Community News

Topeka Public Schools | September 15, 2021

Students First: Working as a Team for Continuous Improvement

Message from the Superintendent

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Pictured above is a photo from a past Family Fitness Fun Night,

as we are excited to participate in activities this evening!

Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

This is a month filled with celebrations! This week, we attended the Topeka Public Schools Foundation annual community breakfast fundraiser and celebrated their 35 years in existence.

Another celebration is just around the corner, as this Friday Topeka High School will kick off its 150 year anniversary and Topeka West High School will hold its Homecoming events. Additionally, next Friday is the Topeka High Homecoming parade, open house, and more 150 year events.

This has been a busy month filled with activities, which included the district's recognition of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Topeka West High School history teacher, Leslie Nelson, can be viewed on our district cable channel and YouTube sharing how we approach teaching about the events of that day to a new generation of students.

We thank our community members for their tremendous support in helping make our district a safe place to live, learn, and grow in.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Join Us This Evening For Our Annual Family Fitness Fun Night!

Bring your family to Hummer Sports Park this evening for the 11th annual Family Fitness Fun Night (FFFN) on September 15 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM.

Attendees can visit school and community booths featuring information on healthy habits, activities, and nutrition. COVID-19 vaccinations will also be available on site.

The event will include performances by the Topeka West Cheerleaders, the Topeka High Drumline, and demonstrations from Evolution Gymnastics and Sunflower Strength and Conditioning.

We appreciate the many vendors and volunteers who support this health and wellness family event!

Topeka Public Schools Hosting Vaccination Clinic Tonight at Hummer Sports Park

Topeka Public Schools is hosting a vaccination clinic this evening, Wednesday, September 15, from 5:30 - 7:00 PM at Hummer Sports Park (2751 SW East Circle Drive) for any families in the county who want their child ages 12 and older or themselves vaccinated.

The vaccination clinic will be held in conjunction with Family Fitness Fun Night, an event focused on educating families on preventive health care for all ages while continuing to provide information on healthy living.

You can register for the vaccination clinic prior to the event, and registration will also be available on-site. Thank you for taking steps for a safer community!

Highland Park High School Students Showcase School Spirit With Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally

On Friday, September 10, Highland Park High School (HPHS) students showed their school spirit at the 2021 Homecoming parade and pep rally.

Retired HPHS Principal Dale Cushinberry returned to the school to serve as parade grand marshal. The Scots then took on Atchison in a varsity football game at Hummer Sports Park, where Geornaia Clark and Kellan Spruce were crowned Homecoming Queen & King.

View photos and videos from HPHS Homecoming on Facebook.

Upcoming Homecoming Events

Topeka West High School will celebrate its Homecoming this Friday, September 17 with a parade and pep rally at 2:00 PM and football game vs. Hayden at Hummer Sports Park at 7:00 PM. Go Chargers!

Topeka High School will then hold its Homecoming parade in downtown Topeka at 2:00 PM on Friday, September 24, followed by the varsity football game vs. Manhattan at Hummer Sports Park at 7:00 PM. The game will feature a special half-time show to honor Topeka High's 150 Year Anniversary. Hoy! Hoy!

Topeka High School Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Topeka High School will kick off its 150th anniversary celebration on Friday, September 17 by serving birthday cupcakes to students and staff on the front lawn.

The celebration will continue on Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25 during Topeka High Homecoming Weekend, which includes a royalty assembly, parade through downtown Topeka, football game with half-time special, and more!

Learn more about the 150th anniversary of Topeka High School at

Teaching 9/11: How One Teacher Preserves History for a New Generation

On September 11, 2001, the world watched as the deadliest attack in American history unfolded. Last week, students and staff at Topeka Public Schools took the time to remember those lives who were impacted 20 years ago.

Leslie Nelson, a US History teacher at Topeka West High School, explained in an interview with WIBW what it is like to teach students who weren’t alive for the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Ms. Nelson also took part in an insightful Q&A session with our communications team about how she lived through the tragedy, and now preserves its history for a new generation of students who were not yet alive when it took place.

Envista Credit Union Uplifts Topeka Public Schools Nursing Staff With Flowers and Cards

Last week, Envista Credit Union and Blooms on Boswell delivered beautiful flower arrangements and cards to our amazing Topeka Public Schools nursing staff to encourage and uplift them during this challenging time.

WIBW featured one special delivery to Nurse Tina Lonergan at Landon Middle School, who appreciated the recognition, but insists she and all school nurses are just doing the jobs they love.

We thank Envista Credit Union for their thoughtfulness and generosity and look forward to honoring them at our Board of Education meeting tomorrow evening.

Topeka Public Schools Foundation Celebrates 35 Years of Service

The Topeka Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) 12th Annual Community Breakfast and Superintendent State of the District Address was held yesterday morning at Hummer Sports Park.

This year's event was special, as it also commemorated the thirty-fifth anniversary of the TPSF raising public dollars to support Topeka Public Schools!

Additionally, Bartlett & West was honored as the 2021 Patron Award recipient. We thank them and all our community partners for their ongoing support.

View a photo gallery from the event on Flickr.

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates Culture, History, Music, and Art During Hispanic Heritage Month

Students across Topeka Public Schools District are celebrating culture, history, music, and art during 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 - October 15.

Topeka Public Schools provides students with the only K-12 dual-language program in the region, and Scott Dual Language Magnet School is the first and only school in the state of Kansas to be named an International Spanish Academy by the Embassy of Spain.

Learn more about Scott Dual Language Magnet School and Hispanic Heritage Month in this interview with Principal Dr. Pilar Mejía and USD 501 Board of Education Vice President Lalo Muñoz.

Happy National IT Professionals Day!

On September 21, Topeka Public Schools will celebrate National IT Professionals Day to recognize the district's incredible network engineers, system administrators, and other technical experts.

We thank our Chief Information Officer Scott Gowan and his team for their hard work keep everyone connected across the district!

This year, our IT professionals have helped distribute and update over 13,000 personal student devices to ensure our young scholars are prepared in the classroom and when learning remotely.

In addition, we send special thanks to Gail Ramirez, Curriculum Technology Integration Specialist, and Travis True, Technology Services Coordinator, for their work incorporating technology into the district's curriculum.

Ms. Ramirez and Meshach McKnight, a Computer Science instructor at TCALC, were recently featured by KSNT News for their work to improve digital literacy for students.

Topeka Public Schools Offers Resources for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

Every September, Topeka Public Schools recognizes National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. The district remains an active member of the "Suicide. Talk About It. Save a Life." campaign.

Additionally, our students and staff serve on the Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition and mental health teams provide support at all schools.

We encourage students, families, and staff to view the district's well-being resources and additional information about suicide prevention from Family Service & Guidance Center.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Topeka Public Schools Launches Parent Resource Site

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, Topeka Public Schools has launched a parent resource site to provide families with information and resources in regards to our Safe Return to School reopening plan.

The new website includes:

  • Health & Safety Guidance
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Shawnee County COVID-19 Community Indicator Rating
  • TPS Positive Case Scorecard
  • COVID-19 Response Plan

New Text Messaging Service Sends Alerts to Topeka Public Schools 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 for September 2021

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 September.

  • September 15: TPS Hiring Fair
    1:30 - 3:30 PM | Heritage Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center
  • September 15: Family Fitness Fun Night
    5:30 - 7:00 PM | Hummer Sports Park
  • September 15 - October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
  • September 16: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Virtual
  • September 17: Constitution Day
  • September 17: Topeka High School 150th Anniversary Kick Off
  • September 17: Topeka West High School Homecoming
    View Event Calendar
  • September 21: National IT Professional Day
  • September 23: District Equity Council Meeting
    5:30 - 6:30 PM | Virtual
  • September 24: Harvester's Food Pantry
    9:00 AM | Capital City at Hummer Sports Park
  • September 24 - 25: Topeka High School Homecoming
    View Event Calendar

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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