What Educators Say About Us

Read what our partnering schools and workshop participants are saying about Inquiry By Design’s curriculum, professional development, and workshops.

About Curriculum

“Our work with Inquiry By Design is the most exciting initiative we’ve undertaken in years. Our teachers are energized, and our students are writing and talking in ways we’ve only rarely seen in the past. I can’t recommend their work highly enough.”

Lisa Thibodeaux, Executive Director for Secondary Academic Services
Plano Independent School District (TX)

“Some of our biggest gains from using Inquiry By Design curriculum have come in our most diverse schools, where we’ve seen huge leaps in reading improvement. We’ve also noticed a big increase in the use of writer’s notebooks. Students are writing much more—some even tripling their writing output.”

Eric Simpson, Secondary Literacy and Language Arts Supervisor
Lewisville Independent School District (TX)

“In an Inquiry By Design classroom, everybody comes out smarter….”

Alyssa Castro, Principal
Island High School
Alameda School District (CA)

“I am so excited to implement these materials. I taught fourth grade last year using Inquiry By Design curriculum and it was so amazing how engaged my students were in the learning.”

Averyl Lundquist, Teacher
Tacoma School District (WA)

“I’ve become aware of the power that a really great text can provide to learning, literacy, and independence.”

Suzy Oram, Teacher
Alameda Unified School District (CA)

“I will structure my literacy lessons by using the shared and independent reading strategies and the literacy notebook as outlined in the literacy studio curriculum. I really like the three shared reading components and the free book choice for engaging students and making them life-long readers. I know increasing their reading time will have a positive impact.”

Kim Hunter, Teacher
Tacoma School District (WA)

“I like the texts that are in the modules, and the lessons are very descriptive. Finding close reading texts is always challenging. I am so excited to use these materials!”

Jill Guffy, Teacher
Thompson School District (CO)

“I wish our district could use all the Inquiry By Design units for fourth grade. Our students do such high quality work with this curriculum. There is just no comparison to what they produce with other programs.”

Half Hollow Hills (NY)

“I appreciate the sophistication of the lesson design and the methods incorporated into other texts and content areas. Also, the Common Core connection is very strong.”

Michelle Clements, Teacher
Mountain View High School (OR)

“This gives me such a great model for letting go of the teacher-driven classroom and letting the students do more of the hard work and research, resolving their own difficulties with a text. I feel like it changes my role as a teacher and helps me align to Common Core at the same time.”

Melissa Nicholson, Teacher
William James Middle School (TN)

“I am so encouraged that there is a curriculum out there that is seamless and works for the 21st-century student. This is definitely the direction we need to go to give our students the best education.”

Laura DeVanon, Teacher
Denver Public Schools (CO)


About Professional Development

“Our work with Inquiry By Design is the most exciting initiative we’ve undertaken in years. Our teachers are energized, and our students are writing and talking in ways we’ve only rarely seen in the past. I can’t recommend their work highly enough.”

Lisa Thibodeaux, Executive Director for Secondary Academic Services
Plano Independent School District (TX)

“I really like this training. I feel it gave clear, organized instruction on assessing student work and giving feedback that will drive instruction. More like this please.”

Carrie McCabe, Teacher
Otsego Elementary (NY)

“I am so impressed with Inquiry By Design. Thank you for the dialogue around analyzing text complexity and the thought provoking approach to teaching literacy under the Common Core State Standards.”

Raili Neibauer, Instructional Coach
Thompson School District (CO)

“The strategies we learned to engage students in deeper levels of understanding with a non-literary text were invaluable.”

Shannon Hudson, Teacher
St. Amant High School (LA)

“This [training] was incredibly relevant to the work being done by all the stake-holders within our district. How ironic that you touched upon the very things we have been promoting—including the importance of student engagement in their own learning and the value of classroom discussions. Thank you furthering and valuing our goals.”

Valerie Karas, Coordinator of Common Core Standards
Ballston Spa School District (NY)

“It’s great to learn how to use close reading from primary sources. I plan to use these procedures of read, identify, search and study, and then write, in my classroom. I certainly learned a lot from this workshop.”

Richard Kuan, Teacher
Cupertino Unified School District (CA)

“This was possibly the best [training] I have attended regarding how to implement the Common Core Standards in my classroom in a poignant, meaningful way. The presenter was so approachable and was a great teacher and mentor.”

Alexandra Proscia, Teacher
New Heights Academy Charter School, New York, NY

“I learned so much! I love the structures to provide students with the opportunity to do the thinking and work. I plan to implement the strategies and structures right away. I love how this will set students up to write essays. Thank you for a wonderful two days.”

Katie Schlesinger, Teacher
Tacoma School District (WA)

“I was very glad to hear such a precise explanation of what ‘close reading’ is. … I have seen and heard so many different things. . . . I’m so grateful that these trainings have put us all on the same page across the district.”

Megan Courtright, Interventionist
Thompson School District (CO)


About Workshops

“I thought the whole workshop was very informative—the entire Inquiry By Design process for driving students deeper into a text and helping them write text-based arguments. This really prepares them for the new standards and assessments.”

Rebecca Templet, Teacher
New Orleans (LA)

“This is one of the best workshops I’ve been to in my twelve years of teaching.”

Region 14 ESC (TX)

“I like that I was constantly engaged, working and learning. It felt meaningful.”

Madeline Tanner, Teacher
Redmond School District (OR)

“I found going through the process as a learner so beneficial . . . . this works so well with project-based learning.”

Christine Baker, Teacher
Sacramento New Technology High School (CA)

“The presentation was great—hands on, clear, timely, and relevant. The presenter was very skilled.”

Rita Brown, Director of Teaching and Learning
Our Lady of Visitation (OH)

“I appreciate the skill focus of the Inquiry By Design presentations and constantly try to transfer the basis of such ideas to non-dialogically normed courses.”

Kim Bolster, Assistant Principal
Ballston Spa School District (NY)

“I found everything about this workshop beneficial. It was extremely practical, useful, and can be used right away. Worth flying to town for.”

Monseñor Oscar Romero Charter School (CA)

“It was great the way we broke down the strategies to use in the classroom for deeper understandings. Also, very nice to collaborate with others.”

Malaka Donovan, Teacher
Santa Clarita Valley International Charter (CA)

“Having an overview of what the Smarter Balance Assessment and Common Core require has given me more confidence. I see now how I can expand many of the things I’ve already been doing and collaborate with colleagues for more focused instruction.”

Les Parker, Teacher
Crook County School District (OR)