• Our History


    The Mueller School District was established in 1952 to serve the educational needs of a new housing area in northeast Wichita. Hollobaugh-Bowers were the architects for the 15-room school. The adult population in the area consisted mostly of young married couples who had come from small towns in Kansas and neighboring states to work in the aircraft factories. The school population rose from 298 in 1952 to over 800 in 1958.
    In 1962, the Wichita Board of Education announced that 140 black children from Isely Elementary School would be transferred to Mueller. A decision was made in 1963 to add a 19-classroom addition to the existing school plant. Skinner Elementary School was closed in 1964-65 because of the construction of Highway I-135, and a change was made in the Mueller boundary lines to include a major portion of the Skinner District plus a sizable area south of 21st Street formerly in the Isely district.
    As a result of these actions, the white population began an immediate exodus from the community. The number of vacant and abandoned houses in the area rose to over 200. After 1963, there was a tremendous turnover in school population. The large number of black pupils enrolled rose rapidly; the number of white pupils enrolled decreased at the same rate. By 1965, Mueller had become a predominantly black school.
    To overcome crowded conditions at Mueller and to help integrate other elementary schools in Wichita in 1968, approximately 425 students were bused to 11 other elementary schools. In 1971, the Mueller district was included in the Assigned Attendance Area of the integration plan adopted by the Board of Education. Since that date, the ratio of 26 to 30 percent black pupils has been consistently maintained.
    Mueller School was named for Charles P. Mueller, a Wichita pioneer and former president of the Board of Education. He was born in Williamsville, New York, June 13, 1862, and came to Kansas with his parents in 1867. His father had taken a soldier's claim near Lawrence; however, the family moved back to New York in 1874 because of the grasshoppers. Charles began work in a greenhouse in Buffalo, New York in 1875 and in 1882, he returned to Lawrence where he worked as a florist. He came to Wichita in 1883, again working as a florist, and in 1885, he started his own greenhouse. At the time of his death on November 24, 1932, his company was one of the largest floral establishments in Kansas.
    Mr. Mueller was very active in civic organizations, a charter member of St. Paul's Methodist Church, one of the founders of the Wichita YMCA, and a member of the Rotary Club of Wichita. He was an organizing member of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and served on its Board of Directors. Mr. Mueller was a member of the Wichita Board of Education from 1914 to 1926, serving as president when Wichita High School East was built.
    At the beginning of the 1988-89 year, sixth grade students were incorporated into the middle school program, leaving a K-5 enrollment of around 475 with 30 percent black students.
    In April 2000, the voters of the Wichita School District approved a $284.5 million bond issue. The projects began in the fall of 2000 and were completed over the next five years. The plan built 19 multipurpose rooms, upgraded science labs, replaced portable classrooms with permanent construction, improved handicap accessibility to all buildings, rebuilt five existing elementary schools, added a new elementary and middle school, expanded seven other elementary schools and provided nine new libraries as well as the expansion of nine others. Building infrastructure in 82 buildings was also upgraded, including the replacement of antiquated plumbing, updates and expansion of electrical systems, replacement of inefficient or broken windows and doors, upgrades of heating and cooling systems, and asbestos abatement when required.
    With the help of PBA Architects, P.A. and Sauerwein Construction Co., Mueller received an upgraded infrastructure and the library was expanded and renovated.
    The Bond celebration was held at the completion of the project on February 10, 2004.