COVID-19: Forward with Excellence

Dear Friends,

No doubt, you and your family are adapting routines due to the corona virus. We are adapting as well — this has been a year of new precedents for TRCA, but who would have thought we’d be working on a pandemic response this year?!? We are sharing our most recent family update with you, which we sent to current TRCA families yesterday and also included schedules and details, so that you are aware of our response and approach. We hope it will encourage you to pursue joyful excellence in coming weeks!

I believe this crisis is an opportunity for us to explore what makes Two Rivers Classical Academy unique as a classical, collaborative, Christian academy.


This is an opportunity for us to expand our understanding of classical education. The beauty of classical education is that it is more than a program, a model, or a technique. It is not limited to chanting history or learning Latin. Classical education calls us not just to learn but to love the good, the true, and the beautiful.

Much of our social life may be on hold, but truth and beauty are not. So let’s redeem our time and love beautiful things. 

Make art together in your family. Study that subject you only wished you had time for back when you had never heard of COVID-19. Laugh when you realize that TRCA Latin students are some of the only kids in Iowa who knew corona as Latin for “crown” before they knew it was a virus. Rejoice in God’s creation by spending time outside. Go for walks. Play catch. Pursue other formative activities like sewing and building. Use the space to spend time in reflection. Classical education is rich enough to adapt and grow its expressions for a few weeks.


When other schools began closing, I’m sure many of you thought what I thought—TRCA is positioned better than anyone else to move forward with excellence. Our model highlights collaboration between parents and teachers and already has many tools in place. Collaboration will change for at least a few academy days, but it will not stop.

Being human means being made for relationships, so let’s consider how we can creatively collaborate at this time. Brainstorm with me on how families can work together. For example, set up Google hangouts between kids. If you are comfortable with it, invite another family over for school. If another mom needs to get some work done, let her kids join your homeschool day. As far as it is allowed and you are healthy, spend time in community with one another. 

Last week I told a new family that a fourth word has come to describe our academy: community. A community is being formed at TRCA. Take a moment and thank God for new friendships and connections that you’ve made this year, and then thoughtfully consider how you can continue to build and care for relationships during this time.


We began our school year with a psalm and a hymn. During our Scripture time on every Wednesday, I taught our students that Psalms are songs that teach how to pray in any situation. There is no situation in life into which God does not speak or for which God has not given us the words to speak back to him. Our very first psalm was Psalm 46. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear!” Recite and pray this psalm as a family.

And our first hymn was Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress.” Remember the great first lines: 

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing

A helper amid the flood, of mortal ills prevailing. 

Isn’t that poetry beautiful? Yes, “Mortal ills” means sickness—interestingly, Luther’s own town experienced an outbreak of plague in his day. But it also captures any trial that we face. In any trial, God is our refuge. 

If we are to think biblically about world events, we must start with thinking more about the Bible than world events. So in the coming weeks, let your children see you open your Bibles more than a news app. Use Scripture, prayer, and even singing as weapons to fight for joy in these times.

If you are personally discouraged or worried, I would love to come alongside you to give help and give hope. If you have other questions, please feel free to email or call me.

In Christ,

Zach Dietrich

TRCA Board President