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January 2021
Positively TCAPS

News & Events

Partner in Education

Superintendent's Message
TCAPS Families and Staff,

I hope winter break brought you some rest and provided opportunities for meaningful, creative, and safe celebrations with family and friends. As we head into the second semester, I want to thank everyone for your continued efforts to keep our schools safe and open for face-to-face learning and for your flexibility as we continue to adapt to new circumstances. We also continue to see incredible things happening in our UpNorth Virtual programs and are proud of the educational strides being made by students learning virtually this school year. We look forward to a great second half of the school year and encourage everyone to keep up the great work!

This month we observed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. I would like to thank the community members who have honored Dr. King’s memory this year by making contributions in his name to the Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) and the TCAPS Intense Student Support Network (ISSN). These two programs work to support students by helping to meet both academic and non-academic needs. Through donations like these, we are helping to remove barriers to learning and providing students the support they need to succeed. Thank you.

I would also like to recognize each of the TCAPS Board of Education Trustees for their service to our schools and community as part of School Board Recognition Month. TCAPS joins 544 local and 57 intermediate school districts across Michigan in celebrating January as School Board Recognition Month each year. School board members volunteer countless hours in service to the children we serve. We appreciate their dedication and commitment to our children's education and to our community. I hope you will join me in recognizing their service.

Thank you for your ongoing partnership in your child’s education.


Dr. John VanWagoner
Superintendent, Traverse City Area Public Schools





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TCAPS News & Events

We exist to educate. Education improves the quality of life for all.

2019-2020 Community Report

TCAPS is pleased to announce the release of its annual community report highlighting 2019-2020 school year accomplishments as well as a look at the work achieved so far during the 2020-2021 school year. View the full report at:
TCAPS Community Report

Applications for the SCI-MA-TECH Program Now Being Accepted

TCAPS is pleased to announce the application period for the district’s SCI-MA-TECH program is now open. Applications for the 2021-2022 school year will be accepted now through March 15, 2021. Any current eighth grade student within the Grand Traverse Area is invited to apply. TCAPS will host a virtual information session on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. for anyone interested in learning more about the program. The meeting will include a program presentation and a Q&A session. Click here to access the Google Meet. The SCI-MA-TECH (SMT) program offers students enhanced opportunities in science, math, engineering and technology, and Advanced Placement coursework.

Students join SCI-MA-TECH as freshmen and participate in the program for four years earning credit in AP classes, SMT Math, SMT Science, and SMT Technology and Engineering. SCI-MA-TECH students also visit colleges and businesses, hear from speakers, conduct authentic research, complete an internship, and participate in extracurricular activities. The program is offered at both Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School. Learn more about SCI-MA-TECH and how to apply at:

Bulk Meal Distribution - Saturdays, 9 AM - 11 AM

Families may pick up bulk meals on Saturdays at West Middle School (3950 Silver Lake Rd.) from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the bus loop off of Franke Road. Meals are free and available to all children 18 years of age or younger or adults with disabilities who are 26 years of age or under. As a reminder all students may eat breakfast and lunch at no cost for the remainder of the school year, either at school or through the meal distribution site.

Student Support Network

TCAPS Positivity

Eastern Elementary School PTO Continues Virtual Event Series

The following virtual events hosted by the Eastern Elementary School PTO are free and open to the public:

Tuesday, January 26th at 6:15 p.m. - Survivor Series: Part Two - Mr. McNulty is at it again and this time he's going to give participants the inside scoop on FIRE! How to prepare for a fire, how to start a fire, and how to be safe around fire are just a few of the things you'll learn during his demonstration. Fire can help keep you alive, keep you warm, keep you fed or even help you be rescued if stranded. Make sure you tune in to Eastern Elementary PTO Facebook page to learn all about this amazing survival tool.

Thursday, February 11th at 6:15 p.m. - Virtual Tour of Dennos Museum - What better way to spend virtual time with schoolmates than visiting the Dennos Museum Center galleries for a specialized online tour. Join Dennos staff for an interactive Zoom tour of the museum as well as a rarely seen behind-the-scenes look at the setup process of a new exhibit. The Eastern PTO is asking people to RSVP to give the presenter an idea of the size of the group so they are able to get an idea of how much interaction is reasonable. Click here to register for this event.

Traverse Heights Partners with Mundos Roasting & Co.

Traverse Heights Elementary School has recently partnered with Mundos Roasting & Co. Anytime a "BLACK and GOLD" coffee is ordered at Mundos, located at 708 Boon St. on the corner of Woodmere, from February 1, 2021 to February 28th, 2021, Traverse Heights will receive a $1 donation to their PTO. Funds raised will help make Traverse Heights an even better place to be. Do yourself and the Roadrunners a favor and grab a BLACK and GOLD coffee in February. #sweetblackgold
Traverse Heights Partner

West Senior High Visual Arts Department Virtual Art Exhibit

The West Senior High Visual Arts Department is proud to present their first End of Semester Virtual Exhibition. The exhibition features over 125 two-dimensional and three-dimensional student artworks from over 100 high school student artists in an interactive, online exhibition space.

Now more than ever, our young artists have realized the importance of personal art making. Art has a capacity to bring joy, awaken curiosity, provide solace, and to bring a glimpse of hope during a time that is so challenging and difficult. This virtual exhibition is dedicated to their unwavering passion, talent, and perseverance. Congratulations to all the featured artists that demonstrated excellence in their craft during virtual and in-person learning. Check out the virtual exhibition here.
West Senior High Art Exhibit
Thoughtfully Melancholic, 2020 - Levi Bordeaux

This Just In….

  • The Eastern 4th and 5th grade student council sponsored a canned food drive called One Can, One Kid. They collected over 400 cans and packaged, nonperishable food items for the Traverse City High School pantry and Father Fred Foundation. Items were displayed in the school lobby for students to see the tremendous impact they were making! Way to go, Stars!
    One Can One Kid

  • Traverse Heights “WE ARE ONE” campaign continues into the new year. Principal Kay created his very own NWEATRON themed “We Are Ready” to help motivate students to be prepared for their NWEA test. Second grade students are following the “We Are Travelers” theme by reading books from around the world in the library. They created their own passport journals to log the books they’re reading & countries they’re visiting. They loved learning more about neighborhoods in Brazil. Also, Mrs. Pfost’s kindergarten class took a trip to Brazil to learn about anaconda snakes to mark their “We Are Animal Experts” theme. Did you know they’re as long as a bus? Pictured are students, coloring their snake, Annie, during their library time with Mrs. Mapes.
    Traverse Heights Animal Experts

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News & Events

Partners in Education

Intense Student Support Network
Partner in Education

“The Intense Student Support Network provides tools for staff to effectively nurture and support students whose non-academic needs may create obstacles to high achievement.”

TBA Credit Union donates $9,000 to TCAPS

TCAPS is pleased to announce that TBA Credit Union has donated $9,000 in support of the district’s Intense Student Support Network (ISSN) and the Learning, Enrichment, and Athletics Program (LEAP). In addition, TBA Credit Union has offered to underwrite the financial literacy program Banzai for any classroom that would like to incorporate it into their curriculum. Students are assigned jobs, pay rent, pay taxes, get a mock credit card, and more, and it aligns with Michigan's financial literacy curriculum.

TBA Credit Union

“TBA Credit Union was founded by Traverse City educators back in 1955 and education is at the core of our mission,” said Karen Browne, TBA Credit Union President and CEO. “It is an honor to assist TCAPS in supporting students through the Intense Student Support Network and Learning, Enrichment, and Athletics Program. It is a natural fit for our community-based institution.”

"This donation is more important than ever as so many of our students have heightened needs due to the pandemic," said Christine Guitar, Executive Director of Communications for TCAPS, whose office helps coordinate community partnerships. "Through the support of partners like TBA Credit Union, we are able to provide assistance to students in need and can help remove barriers that create obstacles to student learning and participation in extracurricular activities. Organizations like TBA Credit Union are real difference makers in our community and we are so grateful for their continued support of our students and schools.”

For more information about TBA Credit Union, visit or call 231.946.7090.

Feb. 9 - B.C. Pizza to Host National Pizza Day for TCAPS

Eat pizza and give back to TCAPS! Tuesday, February 9th, is National Pizza Day. To celebrate, B.C. Pizza of Traverse City (3186 LaFrainer Rd.) will host its 3rd Annual Pizza for a Cause and give 100% of the day's net revenue to TCAPS' Intense Student Support Network (ISSN). The ISSN provides assistance to students in need and helps to remove barriers that may create obstacles to student learning.

The restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and the offer is good for curbside pickup and delivery. Everything counts! Please contact the B.C. Pizza Traverse City location on Tuesday, February 9th, and tell them you are ready to help raise funds for TCAPS students in need. In addition, B.C. Pizza of Traverse City will be giving away a free pizza a month for a year (1 large, 3 topping pizza a month for 12 months) to someone. Simply use the hashtag #bctcgivesback and share photos enjoying pizza that day on their Facebook page or Instagram page to be registered to win. To order online, visit or call 231.995.9900.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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