In the Alcove

Things that it is good to know:

--If you child would like to switch classes/teachers they must do it within the first FIVE days of the semester.

-- Picture retakes are Monday, February 8th from 7:30-3:30. To set up an appointment please call:  Division 1 Student Last Names A-G: 438-4021  (Mr. Cathey, associate. principal)

Division 2 Student Name Names H-O: 438-4023  (Ms. Spalding, div. principal)

Division 3 Student Last Names P-Z: 438-4020 (Mr. Caryl, div. principal)

--If your student is interested in coming on campus to work, contact their division principal. 

--I have attached a copy of my  Graduation Progression sheet, the “Green Sheet”, just for information.

--I do a newsletter for students once a week, if you would like to receive this let me know. 

--Please is you have any questions or concerns reach out to me, the teachers or administration.  I can be reached at [email protected] or at 785-438-4037,  email is probably faster right now.


Interesting Things to do:

Free architectural coloring books https://www.carmelinaiaurelioarquitectos.com/descargables?fbclid=IwAR1AEt6nLA8iEVAtgLsR6lXNuCrRpRuy4bEmQ5OyDPl9VfhzUwNjgUuPtgc

IKEA blanket fort links https://www.designboom.com/design/ikea-furniture-forts-05-14-2020/?fbclid=IwAR0C8gxhrGzF-APSDET87DUdGJjwUBrUEiwgMluoUoabiVNnlVNiA3CNsFM

Simple Science Experiments:  https://www.jamesdysonfoundation.com/resources/other-engineering-resources/challenge-cards.html

 The New York Times is giving free digital subscriptions to students, if you are interested email Ms. Karns ([email protected])  and she will get you set up. 



In the Gifted Program: 

The season is over but as always, Scholar Bowl practice is on Thursdays between lunches at https://tps501.zoom.us/j/87337051508; password Password: 388299.Once the season is over we do general trivia. 

Recipes and Reading:  Join Ms. Karns, the librarian and I cooking on Thursday afternoons afterschool.  We limit ourselves to 5 ingredient or less recipes and Ms. Karns adds to the challenge by   making hers in the microwave (this is great training for when you off to college and in the dorm cooking) and I at home with a standard cooktop.  Here is the link:  Topic: Reading and Recipes

https://tps501.zoom.us/j/81083680402  Meeting ID: 810 8368 0402 Passcode: READ

Politicos (aka Model UN in the off season):  Drop in over lunch/s on Tuesdays to discuss world events with Mr. Stevenson (our resident computer and foreign policy guru). Topics are chosen a week in advance.  Here is the zoom link:  https://tps501.zoom.us/j/82024784632  Meeting ID: 820 2478 4632 Passcode: GT

The B/200/North Alcove Newsletter—I would love to have you all contribute items to this. It can be prose, poetry, announcements, send it my way. Right now, it would be fantastic if someone could help put together a flier for Black History Month activities around town.

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is having a winter reading challenge, read 3 books and get a neat looking scarf, here is the link to sign up, https://tscpl.org/books-movies-music/lets-fall-into-reading.  And the West library is doing a reading bingo card, read 5 and can win Sonic treats or Classic Bean gift certificates, it goes on until Spring Break.  (see attached at the end of this email)

Explore Your World bingo card. I am a Topeka/Kansas history buff.  I am also a believer in getting involved in your city, state, school, whenever you are at.  Along these lines, I have created and attached a bingo card. Students have until spring break to complete it with pictures of them at the named places/activities and for 3 you will receive a candy bar and for the whole card a subscription to your choice of either Curiosity Stream or Smithsonian magazine. (it is attached at the end)

Open Zoom. My zoom is open all day/everyday at https://tps501.zoom.us/j/87362682489Meeting ID: 873 6268 2489 Passcode: GT

Essay Competitions, etc. 

For Seniors, all scholarships are posted on the Senior 2021 Google Classroom. Email me at [email protected] if you would like to be added.

The NPR student podcast competition https://www.npr.org/2018/11/15/650500116/npr-student-podcast-challenge-home  has begun again. I have spoken with the Arts and Crafts Workshop downtown on 4th and Harrison (https://www.artscraftsman.com/) and I can make arrangements for your student to record there.

Winfield Writing Contest—Deadline March 15 th , cash prizes for poetry and prose with no prompt—students write what they want.   http://winfieldarts.org/kansas-voices  

Get published, see your name in print—write articles for the Shawnee County Historical Society or the Oakland News, neither of these pays but it helps students make connections and to practice writing for publications.


 Boys State—a summer mock government/ program has opened up to boys in 10th, 11th and 12th grade.  If your student is interested, there are scholarships for this, but they are usually given away on a first come first served basis, so apply early.  Here is the website with more information:  https://ksbstate.org/

Community Involvement

Arts Connect Public Art Grant--https://artstopeka.org/toparts. This would be a great opportunity to do murals on campus or in the community (this has funded a lot of the murals around town including the painted utility boxes, the mural at Meadows Elementary and the mural at Brown v. the Board). I am available to help write these.

NAACP Youth Forum—via zoom at 6:00 pm on February 18 th . Let me know if you are interested.

Topeka Zoo Eco Club-- EcoClub provides an opportunity for children and teens who are interested in the environment to meet and share ideas and interests on how to positively impact the planet. We will meet live animals, talk conservation, and develop projects to help our community and our world! https://topekazoo.org/education/clubs/

The Topeka Youth Commission is looking for members.  Think of this as being a lot like mentors or linkcrew. It provides a voice for youth in the decisions and policies of government agencies, schools and community organizations affecting the lives of young people. Here is a link to the application, C

Topeka Youth Court--This is a court run by students for students. Students act in all roles of the court, attorneys, judge, and bailiff.  They hear, try and determine sentencing for the cases they hear. Their determinations (often community service in my experience) are legally binding. Apply at https://www.topekayouthproject.com/what-we-do#YouthCourt

Kansas Bar Association Mock Trial-- Mock trials involve preparing for and participating in simulated trials for which high school students prepare and practice. Find out more and apply at https://www.ksbar.org/members/group_content_view.asp?group=145385&id=553188jir

Air Explorer Post #8-- https://www.post8.org/. Go to weekly classes, participate in volunteer work and fundraising and for a comparatively small price, students can get their pilots license. 



The Brewster Place Intergeneration Program “Brewster Buddies” —through this program students are paired with seniors at Brewster, and call/zoom with seniors and develop friendships.  Brewster provides a list of questions/topics for discussion and/or you can combine this doing an oral history project through KSHS.  Right now this is all virtual, but we are hoping for in-person. We would also love to find students who would be willing to perform.  Email me if you are interested in this.

Meals on Wheels—Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver meals.  This does require 2 people, a driver and a “runner” so it is best done with family members.  Here is the link, https://www.midlandcareconnection.org/meals-on-wheels/volunteer-for-meals-on-wheels/

United Way has a variety of safe volunteer experiences, https://unitedwaytopeka.galaxydigital.com/


The Historic Topeka Cemetery has the following needs, for all of them contact,. Call Lisa Sandmeyer at 233-4132 or message Historic Topeka Cemetery on Facebook for details.


Google Earth has an app for creating street level views for posting on its site. Topeka Cemetery has several roads that aren’t showing on Google Earth and some other areas that need updating. Check out the Street View app to see if that’s something you would like to tackle.


Topeka Cemetery has many stories written about interesting people buried there, and they need to be brought to video in order to help us engage more people on more platforms. We also need someone who can take still images and marry them to an audio track to make videos this could easily be combined with a National History Day project)

Yard work:

Section 73 in Topeka Cemetery is one of the baby sections, and the headstones there are crooked, tumbled over and not in a straight line. We’d like to get the area cleaned up and the stones straightened. Most are small – you won’t be expected to move any large stones. You will need to bring your own shovels, grass clippers and gloves.


Ask me about Acceleration: 

CLEP testing through Modern States Freshman Year for Free website https://modernstates.org/

CTE college classes through community colleges,https://www.kansasregents.org/resources/PDF/2233-CTEBROCHURE.pdf

For sophomores and juniors  Summer Classes at Washburn Univ --

You need to fill out the non-degree seeking application even if you are doing CEP right now – it’s a different type of application that has different information requirements. This is not restricted on age as long as students have any pre-requisites required for the class! Since you would be  taking classes as a non-degree seeking student you will not  be eligible for financial aid and the classes would be full price. If you have questions contact Indigo Wilson-Schmidt at [email protected].

Modern States First Year for Free

 It is a site where you can sign up, take free online classes and then you call WU and arrange to take a CLEP exam.  If you go through the Modern States website and get the voucher (you have to have the voucher not just the code) you can take the exam for free at WU--if you don't do this there is a $25 proctoring fee. WU's testing site also has free study guides for each of the tests that they proctor.    https://modernstates.org/freshman-year-free/


Ask Ms. S. about these.....

UMKC/KSU Summer Architecture/Design Opportunity:   https://info.umkc.edu/aupd/design-discovery-program/

KSU Grain Science and Ag programs offer a College for a Day shadow program. Talk to Ms. S. if you are interested. 

Volunteer opportunities--see attached sheet at the bottom of the page

Liz's Summer Theatre Opportunities powerpoint 


Shadow at KSU school of Agriculture...https://www.ag.k-state.edu/agexperience/

Topeka Art Guild http://www.topekaartguild.org/

 The Topeka Art Guild in Fairlawn Plaza has the following workshops every Thursday:

1-2  drawing  (free)
2-4  watercolor (free)
4-6 acrylic ($10 fee)
6-8 acrylic  ($10 fee)

No appointment is necessary.  Students may bring supplies/project but do not have to. 

KSU Excite Shadow Days for Women--https://www.k-state.edu/excite/EXCITEshadowDays.html

The Topeka and Shawnee Public Library Teen Advisory Board is looking for members. Talk to Claire Coultis is you are interested. 

Job Shadowing: see the required paperwork at the bottom of the page.  Open to juniors and seniors--field trip rules apply.

Kansas Youth Institute

KSU Youth Institute https://www.worldfoodprize.org/index.cfm?nodeID=87664&audienceID=1#Further opportunitites

Children's Discover Center Summer Internship


Standard Field Trip Rules:

Students must have all "B"s and above.  Students must have talked to all teachers and must have a signed permission slip from the teachers whose classes they will miss in order to attend.  

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