Topeka Public Schools | 10/20/23
Message from the Superintendent
Dear Topeka Public Schools Staff and Families:
While there have been many celebrations in October, there have also been several tragedies impacting families across the community. The recent increase in violence is very disturbing, and our thoughts are extended to all of the families, school staff, and students impacted. The safety measures have been increased in our district at gatherings, and we will continue to work in partnership with local authorities in an effort to support our community.
Our mental health teams at every school remain ready to support needs that arise throughout the year, and our district has a tip line for any individual who would like to submit information to the district that may be helpful for our educators to be aware of, and it is monitored daily. Resources to assist families and educators can be viewed here.
Throughout this month, we celebrated our Teacher of the Year nominees, who are pictured above, and our final homecoming events. Additionally, Topeka Public Schools is proud to offer the only PreK-12 Dual Language Program in the region, which was highlighted internationally this week as part of a segment on the city of Topeka by Telemundo. Watch the segment from Telemundo here and learn more in this article from NBC News.
As we celebrated National School Lunch Week and National School Bus Safety Week, we thank our amazing food service staff members and bus drivers for their positive impact on students each day.
We look forward to seeing many of our families at Parent Conferences on October 25-26 and at Fall Festivals on October 31. I am especially looking forward to visiting Highland Park for the Hall of Fame induction this Saturday. As we continue to collect feedback from families, a 360 survey will be provided during Parent Conferences, or can be taken online by clicking here.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Tiffany Anderson
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations From Across the District
From September 15 - October 15, Topeka Public Schools students, families, and staff celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month!
This week, the city of Topeka and the district's PreK-12 Dual Language Program, the only program of its kind in Kansas, were highlighted by the international media outlet, Telemundo.
Students at Highland Park High School took part in a Multicultural Tasting Fair featuring food from Central and South America, as well as a Hispanic Heritage Spirit Week.
Robinson Middle School also hosted activities featuring a performance from Ballet Folklorico de Topeka, information from community leaders, and Feliz Dia De Los Abuelos, also known as Grandparent's Day.
To end this year's celebration, students, families, and members of the community attended the Scott Dual Language Magnet annual Fall Fiesta on October 13, which featured a student talent show, games, local food trucks, a raffle, and entertainment.
View photos from all of the celebrations on Flickr.
TPS Announces 2025 Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominees at All Staff Celebration
The district announced our 2025 Kansas Teacher of the Year Nominees, Mrs. Diane Kimsey, a district consulting teacher and instructor in TCALC's Teaching as a Profession Pathway, and Mrs. Laura Cluke, the dedicated music teacher at Williams Science & Fine Arts Magnet School. Both of these outstanding educators have served students and families in Topeka for over 30 years!
Additionally, Officer Jared Rowley, the SRO at Robinson Middle School, received the Life Saver Award, which an Emporia student and her parents presented after he saved her life during a medical emergency at the Sunflower State Games.
The celebration ended with an inspiring, original musical selection by Allena Ross, the College & Career Advocate at Highland Park High School. Listen to the song here.
Topeka West Students Showcase Their School Spirit at Homecoming Events
The Chargers varsity football team then took on Turner High School at Hummer Sports Park, where Topeka West won 35-15.
Prior to the game, they crowned their Homecoming King and Queen, Jaden Patterson and Joy Mudoga. View photos on Flickr.
TPS Presents Millie Murphy Award to the Community Resources Council
On October 17, Topeka Public Schools presented the annual Millie Murphy Award to the Community Resources Council (CRC) during a ceremony at the district's Community Cupboard at Quinton Heights.
CRC provides financial and logistical support for countless area social service providers. They work tirelessly behind the scenes, often in conjunction with Community Action, on a number of anti-poverty programs that provide resources to the community.
Most recently, they helped purchase items for the newly-renovated Highland Park High School Teachers Lounge!
Their support of programs like Sole Reason, which provides direct support to our students, is key to our resource agencies continuing to provide material support to school programs.
The award was accepted on behalf of CRC by their Executive Director, Mary Thomas, and is named for Millie Murphy, who opened a clothing bank for 501 students on a volunteer basis over 25 years ago and ran it for over a decade.
Standout Highland Park Scholar Recognized as October Senior of the Month
Monya excels academically and in athletics and participates in many activities such as band, orchestra, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling. She takes high-level classes and is passionate about learning.
Monya's teachers describe her as a humble, quiet leader among her classmates whom others seek out for advice. She plans to attend Cottey College and major in Business.
Learn more about Monya in this Senior of the Month video.
TPS Hosts Shawnee County College & Career Fair at TCALC
Hundreds of high school students from Topeka and surrounding areas attended the event, which featured over 80 colleges, universities, and employers from across the region who provided important information for after graduation. Students even had the opportunity to apply for jobs on-site.
October College Connections Newsletter
- Applying for Federal Student Aid
- The Kansas Promise Act
- College registration/admissions process & deadlines
- Scholarships available from the TPS Foundation
- ACT/SAT testing dates
- Job opportunities for students
As you plan for the rest of the 2023-2024 school year, please note that graduation will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the Stormont Vail Events Center.
TPS Provides Winter Attire to Hundreds of Families at Annual Warm Little Ones Coat Giveaway
Hundreds of families from across Topeka were able to shop for free winter gear, including coats, hats, gloves, clothing items, and more. Families who were unable to attend the event can still receive items by visiting the TPS Community Cupboard at Quinton Heights.
You can help support the Warm Little Ones Coat Fund by making a monetary donation or by dropping off new or gently used coats to Quinton Heights (2335 SW Topeka Blvd).
For donation inquiries or questions about visiting the TPS Community Cupboard, please contact Fred Willer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jardine Celebrates Back-to-Back City Football Championships
This is the second year in a row the Jaguars have won the City Football Championship, and they were cheered on by many of their fellow students, members of the band, and Jardine families.
Congratulations, Jaguars, on an exciting and successful season! We are so proud of our middle school scholars and athletes.
Damyah Renee Calhoun
Topeka Public Schools is deeply saddened by the loss of Damyah Renee Calhoun, who tragically passed away on October 13 as a result of gun violence.
Damyah was a student enrolled at the Center for Restorative Education (CRE). She was known as a hard worker, had many friends, and was a senior planning to graduate in the fall. She will be deeply missed by many.
Our deepest condolences are extended to her family and friends.
As we prepare to speak to legislators and ensure our voices are heard this legislative session, we are hosting a legislative advocacy meeting on Zoom for any teacher or parent who wants to attend and learn how you can become involved.
The meeting for TPS staff will be held on Thursday, October 26 at 3:30 PM with our district lobbyist, Jim Edwards. The Zoom for TPS families and others will be held at 4:30 PM as part of our Equity Council meeting.
Text Messaging Service Sends Alerts to TPS Families
Families can participate in this free service by sending a text message of "Y" or "Yes" to the TPS short code number 67587.
Opt out of future phone calls or emails by emailing email@example.com or by calling 785-438-4750. Parents or Guardians may also update contact information and preferences in Synergy's ParentVUE.
View our communications document in English and Spanish to learn more about how Topeka Public Schools communicates with families throughout the school year.
Flu Shots Are Now Available for TPS Students, Staff, & Families
Topeka Public Schools is now offering flu shots to all staff, middle school and high school students, and household family members of staff and students through the Campus Care Clinic, located at Topeka High School (800 SW 10th Ave, Room 101).
Please call the clinic at 785-295-3256 or email THSCampusCare@KUMC.edu to schedule an appointment. The clinic is open every Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9:00 AM - 2:15 PM on days that school is in session.
TPS staff may also schedule a flu shot at the Service Center (125 SE 27th St). Please contact Misty Getsinger, Employee Wellness Nurse, at 785-295-3937 to schedule an appointment. If you call and leave a message, your call will be returned in the order received.
District Calendar & Upcoming Events
The district Google Calendar is also available on our home page.
Below are important dates for October 2023:
- October 16-20: National School Bus Safety Week
- October 23-31: Red Ribbon Week
- October 25-26: Parent Conferences
Look for scheduling information from your child's teacher
- October 26-27: NO SCHOOL
School Not in Session
- October 31: Fall Festivities
TPS Tip Line
TPS In The News
TPS Parent Resource Site
View information and health alerts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on our Parent Resource Site.
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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