Community News

Topeka Public Schools | December 17, 2021

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Happy holidays from all of us at Topeka Public Schools! Pictured above are our school board members, who have supported our students, staff, and families through one of the more challenging years, as we navigate the pandemic.


The love and generosity shown by our board members, who are actively involved in all of our schools, have helped us have a year filled with engaging fine arts experiences, athletics, and innovative academic experiences. We look forward to an even more exciting 2022 school year, and we thank you for your unified support and love this year.


Please stay safe over Winter Break and remember school resumes January 5, 2022. A happy holidays message from school leaders can be viewed on our cable TV channel throughout the rest of this month.


Happy holidays! May joy, love, and laughter fill your homes this season.


Dr. Tiffany Anderson

Superintendent

Have a Terrific Winter Break!

As a reminder, there will be no school from Monday, December 20, 2021 through Tuesday, January 4, 2022.


We look forward to seeing our amazing students and staff when school resumes on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.


Happy holidays from all of us at Topeka Public Schools!

Quincy Elementary Provides Gifts for Every Student This Holiday Season

On Tuesday, December 14, Quincy Signature Visual Arts Elementary School hosted its Holiday Drive-Thru giving event.


Quincy staff members, dressed as elves, spent the evening handing out presents to students and families. Toys 4 Tots and Gethsemane Church partnered to donate enough toys for every student, while Yak N' Yarn gifted each student with a handmade scarf and hat.


In addition, the Title I Family Engagement Committee provided books, winter journals, and snacks to keep students engaged over Winter Break.


On Friday afternoon, members of Victory City Church visited the school and delivered wrapped gifts to every classroom.


What a wonderful way to send our scholars off to Winter Break! Thank you to all our community partners for making students' holidays merry and bright.

Holiday Happenings Take Place Across The District

From food and gift donations, to winter concerts, to visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and so much more, our schools have had a wonderful time celebrating the season!


You can view many of the fun-filled festivities going on within our schools by following us on our social media accounts through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


View photos from holiday events throughout the district on Flickr.

Topeka Public Schools Students Spread Holiday Cheer Through Band, Orchestra, and Choir Concerts

We hope you are able to join us throughout this week for some amazing holiday performances by Topeka Public Schools bands, orchestras, and choirs.


Students have traveled all over Topeka to share beautiful music with our community! Pictured is the Chase Middle School orchestra, who performed for our community partners at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library earlier this week.


We also extend special thanks to the orchestra students from Jardine Middle School and Eisenhower Middle School for stopping by the Burnett Center to perform for our central office staff as part of their tour around Topeka.


If you have photos or videos from the winter concerts, please share them with us on Facebook!

Students Across the District Shine in Winter Musicals and Plays

Topeka Public Schools students showcased their acting skills in a variety of musicals and plays over the past week!


Students at State Street Signature Performing Arts Elementary School performed "Willy Wonka Kids," a musical rendition of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, to a record breaking number of families. Students at Jardine Elementary School also performed the popular musical "Annie."


Congratulations to all our talented students on their spectacular performances!

Elementary Students Enjoy a Winter Wonderland in PE Class

Students at Scott Dual Language Magnet School and McClure Elementary School are enjoying a special Winter Wonderland during PE class this week!


Physical education instructors, Mr. Troy St. Clair, Mr. Cody Bonham, and Mr. Kurt Lohse, put together some amazing obstacle courses and activities to get students moving this holiday season. Students also participated in winter themed games all week long during PE class.


View photos of students enjoying the Winter Wonderland on Facebook.

Bringing Holiday Cheer to Topeka Public Schools Families

All 28 schools across the district adopted families this holiday season! The generosity and kindness of our students and staff is truly inspiring.


Pictured are students from Whitson Elementary School and their staff, who had the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season in a special way. View our video of this amazing Whitson family on Facebook.


In addition, a family from Eisenhower and Ross was treated to a special surprise delivery of gifts from their schools and central office staff.


Thank you to all for spreading holiday cheer throughout the community!

Federal Home Loan Bank Donates to Topeka Public Schools Warm Little Ones Coat Fund

On Friday, December 10, Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka held a special ceremony for the donation of $500 to Topeka Public Schools Warm Little Ones Coat Fund. They also purchased many coats, hats, and gloves to be donated to our TPS families.


The Warm Little Ones Coat Fund is located at Ross Elementary Signature Music School and has provided over 15,000 coats to children in need since its inception in 1990.


If your student is in need of a winter coat or other winter attire, or if you would like to make a donation to the Warm Little Ones Coat Fund, please contact Jephthah Schlingensipen by email at pschlingensiepen1@tps501.org or by phone at 785-274-6280.

Topeka Public Schools Helps Reduce Anxiety For Students Receiving Vaccinations

Over the past month, Topeka Public Schools, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Shawnee County Health Department have partnered to provide optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics for students age 5-11.


To help reduce anxiety for students receiving vaccinations, Santa and Mrs. Claus (aka Mr. Darin Wallace and Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson), along with some helpful elves, spread holiday cheer with suckers, pop-its, and other small gifts.


Approximately 180 families were served at the vaccination clinics on Friday and Saturday.

TCALC Students Computer Science Project Ranked One of the Top in Country by Stanford University

This semester, three TCALC students excelled in the Stanford Computer Science online college courses.


Isaiah Kincaid (Topeka High and College Prep Academy), Michael Williams (Highland Park High and College Prep Academy), and Morris "Mackey" James (Highland Park High) submitted their final project, which was ranked one of the top three presented in the whole country.


There are about 250 schools across the country that have students in the class, with multiple projects submitted from each school.


Congratulations, Isaiah, Mikey, and Mackey on a job well done!

School Counselor Honored With Above & Beyond Award for Exceptional Work at Scott Dual Language Magnet School

On Friday, December 17, Ms. Megan Edmonds was honored with the Topeka Public Schools Above & Beyond Award for her exceptional work as a school counselor at Scott Dual Language Magnet School.


Ms. Edmonds truly embodies the TPS motto, "Students First!" No matter what task is set before her in the day, she is always willing to step up to the plate to help a student or staff member. Her office is a safe space for all who enter Scott.


What a wonderful example she is as a school counselor. Congratulations, Ms. Edmonds!

Help is Just a Click Away Through Our District Tip Line

If you or a family member is in need of food, clothing, or help over this winter break, please reach out to the district tip line. This tip line can also be used for those experiencing a crisis. Even with no school, know that you're never alone!


You can access the following resources:


  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    800-273-8255
  • Family Service and Guidance Center's Crisis Services
    785-232-5005
  • Crisis Text Line
    Text HELLO to 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained crisis counselor. The crisis text line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis.

Topeka Public Schools Will Honor Outgoing Board Members & Welcomes New Members at Reception

Topeka Public Schools will hold its Board of Education Reception at 5:00 PM on Thursday, January 6.


Please join us in thanking and honoring our outgoing members for their service.

Submit a Nomination for the 2022 Distinguished Staff Award

The Distinguished Staff Award selection committee is accepting nominations for the 2022 Distinguished Staff Award (DSA).


The DSA is the highest award that a Topeka Public Schools staff member can receive. You can nominate an outstanding staff member by filling out the official nomination form. DSA nominations must be submitted by January 31, 2022.


You can nominate staff members in the following categories:


  • First Year Elementary Teacher
  • First Year Secondary Teacher
  • Building Leader
  • Classified Support Staff
  • Certified Support Staff
  • Custodian
  • Paraprofessional
  • Elementary School Educator
  • Middle School Educator
  • High School Educator
  • Office Personnel
  • Food Service
  • Operations
  • District Administration

Holiday Giving to the Topeka Public Schools Foundation

The holidays provide a great opportunity for you to honor an educator, relative, or friend with a gift to the Topeka Public Schools Foundation.


Through the Honor an Educator gift drive, the foundation will send a card to the individual being honored, or you may deliver it yourself.


Your gift will help provide funding for classroom, school-wide, or district programs. Your tax-deductible donation allows educators to offer educational opportunities and provides support of TPS programs or services that otherwise would not be funded.


This unique gift is really two gifts in one. You are acknowledging a special person and providing bright futures for our TPS scholars!


To order your Honor An Educator card, complete and email this form to pbetts@tps501.org. All forms must be submitted by Monday, December 20.

Board of Education Takes Action on Stout Elementary School

Throughout the end of this semester, a public hearing on the status of Stout Elementary School was held following community and staff meetings. The Board of Education voted on Thursday, December 16 to close Stout as enrollment continues to decline.


If you have any questions, please contact Director of Instructional Services & Communications, Dr. Aarion Gray, at agray@tps501.org.


We will be working with all families to ensure the transition into next school year is as smooth as possible. Following the break, once students are assigned to schools, the district demographics department will be available to address any further questions.

Topeka Public Schools 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 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 message 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.

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

The 2021-2022 academic year district calendar is available at topekapublicschools.net. The calendar includes dates of parent-teacher conferences, no school days, and semester sessions.


Please note that schools will be closed from December 20, 2021 - January 4, 2022 for Winter Break. We hope our students have a terrific end of the semester and holiday season!

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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