Community News

Topeka Public Schools | 2/4/22

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Last week, we celebrated student graduates! On January 27, the district held its second annual mid-year graduate ceremonies to celebrate our students who completed their graduation requirements early, in spite of the pandemic.

These students have already started to move into their post-secondary experiences. We have placed many of our graduates in positions due to their Washburn Tech credentials gained while in Topeka Public Schools. Photos and videos from the events can be viewed on our district's Facebook and Youtube channels. Congratulations graduates!

Last night at our school board meeting, we expressed appreciation to our counselors for National School Counseling Week and shared the importance of investing in mental health. In support of our staff, our school board approved a calendar adjustment to close school on Presidents' Day on February 21, 2022, in support of providing one paid mental health day for staff. We thank our school board for their incredible support!

This month, we have various Black History Month celebrations. As the first African American female superintendent serving in Topeka Public Schools, it is a privilege to serve alongside incredible educators and community members in a district committed to diversity.

Thank you for supporting diversity and inclusivity through the many programs in Topeka Public Schools.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Topeka Public Schools Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month! Topeka Public Schools celebrates the diversity of our school district.

Throughout the month of February, schools will hold events and activities related to Black History Month, such as educational seminars, marches, music and dance performances, poetry readings, and even Black Excellence Bingo. For specific dates and times, please check the district calendar and various school calendars.

The district will also hold Visit the Teacher Days for Dr. Anderson to visit schools and share Black History Month facts as the first African American female Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools.

Pictures and stories related to Black History Month in Topeka Public Schools can be found by viewing our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Topeka Public Schools Provides Mental Health Day for Staff

Last night at our school board meeting, we expressed appreciation to our counselors for National School Counseling Week and shared the importance of investing in mental health.

In support of Topeka Public Schools staff, our school board approved a calendar adjustment to close school on Presidents' Day on February 21, 2022, in support of providing one mental health day for all staff!

This includes, but is not limited to, our custodians, office staff, nurses, food service, paraprofessionals, principals, and all classroom educators. This is a paid holiday for all staff.

Partner organizations have agreed to support this by providing our staff with low or no-cost self-care services that include physical and mental health resources. Learn more about services offered at

This is a small way to further thank our staff for the dedication and support throughout the pandemic! Click here to watch a short video about Mental Health Day.

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates Seniors Graduating at Mid-Year

On Thursday, January 27, Topeka Public Schools celebrated our mid-year high school graduates during a very important milestone in their lives. Over 100 students graduated at mid-year!

These scholars have already started to move into their post-secondary college and career experiences, and we know they are destined to do great things in the future!

If you weren't able to tune in last week, a live stream and Presentation of Graduates from each event are available on Facebook. You can also view our photo gallery on Flickr.

College Prep Academy Students Recognized for Academic Excellence

A special group of College Prep Academy scholars were recognized for academic excellence on Friday, January 28.

During the ceremonies at TCALC, students were honored for being at the top of their class and earned the distinction of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude.

Special thanks is extended to Mr. Keith Tatum, Topeka Public Schools Board of Education member, for sharing his inspiring words with our College Prep Academy scholars. View highlights from the event on YouTube.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Congratulations to McClure Elementary on Being Recertified as a Kansas State School of Character!

Topeka Public Schools is proud to announce that has recertified McClure Elementary as a Kansas State School of Character!

McClure was originally certified under the leadership of Dr. Jennifer Gordon, who retired in 2021 and passed the torch to her successor, Principal Chelsea Artrzer.

Congratulations to the McClure staff for being recognized at the national and state level as a School of Character!

Topeka West High School Senior, Brynna Mays, Selected as a Gore Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Topeka West High School senior, Brynna Mays, was one of three students selected to receive the prestigious $64,000 Harry Gore Memorial Scholarship to attend Wichita State University (WSU), where she plans to study pre-physical therapy.

Brynna plays tenor saxophone and is section leader for the varsity band at Topeka West. She is the executive vice president of the Student Council, and also participates in softball as first baseman for Topeka West Softball and the club softball team.

She is a member in several organizations such as Link Crew, National Honor Society, Future Health Professionals Association and Spirit Club.

View photos from the scholarship presentation on Facebook.

Outstanding Capital City High School Senior Recognized as February Senior of the Month

One special Capital City High School senior, Lyric Hetherington, was celebrated as the February Senior of the Month by the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education during their meeting last night.

Capital City High School's goal is to provide a positive environment to help students grow and thrive, and Lyric is an astounding example of that!

Over her time at Capital City, she has blossomed academically and socially, even becoming a leader in the school's Coffee Club.

Topeka Public Schools Announces New Principal Appointments for the 2022-2023 School Year

Topeka Public Schools is excited to announce new principal appointments for the 2022-2023 school year!

Congratulations to Mr. Dustin Dick, who is returning to Topeka Public Schools as the principal of TCALC. Mr. Dick has been leading his family business for the last two years, and previously served as principal for Topeka West and supervisor for TCALC and all secondary schools. Mr. Dick has served as an administrator for almost two decades and looks forward to leading TCALC for the 2022-2023 year!

Congratulations to Mrs. Janna Abernathy, who is returning to her role as principal at Highland Park Central Elementary for the 2022-2023 school year. Mrs. Abernathy has spent her entire career in education with Topeka Public Schools, and looks forward to returning home to Highland Park Central!

Head Building Operator Honored With Above & Beyond Award for Exceptional Work at Sheldon Head Start

On Tuesday, February 1, Ms. Shanice Daniels was honored with the Topeka Public Schools Above & Beyond Award for her exceptional work as Head Building Operator at Sheldon Head Start Child Development Center.

Ms. Shanice, as she is affectionately known by all at Sheldon, takes time out of every day to connect with students, whether that be giving high fives in the hallway, walking students to class, complimenting new shoes and hair-dos; she does it all!

She has also become an integral part of the support plan for several students who struggle behaviorally and they look forward to their time with her. She makes sure to spend time out on the playground every day engaging with students and making connections.

Sheldon Principal, Mrs. Gabrielle Tanner, said, "Ms. Shanice is a member of the Sheldon family and makes a difference in the lives of staff and students daily."

Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences Scheduled for February 16-17

District-wide Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday, February 16 and Thursday, February 17.

Teachers will reach out to schedule a conference and provide individual Zoom links for each student.


  • Wednesday, February 16 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 17 from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM


  • Wednesday, February 16 from 3:30 - 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 17 from 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM

As a reminder, there will be no school for students on Thursday, February 17 and Friday, February 18.

Get Paid, Gain High School Credit, and Acquire New Skills Through the Youth Registered Apprenticeship Program

A Topeka Public Schools high school student will have the opportunity to work during the school day for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Information Technology team as part of the first Kansas Youth Registered Apprenticeship!

Youth apprentices receive paid on-the-job training along with job-related technical instruction that also supports high school graduation requirements.

The apprentice will work at the KSDE building for two hours per day during school hours, with the opportunity to work full-time during the summer. The position pays $10 per hour and, upon high school graduation, the apprentice will also earn Youth Registered Apprenticeship certification.

Students who are at least age 16 with an interest in technology may apply online in the State of Kansas Careers Portal.

February College Connections Newsletter

This month's College Connections Newsletter provides:

  • Graduation information
  • ACT/SAT testing dates and registration information
  • Applying for the Seal of Biliteracy
  • Information on FAFSA registration
  • College exploration
  • Scholarship information and deadlines
  • Career & internship opportunities for students

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates National School Counseling Week

Next week, students and staff across the district will celebrate National School Counseling Week!

The week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors have in helping students achieve academic success and plan for a career or postsecondary education.

To celebrate, we encourage you to post pictures and messages to your school counselors through our district Facebook and Twitter. As we celebrate the field of counseling, we are providing a paid mental health day for staff on Presidents' Day on February 21, 2022.

Thank you to all our school counselors for all they do for Topeka Public Schools students!

Board of Educations Members Thankful for Encouraging Messages During School Board Recognition Month

Topeka Public Schools Board of Education President, Mr. Lalo Muñoz, and Vice President, Ms. Sue Bolley, extend a special thank you to all staff for the cards and gifts during National School Board Recognition Month on behalf of all school board members.

All members enjoyed reading the many cards from students!

Send Some Love With a Topeka Public Schools Foundation Valentine!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner on February 14, and you may be thinking about gifts for a loved one.

Donating to the Topeka Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) is a terrific way to help spread the love this Valentine's day! You can support TPSF by using Amazon Smiles for future personal and school purchases through Amazon.

Go to or open the Amazon app, select 'Topeka Public Schools Foundation' as your charity of choice, then make your purchase.

Topeka Public Schools Weather & School Closing Notifications

As we continue to experience winter weather, we want to remind families and staff of school closing notification procedures. We want to do all we can to inform families, especially at times when parents may miss an email, as we address changes in the weather that occurs.

Once a decision to cancel school has been made, a school closure message is shared as soon as possible. Many families depend on a phone call due to missing emails sent at early hours, and needing to rearrange their schedule or find childcare.

In our "How We Communicate With Families" document that we have shared with families throughout the year, we have outlined the process for delays and school closures, including communication via email, text message, and automated call.

Parents may opt out if they do not want an automated call notification. The district uses as many methods as possible to ensure no student is placed in danger by traveling to school during dangerous weather.

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 more.

Below are important dates for February:

  • February 1-28: Black History Month
  • February 1-28: Career & Technology Education Month
  • February 7-11: National School Counseling Week
  • February 14: Valentine's Day
  • February 14-18: Random Acts of Kindness Week
  • February 16-17: Parent Teacher Conferences
  • February 17: Board of Education Meeting | 5:30 PM
  • February 17-18: NO SCHOOL IN SESSION
  • February 21: President's Day
  • February 21: TPS Mental Health Day

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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