My daughter attended TR from preK through 5th grade (with 2011 being her last year) and we loved the community there. This school has a real family feeling and I am so glad my child was able to have such a nurturing, supportive elementary school experience. She has moved on to another DC charter middle/high school and I am happy to say so many of the 90's club there (students attaining an average of 90% or more per grading period) are TR alumn!
I am a parent of two TR students who have been in PreSchool (one), PreK (both), K (One), and 1st (One). For Me, the school has been good. After/Before care is contracted out, and quality may vary. (They are changing providers for the 2012-2013 year.) I suspect that parental involvement with the children (eg: reading at home & challenging the kids) is a functional requirement. The school tries to keep the kids with the same teachers for two years at a time (at least at this level). The continuity works out well, with kids knowing who they are with & keeping freinds. As an "Expeditionary Learning" program, the class projects vary. (And are supposed to be "secret" from the parents.) My older child is doing quite well, and tends to either help kids doing "less well" - or reading. My younger child was doing less well, but has come up to grade level in the last year. (It's young, it's fine.) You (The parent) will have to assist with reading & math at home. The school can't do it alone. If you are willing to do that, your kids will probably do well in the school. I just wish they would schedule parent meetings when I can go.
TR is a very forward thinking, creative school where it is a school-wide goal to develop children who can think for themselves and hold themselves accountable. They nurture community. I came from a private school myself and could not be more impressed with TR's curriculum. My child is learning how to take academic risks, ask intelligent questions, and prepare for a lifelong, self-guided quest for knowledge.
I've heard only great things about Two Rivers Charter School. Please, if you are not happy then leave so that some of us that have been on a wait list for years can get our kids registered in Two Rivers. My neighbor's kid reads and writes above his age level and he's also being taught Spanish and it's amazing how he's speaking it.
We have two children at Two Rivers and have been very happy with their progress. They are excelling and they love school. What more could we ask, especially in DC where it is challenging to find a great school with faculty and staff who care so much. We have been very impressed by the responsiveness of the leadership and the expeditionary model. Plus, the emphasis on the arts is great. We wish that TR had more greenspace/playspace but overall we are thrilled with the school.
My child attended the school for the 5th grade. His teachers were informed that he ADHD at the start of the school year but no interventions or supports were put in place for him until 1 week before the end of the year. His teacher obviously resented having him in her class and his grades and self esteem suffered tremendously. The school is like a club and if your child didn't attend from Pre-K the teachers and principal have very little investment in their success. Thankfully my son got into KIPP WILL where he will have to repeat 5th grade in order to repair the damage suffered at Two Rivers PCS.
For those who are confused by the contradictory statements regarding TR, you should understand its culture. This is a very cliquish place. Those families that are "IN" seem to be happy as can be and are entrnenched with the administration, which does nothing to garner parent involvement (and even discourages it). For those who hold low expectations due to their experience with other DC schools, its adequate. Especially in lower grades. for those who want a real school and real learning...GO ELSEWHERE. Its a twinkie...it looks tastey and inviting and may feel goof, but with very little real substance nor nutritional value.
I loved TR until grade 3/4. TR puts heavy emphasis on standardized tests. Once my child was identified as having low test scores, we were asked to meet with her teacher and other staff. At those meetings, the teacher defended herself by attacking my daughter who is a hardworking, highly engaged student! There was no reading and math specialists, so the teachers were on their own to work with my child to help her improve. This consumes precious resources and causes resentment from the parents of the students who are testing well. I believe that due to limited resources teachers recommend a lot of students for cognitive testing. Many are AA. We left Two Rivers and my daughter is EXCELLING at a her new school. She gets glowing remarks each quarter from her current teachers. We could NOT be HAPPIER that we got her out of TR when we did! If you are having a poor experience get out and move on! There are better schools in the city. Washington Latin and KIPP come to mind as better performing schools .
We have two children who have attended Two Rivers and, in ten years, have never had a teacher who wasn't fantastic. Our academically advanced child was consistently pushed to excel, loved school, and thrived in this supportive environment. The same is true of our second child, who has a very different learning style but has also had a series of fantastic teachers.
I think this is one of the most racially divided schools I have come across in my life! The African American teachers are leaving in droves and no one seems to care. They have no compassion and the teachers are as personalable asdoor knobs. I am so sorry that i put my kids through this.... not an African American freindly school at all....
I had high expectations for Two Rivers. The staff and teachers have a great deal of patience and "room" for student's emotional needs. The new buildings are beautiful. Many of the teachers are high quality and enthusiastic. However, the teacher quality varies greatly and the curriculum is not standardized. Great enthusiastic teachers come into the school and leave complaining of lack of support. There is no PTA and interaction among parents is not encouraged. There is no library. Test scores have been very low consequently the emphasis has been on teaching to the DC-CAS with disastrous results. The "Expeditions" change from year to year and teacher to teacher. Because of this, quality varies, and from my experience, never comes close to the potential. This is not a good school for above average or gifted students but probably one of the better public schools in DC for students needing emotional support.
Two Rivers is the perfect home away from home for students. The environment is wholesome and diverse. If parents are looking for academically inclined individuals who practically co-parent students you've found the right place. The sites (there's a middle school too) are clean and aestetic. The cirriculum is stimulating and provocative for young minds. The expeditionary learning methodology is an unexpected treat. The staff is not affraid to take the children out; something more characteristic of a private or home school setting. Everybody does their best to bring their A game every day. The Wednesday Morning Community meeeting is a delight. There's nothing like a big circle to let you know you are in the right place. They ROCK!
This is a great school with a wonderful community. The programatic choices of Responsive Classroom and Expeditionary Learning make it a dynamic environment for learning.
It's an excellent school. Deeply committed teachers, engaged administrators and enthusiastic parents - a real community 'it takes a village' approach to our children. Thanks, JC
The school offers a great in environment in the lower grades. However, the teachers are inexperienced. The school administration from the top, has created a culture of blame. If your child has a problem and they are not able to address it, the staff are encouraged to blame your child, retain them or label them and then move on. None of the staff is experienced enough to know how to address special needs. The tutoring programs are all computer based. There is no reading specialist or a teaching professional on staff; everyone is on a learning curve. They rely heavily on testing, although they claim they don't and the follow NCLB to the strictest degree. Even if your child is doing well, if the test scores are a few points behind a retention letter s sent home and nothing is done to address what your child may need.
I am proud to say that Two Rivers has lived up to its reputation of being a fantastic charter school. There is a reason this school has such long wait-lists. My pre-K student has art, music, drama, cooking, Spanish, sign language, and PE. They go on field trips to local museums as part of their curriculum. In fact, the pre-K class at Two Rivers has more offered to it than many public schools in the outlying suburbs. The facilities are beautiful, teachers very caring, and the school leadership is committed. Two Rivers just opened a brand-new middle school building across from the elementary school which has a large gymnasium. All and all, I think this is a fantastic option for children, and recommend it without reservation.
The buildings are indeed fantastic and wonderfully bright, and the expeditionary learning that goes on promotes deep understanding of a social studies or science topic. The arts programming: drama, music, and visual arts are also outstanding in an era when school budgets are being slashed and non-essentials are being cut out. However, at about grade 3/4, you can start to see where Two Rivers lags behind great schools. They seem more interested in keeping the average students churning along, while not offering much for children who are brighter and eager for challenges. There are bullying problems that go unresolved, and if you bring up an issue to the administration, they don't do a good job of really trying to help you. There needs to be a forum for parents to communicate en masse with each other to solve problems at the school. Two River's got great promise, but lacks substance.
My children's experiences so far in the lower grades has been excellent. They are performing at above grade-level in several areas and their teachers have been willing to find ways to keep them challenged and engaged. I do think that the school continues to evolve, and is especially working hard to improve testing performance. But I'm am very glad that 'teaching to the test' is not the schools approach. Two Rivers is on track to be a five star school. While there are activities I wished the school had as extra's (especially afterschool) I have no regrets about moving my kids to this Charter!
Tr has two nice buildings, though without gyms or libraries. But shiny buildings do not make a great school. The reality is the quality of education is below average. Every year, the teachers in my kids classrooms were new; not just new to tr but new to teaching. Many teachers learn on the job and basic reading and math instruction lose valuable time to the teachers' own learning curves. We moved out of d.C. And learned the reading and math skills that met two rivers standards were a full grade behind the standards in our public new school system. My kids were unprepared for the grade they were entering, their skills considered par for beginning the grade that they had just completed at tr. Two rivers' definitions of success are low, many teaches are in over their heads, and the school s leadership isn t open to making changes for improvement.
I also agree with previous posts that the school is good in some areas and poor in others. The education my child received in the early years was adequate for a start up school. Where the school lacked most as time went on was in leadership. When we noticed our child had difficulty reading and writing, we were extremely disappointed with the school's response to our request for help. After a year of trying to get services for our child, we decided to leave and put our child in a school that would enable her to learn. Today we are very happy with our child's progress, and have no regrets as well.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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