I am extremely thankful for the time, work, and ideas that so many in our community have devoted in recent months as we continue to fine-tune a proposed student placement policy. We have made great progress on the issue this school year.
As written, elementary students would be placed as they are now, in any of our elementary schools and following older siblings. Fifth-graders would attend boundary-assigned schools next year. Middle and high school students would return to their current schools until they advance to high school or graduate. Secondary students new to the district would attend boundary-assigned schools. All students attending our middle schools this school year would preference a high school during their 8th-grade year.
Board members have indicated interest in taking action on a student placement policy separate from a boundary map, which a team of administrators and I are developing.
Board members will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20 to hear community feedback about the policy and again at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 to potentially vote on the policy and see a recommended map. Both of these meetings are open to the public and will take place at the Educational Support Center, 905 W. Academy Ave. in Maize.
We also have scheduled two community meetings, during which parents and neighbors can share feedback and ask questions about the boundary map. Those meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in the auditorium at Maize South High School, 3701 N. Tyler Road in Wichita, and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in the auditorium at Maize High School, 11600 W. 45th St. North in Wichita. These meetings are informational meetings, not Maize Board of Education meetings, and no official vote or other action will be taken.
While a new policy of this magnitude cannot please everyone involved, please know that what is best for all of our students has been a driving goal for our Student Placement Policy Team volunteers (including students and parents), our Maize Board of Education members, and our employees working on this policy change. All involved have read parent e-mails and feedback that you have been sending us. We are listening and will continue to do so.
Thank you for your support and feedback as we continue to work on this crucial project that will strengthen the future of Maize Schools.
Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
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