Two Rivers Community School Turns 10 Years Old, Moving Forward With Two Rivers Model

Published Friday, September 11, 2015 at 10:41 am

This year, Two Rivers Community School turns 10 years old. Throughout the last decade the school has taught hundreds of High Country students preparing them for the high school and life beyond. Two Rivers is a K-8, public charter school located in Boone.

As we look toward Two Rivers’ second decade, we are excited to refine the unique Two Rivers approach to teaching and learning. After 10 years of maturing as a school, we have identified and developed programs that are uniquely Two Rivers.

This year we are formally implementing the Two Rivers Model and will no longer be connected to the Expeditionary Learning (EL) organization. Last school year we debated continuing our affiliation with EL. EL provides guidelines but is not a curriculum, so Two Rivers has always used a variety of programs and approaches such as differentiated instruction, guided reading, Buffalo Cove, Brain Gym, and Adventure Fitness to fill the gaps in EL.

After much discussion with our faculty, staff and Board, it was decided that while the benefits of a formal affiliation with EL do not justify the $45,000 yearly cost, Two Rivers will continue to follow the EL design principals and take advantage of training and materials that make sense to use at Two Rivers.

While we have always used many components of the EL Framework—and will continue doing that into the future—our teachers have always used a very eclectic approach to teaching to the needs of the whole child, which is far broader than EL. One of the core components of EL is Learning Expeditions, and they will continue to be a key component of the Two Rivers Model. Each grade level will have two learning expeditions each year: one based on a science topic and another based on a social studies topic.

In addition to activities and approaches from EL, Two Rivers will continue to provide students with learning opportunities that are unique to Two Rivers, such as Buffalo Cove, SPARK, Adventure Fitness, and integrating Art & Music into the regular curriculum.

Over the past year, we have worked to strengthen several components of the Two Rivers Model. This year we will implementing our efforts to connect with and involve parents, provide more academic feedback to students, teaching & practicing empathy, and fostering classroom partnerships.

We have a major effort underway to more tightly align eighth grade graduation expectations (Passage Portfolio) with Student Led Conferences and Report Cards. This revision should be presented to the Two Rivers Community in the spring. Two additional changes you will notice this year are a move to a trimester system and daily student schedules that provide an uninterrupted academic block in the morning for most grade levels.

As we celebrate moving into our next 10 years as a school, you will continue to see all of the programs that make Two Rivers a unique educational experience:

Learning Expeditions, Outdoor Education, Buffalo Cove, Project Based Learning, Teaching to the needs of the Whole Child, Service to the Community, Making a Positive Change, Brain Gym/Mindfulness, Adventure Fitness, Art, Outside the school learning experiences, 8th Grade Passage Portfolio ,Student Led Conferences , and SPARK.

If you would like more information, please contact Ryan Robinson at 828-262-5411 or email at [email protected]

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