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MAIZE unified school district 266
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Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - December 2018
Superintendent's Message
This holiday season highlights how much OneMa1ze cares

BY DR. CHAD HIGGINS 

Greetings!

Our Maize Way character education program teaches our students of all ages and grades to be good people. Through this district-wide program, we emphasize the value of characteristics including compassion, generosity, friendship, acceptance, and cooperation.

In tandem with this is our #OneMa1ze initiative, which I shared last month serves as a focal point and constant reminder of that collective effort in cooperation between the district, parents, and the community.

Combine these two efforts during the holidays, and our staff members and students can work pure magic. I could write endless examples of this but will highlight just a few for you today:

  • Our entire district works during the holiday season to collect clothes, toys, and items for our own students and families in need via Caring Hearts. The winter drive effort is led by our Transportation Department, whose members collect the many items and prepare them for distribution to 236 children. Maize Middle School alone collected nearly $3,420 and 3,711 items during the recent food drive.

  • Students at Maize South High School raised $1,300 dollars to help support 10 local families in need, and its Community Adjuvabit Club of Wichita (CACOW) student volunteer group will be raising money to provide food packages for Numana, an El Dorado-based organization that aims to help serve the hungry around the world.

  • Through the Warm Hearts for Kidz project, students at Maize South Elementary School spend time in December prepping items to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, Caring Hearts, and the Wichita Children's Home. Students create blankets, bookmarks, potholders, hats, and ornaments. Families donate money to purchase the needed supplies. Please click here to learn more.

  • Members of the Maize Middle School Student Council purchased gifts for children in foster care in partnership with St. Francis Community Services.

  • Maize South Middle School students collected more than 1,600 cans of food and $327 to help others and hosted a Hideous Holiday Outfit day, in which participants made a donation for each hideous article of clothing they wore. Pictured nearby on that day are Maize South Middle School Principal Cort Haynes and Paul McGinty, who teaches computers, careers, and engineering applications.

  • Maize South Middle School's sixth- and eighth-grade students also pair up for the Study Buddies program and this month created holiday greeting cards to be delivered to community residents, including those at The Oxford Grand Assisted Living & Memory Care and Reflection Ridge Retirement Community.

  • Students at Pray-Woodman Elementary School completed 24 hours of community service this month by ringing bells and collecting money for the Salvation Army. Pictured nearby is fifth-grade student Addison Christopher. Complete High School Maize students also volunteered at the Salvation Army.

  • Thanks to everyone who supported the Maize Education Foundation’s Giving Tuesday Maize Challenge in partnership with Heartland Credit Union. The community reached the $5,000 goal to support our students and educators.

Countless other schools, clubs, and teams have volunteered at organizations and events, including Operation Holiday. It makes me incredibly proud to see the endless examples of how much our students and employees care and give back to the OneMa1ze community.

I know this work stems from support from parents, families, and businesses and organizations. We appreciate knowing that our students often are acting with kindness and modeling lessons they have learned in the home. We are glad to reinforce those lessons or teach them to others for the first time. Thank you to all who contribute! What a special way to wrap up 2018. I look forward to a great 2019 ahead together with each of you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Sign up now to engage with the new Maize USD 266 Alumni Association
The Maize Education Foundation, the separate 501(c)3 organization that supports Maize USD 266, is in the early planning stages with district leaders to develop the official Maize USD 266 Alumni Association.


You will receive occasional updates and surveys about the alumni association, as well as updates from the Maize Education Foundation, district updates, and event and fundraising information. We look forward to hearing from you!
Mark Your Calendar
Important dates
December:
  • 21: End of Term
  • 24-31: No school, Winter Break

January:
  • 1-3: No school, Winter Break
  • 4: No school, Teacher Work Day
  • 21: No school, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February:
  • 15: No school, Professional Development Day

March:
  • 8: End of Term
  • 11-15: No school, Spring Break

April:
  • 17: Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • 18: No school & Parent-Teacher Conferences, noon to 8 p.m.
  • 19: No school, Conference Comp Day
Reminder:
Winter Break
Dec. 24-Jan.4
Thanks to the Maize Early Childhood Center for the cute reindeer artwork.
Maize Board of Education
The Maize Board of Education meets next at 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Maize Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize. The meeting is open to the public.
Capturing Kids' Hearts
Five middle and elementary schools nominated for national award
Maize Middle and Maize South Middle schools and Maize Central, Vermillion, and Pray-Woodman elementary schools have been nominated for the 2018-19 Capturing Kids' Hearts National Showcase Schools award from the Flippen Group.

The award recognizes schools that use Capturing Kids’ Hearts resources to create an ideal educational environment with students who are connected and ready to learn. Congratulations!

Spotlight: Maize Career Academy
Take a peek inside variety of innovative OneMa1ze high school programs
Maize High School senior Connor Gooding filmed and edited an amazing video highlighting our Maize Career Academy , which is nearing its one-year anniversary.

Students from both Maize High School and Maize South High School attend and delve into subjects and programs including broadcasting, graphic design, health sciences and anatomy, engineering, culinary arts, law enforcement and safety, EMT, and robotics, among others.

Maize High School and Maize South High School students at the Maize Career Academy showcased their programs and projects during the Academy Acclaim event on Monday. Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work and success! Please click here to see photos from the event .
Shining Stars
Maize South band teacher honored
Congratulations to Maize South High School band teacher Grant Whitcomb , named recently as the Kansas Music Educators Association of South Central Kansas' 2018-19 Outstanding High School Music Educator. The award was presented by Bryan Kirk, South Central District President.
Around School
Mav Mentor program reflects OneMa1ze
In OneMa1ze fashion, s tudents from Maize South High School and Maize High School meet and mentor Maize South Middle School students on a monthly basis. On Tuesday, they worked together to build gingerbread houses.
Jolly Old Elf
Thanks to Santa for visiting our youngest students recently at our Maize Early Childhood Center ! Click to view additional photos from the visit.
Former Eagles basketball player believed to be oldest living grad honored at alma mater Maize High
On Nov. 30, the Maize High School Eagles girls basketball team hosted and honored former Eagles basketball player Ruth Ott . The 99-year-old is a 1937 Maize High School graduate believed to be the oldest living graduate of Maize High. Photo courtesy of Hayden Barber of Varsity Kansas /The  Wichita Eagle . Please click here for his coverage of the event. You also can click here for coverage from KAKE-TV.
Winter Weather Reminder
Inclement weather, snow day notifications
A shovel is propped up on a snowy porch.
In the event of school being dismissed or canceled because of inclement weather, the district will send out an e-mail, phone notification, and -- for those who have opted to receive them -- a text message to the primary contact associated with both Family 1 and Family 2, if applicable, for each student. Those phone notifications will go out as early as 5:30 a.m. on the day of the closure. If a decision is made the night before to call off school, calls and texts will go out no later than 10:30 p.m.

It is wise to verify that we have your correct contact information on file. To do so, please log on to Skyward Family Access and click on "Student Info." If you are unsure how to log on to Skyward Family Access, please contact your child's school for assistance.

District officials will update the district's Web site (www.usd266.com), official Twitter account (@maize266), and official Facebook page (Facebook.com/MaizeUSD266) as soon as the decision is made to call off school. We also will contact local media outlets about any closures. When in doubt, we encourage parents to verify school closings by consulting multiple official sources.

Similarly, in the event of an emergency in your child's school, the district will use the Blackboard Connect parent notification system to notify you of the situation and alert you to steps you need to take in order to reunite with your child. Communications would go to all contacts listed in Skyward Family Access "Family 1" and the main contact in "Family 2."
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. Bus driver positions pay up to $15.25 an hour. The district also is looking for bus paras. Please call the Transportation Office at 316-722-0582 for more information.

Maize USD 266 also is looking for:

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.
#OneMa1ze www.usd266.co m

The mission of the Maize School District
is to inspire students to discover their potential through
connecting, learning, and leading.