Community News 9/10/20

Community News 9/10/20
Posted on 09/10/2020
Quincy Students

Community News

Supplies and Scoops

Welcome back to an exciting 2020-21 school year!

Message from the Superintendent

Porch Drops with Dr. Anderson

Dear Topeka Public Schools Family,

Welcome back to the new school year! On the first day of school, the assistant and associate superintendent joined me for my annual back to school welcome in the community and they participated in crossing guard duty. We surprised some families with home visits with balloons, flowers, welcome back baskets, and love and smiles. What a great, rainy, but fun, first day. We welcome everyone back and look forward to a great year. To watch the welcome back video, click here.

Each week we will be reminding parents of the Shawnee County rating as we closely monitor the rating and prepare for a great year ahead. Our plan shows we may provide small group instruction in the orange phase and the county releases the phase every Thursday. While we do recognize many parents want their scholar to return this week, we are being cautious with ensuring we transition back when we believe we can do so safely. Almost 3,000 students have enrolled in remote learning for the school year and we look forward to ensuring those students have an outstanding experience within their remote learning environment. As a result of the information released today from the Shawnee County Health Department, preschool and kindergarten students may resume in-person school on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, for families who have chosen the in-school learning option. Please contact your child's principal if you have any questions or read the COVID Communicator this Friday for more information. Thank you for your support and cooperation.

Dr. Tiffany Anderson



IceCream Social At Jardine

Exciting Back to School Events

To kick off the new school year, several schools held drive-by school supply giveaways on Tuesday night. Students received a bag of AVID materials, fun school supplies, and ice cream! Remote learning started yesterday as part of Phase One of our reopening plan. We can't wait for all the amazing things our students will accomplish this school year! To learn more about how teachers and staff have been preparing for a school year like none other, click here.

We had a great first day and would like your feedback to help us further personalize remote services for our students. This survey will remain open until Friday at noon.

DeAndre Hicks Speaks at Virtual Convocation

Thousands Attend First District Virtual Convocation

Every year for the last 4 years TPS has held a district-wide welcome back convocation at Lee Arena. Due to the pandemic, this year the convocation was virtual and the excitement and energy could be felt through the screen. Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly welcomed back staff and gave an inspirational greeting to all viewers. The superintendent always selects one student speaker to address the faculty as part of her Student's First theme. Returning as a speaker for a continuation of his theme, "You are the One" was, Topeka High Trojan, DeAndre Hicks. He made staff laugh, cry and shout for joy for a promising and historic year ahead.

You can view DeAndre's speech on YouTube and the entire event can be viewed here. This video event celebrated all of our district staff and as the superintendent and board president commended the district staff as part of the event, all left the event feeling energized for a great new school year. To read more about our virtual staff convocation, click here.

Laird Noller donates 20,000 dollars for school supplies

Laird Noller Ford Donates $20,000 for School Supplies

Topeka Public Schools is pleased to announce Laird Noller Ford of Topeka has donated $20,000 to go towards school supplies for Topeka Public Schools students as they head back to school for the 2020-2021 academic year. This donation will help ensure all students are prepared for the upcoming school year, regardless of their socioeconomic status or access to resources. So far in 2020, Laird Noller Ford has pledged over $25,000 to support our mission to engage students in the highest-quality learning, prepare students for responsible, productive citizenship, and inspire excellence for a lifetime. We thank Laird Noller Ford for their continued support of Topeka Public Schools and their selfless generosity that will benefit school children over the next academic year. You can learn more about Topeka Public Schools partnership with Laird Noller Ford by clicking here.

Dr. Tim Murrell, Principal of TCALC

TCALC Principal Appointed President of Kansas Leaders of Career and Technical Education

Dr. Tim Murrell, Principal of TCALC, has been elected to serve as the President of Kansas Leaders of Career and Technical Education (KLCTE), which is an affiliate of the state organization, K-ACTE. This organization is the voice for career and technical education in the state of Kansas. Through a wide range of programs and events, K-ACTE acts as a resource to vocational-technical teachers, counselors, administrators, and teacher educators. Congratulations Dr. Murrell!

Meal Program

TPS Food Service Receives Award for COVID-19 Meal Programs

Our amazing TPS Food Service department was honored with The Kansans Can 2019-2020 Best Practice Award for Outstanding customer service. When schools closed this spring because of COVID-19, it became even more important to ensure that children had access to nutritious foods. Nicole Jahnke, General Director of Child Nutritional Services, and Chris Wagner, Child Nutritional Services Specialist, worked to develop strong community partnerships with churches, libraries, civic organizations and local businesses to increase access to meals from March through the end of summer. They expanded to feed students seven days a week and reported an increase of 83% in summer meals. Congratulations on a well-deserved award and thank you to all food service workers for their hard work and dedication!

Gear up handing a bag of school supplies to a student

Gear Up Topeka Hosts Senior Success Drive-Thru at HPH

The Senior Success Drive-Thru hosted by Gear Up Topeka was held on September 3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The organization handed out backpacks full of school supplies and other goodies along with a $50 Dillon's gift card to all seniors that signed up. The goal of the Gear Up Topeka program at Highland Park High School is to ensure that all students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will be prepared academically and financially to excel and graduate from post-secondary educational institutions.

College Connection Newsletter

September College Connection Newsletter

As we begin school this year, we are sure that you have many
questions in regards to college and career options. This month's College Connections Newsletter discusses setting attainable goals and preparing for your post-secondary education by preparing for the FAFSA. ACT and SAT test information are also provided. The next ACT test date is October 10th. The next SAT test date is November 7th. To view the full College Connections Newsletter, click here.


Need Help Getting Prepared for The ACT?

Seniors, can you believe it's your last year of high school? The time moves so fast when you're having fun! As a reminder, taking the ACT is an important step for students to go on to post-secondary education. The next test date for the ACT is on October 10th, and the deadline to register is September 25th. More national test days are still upcoming and you can find more information by clicking here. The ACT website provides a wealth of information to help students prepare for test day. Take advantage of this FREE study guide that includes a practice test! Click here for the study guide in Spanish.

Online learning

TPS Partners with Cox to Provide Discounted Internet to Families

Topeka Public Schools families in need can now get internet access for just under 10 dollars a month. Cox Internet and Topeka Public Schools are partnering for the “Connect 2 Compete” program to bring increased internet data to online learners in families that qualify for free and reduced lunch. Families can use up to 1.25 terabytes of data per month for $9.95. There is no deadline to apply and current Cox users can apply if they meet the requirements. If a family signs up before Sept. 15, they will get 60 days of free internet. Go to the Cox website to learn more about this deal.


Submit Your Census Response Before September 30th

The 2020 Census is making sure everyone, especially every child, is counted. The 2020 count will drive decisions regarding the allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funding to states and communities each year. That includes support for school programs and services such as special education, free and reduced lunch, after-school programs, and more. The deadline to complete the census is September 30th, 2020. Census takers will soon begin visiting households that have not responded. Stop the knock at your door by responding today!

Dr. Mejia and Kids

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. With a highly diverse school population, Topeka Public Schools is planning to have events throughout the month to celebrate including a presentation by Scott Dual Language and a Hispanic Heritage proclamation at the next board meeting on September 17th. Mayor De la Isla will be a guest speaker next month at Highland Park High to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month

Every September, we recognize National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month and put all of our efforts into reducing the stigma to get people the professional mental health support they need. Our district 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 resources through the mental health teams are available at all schools. A link to district well-being resources and additional information about suicide prevention from Family Service & Guidance Center can be found below.

  • For district well-being resources, click here.
  • For Family Service and Guidance Center resources, click here.

If you or anyone else is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach out to the Employee Assistance Program Support Line.

Rob and Tammy Kenagy

Topeka Public Schools Foundation Celebrates 11th Annual Breakfast, Find Out How to Get Involved

The Topeka Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) will recognize Dr. Rob and Mrs. Tammy Kenagy with the TPSF 2020 Patron Award on September 15 at Hummer Sports Park during their eleventh annual community breakfast. At the event, Topeka Public Schools (TPS) Superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, will present the annual state of the district update. TPSF will also be presenting the Innovative Educator Award to John Eddy, a Science teacher at McEachron Elementary, and Ben Esau, a Computer teacher at Jardine Middle. The Foundation hosts this annual fundraiser, attended by community leaders, TPS staff and students, in order to raise awareness of the importance of public education and to encourage community support for our schools.

Providing a donation to the Foundation is a terrific way to support Topeka Public Schools. A donation provides our students with opportunities for post-secondary education and more. You can also support TPSF by using Amazon Smiles for future personal and school purchases through Amazon. Go to, select 'Topeka Public Schools Foundation' as your charity of choice, then make your purchase. A portion of your purchase will go towards the Foundation. To make a donation directly to TPSF, contact Pamela Johnson-Betts at [email protected]

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