Showing posts from February, 2016

Kansas Supreme Court to Hold Session at THS

Supreme Court announces cases for March 9 special session
at Topeka High School

The Kansas Supreme Court announced the two cases it will hear March 9 at Topeka High School, its next destination in the court's ongoing outreach to familiarize Kansans with the high court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.

It will be the Supreme Court’s first visit to Topeka High School in the court’s 155-year history and it will be the third time for the court to hear cases in the evening. The court’s first evening session was in April 2015 in Hays and it drew a record crowd of nearly 700 people. About 500 people showed up for the court's second evening session in October 2015 in Garden City.

“The Supreme Court extends a personal invitation to the people of Topeka and surrounding communities to come see the court in action,” said Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss. “Even though we routinely hear cases in Topeka, most people have never watched a court session because it conflicts with…

Certified Staff Members Summer Check Information

Attention TPS Certified Staff Members:
If you would like to receive a lump-sum payment for your summer checks, the deadline to request this is Friday, April 1, 2016. This is a state-mandated deadline; no requests will be honored after this date.
Bargaining unit employees who wish to have lump-sum distribution with the second paycheck in June need to have an “Authorization Agreement for Summer Lump-Sum Payment” card on file with the Payroll Department, which is located at Burnett Center, Topeka Public Schools’ administrative office.

Any employee who already has an authorization card on file and wants to continue with lump-sum payment does not need to submit another card.

To discontinue the lump-sum payment, written notification to cancel must be received in the Payroll Department by April 1, 2016.

For more information, or to request an enrollment card, contact Jana Grant in the Payroll Department at 295-3043 or e-mail

Landon Students Show Support for Local Child

Today's kids don’t always get shown in the best  light, but here at Topeka Public Schools, we know that our students are every bit as giving and compassionate as those in the generations that went before them.
Case in point: the students at Landon Middle School have rallied together in support of a complete stranger- a young child they’ve never met- who is battling leukemia.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when 8th grade science teacher Stacy Schreiner wore a bright orange shirt adorned with the words “Team Blake” to school. The inquiring students wanted to know who Blake was, and why he had a team. Schreiner told her class about the little boy, her cousin’s child, who had burned his hands by climbing over a railing in his home and touching a hot wood-burning stove. When Blake’s hands failed to heal normally, his doctor ordered tests that determined he was suffering from acute monoblastic leukemia. The family’s friends and loved ones came together to offer support, and a famil…

Jardine Students Attend Career Fair

In recognition of Black History Month, Jardine Middle School students recently took part in a career expo.

Twenty African-American community leaders signed on to speak to students about their career paths and the skills and training necessary to achieve success in the professional world. Many Jardine students were invited to take part in this event, where they were able to meet and converse with local black leaders. “We want our students to be aware that they can achieve their full potential,” said Jardine principal Mike Haire.

Some of the presenters included TPS administrators Larry Robbins, Dr. Beryl New, Dr. Jennifer Gordon and Leosha Giardina. The Topeka Metro Operations Director, the Marian Clinic Director, a corrections officer, an accountant, a social worker and an IT specialist were some of the other presenters.

 The students were clearly intrigued by the guest speakers and listened attentively as they learned about different careers. They had the opportunity to ask many qu…

Ross Hosts Hip-Hop Dancers

Ross Music and Fine Arts Magnet students were treated to an electrifying performance by the Houston-based Fly Dance Company. Five dancers from the company were on hand, showing off some impressive hip-hop moves and teaching the kids fun, new ways to express themselves through dance. The children were completely captivated by the high-energy performance.

Thanks, Fly Dance Company, for inspiring our young performers at Ross!!

Ross Students Learn About Ocean Animals Through Music

Ross Elementary 2nd graders were in for a treat today when guest presenter Jon Schwartz visited their classroom.

Schwartz represents Rockademix, a non-profit organization that teaches through the use of music and the arts. Schwartz, an avid underwater-photographer from San Diego, uses his book, “The Kid From Cabo,” to teach school children that living things are built in ways that help them survive. Specifically, how several species of fish are darker on top than they are on the bottom, protecting them from predators.

Schwartz used songs to help him deliver his lesson, a tool he utilized during his 15-year career as a classroom teacher. “When I first started to use music to help my students learn, my 1st graders were picking up everything from phonics to geography to mathematics through song. After a lot of encouragement from education professors, I started looking at developing a curriculum that other teachers could use,” Schwartz said.

Stacy Neumann, music coordinator at both Ross Elem…

HPHS Grad Sworn in as Federal Judge

Ever wonder what Topeka Public Schools grads are up to today? One of them was recently sworn in as a federal judge!

Erin Wilder-Doomes, a 1990 Highland Park High School graduate, is the newest federal magistrate judge of the US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana in Baton Rouge. She had previously been a member of Baton Rouge law firms where she gained experience in both civil and commercial litigation.

Judge Wilder-Doomes graduated from the University of Iowa, where she earned a BS in psychology, and from Louisiana State University, where she earned her law degree. TPS is proud of the solid foundation we provided for her to expand her knowledge in institutes of higher learning.

In addition to the education she received in Topeka Public Schools, Wilder-Doomes also received a college scholarship from our partner, Westar Energy. She was awarded the Western Resources (now Wester Energy) College Scholarship for four years.

Congrats, Judge Wilder-Doomes-- we're so …

Jardine Students Win Writing Awards

Congratulations to Jardine Middle School 7th graders Psalm “Sam” Babiera and Josie Curls! They were each announced as winners in the Midwest Scholastic Art and Writing contest.

Sam received a Gold Key award, which means she placed in the top 5-7% of applicants. Hers was a science fiction/fantasy story about life in the year 2045. She has been invited to attend an award ceremony in Iowa in September.

Having placed in top 10-15% of applicants, Josie received an Honorable Menti...on for her science fiction/fantasy story about morality.

Way to go, Sam and Josie! We’re so proud of your talent and dedication to the art of writing!

Topeka Public Schools Announces New Superintendent!
The Topeka Public Schools Board of Education has selected Dr. Tiffany Anderson to lead the district starting July 1, 2016.

“We had a number of very qualified candidates to review and meet with, but in the end Dr. Anderson had the experience we need at Topeka Public Schools,” said Patrick Woods, President of the TPS Board of Education. “Her time successfully leading districts with diverse populations and improving test scores is something that resonated with our board.”
Dr. Anderson will be replacing Dr. Julia Ford who will be retiring from the district on June, 30, 2016. Anderson has been the superintendent of the Jennings School District in St. Louis, Missouri since 2012.
Welcome to Topeka Public Schools, Dr. Anderson!
Parent Power Program
Pine Ridge Prep recently celebrated the success of their new Parent Power program.

Parent Power is a program for Pine Ridge Prep families that encourages family and school involvement. Through the program, which began in August 2015, families signed up to post pictures of family and education-related activities in exchange for points. As they hit certain point milestones, they received gift cards and yesterday, the two families who had accumulated the most points were recognized.

The Flores family earned 185 points for their family involvement and Rickquette, Rasaan and family earned 146 points for theirs. A celebration was held at the school to celebrate all PRP families, and each child received a book and activity to take home. Second semester offers a new opportunity for families to sign up to take part in Parent Power, and computers were available for parents wanting to sign up to participate in the program.

PRP Site Coordinator Katie Englehart said she was please…