In the Eudora School District, Kansas Unified School District No. 491, you'll find large-district opportunities in a small-district atmosphere. Our academics are second to none and are consistently recognized for accomplishment and success. Our teachers and staff are committed to excellence and to helping prepare each student to find individual achievement.
Our district consists of five schools. One elementary school, one middle school, one high school, and one technical education center. Our enrollment for the 2018-19 school year was 1,736 students consisting of PreK to 12th grade. Please take a look at the KSDE report card to find out more information about our district and schools.
District Origins and History
From the earliest days when rural schools began to consolidate in the middle and late 1800s, to the latest district addition of a new high school building in 2003, the Eudora School District has had one constant trend: growth.
While the Methodist Mission School in 1851 and other private subscription schooling was available, the first city building for a school was the frame building used as city hall, with a jail in the lower level, on the corner of Sixth and Main, later at Seventh and Main.
Less than ten years after moving into the city's building, a new school was needed to keep up with growing enrollment. To meet these needs, a stone schoolhouse was built at 7th and Church St. in 1866. A brick addition was added in 1881, and a new two-story, six-room brick building was built in 1903. The EHS graduating class of 1918 was the last class to graduate from this building.
The major growth of students in Eudora can be accounted for by the number of rural schools in the area. From 1852-1890, there were 23 rural schools in an area less than eight miles from Eudora. As these closed their doors, the students came to school in Eudora. In 1918, a school was built at 10th and Main to accommodate the growth trend, and it is said that children found pieces at the construction site during this project!
With the building of Sunflower Ordnance Works in 1942, a federal munitions plant four miles east of Eudora, the population of Eudora nearly tripled, which created problems for the facilities in place at the schools. The school lunch room was closed to use as a classroom, and seats were in the aisles. Around 1944, the 60 first graders went to school in the Eudora Methodist Church for half a day, while the large second grade class used that building for the other half of the day. In 1949, first graders attended school in the Victory Theatre building, at seventh and Main.
With the explosive enrollment, and all of the resulting wear and tear on the building, a new school was built. And a 1951 addition to the existing high school structure at 10th and Main allowed for a consolidated grade school that shared the gymnasium and cafeteria. Five years later, a four-room addition was added to the grade school addition, followed by several portable trailer classrooms to further address growing enrollment. In 1959, an annex was added to the high school, and in 1965, Nottingham Primary was built.
When Nottingham was built at 15th and Elm, the location was on the complete outskirts of town. It was built at a cost of $175,000 and was designed with the open classroom concept for kindergarten through third grade. It was named for Miss Roberta Nottingham, a Eudora teacher from 1942-1967.
Perhaps the most significant administrative change came in the district in 1966 when the schools became unified with a Eudora superintendent of schools, rather than a county superintendent.
Continuing growth meant two more additions to Nottingham, in 1974 and 1996, as well as a new elementary school, Eudora West Elementary, which opened in 1994.
As Eudora has continued to grow, the Eudora School District has tried to expand in such a way that balances student needs and fiscal responsibility, while keeping academic excellence as the top priority. A new high school opened south of K-10 Highway in 1995, and just a few years later, this building became the middle school when the current Eudora High School opened in 2003.
A landmark $45 million bond was passed by Eudora voters in November 2007, providing for a new elementary school for all Eudora students, as well as permanent classroom additions at Eudora Middle School and Eudora High School. A dedication ceremony celebrated the opening of Eudora Elementary School in fall 2009.
Two other highlights of the bond projects was the Eudora-De Soto Technical Education Center, performing arts center and Eudora District Stadium, all of which opened on the EHS campus in the fall of 2010. Special events marked the openings of the stadium that fall and the performing arts center and technical education center during the winter.
When Eudora Elementary opened in the fall of 2009, Nottingham closed as a school, and West Elementary became the West Early Childhood Family Center, housing the district's preschool and all-day kindergarten programs. Budget constraints in 2010 forced the temporary closure of West as a school, as early childhood programs moved into extra classrooms at EES.
In 2013 as growth continued, West was re-opened as the Eudora West Resource Center to house the District Offices, Board of Education, and several support programs. In the Fall of 2017, the preschool programs were relocated back to West to allow for expanded growth at Eudora Elementary School.
The above historical account was excerpted in large part from Eudora Community Heritage of our USA Bicentennial, a 1977 publication coordinated by the Eudora Bicentennial Committee.