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Mouth Time graphic

The Work Sampling System charts your child's progress in the following areas:

For Preschool Toddlers  (18 months - 2 years)  

Preschooll blocks

For Preschool (3 years) - Grade 3  

PS-G3 blocks

River’s Learning Model for the School Year 2020-21

We plan to start the 2020-2021 school year on campus in September and end in June, as scheduled. River is planning for a variety of scenarios for fall including:

  • On-Campus Education
  • Short-term and enhanced Distance Learning program (e.g., perhaps for a few weeks for a single clasroom, or for several students in a classroom)
  • Longer-term closure and full Distance Learning program (e.g., in the event of another city mandated closure)

If the city allows us to open, and if you enrolled your child in full-day Preschool or Elementary classes, your child should be able to attend the full day. We are also planning for two-morning, three-morning and five-morning Preschool classes to be on campus and in person. If you are not comfortable sending your child back to our campus when we reopen, due to health concerns, you can opt for Distance Learning at any age in any grade.

The new Distance Learning program will be based on faculty and parent feedback, as well as current best practices in early childhood education provided by the National Association of Independent Schools, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DC Department of Health and other groups. Our planning team and faculty will systematically and creatively find ways to deliver instruction.

BP Research project

Elements of Distance Learning content would include:

  • Thoughtful blend of age-appropriate live, some recorded and self-guided instruction, focusing on language, literacy, cognition, social studies, mathematics, scientific thinking and social development
    • Live Morning Meetings to start off each day
    • Small group instruction in math and literacy
    • Arts & Sciences age-specific classes
    • Links to videos and mini-lessons
  • Opportunities to maintain crucial connections between teaching teams and child, and among the students
  • Age-level learning benchmarks that parents can follow in tandem with teacher feedback
  • Consistent schedule, with Daily Notes, including multimedia approach (videos, theme-based materials, inquiry-based projects and hands-on activities)
  • Dedicated Regroup & Refresh Time each school week for parents and students to recharge, refocus and revisit some assignments if needed
  • Specific Virtual Office Hours for teaching teams to respond to parent inquiries
  • Continued emphasis on River’s programs, Mouth Time and Sound Spot, used to target early phonological awareness and literacy skills
  • River Learning Kits with manipulatives and consumables
  • Use of current learning platform technologies
  • Teaching teams will offer individual virtual check-ins to coach students and provide additional support as needed
  • Virtual field trips
  • Virtual social events to provide critical socialization and community building, e.g., Read Alouds with teaching assistants and Lunch Bunches
  • Parent education events with practical advice and professional wisdom on timely topics

Regardless of delivery format, The River School uses The Work Sampling System as the developmental framework for our curriculum to foster growth and follow each childrens progress. It is a dynamic approach to teaching and assessment intended both to inform and reflect best practices.

We utilize a thematic approach to engage children in the learning process. Themes provide a dynamic, child-centered and cohesive context for learning. They inspire vocabulary development, experimentation, problem solving, and the ability to make connections between different academic areas. Every assessment is guided by a set of values about learning and instruction, and how children should be treated in order to enhance their growth and development.

Health & Safety Protocols for Fall 

River will follow guidelines from the CDC, DC Department of Health and independent school association leadership.

  • Addition of a nurse to oversee health protocols and implementation
  • Daily student and staff temperature screening
  • Strict protocols for hand-washing and use of cloth masks (when appropriate)
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitization (e.g., electrostatic cleaning)
  • Increased frequency of disinfecting in shared areas (e.g., bathrooms, handrails, doorknobs)
  • Small class sizes to ensure greater social distancing
  • Restricted class mixing
  • More outside time (e.g., playground, PE, science, yoga)
  • Restriction of non-essential visitors and adults
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