view in browser

October 2018
Hometown Heroes
hOurs to Give

News & Events

Partner in Education

Superintendent's Message

We have an amazing school system with an incredibly diverse set of learners. One of the best parts of my job is visiting our schools and talking with students and staff. I would like to share with you an inside glimpse of the great things happening in our schools through video conversations taken during my visits throughout the year.

Please take a moment to view the video (below) of my recent visit to Traverse City High School and hear what the students and staff had to share about their school.

Click to view the TC High video
Click the image to watch the message.

To view September's video with staff and students at Eastern Elementary School, please click here.



News & Events

Partner in Education

Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes Veterans Appreciation

In appreciation for the sacrifices those in service have made to keep our country free, the Grand Traverse County Senior Center Network held its 3rd Annual Hometown Heroes Veterans Appreciation event on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Veterans met at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station and boarded buses for a guided tour of our area’s monuments and memorials built in memory of those who served our country in the armed forces.

Eastern Elementary School students supplied patriotic decorated placemats while Central Grade School students cheered on our area Veterans as their caravan passed by the school. Students made heartfelt signs and chanted “U-S-A” while Veterans waved flags and saluted out the bus windows. It was a very special moment. Following the tour, Veterans had lunch at the Air Station and enjoyed a special program honoring their service to our country.

learn more about TBACU Mobile App


hOurs to Give

Partner in Education

National Merit Program
TCAPS News & Events

Results data shows student achievement is increasing across multiple measures and far outpacing peers, the region, and the state.

State of the District

On September 24, 2018, the Superintendent shared an update on the state of the district as part of a quarterly progress update. The presentation focused on a few key areas that have been goals for the district and are summarized below.

Student Achievement - Data shows student achievement is increasing across multiple measures (MSTEP, NWEA, SAT) and far outpacing peers (school districts with similar populations, serving similar percentages of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch), the region, and the state.

Bond - The August 2018 TCAPS Capital Bond proposal was successfully passed by more than a 2 to 1 margin. It was a community effort and our community showed tremendous support for the work we do and the value TCAPS provides.

Budget - The budget is structurally balanced, an additional $2.6 million (from sale of land/buildings) has been put toward the fund balance, plus another approximately $300,000 from normal operations (leading to achieving the Board’s goal of an 8.4% fund balance two years ahead of schedule), and an investment of more than $2 million has been made over the past four years into new curriculum materials. In addition, the Board and executive leadership have committed to a budget process that has the instructional priorities driving the budget (vs. the more common practice of the budget driving priorities). The district has also built “resilience” into its operations by instituting innovative programs and continued advocacy for fair distribution of resources.

Work Environment - The district has settled 3-year contracts with all six of its labor groups, and continues to have strong relationships with district employees (more than 1,000 employees in six different unions plus employees who are not affiliated with a union).

Student Enrollment - Current student enrollment numbers indicate that the district’s enrollment remains strong, even in the face of declining student populations across the region and state.

Additional detail and data points are provided in the presentation, which can be viewed here: District Quarterly Review and Update 9-24-18

TCAPS Commits to Building Intense Student Support Network

One element of The Blueprint - the district’s strategic plan - is the development of an Intense Student Support Network (ISSN). The ISSN is an important component of supporting EACH child because caring adults, in a caring school community, are the link to achievement, graduation, and a future of meaningful options for students. For this reason, we are committed to:

1. Care - Every adult supports every student with a ferocious unwillingness to allow a student to flounder or fail.

2. Support - For students to build confidence and willingness to invest themselves, their participation in academic tasks must be accompanied by personal support from teachers.

3. Safety - While expectations are clear, firm, and consistently enforced, action is centered on students as persons not simply as occupants of the institution of school. Students are seen as resources to be developed rather than as problems to be managed.

4. Membership - Engaging students in a variety of ways is fundamental so that they are not just physically present, but intellectually immersed, socially connected and emotionally centered.

The ISSN seeks to build a continuum of support that may encompass a variety of non-academic needs which may present themselves at any time: social, emotional, health, and nutritional needs as well as the impact of trauma on student learning, emotional health, behavior, and the ability to formulate meaningful relationships.

The Intense Student Support Network will engage with families to better connect students to the school community and will also work with community agencies to provide support in areas that may extend beyond the capacity of the district and school to provide alone. The Intense Student Support Network will ensure that our district is prepared to meet the academic and non-academic needs of all students who belong to our district.

See our teaching staff’s commitment to each child in their own words in the video below.

ISSN Video
Click the image to watch the video.

TCAPS Art Teacher Tara Gang Honors Grandfather, Veterans on Honor Flight

Over 60 Veterans took part in the Honor Flight from Traverse City to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. TCAPS Art teacher Tara Gang’s grandfather, Ray Terwillegar, a purple heart recipient, was on the flight. Ms. Gang used the opportunity to have elementary art students make lasting connections through service art. Willow Hill Elementary School 5th grade students created artistic tributes to Mr. Terwillegar and his fellow Honor Flight passengers. The mail was a surprise to the Veterans, which were passed out during the flight "mail call", just like in their military service times. The videos highlight students’ work and their reactions to honoring the Veteran’s service.

Honor Flight
Click the image to watch the video.

Click to watch Honor Flight 2
Click the image to watch the video.

Traverse Heights Elementary School Named Most Walk-tastic School in Northern Michigan

With a strategy combining kids walking from home, parents driving to then walking with their child and school buses dropping off students several blocks away from school, nearly the entire Traverse Heights population took this awesome way to class on October 10, 2018. Congratulations to the Traverse Heights school community for being named the “2018 Most Walk-tastic School in Northern Michigan” as well as to the other schools within TCAPS who received honorable mentions:

Courtade Elementary School
Eastern Elementary School
Central Grade School
TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis
Westwoods Elementary School
Willow Hill Elementary School
Silver Lake Elementary School
West Middle School
East Middle School

Thank you to Partner In Education Norte! for making this excellent event happen.

Walk-tastic School

Long Lake Elementary School Students Participate in 3rd Annual Great Lakes Apple Crunch

Long Lake Elementary preschool through 5th grade students participated in the Great Lakes Apple Crunch on October 8, 2018. The Great Lakes Apple Crunch is an annual celebration of fresh, local apples and Long Lake Elementary School was able to participate thanks to a generous donation from a local farmer.

Long Lake Crunch

The Gallagher Family, owners of the Rove Estate Vineyard and Winery, provided an apple for every Long Lake Elementary student. Kylan Gallagher, student and family member, led the crunch at the school. Students agreed that the Gala variety donated was sweet, tart and crunchy!

Click top watch the video of the Apple Crunch
Click the image to watch the video.

TCAPS Students Participated in Manufacturing Day—October 5th

On Friday, October 5, 2018, TCAPS students participated in the annual Manufacturing Day, which is designed to be a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Students toured different local facilities and were introduced to the diverse employment opportunities that the manufacturing world offers. Participating businesses included Britten Woodworks, Trantek Automation, Oilgear, Tool North, and VP Demand Creation Services along with many other local manufacturers who were visited by an estimated 900 total students from across the region.

Traverse City Central High School Presents “Newsies The Musical”—November 9th-18th


Traverse City Central High School presents “Newsies The Musical” November 9-18, 2018 (1150 Milliken Dr.). Set in turn-of-the century New York City, “Newsies The Musical” is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged "newsies." When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right. Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, “Newsies” features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” “Newsies” is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience. Tickets are available at or by calling 1-800-836-0717. The cost is $25 for VIP tickets, $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens.

Evening Performances
7:00 p.m.
Fridays – Nov. 9 & 16
Saturdays – Nov. 10 & 17

Matinee Performances
2:00 p.m.
Saturdays – Nov. 10 & 17
Sundays – Nov. 11 & 18


tcapsloop weekly podcast

International Society for Technology in Education Highlights TCAPSLoop Podcast in Newsletter

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recently highlighted TCAPS’ very own “TCAPSLoop Weekly” podcast in its September newsletter that is distributed to edtech professionals across the globe. TCAPSLoop Weekly is a podcast that tackles topics related to technology that impact our students and families. Recent episodes include: Teens and Social Media, Digital Citizenship, and a series on the ISTE Standards for Educators. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or GooglePlay.

Join The TCAPS Team!

Traverse City Area Public Schools is seeking qualified candidates to serve in a variety of hourly-paid positions for the current school year. Inspire, encourage, engage, and help TCAPS’ students in an academic environment.

Available positions include:
  • Extended Day Child Care Assistants
  • Instructional Aides
  • Non-Instructional Aides
  • Noon Duty/Lunch Time Aides
  • Bus Drivers
  • Bus Driver Aides
  • Custodians
  • Food Service Workers
TCAPS employees enjoy:
  • Monday-Friday work schedule
  • Paid holidays and vacations
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • Dependent care and medical care reimbursement accounts
  • Work in a variety of settings
  • Tuition reimbursement program
  • Community employee discounts
  • Opportunity for professional growth
  • Opportunity to work with amazing colleagues
To view our open positions, please visit: For more information about employment, please contact Human Resources at or 231-933-1710.

TC West Robotics Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser - November 3rd

Join TC West Robotics for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on November 3rd from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., The event will be held at the Masonic Lodge (13360 S. West Bay Shore Dr.) and will include robotic demonstrations, a 50/50 raffle, and a silent auction. Cost is $10 per person. Kids 10 and under are free. For more information, contact

Long Lake Elementary School Craft Show - November 10th

Long Lake Elementary School (7600 N. Long Lake Road) will host its annual craft show on November 10, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vendors interested in having a booth can obtain an application by emailing Handmade vendors preferred. Direct sale vendors will be limited.

Meals for Musicians! - November 13th

Traverse City Central High School’s EuroChorale to host Meals for Musicians! Generous local eateries are donating a percentage of sales to support the 2019 EuroChorale. Students will travel to Italy for four very special performances, including one at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. This trip of a lifetime will only be attainable for many students through community support. Dine in or carry out at the Red Mesa Grill on November 13th. Ten percent of all food sales between 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. will directly support students traveling to Italy. Make sure to mention that you are there to support the TC Central High School EuroChorale. For additional information, email Sarah at

TC West Senior High School 10th Annual Arts and Craft Show - November 17th

Seeking crafters for the Traverse City West Senior High School (5376 N. Long Lake Rd.) annual craft show to be held on November 17th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Applications are available by emailing Laura at Only original, handcrafted work will be accepted. Some commercial items will be accepted, however, based on available space..

TCTA Annual Scholarship Fall Craft Show - November 17th

The Traverse City Transportation Association will host its annual scholarship craft show on November 17, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the V.F.W. Cherryland Post 2780 (3400 Veterans Dr.). In addition to great arts and crafts, there will also be a bake sale and silent auction. Food will be available for purchase. Anyone interested in being a vendor for the craft show can contact Megan Wilkinson at 231. 632.3119 or Money raised will go towards scholarships for one student from each TCAPS high school.

Calendar Reminders

November 2nd Half day for students, full day for staff
November 6th No school, Election Day, full day for staff
November 21st No school, full day for staff
November 22nd-23rd No school, Thanksgiving recess

View the school year calendar here.

Earn Money For Your School


News & Events

hOurs to Give

Partner in Education

"It's never too early or too late to start planning for college."

Michigan College Planning Workshops

Sign up now for the upcoming college planning workshop offered through the TCAPS LEAP program. In this FREE one hour session, you will learn valuable information! Parents will learn how to maximize their admissions, lower the cost of attendance, increase financial aid eligibility, and lower out of pocket expenses. It's never too early or too late to start planning and finding ways to save. By registering for this no-cost workshop at, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a Red Ginger Gift Card! For more information, call 231.947.0203. The workshop will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the following date:

  • Tuesday, November 13 - TC East Middle School (1776 Three Mile Rd. N.) Library

United Way Launches 2-1-1 to Connect Those in Need to Community Resources

United Way of Northwest Michigan has launched 2-1-1, a phone number to connect those in need to resources that are available in the community. 2-1-1 is dedicated to making it easier to learn what services you or a friend qualify for, where to go, and how to access programs. By simply dialing 2-1-1 from any landline (or 1-800-887-1107), texting (898211), or going on the web (, you can find information and connect to hundreds of resources.

Tropical Smoothie Donates Healthy Halloween Treat to Kids

Partner In Education Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and local franchisee John-Paul Calka, is a proud supporter of our local schools throughout the year. This Halloween season, we are excited for Tropical Smoothie Cafe to share a tasty treat with students, offering a healthier alternative to sugary sweets! All TCAPS elementary school students will receive a coupon for one free kids smoothie valid through November 30, 2018. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has two locations in Traverse City. For more information, visit

Snack Drive

Copyright (c) 2018
Traverse City Area Public Schools
Contact Us: