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February 2018
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Partner in Education

Superintendent Soma Reads to First Grade Students

“TCAPS manages the resources that have been entrusted to us by the community responsibly and with care.”

TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,

In the same way that our teachers use different measures to assess student learning and identify when students have successfully mastered content, the school district uses different measures to indicate its success in financial management. One of these measures is the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting awarded by the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO).

Often referred to as the gold standard in financial reporting, TCAPS has received this prestigious award for the last 13 years in a row. I am proud that over the last decade, what started out as a best practice has become the new standard for the district. The nationally recognized award is given based on a school district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which demonstrates the credibility of a school system’s operations, the integrity and technical competence of its business staff, and transparency and accountability in financial reporting. Less than 3% of school districts in Michigan typically receive this award each year.

As John Muzzo, the executive director of ABSO International said, “The CAFR informs parents and other stakeholders about the financial and economic state of the district, making it an important communications tool for building trust and engaging with the school community.”

We could not perform the critical function of a school system, educating our community’s children, without the financial resources necessary to carry out our mission. The fact that we operate our high quality school system with very limited resources makes being good, transparent stewards of those resources even more important. Receiving another Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting is an honor that shows that TCAPS manages the resources that have been entrusted to us by the community responsibly and with care.

View the 2017 TCAPS Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Paul A. Soma, Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

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Partner in Education

Old Mission students donate items to fill the TC High School pantry

Old Mission Peninsula School Collects Donations for Traverse City High School Pantry

In order to help students who may be experiencing food insecurity or lack fixed or adequate housing, the PTO at Old Mission Peninsula School has been collecting donations to help stock the pantry at Traverse City High School with food and personal care items. The next collection is March 9th to March 16th. Donations are also accepted at the school’s office.

Click here to learn more


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TCAPS News & Events

“Create, explore, and think in a nurturing, engaging, and fun environment.”

Preschool Registration—Current Preschool Families May Enroll Now

Preschool programs offer young learners the opportunity to create, explore, and think in environments that are nurturing, engaging and fun. If you are looking to enroll your child in the TCAPS preschool program next school year, please see the following registration timeline and information.

2018-2019 Registration Timeline
  • Current and sibling registration going on now.
  • February 21 - New family registration begins
  • March 7 - Estimated date TCAPS will begin notifying families on enrollment status.
New families and sibling will need to request an access ID prior to registering online. Go to for more information.


TCAPS Annual Preschool Raffle—Tickets on Sale February 12th-March 23rd

TCAPS' annual preschool raffle is underway! This fundraiser began as a way to help make preschool more accessible to all children regardless of income. Proceeds from the raffle are used to provide tuition scholarships for families in need. 

Raffle tickets are on sale February 12th through March 23rd. The drawing will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6th.

  • 1st Prize:  One full year of preschool tuition (up to $6,500 value) OR $1,500 cash
  • 2nd Prize:  One half year of preschool tuition (up to $3,500 value) OR $1,000 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $500 cash

  • Tickets can be purchased from current preschool families and/or at the TCAPS Early Childhood Office, 412 Webster Street, 2nd floor (231.933.1759).

    TCAPS Board Coffee Conversation—February 22nd

    The TCAPS Board of Education will host its monthly Coffee Conversation on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The topic will be the August 7th TCAPS Capital Bond. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss other topics of interest with a TCAPS board member.

    Eastern Elementary School and Old Mission Peninsula School Students Participate in Joint STEM Activities—March-April

    As part of the transition from Old Mission Peninsula School to Eastern Elementary School, which will take place at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, students from both schools will be meeting up at Central High School in March and April to participate in STEM activity days. Students from both schools will participate in the STEM activity days by grade level. The activities will be facilitated by the Central High School Student Senate and SCI-MA-TECH program. The activities will allow students to have the opportunity to participate in STEM activities, meet other students in their grade, and be mentored by high school students.

    TC Central High School Hall of Fame Moves Induction to Homecoming, Extends Hall of Fame Nomination Deadline to March 1st

    The Traverse City Central High School Hall of Fame has announced a date change for its annual induction ceremony. Normally held on Friday evening prior to graduation in June, the ceremony will be moved to the fall and will be held in conjunction with the Trojans’ Homecoming football game on Sept. 28, 2018. The official induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29. An ice cream social will be held at 1:00 p.m., followed by the ceremony at 2:00 p.m.

    Due to the date change, the 2018 deadline has been extended. Nominations must be received at the Traverse City Central High School main office by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The nominator is required to provide a completed nomination form, photo of the candidate, and three letters of support for the candidate. Download application form here.

    The Hall of Fame was created to recognize former TC Central students and staff members who have made an exceptional contribution to society, achieved exceptional success, brought honor and prestige to the school, and are outstanding role models for TC Central students.

    Last year’s inductees were Lynne Moon, Henry “Hank” Johnson, Arnell Engstrom, and Harry T. Running. A total of 62 alumni and staff have been selected since the Hall of Fame was created in 2004.

    For more information contact Hall of Fame co-chairs John Sonnemann (, 231-633-2988) or Jon Constant (, 231-632-6539) or call the TC Central main office at 231-933-3500.

    Traverse City West Senior High School Presents “Legally Blonde The Musical”—March 2nd-11th

    Tickets are now on sale for one of Broadway's hottest musicals being performed this spring at Traverse City West Senior High School. “Legally Blonde The Musical” hits the stage March 2, 2018, through March 11, 2018, with 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening performances and 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees. “Legally Blonde The Musical” tells the story of Delta Nu Sorority Sister Elle Woods as she tries to win back her college boyfriend Warner by any means possible. Along the way, she meets Emmett and Paulette who, along with her Delta Nu Sorority sisters, help her tackle stereotypes and scandal in proving herself to the world. Complete with lots of action, catchy songs that you’ll be singing for days, and dynamic dances - this musical is so much fun, it should be illegal. Tickets are $12 to $22 and can be purchased at or 1-800-836-0717.

    Legally Blonde

    Traverse Heights Elementary School to Host OK2SAY Community Presentation—March 13th

    On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, Traverse Heights Elementary School will host a community presentation of the OK2SAY/Cyber Safety Initiative program offered by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the school’s library (933 Rose St.). The event is free and open to the public. In addition, some TCAPS elementary schools will also be hosting presentations of the program designed for younger audiences during the week of March 12-16, 2018. For more information about the program, visit:

    East Middle School Mini-Documentary about the Local Opioid Crisis Available to View

    Traverse City East Middle School students in the school’s digital media class created a short documentary about the local opioid crisis, titled “Predator & Prey: Opioids’ savage effect on our community,” which is now available to watch online. Students researched and interviewed experts and families and friends affected by addiction, producing a moving and informative video. View the documentary here.

    Traverse City High School Receives Donation to Provide All Students Free Breakfast and Lunch

    An anonymous donor has provided $3,000 to Traverse City High School to allow the school to provide free breakfast and lunch to all of its students. Serving no cost meals to students removes the stigma of not having food to eat and allows students to have the nutrition they need for their minds to be fueled and ready to learn. The effort is part of the school’s intense student support network, which works to remove barriers to learning by connecting students with the services and supports they need to be successful.

    TCAPS Offers Opportunity for Veterans to Receive a Diploma

    TCAPS offers the opportunity for veterans to receive a diploma. Under Public Act 181 of 2001 and Public Act 55 of 2014, the board of a Michigan school district can award high school diplomas to WWII, Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era veterans in recognition of their service and sacrifice. The law permits WWII veterans who left high school between December 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946, and did not subsequently receive a high school degree, to now apply for a diploma. Korean War veterans who left high school between June 23, 1950, and January 31, 1955, may also apply. Veterans of the Vietnam Era must have served between February 29, 1961, and May 7, 1975, to qualify for this diploma. Family members may apply on the behalf of a living or deceased veteran. For more information, please contact Mary Beth Stein at 231-933-1718. 

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    Calendar Reminders

    March 23rd Spring recess begins, no school for students, full day for staff
    April 3rd School resumes



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    “Parents and educators don't want our kids to just pass. We want them to excel!”

    Bill Marsh Gives Back

    The employees at Bill Marsh Price Point delivered a generous gift of $576.86 in support of students in need. “We wanted to raise money to help pay off past due lunch accounts for students at area schools. Our team at Price Point feels that having a hot, nutritious meal is essential to a child’s success, and a successful child is crucial to the success of our community," said Sales Manager Lisa Groleau.

    The team plans to make this an annual fundraiser where they gather donations from staff and the community at large via a Facebook Event. In addition to the $576.86, Partner In Education Bill Marsh Automotive Group donated $500 to match the donations raised by the team.

    “We hope it helps the students who need it most,” said Groleau. Indeed it will.

    Bill Marsh

    Trattoria Stella Hosting “Polenta + Personal Products” Fundraiser for STEP—March 11th

    On Sunday, March 11, 2018, at 6:00 p.m., TCAPS' Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) and Trattoria Stella invite you to the Polenta + Personal Products fundraiser. Enjoy a communal dining experience with polenta, four sauces, two salads, and two desserts. Bring body wash, lotion, shampoo, and/or conditioner to donate to STEP and receive a discount. Tickets are $30 (reg. $36) for adults and $12 (reg. $15) for kids. Reservations are required at 231.929.8989. STEP provides free supportive, education-related services to students, ages 3-20, who lack fixed, regular and adequate housing. 

    Polenta and Personal Items

    Peace, Love & Little Donuts

    Beginning this semester, some lucky TCAPS students will be receiving a treat from Peace, Love & Little Donuts each month. “We are truly committed to rewarding the students of TCAPS with a little bit of peace and love each month! The kids of the Traverse City community are some of our favorite customers! They are fun, interesting, poised, creative, smart, strong, hilarious and compassionate,” said store operator Steve Lord. “If we can recognize students for these wonderful qualities, it is our pleasure.”

    Thank you, Peace, Love & Little Donuts for being a Partner In Education.

    UpNorthMedia Turkey Trot Donates $5,000 to LEAP

    UpNorthMedia has donated $5,000 of the proceeds from the 10th Annual UpNorthMedia Turkey Trot, presented by 4Front Credit Union, to Traverse City Area Public Schools. The funds will support scholarships for students who qualify for free or reduced meals to participate in the extracurricular opportunities offered by TCAPS’ Learning, Enrichment and Athletic Program (LEAP).

    Paradigm Electric Donates 10 Robots to Northern Michigan Partnership

    “Parents and educators don't want our kids to just pass. We want them to excel!  To soar, to overcome, and to have opportunities we could only dream of,” said Jeff Morgan, community expert for the Northern Michigan Partnership (NMP) robots class.

    So when the idea to do a robotics class at the Northern Michigan Partnership came up, parents were more than excited.  Having kids start at such a young age with assembling, programming and solving puzzles with robots is more than educational.  It is a launching pad to realize their passions, create leaders, and inspire community involvement.

    The challenge to purchase the robotics materials, was met by a generous donation from Paradigm Electric. “It’s a gift to our kids and school that will teach technology, teamwork and open up the very reaches of space,” said Morgan. Learn more about the Northern Michigan Partnership.

    Resurrection Life Church – Stallworth Companion to STEP

    Resurrection Life Church continues to generously support TCAPS' Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP). STEP Director Abby Jordan was recently invited by Pastors Tony and Bob to speak with the congregation about how STEP helps students experiencing homelessness, and to discuss the most pertinent and unmet needs of our current students. Over the past four years, STEP has gratefully received donations from Resurrection Life Church of over $20,000 in winter clothing, 70 duffel bags filled with clothing, toiletries, etc. and, most recently, 100 backpacks filled with school supplies, and personal items totaling more than $5,000 in value.

    This school year alone, Resurrection Life Church donated more than 150 winter jackets! This incredible congregation has served close to 700 students and provided STEP with approximately $68,000 in donated items! This offering of kindness and resources, from Resurrection Life Church, truly helps by removing some of the barriers to learning for those who need it most.

    the Big Give

    The Students in Transition Empowerment Program is administered by TCAPS and provides free supportive, education-related services to students, ages 3-20, who lack fixed, regular and adequate housing. The STEP program works with eligible students to locate and coordinate available services based on each student’s individual needs. The goal of the program is to ensure school stability, remove barriers to full participation in their education, and support academic achievement while children are in residential transition.

    Again, we would like to graciously extend our thanks to Resurrection Life Church and their big-hearted congregation for their compassion and dedication to STEP and students in the Traverse City area.

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    Traverse City Area Public Schools
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