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Wichita Public Schools' New Strategic Plan Aims To Make Students 'Future Ready'

Stephan Bisaha
Cookies were handed out after Wichita's school board unanimously approved a new five-year strategic plan.

The new mission of Wichita Public Schools says that the district’s objective is to prepare students "to achieve college, career and life readiness through an innovative and rigorous educational experience."

The mission statement is part of a five-year strategic plan unanimously approved by Wichita’s school board Monday night.

“Our strategic plan is made up of all the pieces and parts that help me as well as every other student in our district be future ready,” said a Wichita Public Schools student in a video played during the meeting.

“Future ready” is the phrase being continually connected to the plan. To achieve that, the board is focusing on four long-term goals: increased high school graduation; improved third-grade reading proficiency; making the community feel that schools are safe, and having more students earn college credits or industry certifications.

Thompson wasted little time promoting the plan; after the vote, cookies with either the word “believe,” “achieve” or “dream” were handed out to those in attendance. The meeting room at Wichita North High School was packed with students and teachers receiving various, unrelated awards. The cookies found their way to an overflow room.

The plan was informed by Thompson’s community listening sessions and created over several months at public workshops by the board members.

“We were assigned homework,” board member Ben Blankley said. “I just wanted to make sure that the community, as a whole, knows how much rigor and effort we all put in.”

The next step: creating the first-year objectives and action plans, which are expected in April and May.


Stephan Bisaha reports on education for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter@SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.