Community News

Topeka Public Schools | 9/2/22

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Message from the Superintendent

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Carolyn Parker (pictured above), a junior at Topeka West High School and College Prep Academy, is the second student to be accepted into the Early College Program at Washburn University. Carolyn has started full-time at Washburn and in 2024 will graduate high school and receive her associate's degree at the same time with no student debt.

Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:

This is a month filled with celebrations! Pictured above is Carolyn Parker, a former College Prep scholar who entered college two years early as a student in our Early College Program.


Please note that there will be no school on Monday, September 5 as we celebrate Labor Day. This week, schools had their first football games, and homecoming is right around the corner, beginning with Topeka West on September 9 and followed by Highland Park and Topeka High in the coming weeks. We also look forward to celebrating the TPS Foundation at its annual Community Breakfast Fundraiser on September 13.


On a final note, our dedicated staff members continue to be highlighted locally and statewide. We congratulate our principals, Mr. Nick Gardner and Dr. Chelsea Artzer, who were selected for the 2022 Topeka's Top 20 Under 40. We are so proud of Ms. Hallie Hurst, a paraprofessional at Whitson, who will be recognized during the YWCA Women of Excellence Awards on September 10. The Kansas Teacher of the Year will be announced this month, and Ms. Pamela Muñoz, a kindergarten teacher at McCarter, is one of the finalists! We are so proud of Ms. Muñoz and all her accomplishments.


Thank you for your support, and we will see you at Family Fitness Fun Night on September 21.


Dr. Tiffany Anderson

Superintendent

Early College Program Allows Scholars to Graduate High School With an Associate's Degree

Topeka Public Schools is excited to officially announce the induction of a second student into the Early College Program.


On August 19, Carolyn Parker was honored for this amazing accomplishment in a recognition ceremony at TCALC. Carolyn is a junior at College Prep Academy and Topeka West High School, and will now attend Washburn University full-time.


In 2024, Carolyn will graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate's degree with no student debt. She then plans to pursue further education and a career in Human Resources.


We are so proud of this amazing scholar. Congratulations Carolyn!

Two Topeka Public Schools Principals Named "Top 20 Under 40"

On August 22, district administration surprised two Topeka Public Schools principals with the exciting news that they had been selected for the 2022 Topeka's Top 20 Under 40!


Nick Gardner, Principal of Ross Elementary Signature Music School, and Dr. Chelsea Artzer, Principal of McClure Elementary, were selected from hundreds of nominees by the Jayhawk Area Council for their exceptional leadership as educators.


Congratulations Mr. Gardner and Dr. Artzer! Learn more about the honorees in this article.

Topeka High and Highland Park Recognized as Schools of Excellence by National Education Equity Lab

Topeka Public Schools is excited to announce that two of our high schools, Topeka High and Highland Park, have been selected as Schools of Excellence by the National Education Equity Lab, a significant honor only given to the Equity Lab's highest performing schools in the nation!


The Equity Lab facilitates collaboration between high schools, universities, and non-profits by bringing college credit-bearing courses to the high school classroom at no cost to students.


Topeka Public Schools is the only district in the region that partners with the Equity Lab to offer courses from top universities like Stanford, Arizona State, and others.


Topeka High and Highland Park were recognized during a digital awards ceremony on August 30, and both schools will receive a special banner to showcase their achievements.

Therapy Dogs Positively Impact Students & Staff as Part of Mental Health Team

On August 26, Topeka Public Schools celebrated National Dog Day by recognizing the important role our therapy dogs play as part of the mental health team.


The district employs over a dozen therapy dogs, who positively impact students and staff each day by providing emotional support, reducing stress and anxiety, and providing a sense of calm.


Many students enjoy reading books to the therapy dogs, who serve in the classroom, the office, the library, and in many other areas of schools.


Learn more about Little Bit, a therapy dog at Williams Science & Fine Arts Magnet School, in this feature from WIBW. Meet the other furry members of our mental health team at topekapublicschools.net.

Landon Middle School Student Interviews KC Royals Player as a Junior Newscaster

Carter Sourk, a student at Landon Middle School, first discovered his passion for broadcasting while participating in the Landon TV Club. The club produces a weekly news show that is shared with all students and highlights activities around the school.


This summer, Carter applied to be a junior newscaster with the Kansas City Royals and had the exciting opportunity to interview shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.!


Carter shared that the Landon TV Club truly inspired him and his love of journalism. We can't wait to see continued greatness from Carter at Landon Middle School and beyond! Watch his interview with the Kansas City Royals here.

Important Homecoming Dates: Showcase Your School Spirit!

We are so excited for homecoming festivities to begin next week! Topeka Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, will once again be celebrating homecoming by taking part in our high school parades.


We invite parents and the community to join in on the festivities according to the schedule below:


  • Topeka West High School
    • Friday, September 9 (View Calendar)
    • Homecoming Pep Assembly & Parade at 2:00 PM
    • Homecoming Game at 7:00 PM at Hummer Sports Park
  • Highland Park High School
    • Friday, September 16 (View Calendar)
    • Homecoming Parade & 2:00 PM
    • Homecoming Game at 7:00 PM at Hummer Sports Park
  • Topeka High School
    • Friday, September 23 (View Calendar)
    • Homecoming Parade & 2:00 PM
    • Homecoming Game at 7:00 PM at Hummer Sports Park

Students & Staff Excited About New Track at Jardine Middle School

Topeka Public Schools is proud to continuously improve our facilities so our students can have the best school experience.


Most recently, a brand new track was installed at Jardine Middle School, allowing students to exercise and participate in sports on a top-notch running surface.


The new track was installed by Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc. and students began utilizing it this week.


Stay tuned for further exciting updates to our facilities!

Topeka Public Schools Offers Resources for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health

September 4 - 10 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Topeka Public Schools remains an active member of the "Suicide. Talk About It. Save a Life." campaign.


Our students and staff serve on the Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and mental health teams provide support at all schools.


We encourage students, families, and staff to view the district's well-being resources and additional information about suicide prevention from Family Service & Guidance Center.

Topeka Public Schools Serving Families Through Optional Mobile Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic & Food Pantry

On Saturday, September 10, Topeka Public Schools will host a mobile drive-thru vaccination clinic in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and Harvesters Food Pantry.


The vaccination clinic will serve all ages and offer 1st round, 2nd round and booster COVID-19 vaccinations and be held in conjunction with the Harvester Food Pantry at 9:00 AM at Jardine Middle School.


Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and must have a signed consent form. To register for the vaccine clinic, please complete this form.

Join Us For Our Annual Family Fitness Fun Night on September 21!

Join us at Hummer Sports Park for the 12th annual Topeka Public Schools Family Fitness Fun Night at 5:30 PM on September 21!


This event provides information to families and the community on education and healthy living in a positive and fun atmosphere for all ages in a safe and socially-distanced setting.


Attendees can visit various booths to learn about nutrition, fitness, mental health, and much more, or even participate in games and activities. We can't wait to see you there!


If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Terri Bailey at 785-295-3024 or tbailey@tps501.org.

Topeka Public Schools Offers a Variety of Preschool & Early Childhood Options for Families

On August 18, Topeka Public Schools was excited to welcome its youngest scholars to the district on the first day of preschool! We also welcomed our very first class of two-year-olds to Little Stars Daycare.


We are excited to now offer daycare options to staff and families, in addition to half-day and full-day preschool programs at nearly all elementary school sites. Topeka Public Schools also has three early childhood centers, Shaner Early Learning Academy, Sheldon Head Start, and Pine Ridge Prep.


Are you interested in exploring daycare or preschool options with Topeka Public Schools? We serve all families in Shawnee County! Learn more on our Early Childhood Education page or email preschool@tps501.org.


View highlights from the first day of preschool in this video and view photos on Flickr.

Enroll in Topeka Public Schools for the 2022-2023 School Year!

Topeka Public Schools offers endless opportunities for students in preschool through twelfth grade, including:


  • National award-winning Dual Language Program
  • State-of-the-art technology & career readiness programs at the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning & Careers (TCALC)
  • Accelerated courses in mathematics & computer science through College Prep Academy
  • Magnet schools with a focus on science & fine arts
  • Signature schools with a focus on music & performing arts
  • Half-day and full-day preschool options
  • Virtual School Education Program for homeschool families


Learn more about all the opportunities available to students in our District Connections magazine.


Online enrollment, a school supply list, and the 2022-2023 academic calendar are available any time in the Back to School Headquarters at topekapublicschools.net. For questions about enrollment, please call 785-295-3000.

Campus Care Clinic at Topeka High Schools Serves Students and Staff Across the District

The Campus Care Clinic, which is owned by the University of Kansas Health System and located inside Topeka High School, provides safe, convenient, high-quality patient care both in-person and via telehealth.


Campus Care Clinic staff work to promote the health of all students and staff members of Topeka Public Schools, helping them to achieve professional and academic success by addressing acute and chronic health concerns, preventing disease, and providing education.


Have you visited the Campus Care Clinic for your health care needs? If so, please complete this survey about your experience to help us best serve our students, families, and staff.


Learn more about the Campus Care Clinic at topekapublicschools.net.

Kansas Gas Service Offering STEAM Education Classroom Grants

The Kansas Gas Service Public School Funding Program is working to enhance the classroom experience for students in grades 5-12 to promote workforce development!


The program is offering STEAM-related classroom grants to public school educators, with priority given to:


  • Classroom enrichment projects and instructional technology
  • Durable curriculum-based teaching materials and equipment
  • Projects reaching the greatest number of students


Grants are awarded in allotments of $100-2500, per teacher, for classroom-based STEAM-related projects. Learn more and apply by November 15 at onegas.com/teachers.

Kansas Central School Bus is Hiring Drivers!

Kansas Central School Bus is seeking safe, dependable, and fun individuals to join their team of drivers! This position is perfect for stay-at-home parents, retirees, or those looking for a new career or extra income.


  • Free training for your Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Permit
  • Paid "Behind the Wheel" training
  • Topeka route and charter drivers make up to $21.20 per hour
  • Paid weekly on a school year schedule, with summer work opportunities available
  • Paid holidays, 401k, and options for vision/dental insurance
  • Free $5000 life insurance policy
  • CDL reimbursement up to $50
  • Child-Ride-Along! No daycare needed; bring your kids to work!


BONUS: Kansas Central is currently offering a $2000 hiring bonus to all new drivers! Apply online at driveayellowbus.com or call 785-233-2009.

Topeka Public Schools Foundation Holds Annual Community Breakfast Fundraiser

The TPS Foundation annual Community Breakfast and Superintendent State of The District Address will be held at 7:30 AM on Tuesday, September 13 at Hummer Sports Park.


The event commemorates and recognizes thirty-six years of the TPS Foundation raising public dollars to support Topeka Public Schools.


Community members are invited to join in the 13th annual community breakfast to learn about the district while supporting Topeka Public Schools!


To register, please call 295-3024 or email tbailey@tps501.org by Friday, September 9.

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

Thank you to all of our students, families, and staff for a wonderful start to the new school year! To help you stay prepared, please be sure to check out the 2022-2023 academic calendar at topekapublicschools.net.


Below are important dates for September:


  • September 1-30: National Campus Safety Awareness Month
  • September 2: Harvesters Food Pantry
    4:00 - 5:00 PM | Robinson Middle School
  • September 4-10: National Suicide Prevention Week
  • September 5: Labor Day
    NO SCHOOL IN SESSION
  • September 9: Topeka West High School Homecoming
    View Event Calendar
  • September 10: Mobile Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic & Harvesters Food Pantry
    9:00 AM | Jardine Middle School
  • September 11: Patriot Day
  • September 12: Grandparent's Day
  • September 13: TPSF Annual Community Breakfast
    7:30 AM | Hummer Sports Park
  • September 15: Board of Education Meeting
    5:30 PM | Burnett Center
  • September 15 - October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
  • September 16: Highland Park High School Homecoming
    View Event Calendar
  • September 17: Constitution Day
  • September 20: National IT Professionals Day
  • September 21: College Prep Academy Jacketing Ceremony
    4:00 PM | TCALC
  • September 21: Family Fitness Fun Night
    5:30 PM | Hummer Sports Park
  • September 23-24: Topeka High School Homecoming
    View Event Calendar

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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