Class acts

Private, public, eschool — the choice is yours

WRITTEN BY JULIE SCHILLINGS

Explore the options

Explore the options

College preparatory, international, virtual and faith-based schools — the options in Wichita are as varied as the people who live here. If you want your kids to learn Mandarin, Hebrew or Spanish? You have choices. Selecting the right educational environment for your child puts them on the pathway to success. While it is true that schools are essentially teaching the same core subjects, the philosophy of teaching and the atmosphere will vary from school to school. With the common goal of preparing graduates for success in college and their careers, the educational community is working to position Wichita students competitively within a global environment.

Learning comes to life at The Independent School

Students in grades pre-kindergarten through high school at The Independent School are provided a superior education dedicated to their individual intellectual, emotional and physical growth.Independent’s community of 500 students includes a wide variety of racial, ethnic, economic and religious backgrounds. Extracurricular activities are encouraged to expand students’ interests in athletics, performing arts and competitive academics.

50% of 
Independent’s 2013 graduates are pursuing 
college degrees in a STEM discipline

50% of Independent’s 2013 graduates are pursuing college degrees in a STEM discipline

Head of Schools, Dr. Mary Dickerson, recognizes the need for schools to adapt and embrace programs that prepare students to succeed in a global economy. Nationally, technology companies have been concerned by a growing pool of jobs and an inadequate number of students graduating in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics - or STEM disciplines. Independent consistently encourages learning through hands-on activities, experimentation and exploration, but Dr. Dickerson is especially excited about the addition of two new programs this fall.

In collaboration with the Expanding Your Horizons Network at Wichita State University, middle school girls will learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities and by developing mentoring relationships. Zoo Science is a new course for select middle and upper school students. Held on-site at Sedgwick County Zoo, students will experience a literal living- classroom. For the third year, Exploration Place will bring their mobile learning lab to school for student enrichment activities. Kindergarten through second-graders will continue their Mandarin language lessons in addition to Spanish class as excellent preparation for communicating in our evolving world.

A robust offering of STEM courses in addition to advanced placement opportunities in mathematics has resulted in an interesting trend - 50% of Independent’s 2013 graduates are pursuing college degrees in a STEM discipline. The administration is also proud to report that 100% of 2013 graduating seniors were accepted to college. When asked what contributed to this admirable achievement, Dr. Dickerson replied, “Teachers are at the heart of our school. We have great teachers who are well prepared and passionate about what they teach.”

Students learn at their own pace in online classrooms

Enrollment in online learning programs continues to grow by 30% year after year. Several local accredited public schools offer tuition-free online programs that combine the accountability of a public school, the innovation of online learning and the supportive, flexible environment of home schooling.

Andover eCademy offers online learning for kindergarten through 12th grade students throughout Kansas. Recognizing that all children do not learn in the same way, students enrolled in eCademy can complete their coursework at their own pace. In addition to weekly scheduled virtual live lessons, highly qualified, state-certified teachers offer in-house work days to allow students to receive face-to-face help when needed. In addition to the individualized and flexible online curriculum, students have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, including clubs, interest groups and field trips.

Learning2 eSchool of Wichita encourages learning anytime, anywhere at any pace. The curriculum is designed to develop creative problem solving, leadership and critical thinking skills necessary to navigate in the global community. Teachers are available to help K - 12 students during walk-in tutoring times or by appointment. There is a passion for learning and a joy for living at Learning2 eSchool. Early courses provide students with fundamentals, focusing on the development of solid organizational study skills and problem- solving techniques. As students progress, they have the opportunity to select from a wide range of electives. College bound students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement and dual credit courses.

 
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