining a remote option for those who cannot come back in-person.
Finally, as you may be aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance today that reduces the recommended space between students to 3 feet of distance (instead of 6 feet). Requiring less distance between students means we can serve more students on site, which is very exciting! At this time, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) and DC Health have not reflected this change in their own guidance, which all public schools in D.C. must follow. However, we anticipate those and other changes are forthcoming and are preparing to quickly expand as a result when able.
Please reach out to me or my team with any questions or attend your school’s upcoming family listening session. Your questions about Q4 are best answered by our school or network leadership team. We kindly ask that you not direct your questions about our Q4 plans to your teacher directly – if they are leading a new opportunity, you will be hearing from them! We look forward to welcoming as many families back on site as we can soon!