Kensler is a diverse neighborhood school that celebrates learning. We have integrated curriculum that focuses on the academic, social, physical and emotional needs of each student. In addition to the regular curriculum, Kensler offers physical education, vocal music, art, English for Speakers of Other Languages, interrelated classes, all day Kindergarten, and Pre Kindergarten. We place special emphasis on teaching common core standard in all grade levels.
Kensler has a computer lab, laptops in each classroom along with IPad available for all students to utilize throughout the school day.
Kensler offers a strong and supportive parent and volunteer community. Our PTA has a strong leadership and continually offers opportunities for students to have fun and excel in school. Kensler's experience, warm and friendly staff work closely with parents to provide a quality education for all children.
Pearl Kensler was the third school built in District 69 and was located in Country Acres, bounded by Wilbur Lane, School, and Tenth Streets. The school was named in honor of Miss Pearl Kensler, a Kansas educator who was a teacher from 1895 to 1950 and from 1950 to 1957 was Sedgwick county Superintendent.
Delayed by a bond election defeat, the school of nine classrooms for grades kindergarten through eight was still under construction in September 1958. By then, it had become obvious that the building would be inadequate for school enrollment. The 1958-1959 school year began with Country Acres pupils being bused to temporary quarters in the district. Fourth through eighth grades at Peterson School went on double shifts to accommodate corresponding Kensler grades. When the Kensler building was completed in February 1959, approximately 280 children in Kindergarten through sixth grade moved in. Fifty-seventh and eighth graders completed the year at Peterson.
A bond issue had been voted in January 1959 for an addition of six classrooms and an auditorium. Construction was completed early, allowing all newly constructed classrooms to open the following October, which allowed 372 pupils in the building. However, the heavy enrollment in Kindergarten and Preschool census indicated further space needs.
Annexation by Wichita in early 1960 relieved the building crisis temporarily. Since grades seven and eight attended Hadley, there was sufficient room for the remaining grades. Additional services which the county school did not have were also provided. These included library space and staff, a speech therapist, a nurse, and a music instructor.
Three portables were moved to Kensler for the 1961-1962 school term. Enrollment increases required additional portables each year until 1966-1967. A total of nine had been added. In 1967-1968, four classrooms of pupils were bused to McCollum School. Bussing continued for the 1968-1969 school year.
The space north of the school site between Tenth and Warren Streets was acquired in 1967. Tenth Street was closed, and the playground area was enlarged. The Wichita Board of Education approved a major addition to Kensler and construction began in November 1968. The $750.000 addition, consisting of 20 classrooms and a large library complex, opened at the beginning of the 1969-1970 school year with an enrollment of 753. The new building had sufficient space to accommodate four classrooms for each grade level.
During the 1985 - 1986 school year, a computer lab was developed, and enrollment reached 650. Due to the loss of sixth graders to middle school in 1989, and the moving of Special Ed programs around the city, Kensler's enrollment averaged 525.
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 facilities, improved handicap science labs, replaced portable classrooms with permanent facilities, 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.
Kensler received five Kindergarten classrooms with attached restrooms that serve as the school's FEMA safe rooms, a kitchen, and renovations for student support.
Kensler celebrated the completion of the project in September 2002.
On Nov. 4, 2008, voters approved a $370 million bond issue that added a new lunchroom cafeteria and table storage, an Art classroom, two music classrooms, a physical education office and storage space, restrooms, controlled access entry, ADA ramp, a parking lot north of the building, and upgrades to the HVAC system.
Before construction, art and music classes were held in standard-sized classrooms that allowed little space for fine arts activities. New construction allowed for an art room and two music rooms that now provide ample space for exploring the arts. The old art and music classrooms are now used as additional classroom space.
Construction was completed in August 2012, just in time for students to enjoy and learn in the newly provided spaces.