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

  • May 22: Last day of school and end of term
  • Aug. 14: First day of school
  • Sept. 3: No school, Labor Day

Thanks to Maize Central Elementary School for the artwork above.
Shining Stars

Dr. Kristy Custer , principal of Complete High School Maize , the district's alternative high school, has been named the 2018-19 Kansas Secondary Principal of the Year by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals.

Complete High School Maize teacher Sheryl Tillery has been recognized as the Kansas Personal Finance Teacher of the Year by the Kansas Council for Economic Education.
Thank you, retirees!

Maize USD 266 thanks its retiring teachers, para educators, bus drivers, and other staff members, who together have devoted more than 354 years of service to the students and community!

Among those retiring is  Randy Crow, Maize Middle School band teacher who has shared his love of music and teaching with students in grades 1 through 12 here at Maize USD 266 for 37 years.

Best wishes to all our retirees in their next chapter!  
Congrats, graduates!

Our OneMa1ze Class of 2018 includes 559 graduates. Thank you to everyone who helped make this dream come true!
2018 Young Achievers

Congratulations to Maize High School seniors Olivia Wagner, left, and Alexis Cannizzo,  Wichita Business Journal Inc.  2018 Young Achievers honorees! 
Maize Education Foundation awards $29,000 in grants to teachers, programs

On April 27, the Maize Education Foundation, the 501(c)3 organization that supports the district, awarded more than  $29,000 in grants to teachers.
Foundation Logo
The largest grant provides $9,399 to Complete High School Maize's Z-Space Automotive Science program led by teacher Mike Russell (pictured at center in the photo above with Foundation President Darin Augustine and Treasurer Sarah Kueser). 

The funding will allow students to learn about automobile engine repair in a virtual world. Students can use 3-D programs to manipulate tools, diagnose engine problems, and complete repairs all in a traditional classroom setting without physically accessing a car engine.  

Complete High School Maize also received funding  for its new General Store, located inside Reflection Ridge Retirement Community. Participants celebrated its Grand Opening on May 15. Please click here to learn more about that project.

All grants were made possible  thanks in part to all the generous donations from employees, those who supported and participated in the annual Golf Tournament, and the leadership of the Foundation Board of Directors.

Calling golfers and sponsors

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

For more information, please contact Foundation Executive Director Travis Bloom at
Maize USD 266 student placement policy reminder

According to the Maize Board of Education policy, qualified s tudents who applied for the student placement legacy exemption in November or December 2016 " who identified a feeder system will not be eligible to modify their request prior to entering middle school and/or high school, regardless of  residence." 

Also a reminder that families who did not qualify for the legacy exemption in November or December 2016 do not have the opportunity to qualify and apply for it now. The exemption was offered during a limited time as the district transitioned to its current policy, which was adopted in Fall 2016.

For current families who did not qualify for the legacy exemption and who move and establish a new residence within the Maize USD 266 boundaries, their children will attend their boundary-assigned middle-high school feeder system. High school students in good standing may remain in their current high school.

To identify which boundary a home is located in, please click here for a searchable map. District administrators encourage current families to verify boundary assignment before moving within the district, as the move may lead to a student being transferred.

Please direct any related questions, including which schools your child(ren) would be assigned to attend pending a move, to the Maize Educational Support Center by calling 316-722-0614. 
Road improvements for new transportation center lead 
to partial summer closure 
of 119th Street

Maize Schools will open its new transportation facility for the 2018-19 school year, part of the June 2015 bond issue, and will conduct road repairs this summer in preparation. As part of this project,  119th Street in front (immediately west) of the new center will be closed to northbound traffic between 45th Street North and Academy Avenue. The closure is scheduled to begin May 29. The road is scheduled to open again in late July. This closure will not affect southbound traffic.

Maize Schools apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks community members for your patience during this improvement.
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.
Maize Central student surprised with summer space camp trip
Maize Central Elementary School 5th-grade student Danny Nguyen smiles as he learns he won a trip to space camp.
Maize Central Elementary School 5th-grade student Danny Nguyen was surprised at school earlier this month with the news that an essay he wrote won him a free Mars Academy Cosmosphere Camp this summer! A special thanks to Citizens Bank of Kansas for making this happen! Please click here to watch a video of the surprise.
Superintendent's Message
School year highlights celebrate partnerships, support, generosity
Our 2017-18 school year has had some incredible stories of OneMa1ze success, positive growth, and lessons learned. As we reflect on the year as it comes to an end, I would like to shine a light on a few of these stories:

Flying Challenge:  Throughout the school year, our aviation students at Maize High School and Maize South High School have been working together alongside professional mentors in the community to build an air-worthy, FAA-licensed RV-12 kit plane. Thanks to Airbus, TangoFlight, and WSU Tech, our students have had Students pose with the RV-12 academic and networking experience this year that compare to collegiate-level opportunities. We celebrated this program and its accomplishments Monday during an event at our Maize Career Academy. The plane will take its first flight soon and will be on display at  the premiere Oshkosh airshow in July. Please click here to see more photos from the plane's reveal.

Chromebooks: Phillips 66 earlier this month came to our Vermillion Elementary School to present a giant check for $35,000. The funds will purchase Chromebooks and Chromebook carts and help Maize Schools move toward our 1:1 initiative. High school students will be 1:1 next year, with each student having access to a device, with middle school students following in 2019-20.

Bond issue: The $70.7 million bond issue that our community approved during a June 2015 vote is wrapping up. We will open our new transportation facility on 119th Street North for the 2018-19 school year. This school year, though, included the much-awaited and very exciting opening of our new Maize Early Childhood Center and Maize Career Academy. One of the strengths of this bond issue is that it has added improvements to our district for preschool students up to high school students earning college credit and professional certifications. We also have been able to expand a suite to take care of our special needs students. The opportunities in these new spaces are endless for our students of today and tomorrow, and this would not be possible without our community's tremendous support.

Student support: We continue to review ways to better care for our students and their families, both in our school buildings and beyond. We are expanding the number of counseling positions in our schools and have created a new Student Support Specialist position to better support our elementary school students. We see firsthand the increase in social-emotional and mental health needs. We also have created a Student Support Network of caring OneMa1ze community members who have agreed to help meet needs of our families when they arise, something our district can continue to do a better job in a respectful and kind way.

Student kindness: I have shared before that the Kansas Department of Education and Maize USD 266 are striving to prepare our students for successful futures academically but also to encourage them to be good people through initiatives including our Maize Way character education program. I could tell you countless stories of moments I have witnessed and heard about this year that paint the picture of the kind and moral young people in our schools. Just last week, for example, a group of high school students and staff members organized and hosted a special prom after a  special needs student missed the senior prom due to a medical issue. Organizers wore bow ties and formal gowns to school, secured food donations, and danced to help recreate a moment one of their own would have otherwise missed completely.

It's been a great year, and I thank each of you for your part in it. Enjoy the summer with your child, and I look forward to the continued and new partnerships and opportunities we will have together in 2018-19.


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

Most student fees will remain unchanged for 2018-19 school year

Maize Board of Education members in April approved maintaining current meal prices next year. Lunch will cost $3.60 for adults, $2.45 for elementary and middle school students, and $2.75 for high school students, below local and Kansas averages.

Board members also approved curriculum fees for 2018-19. Most fees will remain the same as this year. Changes include the increase of fee-based Pre-K fees at the Maize Early Childhood Center. Monthly four-day-a-week costs will increase a total of $225 per year, making the annual total
$2,025. Monthly two-day-per-week costs will increase a total of $90 per year, making the annual total $990.

The rental fee for students to use district-owned musical instruments will increase from $40 a year to $70 to help cover maintenance and other related costs.

The board meets next at 7 p.m. June 11 at the Maize Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize. The meeting is open to the public. 

Students showcase Vermillion Elementary School's STEAM Lab

Student Isabelle Sailing enjoys STEAM manipulatives with Maize Board of Education member Bruce Nicholson in April.
Student Isabelle Sailing enjoys STEAM manipulatives with Maize Board of Education member Bruce Nicholson in April.
In April, students and staff members from Vermillion Elementary School gave a presentation about the school's 
new STEAM lab.

Thanks to donations and a grant from the Maize
Education Foundation, the science, technology,
engineering, arts, and math classroom provides an opportunity for students to learn about problem-solving, trial-and-error, engineering, and literacy while engaging in real-world science experiences.

Teachers Jill Allen, Rachel Houston, and Jenny Nash explained that students
have differentiated learning using various manipulatives, including magnetic tiles and plastic building straws with connectors. Students have had creative lessons, including a Skype visit with an Illinois school in which they shared about their communities using gingerbread recreations of area buildings and streets. They built boats and tested their bouyancy while learning and writing about the Mayflower.

The lab provides students with choices and an incentive for good behavior. It also includes an outdoor classroom component that is in the works. Students exhibit confidence and focus, and the lab is popular among students and staff

Maize South Middle School Puerto Rico trip will bring donations, friendship

Maize South Middle School students demonstrated Spikeball.
Maize South Middle School students demonstrated Spikeball.
During the May 14 Maize Board of Education meeting, board members approved Maize South Middle School's Let's Move Club's 
upcoming summer trip to Puerto Rico. Participants will donate physical education  equipment and work with schools still suffering from hurricane devastation.

Teacher Brandon Wolff said the club has raised funds for the trip, which will focus on supporting their donation of 50 sets of Spikeball equipment to the Cupeyville School in San Juan. Maize South students will meet with elementary and middle school students and teach them how to play Spikeball. 

Board members also approved a separate Maize South High School Forensics (Speech and Debate) trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to compete in a national tournament.

Maize High School SAFE program encourages student responsibility

Maize High School students Melanie Pereira and Miyah McGrown presented alongside nurse Dana Desjardins.
Maize High School students Melanie Pereira and Miyah McGrown presented alongside nurse Dana Desjardins.
Members of Maize High School's SAFE (Seat belts
are For Everyone), formerly known as SADD, presented during the May Maize Board of Education meeting. 

Student members encourage others not to
text and drive, among other initiatives. The students educate others about how seat belts save lives, as well as the dangers of drinking
and/or texting when driving, cyber bullying, and other risks teens face. Students encourage their peers to make good
decisions and be responsible, including signing pledges not to text and drive. Nurse Dana Desjardins reported that there have been fewer accidents near Maize High year-over-year.  During the meeting, they spoke about their experiences with the program,  including visiting the Kansas Capitol in Topeka in support of a bill that was passed. There now is a higher fine for  texting and driving. The program has received grant funding and awards student scholarships.

Celebrating student achievement

Board of Education President Matt Jensby during the May 14 monthly meeting recognized  Maize South High School  LifeSmarts Team members, from left, sophomore Jordan Tran, junior Sam Harder, sophomore Ashley Pritchard, and 2018 graduate Tim Dobson. Not pictured: 2018 graduate Cale Thimmesch

Jensby recognizes Maize High School 5A state wrestling champions Devin Onwugbufor, left, and sophomore Duwayne Villalpando.
High school students earn various certifications to work in medical fields

On Monday, Maize Career Academy celebrated its first Academy Acclaim. The end-of-the-year event highlighted eight of its about 20 career pathways, including Health Science, Culinary Arts, Graphic Design, and Broadcasting.

A Maize USD 266 student smiles during a pinning ceremony in which she is honored for earning a certification that will allow her to work in a medical field. The district celebrated about 50 high school students who this spring semester earned their pins in CNA ( certified nursing assistant), EKG (electrocardiogram) technician, and phlebotomy. They now have their certifications and can seek jobs in their fields. Congratulations, and best wishes to all of our students!
Important 2018-19 registration info

Maize USD 266 students gather at school. Maize USD 266 is in the process of registering current students.  Please click here for additional information about what parents need to know We look forward to learning with your child in 2018-19!
Join us in supporting annual Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games

A Special Olympics Kansas athlete celebrates her first-place finish. Maize USD 266 is seeking #OneMa1ze volunteers to help us host the Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games June 1 through June 3 at Maize South High School.  Please click here to sign up for this life-changing opportunity. To learn more about the  Summer Games, including for a map, schedule of events, and more, please click here.
Legislative school funding plan awaits Kansas Supreme Court decision

The dome at the Kansas State Capitol building in Topeka. Kansas' new school finance bill, approved by state legislators and signed by Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, awaits a ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court. 

The court previously had ruled the standing school finance formula unconstitutional and directed the
Kansas Legislature to identify a new school funding solution that would be both adequate and equitable for the state's students. 

Under the new bill, supported by five of the district's seven legislators, school funding statewide would rise about $522 million in the next five years. For the Maize USD 266 operating budget, this means an addition of a little
more than 4 percent. The figure is a bit unclear at this time, as it awaits how other funding would transfer, including that related to special education and the Local Option Budget. 

One element that wasn't corrected was the cap on bond and interest, which potentially could make it more difficult for Maize USD 266 or any Kansas school district to pursue a bond issue as it has done in the past. Facilities needs and enrollment projections will be critical for Maize in the near future.

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.
Speak Up! to keep #OneMa1ze safe

Speak Up!

See something? 
Say something.

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

Join our team!
Maize USD 266 will host a job fair on June 21. Please watch for more details to come.

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.