Two Rivers Families,
At the start of School Year 2020-21, Two Rivers made the difficult decision to begin the year fully remote. Since then, we have focused on building a strong remote learning option for our students and prioritized the health and safety of our community and continuity of learning.
We are pleased to share that we are seeing strong signs of success:
- According to our attendance data, students’ daily engagement rates in our remote program remain high, hovering just below 100% across all three of our schools.
- According to data from our virtual learning platform, our students are consistently logging in and authentically engaging with new and challenging content — and every single Two Rivers student is meaningfully connecting with their teachers.
- According to recent family survey data, 87% of Two Rivers families currently feel “supported” or “very supported” by Two Rivers and more than three-quarters of families identified our teachers’ communication with them as a strength.
Based on local and national public health information and recent feedback from families and staff about their experience with our current program and preferences for onsite learning, Two Rivers will continue with remote instruction through the end of our second quarter on January 15, 2021. This decision reflects the reality that little has changed in our health context since August and again prioritizes the voice, health, and safety of our entire community, while minimizing disruption to our students’ education and allowing us to focus on providing a robust remote learning program for all of our students. Based on feedback from over 450 Two Rivers families responding to our survey, we know that for a majority of our families (63%), this news matches your current learning preference and reflects your own focus on safety.
While we will continue to deliver and strengthen a Two Rivers remote program that is accessible and engaging, our goal remains to implement a deliberate on-ramp to learning onsite that reflects the feedback of our community, with opportunities starting in early November. Our staff and family feedback identified several priority areas for enhancing our current academic programming by bringing students back on campus:
- Staff and families are concerned for our highest need students who need a more stable or structured learning environment than they currently can access;
- Families overwhelmingly expressed the need for increased social engagement for their students; and
- Families of our youngest learners, who have the least ability to learn independently, expressed a stronger desire for onsite instruction.
In partnership with families, we are working to meet the needs of our community through the targeted expansion of in-person opportunities in these areas. These opportunities require research, additional resources, extensive planning, and additional family collaboration and feedback. Already, we have made critical investments and completed the work needed to ready our buildings for onsite activities in accordance with current health and safety protocols. Our diligent preparation allowed us to offer all of our preschool (PS3) students the opportunity to meet their teachers safely onsite before the start of school using our outdoor space at the Young Campus. It has also enabled us to provide one-on-one, in-person activities for students in need of specific supports or services that cannot be provided remotely. Our onsite activities to date have all been implemented safely and successfully.
In our next steps, we will shape opportunities for learning and connection on-site in collaboration with our families and staff. We have already learned a great deal about in-person activities during COVID-19 from schools and daycares across the country and we have engaged with our own PSA, staff, and partners to do some initial planning. We have also heard from families and staff that understanding more about what an in-person experience will look like at Two Rivers is important to informing your perspective and decision-making moving forward. In the coming weeks, you will see us sharing more detailed protocols for onsite learning and asking for additional insights to build on the feedback you’ve already provided. Finally, we will be doing some targeted outreach to solidify interest in upcoming onsite opportunities.
We encourage you to join us on Wednesday, October 14th, from 6:30pm-7:30pm, for another virtual Family Town Hall. We look forward to sharing more information about our decision to remain remote and seeking your initial input on our current planning for onsite opportunities. In advance of the town hall, families can share questions with us at bit.ly/TRFamilyQsOct20. You can also visit me in “virtual office hours” to share your thoughts directly. Details for the town hall, including Zoom links, and information about visiting my virtual office hours can be found in this week’s edition of The Trib.
Like many of the events of this year, the weight that our families and staff are carrying right now is hard to put into words. We are so grateful for the partnership of our families through this moment and we cannot thank you enough for all that you are doing to support your children through this time. As we continue in this work with you to ensure your child is growing and thriving in the ways set out in our mission, please know that we are doing everything we can to protect your students’ development and provide a uniquely Two Rivers education during this pandemic.