USD-501 celebrates historic graduation rates and Native American Heritage Month

Topeka Public Schools celebrated their 2022 graduation rates reaching a historic high.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Public Schools celebrated their 2022 graduation rates reaching a historic high.

On Thursday night the Board of Education and District Leaders recognized principals and staff from Topeka High, Topeka West, Highland Park, Hope Street, and Capital City School for helping their students succeed.

In the 2016-17 school year Dr. Tiffany Anderson introduced a system that focused on college and career readiness, adding more counselors and other tools to help students graduate.

“All of our comprehensive schools in fact five of our comprehensive schools exceeded the state and national benchmarks for graduation. Topeka High and Topeka West are above 95%, Highland Park made a 20% jump between four years ago and now, so they’re right at 89%. We also have an increase in just post-secondary success overall, so our students are graduating and going into college and careers. So it’s a historic high, but it’s also setting a new trend for the nation and for the state and, we congratulate all of our staff and our students.

Board members also marked Native American Heritage Month by recognizing Native American students, staff, and families.

“This is the start of our celebrations of Native American culture and with this comes a lot of events happening within our school district,” says Yale Taylor, the new consulting teacher for Native American studies for USD-501.

Taylor proposed to gift every native-identifying student with an eagle feather upon graduation.

“We represent 800 identifying indigenous people and we want to show that they are a part of our community, that they are still here and that they are welcome within our school district,” Taylor says.

The district says they will be holding events to recognize Native American Heritage all month long. To learn more click here.