Monday, March 20, 2017

Topeka Public Schools Implements Initiatives to Close the Achievement Gap

501 expands support services and approves new staff at Highland Park 

During last week's school board meeting there were exciting announcements regarding Highland Park High School that we want to share with you. 
To further support improvements in eliminating achievement gaps at the highest poverty schools and to fulfill the commitment to ensure all schools offer equitable service across the district in college and career readiness, Highland Park will expand college courses in 2017-18 to align more closely with offerings at all high schools with an increase of expanded college credits being available in 2017-18.
Through a grant, an improvement specialist will be located at Highland Park and they will serve needs at schools across the district in addressing achievement gaps. Announced at the March 16, 2017 Board meeting, a $650,000 donation to Highland Park was announced and a scholarship fund for students is being established for 2017. 

·         New Principal Named
·         College Courses Expanded
·         Grant-fund Improvement Specialist Hired
·         Scholarship Fund Established
New Highland Park principal Shana Perry. 
Additionally, in the 2017-18 year, the new Highland Park principal has been selected and approved by the Board of Education. Former 2012 principal of the year from Oklahoma, Ms. Shana Perry is the new principal starting July 1, 2017. Ms. Perry is currently the principal at Summit Middle School in Edmond, OK. With over 20 years in education, Ms. Perry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Topeka. Highlights from Ms. Perry's career include:
·  Oklahoma Excellent Educator Award, 2002
·  Most Valuable Player Award from Mid-Del Public Schools, 2010
·  Oklahoma Middle School Principal of the Year, 2012 
·  Top Three National Finalist for the MetLife/MASSP Middle School Principal of the Year, 2012

Topeka Public Schools remains committed to supporting all students and with the investment being made at Highland Park, we expect graduation rates, ACT rates and college indicators will meet or exceed state standards in future years across the district. The scholarship funds from this donation will be available to students starting this school year.