Topeka Public Schools | 9/15/23
Message from the Superintendent
Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:
We have had a very successful start to the school year with many achievements and celebrations already. The White House made it's second visit to Topeka Public Schools since 2021, with U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, visiting as part of his back-to-school tour, in which he highlighted how we are raising the bar as a model of excellence.
We also had a wonderful time kicking off the Homecoming season with celebrations last week at Highland Park. Celebrations will be held at Topeka High and Topeka West in the coming weeks. This week, we celebrated district achievements and the 2023 Patron Award winner at the TPS Foundation breakfast, where it was announced that Highland Park was given a $5 million donation by alumni Susan Guffey in support of the excellence offered through their school for HPH scholars. We are grateful to Ms. Guffey and her family for this generosity and investing in current and future HPH students.
Our dedicated staff members continue to be highlighted locally and statewide, and we congratulate Mrs. Ann DeMiranville (formerly Ms. Gorsuch) and Ms. Eva Yerkes, who were selected for the 2023 Topeka's Top 20 Under 40, Ms. Danielle Twemlow and Ms. Veronica Byrd, our Parents as Teachers educators, who will be recognized during the YWCA Women of Excellence Awards on September 23, and the many scholars and staff who have been celebrated locally in so many ways.
As we end the month, our district has gained approval to provide staff members with additional compensation as we thank them for joining Topeka Public Schools as part of our continued recruitment efforts.
We look forward to seeing all of our families at Family Fitness Fun Night on September 20. Thank you for helping us have such a wonderful start to the school year!
Dr. Tiffany Anderson
U.S. Department of Education Highlights TPS Initiatives on Nationwide Tour
Secretary Miguel Cardona met with Dr. Anderson and TCALC students and staff as the first stop on a nationwide tour to recognize districts raising the bar to ensure student success, while highlighting teacher diversity and innovative recruitment initiatives. They were accompanied by Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson.
Four TPS educators and future educators from the TCALC Teaching as a Profession Pathway then participated in a round-table discussion with Secretary Cardona and Dr. Anderson at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.
TPS Foundation Brings Community Together for 14th Annual Breakfast
This year's event brought together many public officials and community partners to celebrate the 2023 Patron Award recipients, BT&Co., for their decades of service to public education.
Additionally, it was announced by TPSF Executive Director, Pamela Johnson-Betts, that Highland Park High School would be the recipient of a $5 million donation from alumni Susan Guffey, the largest donation in the history of Topeka Public Schools. Learn more in this article from WIBW.
We send a special thank you to Ms. Guffey and her family, and the many community partners who continue to support Topeka Public Schools students. View photos from this event on Flickr and video highlights on YouTube.
Highland Park Students Showcase Their School Spirit at Homecoming Events
The Scots then took on FL Schlagle High School for the varsity football game at Hummer Sports Park, where Evelyn Guajardo and Jordan De La Torre were crowned as Homecoming Royalty. View photos on Flickr.
Upcoming Homecoming Events
Topeka High School
Friday, September 29 (View Calendar)
Homecoming Parade at 2:00 PM
Homecoming Game at 7:00 PM at Hummer Sports Park
Topeka West High School
Friday, October 6 (View Calendar)
Homecoming Pep Assembly at 2:00 PM & Parade at 2:40 PM
Homecoming Game at 7:00 PM at Hummer Sports Park
TPS Principal & School Counselor Named "Top 20 Under 40"
Ann DeMiranville (formerly Ms. Gorsuch), Principal of Scott Dual Language Magnet Elementary, and Eva Yerkes, School Counselor at Ross Signature Music Elementary, were selected from hundreds of nominees by the Jayhawk Area Council for their exceptional leadership as educators.
Congratulations Mrs. DeMiranville and Ms. Yerkes!
TPS Parents As Teachers Educators Honored by YWCA Women of Excellence
Help us congratulate Danielle Twemlow and Veronica Byrd, two of our outstanding TPS Parents as Teachers educators, on being named as honorees for the 2023 YWCA Women of Excellence!
Five years ago, Ms. Twemlow joined Topeka Public Schools as an educator in the Parents as Teachers Program. Her professional career has always included working with families to help educate, provide resources, and to support them as they embark on their parenting journey.
Ms. Byrd is a native of Topeka who has been with Topeka Public Schools for nearly a decade and currently serves as the Site Coordinator for the Pine Ridge Partnership and an educator with the Parents as Teachers program. Ms. Byrd has dedicated her career to working with families to help them set and meet goals while providing family-driven solutions.
Ms. Twemlow and Ms. Byrd will receive their awards from the YWCA at the Women of Excellence banquet on September 23.
Outstanding Topeka High School Scholar Recognized as September Senior of the Month
Avery excels academically, taking honors and AP courses, and participates in many extracurricular activities, including golf, soccer, yearbook, and Interact Club. She also works on the daily THS Morning Report.
Avery is a superstar on the soccer pitch, serving as a leader on the team. She has committed to play soccer at Emporia State University, and most of her tuition has already been paid for through scholarships.
Avery plans to major in nursing, and her abilities are being fast-tracked by attending the CNA licensing program at TCALC. At the end of the fall semester, she will have earned her CNA license and can begin working in the field.
Learn more about this outstanding senior in this highlight video.
Teaching 9/11: TPS Educators Preserve History for a New Generation
Peaceful remembrance took place at each school, and flag ceremonies were held by ROTC programs at each high school. Educators reminisced about living through the tragedy and now preserving history for a new generation of students who were not yet alive when it took place.
Join Us For Our Annual Family Fitness Fun Night on September 20!
This event provides information to families and the community on education and healthy living in a positive and fun atmosphere for all ages in a safe and socially-distanced setting.
Attendees can visit various booths to learn about nutrition, fitness, and mental health and participate in fun games and activities. We can't wait to see you there! View the event flyer here.
TPS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Students across the district are celebrating culture, history, music, and art during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 - October 15.
Topeka Public Schools provides students with the only PreK-12 Dual Language Program in the region. In 2022, the Dual Language Program was honored with the Magna Award Grand Prize by the National School Boards Association as a model of excellence for other school districts across the country.
On September 21, the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education will sign a proclamation in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, read by students from Scott Dual Language Magnet Elementary.
Stay tuned to our social media channels for more exciting activities in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month!
Suicide Prevention Month: Resources to Support Mental Health
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Topeka Public Schools students and staff serve on the Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and mental health teams work to provide support at all schools.
We encourage students, families, and staff to view the district's well-being resources and information about suicide prevention from Family Service & Guidance Center (FSGC). Families can watch the September Ask a Child Therapist segment on talking to kids about suicide by following FSGC on Facebook.
The 988 Lifeline is available 24 hours a day to provide mental health support, no matter what you are going through. Connect with a trained crisis counselor who is ready to support you simply by dialing 988.
TPS Provides Pay Raises & Additional Compensation for Staff Members
Additionally, grant funding was recently approved for the district to provide one-time compensation of $3,000 to full-time, active staff members, which will be dispersed as $1,500 in October and $1,500 in December. This amount will be pro-rated for part-time staff. Learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions document from Human Resources on the TPS Staff Site.
To further assist the district with recruiting substitutes before the cold and flu season, we are hiring a substitute manager. Learn more about this position and apply at topekapublicschools.net/careers.
As the district celebrates our forward movement in compensation and academics, with more students moving out of Level 1 in state test scores, we will hold a All School Staff Development & Celebration at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, October 10 at the Topeka Performing Arts Center (TPAC). We look forward to celebrating our many achievements as one united team!
KEEP Provides $1000 Per Eligible Student for Educational Goods & Services
The Kansas Education Enrichment Program (KEEP) provides qualifying parents and guardians with $1,000 per eligible student to spend on approved educational goods and services.
KEEP funds can be used on enrichment and educational activities, including:
- Musical instruments, supplies, and lessons
- Curriculum and educational materials, including school supplies and certain allowed technological devices
- Language classes
- Camps with academic-related curriculum such as music, arts, science, technology, agriculture, mathematics, and engineering
An application and more information can be found at www.keep.ks.gov.
Living the Dream, Inc. Now Accepting Entries for 2024 Student Art, Poetry, & Essay Competition
Certificates and gift cards will be given to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner in each grade category during the King Holiday Student Awards and Recognition Program on January 15, 2024 at 10:00 AM at New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Fellowship Hall (2801 SE Indiana Ave).
Midland Care Offers Free Healing Hearts Grief Camp for Children Ages 7-12
The camp will be held from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM on Friday, October 27 at the Big Gage Shelter House (635 SW Gage Blvd). Students ages 7-12 will have the opportunity to share memories, express feelings, sing, and explore the Topeka Zoo with others who are dealing with loss and grief.
This year, the Healing Hearts Camp has been fully funded through the generous donations of the Mike McDonnel Golf Tournament, so no registration fees are required. Register by October 6 by calling 785-430-2313 or by email at email@example.com.
District Calendar & Upcoming Events
The district Google Calendar is also available on our home page.
Below are important dates for September 2023:
- September 1-30: National Campus Safety Awareness Month
- September 1-30: National Suicide Prevention Month
- September 15 - October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
- September 17: Constitution Day
- September 19: National IT Professionals Day
- September 20: College Prep Academy Jacketing Ceremony
9:00 AM | TCALC
- September 20: Family Fitness Fun Night
5:30 PM | Hummer Sports Park
- September 21: Board of Education Meeting
5:30 PM | Burnett Center
- September 29: Topeka High School Homecoming
View Event Calendar
TPS Tip Line
TPS In The News
TPS Parent Resource Site
View information and health alerts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on our Parent Resource Site.
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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