Maize School District
    Connections - Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - November 2017 - OneMa1ze
In This Issue
Important dates

  • Nov. 20 through 24: No school, Conference Comp Day and Fall Break
  • Dec. 20: End of Term
  • Dec. 21-Jan. 3: No school, Teacher Work Day and Winter Break
  • Jan. 4: School resumes
  • Jan. 15: No school, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Maize USD 266 teacher wins prestigious Milken Award

Complete High School Maize  science teacher Heidi Albin was surprised Nov. 9 during a school assembly when she was named the winner of the Milken Educator Awards. She was honored as one of the best teachers in the country. 

Mrs. Albin is the third Maize USD 266 teacher to receive this honor. Maize High School's Stan Bergkamp was awarded in 2005. Jeanie Weve, who taught at Maize Central Elementary School, won the award in 2011.

Nov. 7 election results

Results from the Nov. 7 General Election, as reported by the  Sedgwick County Election Office:
  • School Board Member District 1, Position 4: Kate Doerksen
  • School Board Member District 2, Position 5: Farris F. Jibril
  • School Board Member District 3, Position 6: Richard Stiverson
Thanks to all who participated in the election in support of OneMa1ze.

Dr. Higgins highlights 
district news at annual 
District Site Council meeting

The Maize USD 266 District Site Council met Nov. 6 at Maize South Middle School to hear from Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Maize Schools, about district news, events, and the upcoming strategic planning process. Thank you to the employees and parent volunteers who make up this important group that guides the district. About 70 people were in attendance.
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
Giving thanks for OneMa1ze support in light of continued growth and opportunities
It's easy to be thankful in OneMa1ze this fall, with the bulk of our bond construction completed and our final large projects -- our Maize Career Academy and our new transportation center -- taking shape near 45th and 119th streets.

At our Maize Early Childhood Center this week, our youngest students celebrated their annual Thanksgiving Feast in their new gym, a space our 
preschool program did not have previously. (In recent years, when the program was housed in Vermillion Elementary School, preschool and elementary teachers and students shared a gymnasium.)

While we have been busy building our bond projects, our community has been booming with residential construction. I shared with Maize Board of Education members earlier this week that i n September, the district had grown by 217 students in the past year. This is  a larger increase than expected, as two recent studies predicted an increase of no more than 140 students. Last month, the district grew by 16 more students. In a single day last Monday, the district gained 10 more students. 

With this growth comes plans to review space and facilities needs in 2018.  I am thankful for our community's ongoing support of our district's planning and growth to better meet the needs of our increasing student body.

Foundation Logo Support continues to grow for the Maize Education Foundation, the 501(c)3 organization that raises money and then gives it away to our students, teachers, and schools for educational programs and opportunities our district otherwise couldn't fund. Employee giving via direct payroll contributions is up again this year, a 7 percent increase to just above $13,000 a year. 

That follows the Foundation's 9th Annual Golf Tournament at Reflection Ridge Golf Club Aug. 21, the organization's most successful golf tournament, raising about $45,000.

Board members on Monday gave the nod to a plan for the district and Foundation to collaborate to hire a new executive director, a years-long vision. The plan includes a sliding scale for the position to be fully funded by the Foundation within a few years. Among other tasks, the director will raise money for the Foundation via donations and advertising sales and develop an alumni association.

This is a vital step in tapping into our proud and successful graduates and our businesses that want to engage with our schools and students.

Thank you for your role in our OneMa1ze community that makes it possible for Maize USD 266 to adapt and push ourselves to be even better.

Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the upcoming Fall Break with your friends and family. 

Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Maize Board of Education update
District pursues property sales

During the Maize Board of Education monthly meeting Nov. 13, m embers discussed the upcoming sale of the current  transportation facility on West 53rd Street North and the  location on Tyler Road formerly occupied by TransNet.  Members are interested in pursuing conditional use.

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

Maize High School science teacher launches Maize Solar Initiative

During the November Maize Board of Education meeting Maize High School science teacher Stan Bergkamp  presented his See Beyond campaign/Maize Solar Initiative,  for which he plans to raise $385,000 to purchase solar panels for the school's roof to offset energy costs. 

Money  saved on bills would be used to purchase solar panels for other OneMa1ze schools. He envisions Maize USD 266  as the district that can generate more kilowatts of power than any other in the region. 

He spoke about STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning  opportunities, environmental benefits, and the legacy  for alumni and supporters. Board members did  not  take action but expressed support. Students (pictured
below) attended the meeting in support, as well. 

Board members honor students' significant academic achievements

Maize Board of Education members on Nov. 13
honored OneMa1ze students who have earned
impressive academic honors. Maize South High School senior Cale Thimmesch (pictured above at left with Maize Board of Education Vice President Dr. Jeff Jarman)  and Maize High School senior  Sophia Shaar each scored a perfect ACT score of 36.
And Sophia and Brodie Gullic (pictured above at right),  Maize South High School senior, are among 25 Wichita-area students to be named National Merit Semifinalists.

Complete High School Maize highlights innovative programs
Passionate educators from Complete High School Maize, the district's alternative high school, spoke to board members this month about innovative programs they have launched, including a garden and a gaming curriculum. 

The garden was built last year thanks to a $10,000
Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education grant. Generations have worked together in the wheelchair-accessible garden, visited by senior citizens in the community and Pray-Woodman Elementary School students. OneMa1ze science teachers visited, and students made salsa using garden produce. 

Educators talked about the new gaming curriculum they developed. The gaming lab is funded in part by the Maize Education Foundation, district technology committee, and Wal-Mart. Complete has seen positive gains since introducing the program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. It teaches web design, HTML, and social skills like
teamwork. Outside of class, students participate in an e-sports team and compete with schools nationwide.

Above: Complete High School student Bradyn Moler  gives homemade pear jam to Mike Downs and his fellow Maize Board of Education board members. Complete students grow produce in their own garden and learn to cook with it.
Complete High School welcomes community for annual feast    
Complete High School Maize on Nov. 16 served 421 graduates, supporters, and community members turkey and all the trimmings for its annual Thanksgiving Feast. This year's was the schools largest yet. Thanks to all who attended.

Coming in December: New, improved
Maize USD 266 in December will launch a new district website that is easier to navigate and mobile-friendly. The district conducted a community survey this summer asking for feedback about the current website. The survey revealed favorite features and most-wanted information, and the district listened. Stay tuned for the new site, and thanks to those who participated in the survey.
Shop via Amazon Smile to support the Maize Education Foundation 
Did you know that by using Amazon Smile you can contribute to the Maize Education Foundation at no additional cost to you? 

Maize Schools supporters can shop on as usual, and Amazon will make a donation to support the Foundation. To sign up or learn more, please visit

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