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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wichita school board keeps Northeast, Isely names

By Suzanne Perez Tobias
The Wichita Eagle

The sign outside a new high school in Bel Aire will say Northeast Magnet High School, after a board decision tonight to transfer the name along with the magnet program.

Wichita school board members also voted to transfer Isely Traditional Magnet Elementary’s name along with its program to a new school at 53rd North and Woodlawn.

That means three of five new schools that will open this fall as part of the 2008 bond issue have been named. In 2010, the board named a new school at 33rd North and Arkansas for Martin Ortiz, a North High graduate and leader in Latino education.

Board members voted 6-0 to appoint a committee that will consider names for a new K-8 school at 143rd East and Pawnee and a new elementary — a replacement for Lewis Open Magnet — near 31st South and Seneca.

Officials have been referring to the new elementary as “Lewis/South” because it will replace Lewis and serve as a neighborhood school.

But the board voted last week to close Emerson Open Magnet Elementary and merge its program with Lewis. The new school also will serve students with special needs who attend Lincoln Elementary, which will close this year.

Board member Jeff Davis, whose district includes the new school, said he wanted a committee to consider all possibilities for naming the school.

There are Wichita schools named for educators, poets, inventors, presidents, senators, military heroes, civic leaders and aviation pioneers. Some are named for streets or neighborhoods.

Board policy requires that schools be named for deceased people. Elementary schools are to be named for prominent local people who have died; middle schools and K-8 schools can be named for local, state or national figures. High schools are to have directional names based on the area of the district in which the building is located.

The committee, which Allison hopes to have appointed in late March, will consider suggestions from the community to name the new south elementary and the southeast K-8.

Suggestions for school names can be submitted in writing — by letter or e-mail — to the clerk of the board. They must include the suggested name and reasons, as well as the name, address and phone number of the person suggesting the name.

In other business tonight, board members heard reports about the district’s anti-bullying initiatives and behavior reform efforts at South High and Clark Elementary.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com.

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