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Dr. Higgins: Momentum drives Maize USD 266 forward on important key issues

Dr. Chad Higgins, Maize USD 266 Superintendent of Schools BY DR. CHAD HIGGINS

As we find ourselves in the final term of our 2018-19 school year, I continue to be excited about the momentum of so many important issues. I would like to update you on those today:

Facilities and growth: To accommodate the student enrollment growth we continue to experience, manage class sizes, and meet student needs, the district is adding 27 new instructional positions for 2019-20. Recent action by the Kansas Legislature ensures adequate and consistent funding for the next several years and provides the district with the confidence needed to add these teaching positions.

Looking ahead further to our future, the facility committee continues to review options for a potential bond issue, which may include updates to Maize High and Maize South High schools, as well as safety and security upgrades and construction of two new intermediate schools for grades 5 and 6.

The committee is considering the option to include an auditorium and swimming pool. Needs also are space for special education and a Complete High School Maize storm shelter. A new development is that a legal opinion related to the bond cap imposed by the Kansas Legislature has created a queuing system for districts seeking bond funding approval. This has forced the district to accelerate the timeline to seek approval for a bond election and not risk delaying construction of necessary facilities another year.

With support from the Maize Board of Education, we have updated the timeline for board members to consider a plan, with the first formal review of a facility proposal on April 22 and a potential adoption of a bond proposal in early May, perhaps during a special meeting. Please click here to watch a recent KAKE-TV news story about our growing district and our need for additional space.

I appreciate your ongoing support. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please e-mail facilityplanning@usd266.com.

OneMa1ze, OneVision strategic plan logo OneMa1ze, OneVision: There has been much work with our strategic plan going on across the district in recent weeks and months since our Maize Board of Education approved the plan in November. The chairpersons of our 16 focus teams have been meeting with members who represent various buildings, departments, and perspectives to identify goals and action steps in our following four key areas:

  • World-Class Academic Preparation
  • Professional, Civic, and Social Development of Students
  • High-Quality Employees
  • Responsible Operations

We currently have about 100 people involved throughout the district and will continue to engage others. We view this process as an ongoing initiative https://files.constantcontact.com/5a1d105c001/82d5fef7-9cca-4dd5-9471-0927e245a0c2.pdf  to make OneMa1ze the best it can be for our students, employees, and community. The overall strategic plan does not have an end date, as the work will continue as needed and as we reach various successes and identify additional needs.

This work continues to represent the vision and desires of our employees and our community, in part as shared via last year’s ThoughtExchange online survey. This work has developed from a plan that initially began to take shape in 2018 thanks to the work and insight from a large, comprehensive group from our greater OneMa1ze school community. Please click here to access our strategic plan summary sheet.

Thanks to all involved and for your going support of our district.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools
chiggins@usd266.com