Wichita students have access to a wide variety of educational
options in one of the largest and most diversified school systems in the state.
With a nationally-acclaimed public school system, many fine private
institutions and several universities, Wichita provides exceptional
opportunities for students - both children and adults - to receive quality
education. Convenient class formatting and unique learning environments ensure
virtually everyone finds the learning approach that's best for them.
K-12 Education · Adult Education
Wichita offers 103 unique learning centers for its 49,065
public school students including 23
public high schools and 24 magnet schools providing specific focuses in
science, technology, international studies, back-to-the-basics, foreign
language and health. There are also 25
private and parochial
schools for elementary students as well as two parochial high schools and
one private high school.
The Wichita Public School district's
Schools of Choice offers Alternative Schools and Magnet Schools where
the learning environment is more flexible and the instructional choices are
more unique. There are 15 magnet schools at the elementary level, two at the
middle school level, and six at the high school level. Applications for magnet
schools are made in the spring preceding the school year.
To apply, call
the Magnet/Alternative Administrative Office at (316) 833-4464.
Public Schools are governed by a seven-member Board of Education with board
meetings open to the public and held in the auditorium of the Central
Vocational Building, 324 N. Emporia. The Board meets on the second and fourth
Mondays of the month and schedules meetings on other Monday evenings as needed.
eSchool for kindergarten to middle and high school students
provides educational options and services for home school and homebound
students, by offering a core online curriculum program that meets Kansas state
standards. The Wichita eSchool also provides online teacher advice and
mentoring, as well as enrichment and extension activities.
Wichita also offers a rich variety of educational opportunies
for adult students. Several universities and colleges are located in Wichita. The largest,
Wichita State University, has an enrollment of over 15,000. Friends University
with an enrollment of 2,700, and Kansas Newman College with 2,000 are also
located in Wichita. Also located here is the University of Kansas Medical
Center - Wichita Campus. The Wichita Area Technical College serves over 15,000
students each year with its secondary vocational and technical programs.
More and more kids today are
getting a home school education as it is becoming more accepted. There are many
reasons why families are choosing to educate their children at home:
- Families are finding home
schooling helps to build a closer family relationship. As strange as it may
seem to some parents, others just love to be able to spend one on one time with
their child and learn and re-learn things together. They like the flexibility
to be able to go to the park on a weekday or make a trip downtown to a museum
for an impromptu field trip and not having to bother about permission slips,
car pools and lunch money. They enjoy being such an important part of their
childs life and that is simply why they home school.
- Pointing to the safety of their
children as a prime concern, many parents choose to keep their kids out of
dangerous situations. They are concerned about the bullying by a few other
children in the school. Shielding their kids from the lure of drugs and alcohol
are other leading concerns that prompt some of the over two-million students to
participate in home schooling every year.
- The public education system in
the United States is making national, and international, news with its outdated
text books and school buildings that are falling apart. Many parents decide to
home school as they are just fed up with the public school system which focuses
on the average child in large classrooms with few resources. The gifted child
or one with a learning disability is often sidetracked in regular public
schools and parents have to step up and take the responsibility themselves to
impart an education more in tune with their childs abilities.
A home school education not only
ensures that the parents have complete control over the quality of the
materials being used but they also have control with the learning conditions
that their children are exposed to. Even when they do go for extra curricular
activities at the park district or YMCA, they are under the supervision of
their parents as opposed to a teacher who has to keep an eye on 30 plus kids.
Parents feel in home schooling they can better keep track of the company their
kids are keeping and perhaps have a more influential role in keeping them away
from drugs, premarital sex and guns.
Before you can home school your
child in Kansas you must register your homeschool as a non-accredited private
school with the Kansas State Department of Education. If your children are
currently enrolled in a public school, formally withdraw them, by letter,
phone, or in person. (Don't just disappear!)
The term competent
instructor is not defined either by statute or by case law, and thus
its meaning is unclear. However, the Kansas Attorney General has
specifically held that the statute does not require teachers in nonaccredited
private schools to be certified. Additionally, there are no specific
requirements for credentials or educational background for teachers in
nonaccredited private schools, and thus it is not necessary for such teachers
to possess a college degree or even a high school diploma. As a result,
competent should be interpreted in its ordinary sense, and thus
parents who establish an appropriate academic environment in their school, as
evidenced by the presence of curriculum, planning and organization, testing,
academic progress, and so forth, are presumed to be competent for
For more information about homeschooling in Kansas, I
recommend you visit Christian Home Educators Confederation of Kansas where
you'll find many more details about setting up a home school for your
What Youre Missing
Going to school with
classmates both good and bad is one of the very important things that help a
child develop crucial social skills that will come into play later in their
lives. When a child is home schooled they miss out on that interaction with
other children. If your child is athletically inclined then they will be unable
to participate in school team and individual sports. There are many advantages
to home schooling but there are just as many developmental issues to consider
for a growing child that is being denied access to the social network that a
public or private school offers.