Two Rivers Blog

School Year 2020-21 Start Date & ReOpenDC Update
Posted by Chloe
May 22, 2020

Dear Two Rivers Families,

We hope this letter finds you and your family well. As this school year comes to a close, we want to

again share the latest planning and thinking with you. We heard from you that regular updates are

helpful, even as planning for school during this pandemic continues to be a work in progress.

Earlier today, Mayor Bowser announced that DCPS will return to school on August 31, 2020. That date

aligns with our own planning for next year and we are glad to be able to support the City’s interest in

schools reopening together by adopting the same first day—the first, official day of learning for Two

Rivers schools next year will be Monday, August 31, 2020.

While setting a first day of learning for school next year is an important planning step, we are still

working through important questions about how staff and students may use August to prepare for the

transition back to school, and what the mix of in-person and remote learning will be on August 31 and

beyond. We will be seeking additional feedback and health guidance before making those decisions, but

please know that the health and safety of our students, families, and staff will be our priority as

we plan for re-opening.

The City has committed to surveying families citywide about the school schedules and reopening plans

that would work best for them. The City will then share the data from Two Rivers families with us to

inform our planning. We will send out a link to the survey as soon as we have it, and ask that you please

respond! We want to ensure that your needs are included as the City–and Two Rivers–planning.

Finally, earlier this week the Mayor shared new recommendations (including a subcommittee report on

education) from the ReOpen DC Advisory Group about plans for re-opening DC—and it’s a lot to

digest. While these recommendations are not final guidance, they give us some clear indications of what

we can expect this fall:

● Health data and guidance will continue to set the ground rules for re-opening (how soon and

under what conditions).

● Recommended health guidelines will significantly reduce the number of students and staff who

can safely be onsite during the initial stages of school re-opening.

● There is a strong likelihood that we will need to operate a hybrid model—delivering instruction

partially remotely and partially in-person for some period of time.

● The City anticipates a phased return for students and staff, where smaller groups of students

may return first, followed by all students returning on a staggered schedule to accommodate

social distancing requirements.

While we feel fortunate to be in a city that will be planning for re-opening based on science and data,

we also understand that this new information may be disheartening as it makes clear that next year will

not be a return to normal. Your school principal and Two Rivers leadership team will continue to check

in with you as we all experience these changes together. In the meantime, please reach out to your

principal or any of us with your questions or concerns.

We wish you a restful long weekend!

With gratitude,

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