Wichita Public Schools, USD 259, is proud to be the state's largest school district, one of the most successful large-city districts in the United States, and a great place to educate all of the city's children.
The students and employees give the Wichita community many reasons to be proud of the Wichita Public Schools. Students and employees receive local, state and national recognition for their achievements.
The district's enrollment is 51,330 students. Enrollment has grown by 2,512 students over the last ten school years. Forty-one schools received 141 Standard of Excellence Awards in reading, math and/or science from the Kansas Department of Education for their performance on the 2012 state assessments.
Wichita State University is a vital part of the Wichita community. WSU Engineering programs ranging from aerospace to engineering management are nationally recognized. WSU’s Barton School of Business is 1 of only 165 Universities throughout the world to hold the highest level of accreditation through the AACSB. The WSU men’s basketball team has gained national attention for their performance in the NCAA March Madness tournament, making it to the Sweet 16 in 2015 and the Final Four in 2013. With the coming Innovation Campus and new student centers and dorms, it’s a great time to be a Shocker.
The vision, in the Wichita Public Schools, is to create environments in which technology is naturally integrated into the teaching and learning process and the business functions essential to the management of this large urban school district are maintained.
(Source –City of Wichita Website-www.wichita.gov)
Development is everywhere you look in Northeast Wichita - most buildings in this area are less than 10 years old. Substantial acreage is still available for homes to be built in some areas.
With Wichita State University’s planned expansion, the Innovation Campus, development will continue to grow in the coming years. Residents can enjoy a variety of activities on the Northeast side. Join the party as the Shocker’s Men’s basketball team battle their way to another March Madness season in the Intrust Bank Arena or spend a night out at Bradley Fair or the Old Town Marketplace.
Wichita is one of those places described as a "nice place to raise your kids". Traffic is relatively light. You only see anything remotely like a jam if there's a wreck in a bad spot during rush hour. Cost of living is relatively low, so you can afford to live in or near the area you frequent if you prefer. Or if you like suburbia, you can get from one end of town to the other in under half an hour. Most destinations in Wichita are usually less than 30 minutes away. Even with its many amenities, Wichita's overall cost-of-living index is a very moderate 89.7, 10.3% below the national urban area average of 100.
(Source – www.wichitachamber.org )
Northeast Wichita is just a short drive away from Downtown Wichita, the Central Business district, and Old Town. In addition, Wichita State is just minutes away. This easy access makes Northeast Wichita an ideal commute to jobs in the downtown area or for college students. Wichita Transit is a bus service that offers transport all across the Wichita area. The City of Wichita maintains more than 60 miles of bicycle paths, lanes and other bicycle facilities. Many of the paths travel through and along scenic areas, such as the Arkansas River. Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport is located just off the southwest side of Kellogg, making travel more convenient.
(Source – City of Wichita website-www.wichita.gov)
Wichita-Northeast Local Attractions/Activities
Wichita boasts a professional opera, symphony and ballet, as well as dozens of cinematic and performance theatres that stand ready to impress with independent films, old favorites or new drama. From traditional to contemporary, our art galleries, varied museums and breathtaking gardens are sure to engage you with their many enticing exhibits. As a region globally recognized as a top pick in test markets by those in the restaurant industry, Wichita residents have their choice of the best of the best.
As development in Wichita continues to boom, so do options in shopping. Local boutiques, antique shops and specialty stores can easily be found throughout the city, as well as nationally recognized retail chains and department stores.
Events like Riverfest, Tallgrass Film Festival, and the National Baseball Congress World series keep Wichita life exciting throughout the year. Bradley Fair, the Great Plains Nature Center, and the Orpheum Theatre are just a few the attractions on the Northeast side of Wichita.
The Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre in downtown Wichita originally opened on Sept. 4, 1922, as the first atmospheric theatre in the United States. The auditorium features colonnades, balconies, lamps and a starry night sky meant to evoke a summer evening in an old Spanish garden courtyard. Today the Orpheum is in the process of a careful and accurate restoration and is home to concerts, films, cultural events, local music, dance, lectures and entertainment. Going strong after more than 90 years, the Wichita Orpheum is a beautiful theater with a reception venue and versatile stage.
INTRUST Bank Arena
The INTRUST Bank Arena is Wichita's state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Wichita. It is owned by Sedgwick County and managed by the world-leader in venue management, SMG. Visit the official INTRUST Bank Arena web site at: www.intrustbankarena.com.
GET AIR WICHITA
GET AIR WICHITA Trampoline Park is the newest Wichita area entertainment venue offering thousands of square feet of trampolines, dodge ball courts, foam pits and more. We are one of the largest jump centers in the nation, featuring state of the art facilities which utilize the top industry standards for trampoline safety and fun.
Old Town Marketplace
Once home to warehouses and manufacturers fueled by the bustling railroads during the early 1900s, Old Town's eight block area has now been transformed into an exciting entertainment district. With restaurants, night clubs, retail shops, loft apartments moving into the mix, the area offers a unique urban experience with something to see and do at every turn.
Museum of World Treasures
Discover treasures from around the world and through the ages at the Museum of World Treasures. Where can you explore the crusty bones of long-lost creatures, marvel at Egyptian mummies, uncover the secrets of ancient civilizations, and enter the battlefields of World Wars? The Museum of World Treasures, with three floors of exhibits and surprises around every corner. Discover your inner explorer!
(Source- Museum of World Treasures Website-www.worldtreasures.org)
Wichita City Arts
CityArts is a visual arts and cultural facility with a mission aiming to enrich the lives of community members with educational and artistic opportunities. By embracing creativity and diversity, CityArts is home to 35 professional artists who teach their crafts, the CityArts Boutique and several gallery spaces featuring local and regional artists.
(Source- Wichita City Arts Website-www.wichitacityarts.org)
Enjoy new releases in a beautiful multi-screen theatre. The east side Warren is right off I-35 for easy access. The Old Town Warren is located downtown and offers a restaurant style theatre experience.
Bradley Fair is home to name brand stores and restaurants as well as local Wichita businesses. Bradley Fair is conveniently located on North Rock Road and is a great place to spend a day with family or friends.
During the summer you can enjoy free jazz concerts every Thursday in June.
Once a year, Bradley Fair Plaza is transformed from marketplace to opera-hall as Wichita Grand Opera (WGO) performs highlights from some of the most famous operas. WGO artists and musicians create the drama, passion and musical force of opera vignettes against the backdrop of Bradley Fair Lake. This community event is free and open to the public.
An alfresco fine arts show and sale, Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair takes place lakeside on beautiful Bradley Fair Parkway in Wichita, Kan. The event features approximately 100 artists from across the U.S. The event is free and open to the public, thanks to our Patrons.
(Source- Bradley Fair-www.bradleyfair.com)
Towne East Mall
Anchored by Dillard's, Von Maur, JCPenney and Sears, you'll find 125 of your favorite stores including COACH, The Limited, Kay Jewelers, Finish Line, Forever 21, The Buckle, Tradehome Shoes and more! Enjoy the enclosed, super-regional shopping center with stores ranging from specialty gifts, to men and women's apparel, to sporting goods. Be sure to come check out Rue 21, the newest addition to Towne East Square located on the upper level near JCPenney. Also at Towne East Square you will find many dining options from sit down restaurants like BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse and Noodles & Co., to grab and go choices such as Charleys Philly Steaks. Towne East Square is the main shopping destination for south-central Kansas located at the intersection of Rock Road and Kellogg in east Wichita.
(Source- Simon Mall website-www.simon.com)
Now recognized as one of the major mid-sized cities in the nation, Wichita has come a long way since its infant years as a trading post and cowtown. The road from "then" to "now" has been filled with colorful people, events and businesses that have been the building blocks for today's cosmopolitan Wichita... a dynamic community rich in culture, activity and opportunity.
The beginnings of the community date to 1868, when J.R. Mead founded a trading post on the banks of the confluence of two rivers, the Arkansas and the Little Arkansas. For centuries this location had also served as a trading place for Native Americans. The name Wichita comes from the Wichita Indians, who settled at various times in the vicinity, and means either "scattered lodges" or "painted faces," depending on which historian you ask.
In 1868, a Wichita Town Company was organized with Mead and six others as original incorporators. Wichita was incorporated as a city of the third class on July 21, 1870. One hundred twenty-three men and one woman signed the original incorporation petition. The woman was Mrs. Catherine McCarty, who owned and operated a laundry. Later, she moved to New Mexico, where her oldest son, Henry, changed his name to William Bonney, better known as "Billy the Kid."
Jesse Chisholm came to Wichita in about 1863, leading a party of sportsmen and adventurers here to hunt game. He later marked the cattle trail, best known as the Chisholm Trail, from the King Ranch in south Texas to Kansas. Cattle by the hundreds of thousands traversed the trail to the Santa Fe railhead at Wichita. In 1872 alone, 350,000 head of cattle were sold in Wichita at a value of more than $2 million, a princely sum in those days.
Spurred by this influx of cowboys in the 1870s who brought hundreds of thousands of cattle out of Texas north to Wichita along the Chisholm Trail, Wichita was indeed a rough and tumble cowtown. It was a city where Wyatt Earp, "Buffalo Bill" William Mathewson and Bat Masterson walked the dusty streets. Just west of the river, the area known as Delano was especially wild and woolly. All manner of vice could be found in saloons, dance halls, gambling and prostitution houses to entertain the thirsty and lonely cowboys.
Even though the cattle trade lasted only three or four years, its presence assured Wichita's position as a commercial hub. With the trade groundwork firmly established, manufacturing and agriculture industries thrived in the late teens and early 1920s. In addition, savvy aviation entrepreneurs moved in to take advantage of the benefits of a prosperous oil industry, agreeable climate and wide open spaces perfect for building and testing these new birds of flight.
Men like Lloyd Stearman, Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna, E.M. Laird, J.M. Mollendick and George Weaver were responsible for starting the aircraft industry in the area. With Mollendick as the financial backer, Laird started the Swallow Airplane Company to build the Swallow airplane that had been designed in Chicago. Interestingly, Beech, Stearman, and Weaver all worked for Laird and Mollendick until each went on to establish his own company. Stearman's company later was purchased by The Boeing Company of Seattle, now Spirit AeroSystems. Today Spirit is Wichita’s largest employer with more than 20,000 employees.
The Beech (now Hawker Beechcraft Corporation) and Cessna companies continue today, as does Learjet (now Bombardier Aerospace Learjet), founded by William Lear in the mid-1960s. It was through the efforts of these aviation pioneers that Wichita earned the title of "Air Capital of the World." With all companies still located in Wichita, this title is still relevant today. Cessna, Bombardier Aerospace Learjet and Raytheon supply more than half of the world's general aviation and military aircraft. Boeing supplies two-thirds of the world's commercial airliners.
It was not only aviation that established Wichita as a hotbed of entrepreneurship. Many other Wichita business leaders have made their mark too. W.C. Coleman, a name synonymous worldwide with camping and outdoor recreational equipment, produced his first Coleman lantern in Wichita in 1914.
About the same time, another innovative business leader, A.A. Hyde, invented a product that was to become a household word... mentholatum. Later, two enterprising Wichitans launched White Castle hamburgers here.
Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the U.S., is another homegrown success story. Originally established as the Wood River Oil and Refining Company in 1940, Koch Industries has become one of the most diverse firms in the nation. Koch operations include refined products, chemicals, crude oil services, gas liquids, energy services, chemical technology, minerals services, agriculture and capital services.
In 1958, Frank and Dan Carney borrowed $600 from their mother and established their first Pizza Hut in Wichita in a small red brick building. This original Pizza Hut now resides on the campus of Wichita State University as testimony to the possibilities of vision, hard work and the spirit of entrepreneurship.
A sampling of other well-known national and international companies with roots in Wichita include: Candlewood Inn, Cox Communications, Hyperion Communications, Pioneer Balloon, Rent-A-Center, Ryan Aviation, Sheplers Western Wear Store, and The Residence Inn.
Obviously, Wichita has come a long way since its beginnings as a trading post and cowtown. Right now, Wichita is a booming city with one of the best economies in the nation...a solid, diverse economy with business interests that span the globe. Good jobs and good salaries, below national average costs, short commute times and burgeoning arts and attractions have also developed in conjunction with this solid, Midwest spirit of hard work and vision... a pioneer spirit all dressed up in high tech fashion.
But, it's the original foundation as a center for commerce that has been the one constant ensuring Wichita’s progress through good times and bad. It's a legacy of commerce that will continue to keep Wichita prosperous as we charge ahead in this 21st century.