Maize School District
    Connections - Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - September 2016 - OneMa1ze
In This Issue

Important dates
  • Sept. 28-29: Parent-teacher conferences
  • Sept. 29-30: No school (conferences)
  • Oct. 13: End of Term 1
  • Oct. 14: No school
  • Nov. 23-25: No school (Thanksgiving Break)
  • Dec. 16: End of Term 2
  • Dec. 19-Jan. 2: No school (Winter Break/Teacher Work Day)
  • Jan. 3: School resumes
Coming soon 
to a mailbox near you: 
Maize Messenger

Watch for the first issue of the Maize Messenger district newsletter, which USD 266 mails to all households in the school district, to arrive soon. 

In it, you'll find more about our exciting $70.7 million bond issue,  our Shining Stars, and S uperintendent Chad Higgins' message on how we each are part of Maize Schools'
rock-solid foundation.
Maize students in the news
Congratulations to our students for their recent achievements:

Congrats to Maize South High School senior Jessica Tung, named a National Merit semi-finalist!  She was one of 26 Wichita-area students named a semifinalist earlier this month, according to The  Wichita Eagle . Please click here to read the article.

Our Vermillion Elementary School 4th-grade student Brooklyn Cowsill is using her experience battling Ewing's Sarcoma bone cancer to help others. Check out this story from KWCH, Channel 12 to learn more and find out how to help, too. 
Maize South High School cross country runners on Sept. 17 gave a touching tribute to the late Coach Alan Birdsell. Click here to read the story from VarsityKansas .

Congrats to Maize High School sophomore Megan Denton, featured as a KAKE, Channel 10 Talented Teen earlier this month!  Click here to watch the coverage.
Emergency alerts 
and notifications

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 all phone numbers and emails listed in Skyward Family Access "Family 1."

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.  
Online Bulletin Board
Be the first to know about school fundraisers, camps, special events, classes, and more put on by Maize Schools and our partner agencies. Click here to visit our Online Bulletin Board. While you're there, you can sign up to receive email updates when new opportunities are 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
* 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.

Substitute food service workers needed: 
Maize Schools is looking for substitute food service workers who can fill in when needed in schools across the district. Hours coincide with the school day. No weekends or holidays.

Substitute nurses needed:
The Maize School District is looking for substitute school nurses to fill in when needed. As a substitute school nurse, you must:
* Be a registered nurse in the State of Kansas.
* Be certified in CPR and AED.
* Have had a TB test within the last year.
* Pass a background check.

You may submit an application online by clicking here. The daily rate of pay is $95. Please contact Maize USD 266 Nursing Coordinator Joann Wheeler, RN, BSN, at for more information.
Paraeducators needed:
The Sedgwick County Area Educational Services Interlocal Cooperative No. 618 needs paraeducators (teacher aides) for students with special needs at Maize USD 266 elementary and secondary schools.
Competitive salaries and health insurance benefits are available for those working more than 30 hours a week. The rewarding jobs follow Maize school days and hours.
To apply, please click here.
District photo album

Maize High School Homecoming Parade, Sept. 16

Maize Early Childhood Center Big Truck Night, Sept. 15

Maize South Middle School Harlem Ambassadors assembly, Sept. 13

Pray-Woodman Elementary School First Responder Reception, Sept. 9

Wichita boxer and U.S. Olympian Nico Hernandez (pictured with  Maize High School Principal Dr. Chris
Botts, left, and Superintendent Chad Higgins) visited with students and fans at the Sept. 2 Maize High School football game.
Superintendent's Message
Teacher awards, nominations showcase Maize on state level


As members of our OneMa1ze community, you certainly realize the gem that is Maize Schools. The district shines thanks to its dedicated and skilled employees from multiple departments. 

It is an honor when that talent is recognized on a larger stage, and we have had a couple of special opportunities to celebrate Maize USD 266 with a broader audience.

I am proud to share that two of our teachers were honored Sept. 10 as Semi-Finalists for the prestigious Kansas State Department of Education 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year program. 

Congrats to Pray-Woodman Elementary School teacher Crystal May and Maize South High School teacher Mark Bradshaw !

Mrs. May also was named a Finalist, and she advances as one of eight teachers statewide to compete for the 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year title.  Our Maize teachers were honored along with 25 other regional nominees representing 16 area school districts.

Several members of our Maize Board of Education and Maize Schools staff and I attended the Region IV Awards Banquet at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Wichita. ( Please click here to see our gallery of photos from the event.)

Mrs. May is the next in a series of elementary-level finalists Maize Schools has produced in recent years:  Maize South Elementary School teacher Shelly Jennings, left, was a 2016 Kansas Teacher of the Year Finalist. Vermillion Elementary School Assistant Principal Marney Hay, right, was a 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year Finalist. Members of the finalist team each year visit the school districts of their seven fellow finalists, learning about programs and their success stories. Maize Schools, in turn, hosts the finalist team for a day to showcase our schools and students. 

While the Kansas Teacher of the Year award recognizes teachers who have made a mark during their careers, I am especially proud of a couple of our newer teachers who Maize USD 266 has selected as nominees for the  Kansas State Department of Education  2017 Kansas Horizon Award. This award recognizes outstanding new teachers.

Congratulations to Alexis Schirmer, Vermillion Elementary School fourth-grade teacher and Maize USD 266's elementary-level nominee. She and I are pictured here with Mrs. Hay and Vermillion Principal Michael Dome.

And congratulations to Complete High School Maize teacher Michael Russell, Maize USD 266's secondary-level Horizon Award nominee, pictured here with his colleagues at Complete, the district's nationally award-winning alternative high school.

We are so happy to have these teachers as part of our #OneMa1ze team! I appreciate the teamwork from our mentor teachers, principals, and others who have helped them achieve their success for the benefit of our students and community.

Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Maize Board of Education update 
Research, work continues this month 
on proposed student placement policy

During the Sept. 12 Maize Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Chad Higgins provided an update on student placement and said that collecting feedback from parents and community members and visiting with them about the proposed policy has been a positive experience, with
much passion about the district and students. 

He explained that the Student Placement Policy Team members spent quite a bit of time determining how to address legacy -- or how siblings are placed in schools -- when creating the policy they proposed to the board in August. Higgins presented information about the number of siblings in school buildings, student placement history, and student enrollment comparisons. 

Policy Team members met again this month and continue to evaluate the proposed plan and consider updated information, including this year's student enrollment numbers. 

Meanwhile, district leaders have attended training on new software that the district could use to draw boundary lines
based in part on demographics, projected growth, and school capacity. This will help Maize Schools use its schools and staff members efficiently and at the same time reduce anxiety, build spirit and student connections, ensure a positive staff climate, and grow positive community relations.  The current plan would be for a finalized proposed placement policy and then proposed boundaries for the board to consider.

Please click here to access to find updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and the recommended policy as presented to the Maize Board of Education. Additional information was added on Aug. 19.

Find agendas, meeting minutes, and contact information at
Student group in its second year 
of guiding district programs, future

Our Superintendent Student Advisory Team features #OneMa1ze leaders from Maize High School, Maize South High School, and Complete High School Maize.

Student members will provide Superintendent Chad Higgins with feedback about school programs and practices to be a voice for the students and a change agent for future Maize students.

The group is in its second year at Maize Schools and met earlier this month for the first time this school year. We are eager to see what they have in store!
Election 2016: Your vote, 
voice matters

Voting is one of the most effective and simplest ways supporters of Maize Schools and Kansas public education can support students.

Kansas voters can influence the future funding of our schools and the future of Kansas public education.

For those interested in voting in the Nov. 8 General Election, please follow these steps.

Today:  Make sure you're registered to vote. If you've moved or changed your name, you must re-register. To register, please click here for a printable voter application. Oct. 18 is the last day to register to vote for the General Election.

This week: R equest an early voting mail ballot,  which allows you to vote from home at a time convenient for you.  Click here to apply . Complete the form (be sure to fill in "General Nov. 8" on Section 5 of the form), and you'll be set to make your vote count in November.

Before you vote: Find out who will be on the ballots -- and learn their positions on the issues that are important to you. Review voting records, campaign literature, websites, and personal conversations or e-mails to decide which candidates best match your views.

On or before Nov. 8:  Vote! In-person advance early voting begins Oct. 26.

Thank you for your civic contribution, which allows Kansas to maintain strong public school districts, including Maize USD 266.

For more information, please visit or call the Educational Support Center at 316-722-0614.
Bond issue update 

Bond project progress captured 
in series of student drone videos
Maize South High School student Dominick Decker, via his company Apollo Sky Films, has been working with Hutton Construction to document the bond project as work continues. Please click here to watch a video that features drone footage.

During the Sept. 12 Maize Board of Education meeting, Higgins said that bids came in favorably for the Maize Early
Childhood Center, which will be built northwest of Maize South High School. Construction will include an alternate classroom that was being considered, as well as an additional classroom, and still be on budget. He said that is
phenomenal news for that project, as the number of students in the preschool continues to grow.

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 Education Foundation news

Eighth-annual golf tournament raises $40,000 to support Maize Schools
The Maize Education Foundation,  a 501(c)3 that supports Maize USD 266 schools, teachers, and students through grants, hosted its  8th-annual fundraising golf tournament on Sept. 19 at  Reflection Ridge Golf Club.

In May, the Foundation Board of Directors presented more than $43,000 in instructional, technology, and enrichment grants to Maize USD 266 teachers to supplement their classroom and school resources.

Thank you to the many sponsors, golfers, volunteers, and other supporters to generously supported this event!

Wanted: Applicants for student enrichment grants of up to $500

Calling Maize USD 266 students in grades 7 through 11: Would you like free money to pay for an academic/leadership seminar, workshop, fine arts camp, etc.? Past grants awarded have sent students to music camps, dance camps, national conventions, and more. 

This summer, Maize South High School freshman Morgan Cloutier (pictured in the courtesy photo at right) attended a Rockettes Summer Intensive in New York. She was the recipient of a $500 grant through the Maize Education Foundation, one of several grant winners from last year.

You can apply for a Maize Education Foundation Student Enrichment Grant for up to $500! Applications are due Oct. 17. Learn more by clicking here.
Use of student info in the media, district publications, social media

Information that may be shared with the news media or used in district publications or on district 
social media platforms, including official Maize USD 266 district Facebook and Twitter, is limited to participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, school activities, honors and awards received, grade level and photographs.

Parents/guardians have the right to refuse or permit the designation of any or all of the above information for use in the media or in district publications (via both print and digital platforms), including official district social media accounts. Parents/guardians who do not want this information published must file written notification with Lori O'Toole Buselt, Director of Communications, Maize USD 266, 905 W. Academy Ave, Maize, KS 67101. The deadline was Sept. 21, 2016, so please submit those forms at your earliest convenience. 

If you do not file a refusal, Maize USD 266 assumes you have no objection to the release of the above information for media or district publicity purposes.

If desired,  please click here to access the Do Not Photograph form.
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.