Two Rivers Blog

Update for Families on 4th Quarter
Posted by Chloe
February 26, 2021

Dear Two Rivers Families,

We are in the process of finalizing our plans for the fourth quarter of this school year. As we make our plans, we are committed to: 1) ensuring that we are on a path to offer all interested families an onsite option in the fall; 2) meeting the current needs of our students; and 3) sustaining and protecting the success and strength of our remote learning option.  

We are excited to share that based on our current progress and fourth quarter plans, by next fall we plan to provide all interested families with an in-person instructional option. We look forward to sharing a comprehensive Fall 2021 Reentry Plan for Two Rivers later this Spring. Right now, we are in the process of designing our path to create this future based on what we believe and what we know, and we are seeking your input

We continue leaning into the design principles developed with Two Rivers staff and families at the outset of this pandemic, which affirm our commitment to:

  • Health and Safety  
  • Equity and Access 
  • Empowering Families
  • Connection, Joy, and Hope
  • Continuity of Learning

Therefore, in our fourth quarter of this year, we are planning to make the following progress:

  • Expanding Learning Hubs to Increase Access to Onsite Learning
    • We will increase access to onsite learning by more than tripling our current Learning Hub capacity by the end of March, from 27 students at Young ES to 93 students (10%) across locations in each of our three schools. 
    • We will expand our eligibility criteria for Learning Hubs to include students who need social and emotional wellness, in addition to academic success, and add spaces for prekindergarten (PK4) students and students of essential workers.  
  • Connecting Learning Hubs with Onsite Instruction to Support Equity
    • We will increase equity by connecting students in Learning Hubs with their special education teachers, support service providers, and counselors onsite through 1:1 and small group activities during the school day.  
  • Growing Instructional Pilots to Support Continuity of Learning
    • We will support continuity of learning by offering new, regular onsite learning opportunities led by students’ current crew teachers.
    • In the next few weeks, we will invite an additional 5-10% of Two Rivers students to participate in onsite instructional pilots via outreach from their students’ crew leaders. Stay tuned for more details!
  • Adding New Enrichment Opportunities to Increase Joy & Connection
    • We will increase joy and connection by piloting enrichment activities ranging from onsite outdoor expeditions to sports practice to weekly outdoor crew. Your survey input will help shape these activities.
  • Supporting Staff Vaccination & Onsite Work to Increase Health & Safety
    • We will increase staff safety by launching a suite of onsite supports for our team next week, including new professional development and benefits opportunities.
    • Though the District has conditioned educators’ vaccine eligibility on their willingness to work onsite before being fully vaccinated, we are working with our staff to address this barrier, and joining advocates to seek a more supportive policy for teachers so that teachers feel safe before they return onsite.
    • You may also notice more Two Rivers teachers working from our buildings as we pilot Swivel technology and prepare staff for working onsite with students. 
  • Convening a Parent & Family COVID-19 Advisory Task Force to Empower Families
    • We will empower our families by regularly convening an advisory task force as we plan for summer and next year. The TR Parent & Family COVID-19 Advisory Task Force’s overarching goal is to ensure that Two Rivers continues to address our families’ needs, position families as collaborators providing input on our next steps, and leverage the expertise of our community as we plan for re-opening. If you are interested in participating in the taskforce, you can sign up here
  • Communicating a Fall 2021 Reentry Plan to Increase Equity & Empower Families
    • We will work to give all Two Rivers families access to information about health and safety conditions and the academic program and choices they can anticipate as they prepare for next school year with their student(s).

As we move from decisionmaking about “whether it is safe to return” to “how to return onsite in a way that reflects our families’ diverse interests,” we need your help! Here’s what you can do to make this shift successful:

  1. Take this short five question survey (one survey per household). 
  2. Look for our outreach! We have learned from other onsite offerings this year that many families need time before committing to onsite opportunities, so please watch for invitations to sign up when our team reaches out. Additionally:

a.) If you are an essential worker currently or imminently required to work outside of your home, please indicate your interest in a Learning Hub seat here (if you have not previously completed this form). Seats are being offered on a rolling basis starting mid-next week.

b.) If you are a family interested in sharing your experience and voice, join 20+ other Two Rivers families and sign up to participate in our Parent & Family COVID-19 Advisory Task Force so we can convene a task force as diverse as our community. 

We know that despite this difficult and unusual year of remote learning, our students are learning and the vast majority of students, across demographic groups, continue to meet their growth goals. We are incredibly proud of the ways that our families, staff, and students have poured their energy into learning under very difficult circumstances.

We also know that even in light of this encouraging progress, the Two Rivers model and way is best delivered when we are onsite together. To accomplish our mission and goal for all Two Rivers students, it’s critical that we continue strengthening and deepening our academic program in our classrooms.

Finally, we know that our public health outlook is changing and, while the future remains difficult to predict, we have access to important new resources and information.

  • Case rates are declining precipitously, and updated CDC guidance indicates that reopening elementary schools can be done safely with proper precautions (including abiding by social distancing guidelines), even with current levels of community spread.  
  • Access to COVID-19 vaccines is increasing, and we expect all school staff to have access to a vaccine soon. Based on our recent staff survey, we know that vaccination is critical to our teachers’ perceived safety in the building, and vaccine availability should alleviate this.

While we have sought valued family feedback throughout planning this year, we are excited for the ways that planning for next year will open up new opportunities for deeper and more dynamic engagement with our families. We look forward to sharing more details about Q4 in the coming weeks and to sharing a comprehensive Fall 2021 Reentry Plan for Two Rivers soon.   

With gratitude for your support and optimism about our path ahead,

Dr. Kristina