Wichita parents have many high-quality options in deciding the appropriate educational environment for their children. Numerous excellent college and university options exist in the immediate local area and within easy commuting range. Many institutions have convenient satellite sites. Due to the area's high concentration of manufacturing, Wichita has correspondingly strong technical training resources.
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. The December 2002 issue of American School Board Journal featured Wichita Public Schools in an article on leading progressive city schools titled "Urban Success Stories."
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. As of August 2006, bond projects were substantially completed.
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) 2011-12 Average Scores
Suburban Public Schools
Private and Parochial Schools
Private Denominational Education
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.
Private Non-Denominational Education