Community News

Topeka Public Schools | June 24, 2021

Students First: Working as a Team for Continuous Improvement

Message from the Superintendent

Governor Laura Kelly holds up signed Juneteenth Proclamation surrounded by crowd of supporters

Dear Topeka Public Schools Families:

We have had a busy start to our summer. This month, we celebrated Juneteenth and started the Extended School Year.


We congratulate the Juneteenth book winners who shared historical facts with our community through our social media. The video we placed on our TV station encouraging others to learn about Juneteenth can be viewed on our YouTube channel. A thank you is also extended to Governor Laura Kelly for including TPS in her proclamation signing.


As we near the end of June, our enrichment and academic camps have been full with students engaged in learning opportunities. Enrollment for next school year is filling up fast, so please register this month to ensure your child attends the school closest to your home.


We are excited to have our paid internships in place this year, which were recently highlighted in the news. Stormont Vail Health and Hill's Pet Nutrition are paying our high school students $15 an hour while they work as interns in their career pathways. Congratulations to all of our interns!


In this edition of the CNews, we are introducing a new look that allows for families to change the publication's language to any language you select to read the newsletter. We thank our outstanding communications team for updating our website and newsletter design for the 2021-2022 school year.


Have a safe upcoming July 4th holiday and thank you for your continued support.


Dr. Tiffany Anderson

Superintendent

TPS is Partnering with KDHE and Harvesters to Provide a Mobile Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, July 10

Topeka Public Schools has partnered with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Harvesters to host several mobile drive-thru vaccination clinics at Jardine Middle School, which are specifically targeting students 12 years and older.


The first mobile vaccination clinic was held on Saturday, June 12 and the next will take place at 9:00 AM on Saturday, July 10. While the vaccination clinics are open to all TPS students who are 12 and older, anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and must have a signed consent form.


Dr. Tiffany Anderson, TPS Superintendent shared, "This is a great example of organizations coming together to meet the unique needs of our students and families. We are grateful for the health partnerships that have had such a positive impact on Shawnee County."

TPS Launches New Website

As we transition to a new school year, we are updating the Topeka Public Schools website. The new website (still located at topekapublicschools.net) is now live; however, enhancements are continuing throughout this month.


You'll notice a fresh look, updated content, and additional features for our internal and external audience. Thank you for your patience during this transition.


Please share feedback with us if you have suggestions that you would like the communications team to consider incorporating. We especially thank our DCAC parent organization for the initial feedback as we update our web communications for the 2021-2022 school year.


TPS District Website Feedback Survey

Find a Meal Site Near You this Summer!

The 2021 Topeka Public Schools Summer Meal Program kicked off on June 7 and runs through August 4.


Any child in Shawnee County under the age of 18 can receive breakfast, lunch, and snacks at locations across the city. These meals are served free of charge Monday through Friday and the child does not need to be present for a parent to pick up the meals.


In addition, every Wednesday 7-day Grab and Go meals are passed out at numerous locations, which include meals for an entire week with convenient curbside pick-up.


Visit our website to see a full listing of sites, offerings, and schedules. Watch a KSNT interview with Chris Wagner, Child Nutritional Service Specialist, about the program at ksnt.com.

Topeka BeSMART Volunteers Hand Out Free Gun Safety Locks at Topeka High

On Monday, June 21, volunteers from Topeka BeSMART distributed 71 free gun safety locks at Topeka High School, as USD 501 kicked off its summer enrichment program.


#BeSMART encourages parents and adults to normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries.


The BeSMART framework is:


  • Secure all guns in your home and vehicles
  • Model responsible behavior around guns
  • Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • Recognize the role of guns in suicide
  • Tell your peers to be SMART

TPS Scholars Learn About the Importance of Juneteenth

Last week, Topeka Public Schools students and staff celebrated Juneteenth, a national celebration to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US, which takes place annually on June 19.


Topeka Public Schools staff members read books to highlight the importance of storytelling, posted a video message on the district TV station, and raffled off prizes for the first social media followers who answered Juneteenth questions of the day.


Additionally, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, the first African American female Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, dressed in her Jubilee attire, read a book to young scholars at Quincy Elementary on Thursday, June 17.

Highland Park High School Coach Holds Tennis Camp Open to the Community

Highland Park High School's two-week long tennis camp began at Kossover Court on Tuesday, June 15. The camp is run by Highland Park tennis coach and EL instructor, Veronica Andrade, who has invited some area tennis pros to make guest appearances.


The camp is free and open to any adults and children who are in middle school or above, regardless of experience or skill level. Campers will work on serving, backhands, forehands, and proper form.


Highland Park's summer tennis camp and outstanding school tennis program was featured on WIBW on Tuesday, June 15. Read the interview at wibw.com.

TPS Summer Education Program Encourages Native American Students to Celebrate Culture and Heritage

Topeka Public Schools is the only school district in the region that has an annual Native American Summer Program focused on enrichment and cultural experiences. This year, it began on June 14 and ends on June 25.


The Native American Summer Program explores culture, heritage, language, and art while supporting and advocating for the success of Native American students.


The program is open to those who have just completed grades K-7. Breakfast, lunch, and transportation are provided. Learn more about the Native American Summer Program in this video.

TPS Community Partnerships Highlighted by Topeka Capital-Journal

On June 14, the Topeka Capital-Journal published an article highlighting the paid internship opportunities available to students at the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC).


These internships are made possible by the wonderful partnerships TPS has formed with organizations like Stormont Vail Health, Hill's Pet Nutrition, and Advisors Excel.


Learn more about the paid internship program at cjonline.com.

Quincy Elementary Provides Extended Learning Opportunities With Summer STREAM Camp

Quincy Elementary is holding its Summer STREAM Camp, which began June 7 and runs through June 30. STREAM stands for science, technology, reading, engineering, art, and math.


In the morning, students are out in the community garden learning about horticulture while taking care of flowers or vegetables. After that, they go inside to work with teachers on subjects like reading and math.


Other days, professionals from the Topeka community visit the camp to instruct students in art, dance, yoga, and other activities.


Quincy's Summer STREAM Camp was featured on KSNT News on Monday, June 14. Visit ksnt.com to watch the interview with Principal Katie Sonderegger and students attending the Summer STREAM Camp.

TPS Summer Enrichment Programs Enrolling for Students K-12

Topeka Public Schools is once again offering a variety of summer enrichment opportunities for students K-12.


Enroll your child in enriching and diverse programs that include coding, art, fitness, virtual field trips, and grade-level academic enrichment! Programs will run from June 21-July 9, with in-person and virtual sessions available.


To learn more about the enrichment programs available and to enroll your student, visit the 2021 Summer Enrichment website.

Time to Register for Traditional or Virtual School for 2021-2022 Academic Year

Hey parents! It's never too early to start thinking about the next school year. Online registration for the 2021-2022 school year is now open. Topeka Public Schools offers endless opportunities for students, pre-school through twelfth grade.


Topeka Public Schools also offers a virtual education program, which includes students (grades K-12) and adults with both virtual and onsite learning opportunities. For more information on our virtual school program, visit the virtual school website.


In addition, the 2021-2022 academic year district calendar is now available and can be found at topekapublicschools.net. The calendar includes dates of parent-teacher conferences, no school days, semester sessions, and more.

Preschool Registration is Open Online

The preschool application process has moved online! If you have a young scholar that is ready to begin preschool in the fall, please visit our website and click on the 2021-22 Registration quick link.


When registering your child, you will need to provide the following documents:


  • the child's immunization records
  • birth certificate
  • medical insurance card
  • current physical exam
  • parent's 2020 tax returns and driver's license.


For more information on how to register your new preschooler, call 785-438-6899.

District Calendar & Upcoming Events

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


June 2021

  • June 21: Summer Enrichment Camp Begins
    Runs through July 9 | View Schedule
  • June 25: Mobile Food Pantry
    Capital City at Hummer Sports Park | 9:00 AM


July 2021


  • July 1: Board of Education Meeting | 5:30 PM
  • July 2: Mobile Food Pantry
    Robinson Middle School | 4:00 PM
  • July 4-5: Independence Day Observance | All TPS Buildings Closed
  • July 10: Mobile Food Pantry & Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic
    Jardine Middle School | 9:00 AM
  • July 15: Board of Education Meeting | 5:30 PM

Topeka Public Schools Foundation Fundraising with Summer Events

Annual Benefit Golf Tournament


The Topeka Public Schools Foundation held its 28th Annual Benefit Golf Tournament on June 3, 2021 at the GreatLife Shawnee Country Club golf course.


This year, the event included a special recognition ceremony for the tournament's honorary chair, native Topekan, former TPS Foundation Chairperson, and retired Highland Park High School Principal, Dale Cushinberry. Fifteen teams participated in the tournament and the weather was perfect! View the golf tournament winners, hole prize winners, and more.


Proceeds from the tournament are used to fund TPS educational grants, scholarships, programs, and services through the not-for-profit TPS Foundation.


Online Auction


The TPS Foundation online auction was a resounding success thanks to the participation of TPS constituents, patrons, employees, parents, and staff.


We are humbled by the level of support we received. On behalf of the Topeka Public Schools Foundation, thank you to everyone who participated. We are grateful to you for bidding, donating money, and sharing our charity auction with the community.


Thank you for making a difference, we appreciate you!


Amazon Smile Reminder


If you shop on Amazon, don't forget to sign up for AmazonSmile and select Topeka Public Schools Foundation as your preferred charity!


Any time you shop on smile.amazon.com or shop with AmazonSmile on in the Amazon app, a portion of your purchase will be donated to TPS Foundation at no cost to you.

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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