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January 2022
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Traverse City Central High School Earns Advanced Placement Computer Science-A Female Diversity Award Recognized for Closing the Gender Gap in AP Computer Science-A

Traverse City Central High School (CHS) has earned the College Board Advanced Placement (AP®) Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science-A. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses.

More than 1,000 institutions achieved either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2020-21 school year. In 2021, CHS was one of 199 in the country recognized in the category of AP Computer Science A, and one of only 7 in Michigan.

“We are honored to congratulate our female AP computer science students and CHS teacher Jim Baran on this achievement in computer science education,” said Principal Jessie Houghton. “We look forward to seeing CHS students achieve success in computer science education and careers.”

“By encouraging young women to study advanced computer science coursework, CHS is closing the gap in computer science education and empowering young women to access the opportunities available in STEM career fields,” says Stefanie Sanford, College Board chief of Global Policy and External Relations. “Computer science is the foundation of many 21st-century career options, and young women deserve equal opportunities to pursue computer science education and drive technological innovation.”

AP Computer Science-A (CSA) students learn to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society. AP Computer Science A, which first debuted in 1988, continues to grow and female participation has increased 33% since 2017. Overall AP computer science course participation has increased 79% since 2017, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students.

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to drive innovation, creativity, and representation. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $91,250 in May 2020. However, 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations. Computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the U.S., although 67% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, only 11% of STEM bachelor’s degrees are in computer science.

According to a Google study, 54% of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school. College Board research about AP CSP also finds AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA, and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework.

Grand Canyon University


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Sloth, Abigail Grubb
Sloth, Abigail Grubb
TCAPS News & Events

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

TC West Senior High School AP Photography Wins at West Central Michigan Scholastic Art Competition

Congratulations to the following TC West Senior High AP Photography students as award recipients in the annual West Central Michigan Scholastic Art Competition:
  • Abigail Grubb- American Visions Nominee (highest regional honor, only 5 nominees selected per region to compete Nationally), 1 Gold Key, and 1 Silver Key Award
  • Madeline Henry- 1 Gold Key, 1 Silver Key Award
  • Emily Rigda- 4 Honorable Mentions, 2 Silver Key Awards
  • Ainsley Rosenburg- 2 Gold Keys & 1 Gold Key Portfolio Award
The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the country's longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7-12. Their work will be displayed in an online exhibition in March along with top works from around the state.

Rebirth, Madeline Henry
Rebirth, Madeline Henry

Canyon lands, Emily Rigda
Canyon lands, Emily Rigda

Who am I, Ainsley Rosenburg
Who am I, Ainsley Rosenburg

Traverse City Central High School Welcomes New Boys Track Coach

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) and Traverse City Central High School (CHS) are excited to welcome Bryant Wilson as the new boys track coach. Wilson previously spent eight years with track and field at Central Michigan University, having served as the women's track and field associate head coach since 2019.

Central High School Track Coach

In 2019, he was named the Mid-American Conference Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year at both the league indoor and outdoor championships. That same year, Wilson helped lead the Chippewa women to victory at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in February and a second-place finish in May at the league outdoor championships. He was also inducted into the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.

Wilson, a Hale native, was a four-time NCAA Division II National Champion and two-time U.S. National Championships qualifier in the pole vault at Grand Valley State, where he swept the indoor and outdoor pole vault national titles in 2007 and in 2008, was an eight-time All-American, and a two-time U.S. Championships qualifier. He remains the program record holder in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault.

Wilson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Grand Valley in 2010 and Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan in 2019. Wilson recently moved to the area with his wife to start his own insurance business. He replaces longtime coach, John Lober.

Current 8th Grade Area Students Invited to Apply to the SCI-MA-TECH Program for 2022-23 School Year

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is pleased to announce the application period for the district’s SCI-MA-TECH program is now open. Applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be accepted now through Friday, March 18, 2022. Any current eighth grade student within the Grand Traverse Area is invited to apply.

TCAPS will host a virtual information session on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 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 and accelerated 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 choice Technology and Engineering courses. 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 at

West ‘Bleacher Creatures’ Make Finals of MHSAA Battle of The Fans (BOTF)

Once again, Traverse City West Senior High School (WSH) has earned the opportunity to vie for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s “Battle of the Fans X” championship recognizing the top high school student cheering section in Michigan! Buchanan, Midland Dow and Traverse City West were selected as finalists by the Advisory Council from a group of nine semifinalists that took part in a series of challenges highlighting their sections over the last two weeks.
Bleacher Creatures

Semifinalists were required to complete five mandatory challenges and highlight them in a three-minute TikTok. The mandatory challenges focused on contest criteria: positive sportsmanship, student body participation, school spirit, originality of cheers, organization of the group, student section leadership, and overall fun. Descriptions of all 20 challenges are available on the MHSAA Website.

Members of the MHSAA staff will visit all three finalists over the next three weeks, producing articles about each section and videos of those sections in action, all to be published on the MHSAA’s Second Half website. The winner will be selected by another vote by the 16-member Advisory Council, with consideration given to a public vote on the MHSAA’s social media channels. This year’s winner will be announced Feb. 18 and recognized March 25 during the Boys Basketball Semifinals at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Traverse City West was the winner in 2016 and has been a semifinalist seven times since 2014. Click here to learn more and watch the finalists’ submission videos.

Inclement Weather Alerts and School Closures

TCAPS families will be notified of inclement weather school closures through news media and if opted-in, a district text message. Announcements will also be posted to the TCAPS website, social media, and bus hotline.

The determination is typically made by 5:00 a.m., if possible, and by 6:00 a.m. at the latest. If you do not already receive texts, you can always opt-in at any time by texting the word YES to 87569, as long as your phone number is already on file with the school. If your cell phone number is not on file with the school, you will not be able to receive text messages. Texting is limited to contact numbers tied to the district’s staff and student databases, and therefore is not available to the general public. At any time, families may also call the Bus Hotline at 231.933.1955 to hear a daily message with information about school closures or transportation delays. For additional information about inclement weather closures, alerts, and snow day FAQs, click here.

Other Closures

The district may be required to cancel school for specific buildings or cancel specific bus routes as a result of COVID-19 exposures or staff shortages. This information will be posted to the district website and social media in addition to direct communication to families impacted via phone and/or text. Communication will be made by 6:00 a.m. for all secondary schools and 7:00 a.m. for all elementary schools.

Student Breakfast and Lunch Reminder

Don’t forget! Breakfast and lunch are FREE for ALL students at all TCAPS buildings this year. Be sure to take advantage of this wonderful program and opportunity for your child(ren) to enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal every day. For more information, click here.
Free Lunch

Guest Teaching & Subbing at TCAPS

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is seeking qualified candidates to serve as guest teachers and substitutes for the current school year. TCAPS has increased rates for guest teachers, substitute assistants, and aides. For more information, please visit the TCAPS Employment page.

TCAPS Board of Education Monthly Office Hours - January 27, 2022

The Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) Board of Education will host its next monthly “office hours” in person on Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Boardman Administration Center (412 Webster St., Second Floor, Conference Room C). TCAPS Board office hours provide community members with the opportunity to talk to a school board trustee. This month is Scott Newman-Bale. Visit the Board calendar to view the board schedule in its entirety, or visit:

TCAPS Student Count Day- February 9, 2022

Student count day will be held on February 9, 2022. State funding amounts are based on student attendance on count day. This funding helps schools pay for student programs and services. If schools are closed on February 9th, count day will take place on the following school day.
Student Count Day

TCAPS Superintendent Monthly Office Hours – February 15, 2022

Based on feedback from the community, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) Superintendent, Dr. John VanWagoner, provides a monthly opportunity for community members to attend “office hours” alternating each month between in person and virtual meetings. In person office hours are held at Horizon Books, 243 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684. Virtual office hours will be held via Google Meet and can be accessed here or by calling +1 707-785-6547 and entering PIN: 692 435 167#. All meetings begin at 5:00 pm. The alternating schedule will be as follows:
  • Tuesday, February 15 - Google Meet
  • Tuesday, March 15 - Horizon Books
  • Tuesday, April 19 - Google Meet
  • Tuesday, May 17 - Horizon Books
  • Tuesday, June 14 - Google Meet

2021-2022 School Year Calendars

Please review the 2021-2022 school year calendars linked below. Dates to pay special attention to include: half days, early release days, winter and spring breaks, last day of school, and potential inclement weather make-up dates.

Important Calendar Dates:

February 9: Count Day
February 14: Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
February 15: Superintendent Office Hours (Google Meet), 5:00 p.m.
February 17: Two hour early release for students, full day for staff
February 21: No school, full day for staff
February 24: Half day for BL/TH students, full day for BL/TH staff
February 24: Board Office Hours, 6:00 p.m.

Upcoming Events

February 1: West Senior High School 8th into 9th Parent Info Night, WSH at 6:00 p.m. A recording will be available the next day here.
February 12-14: Central High School Singing Valentines
February 17: Central High School Festival Orchestra Concert, CHS Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.
February 19: West Senior High School & West Middle School Bands Local Festival, WSH 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
February 22: Anishinaabe Expressive Culture Series Event: Round Dance, WMS at 6:00 p.m.
March 8: Central High School 8th into 9th Parent Info Night, CHS at 6:00 p.m.

Check the school calendars below for more information:

TCAPS Hiring

This Just In….

  • Traverse City area community members came together on Saturday, January 15, 2022 to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Lurther King, Jr., during the MLK Freedom Walk, presented by United Way of Northwest Michigan, TCAPS, Northwest Educational Services, and Northern Michigan E3. In addition to the Freedom Walk, these organizations also joined forces to promote United Way’s Day of Service on MLK Day, encouraging the community to spend the day volunteering throughout the community.
    Freedom Walk

  • Traverse City Central High School’s Choir won the High School division of the 106 KHQ Holiday Choir Competition and were awarded $1,000, sponsored by Bill Marsh Buick GMC. Candidates from Northern Michigan schools submitted audio recordings, which were played and voted on for three days on the KHQ website.
    CHS Choir

  • Caught Reading
    This month, Blair Elementary students participated in the “Caught You Reading Challenge”. It’s been a huge success, with 14 first graders and 20 kindergarteners being “caught” reading at home on the first night!

  • The Traverse City Central High School library has achieved Exemplary status as a Michigan school library for 21st Century Schools. To earn this recognition, the CHS Library demonstrated its competence in three categories for school library program evaluation: Teaching for 21st Century Learning, Building the 21st Century Learning Environment, and Leading the Way to 21st Century Learning. This endorsement is good for 3 years, after which the school may re-apply. To learn more, click here.
    CHS Library

  • The Titan FRC Team #3767 at Traverse City West Senior High School had a "Super Successful Saturday" to end Week 2 of the 2022 Rapid React FRC build season. They were able to finish and demo their robot, complete both bumpers, wire their competition bot, post 2 blogs, and work on team fundraising.
    Titan Robotics


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Partners in Education

Partner in Education
Partner in Education

“A TCAPS Partner in Education helps provide the means to effectively nurture and support students whose non-academic needs may create obstacles to high achievement.”

Boots for Kids President Don Schmuckal Awarded

Congratulations to Don Schmuckal, Boots For Kids President, on 20 years of service to area youth. Don was presented with the 2021 Humanitarian Award for his compassion and generosity of his time to make sure kids have warm feet in the winter. In addition to boots, Boots For Kids also gives socks, hats and mittens. Approximately 300 TCAPS students receive this package each year. Since the program began TCAPS has received nearly 7,500 pairs of boots.

Boots For Kids

Don was also presented a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Jack Bergman by TCAPS Superintendent John Van Wagoner for his unwavering devotion to the cause, which he has done on a completely volunteer basis since the beginning. Don's work and selflessness are so admirable. He is more than deserving of these honors. Congratulations, Don!

Local Realtor Gives Back to Students in Need

Thank you to Crystal Gober, the founder and creator of Socks Of Love and Co-Owner and Realtor of Traverse Real Estate. Crystal came to our office today with a load of items to support students in need; underwear, pants/leggings, dry erase markers and head lice kits.

Socks of Love

Crystal spends part of her year making Sock Snowmen to sell. In return, 100% of the proceeds is donated to area nonprofits. We were only one of her many stops this week! Over the past 6 years, Socks of Love has raised over $32,865 for local charities. Thank you, Crystal, for your kindness and goodwill towards those in need.

NEA Big Read Project

Thank you to the Traverse Area District Library for donating a copy of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story to each K-2 classroom in the district - over 85 books! Students in K-2 classrooms participated in a NEA Big Read project in November. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

During library time, students enjoyed a reading of the book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and then visited the Dennos museum virtually. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest, this opportunity is a collaboration between the Dennos Museum Center, Traverse Area District Library, and the elementary library and art programs in TCAPS.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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