Structured Word Inquiry Institute

Monday, June 22–Friday, June 26, 2020

Registration opens January 2020

Join educators from the Bay Area and beyond for the sixth annual Structured Word Inquiry Institute. The 2019 institute hosts five days of engaging, practical, and active workshops that enable educators to teach students how to read and spell through a structured inquiry approach.

What is Structured Word Inquiry?

Structured Word Inquiry was started by Peter Bowers, PhD, founder of the WordWorks Literacy Centre in Ontario, Canada. For most of his ten years as an elementary school teacher in international schools and in Canada, Peter shared the common view that English spelling is highly irregular and full of exceptions to be memorized. In his 9th year of teaching, Pete developed a new inquiry-based technique for teaching English to children grades PreK-5.

The Structured Word Inquiry Institute returns to Nueva for its sixth consecutive year. Nueva teachers join the conference as both participants and workshop leaders. Several teachers will present throughout the week, especially during the advanced sessions. This is a powerful opportunity to see and hear stories from current classrooms SWI investigations. They often coach attendees through the advanced level structured word inquiry courses and share learning experiences from their classrooms. For more, including a video of classroom instruction, please visit our Structured Word Inquiry page.

Nueva Structured Word Inquiry Coach, Rebecca Loveless, will co-present for all five workshop days, providing institute attendees with practical examples of Nueva's SWI program as well as learning with orthographic concepts.


Registration cost includes all materials and delicious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks each day.

All program participation fees are due in advance to confirm your registration and participation.  Any cancellation and refund requests must be submitted in writing via email to

This Institute is eligible for Continuing Education Units.

Three Institute Options

All sessions are held from 9:30 – 3:30 pm.


June 22–26, 2020 


San Mateo Campus
131 E 28th Ave.
San Mateo


Visit Nueva's Transportation page for printable printable driving directions and public transportation information.

Travel Information

Visiting from out of town? Find out everything that San Francisco has to offer you! For airport transportation information, click here.


Please contact us Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Pacific Time, should you have any questions regarding your registration.


I believe that work we’ve begun doing with Structured Word Inquiry is profound and revolutionary. I believe that it is relevant to educators who work in every discipline and with all age groups. I believe that it represents most accurately what we know about teaching and learning and enacts the core values held in our community.”**

Emily Kolatch
  former Head of the Nueva Lower School

**The above is taken from Emily’s short article on SWI at Nueva in the Nueva Journal. See her full article.

What I love about Pete's workshops is that he takes a room full of teachers and turns them into learners.”

- Jonathan Twigg
Primary School Assistant Principal-PYP Coordinator at International   School of Lausanne