Maize School District
    Connections - Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - January 2018 - #OneMa1ze
In This Issue
Important dates

  • Feb. 15-16: Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Feb. 16: No school, Conferences
  • Feb. 26: No school, Professional Development Day
  • March 9: End of term
  • March 19-23: No school, Spring Break

Thanks to the Maize Early Childhood Center for the student artwork pictured above.
Half-day kindergarten available at two schools 
for 2018-19; enrollment night March 29 at Maize High

For the 2018-19 school year, Maize USD 266 will  offer two sections of half-day kindergarten, and a recent parent survey indicates student enrollment will support that. 

For next year, one half-day  kindergarten class will be offered at Maize Central Elementary School and another at Maize Elementary School

This is a change from this year, as the district currently offers two half-day  kindergarten sections at Pray-Woodman Elementary School.

Kindergarten enrollment: 
Online pre-enrollment for Kindergarten will start Feb. 26. 
If you have an incoming Kindergarten student who will start school at Maize USD 266 in August 2018, please plan to attend the come-and-go enrollment night, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 29 at Maize High School, 11600 W. 45 St. N. in Maize.

Please note that arriving early has no impact on your child's building assignment or class placement.

Please watch for additional Kindergarten enrollment information to follow. Questions? Please e-mail
Maize Early Childhood Center p reschool enrollment 
now open
Our Maize Early Childhood Center offers half-day preschool for children who are ages 3 or 4 by Aug. 31 of each school year. The program offers half-day sessions using the Opening the World of Learning Curriculum and taught by licensed teachers. Students attend music, library, and gym time weekly.

Enrollment for the 2018-19 school year is open and will continue until all spaces are filled. The fee is $225 per month for four days a week and $110 per month for two days a week. Parents also may apply for the grant-funded half-day program if you meet a qualifier. (Please click here for details.)

If you would like to learn more about ECC, you can visit the school's website, stop by and take and tour, and/or contact Principal June Rempel at 316-722-3105 or
Maize Career Academy 
wraps up inaugural month

Jan. 4 was opening day of our Maize Career Academy, dedicated to helping students be ready for college and careers through hands-on learning with real-world applications. Please click here to learn more.

Thank you to our #OneMa1ze community for supporting this bond project and making this dream come true! Please click here to see photos from the Maize Career Academy's opening day

Thank you to the universities, colleges, military representatives, families, and others who participated in the school's Jan. 22 College and Career Night.

Foundation accepting Student Enrichment Grant applications

Maize USD 266 students in grades seven through 11 are invited to apply for a Maize Education Foundation Student Enrichment grant of up to $500 to help pay for an academic/leadership seminar, workshop, fine arts camp, etc. Applications are due Mach 26. The Foundation has committed to awarding up to $5,000 each semester. Please click here to apply and to access complete details.

Find events, opportunities on
Online Bulletin Board

Maize USD 266's Online Bulletin Board  is the place to go for information about upcoming events, fundraisers, and  other opportunities available through the district and partner agencies. Those interested also may sign up to receive e-mail updates when new information is added.

Join our team!
Interested in joining our Maize Schools team? Many openings are part-time jobs with full-time benefits, including:
* Group health insurance
* Summers off
* Fall,  Winter, and  Spring break off
* No evenings or weekends
* Bonuses

Click here to read three reasons to take the wheel and drive a school bus for Maize USD 266. Please call the Transportation Office at 316-722-0582 for more information.

Maize USD 266 also is looking for:
* food service workers.
* Sedgwick County Area Educational Services Paraprofessionals.

Come and work in our OneMa1ze community, supported by parents, graduates, and Maize and Northwest Wichita. This would be a great opportunity to participate in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.
Superintendent's Message
How the weather and other factors play a role  in whether school is canceled at Maize
One of the most popular conversations lately revolves around school snow days. Today, I attempt to answer the burning questions regarding who decides whether school is canceled and whether we have to make up some of those days.

Whether to call off school is not an easy decision but one that first and foremost revolves around the safety of our community members, employees, and students who walk, drive, and ride buses to and from school. Our classrooms are where the magic happens and where our students' futures unfold. I want us to be in school every day.

Ahead of any potentially adverse weather conditions, we are assessing the severity, timing, and type of conditions to expect. We are in regular contact with meteorologists with the National Weather Service who routinely provide updates as the event draws closer.

Prior to and during poor weather conditions, we evaluate our ability to keep entryways and sidewalks clear throughout the day, remove snow from parking lots, and start and keep our two tiers of buses running through their routes. We consider how a school cancellation disrupts family routines, creating issues with daycare, latchkey, and other regular routines.

I work in sync with our directors of operations and transportation regarding the conditions of our schools, sidewalks, roads, and buses.

If a decision is delayed until morning, staff members and I head out at 4:30 a.m. and drive school district streets to evaluate road and parking lot conditions. We assess the main thoroughfares, as well as neighborhoods, to get a sense of how our buses and teenage drivers might safely navigate the path between home and school. Since we have so many students who are transported or travel throughout the day, we also must consider the conditions that will exist throughout the day.

Once a decision is made to cancel or delay the start of school, we send an automated phone call, e-mail, and text message to all employee and student homes and update our website and social media accounts. Then we work with local news outlets, which help spread the word.

I have been asked many times, "Do we have to make up any school days this year?" The answer is no. At least, not yet. The current calendar only has enough days to meet the state's requirement for student contact time plus the two days that already have been cancelled. That requirement is established either by attending a certain number of days or a certain number of hours each year.  As of right now, we cannot miss another day of school without having to make up some time. We are putting together a set of options for our Maize Board of Education members to evaluate in the event we have to cancel another day of school.

A huge note of appreciation must go to our custodial and grounds staff members, who worked diligently to make our parking lots and sidewalks safe, as well as to our bus drivers, who safely delivered thousands of our students to school the following day. I also appreciate our committed city crew and how quickly they were able to make our streets safer.

Parents, it is important for you to know that it ultimately is your decision whether your child goes to school during inclement weather. If you think it's too risky to send or transport your student, please simply contact the school office regarding your child's absence.

Perhaps one of our talented students one day will invent the weather technology that helps schools determine whether to cancel school. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding with the process we currently use.


Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Maize Board of Education update
Thanks, Maize Board of Education!

January is School Board Appreciation Month, and we would like to thank our Maize Board of Education members for their vision, tireless support, and countless volunteer hours on behalf of every #OneMa1ze child and family!  #ThankBOE

Board members met for their first 2018 regular monthly meeting Jan. 8 and welcomed a new member: Farris Jibril. He was elected to the board during the November 2017 General Election, filling the position vacated by  former member Mike Downs . Kate Doerksen was elected to the seat she has been filling by appointment, and voters reelected Richard Stiverson.

The board meets next at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Maize Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize. The meeting is open to the public. 

Maize Board of Education members, back row from left: Vice President Dr. Jeff Jarman, Richard Stiverson, Farris Jibril, and Dr. Scott Crawford. Front row from left: Kate Doerksen, President Matt Jensby, and Bruce Nicholson.

District selling two pieces of property
Maize USD 266 is selling: Responses are due March 5.

Please view the request-for-proposal documents for additional information, including:
  • property and neighborhood details.
  • open house information.
  • submission requirements.
  • additional photos.
Emerging Technologies class gives students peek at innovation at work

Maize South High School senior Diana Michel and teacher Blake Smith spoke to the Maize Board of Education Jan. 8 about the Emerging
Technologies class, through which students visit workplaces in the Wichita area. 

Students witness cutting-edge technology, including drones and virtual reality, used in business, law enforcement, and other industries. The goal is for students to visit a site at least once a week. Last semester, students had 24 different experiences,
including those at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Maize Police Department, and even Churn and Burn to see how liquid nitrogen is used to make ice cream. 

The homegrown class began three years ago and is offered once a semester to about a dozen students at a time.

Emerging Technologies students last fall visited the Wichita Fire Department Technical Rescue Team. (Photo courtesy of Blake Smith.)
Middle school teacher wins state award for excellent new teachers

Congratulations to Maize South Middle School English Language Arts teacher Hannah Martin (pictured at right in center), who on Jan. 8 was surprised with a phone call from Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. He shared with her the news that she is one of only 32 teachers statewide to be named a 2018 winner of the Kansas Horizon Award. Please click here to read more about the surprise .

Pictured with Ms. Martin from left: Maize South Middle School Assistant Principal Cort Haynes, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Craig Ryan, Superintendent Dr. Chad Higgins, and Principal Gillian Gaskill-Macias.
Connect with your state legislators

Five members of the Kansas House of Representatives and two members of the Kansas Senate represent the #OneMa1ze community. Please click here for their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. You also will find information for government contacts with the cities of Maize and Wichita, Sedgwick County, and the Kansas State Board of Education.

Maize USD 266 Mission Statement  The mission of the Maize School District is to inspire students to discover their potential through connecting, learning and leading.