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August 2019
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News & Events

Partner in Education

Superintendent's Message
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Partner in Education

Year-end celebrations
TCAPS News & Events

"Open doors for others, you will make the world a better place, and the world will provide you opportunities you didn't know existed."

Board of Education Welcomes Superintendent Cardon to Traverse City and TCAPS

The Board of Education officially welcomed TCAPS Superintendent Ann Cardon during their first televised meeting together on August 26, 2019. Students in the Summer Explorers Club program made Superintendent Cardon a welcome card and the board also shared a video featuring staff welcoming Ann to the district. Staff offered a little advice for living in Traverse City, which includes some common themes!

Click to view Our:TCAPS video
Click to view the Staff Welcome video.

WiredTC 2019

There was great turnout and engagement at this year's WiredTC 2019. Wired TC is a technology conference focused on empowering leaders to transform teaching and learning. The event was kicked off by Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) Superintendent Dr. Nick Ceglarek and TCAPS Superintendent Ann Cardon. Their welcoming remarks were followed by the morning's keynote speaker, Dr. Liz Kolb, who talked about how to effectively use technology in the classroom. We are looking forward to seeing the ideas and inspiration gathered by teachers and educators at the conference put to use this school year.

Liz Kolb presents at the 2019 WiredTC Conference
Liz Kolb presents at the 2019 WiredTC Conference.

2019 TCAPS Staff Welcome Back

More than 550 TCAPS staff members turned out for the district’s annual Welcome Back event. The Titan Marching Band began the morning's program, which was followed by a joint performance from the TC Central and TC West Choirs, and new TCAPS Superintendent Ann Cardon provided the keynote address. Thank you to the following sponsors who provided great giveaways and prizes for staff, and thank you to each member of the TCAPS team who makes a difference in the lives of our community's children.

TCAPS Welcome Back Sponsors
adidas, Boots for Kids, Buffalo Wild Wings, Grand Canyon University, Jimmy John's, Kramer's, Lake Ann Camp, Messa, Michigan College Planning, River of Life Chiropractic, Shift Chiropractic, TBA Credit Union, TC Patriot Game and United Way.
TC West Band Performs at TCAPS Welcome Back

District Professional Development - Teacher Collaborative Routines

The MI Excel Blueprint for Systemic Reconfiguration is the guiding system of the district. This week, all TCAPS teachers received professional development about Teacher Collaborative Routines (TCRs), which are a critical piece of the Blueprint. The TCR is a systematic approach to the continuous improvement of instruction. The Blueprint includes the TCR in order to ensure that time is available and processes are in place to support teachers’ efforts to collaborate on lesson planning, units, student work and data.

Teacher Collaborative Routines

West Fall Fest—September 26th

Traverse City West Senior High School will hold its annual Fall Festival on Thursday, September 26, 2019, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event connects the school and the community through a number of activities and events, including student performances, food trucks, a bounce house, activities for kids, bike demos, the TC West vs. TC Central boys’ soccer game (6:45 p.m.), TC West vs. Cadillac girls’ volleyball game, and more. This open house event is where students, teachers, parents and community members can celebrate learning and community involvement, together, in one unique night.

If you or your business is interested in hosting a FREE table at the event, please contact Jamie Castle at

Upcoming Board Office Hours—August 29th

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education will host “Office Hours” on Thursday, August 29, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at Horizon Books (243 E. Front Street). The listening session format is intended to offer an opportunity for community members to have one-on-one conversations with board members in an informal setting.

Grand Haven and West Senior High Football Teams Vie For Coast Guard Cup – September 6th

TCAPS is pleased to work in partnership with the TC Coast Guard Committee, to host the Coast Guard Cup. The Grand Haven High School football team will take on TC West Senior High School's Varsity football team at Thirlby Field on Friday, September 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. At the end of the game, the trophy will be awarded to the winning team. Traverse City was the tenth U.S. city to receive the designation of official U.S. Coast Guard City, and the second from Michigan, after Grand Haven. All Veterans and active duty U.S. Coast Guard members will be admitted for free. Admission for all others will be $6.00/adults and $3.00/k-5, for general seating. Sports passes will also be accepted.

Coast Guard Cup Football game

Traverse City Music Boosters Used Instrument Sale—September 7th

On Saturday, September 7, 2019, the Traverse City Music Boosters will host their annual used instrument sale. The sale will be held in the Traverse City West Middle School Little Theater (3950 Silver Lake Rd.). Drop-off for instruments to sell will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (appraisers will be available). The sale itself will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Pick-up of unsold instruments or checks from sold instruments will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 15% of each sale will be used to support the TC Music Boosters’ scholarship program and classroom mini-grants. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

Used Instrument Sale

Michigan Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument at Central High School—October 16th

On Wednesday, October 16, 2019, TCAPS, the City of Traverse City and Grand Traverse County Judges, will host the Michigan Supreme Court as they hear oral argument in Maniaci v Diroff, Supreme Court Case No. 158005. The Court typically hears oral argument at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing, Mich. However, as part of the public education program aimed principally at high school students, justices and staff travel around the state through the “Court Community Connections” program. The Court’s visit to Traverse City will be its 25th community event. Participating schools include: Traverse City Central High School, Traverse City West Senior High School, and St. Francis High School. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn about the case and about court procedures from local attorneys. The oral argument will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. at Traverse City Central High School (1150 Milliken Dr.). Space for this event is limited, however, it can be viewed via livestream at:

#proudMIeducator Initiative Features West Senior High School Teacher Erich Wangeman

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE), in partnership with Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS), released its latest #proudMIeducatorvideo highlighting Erich Wangeman, the lead choir teacher at Traverse City West Senior High School. Described as both enthusiastic and patient, Wangeman is well-regarded for his ability to build rapport with his students, creating a positive learning community. This past school year, Traverse City West Middle School and Traverse City West Senior High School sent three choirs to perform at the prestigious Michigan Music Conference. Wangeman stresses to students to be the best artist they can be, and to really give themselves over to “the best art possible every day and every way.” The #proudMIeducator initiative is part of a greater effort by MDE to recognize and celebrate the state’s education workforce.

Click to view the #proudMIeducator video.

CHS and WSH Ranked Among Nation’s Top 8% of High Schools on 2019 Jay Mathews Challenge Index

TCAPS is pleased to announce that Traverse City Central High School (#1150) and Traverse City West Senior High School (#1649) have both been ranked among the top 8 percent of America’s 22,000 high schools on the 2019 Jay Mathews Challenge Index. The Challenge Index is the oldest high school ranking system in the country, beginning in 1998 in both Newsweek and The Washington Post. It ranks high schools by a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. Success on college-level AP, IB and Cambridge exams has been linked with success in college. Learn more about the Jay Mathews Challenge Index at:

TCAPS Releases 2018-19 Community Report

TCAPS Community Report link
Click image to view the TCAPS Community Report

Triton Swim Team Welcomes New Head Coach

Jason Moore has been named the new Varsity Head Coach of the Triton Swim Team. The Tritons are a combined team with student athletes from TC Central, TC West, and St. Francis high schools. Coach Moore has eight years of high school coaching experience and 20 years of USA Swim year-round coaching, most recently with the Grand Traverse Bay Breakers. Welcome Coach Moore!

High School Students Travel to Mexico Over the Summer for a Language Learning and Service Trip

Thirty-five TCAPS high school students spent three weeks of their summer vacation in Mexico studying Spanish at an immersive language school, volunteering at a local orphanage and dog refuge, making global friendships with students learning English at a local high school, and participating in dozens of cultural excursions.
Language Learning and Service Trip
Language Learning and Service Trip

West Senior High School Newspaper Students Earn MIPA Sparty Awards

Traverse City West Senior High School Newspaper students, Tess Crowley and Hope Thompson, won Sparty awards, the highest award given at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Summer Workshop in journalism. Hope, editor-in-chief for the Occidentalist, took the Sparty award for News Editor and Tess, Occidentalist photo editor, earned the “Shoot like a Pro” award.
Students earn MIPA Awards
Students earn MIPA Awards

Vaping and Dabbing Information for Parents

Vaping (the common name for e-cigarettes or vapor devices) and the use of dab pens continue to be serious issues facing teens and families across the country. E-cigarettes or vape pens are small battery-powered devices that disperse nicotine and other associated chemicals that users can inhale. Originally developed as a “safe” alternative to traditional tobacco use, e-cigarettes and vape pens are steadily gaining tremendous popularity amongst teens. In addition, students are reporting that ‘dabbing’ is a new trend (evolving from vaping, but now with a dangerous intoxicant). The use of a dab pen can be discreet – the devices tend to be small, look like other commonly held objects, and don’t produce the same heavy aromas we might normally associate with marijuana or cigarette smoking. In short, they are easy to conceal and easy to use in many settings.

Vape and Dab Pen Examples

The following links to additional resources are being provided to help parents learn more about dabbing and vaping.

Hidden in Plain Sight
Wanna Get Really High? Take a dab in the world of concentrates
Surgeon General ECig Parent Tip Sheet
Common Vaping Devices

Parents, please take a moment to review the TCAPS Secondary Handbook, and speak with your student about the implications and consequences of using these devices on school grounds as well as their health.

Transportation Information and Hotline

TCAPS families should have received their child’s specific bus route information via email or via U.S. mail. If the information received is not correct, families are invited to contact the TCAPS Transportation Hotline. The hotline can be reached by calling 231-933-1956 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The hotline will operate through Friday, August 30th.

Safety & Security Construction Updates

Beginning at the end of last school year and continuing through the summer months, TCAPS undertook a number of construction projects to make safety and security upgrades at school buildings across the district. This work includes the reconstruction of the main entrance/office area at Courtade Elementary School, Silver Lake Elementary School, Willow Hill Elementary School and West Middle School to improve line of sight and to ensure that visitors to the building must pass through the main office before entering the school. The bond-funded upgrades represent best practices in school building construction. Due to the short construction window during the summer, these projects were not scheduled to be completed prior to the start of the new school year. For important pick-up, drop-off, and bus information at schools where construction is occurring, please visit your child’s school website. To learn more about the district’s capital plan, visit:

Athletic Physicals Required for 6th-12th Grade Fall Sports

Students in grades 6-12 planning to try out for any sport this school year will need to have a current athletic physical form on file with the school prior to participating in any tryouts or practices. Athletic physicals must be dated on or after April 15, 2019, to be considered current. Forms can be turned in at the high school athletic offices or middle school main offices. Most fall sports began August 12th. View athletic websites for more information: Central High School | West Senior High School | LEAP

Free and Reduced School Meals - Apply Now

All TCAPS families are encouraged to apply for free or reduced meals. Whether or not your child plans to participate in the free and/or reduced meals program, gathering information on the number of students who qualify is still vital for the district. It is used not only to determine meal prices for qualifying families, but it is also used as part of the application process for a number of grants and other opportunities TCAPS participates in. We are pleased to be able to offer qualifying families with free or discounted meal rates, so if you think your family might qualify, please apply today. To apply online, visit and follow the instructions for Traverse City Area Public Schools. For more information about free and reduced meals, visit Families who were approved for free and reduced meals last year will need to complete a new application for the 2019-2020 school year.

Calendar Reminders

September 3, 2019 - First day of school for students
September 6, 2019 - Half day for students (no afternoon extended day)
*Please note: January 20, 2020, will be a school day for students (pending TCEA approval, expected in early September).
**Graduation for TC High School, TC Central and TC West fall on Memorial Day weekend this year.
Central High School - Sunday, May 31 - 6:00 p.m.
Traverse City High School - Friday, May 29 - 7:00 p.m.
West Senior High School - Sunday, May 31 - 1:00 p.m.
District School Year Calendar 2019-20
Blair/Traverse Heights School Year Calendar 2019-20
Blair Elementary School and Traverse Heights Elementary School will also have a half day of school for students on the third Friday of each month. This calendar change is designed to improve student achievement by providing regularly scheduled time for teacher collaboration and professional development.

TCAPS Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Sex Education Advisory Committee

Traverse City Area Public Schools is seeking volunteers to serve on the Sex Education Advisory Committee. The advisory committee meets three to five times per year to review sex education curriculum and materials, in accordance with Public Act 226 and local bylaws. Applications are due before September 20, 2019.

To be a member of the committee you must either have children who attend TCAPS, be a TCAPS student, educator, member of the clergy, or a community health professional. Anyone interested in learning more, please visit

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TC Patriot Game Community Match Doubles To $10,000

Veterans in Crisis has the potential to get a record amount of money during this year’s TC Patriot Game thanks to the doubling of a community match. New sponsors have stepped forward and offered to donate $10,000 if the community can match that amount.

Match donations can be made on the “Donate Now” button at the game’s website or at the game’s halftime during the Meijer Buck-It Blitz. Everyone in attendance will be asked to “bring a buck” and donate it when the bucket is passed. “If everyone brought at least a buck we could easily earn over $10,000 that would qualify for the match,” says TC Patriot Game Director, Scott Herzberg. “We have a goal to donate $25,000 to the organization Veterans In Crisis this year. If we meet this community match we will have no problem attaining that goal.”

The community match is being offered by Fox Lincoln, EXIT Realty, Brady’s Bar, Traverse Legal, Joe Charlton, Harold Elston and the TC Elks Lodge. Veterans In Crisis was selected to receive the proceeds from this year’s game by Student Senators at TC Central High School and TC West Senior High School. Veterans In Crisis works with Veterans in 21 northern Michigan counties and helps with emergency needs. Money is raised through the sale of commemorative shirts and through sponsorships.

Now in its eighth year, the TC Patriot Game honors active duty military, Veterans, first responders and those from northern Michigan who have recently been killed in action while serving their country. The event takes place during the football clash between Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High on Friday, September 20th. Military, Veterans and first responders are invited to the game at no charge and asked to join a pre-game tailgate party and pre-game ceremony to honor their Service.

In addition to the community match, the presenting sponsor is Fox Grand Traverse, other sponsors include Serra of Traverse City, Williams Chevy, 4-Front Credit Union, Traverse Catholic Federal Credit Union and Traverse City Area Public Schools. Supporting sponsors are Meijer, Bill Marsh Auto, McMillen’s Custom Framing, Allen-Kent Photography, Jimmy John’s, Folgarellis, Pepsi Co. and Outdoor Specialties. The game also received a grant from the Les and Anne Biederman Foundation. Donations can be sent to TC Patriot Game, P.O. Box 5433, Traverse City, MI 49696.

TC Patriot Game Sponsors
Sponsors of the TC Patriot Game Community Match gather at the site of the game, Thirlby Field. (Left to right) Debra Ankerson - Traverse City Elks Lodge, Joe Charlton, Harold Elston, Holly Hack - EXIT Realty, Ben Sleder & Nolen Sleder - Brady’s Bar, Dan O’Connor - Fox Lincoln, Vickie Hays - Traverse Legal. (Photo courtesy TC Patriot Game)

See You At Thirlby!

It's football season and what better way to kick it off with some new gear! Partner In Education adidas is continuing their give back offer to support high school athletics!

Adidas Earn Money For Your School

Shift Chiropractic Back-to-School Bash - September 7th

Don’t miss Partner In Education Shift Chiropractic’s Back-to-School Bash on Saturday, September 7th, from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at 3055 Cass Road. They will have a bounce house, facepainting, Go-Go Squeeze,and ice cream cones from Jomo's. Arts for All will also be hosting a craft corner and visitors can shop from Once Upon a Child, Matilda Jane, Usborne, Crunchi Cosmetics vendors and more!

Shift Back-to-School Bash

Thank You for Supporting Students in Need

Many thanks go out to our generous community members who have responded to the call to help some of our students in need. Special thanks to Shift Chiropractic and Traverse Bay United Methodist Church for the generous donation of school supplies. We are forever grateful for your service to our students.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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