School Office Phone: 970.384.5200

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

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Charter School Facts and  Interesting Infographics about charter schools from the Colorado League of Charter Schools

 

What Mathematics Curriculum Will Be Used?

300-two-rivers-0057We use Saxon Math as the foundation for our K-8 curriculum but supplement it with additional resources from the National Math and Science Initiative. Students in grades 6-8 focus much of their mathematical studies on pre-Algebra and Algebra in preparation for high school coursework. Math is taught during a dedicated math time each day (60 minutes in grades K-5 and 90 minutes in grades 6-7) and integrated into Place-Based projects to support the conceptual understanding and application of critical mathematical ideas. Saxon’s approach breaks complex concepts into smaller steps that are easier to learn and incrementally move up the continuum across the proficiency levels. It also allows students to gain and retain critical thinking concepts and use them in real-world situations. This integrated and connected approach provides deep, long-term mastery of the content and skills called for in the Common Core State Standards. Math will be taught in both a whole group setting and using flexible ability groupings. IXL, a computerized math skill practice program that covers every concept in Pre-K through Geometry, will serve as a practice tool for students and an additional common assessment tool for teachers. It provides easy differentiated instruction and computerized math practice, which is helpful for students taking STAR math tests online.

How will Literacy be Taught?

Using prioritized Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) as the infrastructure for literacy instruction, teachers will use a Balanced Literacy Approach for a minimum of 90 minutes each day.

300-fall-colors-0058In a balanced approach to literacy instruction, teachers integrate instruction with authentic reading and writing experiences so that students learn how to use literacy strategies and skills and have opportunities to apply what they are learning. The components of a balanced approach we will use are: sustained reading of text matched to the level of the student, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension strategies, oral language, writing and spelling. Where possible, the literacy block will be linked to social studies, humanities and science standards studied during integrated learning blocks.

In addition to strategic whole group instruction provided by the teacher for limited periods each day, students also rotate to the teacher for small group instruction based on levels and needs while the rest of class works on one or more of the other components in small groups or individually. Students who may struggle with grade level skills will receive Leveled Literacy Instruction (LLI) guided reading from Fountas and Pinnell. Teachers will work in teams to differentiate instruction for students.

Educational program resources used to support instruction/ assessment include Harvey and Goudvis’ Comprehension Tool Kits, Regie Routman’s Reading/Writing Connection, 6+1 Traits Writing Model of Instruction and Assessment, and Sundance leveled readers and content texts.

In the upper grades, 5-7, a list of high quality literature will be provided by August 1st. The list will feature a variety of genres that students will read over the course of the year.

The interim assessments we use to gauge student progress such as NWEA, grades 4-8, and STAR, grades K-3 ( required for the READ Act), will be used to monitor progress and create student groups which are fluid and based on student needs.

Describe the Spanish Literacy Element of the Curriculum?

300-glenwood-springs-0402An important goal of Two Rivers Community School is to produce students who will be bilingual, biliterate, and well-adapted citizens of the world. Students in grades K/1 will be the first cohorts who will be immersed in both languages for full biliteracy in English and Spanish. For the rest of the students in cohorts 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, Spanish as a second language will be instructed everyday with the time-at task varying depending on the age and skills level of the students. Students will use Spanish for authentic work in their projects and for authentic Spanish speaking audiences. The goals are two-fold: 1) Students who attend TRCS for at least four years, and who didn’t participate in the immersion program, will be able to pass the WIDA exam at least at level 3 of the 6 levels of proficiency by the end of 8th grade, 2) Students who participate from the beginning in the immersion program (only cohorts K/1) will be able to pass the WIDA exam at lest at level 5 of the 6 levels of proficiency in Spanish by the time they move onto the high school. Both cohorts will access both Advanced Placement Spanish classes in high school for college credit. All students will present their learning using Spanish language for Place-based Projects to an authentic audience in Spanish.

TRCS will adhere to the following premises from the Colorado Academic Standards for World Languages.

“Knowing how, when, and why to say what to whom.”

300-group-activity-9370In the 21st century society, the study of more than one language is not only absolutely essential to the core curriculum, but also imperative to the economic growth and continued prosperity of the United States. Language and communication are essential to the human experience. “Knowing how, when, and why to say what to whom” are the words that encompass all the linguistic and social knowledge required for effective human-to-human interaction. Students must be linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in our multilingual, multicultural world. It is vital for students to develop and maintain proficiency in English and in at least one other language. Students from non-English speaking backgrounds must also have opportunities to develop proficiency in their first language.

TRCS will strengthen the bridges between the two languages by providing instruction in English literacy for all grade levels and immersing students in Spanish through full lessons taught in Spanish. These lessons will not be repeated in either language to provide for authentic use the language, hence students will be taught vocabulary and concepts in the student’s second language (L2). The first language of the students (L1) will be developed throughout their entire career at TRCS if their L1 is English or Spanish.

We will also use a balanced approach to literacy instruction in Spanish and apply what they learn in Spanish to their work. Some materials for Spanish literacy have already been selected, but others will be identified once the staff is hired to accommodate for their preferences.

What is the Average Class Size?

• For Kinder and First grade, the range will be 15-21 during the first three years.

• For Second and Third grade the range will be 23.

• For grades Four through Seven the range will be 22-25.

Will my Student get their Needs met in a Multiage Class?

There will be two teachers teaching each combo class (K/1, 2/3, 4/5, 6, 7/8).

300-diversity-151703984Students will be pre-assessed before school starts and flexible groups for both reading and math will be assembled by teams of teachers working together. If there are a handful of other students that demonstrate the same level of skill and ability as your child in their classroom, a group will be formed within that classroom. If they are far along on the continuum of skills and need to placed in a different class teaching that level of skill for literacy or math periods, then they will go there during that period.

During integrated learning blocks, students will not work in leveled groups. They will read, write and study the same content areas linked to Place-based Projects. Assessments of learning will primarily be done through rubrics that show levels of performance in multiple areas including: oral presentation, fine arts, writing, critical thinking, research etc. Students will provide and receive feedback on culminating projects from a panel of observers to include: parents, peers, and community members.

 

What Specials will You Have?

300-rafting-0354Movement (physical education, outdoor education/exploration) will be prioritized. Most outdoor education/exploration will be linked to Place-based Projects, challenge, and/or team-building.

• Spanish instruction will be provided daily.

  • Art Fridays is offered through the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts and it is offered every Friday from 2:00 to 5:15PM.

• At this time, music and art will not occur daily. TRCS plans to hire a specialist in music on a short term contract to organize a winter performance for the school. TRCS also plans to hire an artist on a short term contract to help the upper grades (4-8) create an artistic representation of their learning for at least one Place-based Project. In future years, we can look at hiring these specials teachers on a more permanent basis. There is a group of parents, however, who are interested in offering band after school. For more information, please contact Abby Hollenbaugh at abby.hollenbaugh@tworiverscs.org

Will Preschool be Offered?

TRCS will not be offering preschool this first year. We don’t have the space. Our hope is that TRCS will offer preschool in the future.

What Tests do You Use?

Under the Place-based Project model, authentic assessments of learning (demonstrations) are essential. The ability to communicate what has been learned by writing and speaking about it are included in the expectations. We use rubrics to determine the level of proficiency with these tasks.

300-cold-desert-0016We use iReady: http://www.curriculumassociates.com/default.aspx  for interim assessments and independent student practice. Every student has a subscription and it’s highly recommended for students during the weekend to reinforce math and language arts skills.

PARCC is the new test required by the State of Colorado to measure reading and writing levels, and CMAS is for science and social studies. These tests are required for any school receiving public dollars. They are summative assessments administered in the Spring.

Because of the READ Act, we are also required to provide a standardized literacy assessment for students in grades K-3. We will decide which of the assessments that the State requires we will select by mid June.

What are the Services for Gifted Students?

Differentiation is one primary service. Rebecca Ruland-Shanahan will coordinate services for gifted students in collaboration with classroom teachers. Extension and enrichment for these students should primarily occur under the umbrella of Place-based Projects. Contact Rebecca with questions.

rebecca.ruland@tworiverscommunityschool.org

What About Uniforms?

300-indian-dress-9302There are many pros and cons about wearing uniforms to school. For some it is a big deal, for others it is not. We will study this option in year one. If enough interest is there, we will let the kids vote on the uniform they like best. We want kids to be involved in this discussion. Stay tuned.

What About Transportation?

Please click on the links below to access transportation information.

Bus Registration and Behavior Agreement

Bus Routes

 

What About Food Services?

We are looking for ways to provide lunch services this year, and will have more information at the next community meeting on July 30th.

Will there be After School Care?

Yes, we will offer an after school program for students at the school. Information during the back to school BBQ on August 17th at 5:30PM.

What are the Hours of Operation?

Schools starts at 8:00 and ends at 3:15PM

How do we Determine Placement for Literacy and Math Levels?

Placement for Literacy and Math will be determined based on pre-tests given to students. A student can change placement more than once during the year.

Will Students go Outside for Recess? Are there Green Areas for them to Play?

Yes, we intend to take students outside everyday. There is a park next to the school where many children will go play and exercise during breaks.

Is there Tuition?

No, charter schools are free, public schools.

Is Parent Involvement a Requirement?

300-circle-of-hands-0277Parent involvement is a requirement, and it is strongly encouraged. We request parents volunteer for a minimum of eight hours each year. There are many opportunities to volunteer. Parents can be involved in more than one way in our school, and in their child’s education. We establish contact and frequent communication with every parent. We have parent meetings, and other events throughout the year intended to establish parent communication and involvement. Parents are partners with us in their child’s education. For working parents who have more than one job, alternative ways to participate can be arranged. EVERY PARENT MUST VOLUNTEER AND BE ENGAGED IN OUR SCHOOL.

What About Fundraising?

To successfully launch the school with all our plans and goals, we need you! We invite you to lead and inspire others by making a financial contribution to the school. Please support an educational experience that helps transform these young students into leaders of the future and strong members of our community! Adriana Ayala-Hire will lead this fundraising Launching the Future campaign and she can be reached at Adriana.Hire@tworiverscs.org

In March, the School was awarded the Colorado Department of Education’s 2013-2014 Start-Up Grant through the Colorado Charter Schools Program. This award qualifies the school to receive a total of $589,500 over the next two years. This money along with a $230,000 award from the Charter School Development Corporation and a grant from the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District grant ensuring a strong beginning for this unique and innovative school.

How can I Make a Contribution to Ensure the Successful Launch of this School?

Thank you for asking! Donate Now!

TRCS has a Tier 1 Goal to raise $30,000 from school families and the community by Dec 31, 2014

TRCS would like to achieve 100% participation in whatever donation amount families can give so that the school can successfully apply for certain grants and other funding.

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Contact TRCS

Mailing Address:
    Post Office Box 188
    Glenwood Springs, CO 81602
Physical Address:
    195 Center Drive  (Map to School)
    Glenwood Springs, CO  81601
Phone:  970.384.5200
Email:  info@TwoRiversCS.org