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BEATING THE HEAT: Water park visitors keep cool during mid-July heat wave

Families and friends kept cool last weekend at the Derby Recreation Commission’s “Party at the Rock,” a splash party celebrating Derby’s 150th anniversary.  

The first-time event was held Friday evening at Rock River Rapids Aquatic Park, 1900 E. James St. Participants were able to enjoy the park’s water features for $5, just over half the typical daily entry fee. 

Well before the park opened up for the event, long lines of attendees formed outside the gates. With over 1200 in attendance, DRC officials say they would like to host the event again in the future.


Jose “Hozer” Martinez, vocalist and lead guitarist, sings at the splash party during a performance by 90 Proof Project, a Derby-based band. 

90 Proof Project, a band based in Derby, set the tone for the event with covers of popular rock and pop songs. Food trucks set up shop in the parking lot, including Freddy’s, Hot-2-Trot and Smokin’ Diner. 

The splash party was held in the midst of high temperatures in Derby as a larger heat wave swept across much of the nation. 

According to information from the National Weather Service of Wichita, the maximum temperature recorded Friday at the Eisenhower National Airport was 101 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average temperature of 89. 

Since the start of July, NWS reports daily average temperatures have ranged from 76 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.


A young attendee appears to throw two peace signs as he jumps off the high diving board at a pool in Rock River Rapids. 

On-site enrollment is underway at Derby Public Schools

Enrollment began Monday at Derby Public Schools, a warning shot to students that their days of swimming, vegging and playing video games all day are coming to an end.

Elementary-school enrollment started Monday and continued Tuesday.

Derby Middle School enrollment will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

High school enrollment runs from 10 a.m. to 6:30 July 30 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 31.

Derby High School enrollment will take place at Derby North Middle School because of construction at the high school.

To enroll in kindergarten, children must be 5 years old on or before Aug. 31. To be a first grader, children must be 6 years old on or before Aug. 31.

Students starting school in Derby for the first time must go to their new school to enroll.

Parents and students must bring the following to enroll:

  • Proof of residency. Documents that verify the student lives within the boundaries of the Derby school district are required. Examples of accepted documents are a rental receipt, lease agreement, utility bill or a mortgage payment stub.
  • Health exam. The district encourages students to have a health exam and to return the information to the school nurse.
  • Proof of immunizations. The state requires that students receive immunizations. Students will not be allowed to attend school after Nov. 12 if they don’t comply with state law.

School begins Aug. 13 for all students.