Wichita Public Schools

Kansas News Service/File photo

Wichita's class of 2021 will have indoor, in-person graduation ceremonies.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Last spring, Wichita families clamoring for online learning options quickly snapped up 500 spots at Education Imagine Academy, a K-12 virtual school that allows students to work at their own pace.

Next school year, many of those students will return to traditional, in-person schools. Others plan to remain at the virtual academy.

And the online school is changing its approach based on lessons learned from the pandemic.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW/File photo

For many middle- and high-school students in Wichita, Monday was the first day back on campus since the pandemic shutdown last year — and another step toward normal.

Some families that had opted for online learning last semester decided to send kids back into classrooms, now that COVID-19 numbers are down and vaccines more available. That meant more crowded hallways — and a distinct first-day-of-school feeling, especially at high schools.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service/File photo

The Sedgwick County Commission voted Tuesday to let public and private K-12 schools opt out of the county’s latest health order.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Wichita North High School will no longer be the Redskins.

The school board voted 6-0 Monday night to drop the controversial mascot at the recommendation of a committee formed last summer.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service/File photo

Since March, K-12 students at the state’s largest districts have been sent home, brought back and then told to leave their classrooms again.

Now, many of those students will return to school buildings again this month as educators and researchers redefine what it means to hold in-person classes safely.

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

After learning remotely since December, Wichita elementary students could be back in the classroom as early as next Wednesday.

Wichita Public Schools Shifts To Full Remote Learning

Nov 30, 2020
Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

All elementary students in Wichita Public Schools will learn remotely, starting this week.

The district's school board voted Monday night to make the switch because of the county's worsening coronavirus crisis.

Stephan Bisaha / kmuw

Wichita's board of education voted Monday to extend Thanksgiving break an two extra days.

Students and staff will now take Nov. 23 and 24 off, giving them a full work week away from the classroom — both in-person and virtually.

The district said it's running short on teachers and substitutes as the rise in COVID-19 cases in Sedgwick Counties forces employees to isolate and quarantine. 

Superintendent Alicia Thompson told the board it's been a rough couple of weeks.

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

WICHITA — The Wichita Board of Education canceled its plan to let middle and high school students back into the classroom on Thursday as coronavirus cases surge in Sedgwick County.

The vote was 5-2 with board members Ben Blankley and Mike Rodee voting against the motion.

"It’s a disservice to continue in a full remote model for secondary learners even considering our community transmission," Blankley said at Monday night's meeting.

Board member Stan Reeser said he wanted to reopen schools, but that the coronavirus numbers forced him to vote otherwise.