Maize USD 266 student placement
Maize USD 266 encompasses approximately 42 square miles in and around Maize and on the northwest side of Wichita.
The district is unique in the fact that it doesn't have neighborhood schools. The school buildings are housed in two primary locations, a campus in the city of Maize and the south campus, located at 37th and Tyler Road in Wichita.
The Maize district does not have boundaries drawn to determine which elementary, middle or high school your child will attend. Elementary students are assigned to a school based on space availability, and siblings are kept together. When your child enters middle and high school, families are given the opportunity to give a preference for school assignment.
Giving a preference does not guarantee a student’s placement.
Q: Why does Maize USD 266 have a student placement policy?
A: District growth has made it necessary to have multiple buildings housing the same grade levels. Without school boundaries and with two high schools (plus Complete High School Maize, our alternative high school), two middle schools and five elementary schools, our district for a dozen years has had policy in place addressing student placement.
Q: What’s new with Maize USD 266’s placement policy?
A: Last September, the Maize Board of Education revised the district’s placement policy for middle and high school students, rewording it to clarify changes the board made earlier in the year. The policy states that parents can complete a Request for Transfer form at the building level and discuss concerns with the principal of the building their student is assigned to attend.
High School students must complete a Transfer Checklist, Request for Change, and Athletic/Activity participation document (You can find the forms on the district website by clicking here). Requests made after 30 days from the notification of assignment will not be considered. Parents may file a written appeal of placement decisions to the Superintendent of Schools within 10 days of the building principal’s decision. The District Review Committee will review appeals that meet the deadline.
There will be no in-person hearings on the district level, and District Review Committee rulings will be delivered via letter and/or email. Please click here to view the policy in full. If your student has an IEP or participates in the ESOL program, program offerings at buildings may dictate placement. Please direct any questions to your student’s counselor. (Please click here to access the Maize South High School Counselor's Corner. Please click here to access the Maize High School Counselor's Corner.)
Q: What about legacy – the fact that my student has an older sibling who attended either Maize High School or Maize South High School?
A: Maize USD 266 placement policy states that students will be given preference to follow their siblings’ previous path through either high school building or middle school building, if so desired. Maize administrators have record of past students’ building placement and will reference that when making new building assignments.
Q: How many 5th- and 8th-grade students does Maize have?
A: Families of both 5th-grade and 8th-grade students are asked to fill out and submit preference cards regarding their preferred middle school and high school building placement for the following school year. Maize USD 266 this year has 535 5th-grade students and 548 8th-grade students (302 at Maize South Middle School, 246 at Maize Middle School and 40 enrolled in Maize Virtual Preparatory School).
Maize High School’s capacity is larger than Maize South High School’s. The goal is to have one-third of our district’s high school students attend Maize South High and two-thirds attend Maize High. It is important to our district to keep enrollment numbers balanced at our middle and high school buildings.
Q: What happens if all preferences cannot be granted because of building space?
A: Maize USD 266 placement policy states that, in such cases, a randomly generated lottery system will be used to place those students in their respective buildings.
Q. What is the district’s long-term vision for student placement?
A. Our exploration into how to place our more than 7,000 students in our district’s 10 schools continues, as does the conversation about prioritizing our district’s building and facility needs.
Last year, our Student Placement Task Force – a group of Maize students, educators, parents, Board of Education members and community members – discussed various options and ideas related to student placement. The Board of Education heard task force members’ findings in February 2014. The board members will not implement any policy changes in time to alter the placement procedure for the upcoming 2015-16 school year.
In Spring 2014, Patron Insight conducted a series of surveys related to parent and Maize Schools staff member opinion about student placement options. (Please click here to access the results of the scientific telephone survey. Please click here to access the results of the online survey.)
In Fall 2014, the district began working with RSP, a Kansas City-based planning firm, to conduct demographic and enrollment trends analysis to assist board members in gaining needed research on which to base a decision.
In the meantime, a potential bond to finance much-needed amenities and upgrades related to safety, programs and facilities is something that will continue to be on our Board of Education’s radar.
Q: What is the timeline for this year’s placement process?
A: The timeline is as follows:
4:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2014: Deadline for placement cards for 5th- and 8th-grade Maize USD 266 students. Cards must be turned in to the Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy in Maize.
Dec. 19, 2014: Building assignment letters will be mailed and emailed to parents and guardians of Maize 5th- and 8th-grade students. (You can make sure that your contact information is accurate by clicking on “Skyward Family Access” on the district’s website at www.usd266.com.)
Jan. 16, 2015: This is the final day for students and parents to submit a Request for Transfer form to the principal of the building their student is assigned to attend. (Request for Change-Middle School form or Request for Change-High School)
Jan. 30, 2015: This is the final day for students and parents to file a written appeal of placement decisions to the Superintendent of Schools.
Feb. 2 and 3, 2015: The District Review Committee will review appeals and determine final student placement.