History of Woodman
Rea Woodman School was named in honor and in memory of a pioneer citizen of Wichita who spoke of herself as a person with an "abounding spirit of adventure." Rea Woodman was an educator, lecturer, historian, and a writer. Her colorful spirit continues to be manifested in our school.
Rea Woodman Elementary opened in January of 1956 with 283 students enrolled. The school was located next door to Truesdell Middle School. Between 1956 and 1961, Woodman's enrollment grew to over 1200 students and a new school was building across Glenn Street on the site of the present day Rea Woodman. In September of 1962, the brand new school opened. The beautiful brick structure resembled a "helping hand," with the center of the building being the palm of the hand and housing the multipurpose room used for PE classes as well as lunchroom. Classrooms ran the length of the fingers making the 5 halls or wings. Classrooms were grouped together in grade level clusters. Thus the new school met the needs of a large school while the grade levels were grouped together in separate wings to create the feeling of a smaller school within the large school.
In 1976, John Martin School was closed and many of the staff and students transferred to Woodman. During the summer of 1976, Woodman was made wheel chair accessible and that year the physically impaired students from through out the district moved to Woodman. In 1985 several classrooms in E wing were remodeled and combined to provide more usable space for the Physical Impaired Program. These students, once isolated from regular education students became an integral part of the education process at Woodman.
Declining enrollment by 1977 lead to much movement in the school. Staff moved the many classrooms to a different location within the building leaving 6 classrooms vacant in A hall. These rooms were air conditioned and remodeled and for the next five years, the District's Energy Center was housed at Woodman. Students throughout the District came to the energy center on field trips. in 1984 the Energy Center moved to the Earhart Environmental Complex.
In 1982-83, Woodman became one of the three USD 259 schools to pilot an elementary school computer lab, Housed in A1, the fifteen Apple computers allowed teachers to use the computer lab for the instruction of students in computer skills.
In 1985 Knight School closed and a few area student along with the Gifted Program moved to Woodman. Two years later in 1987, the four sixth grade classes located at Woodman moved to Truesdell, one year ahead of the District's change to sixth, seventh and eight grade middle schools in Wichita.
1988 brought yet another program to Woodman when seven rooms in B Wing housed the Woodman Open Magnet School. With seven classrooms and their own staff, the Open Magnet shared Woodman's facilities and support staff for a year until they could move to their own building now known as Lewis Open Magnet.
Woodman began all-day Kindergarten in 1991-92. A breakfast program and latchkey programs were also added that year.
As a part of the 2000 Bond Project, Woodman was air conditioned and a new multipurpose/safe room was added to the east end of C wing. The old multipurpose room in the center of the building was remodeled into a Library and the old libraries were converted to Music classrooms. The addition and remodeling was dedicated in February of 2004. With the completion of the major Woodman remodeling, two rooms in A hall were then remodeled to accommodate a Pre K program.
In 2005-06 two more new programs found homes at Woodman, the Pre K program moved into A hall along with an ESOL program. In May of 2011, construction was completed on the new cafeteria located next to the multipurpose room at the end of C Hall. The staff and students have been using the new cafeteria beginning in the2011-2012 school year.