Aug. 31, 2022

Maize USD 266

Dr. Greer: Starting the school year emphasizing, celebrating connections

Hello, Maize family!


The beginning of school is always full of excitement. It has been wonderful to see everyone back with smiling faces. As I walk through our schools, I can feel the positive energy. Thank you for sharing your children with us!


This year, we gathered all employees before school started for a Back-to-School Kickoff. During the event planning, it dawned on me that this year, I would be addressing a crowd of more than 1,600 employees. That promptly reminded me of how much I love public speaking. Thinking of the perfect words to say had me up at night, and I finally landed on one word: CONNECT. Maize USD 266’s mission statement is to inspire students to discover their potential through connecting, learning, and leading. And I thought, what better way to start our first year together than being intentional about connecting with one another?


My speech on that day reflected stories of how I grew up, my precious family, and, of course, the now famous Stella and her latest destruction of my property. I also expressed that I am dedicated to making intentional efforts to connect with each of our staff members, students, and parents. Some strategies include communicating regularly in predictable formats, responding timely to questions or concerns, collaborating willingly on solutions, providing hands-on help, and sharing good news and celebrations. I also asked staff members to consider doing the same -- for each other, our students, and our families.


I invite you to share on social media when you see someone making that intentional effort to connect with you as #MaizeFamily and when you want to celebrate a #266Success. I believe that with everyone’s effort, we can support one another as a people-first district. What better way to show our students that we are united in loving them and believing in their future?


Soon, I am excited to host listening sessions and coffee talks in various places in our community, so stay tuned for information about these! I hope you can join me, and I look forward to connecting with you.


Dr. Raquel Greer

Superintendent of Schools

Maize Board of Education news

District pursuing demographic study for potential elementary school boundaries

With updated demographic information about the community, Maize USD 266 plans this school year to review whether potential elementary school boundaries could provide efficiencies and improvements and alleviate traffic, busing, and other challenges in the growing district.


With Maize Board of Education support, the district has issued a request for proposals for a demographic study. Board members are expected to review proposals from professional firms during their next meeting Sept. 12. Among other data points, the study would review current and projected birth rates, residential development, and enrollment and traffic patterns in the district. The study could take about five months or so to complete, and the district plans to work on this topic throughout the school year.


This action is the initial step to gather data and review the current elementary school placement and attendance policies. Currently, the district does not have geographic enrollment boundaries for its five elementary schools, listed below. That means a student's home address does not dictate which of the district's five elementary schools the student attends for kindergarten through fourth grades. Instead, students for years have been administratively placed, according to board policy, and students in any neighborhood in Maize USD 266 could attend any of the district's five elementary schools. Maize USD 266 elementary schools are among the largest in the state.

After lower rates since 2016-17, school board to consider small mill levy increase to prepare for inflation

Maize school board members on Sept. 12 will consider a slight increase of up to 1.331 mills to the district's mill levy for the 2022-23 school year. Maize USD 266's mill levy has remained under 60 mills for years and has seen four slight decreases since the 2016-17 school year. However, the district is reviewing potential steps to avoid a deficit and be prepared to face continued rising costs due to inflation in the upcoming school year.


The increase would take the mill levy just 2 percent above the 2021-22 mill levy but less than 1 percent above where the mill levy was during the 2016-17 school year. The 1.331 mill levy increase would equal approximately $3.46 a month for the average $250,000 home in the Maize school district.


A mill levy is tax applied to a property based on its assessed value. To learn more about property taxes and assessed values, please click here to watch a video from the Sedgwick County Appraiser's Office.


During the Aug. 8 budget hearing presentation, school board members received an update from Chief Financial Officer Matt Morford. The presentation is available to view by clicking here. Find additional information about Maize USD 266 school finance, including budget information and accountability and financial reports, by clicking here.

Next school board meeting

The Maize Board of Education will meet at 6:45 p.m. for a budget hearing and at 7 p.m. for its next regular monthly meeting on Sept. 12 in the classrooms at the Maize Performing Arts and Aquatics Center, 1055 Academy Ave. in Maize. Meetings are open to the public. Find a link to meeting agendas and minutes, school board member information, and policies at www.usd266.com/schoolboard. Meetings are broadcast live at bit.ly/Maize266YouTube.

Form due Sept. 16: Parent Request to Withhold Student Information from Use in Media

Each year, Maize USD 266 provides parents and guardians the opportunity to complete and submit the form "Maize USD 266 Parent Request to Withhold Student Information from Use in Media." The form is digital this year and is due by Sept. 16. Please click here to access the form.

#266Success

Food Service employees win state award for innovative menu development survey tool for students

Congratulations to Maize High School Food Service employees Crystal Stuhlmiller and Amy Limes, who recently received a Kansas State Department of Education Kansans CAN Best Practice Award! They were honored for their outstanding and innovative strategies to engage and serve students in recipe development.


During the 2021-22 school year, they created an innovative way to connect with students for instant feedback on school meals. They used a QR code to invite students to digitally share input, suggestions, and ratings on more than 20 new recipes, including Mediterranean salad, biscuit Monte Cristo, cranberry rice bowl, and pork carnitas tacos. This valuable data will inform menu development for years to come.


They were honored at the Kansas State Board of Education meeting Aug. 9 in Topeka.

Thank you, Fill the Bus donors and participants!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the tenth annual Chick-fil-A Fill the Bus school supply drive Aug. 9! Maize USD 266 competed with other local school districts and was the official winner for collecting the most school supplies, winning a free catered meal for all teachers and employees at one school in the district. It was a fun community event and, more importantly, an opportunity to help students in need be prepared for a successful school year.

High school students welcome younger grades on first day of school

With the help of Maverick and Eagle athletics and activities, Maize High School and Maize South High School students welcomed elementary, intermediate, and middle school students with high fives, cheers, and fist bumps for the first day of school. Thanks to all students who helped greet younger classes as #MaizeFamily!

Dr. Greer steps in as "Undercover Boss" on first day of school

Maize South Middle School students were surprised to find Dr. Raquel Greer, Superintendent of Schools, serving their lunch on the first day of school Aug. 16. Click here for the KWCH, Channel 12 story about her guest appearance, hairnet, plastic gloves, and all! Dr. Greer and other district leaders also served through the first week of school in other critical roles throughout the district, including as crossing guards at key intersections to help with traffic.

Important upcoming dates

September 2022

  • Sept. 5: No school, Labor Day
  • Sept. 22: No school, Parent-Teacher Conferences, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sept. 23: No school


October 2022

  • Oct. 14: End term one
  • Oct. 17: No school, Professional Development
  • Oct. 18: Term two begins


November 2022

  • Nov. 21-25: No school, Fall Break

Support Eagle and Maverick booster clubs

The Maize High School and Maize South High School Booster Clubs work closely together with Maize USD 266 to provide support and funding for athletic needs not included in the athletic department budget. The most beneficial way the community can support booster clubs is to purchase an All District Athletic Pass. The pass is an easy and convenient way for families to save money to attend home sporting events during the school year. The pass works for both middle and high school games for the Eagles and Mavericks. There are four pass types available:

  1. Family pass, which includes four cards

  2. Individual student pass

  3. Individual adult pass

  4. District pass, which is for current and retired Maize USD 266 employees.


Click the link to learn more.

Maize Pulse archive

Explore past issues of Maize USD 266's Maize Pulse e-newsletter, launched in August 2022 and produced about once a month.

About Maize USD 266

The mission of Maize USD 266 is to inspire students to discover their potential through connecting, learning, and leading.