Renton School District Adopts Inquiry By Design for Grades 9-12

July 1, 2021 — By unanimous vote, the Renton School Board adopted Inquiry By Design as part of its English Language Arts core curriculum and supplemental curriculum for grades 9-12. Dr. Jon Stadler, Chief of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Renton School District presented at the board meeting with full support from the district’s English Language Arts committee. With representatives from all five high schools, the committee completed a two-year pilot of multiple vendors, compared instructional models, and evaluated all materials before making its final recommendation.

This marks the second Washington school district in 2021 to formally adopt Inquiry By Design curriculum. Nearby Highline Public Schools adopted Inquiry By Design for grades 6-12 earlier this year, and, like Renton Public Schools, will implement Inquiry By Design curriculum beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

The English Language Arts committee collected student and staff data to help assess curriculum materials throughout the pilot. The final curricula were evaluated using multiple screening tools, including Renton’s own District 9-12 ELA Screening Tool, a pre- and post-pilot evaluation developed from student and staff surveys. 

During its presentation to the board, the committee highlighted Inquiry By Design’s alignment with a number of district priorities including the importance of a flexible curriculum adoption prioritizing student choice and voice and support for students receiving English Language Learning and Special Education support. Other district priorities include Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol support, Universal Design for Learning strategies, opportunities for diverse text, and access for all students.

“We couldn’t be more excited to begin our partnership with Renton Public Schools,” said Nick Resnick, Chief Executive Officer of Inquiry By Design. “To work and learn from a school district with bold visionary leadership and a strong commitment to a diverse population of students is what we work for everyday.”

The adoption by Renton Public Schools expands Inquiry By Design’s growing presence on the West Coast. Portland Public Schools, one of the largest districts in the Northwest, adopted Inquiry By Design for grades 6-12 in spring of 2016, followed in 2017 by Federal Way, Washington (9-12); Berkeley, California (6-8); Tigard-Tualatin School District (6-12); and then Highline Public Schools (6-12).  The company also continues work with several other West Coast districts, including schools in Bend-La Pine, Black Butte, North Clackamas, Crook County (in Oregon); Wahluke (in Washington); and Alameda, Cupertino, and Futures High School (in California). 

Inquiry By Design also has a strong and growing presence in other regions. Seven school districts in Texas adopted the curriculum last year. 

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