Community News

Topeka Public Schools | October 15, 2021

Students First: Working as a Team for Continuous Improvement

Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Today, we will be celebrating the final day of Hispanic Heritage Month at Scott Dual Language Magnet School's Fall Fiesta!

Earlier this week, I spoke with one of our honor roll students at Topeka High School, who is in the Dual Language program and attended Scott as an elementary student years ago. The principal at Scott Dual Language, Dr. Pilar Mejía, has truly created an incredible experience for youth, as Topeka Public Schools is home to the only K-12 Dual Language Program in the state.

As we celebrated National School Lunch Week from October 11-15, another one of our amazing principals, Nicole Johnson, was highlighted sharing how important school lunches are for our children in Topeka Public Schools.

As we celebrate National Boss' Day, we thank all our district leaders and the Board of Education for their incredible leadership that makes Topeka Public Schools such a special place.

Next week, we encourage all of our families to attend parent teacher conferences! For more information, please contact your child's school.

Thank you for helping us have a wonderful start to the Fall season!

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Advisors Excel Gives Generously to Sheldon Preschool Students

On Wednesday, October 13 and Friday, October 15, volunteers from Advisors Excel served at Sheldon Head Start, bringing countless smiles to our preschool scholars!

Each year, Advisors Excel adopts Sheldon Head Start and allows each student to choose a new coat, pair of shoes, socks, and winter attire such as hats and gloves.

The shopping day for the preschoolers is set up and facilitated by Advisors Excel staff, filling the school with smiles, laughter, and joy.

The district extends a special thank you to all at Advisors Excel for the generous donation and for their ongoing support of Topeka Public Schools students.

Topeka Public Schools Moves 176 Families Out of Homelessness Through Partnership With Impact Avenues

Valarie Yazzie and her family lived at the Topeka Rescue Mission for about four months. Recently, she and her family moved into a home of their own with the help of Topeka Public Schools and Impact Avenues.

Through their ongoing partnership, the organizations have moved 176 families out of homelessness. Together they found a home for Ms. Yazzie, her three grandchildren who attend Quincy Elementary School, and her daughter who attends Topeka High School.

If you or a family you know are experiencing homelessness, please contact the district's homeless liaison, Regina Franklin, LMSW at 785-235-7512 or for assistance.

Scott Dual Language Magnet School Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month With Spirit Week and Fall Fiesta

Scott Dual Language Magnet School was recently featured by KSNT News for their amazing Spirit Week celebrations centered around Hispanic Heritage Month!

Each day of the week featured a unique aspect of Hispanic culture, including food, influential icons, and clothing, to highlight the importance of knowing one's cultural roots.

To bring this year's celebration to an end, Scott students and families are invited to attend the annual Fall Fiesta tonight from 5:00 - 7:30 PM, which will feature local food trucks, a raffle, and entertainment.

Robinson Middle School Holds Egg Drop Experiment With Help From the Topeka Fire Department

On Thursday, October 14, Robinson Middle School held an Egg Drop experiment, with help from the Topeka Fire Department.

Students in Bre Howser's class created their own egg protection devices after reading the young adult novel "The Science of Breakable Things," which teaches lessons on both science and resilience.

They then watched as the eggs were dropped from 75 feet in the air by members of the Topeka Fire Department and Robinson Middle School administrators.

Topeka Public Schools sends special thanks to the Topeka Fire Department for engaging students and helping them get excited about learning!

Standout Highland Park High School Senior Jaqui Ortega Selected as October Senior of the Month

Jaqui Ortega, a standout senior from Highland Park High School, was selected as the October 2021 Senior of the Month. Jaqui was recognized by the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education on October 7.

Earlier this year, Jaqui went viral for her "You're Beautiful" video project. The video featured Jaqui recording student reactions as she told them, “You’re beautiful.” The reactions were positive and heartfelt, causing the video to spread widely on social media and be featured by numerous news outlets.

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) was so impressed with her project, they invited Jaqui to present at their July 2021 meeting.

Topeka Public Schools Launches Character Challenge

This month, Topeka Public Schools launched its Character Challenge to encourage middle and high school students to show off their positive character! The district will continue to promote kindness, respect, and responsibility throughout the semester.

Students and staff are encouraged to post their videos with the hashtag #CharacterChallenge, then email the link to Senior Communications Specialist Dan Garrett at

One special video will be featured on the next episode of KTPS-TV, and the creators will win $500 to go towards the school club or organization of their choosing. Let's work together to spread kindness!

Whitson Elementary School Celebrates Anti-Bullying Week With Kindness Week

Last week, students and staff at Whitson Elementary held their first Spirit Week of the year with the theme Kindness is Golden, in observance of Anti-Bullying Awareness Week.

Activities were centered around the 2021 Olympics, beginning with an opening ceremony and "passing the torch of kindness" to kick off the week. School counselors also provided whole-class instruction on kindness and anti-bullying.

“It’s really important because to be kind and when you’re kind it spreads around and other people will be kind too,” said fifth-grader, Scarlett Pierce.

Topeka Public Schools High School Marching Bands Earn Highest Honors at Capital City Marching Band Festival

Topeka Public Schools would like to congratulate our incredible high school marching bands from Highland Park, Topeka High, and Topeka West who all received superior or excellent ratings during the Capital City Marching Band Festival last week.

The festival brought 10 local high school marching bands to Washburn University, where awards were handed out for the best performances, visuals, and instrumentals.

We are so proud of our band members for all their hard work to bring beautiful music to our community!

October College Connections Newsletter

This month’s College Connections Newsletter provides:

  • Information on the Kansas Promise Act
  • Information/deadlines on college registration and admission
  • Information/deadlines for financial aid and scholarships
  • ACT/SAT test dates and information
  • Job opportunities

Topeka High School Campus Care Serving All USD 501 Students and Staff With Their Healthcare Needs

It's time to schedule your flu shots! The Topeka High School Care Clinic (800 SW 10th St, Ste 101) is open and ready to administer flu shots for Topeka Public Schools students and staff.

Walk-ins are welcome or call 785-295-3256 to schedule an appointment.

Please bring your ID card and medical insurance card. If you do not have insurance, a financial assistance form is available.

For additional information, please contact Jamie Glaser, RMA at

District Calendar & Upcoming Events for October 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 the rest of October.

  • October 15: Scott Fall Fiesta
  • 5:00 PM | Scott Dual Language Magnet School
  • October 18-21: McClure Book Fair
    8:00 AM | McClure Elementary School
  • October 18-21: Whitson Book Fair
    8:00 AM | Whitson Elementary School
  • October 19: DCAC Meet the Candidates
    6:30 PM | Virtual Session
  • October 20: Test to Stay, Learn, Play, & Participate
    7:00 PM | Virtual Session
  • October 20-21: Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 21-22: NO SCHOOL
    Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 21: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Virtual
  • October 25: Randolph Literacy Family Engagement Night
    6:00 PM | Randolph Elementary School
  • October 26: Muffins in the Morning
    8:00 AM | Highland Park Central Elementary School
  • October 28: Family Engagement Math Olympics
    6:00 PM | Highland Park Central Elementary School
  • October 29: Jardine Halloween Parade
    9:45 AM | Jardine Elementary School
  • October 29: McCarter Fall Parade
    9:45 AM | McCarter Elementary School
  • October 29: McEachron Halloween Parade & Parties
    9:45 AM | McEachron Elementary School
  • October 29: State Street Halloween Parade & Parties
    10:45 AM | State Street Signature Performing Arts Elementary School
  • October 29: McClure Halloween Parties
    2:00 PM | McClure Elementary School
  • October 29: Meadows Fall Festival & Parade
    2:00 PM | Meadows Elementary School
  • October 29: Randolph Halloween Parade
    2:00 PM | Randolph Elementary School
  • October 29: Whitson Halloween Parade & Parties
    2:00 PM | Whitson Elementary School
  • October 29: HPC Halloween Parade & Parties
    2:15 PM | Highland Park Central Elementary School
  • October 30: Jardine Trunk or Treat
    4:00 PM | Jardine Elementary School

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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