Community News

Topeka Public Schools | 1/27/2023

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Message from the Superintendent

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Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

Topeka Public Schools students and staff are off to a great start to the new year.

Governor Laura Kelly signed the proclamations for Career & Technical Education (CTE) Month, which is celebrated annually in February, and National School Counselor Week, in support of schools. The Kansas Counselor of the year, Mallory Jacobs from Whitson Elementary, was joined by her students and others from across the state. You can read more in the article below.

This week, we also celebrated student graduates at the district's third annual Mid-Year Graduation Ceremonies for students who completed their graduation requirements early.

The district is committed to ensuring our students have every opportunity to move into post-secondary opportunities and careers after graduation. We have placed many of our graduates in positions within Topeka Public Schools and throughout the community.

Any graduating student who would like immediate employment with Topeka Public Schools can apply for a position and schedule a virtual interview at

This month, students have been engaged in learning about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We extend a special thank you to Governor Kelly for including Topeka Public Schools students in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day March and program, as well as the inaugural events, at the Kansas Statehouse. We are so proud to take part in such important moments in history.

Thank you for your continued support.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


TPS Participates in Proclamation Signings at the Kansas Statehouse

This morning, Ms. Mallory Jacobs and several students visited the Kansas Statehouse as Governor Laura Kelly signed a proclamation in recognition of National School Counselor Week.

Ms. Jacobs serves as the lead counselor for the district and is also a beloved school counselor at Whitson Elementary. She was also recently honored by the Kansas School Counselors Association as School Counselor of the Year!

Additionally, Dr. Anderson and Mr. Dustin Dick, Principal of TCALC, participated in Governor Kelly's proclamation signing for Career & Technical Education (CTE) Month, which is celebrated annually in February.

View photos from their exciting visit to the Capitol on Flickr.

TPS Celebrates Seniors Graduating at Mid-Year

On January 26, Topeka Public Schools celebrated our seniors who completed their high school graduation requirements early during Mid-Year Graduation Ceremonies at Topeka West, Topeka High, Highland Park, and Hope Street Academy.

These scholars have already started to move into their post-secondary college and career experiences, and we know they are destined to do great things in the future.

Many students were offered career opportunities with Topeka Public Schools (apply here) or community partners, including our newest partner, Sodexo, a company that provides hospitality services through the University of Kansas Healthcare System (apply here).

A live stream of each ceremony is available on each of the schools' YouTube pages, and our Presentation of Graduates commemorative videos can be viewed on the district's Facebook, YouTube, and Cox Channel 14. View photos from each school on Flickr.

TPS Students & Staff Celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Topeka Public Schools celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16 with a variety of events to honor Dr. King's legacy. View photos from all of the events on Flickr.

The Highland Park AFJROTC and drumline students from each of our high schools, along with staff, administrators, and board members, took part in the Governor's March at the Kansas Statehouse.

Many also attended the annual Living the Dream, Inc. Scholarship & Awards Banquet, where many TPS scholarship and community award recipients were recognized. View a list of all the recipients here.

Additionally, the Topeka Center for Peace & Justice held its 29th annual program, where Dr. Beryl New served as the keynote speaker, reminding community members about what we can all do to keep Dr. King's dream alive. Learn more in this article from WIBW.

Winners Announced in Living the Dream Student Art, Poetry, & Essay Competitions

Students from across the district submitted artwork, poetry, and essays inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the annual Living the Dream, Inc. competition.

Winners of the competition were announced last week, and include students from Lowman Hill, Meadows, Scott Dual Language, French, Jardine Middle, Highland Park, Topeka High, and TCALC.

Students and staff took part in a recognition ceremony on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, where they displayed their winning entries. View photos from the celebration on Flickr.

View a complete list of the 2023 Living the Dream, Inc. competition winners here.

TPS Students Inducted Into National Education Equity Lab Honor Society

This month, a group of Topeka Public Schools high school students will be inducted into the National Education Equity Lab Honor Society, a significant honor that is only given to the Equity Lab's highest-performing students in the nation.

Laura Vandruff (Topeka High School) was named the national Valedictorian in the Planetary Geology college course, earning the highest score of every student across the country nationally. Additionally, Elizabeth Fecteau was named the Salutatorian.

Across various courses, Ewan Thompson and Wyatt Humphrey (Topeka High) scored in the top 10% of students nationally. Juan Maldonado (Highland Park), Keelie Colstrom, and Maya Welcher (Topeka High) scored in the top 15%, and Myles Curry (Highland Park), August Hartley (Topeka High), and Alejandra Valera (Topeka High) scored in the top 20%.

The students will be inducted into the National Education Equity Lab Honor Society during a virtual ceremony on January 31.

Topeka Public Schools is the only district in the region that partners with the National Education Equity Lab to offer college courses to high school students through top universities like Stanford at no cost to families.

TPS Students & Staff Celebrate the 100th Day of School

On January 26, Topeka Public Schools students and staff across the district celebrated the 100th Day of School!

Many of our elementary schools celebrated this special day by dressing up like they were 100 years old. In addition, kindergartners practiced counting to 100 by lining up 100 pieces of cereal, pennies, or other items in their classrooms and hallways.

Mr. Vic Williams, the Principal at McEachron Elementary, marked the occasion with a special challenge: squeezing 100 students into the Principal's Office!

View photos from some of our 100th Day of School celebrations on Flickr. Share your own 100th Day of School photos with us by commenting on this Facebook post!

TPS Students Take Part in Inaugural Events at the Kansas Statehouse

On January 9, Topeka Public Schools students joined Governor Laura Kelly for inaugural events at the Kansas Statehouse.

Members of the Topeka High School Advanced Jazz Band played several pieces during the inaugural ceremony, representing their school and the district with dignity and poise with an impressive performance.

View photos from the band's visit to the Statehouse on Facebook.

Highland Park Wins Topeka Invitational Basketball Tournament

On January 21, the Highland Park High School boys basketball team dominated the 62nd annual Topeka Invitational Tournament with a championship win over Lawrence.

Coach Mike Williams, a Highland Park alum, shared that the win was extra special to him, as he has so many fond memories of playing basketball for the Scots himself.

Learn more about Coach Williams and the outstanding Highland Park athletes, who have achieved an undefeated 9-0 record so far this season, in this feature from the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Photo courtesy of Top Sports News.

Advisors Excel Staff Members Volunteer at TPS for "Big Day" of Giving

On January 13, a team of staff members from Advisors Excel volunteered at Ross Elementary, Eisenhower Middle School, and Robinson Middle School as part of their "Big Day" of giving.

The volunteers spent 2.5 hours helping building leaders with a variety of tasks, including lunch duty, moving furniture and other items, and engaging students in games and learning opportunities.

In addition, the Advisors Excel team donated $200 to help pay off some of our students' negative lunch balances.

We thank Advisors Excel for their continued generosity and support of Topeka Public Schools students! View photos from the Big Day on Flickr.

Topeka High School Historical Society to Rededicate Foyer After Extensive Renovations

On January 30, the Topeka High School Historical Society (THSHS) will rededicate the main foyer of the building after a 10-week project to restore the main entrance.

The ceremony will begin with a gathering on the veranda at 10:45 AM. School administrators and members of the THSHS board of directors will then open the doors to unveil the new foyer.

The $140,000 restoration was made possible by a gift from THS graduate Doris Derrington, class of 1951. Ms. Derrington was an active alum who kept up her class roster and helped plan reunions. Her career included work at Southwestern Bell, Bossler Associates, and the state of Kansas. She passed away in 2021 at the age of 87.

Topeka Public Schools Accepting Applications for College Prep Academy

On February 1, the district's middle school College Prep Academy will begin accepting applications from current 6th-grade students for the 2023-2024 school year!

The College Prep Academy, which offers an accelerated curriculum in Math and Computer Science, is housed at TCALC, and students are bused from their home school for a portion of the school day. Students in the College Prep Academy are also exposed to career pathways offered at TCALC.

To have your student considered for a spot in the College Prep Academy, please complete the application form online by March 10, 2023. Accepted students will be notified during the week of April 2.

Topeka Public Schools Accepting Magnet Applications February 1 - March 10

Is your child interested in enrolling in Topeka Public Schools Dual Language or Science & Fine Arts Magnet Programs?

Openings are available for the 2023-2024 school year at Scott Dual Language Magnet School (Kindergarten) and Williams Science & Fine Arts Magnet School (grades K-5).

Applications will be accepted online at from February 1 - March 10, 2023. Families will be notified of approval and placement the week of April 2.

Parent Conferences Scheduled for February 8-9

District-wide Parent Conferences will be held on Wednesday, February 8 and Thursday, February 9.

Teachers will reach out to schedule an in-person or virtual conference for each student.


  • Wednesday, February 8 from 3:30 - 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 9 from 7:30 AM - 7:30 PM

Lunch from 1:00 - 2:00 PM


  • Wednesday, February 8 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 9 from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Lunch times will vary by location

As a reminder, there will be no school for students on Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10.

TPS Board of Education Elects New President & Vice President

During their January 19 meeting, the Topeka Public Schools Board of Education elected Ms. Sue Bolley as President and Ms. Melanie Stuart-Campbell as Vice President for the upcoming year.

We thank board member Mr. Lalo Muñoz for his service as the 2022 TPS Board President.

As we celebrate School Board Recognition Month throughout January, you can learn more about our outstanding board members by visiting

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

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 the rest of this month & February 2023:

  • January 29: Kansas Day
  • February 1-28: Black History Month
  • February 2: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Burnett Center
  • February 3: Harvesters Food Pantry
    4:00 - 5:00 PM | Robinson Middle School
  • February 6-10: National School Counseling Week
  • February 8-9: Parent Conferences
    Teachers will reach out to families to schedule conferences
  • February 9-10: NO SCHOOL
  • February 11: Harvesters Food Pantry
    9:00 - 10:00 AM | Jardine Middle School
  • February 16: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Burnett Center
  • February 24: Harvesters Food Pantry
    9:00 - 10:00 AM | Hummer Sports Park
  • February 25: County Spelling Bee

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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