Community News

Topeka Public Schools | 3/9/2023

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

This has been a busy week! On Friday, March 10, we'll be kicking off the first day of Spring Break for our scholars, and there will be no school for students or staff March 13-17, 2023.

It's been a week full of celebrations as we announced our Distinguished Staff Award Recipients for this year. This is the highest honor a staff member can receive from Topeka Public Schools.

Pictured above is Bridget Garvin from McEachron Elementary, who is the Distinguished Staff Award winner in the First Year Elementary Teacher category. Ms. Garvin served McEachron as a paraprofessional for many years and now leads her own classroom thanks to the Para to Teacher program.

Many of our scholars, coaches, and staff have been highlighted for awards in athletics, music, and other areas this month, and we congratulate them all! Learn more in the Community News articles below.

Throughout this month, we are showcasing the fine arts, we have such talented students. Have a relaxing break, and we look forward to seeing everyone back on March 20, 2023.

Thank you for your tremendous support.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Congratulations to our 2023 Distinguished Staff Award Recipients!

Topeka Public Schools is excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 Distinguished Staff Awards (DSA)!

On March 8, our first round of honorees received a surprise visit from Dr. Anderson, Ms. Wallace, and their school colleagues to announce the awards. On March 9, during the Principal's Meeting at TCALC, three additional staff members were surprised with the announcements.

Learn more about the 2023 DSA recipients on Facebook, and view photos from all of the announcements on Flickr.

DSA recipients will be honored at 5:30 PM on Thursday, April 27 at Bishop Professional Development Center. We thank all of our DSA recipients for their service to Topeka Public Schools!

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Highland Park Girls & Boys Basketball Teams Named Sub State Champions

Congratulations to the Highland Park High School girls and boys basketball teams, who were named Sub State Champions and went on to compete in the 5A State Tournament in Emporia!

The Lady Scots ended their season on March 8 with a hard-fought game in the first round of the State Tournament.

The Runnin' Scots won their game against Basehor-Linwood 60-49 and will now move on to the semifinals at 4:00 PM on March 10.

We are so proud of all of these outstanding athletes! Learn more about the family traditions and rich history of basketball at Highland Park in this article from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Topeka High Student Wins Top Awards at Kansas City Symphony Youth Competition

On March 4, Andrew Anderson, a junior at Topeka High School, was awarded both First Place and Audience Favorite at the prestigious Kansas City Symphony Youth Concerto Competition.

This competition is open to high school musicians from Kansas and Missouri and takes place over several rounds of performances and judging.

Andrew performed from memory the 4th Movement of the Elgar Concerto for Cello, and was cheered on by his mentors Dan McCready and Jennifer Antonetti, as well as two van-loads of Topeka High students. He is truly an inspiration to all at Topeka High, Topeka Public Schools, and across our community!

Andrew will perform his winning piece of music with the Kansas City Symphony on May 24-25 at 7:00 PM, and tickets may be purchased through the Kansas City Symphony box office.

Horace Mann Donates $16,600 to Fund Teacher Projects

Topeka Public Schools sends a special thank you to Horace Mann, who announced a surprise donation to support teachers and students at a reception on March 2.

This generous donation of $16,600 to fund 9 DonorsChoose projects will serve over 1,510 students across the district! Representatives from Horace Mann shared that the donation is in honor of Dr. Anderson's spirit of giving and recent award from AASA.

We also thank Mayor Mike Padilla for joining us in celebration and in support of Topeka Public Schools! Learn more in this article from WIBW.

TPS Dual Language Program Brings Families Together For Coding & Robotics

On March 1, families from Scott Dual Language Magnet Elementary, Landon Middle School, and Topeka High School came together for a night of learning on the topic of coding and robotics.

Families also had the opportunity to learn more about Topeka Public Schools' national award-winning Dual Language Program, which is located at all three schools and serves students in preschool through 12th grade.

In April 2022, the Topeka Public Schools PK-12 Dual Language Program received the Magna Award Grand Prize from the National School Boards Association in recognition of the district’s innovation and work in the area of educational equity.

Learn more about the Magna Award in this article from the National School Boards Association and view photos from Coding & Robotics night on Flickr.

Topeka Public Schools Celebrates Music, Theatre, & Visual Arts in Our Schools Month

Music, Theatre, & Visual Arts in Our Schools Month provides an opportunity for the entire community to learn about the benefits of these subjects in schools!

Topeka Public Schools students in elementary, middle, and high school have been putting these skills to work over the past month as they perform in musicals, plays, and concerts across the district.

In celebration of this month, the outstanding Topeka West Thespian Troupe 3061 visited the Kansas Statehouse, where they were recognized by Rep. Kirk Haskins for earning the 2022 Advocacy Award from the Educational Theatre Association.

Additionally, Mayor Mike Padilla will recognize the troupe and their leader, Ms. Katie Murphy, on March 21 in support of theatre education.

TPS Celebrates National School Social Work Month

Topeka Public Schools is celebrating National School Social Work Month throughout the month of March!

We thank all of our school social workers for their tremendous impact in helping our students and families achieve success.

You can share your appreciation, thanks, and encouragement for the school social worker in your life by leaving a comment on our Facebook post.

TPS Celebrates Women in Leadership

Topeka Public Schools is celebrating Women's History Month by recognizing some of the many outstanding women in leadership throughout the district.

We send a special thank you to the women who serve on and support our Board of Education, as well as all of our building leaders, for their service to students, families, and staff.

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Topeka High Partners With KU to Provide Students With Global Opportunities

On March 7, Topeka High School hosted its annual World Language Fair, where faculty from the University of Kansas language department introduced students to new languages and informed them about study abroad opportunities at KU.

The fair showcased Kaqchikel, Korean, Russian, Ukrainian, and Wolof this year, while KU offers language classes in over 40 different languages and has comprehensive national resource centers for world studies.

Students can apply for fellowships that provide up to $10,000 for tuition and a $5,000 stipend for the academic year, or up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a $2,500 stipend for the summer, with potential travel funds of up to $1,000. Interested students and their families can learn more at

2023-2024 Preschool Registration Opens Online in April

Do you have a young scholar ready to begin preschool? Get ready! Our 2023-2024 preschool application will be available online beginning in April!

Topeka Public Schools is accepting applications for State Pre-K, Preschool Intervention Program, Sheldon Head Start, Pine Ridge Prep, Scott Dual Language, and Shaner Early Learning Academy.

View the 2023-2024 preschool flyer in English and Spanish here. For more information on our outstanding preschool programs, visit

Join Us for 2023-2024 Kindergarten Orientation on April 13

Families who have a preschooler ready to begin kindergarten this fall are encouraged to join us for our 2023-2024 Kindergarten Orientation at 5:30 PM on Thursday, April 13!

This event is an opportunity for parents to learn more about Topeka Public Schools, meet teachers and staff, and tour our schools.

Kindergarten Orientation will take place at each elementary school in the district, so please attend the event hosted at your child's school. Eligible students must be 5 years-old by August 31, 2023.

Save the Date! Topeka West Hosting Walk for Mental Health Awareness on May 20

Join us on May 20 for the Mental Health for ALL Walk at Topeka West High School as we celebrate the progress made in raising mental health awareness.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness/NAMIWalks Kansas will also host a kick-off event from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM on March 25 at Topeka Sports Center, where attendees can pre-register for the May Walk and enjoy activities like go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, and a driving range.

Learn more at and join the cause to support Mental Health for ALL!

Free Dental Clinic Serving Children & Families in Topeka

The Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) free dental clinic will be providing hundreds of patients with cleanings, fillings, and extractions in Topeka on March 24-25 at the Stormont Vail Events Center.

Parents can make an appointment time online for their child by visiting the Information for Kids & Parents page. View the event flyer in English and Spanish.

Adults and children 14 years of age and older are seen on a first come first, served basis and the clinic will open at 5:30 AM both days. For additional information, visit

Family Service & Guidance Center Hosts Free Monthly Q&A

Each month, our community partners at Family Service & Guidance Center (FSGC) host a free virtual Ask a Child Therapist Q&A session for parents, families, and caregivers.

The Ask a Child Therapist topic for March is Kids & ADHD. The session will be held via Zoom on Thursday, March 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM. The Zoom link is available on the FSGC Facebook and website.

Submit your questions about parent/caregiver self-care to, and FSGC staff members will answer them during the Q&A session.

Spring Break Calendar Schedule

Spring Break will be held the week of March 13-17, 2023.

There will also be no school on Friday, March 10 as our staff participate in professional development sessions. Students will return to school on Monday, March 20.

Please note that the Campus Care Clinic will be providing telehealth services only on March 10, 13, 15, and 17 from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM during Spring Break. The clinic will be closed on the remaining days.

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

View the 2022-2023 academic calendar at

As our families and staff plan for the upcoming year, Topeka Public Schools has also released the 2023-2024 academic calendar, which is available on the Communications Department drop-down menu.

Below are some important dates for February 2023:

  • March 1-31: Music, Theatre, & Visual Arts in Our Schools Month
  • March 1-31: National School Social Work Month
  • March 10: Staff Professional Development | NO SCHOOL
  • March 13-17: Spring Break | NO SCHOOL
  • March 23: Board of Education Meeting | 5:30 PM

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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