Randolph and Landon Students Receive Award

Topeka Public Schools students were awarded for their dedication to spreading the word about the dangers of alcohol. SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) students from Randolph Elementary and Landon Middle School were guests at the Kansas Red Ribbon Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 27th. There, they listened to guest speaker, and Highland Park High School senior, Shayna McCall. McCall is president of the HPHS SADD chapter, vice president of the Kansas SADD Student Leadership Council, and was also selected to participate in SADD SPEAKs, a national advocacy training program focused on teen traffic safety, last summer in Washington, D.C., among many other accomplishments.

The Randolph Elementary SADD program was awarded the “Tying It Together” Level One award and the Landon Middle School program received the “Tying It Together” Level Two award.
Landon 8th grader Alora Wilder listed Red Out Day (in which everyone wore red), and Sticker Shock (in which students went to area liquor stores to place stickers warning of the dangers of drinking and driving on containers), as a couple of the events Landon SADD students participated in. “We also went to a volleyball game to spread the word about underage drinking, and even sent flyers home with the opposing team,” she added.

Congratulations to all of these students for their diligent efforts to promote healthy choices. We’re so proud of all of them!

TWHS Students Get a Dose of Reality

Students in Mary Middleton’s Personal Finance class at Topeka West got a peek into their futures when they participated in Reality U on Wednesday, March 26th. An event organized by Communities in Schools of Mid-America, Reality U is a fast-paced financial literacy exercise that helps educate young adults about the realities of living in the “real world.” 

Middleton’s students, mostly juniors and seniors, have spent the semester learning about colleges and careers, how to make a budget and how to balance a checkbook. Prior to Spring Break, each student filled out a questionnaire about their goals for their future. They were asked to picture themselves at 26 years old. What kind of life did they want to have? What were their educational and career aspirations? 

Ashley Ferguson, Reality U’s coordinator, looked at the students’ questionnaire answers to create hypothetical scenarios for the students to work with. She assigned each of them a job, salary, debt amount, credit score, marital status, parental status and a slew of other criteria for the students to work with. The kids also had a blank checkbook register to fill out during the exercise.

The students then traveled to booths manned by community volunteers. Each booth featured a different expense that adults typically pay for. Some of the booths included housing, transportation, utilities, insurance and groceries, among others. There was even a booth called “Chance” in which the students rolled the dice to see what unexpected expense or financial windfall they would have to budget for, such as new tires or overtime pay.

Junior Grant Hebert said the experience show him that adulthood is “ridiculously expensive,” and made him consider the costs of college. “It makes me think about student loans, which can be very expensive, and encourages me to look for scholarships quite a bit more.”
Ciera Allen, also a junior, said she enjoyed learning about what to expect as an adult. “Now, while we’re still in high school, our parents do everything for us, so (Reality U) helps prepare us for real life.” 

Ms. Middleton, an eight-year veteran of TWHS, plans to have the students use the lessons they learned at Reality U to continue their personal finance education.

BOE Decides Not To Make Up Snow Days

The Topeka Public School Board of Education has decided that schools will not be making up snow days this year. The schedule for the last week of school will be:

Monday, May 19th: Regular school day
Tuesday, May 20th: Regular school day/alternate day for high school graduation
Wednesday, May 21st: Regular school day
Thursday, May 22nd: Last day of school for students; half day of school; 8th grade graduation; lunch will not be served
Friday, May 23rd: Staff on duty- no students

If there are additional snow days, we will revisit the issue at that time.

School Bond Ballots Mailed Today

If you are a registered voter and live within the TPS boundaries, you will receive a ballot.  We encourage you to vote and return your ballot (no stamp needed) to the Shawnee County Election office as soon as possible.  To be counted, a ballot must reach the election office no later than noon on April 8.
If you have not yet registered to vote, contact the Shawnee County Election Office at 266-0285

THS Teacher to Receive Award from TARC

Topeka High School special education teacher Claudia Shover-Daily has been chosen to receive TARC’s Mark Miller award for 2013.
The award recognizes an educator who supports the inclusion of children with developmental disabilities, not only in the school setting, but also in the community.  The award is named to honor Mark Miller, a parent and past TARC board member.
Ms. Shover-Daily will be presented with the award on Monday, March 24th at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church’s O’Connor Hall at 6:30 p.m.
Congratulations, Ms. Shover-Daily and thank you for all you do!

Topeka South Rotary Donates 200th Pair of Shoes

The Topeka South Rotary Club hit a milestone on March 13th when they purchased shoes for their 200th student this school year. 

Thirteen students from Ross Elementary and Scott Magnet arrived at Payless ShoeSource on Topeka Blvd. and, with a the help of their own personal shopper-a Rotary club volunteer- got to pick out a brand new pair of shoes and package of socks.

Topeka’s two Rotary organizations have teamed up to meet their goal of providing 500 pairs of shoes this school year. With the help of donations and a Rotary district grant, they’re nearing the finish line.

In the meantime, the Topeka South Rotary club has now provided just over 200 pairs of shoes to school children since August- all of them from Topeka Public Schools. Thank you for all that you do, Rotarians!

HPHS Drama Students Prepare for Scotland Trip

The drama students at Highland Park High School are busily preparing for their August trip to Scotland.
The group has raised $25,000 of the $65,000 needed to fund the journey to Edinburgh, Scotland to attend the American High School Theatre Festival. While at the festival, the group will perform their play, “Play it ‘Til We Get it Right,” which was written just for them by Darren Canady, head of playwriting at the University of Kansas and a Topeka High School graduate. 

The students, led by drama teacher Scott Kickhaefer, have been working hard to raise money for the excursion. Fundraising efforts include an online store (http://my.fundraising.com/SendtheScotstoScotland/CoreyJackson#.UyBnxz9dWSo), a fish fry scheduled for later this month and a walkathon set to take place in April.
In the meantime, the students have been rehearsing their lines and preparing for their performance. You can keep up with their progress by following them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Scots2scotland.

Keep at it, Scots!

Featured Post

Neighborhood Veteran Volunteers to Help Keep Kids Safe: September Above & Beyond Award

On a rainy Wednesday morning, Matthew Davis is found in a neon yellow jumpsuit and army boots directing school buses, cars and students safe...