Wichita Public Schools

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

The classroom and workplace have traditionally been kept separate.

But a redesign that’s been going on for four years in Kansas could blend the two in ways aimed to help both students and employers.

Employers are now a common sight in school hallways. Mechanics show seventh graders how to diagnose a Jeep in the school parking lot. Eighth graders visit boiler factories. Schools hope to benefit from field-earned expertise. Businesses get a head start on recruiting.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

Wichita Public Schools is ditching the A's and F's. And that's one of the smaller changes with its new grading system.

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

The Wichita School District and its teachers union have reached a tentative contract agreement.

The district said in a news release Tuesday night that the one-year agreement includes a base salary increase of 3.5 percent. It also includes a longevity bonus for qualifying teachers and no increase in premiums for the employee health program.

stacey_newman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Wichita group that works to prevent substance abuse in the community is trying a new approach to reach at-risk young people.

The Safe Streets Coalition selected five students to serve as mental health advocates for their peers at Wichita high schools. Safe Streets calls their teen volunteers “youth mobilizers.”

Program leader Ngoc Vuong says youth mobilizers will support students who struggle with mental health issues or substance abuse.

Jordan Kirtley / Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Joseph Shepard and Sheril Logan will face off for the at-large position on the Wichita school board after they received the most votes during Tuesday's primary.

Shepard finished on top with 32.2 percent of the vote. He worked for the Kansas Leadership Center before Newman University hired him last year as its director of multicultural engagement and campus life.

Shepard earned a master's degree in public administration from Wichita State University in 2018.

He said one of the reasons he's running is to better help students who have faced trauma. 

Brad Wilson / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita Public Schools has nearly enough teachers for a change, but it says it stills needs more bus drivers.

Shannon Krysl, head of the district’s human resources department, says the number of teaching vacancies is the lowest it has been in years. Classes resume in Wichita on Aug. 14.

Stephan Bisaha

Wichita Public Schools is considering adding explicit protections for transgender students and staff this year.

KMUW/File photo

A program that offers mental health services at 22 Wichita schools is finishing its first year with signs of success.

Stephan Bisaha

Wichita Public Schools' board president will face three challengers in this year's election.

Sheril Logan has been on the board since 2011, making her the longest sitting member. Along with the current school year, she was board president in 2015 and 2017.

Her opponents include Trish Hileman, Joseph Shepard and Brent Davis.

The position is considered at large, letting anyone within Wichita Public Schools' boundaries run without being tied to a specific district.

Stephan Bisaha

Wichita Public Schools Board of Education voted 6-1 to ask the State Board of Education for the authority to raise local tax rates.

The Wichita board called the request a safety net in case the state legislature does not provide the funding the district says it needs.

"I can tell you after five straight years of cutting budgets I'm not going to do it again," said board vice president Mike Rodee. 

If approved, the board would not have to raise the tax rate. But it would have the flexibility to do so if the board feels it's necessary.

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