Community News

Topeka Public Schools | November 11, 2021

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

This morning, I had the privilege of starting the day at the sunrise ceremony led by the JROTC cadets at Topeka High School under the leadership of GySgt (Ret.) USMC JROTC Marine Instructor.

Throughout the day, we celebrated local Veterans at various school events. View photos on the Topeka Public Schools Flickr page. Thank you to all the Veterans who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom!

In this edition of the Community News, we are also highlighting our school psychologists, who are crucial to our success in providing social-emotional supports, which have been nationally and locally recognized. Today, AP News published an article highlighting our mental health programs at Quincy Signature Visual Arts Elementary School and French Middle School.

Earlier this week, the Kansas State Department of Education announced that Topeka Public Schools has been recognized with a Bronze Star Recognition Award for setting the standard in social-emotional health. As we celebrate our school psychologists this week, we thank them and all of our mental health teams for setting the standard for excellence in mental health services.

Next week, we will be hosting various community members who will shadow our school leaders for our annual Principal for a Day event. Following the event, the district will highlight these community members and the schools they toured as Principal for a Day.

We thank our school community for helping us have a wonderful first semester filled with engaging learning opportunities and many celebrations for staff and students.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Topeka Public Schools Honors Local Service Members in Celebration of Veterans Day

Students and staff across the district are honoring military Veterans and thanking them for their service on Veterans Day with a variety of school assemblies and celebrations.

A sunrise ceremony was held at Topeka High School at 7:00 AM, followed by a school-wide demonstration at Topeka West High School at 8:00 AM. JROTC members from both schools will be assisting with various community events throughout the day. We are so proud to have Veterans leading our JROTC programs!

View photos from Veterans Day celebrations across the district on the Topeka Public Schools Flickr page.

This past weekend, marching band members from Highland Park, Topeka High, and Topeka West took part in the downtown Topeka Veterans Day Parade. They were also joined by McEachron Elementary School Principal Vic Williams and his group of Growth Mindset Unicycling Student Mentors.

Outstanding Topeka West High School Senior, Elijah Brooks, Recognized as November Senior of the Month

Elijah Brooks, a senior at Topeka West High School, has had many accomplishments during his tenure as a basketball player.

Hitting many three-pointers and dunks along the way, Elijah has been active in the school's Black Student Union and kept his grades up, in addition to his numerous athletic awards.

Elijah was recognized by the Board of Education last week as the November 2021 Senior of the Month for Topeka Public Schools.

Congratulations Elijah!

Topeka High School Senior Wins Character Challenge, Then Generously Donates Funds to Charity

On Thursday, November 4, Topeka Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson and members of the communications team honored Jada Fulton, a senior at Topeka High School, for winning the district's Character Challenge.

Jada was surprised with a big check in the amount of $500 to donate to a school club or charity of her choosing. She chose the One Heart Project, an organization that focuses on providing housing, mentoring, and other services to at-risk and incarcerated youths.

Topeka Public Schools is proud of Jada for continually showing kindness and leadership at Topeka High School!

Topeka Public Schools Physical Therapy Assistant Goes Above and Beyond to Help Children With Special Needs

In celebration of National Physical Therapy Month, the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education recognized the district's incredible physical therapists and physical therapy assistants at its meeting on October 21.

One of our amazing physical therapy assistants, Ms. Kimberly Clouse, was also recently featured by WIBW! Ms. Clouse, who graduated from Topeka West High School, came to work as a PTA for Topeka Public Schools after five years of working in pediatrics at a hospital in Kansas City.

She chose to return to Topeka to help children with special needs gain greater mobility, balance, and strength. She is truly an asset to the district!

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates New Additions at District Welcome Center

Topeka Public Schools is celebrating the completion of a bond project that was approved in 2014, which included approximately $143 million in upgrades to district schools and buildings.

Of that, over $1.7 million was invested in the construction, furnishings, and technology at Quinton Heights Education Center.

On Thursday, November 4, district and city leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the additions at Quinton Heights, which include a storm shelter built to FEMA standards, multi-purpose meeting spaces, and a new fenced-in playground.

Quinton Heights serves as the District Welcome Center. Staff members provide resources to thousands of families each year through services like vision and hearing screenings, the ELL program, Parents as Teachers, and the Community Cupboard.

Topeka Public Schools Foundation "Grant Patrol" Awards $22,000 to Educators

The Topeka Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) re-activated its “Grant Patrol” on Wednesday, October 27, and surprised several TPS staff members with balloons and big checks.

The Foundation funding is provided to TPS educators to support and recognize their innovative programs designed to offer Topeka Public Schools students unique, hands-on experiences.

In total, the TPSF Grant Patrol awarded educators with $22,000 in grant funding. TPSF grant awards are for classroom, school-wide, or district-wide innovations and provide additional learning opportunities for students that otherwise are not available.

TPSF has provided grant funding to Topeka Public Schools educators for the past 35 years; however, surprise Grant Patrol visits did not occur the last two years because of the pandemic.

Additionally, TPSF provides a number of annual scholarships to high school students. To learn more about available scholarships and submit an application, visit the TPSF website or contact your school counselor.

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates National School Psychology Week & Social-Emotional Growth

In celebration of National School Psychology Week, Topeka Public Schools would like to recognize our incredible school psychologists across the district. We are so thankful for all that they do for our students, families, and staff!

Topeka Public Schools is also excited to announce that the district recently earned a Bronze Star Recognition Award from the Kansas State Department of Education in the category of Social-Emotional Growth.

The district was recognized for its exceptional programs on mental health and wellness and events like Title I Social Emotional Learning Virtual Parent Night. Districts that earn recognition through this program are setting the standard for the rest of the state to follow.

As Topeka Public Schools focuses on mental health and wellness, we ask teachers to take this brief survey on teacher retention within school districts across the state of Kansas. The results of this survey will be used to positively impact state and local policy.

Pictured is Ms. Rebecca Trapp-Marquez, a school social worker at Eisenhower Middle School, and her therapy dog Bear.

Join Us Tonight for 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.

Topeka Public Schools Providing Optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics

Topeka Public Schools is excited to announce its upcoming optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics at Jardine and Meadows Elementary, held in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and Shawnee County Health Department.

All clinics will be held from 8:00 - 10:00 AM for children ages 5 to 11 who are eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Saturday clinics will be held on November 13 & December 11 at Jardine Elementary, located at 2600 SW 33rd Street.
  • Friday clinics will be held on November 19 & December 10 at Meadows Elementary, located at 201 SW Clay Street.

Families can pre-register for the vaccination clinics at

November College Connections Newsletter

This month's College Connections Newsletter provides:

  • Information on FAFSA registration
  • Information/deadlines on college registration and admission
  • Information/deadlines for financial aid and scholarships
  • Job opportunities for students

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!

Board Approves Public Hearing Regarding Status of Stout Elementary School

On Thursday, November 4, the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education approved a motion to hold a public hearing regarding the status of Stout Elementary School.

The public hearing will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 6:30 PM at the Burnett Center (624 SW 24th St).

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 November.

  • November 11: Veterans Day
  • November 8-12: National School Psychology Week
  • November 18: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Virtual
  • November 15-19: American Education Week
  • November 24-26: Thanksgiving Break
  • November 25: Thanksgiving 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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