Community News

Topeka Public Schools | August 4, 2021

Students First: Working as a Team for Continuous Improvement

Message from the Superintendent

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Please note this photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

We are so excited to welcome back our staff this week and our students on August 11th!

We thank our incredible fine arts staff, who played music as new teachers entered New Staff Orientation. Those staff members are Dan McCready, winner the 2021 Kansas Music Educator of the Year Award, Mariah Boos, and Kiana Jackson. They are pictured within the newsletter. The curriculum team members truly provided an incredible experience for everyone at New Staff Orientation.

We also thank our community partners who helped us serve over 1,200 families with school supplies, vaccines, sports physicals, and school enrollment at the annual United Community for a Successful School Year event over the weekend.

On Monday, we will be offering school immunizations and vaccines for middle and high school students. In addition, the Shawnee County Health Department will be open all next week from 12:00 - 2:00 PM offering kindergarten immunizations.

We believe schools are the center of the community, and it is such an honor to help our families prepare for the first day of school. The collective support from so many partners across our county has made a tremendous difference. We thank all of our staff members who have helped clean buildings, prepare facilities, and all who are returning to ensure together we welcome back our incredible scholars.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


TPS Partners With KDHE and SCHD to Hold Back-to-School Clinic on August 9

Topeka Public Schools has partnered with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Shawnee County Health Department to hold a back-to-school clinic at 12:00 PM on Monday, August 9 at Topeka High School (800 SW 10th St).

We will also be offering online registration assistance, free school supplies, and free sports physicals for current TPS students.

Electronic parent consent forms in both English and Spanish can be filled out prior to arrival or on site at the event. A new consent form must be signed for each vaccination the individual receives.

Kindergarten immunizations will occur at the Shawnee County Health Department all week from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at the 2115 SW 10th Ave location. In addition to Monday-Friday services, they will be offering some extended walk-in immunization hours Saturday, August 7th, from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM.

We encourage families to register for the back-to-school clinic at to secure an appointment.

TPS Welcomes Back Principals and First-Year Teachers to the New School Year

Last week, Topeka Public Schools welcomed back principals and first-year teachers to the 2021-2022 school year with staff orientation events at Bishop Professional Development Center.

The district is welcoming dozens of teachers and other staff members from out of state and around the globe for the 2021-2022 school year, and adding 40 new positions filled by educators of diverse backgrounds, from Minnesota all the way to Spain.

All teachers return today and district-wide convocation will be held at school sites on Thursday, August 5. Tune in to our YouTube, Facebook, or KTPS-TV 14 at 9:00 AM to celebrate with us.

We look forward to seeing all our TPS staff members!

There's Still Time! Register for Traditional or Virtual School for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Hey parents! There's still time to register your child for the upcoming school year.

Registration will be available from 12:00 - 2:00 PM on Monday, August 9 at Topeka High School during our back-to-school clinic.

Additionally, online registration for in-person school, an academic calendar, school supply list, and start times for the 2021-2022 school year are available in our Back to School Headquarters.

Topeka Public Schools also offers a virtual education program, which includes children (grades K-12) and adults, with both virtual and on-site learning opportunities. For more information on our virtual school program, visit the Avondale Virtual School website.

Important dates for the upcoming year:

  • August 11: First day of school for grades K-6, grade 9
  • August 11: First day of school for Hope Street Academy, Avondale Academy, Capital City Schools
  • August 12: First day of school for grades 7, 8, and 10-12
  • August 19: First day of preschool

Help Us Stuff the Bus With School Supplies and Enter to Win a Gift Card!

Topeka Public Schools, in partnership with West Ridge Mall, is still collecting school supplies for our annual Stuff the Bus campaign until Sunday, August 8. We encourage the public the come out and support this event while shopping!

To donate, simply purchase school supplies and drop them off at a participating store at West Ridge Mall (1801 SW Wanamaker Rd) between now and August 8 from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Participating stores include American Eagle, Maurices, Sky Zone, Topsy's Popcorn, and Worth A 1000 Words portrait studio.

Individuals who donate will be placed in a drawing to win a jump pass to SkyZone, a free bike, and more!

  • American Eagle: Enter to win a $50 American Eagle gift card with donation.
  • Maurices: Get a $5 off coupon with donation (1 per customer).
  • Sky Zone: BOGO on any jump with donation.
  • Topsy’s: Buy a limeade and get a small bag of buttered popcorn for free with donation.
  • Worth a 1000 Words: Free sheet of a purchased pose and a chance at a $500 studio gift card with donation.

New Text Messaging Service Sends Alerts to TPS Families

Topeka Public Schools is now utilizing the SchoolMessenger system for web services and to deliver text messages to families in the district. Alerts come straight to your mobile phone with important information about school events, school closings, and more.

Parents and guardians can participate in this free service* just by sending a text message of "Y" or "Yes" to the TPS short code number, 67587. You can also opt out of these messages at any time by simply replying "stop" to one of our messages.

SchoolMessenger is compliant with the Student Privacy Pledge, so you can rest assured that your information is safe and will never be given or sold to anyone.

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

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

August 2021

  • July 30 - August 8: Stuff the Bus
    West Ridge Mall
  • August 5: District Convocation
    All School Sites
  • August 5: Board of Education Meeting | 5:30 PM
  • August 6: Mobile Food Pantry | 4:00 PM
    Robinson Middle School
  • August 9: Back-to-School Clinic | 12:00 PM
    Topeka High School
  • August 11: First Day of School
    Grades K-6 & 9, Hope Street, Capital City, and Avondale Academy
  • August 12: All Students Return to School K-12
  • August 14: Mobile Food Pantry | 9:00 AM
    Jardine Middle School
  • August 21: Free Screening of Coco
    Hummer Sports Park

Highland Park High School Valedictorian Partners With Topeka Youth Commission to Paint Mural at Samuel Jackson Park

The Highland Park High School (HPHS) Key Club recently partnered with the Topeka Mural Project, Topeka Youth Commission, and other community organizations to create a grant-funded mural at Samuel Jackson Park in east Topeka.

2021 HPHS Valedictorian, Eliseo Barreno, applied for a grant from the Topeka Youth Commission to help beautify the Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Center.

The mural was painted on the east wall of the community center and consists of two parts: one professionally painted by Barreno and two other HPHS graduate artists, Philip White and Osbaldo Gonzalez; and another painted by children from the local community.

TPS and Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz Host Free Screening of Coco

Topeka Public Schools and Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz are hosting a free screening of Coco for all families at 8:00 PM on Saturday, August 21 at Hummer Sports Park Soccer Field (436 SW Oakley Ave).

Coco is Disney/Pixar's vibrant tale of family, fun, and adventure starring an aspiring musician named Miguel, who embarks on an extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors.

Gates will open at 7:30 PM. No outside drinks, food, or pets will be allowed. Concessions will be available.

Topeka Public Schools Offers Employment Opportunities to Community Members

As Topeka Public Schools works to assist with overall employment in the Topeka area, we are inviting those you may know to consider future employment opportunities in the district.

We understand that many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic; if you know someone who is seeking a new career opportunity, please share this information.

The district has openings for a variety of positions, including:

  • Teachers
  • School Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • School Psychologists
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Administrative Personnel
  • Food Service Workers
  • Custodians

All positions available are listed under Careers at

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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