Elementary Late Arrival Day Changing


Late arrival day for all elementary students is moving from Wednesdays to Fridays during the 2014-2015  school year. Late arrival means school will not start on Fridays until 9:30 a.m.  This will be every Friday of the school year with the exception of Friday, August 15 (when school will begin at the regular time of 8:40 a.m.)

Late arrival allows elementary teachers a weekly time to meet to coordinate instruction at each grade level, develop lesson plans, implement school improvement plans and work together for the benefit of all students.

“We hope the elementary late arrival change to every Friday of the school year will cause less confusion for parents and students and that they will find the new schedule more consistent and convenient,” said Assistant Superintendent Tammy Austin.

More information about late arrival will be available during elementary enrollment on July 30.

Summer Student Concerts

The Summer Music Programs in Topeka Public Schools will come to a close this week with two concerts scheduled.  The concerts are free and open to the public.
Summer Band & Strings Concert - June 26 at 7 p.m. at the Highland Park High School Auditorium
Summer Choir Concert - June 27 at 7 p.m. at the Highland Park High School Auditorium

2014 Summer Experience Great Opportunity for TPS Students

Many students welcome a long summer off of school, while others can’t wait to get back into the classroom. About 800 Topeka Public Schools students in kindergarten through 8th grade are getting the best of both worlds in summer school, also known as the 2014 Summer Experience.

In this program, students attend morning sessions throughout the month of June. In addition to receiving breakfast, lunch and recess time, they also have the invaluable opportunity to maintain the skills they acquired during the school year and to improve in areas that may need a little extra attention. The students are taught at their own individual level using differentiated instruction---they work in small groups, independently, and receive one-on-one help from their teachers. The kids, who all attend voluntarily, have a wide range of learning abilities, so the instruction is both remedial and enriching, depending on each student’s needs. Mathematics, reading and writing are all incorporated into the curriculum.

One of the unique aspects of the Summer Experience is the project that each child works on throughout the course of the program. Every school has selected their own project theme. The students are taught about the theme, conduct their own research, and work together in groups to compile a project showcasing what they have learned. Many of the schools will have project presentations on the last day of the program, June 27th.

Dr. Diane Cox, director of teaching and learning for Topeka Public Schools, has worked hard to make this program fun and worthwhile for the students. “For some of our district’s neediest kids, school is not a happy place because they don’t feel successful. Here, they’re working at their own instruction level at all times, so they’re challenged, supported and they’re experiencing success all along the way.” 

For students who weren’t able to attend the Summer Experience, but want to maintain their skills throughout the summer break, Dr. Cox has one main recommendation: “Go to the library, join the summer reading program, and read, read, read!”

Meadows Elementary is one of the five schools hosting the 2014 Summer Experience, and their theme is The Olympics.

Send the Scots to Scotland!

 Scots Theatre, of Highland Park High School, has been invited an unprecedented second time to represent the state of Kansas at the American High School Theatre Festival at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival  in August. This is a tremendous honor, but also quite costly. In a school with 85% of the student body on free/reduced lunch plans, this may well be an impossible task… And we're down to only a few thousand dollars needed to reach our goal!
    That's where you come in! With your help, we'll raise the money by the end of June, and send seven students and one adult to the UK for twelve days of performances and life-long memories!!
     Including our international premiere, we'll perform four times for audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show, entitled PLAY IT 'TIL WE GET IT RIGHT, was written by Topeka's own nationally acclaimed playwright, Darren Canady (THS Class of 2000).

How you can give:

Go to fundrazr.com and search for "Please Help Send the Scots to Scotland!"

Surplus Textbook Sale

                                            Surplus Textbook Sale:
Grades 6-8 Social Studies Books and 9-12 History, Journalism and Sociology books
Cost is 50 cents each
Available for Purchase on June 16, 17 and 18 from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
USD 501 Service Center
125  SE 27th Street
Topeka Ks, 66605

Animals and Music Enhance Summer School Experience

Students at Capital City Schools' summer school program had an exciting morning!
Jackie Hurst, from the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library stopped by to show the students a turtle. They learned all about these reptiles and child each had the opportunity to pet the little guy.

A turtle wasn't the only four-legged animal wandering the halls, however. School psychologist Stephanie Avila brought the school's two therapy dogs out to interact with students.

 The dogs, Gracie and Broghan, are both professional therapy dogs who are at-the-ready whenever a student might need a furry friend. The dogs are trained to perform a variety of tasks, such as helping kids balance, calming students who are experiencing panic attacks, or just being available as an emotional support for kids who are sad. Ms. Avila's dogs are trained and certified, and her work with them resulted in her being awarded the Hometown Hero Award by the Red Cross. The school is so fortunate to have Ms. Avila, Gracie and Broghan!

Another visitor to the school was music therapist Sarah Niileksela.

She sang with the students and played her guitar. Each student also got to make a little music of their own with fish-shaped shakers!

It was another fun day of learning at Topeka Public Schools, where great things happen every day!

Students Attend School Resource Officer Camp

About 60 students from Topeka Public Schools and surrounding areas participated in the School Resource Officer Camp at French Middle School last week. 

During the week-long program, students toured the police station, learned about police work, and participated in demonstrations utilizing crime scene forensic techniques such as fingerprinting, shoe printing and DNA analysis. The kids got to drive golf carts while wearing fatal vision goggles that simulate impaired driving, and a K-9 unit visited so the students could witness a simulated a locker search. 

Other specialty units, like an armored truck and a motorcycle unit were also on hand. Sgt. Jennifer Cross of the Topeka Police Department said, “It’s really neat for the kids to see how precise they are with motorcycles, and what they’re capable of.”

Thanks to the Topeka Police Department for making this event possible--- the kids clearly had a great time and learned a lot!

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