HistoryHutchinson Public Schools dates back to a one-room school that opened four years before the city of Hutchinson was incorporated. The district grew steadily with the community and benefited from Hutchinson Naval Air Stations presence south of the community during World War II and the Korean Conflict.At its height, Hutchinson Public Schools formerly known as Reno County District No. 1 had nearly 10,000 students. Several rural districts surrounded the district, each bumping up to the city's corporate limits.When the district was reorganized as Unified School District No. 308 on July 1, 1966, the Board decided the geography of the district should include only the then existing boundaries of Hutchinson. The decision allowed the district to maintain its neighborhood schools without any busing.Today, the district is the third smallest K-12 district in Kansas at 14 square miles. In contrast, the next smallest district in Reno County is Buhler USD 313 at 137 square miles. Fairfield USD 310 is more than a quarter the size of the entire state of Rhode Island at 435.5 miles. As the city of Hutchinson s boundaries expanded and the natural out-migration from the city center occurred, USD 308 did not enjoy the expanded population. Consequently, the rural districts became suburban.
The future of USD 308 is guided by its vision statement:
Hutchinson Public Schools are committed to providing a engaging
learning community for our students, faculty and staff. We challenge
our students to achieve the skills to live and work in the 21st Century
and to reach their full personal and academic potential. Excellence
will be accomplished in a trusting, caring and cooperative environment. Excellence will be accomplished in a
trusting, caring and cooperative environment.
Based on the vision, district staff shares the following beliefs:
all students are capable of learning;
all students will learn, and the school district will be accountable for their learning;
all adults in the schools shall be positive role models;
the school district, the community and society are partners and share both the responsibility and the accountability for quality education;
students and staff shall be lifelong learners;
everyone has the right to be treated with respect;
students learn best when taught by highly motivated, professional educators in a student-centered environment;
district decisions must be based on what is best for students;
the future success of all our students depends on the quality of education today.
Based on our mission and our vision, the district has developed a stategic plan.
Key Goal No. 1: USD 308 will recruit, deploy and maintain high performing faculty and staff that will best meet the needs of students and the school district.
Key Goal No. 2: USD 308 students will acquire skills needed for the 21st century.
Key Goal No. 3: USD 308 will demonstrate continuous improvement on world-class indicators.
Key Goal No. 4: USD 308 will maintain a caring, safe, welcoming environment conducive to teaching and learning.
Key Goal No. 5: USD 308 will maintain an educational support system that focuses resources on improving student achievement and on wise stewardship of school district resources.
TodayUSD 308 serves approximately 4,900 students in pre-kindergarten through post-high school. The district offers pre-natal (the Early Head Start program) through high school services to the community and is a partner with Hutchinson Community College to offer post-secondary Career and Technical Education training. Our facilities include one early learning center, eight elementary schools, one middle school on two campuses and a single high school.
The district is ethnically and socio-economically diverse. The districts study body is 71 percent Caucasian, 18 percent Hispanic, 5.2 percent African American and 4.7 percent multi-ethnic. More than 63 percent of our students qualify for free- and reduced-price meals.
USD 308 is district accredited by AdvancedED/NCA.
The district is completing construction of a $78.8 million bond issue approved by district voters in 2006. The bond issue included upgraded facilities at all elementary and middle schools as well as significant upgrades at Hutchinson High School. Additionally, the bond issue provided for a new Career and Technical Education Academy on the HHS campus.
Hutchinson also has embraced numerous quality initiatives, including the Koalaty Kid at the K-6 level and Quality Keys at the secondary school level. The district employs Ruby Payne and Kagan cooperative learning strategies as well.
Kansas Learning Network
In September 2008, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) contracted with Cross & Joftus, LLC to implement a model for working with KSDE and five Kansas districts—Garden City, Kansas City, Topeka, Turner, and Wichita—struggling to demonstrate adequate yearly progress (AYP).
In 2009, this model, the Kansas Learning Network (KLN), was expanded to reach 12 more Kansas districts not making AYP, and subsequently in 2010, to reach 11 more, including Hutchinson Public Schools, USD 308. Since that time, one district has left the Network because it demonstrated AYP two consecutive years. And, seven additional districts demonstrated AYP in the area(s) identified for improvement; they will continue to remain in the Network for an additional year. It should be noted that Hutchinson is not yet on improvement, and chose to participate in the Network voluntarily.
The rationale for the Learning Network is that districts struggling to demonstrate AYP need a combination of support and pressure to make difficult changes that will result in higher overall levels of student achievement and a narrowing of achievement gaps. Unfortunately, there is no “silver bullet” for making improvements, and the KSDE has finite capacity to help. Districts and the KSDE, however, can make significant progress if they think and act systemically, focus resources and energy on improving the teaching and learning process, and work collaboratively and with support from an external “critical friend.”
The goal, then, of the Learning Network is to improve school and district quality and increase student achievement through a collaborative, organization-development approach focused on applying systems theory and using data effectively.
Read more about the Kansas Learning Network by downloading the PDF file.