Horace Mann History:
Horace Mann opened for school in the fall of 1918 as Horace Mann Intermediate School , one of the first junior high schools west of the Mississippi River. The school was named for Horace Mann, the outstanding New England educator and inventor who lived during the first half of the nineteenth century.
The initial building was completed in 1917 and was added to in 1918. In 1950, an addition was constructed consisting of a gymnasium-auditorium combination, two art rooms and a small theater used for instrumental music. Portables were added in 1960, 1961 and 1968. Remodeling of the library, offices and corridors was completed in 1976.
The first room for the educable mentally handicapped was added in 1961. Later three more rooms were provided to serve pupils in the area north of Douglas and west of Broadway.
Originally the school was located in the affluent section of town where some of the finest large homes were situated. As families moved to suburbs and other areas of the city, this inner city area changed, and many large homes were converted to apartments. Consequently, the school population became one with a high rate of mobility.
In the first 40 years school, enrollment fluctuated from 650 to a high of more than 800 pupils. After 1970 the enrollment gradually decreased to less than 500. The school was well integrated with just over 30 percent black, about 14 percent Hispanic, and the remainder white in those days.
On May 16, 1977, the Board of Education voted to initiate a middle school program during 1977-78 at Horace Mann school on an experimental basis and approved changing the name of the school to Horace Mann Middle School. The school opened in September 1977 with an enrollment of 386 pupils, including grades six, seven and eight. The ninth graders in the Horace Mann attendance area attended Wichita High School North.
In 1989 Horace Mann was combined with Irving and Park Elementary Schools to become a foreign language magnet elementary school with grades 3-5 housed at Irving and Park. Enrollment remained around 450 students with 56 percent Hispanic, 16 percent black and 23 percent white.
In 1997, the Irving/Horace Mann program received a grant to begin a Two-Way Bilingual Program. Goals included: (1) to promote high achievement of oral language proficiency, literacy and writing in both English and Spanish, (2) to establish a strong academic-based curriculum in two languages, and (3) to embrace the diversity of our multicultural world. In 2002-2003, as a result of the USD 259 Bond Issue, Horace Mann was expanded to a K - 8 pure dual-language magnet school, while Irving became a K - 5 neighborhood elementary school. As part of the bond project, a new building was built adjacent to the old Horace Mann building and, in the Fall of 2003, Horace Mann relocated to a brand new building located at 1243 N. Market St in Wichita, KS.
Currently, Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet offers a unique two-way dual language immersion program to Wichita area students. Our dual language program curriculum is based on the Kansas State Standards and is taught in both English and Spanish. To support our two-way dual language immersion structure 50% of incoming kindergarten students’ first language (L1) is English, while the other 50% of students’ L1 is Spanish. English and Spanish speakers are organized into classrooms through thoughtful consideration of their language skills. The distribution of students based on language strengths allows students to serve as models of language for each other. Through this organizational practice students benefit from exposure to strong native or heritage speakers in both languages. This structure promotes ongoing collaboration and a cross cultural exchange of ideas between our students.