From its inception in 1849, TPS remains a progressive, forward-thinking school district. While the definition of this has changed over the years, Toledo Public Schools continues to offer its students the ability to build their best future.
What does this mean in today’s education landscape? We’ve outlined some of the unique options and programs offered by TPS that help students not only be successful in their schooling, but build careers.
TPS Student-Focused Programs
Magnet Schools Offering Specialized Instruction:
While the traditional high schools remain a part of the TPS structure, there are now four magnet schools within the district. These schools offer specialized instruction in high-growth industries, giving students the ability to learn the skills that will help them launch a successful career while still in high school.
These magnet schools include:
The College Credit Plus Program
Another program offered to students within the TPS district is the College Credit Plus (CCP) program. This allows high school students to enroll in classes at colleges or universities, earning credits for both their high school and college transcripts.
The program enables students to take advantage of a wider variety of options. The courses are of no cost to the student as long as the college course is also taken for high school graduation credit — this includes tuition, textbooks, materials and any other fees.
Students Have Choices at TPS
The students within the Toledo Public Schools district have choices. They are able to decide between several TPS schools, allowing them to have a hand in creating the best high school experience possible.
The TPS Foundation is now accepting applications for the organization’s 2018 scholarship program. The foundation offers scholarships to students whether they’re pursuing a traditional post-secondary education or opting for a post-secondary Career Tech certification program. By offering scholarships for use in both settings, the foundation is able to support exemplary graduating seniors no matter which path they choose post-graduation.
TPS board member Gaye Martin stated, “As a TPSF scholarship committee member, I have the privilege to review scholarship applications that show not only the great effort but also some of the personal circumstances TPS students overcome to succeed academically and still have great hope for their future.”
Scholarship Applications Now Available
The TPS Foundation is now accepting applications for scholarships which will be designated in the spring of 2018. Students may locate the application online, and must submit by January 31 at 11:59 p.m. The application has a list of all requirements, including test scores, activity involvement and essay details. Students interested in applying are encouraged to visit the online application as early as they can to begin to review and compile all information needed for the application.
The scholarships are awarded in the amounts of $500, $1,000 and $1,500 to a variety of TPS students. With a long list of scholarships available—all with specific focuses that relate to a variety of students — the foundation urges all graduating seniors to submit an application.
The TPS Foundation scholarship eligibility requirements include the following:
The Mission of the TPS Foundation
Offering scholarships to TPS graduating seniors is only one component of the organization’s mission. Our four main objectives also include providing financial support to help enhance TPS facilities, offering support to other TPS high school foundations and advocating for pre-K programs that will benefit future TPS students.
The Toledo Public Schools Foundation has a 25-year history, but in October 2017, the foundation took a major step in its mission of revitalization by naming a new executive director. What was an organization that awarded scholarships once a year to TPS students is now becoming an established nonprofit that focuses on providing year-round support to students, teachers and the district as a whole.
Executive Director Erica Halada will lead the once volunteer-supported group to strategic growth that will impact students throughout the district.
A Mission that Goes Beyond Scholarships
A Toledo Blade article published on November 23, 2017 outlined Halada’s thoughts regarding the foundation’s growth, which will include expanded financial support to students pursuing alternative post-secondary education options, classroom grants, increased preschool opportunities — and, of course, a focus on growing a strong and involved network of TPS alumni.
Under the leadership of Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/superintendent, Toledo Public Schools has expanded its programs and support to students at each stage of their education — an effort that has made a significant impact in student performance and the district’s success. With the district making this investment, it only made sense for the TPS Foundation to expand its efforts to include more than traditional scholarships.
Dr. Durant explained, “It is really supporting TPS on the front end with early childhood, on the back end with apprenticeships and scholarships and in the middle with schools that can request funding for programs that fit our mission and vision.”
Engaging TPS Alumni
To grow the foundation in the direction that the board wishes, it is crucial to create a network of engaged TPS alumni. One of the goals put forth by the executive director is to engage with graduates — both those who are local, and graduates who may no longer be in the Toledo area but believe in the foundation's mission. Not only will a connected group of graduates help to strengthen support, it will also help the foundation to grow the endowment fund.
Bob LaClair, TPSF board member and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, said, “The board really feels like we’ve got an opportunity with alumni who have gone on to be successful to build up an endowment.” This endowment will then directly support the mission of the foundation and make an impact in the lives of TPS students.
“It is really exciting to think about what the alumni association can be in years to come, and I think if we engage the right way, the dollars will come,” said Halada.
Making a Difference in the Community
If the strides the foundation has made in just two short years is any indication, there are nothing but good things to come for the students in the TPS district. As Halada shared with the Toledo Blade, “A flourishing public school system means higher employment rates, lower crime rates, a healthier community, and lower poverty rates. We should all have a stake in that.”
On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, more than 800 TPS students participated in a Spartan Community Day Workshop which was hosted by Joe De Sena, Spartan Race CEO and founder. The program brought together middle school students from 13 area TPS schools, all gathered at the Huntington Center for a day filled with activity. The health-focused workshop provided TPS students with the opportunity to learn and practice age-appropriate body weight exercise that can be done from their own homes, whether it be in their bedrooms, living rooms or backyard.
Dr. Durant, who was in attendance during the workshop, stated, “This is an excellent example of how we can come together as a community to share the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle by actually providing our students with opportunities to truly experience it firsthand and not just talk about it.”
The event was made possible through a partnership with EPIC Toledo. The organization brought Mr. De Sena into the area for a community leadership event, and after realizing the greater impact that could be made, reached out to TPS administration and local organizations for support in this student-focused effort - the Toledo Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) was one of those supporting organizations!
The Board of Education of Toledo Public Schools is hosting the 2017 State of the District address on Wednesday, October 11. Dr. Durant, TPS CEO/Superintendent, TPS board members and and several other district representatives and supporters will be at the event.