Curtis Junior High School was named for Charles Curtis, a Kansan, who became vice president of the United States.
Charles Curtis was born on January 25, 1860. At 16, he began studying law and passed his Kansas Bar Exam at the age of 21. He was a prosecuting attorney and a county attorney for Shawnee County. He was elected to the House of Representatives and then elected Senator. He was a Senator for almost 30 years. He served as vice president of the United States under Herbert Hoover. He died in 1936 at the age of 76.
The construction for Curtis started in 1951 and was completed in 1953. The school opened in September of 1953 with 19 classrooms, an office,library, auditorium, gymansium, and cafeteria for 600 students. The staff consisted of a principal and 25 teachers.
In 1954, two shop rooms were added. In 1955, 12 additional classrooms were added. Enrollment the following fall was 979 students with a principal, assistant principal, and 38 teachers. In 1961, 23 classrooms, a second office, another gymnasium, and a dining room were added. The old library was converted to classrooms and a new library added.
The enrollment in the fall of 1961 was 1,221 students with 55 teachers. At that time, Spanish, Latin, World History, and Biology was added to the curriculum.
In the fall of 1988, all 9th graders were moved to high school, leaving 7th and 8th graders. In the fall of 1989, all junior highs became middle schools (6-8).
In April of 2000, voters of Wichita approved a $284.5 million bond issue.
Curtis received an upgrade/replaced infrastructure and a new addition including an expanded library, four science labs, and a connecting walkway. The project was completed in November of 2004.