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February 2019
Blueprint for Success
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News & Events

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Superintendent's Message

TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,

I have had a lot of fun visiting buildings this year. We visited the newly reconstructed Eastern Elementary School. We stopped in at Silver Lake Elementary School to hear what students and staff were thankful for in November. We learned about the music program from West Middle School students, and we talked to Traverse City High School students about what makes their school truly unique.

Today’s focus is on science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. To learn more, we visited students in the SCI-MA-TECH program at Central High School. I think you will be impressed with the students, their level of expertise, and how they see their learning applying to life after graduation. After watching this video, I think you will agree the future is bright!

Paul A. Soma

Click to view the Sci-Ma-Tech Video
Click the image to watch the message.

To view previous Our:TCAPS episodes, please click here.



News & Events

Partner in Education

West Middle School students collect socks for STEP Program
West Middle School students collect socks for STEP Program.

Sock Drive

The TCAPS Music Department held their annual Sock Drive this winter for students in TCAPS’ STEP program. Socks were collected at East Middle School, West Middle School, West Senior High School and Central High School. Nearly 1,000 pairs of socks were delivered to the STEP coordinator at each site for distribution to students in need. Socks were also collected at the Boardman Administration building and delivered to the STEP coordinator, Abigail Jordan, at TC High School.

Sock Drive

Sock Drive

Sock Drive

TC Patriot Game Accepting Applications from Veteran Groups

Veteran organizations are encouraged to apply online to receive the proceeds from the 2019 TC Patriot Game at The deadline for all applications is March 31, 2019.

The top five organizations will be invited to make a presentation to the Student Senate members from TC Central and TC West Senior High schools in April. One Veteran group from the five finalists will be the event beneficiary. Now in its eighth year, the TC Patriot Game has awarded $81,000 to six different Veteran organizations. Last year’s game raised a record $16,000 that went to Warrior Sailing.

“The money is a small part of the benefit of the game,” says TC Patriot Game chair Scott Herzberg. “The recognition for the organization can help put them on the map. They become a critical part of the largest high school sporting event in northern Michigan.”

The game uses the football clash between the rival schools to honor Veterans, active duty military and first responders. Coaches from both schools championed the game as a way to show their players that, while this is an important game, there are currently people all over the world working to secure our freedom. Money is raised through sponsorships and the sale of commemorative shirts. For 2019 sponsorship and event information go to

Patriot Game



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National Merit Scholarship Program
TCAPS News & Events

"National Merit Scholar Finalists are high school seniors who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies."

Five Students Named 2019 National Merit Scholar Finalists

TCAPS is pleased to announce that five students have been named Finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholar Competition. Central High School students, Matthew Failor, Lukas Hazen-Bushbaker, Edward Roe, and Massimo Vozza, and West Senior High School student, Ian M. Beck, made the 2019 Finalist list. National Merit Scholar Finalists are high school seniors who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The Finalists were selected from a nationwide pool of Semifinalists representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and including the highest scoring entrants in each state. Approximately 15,000 Semifinalists advanced to Finalist standing and will now have the opportunity to receive one of 7,500 scholarships worth approximately $31 million. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2019 will be announced between April and July. Each year, about 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools across the country enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.

Two Central High School Students Win MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Awards

Two student-athletes from Traverse City Central High School, Jade Turner and Edward Roe, have been named winners of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's (MHSAA’s) 2019 Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Turner and Roe were among the 32 students selected from more than 1,600 applications to receive the Scholar-Athlete Award in all classes, and among 13 student-athletes from Class A member schools to receive the honor. To be eligible for the award, students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) and previously have won a varsity letter in at least one sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament. Students also were asked to respond to a series of short essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Scholar-Athlete Award winners will each receive a $1,000 scholarship from Farm Bureau Insurance, which underwrites the awards. A ceremony will be held to honor the 2019 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Final on March 16th at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.

To learn more, visit the MHSAA website.

Blair Elementary School Receives Trophy for Most Participants at the Junior VASA Ski Race

Blair Elementary School was awarded a trophy for having the most participants from any one school participate in the 2019 Junior VASA Ski race. The event was held on Saturday, February 9, 2019. Ten of the 44 registered youth skiers were from Blair Elementary School. Last year, only one student from Blair Elementary School participated. The school attributes the increased participation to exposure to skiing in physical education class, the creation of an afterschool Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Club at the school, and to the VASA Ski Club and its volunteers who help support the school’s students as they get active outside.

Central High School Student Earns Honors in Scholastic Art and Writing Competition

Jessica Chapman, a junior at Traverse City Central High School won a silver medal for writing and an honorable mention for art in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her work will be on display at the Kendall College of Art gallery in Grand Rapids. The exhibition will include exceptional works by students from 43 counties in the state of Michigan. Each piece included in the exhibit has received an award from the West Central Michigan Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Titans Advance to Finals at Northwest Michigan GTACS Vex Robotics Competition

The Titan VEX Robotics teams competed in their final tournament of the 2018-2019 robotics season at the Northwest Michigan GTACS VRC Qualifier in Traverse City on February 9, 2019. Four of the five teams advanced to the finals. Team 3767X placed second and received the Innovate Award. Team Y received the Design Award.

Titan Robotics

Titan Robotics

The Innovate Award is presented to a team that has demonstrated a strong combination of ingenuity and innovation in designing their VEX robot. Team X’s innovative dual shooting design has earned their team this award. The Design Award is presented to a team that demonstrates an organized and professional approach to the design process, project management, time management and team organization. Team Y had the best Engineering Notebook that was well organized illustrating their exemplary teamwork.

“All Titan teams have shown significant growth and perseverance in meeting the challenges presented by this season’s Turning Point Game. We could not be more proud of all our VEX teams,” said teacher and coach Mark Skodack. “We are excited for our Titan VEX Robotics teams to experience State and World Competition!”

Special thanks to Lead Mentor Dave Winowiecki and Mentor Kris Shafer in helping to prepare the team members, and to SEAS/GTACS for hosting such a great event.

Disney, Desserts, and Broadway!—February 22nd-23rd

Traverse City Central High School’s Vocal Department will host Disney, Desserts & Broadway! Performances will be held Friday, February 22, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. in the school’s auditorium (1150 Milliken Dr.). The event features performances of classic Disney and Broadway hits followed by desserts, face painting, book coloring, photo booth, story corner and more. The audience (both children and adults) is encouraged to dress as their favorite Disney character. Tickets are available at the door one hour before each performance and cost $12/adults and $6/children and students 18 and under. A family of four bundle is also offered for $30. For more information, call 231.933.6961.

Disney and Desserts

Traverse City West Senior High School's Music Department Presents Newsies!

Don’t miss Traverse City West Senior High School’s production of the Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon “Newsies”. Newsies tells the story of the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 against Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. When Hearst and Pulitzer raise distribution prices at the newsies’ expense, newsies across the city rally under their charismatic leader, Jack Kelly, a rebellious newsboy who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city, to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right! Now’s the time to seize the day! Show dates are March 8, 9, 15, 16 at 7:00 p.m. and March 10, 17 at 2:00 p.m. in the school’s auditorium (5376 N. Long Lake Rd.). Tickets are available at MyNorthTickets and at the door one hour before each performance. Ticket prices are $12 for General Seating, $17 for Green Seating and $22 for Gold Seating. For more information, call the box office at 1-800-836-0717.

West Senior High Newsies

TCAPS Educators Offer Insights into Digital Literacy

Danelle Brostrom, Educational Technology Coach, and Stephie Luyt, Elementary Library Coordinator, are passionate about digital citizenship and helping students, staff, and families navigate the digital world. They have shared their Parenting in the Digital Age presentation at PTO meetings and school event nights. They recently authored a forum piece in the Record-Eagle.

Early Registration for 2019-2020 Preschool Open Through March 24th

The early registration period for TCAPS’ 2019-2020 tuition-based preschool programs is open now through March 24th. All interested families are invited to sign up during this time. Families who sign up and complete all required forms during this registration period will be notified the week of April 15th of their approval/placement status. A registration fee of $40 per student will be assessed at a later date.

preschool registration

Scheduling options at all locations are: full day and half day - five, three and two days per week. Tuition fees have also been reduced for the year to reflect anticipated snow days (and prorated for part-time enrollees), eliminating snow day credits at the end of the year.

Please visit: for registration instructions and additional program information.

2019-2020 Kindergarten Enrollment Meetings

TCAPS elementary schools will host kindergarten enrollment meetings beginning in February and March for families interested in learning more about TCAPS’ kindergarten programs and the enrollment process. Meeting dates are as follows (in the event of a snow day, meetings will be rescheduled):
  • Blair Elementary School - Feb. 21, 5:30 p.m.
  • Central Grade School - Mar. 14, 5:30 p.m.
  • Cherry Knoll Elementary School - Mar. 5, 5:30 p.m.
  • Courtade Elementary School - Mar. 14, 5:30 p.m.
  • Eastern Elementary School - Feb. 20, 6:00 p.m.
  • Long Lake Elementary School - Feb. 28, 5:30 p.m.
  • Silver Lake Elementary School - Mar. 7, 5:30 p.m.
  • TCAPS Montessori - Mar. 20, 5:30 p.m.
  • Traverse Heights Elementary School - Feb. 20, 6:00 p.m.
  • Westwoods Elementary School - Mar. 6, 6:00 p.m.
  • Willow Hill Elementary School - Mar. 7, 6:00 p.m.
More kindergarten information:

School Board Legislative Recognition

During the February 11 TCAPS Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Soma read a special tribute to the TCAPS Board of Education signed by Representative Larry Inman, Senator Wayne Schmidt and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It begins, “Let it be known, that it is with great respect and gratitude for your service that we extend our highest praise and commendation in commemoration of School Board Recognition Month in Michigan. Public education is vital to the enrichment of our society as it prepares our youth to become successful and productive citizens, who are able to meet the challenges of a changing world. You deserve recognition for the role you play in helping to maintain high standards and meaningful results in Michigan’s public education system.”

TCAPS Board of Education Recieves Special Tribute

TCAPS Board Vision and Strategic Plan

At its January 21 meeting, the Board of Education adopted the Blueprint, a research based framework of comprehensive reform strategies, to accelerate student achievement in TCAPS. Key focus areas over the next three years will be installing the Blueprint as the framework to provide high quality teaching and learning across the district and implementing district’s capital plan. View additional information regarding the vision, strategic plan, capital plan and the Blueprint.

Snow Days

To date, TCAPS has had 10 inclement weather days. TCAPS officials review lost time due to snow days and options to make up any necessary time and/or days at the beginning of April, when the region typically begins to see the end of the harshest winter weather of the season. The state allows each school district to automatically waive six days annually and allows districts to request an additional three days through a waiver process. TCAPS builds days into every school year calendar for potential makeup days due to inclement weather. These calendars are posted online years in advance for families to access. Should any makeup days be needed for the 2018-2019 school year, June 17th-21st have been designated on the calendar as “make up days for inclement weather.” At this point, it has not been determined if TCAPS will have to use those built in days. Once a plan to make up any days/time has been determined, it will be shared.

Student Scholarships Available

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation is offering more than 90 scholarship opportunities for graduating high school and current college students in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.

New awards include the Angelo and Michele Vozza More Than Robots Scholarship for students who have been involved in FIRST Robotics and the Patrick J. Carroll Memorial Scholarship for students pursuing music or multi-media arts.

Most applications are due by March 8, though students should begin the process now and take note of additional materials that may be required. Call 231.935.4066 to learn more.

Calendar Reminders

March 22 - No school for students, full day for staff
March 25-29 - Spring break
April 1 - School resumes

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TBA Credit Union
Partner in Education

"Thanks to TBA Credit Union, we were able to secure the dry erase markers which brought many smiles from our teachers and students."

TBA Credit Union Saves the Day

Traverse City Area Public Schools was awarded a $9,000 donation from TBA Credit Union President and CEO Karen Browne just before the holiday break. The sponsorship supports scholarships for LEAP participants and in addition underwrote the expense of 10,000 dry erase markers. The markers are needed for elementary math curriculum. Thanks to TBA Credit Union, we were able to secure the dry erase markers which brought many smiles from our teachers and students. Not only does TBA Credit Union support the district with a financial gift, they distribute numerous classroom grants throughout the year and support the Student Run Credit Union with their professional guidance. Thank you, TBA Credit Union, for all you do.

Intense Student Support Network - The Word is Out and Goodness is All Around Us

Since the launch of our Intense Student Support Network fundraising campaign, TCAPS has received some financial contributions and numerous in-kind donations for students in need to eliminate any non-academic barriers to learning. We’d like to share a few of the highlights with you today in the stories that follow.

To learn more about TCAPS' Intense Student Support Network go to and please support the businesses and organizations that support our students.

Bill Marsh Auto Price Point Supports School Lunch Fundraiser

The Price Point team presented TCAPS with a check for $4,195 from their fall fundraiser. The donations included a $1,000 check from Good Night Traverse City book author and former TCAPS student Mandy Toomey. The funds will be used to help pay off past due lunch accounts for students in need. We are overwhelmed with the generosity of our community. These funds will relieve many students and their families of a financial stress that can be a barrier to learning. It also makes students feel confident and proud, and truly affects the way they feel and perform at school.

TCAPS’ Intense Student Support Network (ISSN) supports each child because caring adults, in a caring school community, are the link to achievement, graduation, and a future of meaningful options for students. Thank you, the entire Price Point team, all of your customers who donated, and Mandy Toomey for your kindness and goodwill toward those in need.

Bill Marsh Fundraiser

B.C. Pizza Supports Student Food Assistance Program

B.C. Pizza Logo
Eat pizza and give back! On Saturday, February 9th, in celebration of National Pizza Day, the Traverse City B.C. Pizza held a fundraiser to donate 100% of the day's net revenue to TCAPS' Food Service Assistance Program. A check for $1500 was received to help pay off lunch balances for students in need. Thank you to owner Angie O’Mara and the entire B.C. Pizza staff for your generosity.

Golden-Fowler Home Furnishings Gives a Good Night’s Rest to Student

Today's Golden Fowler, home furnishing the way you imagined it.
A Long Lake Elementary School student received a brand new bed as a very special gift, courtesy of Golden-Fowler Home Furnishings, and bedding from an anonymous donor. "It would be my privilege to help this young person get a proper night’s sleep," said Mike Mahn, store owner.

Long Lake principal Kate Burwinkel shared, "We are beyond grateful for Mike's and the anonymous donor's partnership and generosity. Because of this donation, this student will be well rested and ready to learn each day."

Traverse Bay United Methodist Church Continues to Give Back

The congregation of Traverse Bay United Methodist Church has answered the call of basic student needs. They recently donated five larges boxes loaded with new socks, hats, gloves/ mittens, and underwear. Something as small as a brand new pair of socks has GREAT impact on the lives of someone without. Thank you for your continued blessings to our students.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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