USD 259

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Wichita Public Schools and Wichita Transit have formed a new partnership to get some students off to school on a city bus.

The pilot program, launched this week at seven middle and high schools, is for students who live less than two and a half miles from school, and who don't qualify to ride the school bus.

City bus passes will be available for $20 dollars a month instead of the usual $55.

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In-person enrollment has begun for Wichita Public Schools, which has more than 50,000 students.

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The new superintendent for Wichita Public Schools presided over her first Board of Education meeting on Monday.

Alicia Thompson told board members she plans to launch a series of listening sessions this fall.

District Spokeswoman Susan Arensman says Thompson will use the community feedback to help guide her plan for the district.

"She wants to go out in the community and listen to what parents, community members, business partners and teachers say, what their vision is, what their needs are and what they want to see the school district do," Arensman says.

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The Wichita Public School District is moving its administrative offices to the former Southeast High School on Edgemoor.

They’re packing up desks, shelves, files and everything else in the Wichita Public Schools’ downtown offices on north Water Street. The district offices have been at the building for more than 20 years.

District Spokeswoman Susan Arensman says moving out will take place over the next two months because they’re relocating department by department, as well as about 240 employees.

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Online enrollment for Wichita Public schools opened Wednesday.

The first day of school is still more than a month away, but parents of returning students in the Wichita school district can get their kids ready for the new school year now.

Parents can use the ParentVUE online portal to complete enrollment forms and waivers, see class schedules and pay for school meals before school starts on Aug. 23. Online enrollment is also available in Spanish.

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Wichita Public Schools plans to keep its doors open this summer while it awaits the Kansas Supreme Court's ruling on a new school funding plan.

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Updated Tuesday at 11:17 a.m.  

Beginning next school year, Wichita schools will start and end 10 minutes earlier.

The Board of Education voted 4-0 Monday to approve the change.

Classes that normally begin at 7 a.m. will now start at 6:50 and let out at 2:30 in the afternoon. The first morning buses will now begin running at 5:55 a.m.

Wichita Public Schools

The Wichita School Board has approved the sale of property near Jackson Elementary in the northeast part of the city.

The board unanimously voted Monday to sell off the 17.5 acres of land near 29th & Woodlawn.

"We had that piece of property for many years before we even built Jackson, and through the years we've sold off pieces of the property before to a couple of churches so that areas in the neighborhood could also use the property that we are not using," says USD 259 spokeswoman Susan Arensman.

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The Wichita Public School District is serving free summer meals for students beginning Monday through the start of school in August. But, the district is still preparing for a possible statewide shutdown in July that could impact the program.

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The Wichita Public Schools Board of Education will review and vote on next year’s school calendar at its meeting Monday night.

The proposed calendar would continue the shortened school year adopted in 2016 as a way to save the district millions of dollars. The district lengthened the school day by 30 minutes to cut 15 days off the yearly calendar.