Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What grades/ages does the school serve?

The Inspired Teaching School serves students from Pre-School (age 3) through 8th grade.

Q: How big are the classes? How many teachers are in each classroom?

There are approximately 20-25 students in each classroom.  There are two full time teachers in every classroom.  In Preschool and PreK (3 and 4 year olds), in addition to the two full time teachers there is an additional full time paraprofessional.

Q: What is the school calendar?

The school generally follows the calendar of DC Public Schools, with a few small changes to ensure adequate teacher professional development.  The calendar is also available at any time on our website.

Q: What is the curriculum?

The standards-based curriculum is centered on the school’s four goals of Intellect, Imagination, Inquiry, and Integrity. Active, hands-on, and experiential learning is primary, with movement, play, and student-led inquiry at the forefront. Instruction includes an emphasis on social-emotional learning, and classrooms is organized for collaborative groups and instruction that allows students to study varying topics at varying paces.

Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarten students experience developmentally appropriate instruction guided by national standards and student interest. Students develop pre-reading/writing and pre-math skills through learning experiences that respect the developmental stages of the students. Teachers prepare learning environments that include centers that allow for student-led inquiry and play. Teachers see the students’ “play” as their work and will support the students as they develop content-area skills and knowledge.

In the elementary grades, Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop is the primary methods for teaching reading and writing. Math instruction focuses on mastery of math facts, proficiency with all four mathematical operations and problem-solving, as well as on understanding and applying mathematical concepts and processes.

Science, at all grades, engages students in the scientific process: wondering and the creation of hypotheses; observation; experimentation; collection and analysis of data; drawing and defending a conclusion; and asking follow-up questions for further investigations.

Our inquiry-based approach to teaching takes full advantage of the richness of our nation’s capital. Using Washington, DC as a living textbook, teachers will ensure students develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for effective citizenship and understanding of the content related to local, national, and world histories and cultures and economics.

Q: Do students get recess? How much?

Students have at least 30 minutes of recess each day. Students may spend even more time outside and active as movement and play are an integral part of the school’s curriculum.

Q: How are students assessed?

The school uses multiple tools to measure progress toward our four goals of Intellect, Imagination, Inquiry, and Integrity.  The school relies primarily on authentic and performance assessments (i.e. student exhibitions, student portfolios, teacher observation protocols) to measure student growth and achievement, and also utilizes several externally validated assessments (i.e. PARCC, iReady, DRA).

Q: What is the school’s discipline policy?

The school maintains a safe and happy learning environment for all children and adults. The school embraces an approach to discipline that relies on and builds students’ intrinsic motivation and self-discipline. This approach is designed to maximize students’ appreciation of freedom and its accompanying responsibilities, yet provide the boundaries necessary for student success.

In this environment, students behave not because they are afraid of punishment or because they seek a reward, but because they know they are valued members of the classroom community. Teachers hold students to the highest expectations and seek to develop students’ intrinsic motivation in both academic and social situations.

Q: What does it mean to be a Demonstration School?

This school is unique in its commitment to honoring children’s intellect, imagination, and curiosity. Families, community members, and visitors are always welcome at the school, and are able to see the work of Center for Inspired Teaching in action.

The school strives to be a leader in improving the way teachers are trained and students are educated in DC and beyond. The school houses a Teacher Residency program in which Inspired Teaching Fellows study under the guidance and supervision of Master Teachers. Students benefit from the experience and expertise of Master Teachers, all of whom are among the finest educators in the city, and the energy and enthusiasm of new teachers.

Q: How do I enroll my child?

Please visit our application page on our website for more information regarding enrollment process and eligibility.

Q: Are applications accepted after the lottery deadline?

Yes!  Inspired Teaching School accepts applications after the lottery deadline.  In order to participate in the public lottery, applications must be received by the lottery deadline.  All applications received after the lottery deadline will be added to the waitlist in the order in which it was received.  Please visit our application page on our website for more information about the application process.

Q: Do you have a sibling preference in the lottery?

Yes. Children of Inspired Teaching School’s founders and siblings of currently enrolled students receive enrollment preference at the lottery.  If a student is admitted via lottery to Inspired Teaching School and enrolls, any sibling of the enrolled student gains preference following siblings of currently enrolled students.

Q:  How can I find out about the results of the lottery?

All applicants accepted through the lottery will be notified of their acceptance.  After the lottery, waitlist will be posted to our website.  Families will be able to view their student’s status on the waitlist by the following information: first name, birth date and Lottery Position Number.

200 Douglas St., NE | Washington, DC 20002 | p: 202-248-6825 | f: 202-248-6939 | info@inspiredteachingschool.org