Kyle Ellison has been selected as the founding school director for Wichita’s new innovative Khan Lab School, a school that challenges the typical educational model.

Khan Lab School  started as an online learning model and opened its first brick and mortar school in 2014 in Palo Alto, CA.  The school allows for the personalization of education, offering students an opportunity to self-pace through lessons that are scaled to their current level of understanding, and moving them forward only once they have mastered a topic within a lesson.

Khan Lab School, which is expected to begin accepting applications this fall for the 2024-25 school year, will be the first partner at the new Wichita Learning Lab, an education hub committed to student-driven learning models and innovative education solutions.  Learning Lab is a project of Stand Together, a philanthropic group with one of its focuses on improving educational barriers so “everyone can rise.” 

Ellison said he is looking forward to implementing a new learning model that offers alternative paths for students.

“I am honored to join an organization dedicated to innovation in education and individualized learning concepts for students,” Ellison said. “As a Kansas native raised in Wichita’s southside, I have seen the lack of educational options families have firsthand.”

Ellison joins the new venture after serving as the first executive director of Real Men, Real Heroes, a mentoring program for students in third through eighth grade. He oversaw the expansion of that organization and a rebranding as Heroes Academy in 2022. 

Kim Dow, executive director of Khan Lab School, said Ellison will be able to help the organization grow and further the effort to promote innovation in education models.

Khan Lab School will promote a new school model for the 60% of Whichta families who expressed interest in an alternative and the 65% of those families who were drawn to individualized education. 

The Learning Lab opened in temporary quarters at 701 E Douglas in August, while its permanent home at 703 E Douglas, inside historic Union Station, is under renovation.  The new facility is expected to open in the spring 2024. 

In addition to his new duties as head of Kahn Lab Wichita, Ellison serves the community as  vice chair of talent for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the  Kansas Birth Equity Network Board. He was recognized by the Wichita Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 standout, by the Wichita Urban Professionals as Professional of the Year, with the Wichita State University Alumni Association Young Alumni Award and he was selected to the Kansas Nonprofit Chamber 2019 Emerge and Lead Class.

Stand Together is a philanthropic organization that has identified and mentors organizations addressing  what it refers to as “key institutions of society” – education, business, communities, and government – to discover innovative ways to “remove barriers so every person can rise.”  It was founded in 2003 by Charles Koch.