My daughters attended school here last year and we plan on attending all the way to 8th grade. We are a military family and this was their 4th school in 5 years. The staff and parents were welcoming in a way that far exceeded our expectations. I couldn't be happier with the challenging learning environment and how my daughters are thriving at this school!
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 .