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Our Community

November 2014    

In This Issue

Superintendent's Message


News & Events


Student Spotlight


Education in Action


Partner in Education

Partners in Education

Learn more and register here
View participating stores and organizations you can support with your purchases


View current community events and opportunities


TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,


On Tuesday, November 4th, area residents will head to the polls to vote on a number of items that impact our schools and our community. Seats on the TCAPS Board of Education, the state legislature and the TCAPS millage renewal—which makes up 36% of the TCAPS operating budget—are all on the ballot.


Here is additional information about the TCAPS non-homestead millage renewal:

Not paid by most taxpayers
   - Those who do pay would see no change to current tax rate


Same since 1999
   - Required to receive state’s full foundation allowance per pupil


Property tax on most second homes and commercial properties
   - 0 mills homesteads (primary residences)/18 mills non-homesteads


Provides approximately 36% of the TCAPS operating budget
   - Used for day-to-day operations, classroom supplies, payroll,
      general maintenance, etc.


Without the millage
   - TCAPS cannot fully operate

We’ve also created a number of informational materials. Click here to view a video or learn more at:









Paul Soma

Interim Superintendent

Traverse City Area Public Schools


TCAPS 24/7: A New Resource to Keep Students Learning on Snow Days


TCAPS 24/7 is a resource designed for students, grades K-5, to use when school is closed due to inclement weather. 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 are already using in the classroom, including math lessons from Khan Academy. It also allows students to continue lessons they were working on in class or to try something new. Participation is voluntary, but students can submit their work to their teacher when they have completed a lesson. TCAPS plans to continue to add to the site and welcomes feedback from parents and students about how to make the resource as useful as possible.


Access TCAPS 24/7:

(View a tutorial)

LEAP Under the Lights—Wednesday, November 26th

LEAP Under the Lights offers free family friendly events, Turkey Trot race sign up and packet pick up.


TCAPS has teamed up with the 2014 UpNorthMedia Turkey Trot, Meijer and Peegeo’s Fire Engine Grill to host LEAP Under the Lights on Wednesday, November 26, 2014, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Thirlby Field.


Activities include a bounce house, bungee race, soccer shoot-out, sack races, bean bag toss and more. Turkey Trot race sign up and packet pick up will also be available during the event. Donations of toiletries and non-perishable items to support the TCAPS and Saint Francis food pantries are encouraged. Dog food and pet supplies will also be accepted to help support H.A.N.D.S. LEAP Under the Lights is open to the public. Participation in the Turkey Trot is not necessary to attend this free event.


The LEAP program provides TCAPS elementary and middle school students with increased opportunities for engagement beyond the school day through educational and recreational activities to improve learning, health, and wellness. To learn more about LEAP and the current offerings available to students, visit

Shop Your Community Day—Saturday, November 8th


On Saturday, November 8th, when you make a purchase at one of the participating downtown businesses, just indicate to the sales associate that you are true to your school and are shopping for TCAPS. When you do, 15% of your sale will go to support universal preschool for our community. It’s another great way to support our schools while getting your holiday shopping done. Proceeds will go to support scholarships for preschool to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn and grow.

Go Global!—Saturday, November 22nd

On Saturday, November 22nd, TCAPS, in partnership with Northwestern Michigan College, will host “Go Global” from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Dennos Museum. Go Global is a fun-filled event featuring musical performances, exhibitors, a lecture series and an opportunity to learn more about international program offerings for students. The event is free and open to the community.

TC Central Track & Field Coach Named Coach of the Year

From left to right: Gary Appel, John Lober, Paul Soma

John Lober, longtime coach of the Trojan track and field team, has been recognized by the Michigan High School Coaches Association as the 2014 Track & Field Coach of the Year. (Record-Eagle article)


TC West Senior High School Student Scores Perfect 36


Traverse City West Senior High School student, Charles Rogers, earned the highest possible score of 36 on the ACT. The ACT is designed to provide colleges with evidence of a student’s readiness for the academic rigors of higher education. The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. According to ACT, on average, less than one-tenth of one percent of all test takers earns the top score. Last year, only 1,407 out of 1.85 million students who took the test earned a composite score of 36. (Ticker story)

TC Central and TC West Students Make the Grade

Central High School National Merit Scholars were recognized at the October 27 Board of Education Meeting. West Senior High School students will be recognized by the Board on November 10.


Traverse City Central High School students Peter Andreasson, Ruth Gerstle, Colin Huls, Jackson McKay and Nicholas Suminski and Traverse City West Senior High School students Daniel Hansen, Hayden Northrup and Charles Rogers have made the 2015 National Merit Scholar List. These students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2015 competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test.

Academic Awards


Both Traverse City West Senior High School and Traverse City Central High School honored students for their academic achievements during the 2013-14 school year at their annual academic award ceremonies.

Central High School Academic Awards


West Senior High School Academic Awards


Long Lake Elementary School students decorate pumpkins to resemble characters from their favorite books.

Eastern Elementary School students participate in a costume parade.

Students at Old Mission Peninsula School participate in a costume parade.

Members of the West Senior High School marching band perform for West Middle School students.

Courtade Elementary School staff get into the spirit.

Exciting day for students at Interlochen Community School.


Stories to Scare Your Socks Off

A hit among middle school students, the writing workshop "Terrifying Tales" is a Front Street Writers favorite.


Nineteen young writers in grades 5-8 participated in the summer workshop, Terrifying Tales, and the fall workshop, Terrifying Tales: Halloween Edition, held at the Grand Traverse Commons, on the former State Hospital grounds. Students learned from model texts by masters of suspense like Edgar Allen Poe and R.L. Stine. They were inspired by their surroundings. During the summer, students took a tour of the Grand Traverse Commons, including a terrifying trip into the tunnels under the old hospital. They were eager to dig into research, finding details about the hospital’s history to bring their stories to life.


This is what one mother had to say about her daughter’s experience: “Emma loves writing, will spend hours writing every night, but she was convinced she was going to hate (Terrifying Tales). I was wasting my money…Fast forward to the end of this week's class…my girl is now talking about being a writer when she grows up. It's as if this one week has helped her realize that she is a writer and a world of possibility has opened up to her. It didn't hurt that the class was based around horror writing.”


For information about upcoming writers workshops for students,


Students were eager to bring their stories to life.


About the Author: Kerrey Woughter is the librarian at Central High School and the teacher and program director at Front Street Writers, a creative writing program sponsored by TCAPS and the National Writers Series. Kerrey’s favorite Halloween story is “I’m Not Martin” by R.L. Stine.


7th Annual Traverse City Turkey Trot for Charities

Learn more and register here


Registration is now open for the UpNorth Media Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot for Charities. The November 27, 2014, 5K Walk/Run and 5-Miler race courses begin at 9 a.m. at Thirlby Field and runs through downtown Traverse City. Canned good donations will be accepted at the event to support the TCAPS and GTACS food pantries. Dog food and pet supplies will also be accepted to help support H.A.N.D.S.


All event proceeds go to local charities and TCAPS' Learning, Enrichment and Athletic Program (LEAP). All runners will receive a commemorative long-sleeved Turkey Trot t-shirt as well as a backpack filled with gifts and offers from sponsors valuing more than $15.


To learn more and to register, visit:

Subway #three5one High School Competition

On Saturday, November 22nd, the downtown Subway store, 136 E. Front Street, will hold a fundraising competition for one lucky TCAPS high school. Customers will choose TC West Senior High School, TC Central High School or Traverse City High School and the high school with the most votes at the end of the day will receive 5% of the day's net sales. Three schools, 5% give back, one winner. Many thanks to Subway owner Wendy Corey for her Partner In Education support!

TCAPS Partner In Education Program


TCAPS’ Partner In Education (PIE) program works to connect community members, businesses and organizations to our schools. This year, the program has continued to grow and has helped TCAPS better serve students by offering free, reduced or low cost programs that could not be provided without partner support. Learn more:



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Traverse City Area Public Schools

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