District’s growing population prompts Maize student placement conflict

Maize Public Schools (KSN File Photo)

MAIZE, Kansas – The Maize school district is finding themselves searching for solutions to a growing student population.

In Monday night’s board meeting, school officials further discussed the district’s placement policy. A short-term solution was set in place by assigning incoming freshman to new schools.

“I’d prefer going to the closer school by their house, and I would just assume that they would go there and get to pick it,” stated Bob Davis, a Maize grandparent.

Dozens of parents are saying the same thing throughout the Maize school district.

“That just makes me feel like I have no control over it,” voiced Angelica, another Maize parent.

On Tuesday, more than 50 Maize eighth graders who requested to attend Maize South High School next fall received letters assigning them to Maize High instead.

“We decided at least for the short-term, that we would get no more students at Maize High School that existed this year, and so we sent out a plea before Christmas, trying to address those challenges to that extent and received some request for transfer, but not enough,” explained Superintendent Chad Higgins.

Currently, USD 266 has two-thirds of the high school population at Maize High and one-third at Maize South High. But, the school district is seeing its numbers busting at the seam.

“A few years ago we crossed that one-third threshold at Maize South High School and created an issue,” Higgins stated.

This led to a short-term plan from the district of asking students to transfer to schools across town.

“So we’re sending out letters, 54 students hoping to get ideally 17 that will say, ‘yeah either school’s great.’ We believe those students exist,” Higgins described.

Higgins says that the school district will not split up families. But, if no families volunteer, the district could be forced to make them transfer. However, district officials say legacy will remain strong during this change.

“Ultimately, my goal is to not create two different high schools, I don’t think anyone wants that. We want different characteristics and personalities and so forth but we just want every student and every staff to have the opportunity to be successful and be able to do the same kinds of jobs,” said Higgins.

 

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