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Our Community

June 2015   

In This Issue

Superintendent's Message


News & Events


Student Spotlight


Education in Action


Partner in Education

Partners in Education


College for Kids - Enroll Now!
Register now!
View current community events and opportunities
Have a question or comment? Let us know at


TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,


What a great school year! When we combine the strength of our schools, parents and community to help our students achieve success, it seems there is nothing we can’t do. Not every task is easy. Not every day is easy. But, when we tackle them together and celebrate our accomplishments, both big and small, we will always come out on top. It is with my sincerest appreciation that I say thank you for a fantastic 2014/15 school year.


Wishing you a safe, healthy and fun summer break!









Paul Soma


Traverse City Area Public Schools

NEWS & EVENTS Lists TCAPS Among Reasons Traverse City is a Best Small Town highlighted Traverse City Area Public Schools in its "Why Traverse City is a Best Small Town" article. Traverse City was recently ranked #11 out of 100 Best Small Towns by the website. The article compliments TCAPS’ strong curriculum, award-winning arts programs, and world language offerings. It is another reminder that we live in a great community with great schools!


Read the article here.

Joshua Davis Plays Special Concert for Willow Hill Students and Staff

Willow Hill Elementary School students and staff receive surprise concert by Joshua Davis.


Joshua Davis treated Willow Hill Elementary School to a surprise concert when he returned to Traverse City after an amazing 3rd place finish on The Voice. He sang, answered questions, and told the boys and girls about his experience on The Voice. The students particularly enjoyed hearing how he started out playing music and then turned that into a career. Special thanks to Mr. Davis for giving back to our school community.

School Summer Office Hours


Want to tour a school this summer? Know someone moving to town or with school-aged children who wants to explore school options? TCAPS schools host office hours during the summer months. This year’s summer school office hours schedule is:


Elementary Schools


Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-12:30 PM


Central Grade

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


  LEAP Office

  (at CGS)

Mondays & Thursdays


9:00 AM-1:00 PM




Cherry Knoll

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-1:00 PM



Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-12:30 PM



Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-12:30 PM



Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-Noon


International School

at Bertha Vos

Mondays & Thursdays


9:00 AM-11:30 AM




Long Lake

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-12:30 PM


at Glenn Loomis

Mondays & Thursdays


9:00 AM-1:00 PM




Old Mission

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-Noon


Silver Lake

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-12:30 PM


Traverse Heights

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-12:30 PM



Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


Willow Hill

Mondays & Thursdays 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Middle Schools

East Middle

Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM-2:00 PM


West Middle

Monday-Thursday 7:00 AM-2:00 PM


High Schools

Central High

Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM-3:00 PM


TC High School

Mondays 9:00 AM-3:00 PM


West Senior High

Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM-3:00 PM


TCAPS Summer Programs – Sign Up Now!

TCAPS offers exciting summer enrichment, athletic and academic programs for youth of all ages in the Grand Traverse region. Whether you’re a Traverse City resident or visiting the area for the summer, there is a program for everyone.


  • Summer Adventure Day Camps (ages 3-12)
  • Camp Invention (grades 1-8)
  • Front Street Writers Workshops (grades 3-8)
  • Robotics Camps (grades 2-8)
  • Bridge Academy (grades 7-11)
  • Summer Academy (grades 9-12)
  • LEAP Enrichment Camps (ages 4-17)
  • Sports Camps (grades K-12)


Learn more:

TCAPS Calendar Reminders


2015/16 School Year Immunization Requirements

As of January 2015, new legislation went into effect that has changed some of the processes in public school attendance and immunizations. Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) now requires that all children must be up-to-date or present an authorized waiver form prior to attending a TCAPS school. Michigan recently revised the immunizations rules to require all individuals who wish to waive one or more vaccines to: 1) seek an authorized waiver for medical contraindication from your family physician; 2) seek an authorized waiver for all non-medical concerns from a county health department. Local health departments can be contacted at: Grand Traverse County: 231.995.6111, Leelanau County: 231.256.0200, Benzie County: 231.885.4409.


Students who enroll in a public school who do not have up-to-date immunizations or an authorized waiver will not be allowed to attend school until the appropriate paperwork is on file with the school office.

Athletic Physicals


As a reminder, all students, in grades 6-12, wishing to participate in athletics must have a physical dated on or after April 15, 2015, on file at their school prior to the start of their sports season. Once on file, athletic physicals are good for one school year.


Sports physicals can be obtained from your child's physician or any medical facility of your choosing. One low cost option is the Youth Health & Wellness Center (YHWC), which is part of the Grand Traverse County Health Department. It offers sports and comprehensive physicals year round for youth, ages 10-21. If you schedule an appointment for your child before the end of June, you will receive a $5 discount (now only $15) on the price of a physical (and depending on insurance plan and other factors you may qualify for a free physical). No child will be turned away due to an inability to pay. YHWC is a Medicaid enrollment site and can help you get medical coverage for your child. It is located at TBAISD Career-Tech Center, 880 Parsons Road. Office hours are 8:30 AM– 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday. Call for an appointment: 231.922.6416. Walk-ins welcome, if time is available.


Download the athletic physical form here.

Community Events & Resources


View current community events and opportunities

Looking for something to do? Check out the TCAPS Community Events & Resources page! There you will find student enrichment opportunities, family-friendly events, services, and support groups available to families in our community.




Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

Traverse City Central High School graduation ceremony


Traverse City Area Public Schools honored the Class of 2015’s 794 graduates at three graduation ceremonies over the weekend. Of those graduates, 274 earned Presidential Education Awards, 254 were named Magna or Summa Cum Laude, and 267 received Academic Honor Awards. This year’s graduates were also awarded more than $73,600 in local scholarships along with hundreds of individual scholarships.


An average of 72 percent of TCAPS graduates attend college during their first year after high school and roughly 87 percent of them return for the second year, according to data tracked between 2007 and 2013. The top five schools students chose to attend are Northwestern Michigan College, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, University of Michigan and Central Michigan University.

Traverse City High School graduation ceremony


Looking for the Class of 2015 graduation videos or materials?

Visit where you will find:


  • All commencement ceremonies can be viewed on demand
  • Order form to order a commemorative commencement DVD
  • Graduation insert from the Sunday, June 7, Record-Eagle with
       Class of 2015 graduates, scholarships and awards
  • All graduation and convocation programs

Traverse City West Senior High School graduation ceremony

Blair 5th Graders Receive Surprise Graduation Gift…a New Bike!

Local businesses surprise Blair Elementary School 5th graders with new bikes and helmets.


At Blair’s 5th grade graduation, this year’s outgoing class received an amazing surprise…they were each given a new bike and bike helmet! The surprise was courtesy of a group of area businesses that came together to reward these 5th graders on a year well done. Special thanks to the following businesses, for their gracious donation!


  • Joe Traylor Construction
  • JNR Construction
  • SBS Siding
  • Gero's Plumbing & Team
  • Straight Line Painting
  • AZACK Builders
  • TJ Electrical
  • Fast Signs
  • Exit Reality
  • Red Barron Builders


Twenty Blair Elementary School teachers and community members came together on June 9th to help assemble the 52 brand new bikes for the graduating 5th graders. Thank you to our amazing teachers and community supporters who give so much of their time (outside of the school day) to help our students learn to lead and succeed.

Blair Elementary School staff and community members help build bikes
in preparation for the 5th grade graduation surprise.


Blair Elementary School fifth graders get a good look at their new bikes and helmets.

TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis’ Stepping-Up Ceremony 2015

TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis Stepping-Up Ceremony


On Monday, June 8th, TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis held its Stepping-Up Ceremony at Thirlby Field. During this special celebration, kindergarteners were recognized for stepping up to lower elementary, followed by the 3rd graders who are stepping up to upper elementary, and ended with 5th and 6th graders who are stepping up to middle school.


Other End of Year Fun

Outdoor fun at Old Mission Peninsula School


End of Year fun at Traverse Heights Elementary School

West Middle School 8th grade students visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Westwoods Elementary School students celebrate the end of the school year.


View Cherry Knoll Elementary School End of Year Videos Here

Congratulations on a Great Year!


Please let the students and staff from West Middle School get you into the summer spirit with their 2015 lip dub.


Also, the State Theatre has agreed to show the WMS lip dub on Monday, June 15, at 11:00 a.m., for free to family and friends! Thank you to the State Theatre for putting our students on the big screen!


Teachers Use Summer Break for Life-Long Learning


This summer, Spanish teachers Eric Ranke (TC West Senior High School) and Erin Riedel (TC East Middle School) will begin a Master's program in Mexico at the Universidad de Guanajuato. It is a three summer long program. They will be living with a host family which will allows them to be immersed in the language and culture, which they can then share with TCAPS students. They will be taking classes related to teaching Spanish and will be working with some of the top language professors from all over the country. We wish them “buena suerte” on their educational adventure!


Want to practice your Spanish this summer? Check out Señor Ranke’s video stream here.

TCAPS 24/7 Keeps Students Learning Over the Summer Break

TCAPS 24/7 was originally designed for students, grades K-5, to use when school is closed due to inclement weather, but it can also be used all summer long! Students can access a number of age and grade appropriate lessons using a computer or mobile device. Many of the lessons come from resources that students were using in the classroom, including math lessons from Khan Academy. TCAPS is continuing to add to the site and welcomes feedback from parents and students about how to make the resource as useful as possible.


TCAPS Teachers Host Summer Camps to Keep Young Minds Learning


This summer, many TCAPS teachers will continue to engage students through a variety of summer camps, including Camp Invention, Invention Project and multiple classes offered through NMC's College for Kids.


West Senior High School robotics teacher Philip Leete takes a moment to tell us about the four VexIQ camps he will host for students of all ages.


“Generally, I do robotics because technology is becoming so accessible,” said Leete. "VexIQ is the fastest growing robotics platform in the nation because of the 'entry points' or starting points. A few years ago, there weren’t any good ways for young kids or novice adults/students to engage in robotics without a large background on mechanical and electrical skill. It required very talented mentors who had a great depth of knowledge in a very specific field. However, that has all changed dramatically. The programming now has levels that are appropriate for 2nd grade through adults and the electronics complement all levels. Once the hook has been set, the same programming knowledge can be applied to more abstract robotics mechanics (that are not included in a standard kit)."


The camps Leete will teach this summer will serve two groups of students at the elementary level; those who have already begun their VexIQ journey and those who have not.


For the students new to VexIQ, the camps offered through the TCAPS’ LEAP program and NMC's College for Kids will focus on the understanding of what sensors do and how to connect them in meaningful ways to a robot.


For the students who have already started down the robotics path, they will learn about design following function and learn to program the robot to respond to the world that the robot experiences based on sensor input. They will also be expected to work at home on their own between camp sessions. Students will each have a robot to call their own while working collaboratively in class. They will not only understand how the sensors work, but how to control the robot's movement based on the sensors. From there, students can change the behaviors that they want changed.


Want to learn more?


Get more information on these robotics camps as well as all TCAPS summer program offerings at:


View this student-made video of the May LEAP VexIQ league finals to see the bots in action.


Graduating class of 1891


Famous Footwear School Supply Drive

TCAPS' newest Partner In Education Famous Footwear will be hosting a school supply drive this summer for TCAPS! Bring any new school supply to Famous Footwear in the Grand Traverse Mall from July 19 – September 19 and receive a $10 coupon for a purchase of $50 or more. Click here to view suggested school supply items. Thank you Famous Footwear!

Traverse City Youth Triathlon

Proceeds from the 2015 Traverse City Youth Triathlon support the purchase AED's for TCAPS schools.


Many thanks to Partner In Education UpNorth Media for a great day at the 2nd Annual Traverse City Youth Triathlon! Over 75 kids participated on such a beautiful day to have an introduction to the triathlon experience. Event proceeds will support the purchase of two AED's (automated external defibrillators) for TCAPS schools.














TCAPS Partner In Education Program: An opportunity to support schools, teachers, programs, teams and clubs!

The TCAPS Partner In Education (PIE) program works to connect community members, businesses and organizations to our schools through sponsorships, financial contributions, in-kind donations or givebacks. Your sponsorship or donation can benefit the school, teacher, program, team or club of your choice. Sponsor space is available at all TCAPS schools, Thirlby Field stadium, electronically via our e-newsletter and new this year, the TCAPS Food Truck!


Contact Karyn Hertel at 231-933-5654 / or visit to learn more.


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Traverse City Area Public Schools

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