Community News

Topeka Public Schools | December 8, 2021

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

This has been a wonderful season filled with various holiday activities!

Our students and staff have been spreading joy throughout the community through family events, musicals, fine arts activities, and through our participation in the Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade. It’s been wonderful seeing families this year enjoying the December events as we prepare for Winter Break.

Thank you for supporting our holiday family adoption process, which has given us opportunities to donate gifts to families in need. We greatly appreciate our incredible staff and students.

This month, we truly saw love in action through the generosity of our community partners at Advisors Excel, who adopted numerous students at every school for the holiday season. This is a season of caring and sharing and we are so grateful for the opportunity to experience the holiday with our Topeka family.

Earlier this week, several of our elementary schools were ranked in the top 30% of Kansas schools by U.S. News & World Report, with McCarter and McEachron earning Best Elementary School badges. Congratulations to our top ranked schools!

As we prepare for Winter Break, please remember inclement weather days that require school to be closed will be traditional snow days with no remote learning. We are hopeful that the beautiful weather continues.

Happy holidays from my family to yours!

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Topeka Public Schools Leads Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade

On Saturday, December 4, Topeka Public Schools students and staff took part in the annual Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade!

Members of the Topeka High School Color Guard kicked off the parade, followed by Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson, who served as Grand Marshal. The incredible Topeka High School Marching Band also performed throughout the entire parade!

We enjoyed celebrating the start of the holiday season with so many families from across Topeka. View more from the parade on Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.

Advisors Excel Partners With Topeka Public Schools to Take Students on Holiday Shopping Spree

120 students from across Topeka Public Schools were treated to a shopping spree at Kohl's this holiday season! The shopping events took place over the past week, and are part of Advisors Excel’s season of giving.

Students spent several hours paired with Advisors Excel employees, who helped them pick out new toys, clothes, shoes, and more, as they were given free reign to pick out anything they wanted. Our elementary students even received a special visit from Mrs. Claus (also known as Dr. Anderson)!

The district extends special thanks to Advisors Excel for their continued support of our students and community! View highlights from the event on Facebook and Flickr.

Topeka Public Schools District Educators Disrupt School-to-Prison Pipeline

On Tuesday, December 7, several Topeka Public Schools educators were recognized for their commitment to creating positive change in the lives of Kansas youth.

Dr. Joy Grimes, Principal of Avondale Academy, and Mr. Timothy Leffert, Principal of Robinson Middle School, were honored with the Game Changer Award by the One Heart Project for their ongoing work to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.

Additionally, Ms. Alexandra Zlatnik received special recognition for her impact on students as a counselor at Robinson Middle School.

The One Heart Project serves at-risk and incarcerated youths with redirection and re-entry services in Kansas and Texas. Learn more at

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 Hosting Optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics on Friday & Saturday

Topeka Public Schools has partnered with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and Shawnee County Health Department to provide optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics at Jardine and Meadows Elementary for children ages 5 to 11.

  • 8:00 - 10:00 AM on Friday, December 10 at Meadows Elementary, located at 201 SW Clay St.
  • 8:00 - 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 11 at Jardine Elementary, located at 2600 SW 33rd St.

Students at the clinics will also receive a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Families can sign up for the vaccination clinic in advance by registering online. To learn more about the Pfizer vaccine, you can access the fact sheet here.

Please note that if you received your first vaccination at the November clinic, you are already pre-registered to receive the December vaccination.

Topeka High Yearbook Receives All-Kansas Distinction

Congratulations to the 2021 Topeka High School yearbook staff for being awarded the All-Kansas Yearbook Award by the Kansas Scholastic Press Association!

This is the top honor awarded in the state to yearbooks for overall excellence. Numerous schools from across Kansas entered the contest, where judges reviewed entries based on enrollment classifications.

View all the winning entries at

December College Connections Newsletter

This month's College Connections Newsletter provides:

  • ACT/SAT testing dates
  • Information on FAFSA registration
  • Information/deadlines on college registration and admission
  • Information/deadlines for financial aid and scholarships
  • Career & internship opportunities for students

Topeka Public Schools to Hold Mid-Year Graduation Ceremonies in January

Topeka Public Schools high schools are hosting mini graduation ceremonies on Thursday, January 27 for students who are eligible to graduate at mid-year.

Each school will hold socially-distanced ceremonies, which will also be streamed live on the respective high school's Youtube page. Schools will be reaching out to graduates and families for more information in the coming weeks.

Ceremony times are as follows:

  • Topeka West High School: 8:00 AM
  • Topeka High School: 9:00 AM
  • Highland Park High School: 10:30 AM

Submit a Nomination for the 2022 Distinguished Staff Award

The Distinguished Staff Award selection committee is accepting nominations for the 2022 Distinguished Staff Award (DSA).

The DSA is the highest award that a Topeka Public Schools staff member can receive. You can nominate an outstanding staff member by filling out the official nomination form. DSA nominations must be submitted by January 31, 2022.

You can nominate staff members in the following categories:

  • First Year Elementary Teacher
  • First Year Secondary Teacher
  • Building Leader
  • Classified Support Staff
  • Certified Support Staff
  • Custodian
  • Paraprofessional
  • Elementary School Educator
  • Middle School Educator
  • High School Educator
  • Office Personnel
  • Food Service
  • Operations
  • District Administration

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.

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!

Holiday Giving to the Topeka Public Schools Foundation

Donating to the Topeka Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) is a terrific way to give back for the holiday season! A donation to scholarships provides our students with an opportunity for post-secondary education.

You can also support TPSF while doing your holiday shopping by using AmazonSmile! Simply visit, select 'Topeka Public Schools Foundation' as your charity of choice, then make your purchase.

For more information on donations to TPSF, please contact Executive Director Pamela Johnson-Betts at

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.

Please note that schools will be closed from December 20, 2021 - January 4, 2022 for Winter Break. We hope our students have a terrific end of the semester and holiday season!

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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