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Two Rivers Public Charter School, an EL Education Mentor and Credentialed School, Receives $200,000 Grant

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    Alexis Margolin

Two Rivers Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. has big news! See the press release below, and for more information about Two Rivers Public Charter School, visit

WASHINGTON, D.C., - Two Rivers Public Charter School has received a $202,500 Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) to build short, formative assessments to test students’ transference of deeper learning skills.

Deeper Learning skills - critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, and character - are vital to the education model of Two Rivers. The school’s mission lies at the center of their learning model where social-emotional learning is weighted equally with the importance of academic rigor. The school’s mission, to nurture a diverse group of students to become lifelong, active participants in their own education, develop a sense of self and community, and become responsible and compassionate members of society, heavily influenced the direction and desired outcomes of the grant.

“To be successful you need academic rigor. In addition, you need two sets of social skills: interpersonal skills of collaboration and teamwork, and the intrapersonal skills of perseverance and grit,” said Jeff Heyck-Williams, Two Rivers Director of Curriculum and Instruction and co-founder of the school. “With the ALP grant, we will test deeper learning mastery through hour-long, formative assessments that are not tied to any specific subject area or interdisciplinary study. Through the transfer of concepts and skills (measured through evaluation rubrics), we can gauge mastery for each grade level. Through formative assessments, staff has a source of rich, never-before available data to inform classroom instruction.”

Intended to be widely available for all educators, the Two Rivers deeper learning assessment rubrics and tasks will be hosted on, a platform created to expose educators to Two Rivers’ freshest thinking on deeper learning outcomes and instructional practices.

The Assessment for Learning Project grant was awarded to only 12 national educators and institutes this year to push the boundaries and reevaluate the way assessments can support student attainment of deeper learning. The William and Flora Hewlett and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations are funding partners for the NGLC grant.

“While we know a lot about how students are performing against standards, there is a startling lack of assessments available that assess a student’s ability to solve problems and think critically. These domains are crucial to student success, but they are rarely measured because assessments aren’t out there,” said Jessica Wodatch, Executive Director of Two Rivers, parent, and co-founder. “Two Rivers is excited to help solve this problem, and to be among the small cohort of innovators breaking ground in deeper learning assessments. We look forward to sharing the work with other educators, and to providing students with the data they need to be active participants in their own learning.”