Community News 10/8/20

Community News 10/8/20
Posted on 10/08/2020
National Principals Month

Community News

National Principal Month

October is National Principals Month! TPS thanks all of our principals, assistant principals and administrative interns for guiding schools as we navigate this unprecedented time together.

Message from the Superintendent

District Citizens Advisory Council Meeting

Dear Topeka Public Schools Family,

Our District Citizens Advisory Council (DCAC) met this week and the picture above highlights our DCAC parents listening to Mr. Stanley Adams, Director of Broadband from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Mr. Adams announced his grant award to us of $600,000 to fund the cost of Cox internet services for qualifying families this semester. We thank our DCAC parents for their advocacy. We especially thank Deputy Superintendent Larry Robbins, Mr. Gary Menke, our Finance General Director and Mr. Scott Gowan, our Chief Information Officer, for writing and submitting that grant for $600,000 to support funding internet services for families this first semester. The grant allows the district to assist parents with funding internet services through Cox to enable students to have improved internet connections. Broadband remains a top priority and we will continue to advocate for that as we also work to support all families with internet needs as much as possible.

This week, our secondary scholars returned and they now have daily access to in-person services. Students must make an appointment to attend in-person on Wednesday, unless their teacher has scheduled a class lab or project at the school with them on Wednesday. However, all students are able to access in-person counseling, remote or in-person academic support, college planning and engage with in-person instruction. We will continue to do all we can to support as much in-person learning as possible.

If you have a college degree and an interest in substituting, please contact Brandy Griego at 785-295-3032 or Nancy McCarter at 785-295-3098.

Thank you for your continued support,

Dr. Tiffany Anderson



Mr. Corey Wilson, subsitute at Topeka West

Virtual Hiring Fair Offers Opportunities for Substitute Teachers and More

Want to work for an innovative school district with competitive wages, flexible hours, and great benefits? Come join the Topeka Public Schools Family! Our district is a diverse and well-rounded family of teachers, social workers, secretaries, administrators, substitutes and so much more. It is all hands on deck to ensure that we provide the best, and safest, education for all of our students. Many retirees have returned to the classroom as substitute teachers. Click here to read the story about Mr. Corey Wilson, who has worked for the district as a teacher for over 40 years before retiring and returning as a substitute.

If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher and have any questions please contact Brandy Griego at 785-295-3032 or Nancy McCarter at 785-295-3098. Apply now for any available positions or sign up for a spot at the virtual hiring fair on October 12 from 1-6 p.m.

Student smiles at camera

Excitement Continues as All Grades Return to In-Person Learning

School is in full swing and we are so excited to have all grades back to school in-person and remotely. To view photos from each phase's first day of school, click here. Just a reminder, we have many different learning options and resources to fit each student and to ensure a successful year. To read more detailed information about each model, click here. Parents will have the opportunity to move to another learning model at each quarter. The next "Option Week" is October 19-23. A Google Form will be shared during each "Option Week" to capture parents' requests. If you have any more questions about the learning models we offer, please reach out to your building principal.

National Principals Month

Help Us Celebrate Educators for National Principal Month!

Nationally, October is a month in which we take time to celebrate our school principals. Please take a moment this month to thank your principal, assistant principals and administrative interns. Principals are juggling more now than ever before and we thank them for guiding hundreds of staff members as we navigate this new season of change. Please take the time to let your principal know how very special they are to all of us. Click here to listen to a podcast episode published last year featuring Topeka High School principal, Rebecca Morrisey, speaking about the important topic of suicide prevention. Stay tuned for more podcasts with different principals throughout the month of October.

Gear Up Topeka

GEAR UP Topeka Hosts Free FAFSA Help Day at HPH

Do you need help filling out the FAFSA? GEAR UP Topeka and Highland Park High School are hosting a Free FAFSA Help event this Saturday, October 10th from 9 am-6 pm to help families fill out the FAFSA form. It will be outdoors under a big tent, with only five families allowed at a time, social distancing and masks will be required. Tables will be cleaned between each family. Click here for a full list of required materials and more information on the event.

Yahir Romo-Ruiz

HPHS Student Leader, Yahir Romo-Ruiz, Selected as October Senior of the Month

Topeka Public Schools would like to congratulate Highland Park High School senior, Yahir Romo-Ruiz, for being selected as the October Senior of the Month. Romo-Ruiz excels in academics and leadership, which can be seen through his involvement in the Key Club at Highland Park. As president of the club, Romo-Ruiz found his passion for giving back to the Topeka community through volunteer work. He also plays on the varsity soccer team. Those close to Romo-Ruiz would describe him as outgoing and kind. Although undecided on a college, Romo-Ruiz plans to study architecture following graduation. We are so proud of you and can't wait to see where the future will take you! Click here to watch the full video.


First FFA Chapter in Topeka Starting at TCALC

Twenty-two TCALC students from the Animal Science and Exploratory Agriculture class are starting the first Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter in Topeka. This is one of the few FFA programs located in an urban area. President, Emma Maag, and Vice-President, Katelyn Brown, are working with five other officers, Amira Brookhouser, Justin Brookens, Madison Youngblood, Madisyn Huggins and Zorima Swart to get the chapter up and running under the guidance of Ms. Abigail Kirk. The students involved with the chapter will be able to work on leadership skills and learn more about animal sciences through hands-on projects and contests. The chapter has also received a $1,200 grant that will be used on a community service project to benefit the Topeka community. They will be having their first meeting for the new chapter this month.


Fine Arts Adapts to Changes from COVID-19

For many students, fine arts is a safe space where they can express creativity and feel comfortable. When discussing how to provide in-person education, while protecting the safety of Topeka Public Schools students, one of the main topics was how music and fine arts classes will be conducted. TPS has implemented solutions to allow students to express their creativity, while also preventing the spread of the virus. Music classes have been restructured to account for six feet of social distancing and lining up in rows instead of in the traditional arc. They will also have masks with slits to allow students to play wind instruments. TPS will also be increasing supplies for the visual arts to ensure that students always have access to sanitized supplies. To read more about this topic, click here for the WIBW story or here for the KSNT story.

Voices of 501

Hispanic Heritage Month Podcast Uplifts Culturally Diverse Voices

Tune into the October episode of Voices of 501 to explore Hispanic Heritage Month, its history, and why it is important to include cultural celebrations in our schools. This month's episode features conversations with Mr. Lalo Muñoz, TPS Board Member, and Dr. Pilar Mejia, Principal of Scott Dual Language Magnet. To listen to the full episode, click here.

Tae Thomas

Topeka High Football Player, Tae Thomas, Blazes Her Own Path

Thomas is a well-known last name on the Topeka High football field. Talayah "Tae" Thomas, is the kicker for the football team, and a star on the basketball courts as well, leading the girl's basketball team through an undefeated 2019 season. Her brother, Ky Thomas, finished his high school football career as the all-time leading rusher in the history of Topeka football. The name continues to be heard, with another Thomas carving her own legacy. Her determination and hard work are an inspiration to us all, especially little girls that want to pick up a football. To read more about Tae Thomas and her athletic career, click here.

Kevin Young

Topeka West Alumni, Kevin Young, Named Director of National Museum

Topeka Public Schools Alumni are successful far and wide! The Smithsonian has named 1988 Topeka West High School graduate Kevin Young as director of its National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Young has been poetry editor for the New Yorker magazine since 2017 and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research division of the New York Public Library, since 2016. Young has also written 11 books of poetry and prose. We commend Mr. Young for what he has accomplished since leaving the halls of Topeka West and serving as an inspiration for all TPS students. To read more about Kevin Young and his accomplishments, click here.

Topeka Metro

Topeka Metro Bus Passes Available for Students

Parents and students, did you know that high school and middle school students in Topeka Public Schools can obtain a free Topeka Metro bus pass? TPS has purchased Topeka Metro bus passes for students in the district. If a student wants a pass, they must visit their school's main office to obtain one. Students will need to show the bus pass when boarding. Passes are good throughout the school year at any time the fixed-route buses are running. (Note: French and Jardine Middle schools are not included because of bus routes). Having a bus pass is a sure way to make it to school on time!

Call the Topeka Metro customer service at 783-7000 if you need assistance finding out which bus route to get on. Information can also be found at

National Physical Therapy Month

Celebrating National Physical Therapy Month

October is a month in which we honor our physical therapists and celebrate their efforts during National Physical Therapy Month. We thank them for helping the development of our students. Although our physical therapy team may be small in number, they are mighty in strength. A proclamation honoring our physical therapy staff, which includes Jenna Hamilton, PT, Marie Radke Young, PT, Perry Krogman, PTA and Kimberly Clouse, PTA, will be presented at the October 15, 2020, Board of Education meeting. For more information about National Physical Therapy month, click here.

Amazon Smiles

Use Your Amazon Shopping to Donate to Public Education!

Interested in showing educators you appreciate them? You can help to make an annual monetary recognition of TPS innovative educators possible! Donate while you shop and your contribution won't cost you anything extra! Shop at AmazonSmile during Amazon Prime Day deals. On October 13th and 14th simply shop at or with AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app and select TPSF and AmazonSmile donates to The Topeka Public Schools Foundation.

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