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 does not 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 Street North 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.
Student placement is a priority for us at Maize USD 266, and we have compiled this question-and-answer page to keep you informed on the latest with that process. If you have additional questions that you would like us to answer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that placement is not given on a first-come, first-serve basis. For the 2016-17 school year, all placement preferences submitted by the midnight Dec. 1 deadline are given equal consideration.
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 more than a dozen years has had policy in place addressing student placement. Please click here to read our board policy in full. (Student placement is addressed in Article V, Section 19.)
Q: What’s new with Maize USD 266’s placement policy/process?
A: There are a few key changes to this year’s placement preference policy and/or process:
- Parents will select a preference online: Unlike in past years, there are no paper postcards this year. Students instead can work with their parents to make a placement preference via Skyward. This maximizes a few things important to Maize USD 266. The district is conserving resources by saving on printing costs and postage. The district also is providing students and their parents a more accessible digital platform that provides the convenience and transparency we all value. Maize families are familiar with the Skyward platform used for enrollment and many other purposes. (For information on how to select and submit a preference, please click here to watch a video or please see the how-do document attached below.)
- All students must select a preference: New this year is the requirement that each 5th- and 8th-grade student select a preference for their school placement for the 2015-16 school year. Current 8th-grade students must preference Maize High School, Maize South High School, or either. Current 5th-grade students must preference Maize Middle School, Maize South Middle School, or either.
- Request for Transfer forms: This year, students and parents who want to appeal their placement decision will submit that form via email to Dr. Shelia Rathbun, Maize USD 266 Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education and Career and Technical Education, rather than to a building principal. Parents can complete a Request for Transfer form, available at www.usd266.com/placement. Requests made after 30 days from the notification of assignment (Jan. 19, 2016) will not be considered. Parents may contact the principal of the assigned building in August.
As in recent years, there will be no in-person hearings on the district level, and district administration rulings will be delivered via letter and/or email from the Board Clerk. Please click here to view the board 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 happens if my student does not submit a placement preference by the Dec. 1, 2015 deadline?
A: To comply with Maize Board of Education policy, all 5th- and 8th-grade students must select a placement preference. Between Dec. 2 and Dec. 10, Maize USD 266 staff members will contact parents of students from whom we have not received a placement preference. Between Dec. 11 and Dec. 14, building staff members will ask students to select a preference if the district has not received a response after reaching out to parents.
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 preferences online regarding their preferred middle school and high school building placement for the following school year. Maize USD 266 this year has 517 5th-grade students and 550 8th-grade students (282 at Maize South Middle School, 232 at Maize Middle School and 36 enrolled in Maize Virtual Preparatory School). According to board policy, “For middle school and high school student placement, buildings will be used proportionately based on their respective capacities. As a guideline, students will be allocated one-third to Maize South High School and two-thirds to Maize High School.” 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. Though the issue of student placement is not a new issue for Maize USD 266, this is a topic of conversation among a new set of leaders. Superintendent Chad Higgins joined the district July 1, and three Maize Board of Education members are new this year. During the Nov. 9 Maize Board of Education meeting, members discussed student placement and have agreed to consider what is best for our students and to review efficiency and various aspects of student placement.
Q: What is the timeline for this year’s placement process?
A: The timeline is as follows:
- Midnight Dec. 1, 2015: Deadline for 5th- and 8th-grade Maize USD 266 parents to submit their students’ placement preference online.
- Dec. 2-10, 2015: Maize USD 266 staff members will contact parents of students from whom we have not received a placement preference.
- Dec. 11-14, 2015: Building staff members will ask students to select a preference if we have not received one after reaching out to parents.
- Dec. 18, 2015: Building assignment letters will be 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. 19, 2016: Final day to request transfer by submitting a Request for Transfer form to the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education and Career and Technical Education.
- Jan. 21-28, 2016: USD 266 administrators will review Request for Transfer forms.
- Jan. 29, 2016: All transfer request decisions will be completed, with documentation provided to the Board Clerk.