Mastery of Knowledge and Skills

As an EL Education school, Two Rivers draws on a definition of mastery of knowledge and skills that goes beyond a foundation in basic skills.

Students should:

  • Demonstrate proficiency and deeper understanding: show mastery in a body of knowledge and skills within each discipline
  • Apply their learning: transfer knowledge and skills to novel, meaningful tasks
  • Think critically: analyze, evaluate, and synthesize complex ideas and consider multiple perspectives
  • Communicate clearly: write, speak, and present ideas effectively in a variety of media within and across disciplines
What This Means at Two Rivers

At Two Rivers, our approach to education is rooted in project-based instruction that emphasizes ways of thinking and being that ensure every student is prepared to be a successful member of our global society. We explicitly teach and assess critical thinking and problem solving; character; and collaboration and communication.

For students, this means digging into learning expeditions, ten- to twelve-week in-depth projects built around a complex and open-ended question. Across the curriculum, we integrate arts experiences as a way to understand content in different ways. In math, students grapple with problem-based tasks that require them to apply their knowledge and skills in new contexts.

Our Results

While the ways students demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills go beyond testing, state assessments provide a helpful indicator of whether our students have reached grade-level standards in English language arts (ELA) and math.

At Two Rivers, our diverse student population continues to exceed state achievement levels in English language arts and math by at least 10 percentage points on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Students’ overall proficiency over time, disaggregated groups’ proficiencies over time, and the Class of 2021 proficiency over time have all demonstrated higher achievement than their peers in other schools in Washington, DC. In addition, our 8th Grade Algebra I students also demonstrate higher levels of proficiency in comparison to both their peers but also high school Algebra I students. This achievement has been supported by the work of our teachers in annual orientations, cycles of professional development throughout the year, and coaching in which we have focused on thinking routines and management in the active classroom.