Burnett Center Closing Early on December 31.

                                  Burnett Administrative Center Holiday Hours

December 31  Open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
January 1    Closed

Late Start For TPS Staff

All TPS staff working today, Monday, December 28, do not need to report to work until 9:30 a.m.

TPS Names New Communications Director

Topeka Public Schools has named a new Director of Communications to replace Ron Harbaugh, who will be retiring at the end of the month after ten years with the district. Misty Kruger will assume the role, serving as the chief media contact for the school district and overseeing internal and external communications.

Kruger holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media from Washburn University and a master’s degree in business administration from Friends University. She has most recently served as the Public Information Officer for the Shawnee County Health Agency. Kruger is also active in the community, where she currently serves as the Optimist International Kansas Governor, is a graduate of the class of 2015 Leadership Greater Topeka and mentors at Lowman Hill Elementary.

“We are thrilled to have Misty Kruger join the Topeka Public Schools family. Misty will take the lead in sharing the good news happening in the district through all types of media. We think her experience and enthusiasm will enable Topeka Public Schools to engage our community and keep them informed about our district,” said TPS Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford.

Kruger will begin her duties with the district later this month.

Wanted: Businesses Offering Free WiFi

The middle and high school students of Topeka Unified School District 501 need safe, reliable
locations to access wireless Internet so they can complete their course work. The City of Topeka
and USD 501 are turning to the surrounding communities for help.

"Many of our kids and families do not have Internet access at home and rely on free WiFi spots
to complete their homework, use educational web solutions and research educational topics in
the after school hours,” said Dr. Michael Hester, general director of secondary education.
“Please join The City of Topeka and USD 501 as partners to connect all of our community to
global opportunities.”

If you own or operate a business within a half-mile radius of any USD 501 secondary school and
would be willing to allow these students free access to your wireless Internet, please contact
Monique Glaudé at mglaude@topeka.org or 368-4470 by Dec. 31. Please refer to the attached
map for school locations.

We will get you a decal (see below) to stick on a window of your business, signifying to the
students they can use your WiFi signal without obligation of purchase. We will post your
business information on an interactive map on both the City’s and USD 501 administration’s
websites, so students can know where to go. Maps specific to each school will be posted on the
website of each school.

We would like to announce the program after the first of the year, when students are back in
school, so they can be prepared to tackle this semester.

“A quality education is critical to the development and success of our students,” said Topeka
Mayor Larry Wolgast. “Today, that success has become contingent upon access to the Internet.
The City is committed to helping these students find a safe, secure place to finish their
assignments and prepare for class for their betterment, and for the betterment of our
community as a whole.”

Padres - Resultados de las Pruebas Informacion

Apreciado Padre/Guardián,

● Usted estará recibiendo los resultados de los exámenes de estado del año pasado

aproximadamente a mediados de diciembre. Debido a que el examen del año pasado

era nuevo, los resultados no se pueden comparar con aquellos de años anteriores.

Usted podrá tener acceso a los resultados de sus hijos(as) metiéndose al portal de

padres. Por favor vaya a http://www.topekapublicschools.net/powerschool/ para obtener

mayor información.

● El año pasado fue el primer año en el que los estudiantes de los grados 3ro­8o y los de

10o fueron evaluados en los Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. Estos

estándares ahora se incluyen en los exámenes de estado y son más rigurosos que

aquellos en cualquier examen previo.

● Para el año 2020, se estima que el 71% de todos los empleos en Kansas requerirán de

algún tipo de educación después de completar la preparatoria. Hoy en día, solamente el

52% de las personas de Kansas tienen educación post­secundaria.

● El pensamiento crítico y el resolver problemas complejos son destrezas necesarias

independientemente de si su hijo(a) quiere ir a la universidad, prestar servicio militar, o

empezar a trabajar inmediatamente después de graduarse de la preparatoria.

● Estos nuevos exámenes de estado nos ayudan a medir la habilidad para tener éxito a

altos niveles y para toda la vida de su estudiante luego de completar su educación de

los grados K­12. Los exámenes de estado de este año se llevarán a cabo entre

mediados de febrero y principios de mayo.

● Si tiene preguntas, por favor comuníquese con nuestro equipo de pruebas en

assessment@tps501.org (785­295­3084).

Parents - Test Score Information

Dear Parent/Guardian,

● You will be receiving your student’s state assessment results from last year around the

middle of December. Since last year was a brand new test, the results cannot be

compared to previous years. You will be able to access your child’s results by logging

into parent portal. Please go to http://www.topekapublicschools.net/powerschool/ for

more information.

● Last year was the first year our 3rd,8th and 10th grade students were tested on the

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. These standards are now included in the

state assessments and are more rigorous than any previous test.

● By 2020, it is estimated that 71% of all Kansas jobs will require some education after

high school. Today, only 52% of Kansans have some post­secondary education.

● Critical thinking and solving complex problems are skills necessary whether your student

eventually wants to go to college, the military, or straight into the workplace.

● These new state assessments help us measure your student’s ability to succeed at a

higher level for a life after K­12 schooling. This year’s state assessments will occur

between mid­February and early May.

● If you have any questions, please contact our assessment team at

assessment@tps501.org or 785­295­3084

Dog is Subject of Student Drawings

What could be more fun than spending time with man’s best friend at school?

Retired Emporia State University professor Dan Kirchhefer is Quincy Elementary’s artist in residence. He recently tasked the students with drawing a portrait of Samantha, a greyhound therapy dog on loan from the public library. The 5th grade students used the canine as a model in their printmaking exercise.

“Dogs have been a favorite subject for artists for several thousand years,” Kirchhefer said. “This is a great exercise in training your mind to work from a real object. At this stage, 5th graders are usually inclined to draw what they know, but every once in a while it’s good to practice with a live subject.”

The students had a great time drawing portraits of Samantha and enjoyed hosting Mr. Kirchhefer for three weeks of art instruction.

Ryan Named Above & Beyond Winner

Rolling out 1,800 Chromebooks is no easy task, but that was the challenge Topeka High School instructional coach Ryan Arnold faced when he took on the additional assignment of technical assistant at the districts largest school.

Topeka High School Principal Dr. Linda Wiley nominated Ryan for the Above and Beyond Award.  “Ryan worked relentlessly to make the roll out if the Chromebooks a breeze.  He has met every technical challenge with professionalism and enthusiasm,” said Wiley.

Ryan has been teaching at Topeka High the past six years.  He has been in education a total of 23 years.  He talked about the Chromebook rollout.  “It was a steep learning curve for staff and students.  I am grateful to the students and staff who were very patient in understanding that none of this is perfect,” said Ryan.

Special Day For a Special Student

For Topeka High senior Brianna Henderson, Wednesday, December 2nd shaped up to be a pretty good day.
When she arrived at school that morning, Brianna learned that she had been accepted into a Toyota mechanic training program at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis for the fall of 2016. An honors student who has spent the past three and a half years studying auto mechanics at both THS and Washburn Tech, Brianna is also part of a family of mechanics and has always hoped to carry on that legacy. “Ever since I learned about (Ranken’s program) back in September I wanted to do it. I’ve been talking to my teacher nonstop about it. I even got to job shadow there. I’m so excited,” Brianna said of her acceptance.
The program will require Brianna to regularly travel back and forth between Ranken in St. Louis and Topeka’s Lewis Toyota auto shop. Knowing that Brianna’s current vehicle isn’t highway worthy, her teacher, Dean Fairweather, gifted the teen with a much newer, more reliable vehicle. That morning, shortly after she found out she had been accepted at Ranken, she was presented with the car. Fairweather had received the vehicle as a donation from his father, fixed it up and surprised Brianna with it. “I kinda thought Brianna needed a good car, so we repaired it here at Topeka High’s auto shop. It’s running perfectly so she now has good wheels to go and carry on with her career. I just need her to come back and motivate my students when she’s certified,” Fairweather said.
The car and the Ranken acceptance follow years of hard work and tenacity on Brianna’s part. During her sophomore year, Brianna gave birth to her son, Zayl. Shortly after his birth, she was eager to resume her studies, eventually enrolling concurrently at Washburn Tech, where she will graduate with an associate’s degree at the same time she receives her diploma from THS.
According to Fairweather and her THS guidance counselor, Angela Locke, Brianna can expect to earn about $65,000 when she graduates from Ranken’s program. If she goes on to become a journeyman, her pay will increase.

Congratulations, Brianna, on your Ranken acceptance and on your new car. We know you’re going make a wonderful life for yourself and Zayl!

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