Central's History

  • Central Elementary School has a tradition of excellence and a future filled with high expectations. We are a partnership of students, parents, staff, and community working together to provide a caring and safe place where all students will learn and succeed as life-long learners.

    Central is located in Olathe, Kansas; the Johnson County seat since 1882. Both Olathe and Central have a rich history. Olathe was settled in 1857 as a stop on the Oregon Trail and has progressed rapidly from a small farming town to a thriving community of approximately 80,000 people. In 1868, six years before Olathe was organized into a school district, the town built its first permanent school building, Stone School. The two-story, four-room stone structure accommodated four teachers and 175 pupils. Following the establishment of the Olathe School District in 1868 it became apparent that there was a need for a new elementary school due to the overcrowding at Stone School. Based on that need, Central Elementary School was founded in 1882. It remained in active service to the community at the same site for more than 110 years, making Central Elementary the oldest of Olathe School District’s 35 elementary schools.

    Central opened its doors in 1883 with a staff of seven teachers serving approximately 175 students. Currently 64 teachers and staff serve approximately 250 students. Approximately 250 teachers under some 20 principals have served the more than 8,000 students who have attended Central. Among Central’s former students are: scientist George Washington Carver* (maybe…see note below), two Kansas governors, one Missouri governor, one congressman, numerous mayors, judges, entertainers, and successful business professionals.

    The current Central community is a blend of professional workers, blue-collar workers, retired persons, and families receiving government assistance.  Over 85 percent of Central students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Over the last five years, Central’s enrollment has fluctuated from 250 to 280 per year. Approximately 40 percent of Central students are new to the school each year.  Central’s current enrollment is about 250 students.  We are one of 11 Olathe District Schools that receive federal Title 1 funds.

    The School Improvement Plan (SIP) developed by Central’s community is driven by input garnered from formal and informal assessments of our students’ needs. Staff development is an extensive and on-going piece of Central’s School Improvement Plan. All instructional practices delivered through staff training are aligned with the School Improvement Process. Each staff training session aligns with goals identified in our plan. These goals are measured through increased student achievement.

    The entire Central staff is committed to supporting its members. Through building staff development in-services that focus on teaching strategies to supporting teachers’ needs, we work as a collaborative team. We are a close-knit family of staff members who support each other personally as well as professionally.

    *It was rumored that George Washington Carver attended Central.  We are researching this and are beginning to think that he lived in the area but maybe did not actually attend Central.  If you have information about his life in Olathe we would like to hear from you.

  • Central cougar logo

    Our Location:

    305 E. Cedar Street
    Olathe, KS 66061

    Our Phone Number:


    Our Fax Number:


    Our Mascot:

    The Cougar

    Our School Colors:

    Blue and white