Community News

Topeka Public Schools | 1/6/2023

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Happy New Year from all of the administrators in Topeka Public Schools! We have had a great first week of 2023, with various events occurring throughout this month. We missed our scholars over the break and are so excited for the semester ahead.

We started off the first week of the year celebrating one of the state's distinguished Horizon Award winners. The Commissioner of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, and our staff surprised our incredible second-year teacher, Megan Maness, at French Middle School with the exciting announcement.

Today, we posted on social media information about the many uses of technology on National Technology Day. In September, we celebrate our technology professionals who work hard to ensure the 1:1 technology works well across Topeka.

On Monday, please take time to thank a law enforcement officer for keeping us safe in our schools as we highlight Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Additionally, we are highlighting our dedicated Board of Education members throughout the month of January in celebration of National School Board Recognition Month. Please join us in thanking our outstanding board members!

We celebrated many accomplishments in 2022, and we look forward to the many accomplishments ahead in 2023.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Top Highlights of 2022

Topeka Public Schools: 2022 Year in Review

Topeka Public Schools Educator Honored With KSDE Horizon Award

Topeka Public Schools is excited to announce that one of our educators has been honored with the 2023 Kansas Horizon Award from the Kansas State Department of Education!

Megan Maness, a special education teacher at French Middle School, was surprised with a Zoom call from Education Commissioner Dr. Randy Watson to announce the award on Thursday, January 5.

Ms. Maness was showered with love, balloons, flowers, and even a cake for her and her students to enjoy, thanks to Principal Hoffman and her colleagues at French Middle School. She was also joined by family members to celebrate the momentous occasion.

The Kansas Horizon Award program recognizes exemplary educators who have completed their first year of teaching. View photos from the award presentation on Flickr.

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates School Board Recognition Month

January is School Board Recognition Month—a time to salute the work of our school board members and celebrate public education.

School board members play a crucial role in ensuring our students receive the best education possible by working with parents, education professionals, and community members to create successful learning environments.

We encourage you to join us in celebrating the work and success of our school board on Facebook and Twitter! You can learn more about each of our board members at

Outstanding Hope Street Academy Scholar Selected as January Senior of the Month

Hope Street Academy senior, Maritza Pulgarin-Arredondo, has been selected as January's Senior of the Month!

Maritza is known at Hope Street for her leadership. Her teachers say she sets a positive example for her peers and works hard to achieve all of her goals. Following graduation, Maritza plans to attend college and enter the field of dentistry.

Maritza was honored by the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education on Thursday, January 5. Watch the January Senior of the Month video highlighting her achievements on YouTube.

Happy National Technology Day! TPS is Thankful For Our District IT Professionals

January 6 is National Technology Day! We are grateful for all the technology we have, which helps us in our everyday lives and in the classroom.

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

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.

TPS Celebrates National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Across the country on January 9, we have an opportunity to thank law enforcement for their service. Students and staff across the district are showing their SROs some extra appreciation next week!

We would like to recognize Chief Ron Jeanneret, Director of School Safety, and the entire Topeka Public Schools Police Department, as well as our local, county, and state police agencies, for working to keep our community safe.

Join us in honoring our school police on January 9 by commenting our Facebook and Twitter posts!

TPS Now Accepting Donations for the 6th Annual Living the Dream Food Drive

In celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Topeka Public Schools and Living the Dream, Inc. kicked off the sixth annual district-wide Living the Dream Food Drive this morning.

Students and staff are encouraged to donate non-breakable, non-perishable items between now and February 1. The school or building that collects the most items will receive the Living the Dream traveling trophy.

McCarter Elementary School won the contest the past 2 years, with students and staff collecting over 3,300 food items in 2022!

Last year, the food drive collected more food items than ever before, with nearly 6,000 items donated to the TPS Community Cupboard and Washburn University Food Pantry, and we are hoping to top that number this year.

TPS to Celebrate Mid-Year Graduates in January 2023

Topeka Public Schools is committed to supporting students as they enter college and careers by allowing those who have completed their high school requirement early to graduate at mid-year.

This year's Mid-Year Graduation Ceremonies will be held on Thursday, January 26.

Each school will hold its own ceremony, which will also be streamed live on the respective high school's Youtube page. Schools will reach out to graduates and families with more information in the coming weeks.

Ceremony times are as follows:

  • Topeka West High School: 8:30 AM
  • Topeka High School: 9:30 AM
  • Highland Park High School: 5:00 PM

TPS Chiefs Days Are Back!

Through the remainder of the Kansas City Chiefs' season, Topeka Public Schools students and staff may wear their Chiefs gear and jeans every Monday.

We send a special thank you to our TPS staff members for their dedication and incredible work as a team. Go Chiefs!

TPS Honors the Life of Randolph Elementary Paraprofessional

Topeka Public Schools extends our deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Robin Burke, a beloved paraprofessional at Randolph Elementary School, who passed away last month.

On Friday, January 6, staff members from Randolph Elementary and the Special Education Department attended memorial services to honor Ms. Burke, who dedicated her life to serving others. She knew exactly how to meet her students where they were, gently and lovingly guiding them toward their full potential.

We continue to uplift Ms. Burke's family in our thoughts and prayers. View the full obituary at

Reminder: Stay Updated on Transportation With the Here Comes the Bus App

Parents can stay updated on transportation by downloading the Here Comes the Bus app!

• View the real-time location of your child’s bus.

• Access the app from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

• Receive push notifications or email alerts.

• Send your child to the bus stop at just the right time, every time.

How to get started:

1. Download the Here Comes the Bus app* or visit

2. Sign Up by going to the Here Comes the Bus website.

3. Enter school code 29036 and click “Next” followed by “Confirm”

4. Complete the “User Profile” box

5. Under “My Students,” click “Add.” Enter your child’s last name and student ID number

6. Once you confirm your information, you’re ready to begin using Here Comes the Bus!

TPS 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 the 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, and/or phone call 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. To learn more about school delays and closures, please review our How We Communicate With Families document.

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

Welcome back, TPS students and staff! We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and Winter Break. View the full 2022-2023 academic calendar at

Below are important dates for January 2023:

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • No School in Session
  • January 19: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Burnett Center
  • January 26: Mid-Year High School Graduation Ceremonies

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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