Community News

Topeka Public Schools | November 23, 2021

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Happy Thanksgiving holiday! I am so very grateful for our incredible staff and families. Today, as we approach the holiday season, I have been reminded countless times of the overflowing love, generosity, and support in Topeka. Our community is amazing!

Last week during our vaccination clinic at Meadows Elementary, the Shawnee County Health Department recognized Topeka Public Schools for our dedication to keeping students, families, and staff safe throughout the pandemic with innovative strategies and resources.

Under the leadership of the Greater Topeka Partnership, the city of Topeka has tremendous momentum! I encourage families to take time to support local businesses during the holiday season and enjoy the many activities available for families here in Topeka!

This month, we truly enjoyed having numerous business and civic leaders visit our schools for our annual Principal for a Day event. State Board of Education representative Ann Mah, the Mayor-Elect, business leaders, hospital administrators, Laird Noller Ford, Horace Mann Life Insurance, and many other executives spent time with us learning about our students and schools. Many participants identified new ways to partner and invest in our scholars. We are so grateful for the many partners who recognize how significant their investment is in education.

As we enter the winter season, please be prepared for possible inclement weather days, which will be traditional snow days this year.

Thank you for your support, dedication, and love extended to our families and community across Topeka.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Have a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving Break!

There will be no school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week (November 24, 25, and 26) for Thanksgiving Break.

School will resume on Monday, November 29.

We are thankful for all of our students, families, and staff who make the district great. Have a happy and safe holiday!

Topeka Mayor and Other Community Leaders Become Principal for a Day

On Thursday, November 18, Topeka Public Schools held its annual Principal for a Day event, which invites community leaders to shadow one of the district's principals and gain first-hand knowledge of how schools operate.

One special guest, Mayor-Elect Mike Padilla, shadowed Principal Stacy Schreiner at Landon Middle School, where his grandson attends. Mr. Padilla was excited to learn more about Topeka Public Schools K-12 Dual Language Program, and said he enjoyed talking with students about his upcoming role as mayor of Topeka.

Topeka Public Schools extends special thanks to all our community partners for their ongoing support! View photos from each school on Flickr.

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates American Education Week

Last week, Topeka Public Schools celebrated American Education Week! Schools across the district found unique ways to celebrate and showcase their incredible students and staff.

McCarter Elementary School hosted a variety of events, including Dream Big Day, which encouraged students to dress in spirit-wear from their dream college or university. Students also had the chance to dress like their favorite school staff member to show their appreciation.

At Meadows Elementary, each day of the week had a different theme, including Dress for Success Day and Career Day. Students also took the time to write messages of support on the sidewalk around the school.

In addition, high school students shared which teachers had made a positive impact on their lives throughout their school careers.

Educators at Capital City School Honored With Gift Cards in Honor of American Education Week

Each year in the spirit of Thanksgiving and to celebrate American Education Week, Horace Mann Life Insurance honors Topeka Public Schools teachers by handing out gift cards.

On Wednesday, November 17, educators at Capital City School received a surprise to help them enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday!

Hilary Aubey, of Horace Mann Life Insurance, presented every teacher and school staff member with a Hyvee gift card as part of the company's annual Turkey for Teachers event.

The district extends special thanks to Horace Mann Life Insurance for this generous donation!

Over 140 Families Served at Topeka Public Schools Elementary Vaccination Clinics

Topeka Public Schools hosted its first two optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics, on November 13 at Jardine Elementary and November 19 at Meadows Elementary.

The clinics, held in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and Shawnee County Health Department, targeted children aged 5-11 who were eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Over 140 families were served during these events.

Additionally, at its November 19 clinic, Topeka Public Schools was recognized by the Shawnee County Health Department Leadership Team for our ongoing partnership throughout the pandemic.

The district will hold its next vaccination clinics from 8:00 - 10:00 AM on Friday, December 10 at Meadows Elementary and Saturday, December 11 at Jardine Elementary. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will also be in attendance to hand out gifts to families!

Community Generously Donates Thanksgiving Meals to Topeka Public Schools Families

This week, many community members generously donated to Topeka Public Schools families across the district. One local partnership is working to serve and deliver Thanksgiving meals!

As a result of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church's partnership with The Iron Rail Brewing in downtown Topeka, the church generously contributed meals, impacting over 100 families. District communications team members will be making no-contact deliveries to families throughout the day on Wednesday as part of the partnership.

The district extends special thanks to all of our community members who donated to help Topeka Public Schools students and families!

Highland Park Central Holds First Annual Thanksgiving Parade

On Friday, November 19, students and staff at Highland Park Central Elementary School celebrated Thanksgiving early with the first annual Thanksgiving Parade!

Students showcased colorful artwork, turkey hats, and other projects they created to show what they are thankful for in the spirit of the holiday.

Highland Park Central Principal Dr. Tawana Hughes said students and staff are excited to make the parade a tradition in years to come.

November Episode of KTPS News Premieres Thursday at 7:00 PM

Topeka Public Schools is excited to broadcast its November episode of KTPS News on Thursday, November 25 at 7:00 PM! Viewers will be able to watch the premiere live and comment along on the district's Facebook, Youtube, and cable channel.

Each episode of KTPS News features stories told by high school students from across the district that highlight the amazing staff and students of Topeka Public Schools.

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving, tune in at 7:00 PM!

2021 Topeka Public Schools Holiday Card Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2021 Topeka Public Schools Holiday Card Contest!

  • Jardine Elementary School
    Nitya Vajrala - Third Grade
  • Quincy Signature Visual Arts Elementary School
    Serenity Root - Fifth Grade
  • State Street Signature Performing Arts Elementary School
    Avery Lewis - Third Grade

The winning designs will be featured by the district as we send virtual and print cards this holiday season! In addition, each winning school and family will receive print copies.

View each of the winners at and on the district TV station.

Topeka Public Schools to Lead Miracle on Kansas Avenue Holiday Parade

The annual Miracle on Kansas Avenue Holiday Parade will take place at 6:00 PM on Saturday, December 4.

We are excited for many of our students and families to take part in the parade! Topeka Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, was selected by the Greater Topeka Partnership and Downtown Topeka Inc. to be this year's Grand Marshal.

Topeka Public Schools was selected as a result of the district's accomplishments and accolades, including growing graduation rates over the past five years.

If you are looking for a fun family activity and would like to cheer on your school district, join us on December 4!

Living the Dream Annual Competition Open for Entries

Living the Dream, Inc., is sponsoring the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Poetry, Essay, and Art Contest.

The art and essay contests are open to students from first through 12th grade. The poetry contest is open to students in fifth through 12th grade.

Certificates and awards will be presented to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each grade category. Winners will be notified by email and announced through a special virtual presentation on the King Holiday, Monday, January 17, 2022.

All electronic entries must be submitted no later than 4:30 PM on Monday, December 6, 2021. Learn more about the contest and submit your entry at

Topeka Public Schools Weather Notifications

As the weather begins to cool, we want to remind families and staff of school closing notification procedures.

As we make decisions about closing school, a number of factors come into play, including safety of travel but also the safety of students who will be home during the day.

Should school be canceled, we will:

  • Send a text/email message via SchoolMessenger
  • Update the district social media pages
  • Update the district website
  • Contact our local media partners

To sign up for text message updates, text Y to 67587.

Help Your Community By Telling Us About Your Local Internet Service

Fellow Kansans at the University of Kansas Institute for Policy & Social Research are seeking ways to improve internet access and quality in our state. We need your help finding areas in Kansas that experience internet service gaps.

These gaps keep people in Kansas communities from being able to access online education, health care, and other critical services. Take the survey and help Kansas get better connected!

This survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. You may take the survey only once. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Dr. Germaine Halegoua (, Donna Ginther, principal investigator (, or

Topeka Public Schools Hiring Bus Drivers Beginning at $16-20 Per Hour With Signing Bonus & Premium Retention Pay!

Topeka Public Schools is excited to host Virtual Transportation Thursdays!

These weekly hiring events offer the public a chance to explore our transportation job openings one-on-one with a recruiter. We may have the perfect spot for you to make a difference in a child's day!

School bus drivers begin at $16-20 per hour, plus a signing bonus and the opportunity to receive Topeka Public Schools Premium Retention Pay.

Schedule a virtual interview by completing this short form. We look forward to seeing you!

Board Approves Public Hearing Regarding Status of Stout Elementary School

On Thursday, November 4, the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education approved a motion to hold a public hearing regarding the status of Stout Elementary School.

The public hearing will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 6:30 PM at the Burnett Center (624 SW 24th St).

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

The 2021-2022 academic year district calendar is available at The calendar includes dates of parent-teacher conferences, no school days, and semester sessions. Below are important dates for the rest of November.

  • November 24-26: Thanksgiving Break
  • November 25: Thanksgiving Day
  • November 29 - December 3: State Street Canned Food Drive
  • November 29 - December 15: McEachron Canned Food Drive
  • November 30: Sheldon Family Literacy Night
    5:30 - 6:30 PM | Sheldon Head Start

The Topeka Public Schools, Unified School District No. 501 is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity. No person shall, on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin or ancestry be denied lawful access to any appropriate educational service, program or activity provided by the school district. For students, the Title VI, Title IX and Section 504 compliance coordinator compliance coordinator is the General Counsel for the district. For employment, the EEO/AA and Title VII compliance officer is the general director of human resources. Compliance coordinators may be contacted at 624 S.W. 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294, (785) 295-3000.The clerk of the Board of Education has been designated to receive and redirect or handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, regulations and procedures. The clerk may be contacted by calling (785) 295-3059 or by writing to 624 S.W. 24th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66611-1294.

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