Wichita Public Schools
Wichita Public Schools have enrollment of more than 50,000 students in 104 unique learning centers. In addition to traditional neighborhood schools, USD 259 offers 28 schools of choice (magnet schools, etc.) which provide specific educational focus in subjects including science and technology, international studies, back-to-basics, foreign language and communications, performing and fine arts, and environmental studies. Parents work with staff to shape the direction of each school through site-based management. Wichita e-School provides on-line curriculum and professional support to Wichita home-schooled students.
Wichita public schools are among the first to incorporate workplace skill standards into curriculum and graduation requirements. Wichita's business community aggressively supported development of the district's rigorous testing program in the core academic areas of reading, writing and math. All students in 2nd, 5th, 8th and 10th grades are tested to assess progress, provide benchmarks for achievement and determine those areas in which individual students need support. Wichita public schools have had seven consecutive years of increasing student achievement. Forty-one schools in the district received 141 Standard of Excellence Awards in reading, math and/or science from the Kansas Department of Education for their performance on the 2012 state assessments.
In April 2000, Wichita voters approved (by 2-to-1 margin) a $284 million school bond issue, the largest in Kansas history, to fund new school buildings, modernization and expansion of existing schools and enhanced student computer facilities. Funding also provided for installation of air conditioning in every school facility.
On November 4, 2008, voters approved a $370 million bond issue to add 275 new classrooms, 6 new schools, and 60 storm shelters. In addition, the money will pay for upgrades to technical education programs and renovations to athletic and fine arts facilities.
In contrast to a recent national study indicating only 45% of parents nationally feel their student's school environment is safe, fully 93% of parents with students in Wichita Public Schools expressed confidence in their safety.
Wichita East High School hosts the acclaimed International Baccalaureate advanced academic learning program. Designed to meet entrance requirements of the best universities in the world, the IB program is a rigorous college preparatory program for academically talented and committed high school students. IB students take specially designed courses to prepare them to meet IB diploma requirements.
Wichita Public Schools (USD 259) 2017-18 Average Scores
Percent of graduating seniors taking ACT -- 62%
ACT scale is 1 to 36 for all scores
Percent of graduating seniors taking SAT -- 4%
SAT scale is 200 to 800 for all scores
Suburban Public Schools
Quality public education is available throughout Sedgwick County. Five larger districts surrounding Wichita: Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville and Maize - are rapidly expanding to keep up with growing population bases.
Cheney, Circle, Clearwater, Mulvane, Renwick and Valley Center districts – along the edges of Sedgwick County, provide quality education in smaller school environments. Nearly all of these districts have either recently passed bond issues in support of new school construction, or are preparing to bring such issues before their voters.
Private and Parochial Schools
Wichita has more than 35 private and parochial schools offering preschool through high school.
Private Non-Denominational Education
Wichita Collegiate School offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum taught in small classes. Collegiate has built a statewide reputation for academic excellence. The faculty is characterized by advanced degrees and broad teaching experience. Preschool through 12th grade enrollment is approximately 1,000.
The Independent School emphasizes traditional liberal arts education usually found only in gifted programs. The school guarantees small class sizes and individual attention to student needs. Preschool through 12th grade enrollment is 770.
Private Denominational Education
Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Wichita are among the finest in the nation, earning national awards from the National Catholic Educational Association in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Three rural Catholic schools of the Wichita Diocese were awarded the Governor's Achievement Award for Educational Excellence for scoring in the top 5 percent of all elementary schools in the state's 2009 Kansas Assessments. The Wichita Diocese serves about 10,600 students across Southeastern Kansas. There are 20 Catholic schools in Sedgwick County. Catholic Schools of Wichita were the first, and remain the only, Catholic school system in the U.S. to charge no tuition to active parish families. Anchoring this highly regarded system are two superb high schools – Bishop Carroll on the west and Kapaun Mount Carmel on the east. Both high schools have undergone major renovations in recent years.
Fully 32 Wichita area Catholic, Christian, Lutheran, Independent and Seventh-Day Adventist schools have been accepted as full members of the Kansas Association of Independent and Religious Schools (KAIRS) based on quality of academic programs, faculty and fiscal stability.