Community News 5/21/20

Community News 5/21/20
Posted on 05/21/2020
Distance learning

Community News

Student online learning

Today was the last day of school. Have a safe and wonderful summer. Click here to enroll in the free virtual summer enrichment programs. See you in the 2020-2021 school year.

Message from the Superintendent

Board of Education

Dear Topeka Public Schools Family,

Happy final week of school and congratulations to our students for a successful end to an unforgettable year. Click here to view my end of the year message. A big thank you is extended to our staff for the collective work that helped us all implement a plan that helped every student get a device, meals each day, and continue school virtually. Our school board's support immediately allowed us all the opportunity to act quickly and to implement the best possible support system we could during a pandemic.

This week, the final promotion ceremonies were underway for elementary and middle schools. Also, our seniors are packing up lockers by appointment and many are taking photos in their caps and gowns in front of their school. All high school graduation ceremonies are on our cable channel, Facebook, and Youtube. We congratulate our graduates and we are so proud of them. Due to the number of graduates (365) at Topeka High, in addition to their video of their ceremony, their student graduation salute highlighting each graduate as they would normally do on stage will also be on social media and on the cable channel as a secondary video that begins running this weekend. We thank all of the staff members who have helped make the promotion events so special.

This has been an unusual year, one that has challenged us all in new ways and united everyone across the district and our community. Flexibility, collaboration, and a willingness to show patience and love through our actions have been key. May your summer be filled with joy and peace. We love all of our students and we will see you in August.

Thank you for your tremendous support, understanding, and cooperation this school year.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson


Ann Hageman

Congratulations to our Retiring Staff

As the 2019-20 school year comes to an end, the district wants to congratulate and thank those staff members who are retiring. The dedication you have shown to students across the district has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for your many years of service, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors. All retiring staff will receive a token of appreciation in the mail.

If you have a favorite TPS educator, administrator, or staff that is retiring this year, tell us about them on our district social media pages. To view a video honoring staff that is retiring this year, click here. It will also be played throughout the next week on our TPS TV station, Cox channel 14 at 12 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 a.m. daily.

2020 Virtual Graduation

Congratulations TPS Class of 2020!

We thank everyone for attending the high school graduations last weekend! Over 1,000 families attended in celebration of our seniors. Friends and family joined staff, board members, and district administrators online to honor the graduates and cheer them on as they move into the next chapter of their lives.

Thank you to all of our high school teams who personalized their graduation videos for their school as they normally do for their in-person ceremonies. The graduation videos will replay throughout the week on our cable channel, and they are on our YouTube and Facebook pages.

We look forward to seeing you at our tentatively scheduled in-person graduation on July 25, 2020, at Hummer Sports Park if health conditions allow an in-person event at that time. The rain date for this event will be July 26, 2020.

Join us in congratulating all of our 2020 Topeka Public Schools graduates!

If you want to read more about our 2020 virtual graduation from the "Topeka Capital Journal," click here.

Lincoln Graduation

Virtual Promotions Ceremonies

Preschool Promotions

Middle School

Congratulations to our middle school scholars that promoted to high school this week. We know you all have bright futures and will accomplish great things in high school and beyond.

The videos that premiered on Thursday, May 21 are available on Youtube and Facebook and will continue to play throughout the week on our TV station, Cox Channel 14. Certificates and any awards were mailed to families prior to the ceremony. Congratulations again, middle school graduates!


Fifth-grade promotions also occurred this week on May 20, through Zoom. Each school had its own virtual ceremony. Promotion videos can be viewed on our district YouTube page. Congratulations fifth-grade students, and good luck as you move on to middle school. We are so proud of you!


This week we celebrated the virtual graduations of all the preschools across the district. You can view photos by clicking here. Congratulations to our young scholars and families!

Students working

Online Enrollment for 2020-2021 School Year Open

The school year is coming to a close, but it's never too early to start thinking about next year. Online enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is currently open on our district website. There are instructions on how to enroll new students and returning students, as well as resources for families on this web page.

Student on Computer

Virtual School Enrollment Open

Topeka Public Schools also offers a virtual education program. This program includes students (6-12) and adults with both virtual and onsite learning opportunities. Students are taught by licensed educators that utilize a robust curriculum tailored to meet your individualized needs. For more information about virtual learning opportunities feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Click here to enroll at Topeka Public Schools.


TPS Virtual Summer Enrichment Program Now Enrolling

Topeka Public Schools will once again be offering a variety of summer enrichment opportunities for students PK-12, throughout the Shawnee County community. Programs will be virtual and will include arts, athletics, academics, and more. Programs will begin on June 1 and will conclude on July 10. To learn more about the enrichment programs available and to enroll your child for free, click here.

Summer Meal Program Kick-Off

Summer Meal Program Kick-Off is June 1

Thank you to all our meal services staff and volunteers that have helped run the meal programs for the youth of Topeka. We will continue to serve lunch and breakfast at the meal sites through Friday, May 22. There will be a brief pause, and then the summer meal program will begin on Monday, June 1. There will be more information on the summer meal program on our website and through parent communications in the coming weeks.

Debbie Ramberg

Welcome Debbie Ramberg as General Director of Human Resources

We congratulate Mrs. Carla Nolan, General Director of Human Resources, on her upcoming retirement. We are proud to announce Mrs. Debbie Ramberg as the new Topeka Public Schools Human Resources General Director. She joins the team with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. Her career started as a Personnel Manager for Target and she then moved to become HR Representative at Capitol Federal Savings in 1990. She worked as an HR consultant for several small companies and returned to full-time employment as the Vice-President of Human Resources for Capital City Bank. When the bank merged with Capitol Federal in 2018, she moved to Stormont Vail Health as an Employee Relations Specialist.

She has been married for 28 years to Dan Ramberg, a CPA with Ramberg & Associates. They have triplets (two sons and a daughter) who recently graduated from Topeka West High School.

As a parent, she spends her time volunteering with Westside Pride (Topeka West PTO), NPS Charge (club softball team), Let’s Help, Harvesters, and SHRM-Topeka, a chapter of a national professional group.

The district is excited to have her expertise and talent join the TPS team. Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Debbie Ramberg!

Jayla Brooks standing with her donated basket

Advisors Excel Gives 50 College Baskets for Seniors

Advisors Excel has continued to invest in Highland Park High School graduates as they prepare for college. As 50 of the Highland Park seniors came into the building and turned in their last items, a college starter kit funded by Advisors Excel for the third year was distributed with all of their basic needs for college living provided to them. Advisors Excel created this project as part of their partnership with the district, developed three years ago, to provide added support to families in need at the school. Since this project started, graduation rates have increased and overall district performance has increased. The students and staff thank Advisor’s Excel for the many ways they continue to promote and invest in economic prosperity for families in Topeka.

Joseph Randles

ACT Scholarship Awarded to Topeka West Senior

Joseph Randles, a senior at Topeka West High School, has won the ACT Scholarship Giveaway. The scholarship was $15,000 along with a $5,000 technology package. Despite postponing the April 2020 test because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ACT continues to help students prepare and pay for college. Randles was randomly selected from students who entered the contest by registering for the ACT test. This is the first time a recipient of the scholarship has been from Kansas. Congratulations Joseph! We wish you the best in your future plans. To read more about this story, click here.

Pen Pal Letters

Landon Middle Students Start Pen Pal Program with Nursing Home Residents

Landon Middle School students are bringing a little joy to seniors at the Presbyterian Manor: Assisted Living. The residents of Presbyterian Manor have been living in isolation to prevent any spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the students at Landon, which is right across the street from Presbyterian Manor, are missing seeing their teachers and fellow students in person.

Stacy Schreiner, Principal of Landon, decided to set up a pen pal program for the students to write letters to the residents of the assisted living home. She received over 150 letters from her students, eager to learn about and talk to the residents. If you would like to read more about how the pen pal program has impacted the students and residents, click here.

Student with mini cutout of her teacher

Elementary Teachers Found a Unique Way to Stay Connected with their Students

Two 4th-grade teachers at McEachron came together to come up with a fun and unique way to comfort their students from a safe distance. Sarah Kahle and Michelle Johnson printed out miniature cardboard cutouts of themselves and mailed them to all their students with a poem about how much they missed them. Their students then took pictures with the cutouts and shared their adventures with the class. To read more about this story, click here.

Highland Park High School

TPS Partners with SCHD to Offer Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing

In partnership with USD 501, the Shawnee County Health Department is offering free COVID-19 testing by appointment for uninsured individuals.

Testing will be available at Highland Park High School, Tuesday, May 26, weather permitting. Testing hours are Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The testing is only available for uninsured individuals living in Shawnee County and who are experiencing two or more symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Appointments are required to get tested and can be made by calling 785-251-4949. The test results will be available within 3-5 business days. To read more about this program, click here.

2020-21 District Calendar

2020-2021 District Calendar

The 2020-2021 district calendar is available and can be found by clicking here. The calendar includes dates of parent-teacher conferences, no school days and semester sessions.

Student Writing on Small Whiteboard

Your Census Response Matters

A kindergartener counted in the 2020 Census this spring will be starting high school when the next census comes around in 2030: That's ten years of school supplies, teachers, school lunches, and so much more. This is your opportunity to help ensure they have a bright future.

Students are learning that the 2020 Census is a count of every person who lives in the United States and its territories. Responding to the census helps your community get its fair share of funding. Census data guides how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and cities each year for schools, health care facilities, roads, transportation, recreation centers, social services, and more.

The 2020 Census is happening now. You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail when your invitation arrives. For questions about responding to the 2020 Census, you can visit or call 844-330-2020.

TPS Foundation Golf Tournament 2019

TPS Foundation Annual Golf Fundraiser

The 27th Annual Winfred Tidwell Benefit Golf Tournament will proceed as planned, though a bit differently, on Thursday, June 4. In order to participate in the tournament, players must stay within Governor Kelly's phase two restrictions.

Tournament rules are provided below:

  • Each team will be assigned a tee time (check-in must occur no less than 20 minutes prior to assigned start time following 12-minute increment restrictions) Assigned times will be sent to paid registrants.
  • It's suggested that players ride one person per cart unless living in the same home or related and that each player wears a mask.
  • Carts will not be assigned but will be sanitized and ready for play.
  • Scorecards & pencils will be provided by the golf course and are to be left at the pro-shop upon completion of play.
  • Proxy markers will not be available due to restrictions.

Winners will be notified by email. All registrations must be paid in advance of the play date. Payment must be received in the TPS Foundation office no later than 5 p.m., May 26.

For more information, please contact TPSF at 785-295-3024. Click here for the registration form.

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