Maize School District
    Connections - Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - July 2018 - #OneMa1ze
In This Issue
Important dates
  • Aug. 14: First day of school
  • Sept. 3: No school, Labor Day

Thanks to Maize Central Elementary School for the artwork above.
Gearing up
for back-to-school
Maize USD 266 looks forward to learning with your child in the upcoming 2018-19 school year. 

Returning students: If your child attended Maize Schools in 2017-18, please finalize student registration if you did not do so already in May. The process will reopen online on July 15 on Skyward Family Access. Please click here for additional information.

New students: If your child will be a new student in August 2018, please plan to attend the district's One Stop Enrollment event from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at Maize High School, 11600 W. 45th St. North in Maize. Please click here to pre-enroll online beforehand to spend less time in line that day.

Have an enrollment-related question? Please call 316-350-2050 or e-mail, and a district representative will contact you.
Pray-Woodman math teacher is Kansas finalist
Angela Knapp is honored at Exploration Place.
Congratulations to Pray-Woodman Elementary School math teacher Angela Knapp, selected as a Kansas finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching! She advances to compete on the national level. She was honored recently at Wichita's Exploration Place.
Ready to read?
Our Summer Bookmobile 
is ready to roll
Two boys smile with their books from the Summer Bookmobile.
Our roving Summer Bookmobile, a project of the Maize Education Foundation, has a month of stops scheduled in Maize and Northwest Wichita to promote summer reading.

All are welcome!

Check out three books at a time (pre-K through adults) and simply return them on the last day. Participation is free.

The Bookmobile will be running through July 30. For the times and locations for the 2018 Bookmobile schedule, please click here to access the Maize Education Foundation's new website.

The Maize Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that supports Maize USD 266 students, teachers, and schools.

Hope to see you there!
Coming next month: Improved Connections
Changes are coming soon to this Connections parent e-newsletter. The newsletter will look different, with a simpler and sleeker design. It also will function better, with improved performance on mobile devices. The design will more closely mirror the district's new website,, which launched in December. 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.
Calling golfers and sponsors

Foundation Logo Interested in playing in or sponsoring the Maize Education Foundation's Aug. 20 Golf Tournament at  Reflection Ridge Golf Club?

For more information, please visit the Foundation's new website or contact Foundation Executive Director Travis Bloom at
Summer camp central 
on the  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. 

Check it out for information about an array of summer camps, including those for basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and more.
Support Maize USD 266 students at annual 
Fill the Bus event

Maize USD 266 will join Chick-fil-A at 21st Street and Maize Road for its 6th-annual school supply drive. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 10. Donors will receive a coupon for a free sandwich. The drive helps our students in need be prepared for the new school year. Thank you in advance, OneMa1ze community, for your support!
Speak Up! to keep #OneMa1ze safe

See something?  Say something.

Text SPEAKUP plus your tip information to CRIMES (274637) or visit

Thank you for your help in making our #OneMa1ze community a safer place.

Superintendent's Message
Projects, initiatives to springboard Maize Schools into 2018-19
The list of summer projects taking place throughout the district while our students are out of school is seven pages long and includes painting, inspections, parking improvements, flooring, LED light installations, classroom moves, playground upkeep, restroom upgrades, repairs, and/or organization in all of our schools and buildings.

This work is necessary to maintain and improve safety and the learning environment for our employees and students.

Beyond these, our district is moving forward on larger-scale projects to ensure Maize USD 266 strives for excellence in academics, technology, athletics and activities, community, and more. In May, I shared some highlights from our 2017-18 school year . Today, I am highlighting a few things I am excited about in our upcoming school year:

Safety improvements:  As I shared in March , our district will continue to strive to create the safest environment possible for our students, employees, and community. Soon, we will share information about a new practice change for visitor access to our school buildings using a new visitor management system. We are exploring additional improvements, as well. Thank you for your ongoing support while we bolster our school security with our No. 1 priority in mind: the safety and security of those in our care.

Alumni association: Our district has a proud history that dates back more than 100 years, and we have challenged ourselves to better capture that pride, energy, and community through an organized alumni association. Maize Education Foundation Executive Director Travis Bloom, who joined the district in February to lead the 501(c)3 organization, also will lead this initiative and help build OneMa1ze support and awareness among our graduates through the decades.

Bond projects: The majority of the $70.7 million bond issue our community approved in a June 2015 vote is finished. Our bus fleet has relocated to our new transportation facility on 119th Street North, which will be operational for the 2018-19 school year.   Road repairs on 119th Street in front (immediately west) of the new center continue this month, and traffic will remain closed to northbound traffic between 45th Street North and Academy Avenue until completion.

You also may have seen work underway to build a game-ready field with bleachers, lighting, restrooms, and concessions on the Maize South Middle School campus. There also is a renovation and addition underway to create similar game-ready facilities at the Maize Middle School football field and track. These improvements will alleviate a number of logistical challenges with middle school activities. The Five-Year Capital Outlay Plan also includes parking lot expansions on the Maize South campus. These changes will provide each middle school with their own home game field.

Strategic plan: Months of work, feedback, and research are leading district leaders and me closer to rolling out a new strategic plan, and I am eager to share it with you. My vision is for a plan that reflects our collective community goals and values and that helps each student reach his or her own unique version of success.

1:One deployment: The district's commitment to connecting with students and connecting students to the vast world around them with the help of technology and resources will take an exciting step in August: Students at Maize High School and Maize South High School will have direct access to Chromebooks, lightweight and affordable laptop-type devices designed primarily with web access and digital sharing in mind. They will have the opportunity to use district Chromebooks in the classroom and at home to delve deeper into hands-on multimedia learning. The device will accompany the student rather than the student seeking out the device. Our students will have the ability to more easily access creative learning in a variety of formats. When one of our students reads about world history, for instance, she can access photos or take a virtual tour of the Colosseum in Rome. Learning can come alive regardless of where or when the student is studying and exploring.

The district has worked for years to reach this point, building infrastructure and professional development for teachers to support this move. Complete High School Maize and our Maize Virtual Preparatory School already have made this move, and Maize Middle School and Maize South Middle School will follow in 2019-20.

Investment in our staff members: Maize USD 266 is entering the second year of a two-year compensation plan with employees after their salaries had been frozen because of state funding concerns. In addition, the district is spending about $750,000 this year to hire a number of new teachers and counselors to support our growing student body (up more than 300 students in the past 18 months) and to work to keep class sizes to a manageable level. Our students can learn better when their needs are met. As a school district, our teachers and employees are our biggest asset to offer our students and community.

These many efforts and projects will increase student excitement and learning opportunities, and I am eager to welcome our students back next month with these improvements in place.


Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools | @SupHiggins
Capitol Federal Foundation donates $20,000 to Maize Education Foundation

The Maize Education Foundation accepted a donation June 27 of $20,000 from the Capitol Federal Foundation during a ribbon cutting event at Capitol Federal's new Maize Road branch.

Maize Education Foundation and Maize USD 266 leaders accept a _20_000 check from Capitol Federal. The Maize Education Foundation, the 501(c)3 organization that supports Maize USD 266 students, teachers, and schools, will use the funding for financial literacy education for Maize USD 266 students. Maize Education Foundation Executive Director Travis Bloom accepted the replica check and explained that financial literacy has been part of elective opportunities for students. New programming, thanks to this donation, will ensure that all students have access to these important lessons and skills, preparing them for a successful future and the world after their K-12 education.

Maize USD 266 thanks Capitol Federal for its support and welcomes the new branch, at 3450 N. Maize Road, to the community!

Learn more about the Maize Education Foundation by visiting its new website at

Pictured, from left, at the June 27 ribbon cutting event: Capitol Federal Chief Executive Officer John B. Dicus; Capitol Federal's Jennifur Gorman; Maize Education Foundation Executive Director Travis Bloom; Maize Education Foundation Vice President Brandon Brungardt; and Dr. Chad Higgins, Maize USD 266 Superintendent of Schools.
Join Dr. Chad Higgins for annual Super Story Time event at MOXI Junction

Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools, invites the #OneMa1ze community to join him as he reads a children's story or two at MOXI Junction, 319 S. Park in Maize, for the annual summertime Super Story Time event. It will begin at 10:30 a.m. July 11. Stay afterward for more reading fun with the Summer Bookmobile, a program of the Maize Education Foundation. (Please see Bookmobile article at left for additional information.) The event is free and open to the public.
Maize Board of Education update

Congratulations to Maize South High School's state track champions!

During the June 11 monthly Maize Board of Education meeting, board members recognized members of the Maize South High School boys 4x800 relay team, which won first place in the recent 5A state track and field meet. 

Congratulations to graduates Dane Wedge and Bryce Merriman, incoming senior Britte Magnuson, and incoming sophomore Brenden Becoat, pictured above with Board of Education President Matt Jensby.

Additional updates: 
  • During the meeting, board members recognized retirees and thanked them for their years of service to the students, district, and community.
  • The board also authorized the payment of the district's share for a traffic light special assessment from the City of Wichita in the amount of $207,972.49 using Special Assessment and Contingency Fund money. In 2009, the district requested the traffic light to improve safety and traffic at the intersection of Maize Road and the south campus entrance.
The board's next monthly meeting is at 7 p.m. July 9 at the Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize. Meetings are open to the public.
New Kansas public school funding formula takes effect this year 
with expectations for future changes

education_savings.jpg The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in late June that the Kansas Legislature has one year to fix its new school funding plan, which was deemed to still be inadequate. 

This court decision is the latest in the Gannon case, which has continued for several years and questions how much money Kansas public schools receive. 

What does this mean for Maize USD 266?
  • As Maize is a growing district, increased funding helps pay for additional teaching and support staff members needed for the additional 300 students who have joined the district in the past 18 months.
  • Additional state funding helps the district with increasing costs, including electricity. Gas prices also are expected to increase, which would be significant for the district, which runs 100 bus routes a day.
  • The November election will be crucial for future funding for Maize and districts statewide.
Please click here to access recent KMUW coverage, in which Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools, comments on the issue of Kansas public school funding.
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.
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.