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MAIZE unified school district 266
Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - August 2018
Superintendent's Message
Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools
OneMa1ze stretching, growing
with big initiatives ahead


Dear Fallback,
Like one of our students trying on his jeans from last school year and finding them a bit tight and two inches too short, back-to-school time reminds us just how far we already have come.

Whether it’s longer pants or more daring dreams, back-to-school time is a time to think bigger, and we at Maize USD 266 are doing just that.

We are expanding our Capturing Kids Hearts character education program, further instilling in our older students the important lessons about respect and responsibility, which we have showcased in our elementary schools for years.

It’s time to think bigger.

We are developing and enforcing better safety practices, including how we allow visitors into our schools and conduct safety drills.

We are encouraging our employees and community to become civically engaged and participate in elections and political discourse, choosing leaders who will think bigger, too.

We are finding ourselves out from under the burden of a state budget crisis that restricted our growth, allowing us to develop and expand programs and initiatives we could not nurture in recent years. We are adding staff members and improving the way we support students’ mental health needs.

Thanks to Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson and our shared vision for the success of each student, we have reprioritized the importance of standardized tests. We are emphasizing soft skills and education that prepares our students for college and careers that may not even exist right now. We are adding opportunities to partner with the businesses through maize:connect and our Maize Career Academy . Our goal is to enhance our students’ education without sacrificing the rigor and high standards you expect of Maize Schools.

We are planning bigger.

As our enrollment increases, we are planning for future space needs in our elementary and middle schools, even as we wrap up our $70.7 million bond issue voters passed in June 2015. Three years later, we are finding that we soon will be pinched for space yet again. I mentioned in my July Connections message that our district has added more than 300 students in the past 18 months and recent new enrollments show that trend continuing. Just like the pants from last year that are becoming more snug, space in some of our schools is a bit tight again, too. In coming months, we will form a committee to evaluate options for new or expanded schools.

Our strategic plan will help us focus on how to accomplish our shared dreams with new goals to grow our learning, our relationships, and our opportunities.

We are eager to think bigger with you this school year and can’t wait to see you soon.


Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools, reads to a crowd of children and community members during the annual Super Story Time event at MOXI Junction.
Super Story Time
Thanks to all who participated in the annual summer event with Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools. He read children's stories at MOXI Junction in Maize, and guests were invited to stick around to explore the Summer Bookmobile, a program of the Maize Education Foundation.
Improved Connections

As you can see, Maize USD 266 has launched an upgraded and improved version of the Connections e-newsletter. Along with its simpler and sleeker design, it functions better, with improved performance on mobile devices. Maize Schools continues to make improvements to its communications to better meet the needs of our community. Thank you for your patience and support with the change.
Mark Your Calendar
First day of school reminders
  • Aug. 14: First day of school for:
  • Kindergarten students with last names beginning with letters A through M. (Other kindergarten students do not attend.)
  • All students in grades 1st through 5th
  • 6th-grade students (Other middle school students do not attend.)
  • High school freshmen (Other high school students do not attend.)

  • Aug. 15: First day of school for:
  • Kindergarten students with last names beginning with letters N through Z. (Other kindergarten students do not attend.)
  • Students in grades 7 and 8. (Sixth-grade students also attend.)
  • Students in grades 10 through 12. (Freshmen also attend.)
Students and their families file into school on the first day in 2017.
Important dates
  • Sept. 3: No school, Labor Day
  • Sept. 26: Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 27:
  • No school
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences, noon to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 26: No school, conference comp day
Helpful Back-to-School Links
A student boards a Maize USD 266 school bus on the first day of school in August 2017.
Your Guide to Fee Payment
Maize Board of Education Updates
District moves toward annual review of enrollment projections, school space for boundary line consideration
During the Maize Board of Education's July 9 regular monthly meeting, Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools, proposed to the board that the district develop an annual process to review enrollment projections and building capacities with boundary lines in mind.

A piece of property near 37th Street North and Ridge Road in the district is on track for a 132-unit multifamily development. This was an area where the district leaders and demographers had not anticipated residential development. The district may look at readjusting the boundary line later this year to compensate for this growth. At this time, the land remains undeveloped, and any boundary
line changes would not affect any current district residents.

The board's next monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize. A budget hearing is scheduled for the same day and location at 6:15 p.m. Meetings are open to the public.
Additional Board of Education updates
  • Board of Education leadership: Board members on July 9 elected Dr. Jeff Jarman as president and Kate Doerksen as vice president.
  • Student placement hardship: Also during the July meeting, board members reviewed board policies, including that pertaining to placement hardship. This would address when families with significant hardships request to cancel their legacy paperwork they signed with the district in Winter 2016-17. The policy also will address high school transfer requests, which have been in place when students were able to select their high school of preference. The environment has changed, however, with high school boundaries and the Maize Career Academy, which serves all high school students district-wide. Policy language will address when a transfer is feasible, such as at a time that involves evidence of significant family hardship, bullying, harassment, student mental health, etc.
Members of the Maize Board of Education
Additional News
Election 2018:
Your vote, your voice matters
One of the most effective and simplest ways supporters of Maize Schools and Kansas public education can support students is to vote. Kansas voters can influence the future funding of our schools and the future of Kansas public education.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 General Election is Oct. 16.

Thank you for your civic contribution, which allows Kansas to maintain strong public school districts, including Maize USD 266.
Student artwork of an American flag
Maize USD 266's Maverick and Eagle mascots
OneMa1ze community celebrations

Please join us from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 for the Maize South High School Back-to-School Carnival and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 for the Maize High School Fall Sports Extravaganza .

These are the largest annual Maize School District community celebrations and feature a range of family-friendly events and activities, including inflatables, food, games, prizes, fireworks, sports scrimmages, performances, and more. The events support district athletics, and everyone is welcome. Thank you, and we hope to see you there!
Summer Bookmobile
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Summer Bookmobile, a project of the Maize Education Foundation . If you have books you checked out and need to return, please deliver them to the Maize Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Two boys pose with their books from the Summer Bookmobile.
Emergency alerts and notifications
Laptop and smartphone
In the event of an emergency in your child's school, Maize USD 266 will use the Blackboard Connect parent notification system to notify you of the situation and will alert you about steps you need to take in order to reunite with your child. Voice messages will be sent to phone numbers and e-mails listed in Skyward Family Access "Family 1" and, when applicable, the primary contact in "Family 2."

To view the contact information the district has on file, please log on to Skyward Family Access and click on "Student Information." If you are unsure how to log on to Skyward Family Access, please contact your child's school for assistance.
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.
#OneMa1ze www.usd266.co m

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