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School District Five to sponsor virtual Inquiry Matters Conference

For Immediate Release – January 21, 2021



School District Five to sponsor virtual Inquiry Matters Conference

IRMO – Lexington-Richland School District Five in partnership with the University of South Carolina (UofSC) College of Education will host the Inquiry Matters Conference on April 17 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  The event will be offered virtually this year in response to COVID-19 and is free to attend. Program and pre-registration information will be released closer to the event.


Inquiry Matters is a conference hosted and created by teachers for teachers aimed at sharing the power of inquiry as an instructional tool in the classroom and as a means for job-embedded professional development. During the conference sessions, at both the elementary and middle and high school levels, teachers and students will share how they engage in inquiry within their classrooms and schools across the Midlands. The ability for UofSC’s College of Education and School District Five to partner for this event provides teachers from across the state, UofSC teacher candidates, administrators, and staff a day of learning focused on authentically enhancing teaching and learning; and gaining insight on why “Inquiry Matters.”


“The Inquiry Matters Conference has earned a reputation for offering quality professional development to educators within the area and across the state,” said School District Five Chief Instruction Officer Michael Guliano. “Choice sessions are intentionally vetted to ensure that participants are collaboratively learning in meaningful ways.  Participants can immediately implement their learning in their classroom or district.”


Through partnering with the University of South Carolina, Lexington-Richland School District Five was one of the first ever Professional Development School District (PDS-D) of its kind in the nation.  Through the National Association for Professional Development Schools, professional development schools (PDS) nationwide are partnerships between university education departments and schools to prepare new teachers, offer faculty training, help improve classroom practices and enhance student achievement.


“The Professional Development School-District partnership between UofSC and School District Five is an opportunity to systematically collaborate to enhance teaching and learning for faculty, staff, teacher candidates, and most importantly PK-12 students,” said Dr. Shelly Curcio, Clinical Assistant Professor.  “Inquiry Matters is only one example of how our collective efforts mutually benefit teacher preparation and learning within School District Five. We are truly partnering with purpose.”


Please contact Dr. Shelly Curcio at with any questions on the secondary sessions.  Please contact Dr. Heidi Mills at with any questions on the elementary sessions.