Community News

Topeka Public Schools | October 29, 2021

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

October has been a special month filled with kindness and love!

Special thanks is extended to our neighbors at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, who delivered 400 blankets for families in need; and our friends at Antioch Baptist Church, who provided thousands of dollars in gift cards that were distributed at parent teacher conferences to families in need.

Today, district staff members were buzzing around as Busy Bees, as we joined in Fall Festival parades and visited classrooms. We reminded our young scholars to continue to "Bee" great students! Thank you to all of our families for helping with parades and events today. A special thanks is also extended to the marching bands from each high school that played at multiple elementary schools.

We are ending the month with a big congratulations to Topeka High School's soccer team, who competed in the 6A West Regionals on Thursday evening in Dodge City!

Thank you to all our families for their support and participation in district activities.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Topeka Public Schools Celebrates Halloween With Parades and Parties Across the District

Topeka Public Schools is celebrating Halloween and the fall season with a variety of parades, parties, and Fall Festivals!

The district is also hosting a virtual costume contest on Facebook. All Topeka Public Schools students, families, and staff members are invited to comment a photo of their Halloween attire. The photo with the most likes by the end of today will win a special prize!

Be sure to check out our Halloween photo gallery on Flickr.

Scott Dual Language Magnet School Honors Hispanic Heritage and Culture at Fall Fiesta

On October 15, Topeka Public Schools families and staff celebrated the final day of Hispanic Heritage Month at Scott Dual Language Magnet School's Fall Fiesta.

The Fall Fiesta featured local food trucks, a raffle, and entertainment and will be highlighted on tonight's special Halloween episode of KTPS News.

Scott was also recently featured by KSNT News for their amazing Spirit Week celebration. Each day featured a different theme to learn about and honor Hispanic heritage and culture.

Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church Generously Serves Topeka Public Schools Families

Earlier this week, members of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church delivered 378 blankets plus a small box of scarves, hats, and ear warmers to be distributed to Topeka Public Schools families in need.

The items were created by the church's sewing ministry group "Piecing Love and Warmth." The blankets and other items will be distributed to school social workers and available for families through the Community Cupboard at Quinton Heights Welcome Center.

The district thanks this amazing group for their generosity and kindness!

Vaccination Clinic Serves Over 400 Topeka Public Schools Staff and Family Members

On Thursday, October 21, Topeka Public Schools held its 11th vaccination clinic to provide district staff members and their families with the COVID-19 booster shot.

Thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Topeka Public Schools served 439 teachers, staff members, and their families. The event was held at Topeka High School.

The district is happy to help provide an extra layer of protection to our frontline workers and thanks these employees for taking steps to keep our community safe!

Topeka Public Schools Hosts College & Career Fair for High School Students in Shawnee County

On Thursday, October 14, Topeka Public Schools held its annual College & Career Fair at the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC).

High school students from across Shawnee County were able to gather information and speak with representatives from various universities, community colleges, and trade schools. Students also had the opportunity to apply for jobs on-site!

The Topeka Public Schools College & Career Fair hosted high school students from 6 school districts and representatives from nearly 100 academic and professional organizations.

Topeka High School Assistant Principal Sets National and State Running Records

On Saturday, October 23, Topeka High School Assistant Principal Rob Hays set two road 100 mile running records at the Ottawa Rails-to-Trails Extravaganza. Mr. Hays finished the race with a final time of 14 hours and 35 minutes.

Nationally, he set the age group record for 55 to 59-year-olds by one hour and 14 minutes. Statewide, regardless of age group, he now has the record by five minutes.

Earlier this month, Mr. Hays finished first at the Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita, which qualified him to participate in the Boston Marathon.

Topeka Public Schools congratulates Mr. Hays and is eager to cheer him on as he continues to reach his running goals. What an inspiration!

Topeka Public Schools Honors School Bus Drivers Across the District

One of Topeka Public Schools' outstanding bus drivers was featured by KSNT News in honor of School Transportation Day and National School Bus Safety Week, which took place earlier this month.

Deborah Dilliehunt has been a school bus driver for the district since 2009 and has never missed a day of work! She has driven hundreds of students to their sporting events all over Kansas over the years.

Ms. Dilliehunt says being a bus driver is a fun and rewarding job. She especially enjoys helping kids get outdoors and have fun in spite of the ongoing pandemic.

Topeka Public Schools has been honoring bus drivers with gifts of gratitude throughout the entire month of October.

Topeka Public Schools Students Participate in Character Challenge

Earlier this month, Topeka Public Schools launched its Character Challenge to encourage students to show off their positive character.

The winner of our challenge is Jada Fulton, a senior at Topeka High School! Jada will receive $500 to go towards the school club or charity of her choosing.

The district will also highlight Jennifer Rea's kindergarten class at Ross Elementary, who participated in the Character Challenge by cleaning up the school playground.

Topeka Public Schools thanks all of these young scholars for participating in the #CharacterChallenge and showing wonderful acts of kindness!

Topeka Public Schools Rolls Out Virtual Transportation Thursdays

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!

All Topeka Public Schools Families Invited to Attend Social Emotional Learning Virtual Parent Night

All Topeka Public Schools families are invited to attend our Social Emotional Learning Virtual Parent Night from 5:00 - 7:00 PM on Thursday, November 11.

Session topics will include:

  • Bullying
  • Managing Challenging Situations at Home
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Absenteeism & Truancy
  • Race & Health Equity
  • Grief & Loss

Learn more and register at Pre-registration is required.

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 October and early November.

  • October 30: Highland Park Fall Festival
  • 2:00 - 4:00 PM | Highland Park High School
  • October 30: Jardine Trunk or Treat
    4:00 PM | Jardine Elementary School
  • November 1-30: Native American Heritage Month
  • November 4: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Virtual
  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • November 8-12: National School Psychologist Week

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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