CMA students donate shirts to Wichita Children’s Home

Christa McAuliffe Academy third-graders donated college t-shirts to the Wichita Children’s Home as a community service project.
Christa McAuliffe Academy third-graders donated college t-shirts to the Wichita Children’s Home as a community service project.

Third-grade students in Karla McGinnis class at Christa McAuliffe Academy wrapped up a community service project for the Wichita Children’s Home. The students donated more than 35 college t-shirts to give to the children staying there. The shirts had special messages attached encouraging them that their future will be better and they hope the shirts will bring a smile to their face.

Terry Calloway with the Wichita Children’s Home came to CMA to pick up the shirts and talked with the students about how WCH help children in Wichita and surrounding communities.

Horace Mann honors graduating seniors

High school seniors who started as kindergarteners at Horace Mann were honored by current Horace Mann students.
High school seniors who started as kindergarteners at Horace Mann were honored by current Horace Mann students.

Graduating seniors from North, East, Heights, Northwest and South came back to Horace Mann to encourage students to do well in school and achieve their dreams of graduating. The seniors were kindergarteners when Horace Mann moved into its new building and because a K-8 Dual Language Magnet.

“I’ve been waiting 13 years for this celebration to happen,” said principal Vanessa Martinez.

The seniors shared their plans for after-high school and gave advice to students to inspire them to do well in school.

Former teachers and administrators were also on hand for the celebration. They read Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss and received their own copy of the book.

Online enrollment for 2016-17 will begin July 11

Online enrollment for the 2016-17 school year will be available July 11. All parents with a ParentVue account will be able to complete standard enrollment forms, pay for enrollment fees and school meals, and fill out free and reduced price lunch forms from a computer. Parents are encouraged to use this service in order to streamline the enrollment process. Parents new to the Wichita Public Schools are encouraged to set up a ParentVUE account at their child’s school during in-person enrollment.

In-person enrollment is August 8 – 10. The Wichita Public Schools will have consistent enrollment times at all schools to make it more convenient for parents who enroll multiple children at different schools. The enrollment times are: 

  • Monday, August 8: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 9: Noon – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 10: Noon – 7 p.m.

The first day of school for all students is Wednesday, August 24 with a half-day orientation for 6th and 9th grade students on Tuesday, August 23.

Business professionals help Gardiner students ‘Read to Succeed’

Diane Iseman, Women’s United volunteer, reads with a Gardiner Elementary third-grade student.
Diane Iseman, Women’s United volunteer, reads with a Gardiner Elementary third-grade student.

Twenty-three professional women are taking time out of their busy schedules each week to help Gardiner Elementary third-grade students improve their reading skills. Members of United Way’s Women’s United, The Pando Initiative and First Wesleyan Church volunteer their time to work one-on-one with students to help them become better readers and to also be role models.

The volunteer program began as part of United Way’s Women United “Read to Succeed” program. The group’s focus this year is early childhood literacy. Studies have shown that having a student read at grade level by the end of third grade has a great impact on a student’s success in school and in life. Once the United Way’s Women United program began, other community groups joined the program.

The volunteers received specialized training from Gardiner staff on what to look for when a student reads aloud to them.

“They are not just listening to them read, they are listening to identify specific items where a child has deficits and coaches them so we can give them the proper support to succeed,” said Gardiner principal Heather Schwartz.

“We can see that it’s making a difference. Our students’ reading scores are going up,” Schwartz said. “We cannot express how much we appreciate their efforts.”

Price-Harris marks 25 years of Bridge to Bridge run

Price-Harris students start the 25th annual Bridge to Bridge Walk/Run.
Price-Harris students start the 25th annual Bridge to Bridge Walk/Run.

Students at Price-Harris took part in a yearly tradition that promotes wellness and fun. The students took part in the one-mile Bridge to Bridge Walk/Run, which takes place between a foot bridge and a street bridge on the property.

It started 25 years ago by Molly Lavacek to create an event to tie into the Olympics. The annual tradition not only promotes wellness, but honors two students who passed away while they were attending Price-Harris. Drawings representing the two students are on the sleeves of the t-shirts worn by the students and staff.

The students look forward to the race each year and are very excited when they cross the finish line.

Hadley students take off to wrap up Flying Challenge

A Hadley Middle School student smiles after riding in a plane to wrap up the Airbus Flying Challenge for the school year.
A Hadley Middle School student smiles after riding in a plane to wrap up the Airbus Flying Challenge for the school year.

Sixty students from Hadley Middle School got a birds-eye view of Wichita to wrap up its year-long Airbus Flying Challenge, a partnership between Hadley, Airbus, the United Way, the Pando Initiative and Wichita State University. The Airbus Flying Challenge matched Hadley students with mentors from Airbus. The students and their mentors have been meeting throughout the year. The final event was taking students up in an airplane, provided by Kansas State University-Salina. It was the first time many of the students had flown.

The partnership encouraged students to learn about careers in aviation and engineering and to see how math, technology, science and engineering can be used every day. But for many students, it was also an opportunity just to talk with a caring adult.

This is the fourth year for the Airbus Flying Challenge.

Southeast seniors say goodbye to their old school

Southeast principal Lori Doyle talks with students during the Senior Breakfast.
Southeast principal Lori Doyle talks with students during the Senior Breakfast.

It was a bittersweet day for seniors at Southeast High School. As the more than 300 soon-to-be graduates gathered together during the Senior Breakfast, they reflected on their future, but also the past as the last class to finish in the current Southeast building.  The new school at Pawnee and 127th St. East is scheduled to open in August.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to close out this school. There is a lot of history in these walls,” said senior Tanner Schartz. “I believe we did the school justice by representing the senior class well.”

“It’s crazy to think that this is the last time to walk these hallways,” said senior Ira Hines. “It’s an honor to be the last senior class here, but I know the other classes are excited to be in the new school.”

“I’ve met a lot of wonderful people here at Southeast and I’ve had awesome teachers and that’s what I’ll walk away with. We have that Southeast bond that won’t change,” Hines said.

“The seniors are humbled to be the last senior class here, but they are also excited for their friends to be in the new building,” said principal Lori Doyle.

“We will continue the traditions of Southeast to the new site, and we’ll also start new traditions and create new memories,” she said.

The current Southeast building will become the WPS Administrative Center.

Hamilton students explore history of their school

Hamilton’s Historical Investigations Club meet after school to research the history of their school.
Hamilton’s Historical Investigations Club meet after school to research the history of their school.

Several students at Hamilton Middle School were curious about the rich history of their school, which is one of the oldest middle schools in Wichita. After consistently being asked questions about the building, social studies teacher Jonathan Liss and science teacher Angelika Decker founded the Hamilton Historical Investigations Club. They met with the group of students after school and started to research the history of the building.  The “HHI Club” is now in charge of maintaining accurate historical records of Hamilton Middle School’s illustrious past. 

The group presents their findings in the morning announcements and posts them on a bulletin board outside the cafeteria. HHI students have learned all about Hamilton’s famous alumni, researched the initial construction of the building and all of the additions, and even went on a behind the scenes tour.

Christa McAuliffe crochet club leaves gifts for others

Students in Christa McAuliffe Academy’s Crochet Club placed scarves around downtown statues as gifts to others who need to stay warm.
Students in Christa McAuliffe Academy’s Crochet Club placed scarves around downtown statues as gifts to others who need to stay warm.

Students in Christa McAuliffe Academy’s Crochet Club gave gifts for others to keep warm. The Crochet Club, made up of 6th graders Judy Nguyen, Asia Dawson, Aubree Dawson, Mallory Floyd, and Penelope Johnson started to learn how to crochet in September. Since that time, they have created more than 30 scarves. The students, along with sponsor Stephanie Knutson, passed out the scarves to others at the Salvation Army. The scarves they were not able to pass out were placed around various statues downtown with notes attached telling the public they are welcome to take a scarf as a gift if they are cold. 

“So many lessons were learned from this project,” said Knutson.

“It was fun to learn how to crochet, but knowing that people are happy to receive something I created makes me feel happy and successful,” said Nguyen.

Enterprise student starts food drive at school

Enterprise student Juliana Robinson stands by some of the food items she’s helped collect to give to the Kansas Food Bank.
Enterprise student Juliana Robinson stands by some of the food items she’s helped collect to give to the Kansas Food Bank.

Juliana Robinson, 4th grade student at Enterprise Elementary, wanted to make sure others in the community don’t go hungry. She started a food drive at her school the first week of March to give items to the Kansas Food Bank. She and her classmates made posters to promote the food drive and made daily stops in each classroom to allow students to donate their items. A poster at the front of the school keeps a tally of how many items have been collected and how much each classroom has collected.

So far, the drive has collected more than 1,000 food items.

“It’s good to help others, and it feels good to know that the food will do that,” Robinson said.

Jardine principal named Regional Magnet Principal of the Year

Lura Jo Atherly, principal at Jardine, left of banner, was been named Region VII Principal of the Year by Magnet Schools of America.
Lura Jo Atherly, principal at Jardine, left of banner, was been named Region VII Principal of the Year by Magnet Schools of America.

Lura Jo Atherly, principal at Jardine STEM and Career Exploration Magnet Middle School, has been named Region VII Principal of the Year by Magnet Schools of America. The award recognizes magnet school principals in eight regions across the country who have demonstrated a strong commitment to learning opportunities through themed-based education, while setting high expectations for students and staff. She is in the running for the National Magnet School Principal of the Year.

“I’m honored. But it’s not about me. It’s about my teachers and my team doing such great work to make Jardine the amazing school that it is,” Atherly said. “It’s a privilege not only to work here at Jardine, but to be a part of the Wichita Public Schools.”

Atherly will be recognized during the Magnet Schools of America’s National Conference in Miami in May. During the conference, the National Magnet School Principal of the Year will be announced.

Earhart students test environmental knowledge

Earhart students work as a team to answer questions during the school’s annual Environmental Bee.
Earhart students work as a team to answer questions during the school’s annual Environmental Bee.

Students at Earhart Environmental Magnet tested their knowledge at the school’s Environmental Education Bee. The student-teams were divided by grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-5 and answered questions focused on science and environmental themes. The questions became harder and more extensive answers were needed in the higher grade levels.

KWCH meteorologist Mark Larson was the host for the Bee.

This is the third year for the Environmental Bee.

McLean students build bridges with buddies

McLean students celebrate after seeing their creation was strong enough to hold a brick.
McLean students celebrate after seeing their creation was strong enough to hold a brick.

McLean students learned the basics of engineering and teamwork during the school-wide Buddy Bridges project. Teams of students in primary grades were paired with their buddies from upper grade levels to design and build bridges using paper, tape and popsicle sticks. Their bridges were required to have an expanse of 12 inches and hold 1 kilogram. If their designs were successful, they were challenged to see if their creations could hold a brick without falling down.

The student teams designed on paper what they wanted their bridges to look like based on engineering principles they learned in class. Many teams made modifications to the designs as they put their bridges together and learned which ideas worked and which ones didn’t.

North students see if their projects sink or float

North High School students test their personal watercraft made of cardboard and duct tape during the Cardboard Regatta.
North High School students test their personal watercraft made of cardboard and duct tape during the Cardboard Regatta.

North High students in Ryan Owen’s AP Physics class were challenged to see if their ideas held water. The students took what they learned about buoyancy, Archimedes’ Principle and fluid dynamics to create small boats made out of cardboard and duct tape. They tested their creations in North’s pool during the Cardboard Regatta. The students earned points based on how far they could row their personal watercraft.

Owens said he believes the best way to learn is for hands-on and fun projects and the students had a great time testing what they learned in class.

Southeast students present books to “Future Buffs”

Southeast students present books to Caldwell kindergarteners to encourage the love of reading.
Southeast students present books to Caldwell kindergarteners to encourage the love of reading.

Just before the holiday break, students at Southeast High School delivered gifts to kindergarten students at Caldwell Elementary. The Caldwell students received new books to take home, each with a sticker noting that the gift was to a future Buffalo. The gifts were to promote literacy for the “Future Buffs.”

Southeast plans to donate books to students at another feeder school next year.