Maize School District
    Connections - Maize USD 266 Parent Newsletter - January 2016 - OneMa1ze
In This Issue
 Important dates
  • Feb. 17-18: Parent-teacher conferences
  • Feb. 18-19: No school
  • March 11: End of term
  • March 14-18: No school, Spring Break
  • March 21: School resumes
  • May 6: No school, Professional Development Day
  • May 10: Last day for seniors
  • May 12: Maize South High School graduation
  • May 15: Maize High School graduation
  • May 18: End of term
  • May 18: Last day of school



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.
 Online Bulletin Board
For information about upcoming school- and partner agency-sponsored events, such as classes, camps, and fundraisers, please click here to check out our Online Bulletin Board.

Have you liked Maize Schools on Facebook?

In August 2014, Maize USD 266 launched our first official district Facebook account.

Please click here to like our page and to find district news, announcements, event information, photos, and more.

Thank you for your support!

Inclement weather,
snow day notifications
With the arrival of cooler weather, it's a great time to remind our families of our practice for announcing school dismissals and cancellations.
In the event of school being dismissed or canceled because of inclement weather, the district will send out an email, 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 (, official Twitter account (@maize266)  and official Facebook page as soon as the decision is made to call off school. We also will contact local media outlets about any closures.

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."
Student speaks at Kansas State Board of Education meeting in Topeka

Maize South High School junior Alayna Macias represented Business Professionals of America earlier this month at the Kansas State Board of Education meeting in Topeka. 

She spoke about the importance of Career and Technical student organizations and was accompanied by sponsor and teacher Amber McNew

Student Brooke Bulloch also participated in the Citizenship Day opportunity in Topeka and is a state BPA officer along with Alayna.
Superintendent's Message

Goal: Student placement policy that is fair, right for OneMa1ze


During the Maize Board of Education meeting on Jan. 11, board members and I discussed student placement and have committed to finding a solution that works better for our students and district.

Our current student placement policy needs to change and must be fair and right for our students. Our district is unique in the fact that it does not have neighborhood schools or boundaries to determine which schools students attend. Elementary students are assigned to a school based on student enrollment numbers, and siblings are kept together. When a student enters middle and high school, families are given the opportunity to select a preference for school assignment. But a preference does not guarantee a student's placement.

This year, we have made efforts to mitigate some of the future issues anticipated regardless of the policy. 

There are several reasons why Maize USD 266 needs a new policy, one being the internal culture of our school district. While our staff members have mutual respect for the other schools in our district, our policy has created some unintentional frustration and animosity. Picking one school insinuates that another school is not as good. This creates unnecessary stress on our students, our families, and our teachers and other staff members. As our student enrollment numbers rise, we also want to maintain current student and staffing levels among our buildings and minimize student demographic differences between our schools.

We know that many in our community have become frustrated and discouraged by this annual source of anxiety that we can minimize, even as we anticipate our student population growing in the coming years. 

Our goal is to create a long-term policy that we can adjust as growth and other factors, such as the possibility of adding another school in the future, arise. 

Our new policy must be one that is fair and right across the district and strives to create an ideal educational culture while maintaining school autonomy and providing similar educational environments for our students and staff members.

We already have taken the next step toward that goal by forming a policy development team and establishing a process. Joining me on that team will be select board members, administrators, staff members, students, and patrons from our original Student Placement Task Force. We will evaluate and consider any student placement option and plan to provide a policy recommendation in May or June. 

Those involved will continue to survey and collect data. Any student or parent interested in sharing their own opinions, stories, and/or suggestions about our policy can do so by emailing their thoughts to

We will continue to use data that consultants presented in December 2014 that provided the district a demographic and enrollment analysis. The district also will update that data with information to shed light on how new residential growth, specifically apartment complexes and annexations, change our enrollment forecast.

We know the new policy won't be perfect and that we will be unable to meet the wishes of each of our 7,000-plus students and their families. We anticipate some opposing opinions, but we will search for the best possible option for our students and staff members. 

Thank you for your patience as we work through this process as OneMa1ze. 

Student placement certainly is an important decision -- just one of many that our school board considers for our district. We are wrapping up School Board Recognition Month. (You can read more about that below.) Please join me in thanking our volunteer board members for the time and attention they devote to make Maize Schools better.

Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
Maize Board of Education update 
Thank you, Maize school board!

January is School Board Recognition Month, and we at Maize USD 266 would like to thank our board members who work tirelessly on behalf of our students, teachers, and schools. 

Our board members are elected volunteer representatives. Members are:
  • President: Matt Jensby (represents district's southwest portion)
  • Vice President: Mike Downs (represents east portion)
  • Dr. Scott Crawford (represents west/northwest portion)
  • Kate Doerksen (represents district's southwest portion)
  • Jeff Jarman (at-large representative)
  • Bruce Nicholson (represents east portion)
  • Richard Stiverson (represents west/northwest portion)
The board meets on the second Monday of each month and will meet next at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Educational
Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize. Meetings are open to the public.

Find agendas, meeting minutes, and contact
information at

Maize South Middle School's Let's Move Club gets students, staff going
A handful of members of Maize South Middle School's Let's Move Club presented to the board on Jan. 11. 

Seventh- and 8th-grade students at the school are involved in club, in which members use their ideas to challenge their student peers and teachers alike to be more active during the school day. Their innovation includes monthly live broadcasts.

Members are planning a new Bull Rush obstacle course event for adults on May 14.

Earlier this school year, Maize South Middle and Maize Middle schools were awarded the 2015 Let's Move! Active Schools National Award. The award is part of a nationwide initiative with goals to combat childhood obesity, direct youth to a healthy future, educate parents, provide healthier school food, and help students be more physically active.

Pictured above: Let's Move Club members, back row from left: physical education teacher Andrew Moore, Nick Schaeffer, and physical education teacher Brandon WolffFront row from left: Jack Byrne, Dakota Harding, and Trenton Elliott.
Maize Early Childhood Center now enrolling for 2016-17 preschool

Maize USD 266 is excited to offer Pre-K to all children who live within the Maize School District. 

Our Pre-K sessions are Monday through Thursday and use Pre-K Reading and Literacy curriculum along with developmentally appropriate activities and are taught by licensed teachers. 

If your child meets at least one of our state at-risk criteria, there is no fee for the program other than the curriculum fee. If you would like your child to attend and he/she does not
meet a criteria, a monthly fee applies. 

Spaces are limited! Enrollment is first come, first serve.

Learn more by clicking here or by calling 316-722-3105.
Maize Complete High School teacher winner of state's Horizon Award

Complete High School Maize's Eric Weinbrenner was surprised earlier this month with a call from Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson, who announced that he was a 2016 Kansas Horizon Award winner. 

Weinbrenner, pictured at right with Dr. Kristy Custer, Complete's principal, is one of eight teachers in the region and 32 across Kansas to receive the award. The Kansas State Department of Education award recognizes exemplary first-year teachers in elementary and secondary classrooms.


Complete hits milestone with 400th graduate

Complete High School Maize, USD 266's alternative high school, celebrated with Rhay Ann Shultz earlier this month. She is the school's 400th student to graduate. Complete was recognized earlier this school year as 2015 National School of Character.
Bond 2015 update 

Bond projects taking shape in 2016

Project leaders with Schaefer, Johnson, Cox, Frey Architecture and Hutton Construction presented an update
on bond projects during the Jan. 11 Maize Board of Education meeting. 

They and district administrators met with Maize Middle School neighbors earlier this month to discuss the school's upcoming projects, for which planning meetings are continuing. 

The board reviewed the locker rooms/concession layout at Maize South High School. Those will be built to the northeast of the stadium. The school's football field is being improved, with completion expected in early February. The bleachers for Maize High School will be disassembled and moved closer to the field. High school athletics entrances are in the construction document phase. 

Development continues on the Early Childhood Center plans. For the Career and Technical Education addition at Maize High, a team is investigating the option of eliminating the building's photography studio and renovating and expanding the metals and woods area for a more advanced welding program. 

Signage and cameras will be coming to select projects to raise awareness and allow the community to see the progress. 

Checks and balances are in place to keep budgets on track. There is a buffer built in for some inflationary protection, though construction costs are expected to rise.

Voters' approval in June 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

Bond projects include a new football field at 
Maize South High School.
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.