Maize School District
    Connections - Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - May 2017 - OneMa1ze
In This Issue

Important dates
  • May 18: End of term and last day of school
  • Aug. 15: First day of school
  • Sept. 4: No school, Labor Day
Congratulations and best wishes to the Maize USD 266 Class of 2017. We are proud of each of our 479 graduates. 

From all of us here at Maize Schools, we are excited to see your many future successes!
Join us in supporting 
Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games

Maize USD 266 is seeking #OneMa1ze volunteers to help us host the Special Olympics Kansas  Summer Games June 2 through June 4 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.

(Photo above courtesy of Special Olympics Kansas.)
Pray-Woodman Elementary
recognized with  national character education award

Congratulations to Pray-Woodman Elementary School, which this spring was named a  Capturing Kids' Hearts National Showcase School.

The award comes from the Flippen Group, which developed the Capturing Kids Hearts program. It emphasizes teachers' and staff members' connection and relationships with students, as well as social-emotional learning that welcomes openness and acceptance. This is one way Pray-Woodman employees and their peers district-wide work to create a classroom environment where students are excited to enter and learn.

The award recognizes schools across the country that have demonstrated through the program improvement in attendance, discipline, climate/culture, or academics.
Maize South High School student named CTE Scholar

Maize South High School senior David Garcia has been honored by the Kansas State Department of Education as a 2017 Kansas CTE Scholar. 

David completed the Health Science Pathway, taking classes including Honors Biology and Anatomy and Physiology, and earned a 4.0 in his Career and Technical Education classes.  He also passed the Health Science Precision Exam and earned certification in Adult CPR/AED and First Aid. 

He served various leadership roles, shadowed health professionals in clinical and hospital settings, and completed 51 hours of volunteer work in the community.

He plans to attend Wichita State University and eventually pursue a career as an oral surgeon.

He is pictured above with science teacher Sheena Jensen.

Maize High student wins prestigious Jester Award

Music Theatre Wichita 's annual Jester Awards on May 12 celebrated outstanding high school musical theater talent across the state.

Congrats to Maize High School junior Laura Koerner, who was honored as a supporting actress for her role as Wednesday Addams in Maize High's production of "The Addams Family." Please click here to watch a video of her in her winning role.
Summer camp central

Enroll your child now in summer camp to learn and sharpen skills in football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and more. Options are available for students in kindergarten through high school. Please note that several camps have registration dates that are just around the corner.

Please click here to visit our Online Bulletin Board for camp flyers and additional information . While you're there, you can learn about other opportunities available through our partner agencies and  sign up to receive e-mail updates when new information is added.
Programs at three Maize elementary schools feature fathers' involvement

Three Maize USD 266 elementary schools have implemented  initiatives to involve fathers and male role models.

Maize Central Elementary School has a program called All Pro Dads. Vermillion and Pray-Woodman elementary schools use the Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) program, which this year will engage more than 100 men to help with school security, learning, and positive student relationships. Volunteers spend a day or more at school helping with everything from the carpool lane to small groups and one-on-one instruction. 

Vermillion  Principal  Michael Dome said research shows students achieve  their fullest potential when both parents are engaged
in their education.
Thank you to all of our volunteers!
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
* Winter break off
* Spring break off
* No evenings or weekends

School bus drivers start at $11.15 an hour, plus attendance incentives. Please call the Maize USD 266 Transportation Office at 316-722-0582 for more information.

Maize USD 266 currently is looking for an HVAC Preventive Maintenance Journeyman to work in our Maintenance Department. This staff member will  repair and maintain the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation for the school district buildings to ensure efficient and proper operation.
Summer fun for little ones

Our Maize Early Childhood Center has two  summer playgroup events planned this summer at the Maize Splash Pad and city park at 401 S. Khedive in Maize:
  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 7
  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 6
See you there!
Generations learn together 
in Starlets preschool

Maize USD 266's Starlets is a Maize Early Childhood Center program in which a parent or grandparent and their child or grandchild can learn together.

The class meets weekly during the school year with a licensed teacher, who emphasizes early literacy and math skills to provide children with the foundation for kindergarten and beyond. 

Starlets is $25 per school year and open to all families who live in the Maize USD 266 district and who have children who are 3 to 5 years old by Aug. 31. For more information, please e-mail Erin White at  or click here.
Find legislative contacts on our resource page
Five members of the Kansas House of Representatives and two members of the Kansas Senate represent portions of our Maize USD 266 community.

Find your legislative representative contacts on our updated resource page by clicking here. You also will find information about education committee meeting times and locations.
Superintendent's Message
Progress as OneMa1ze key during 2016-17 school year
We are wrapping up our school year, and our classrooms and students have been busy with field days, spring parties, final concerts, and high school graduations. 

Before we wish everyone a wonderful summer break, I'd like to reflect on just a few of the great things we have celebrated together as OneMa1ze this year:

My Superintendent Student Advisory Team has been a great group of high school students from Maize High School, Maize South High School, and Complete High School Maize who have provided invaluable feedback to me about strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement.
On May 5, our district hosted a  Wellness Fair with about 50 community vendors. We also had a OneMa1ze walk in which our staff members together walked 266 miles (1,064 laps) around the Maize South High track. (Please click to watch a video of the event.) Our Maize Education Foundation also awarded nearly $35,000 in grants to teachers that day. (You can read more about that below.) It was a great day. 

I have enjoyed watching the progress of our bond projects, and you can read more about that below, as well. We continue to be thankful for the community support that has made these improvements possible. 

We also are grateful for the work and dedication of our Student Placement Policy Team and Maize Board of Education members, who helped guide the process of our district's new student placement policy with middle and high school boundaries, which provide stability and certainty that much of our community had requested.

Our district continues a one-to-one Chromebook implementation to enhance learning.  This is just one way we are bolstering and furthering the district's vision to use technology to enhance, empower, engage, and educate

We continue to be careful with our budget and are hopeful that Maize USD 266 and other districts statewide will receive much-needed additional state funding with a new funding formula later this legislative session. Employees at all levels of our district also continue to maintain smart and careful spending to be responsible stewards of taxpayer money. We are investing in our teachers and employees, who are the heart of our district.

More than ever, we are  engaging with local businesses and organizations. At this month's Maize Board of Education meeting on May 8, for instance, we heard from three high school students who this spring have observed surgeries, been mentored by local doctors, and further fine-tuned plans for college and career while shadowing medical professionals through their Health Science III class.

We aim to provide even more opportunities like
these through Maize:Connect, a formalized vision for
organizing, promoting, and facilitating community
members who support our schools and students. This
may take a variety of forms, including internships,
volunteering, mentoring, and sponsorships. This will
tie in perfectly with our new Maize Career Academy, currently under construction. I look forward to sharing more about this plan with you in the coming months. (Find more information below.)

A few more exciting developments just around the corner: 
  • Next year, our high school junior and senior students will build an airplane in partnership with Airbus and Tango FlightWe welcome mutually beneficial relationships with businesses and other organizations that strengthen our students' learning environment while enriching the community. 
  • Maize USD 266, with support from the City of Maize, is hosting the Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games 2017 early next month. See the article at left to find out how you can sign up to volunteer. 
  • We soon will jump into strategic planning for our district to polish our goals and vision for the next several years and to ensure that we are making Maize USD 266 the best place it can be for your child's education, well-being, and future.
Thank you for your support and role in making 2016-17 such a fantastic school year. I can't wait to start another one together as OneMa1ze in just a few months! Enjoy the summer with your child and make some great memories.


Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Maize:Connect a vision to strengthen, formalize community connections

Maize:Connect is a new vision the district is developing leading into the 2017-18 school year that will inspire our students and greater community to connect and engage. The effort formalizes relationships and community support that have been in place for years and that occurs anytime an outside organization, group, or business engages with Maize USD 266.

The program will feature new efforts, including a centralized point of organization for student internship and shadow opportunities and a centralized point of contact for potential advertising and home game sponsorships. Opportunities to support Maize Schools will be presented globally to businesses and organizations, which then can select how to support the district.

Please watch for more information about Maize:Connect in the coming months!

Above: Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools, in front of the future Maize Career Academy with Maize High School sophomore Bailey Griffin, who won a contest for designing the new logo for Maize:Connect.
Bond issue update

Work on bond construction projects progressing despite rainy weather 

Recent rainy weather has delayed the Maize Career Academy project, pictured above, but it still is on target to open in January 2018. The Maize Career Academy will be a new home for Career Pathways and Career and Technical Education for high school students across Maize USD 266.

A new drone video shows progress on ongoing projects at Maize Middle School, Maize Early Childhood Center, and more. Please click here to watch it.

Voters' approval in June 2015 will bring these projects to Maize Schools to provide  a safe and promising future for all of our students:
  • tornado safe rooms and a Career and Professional Center at Maize High School.
  • a renovated and expanded Maize Middle School.
  • additions and improvements at Maize South High School, including a new fine arts storage addition and an expanded gym and cafeteria.
  • a new transportation facility.
  • roof replacements at various buildings.
  • technology and infrastructure improvements at various buildings.
  • athletic upgrades, including new locker rooms, stadium upgrades, all-weather playing surfaces, bleachers, lighting and equipment.
You can learn more about the bond vision by visiting our bond resource page at
Maize Board of Education update
Students recognized for achievement

The Maize Board of Education in April honored Maize High School and Maize South High School students who earned a spot in the prestigious State Orchestra, State Band, State Jazz Band, or State Choir.

Board members on May 8 recognized Maize South High School students for their performance this Science Olympiad season. Several students were honored for their first-place finishes in various categories of the recent state competition.
Maize High tennis named state champs
Congratulations to the Maize High School boys tennis team, which won the 5A state championship!
District honors Celebrating Excellence in Education award winners, Kansas Teacher of the Year nominees
Congratulations to the following teachers, who have been named winners of our Maize USD 266 Celebrating Excellence in Education awards. These teachers have been nominated by their peers as leaders who  use effective strategies for improving student performance,  interact positively with parents and patrons in the community to promote education,  provide leadership and mentoring to fellow teachers, and  work as a team player in the district to provide quality educational experiences for students.
  • Maize Early Childhood Center: NiCole "CoCo" Bontrager
  • Maize Central Elementary School: 
    Jackie Foltz
    Maize Elementary School:  Jennifer Wedman
  • Maize South Elementary School: Shelli Locke
  • Pray-Woodman Elementary School: 
    Tom Buchanan
  • Vermillion Elementary School: Jenny Nash
  • Maize Middle School: Ashley Zevenbergen
  • Maize South Middle School:  Andrea Burnett
  • Maize High School: Jessica Fisher
  • Maize Virtual Preparatory School: Deborah Coatney
  • Maize South High School: Steve Martling
Bontrager, who teaches preschool, and 6th-grade English teacher Burnett  have been selected as Maize USD 266's nominees for the Kansas State Department of Education's 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year Award.

Congratulations to our talented teachers!
Maize Education Foundation awards nearly $35,000 in teacher grants
On May 5, members of the Maize Education Foundation
Board of Directors presented nearly $35,000 in instructional, technology, and enrichment grants to Maize USD 266 teachers to supplement their classroom and school resources.

Complete High School Maize received this year's largest grant: $8,991 to implement a new gaming curriculum. Students will receive instruction in the traditional technological fields of coding, programming, and information technology. But at the heart of the lab will be Esports. In other words, students will play video games online. Their experience will help them qualify for Esports scholarships currently available at local colleges and universities. It will help them prepare students for future careers in the lucrative arena of gaming and computers. The grant will set up an Esports/Technology Lab within the school and create competitive Esports teams. 

Pictured above are teacher Mike Russell and Foundation President Darin Augustine

Additional grants will 
build a classroom library;  purchase resources to meet the sensory needs of students with moderate to severe disabilities; launch a Lego Robotics Club at our Maize Virtual Preparatory School; and  purchase Lego kits to teach students  science, language arts, mathematics, social studies, design and engineering, and art, and more.

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

Sign up now to participate in, support Aug. 21 Foundation golf tournament

Save the date: The 9th Annual Maize Education Foundation Golf Tournament is coming soon! Tee off will be at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Reflection Ridge Golf Course. The money raised funds the Foundation's annual grants.

The Foundation is seeking golf teams and sponsorships on various levels. Available sponsorships include Presenting Sponsor, Welcome Gift Sponsor, Dinner Sponsor, Green/Tee Sponsor, and more. Please click here to visit to register to play or support the tournament.

Thanks to all who support the Maize Education Foundation!
Important 2017-18 enrollment info

Maize USD 266 will be processing current student enrollment in May this year, a change from previous years. Please click here for additional information about what parents need to know.

We look forward to learning with your child in 2017-18!
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.