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May 2018
Season to Celebrate
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News & Events

Partner in Education


“Our schools serve as the location for so many of our children’s important milestones and achievements.”

TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,

It has been a busy and fun couple of weeks around the school district. We celebrated Staff Appreciation Week last week with heartwarming stories about our inspiring educators and supportive staff. Warm weather has arrived and spring sports are in full swing. It is music concert season throughout the district. And, we have held National Honor Society inductions, and are looking forward to upcoming honors convocations, academic awards, and the many end of year events.

Before we head off into summer, remember, there are only 82 days left until the TCAPS 2018 Bond Election. If you expect to be out of town on August 7th, I encourage you to consider applying to receive an absentee ballot. Secretary of State Absentee Voter Information can be found here. If you plan to be in town and would like to vote in person, be sure to mark your calendar now and remember to vote.

The proposal, if passed, would result in no increase to the current millage rate and would fund a 10 year capital plan that includes safety and security upgrades, bus replacements, technology, upgrades to all facilities, and the reconstruction of the TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis building. TCAPS’ debt millage rate has been the same for the last 20 years and is 40% lower than the state average of 5.4 mills. Our schools serve as the location for so many of our children’s important milestones and achievements. While it is the people, ultimately, who make a difference in the lives of our children, the facilities where learning happens play an important role too.

I look forward to seeing many of you at end of year activities and celebrations, and I hope you get out to enjoy a little sunshine in the company of family and friends.

Paul A. Soma, Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools



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Peer to Peer

West Middle School Students Collect 726 Rolls of Toilet Paper for Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse

Students in Mrs. Six-King’s 6th grade Western Hemisphere class at West Middle School have been hard at work on behalf of our community. Last month students led a philanthropy project to help clean up local beaches. This month, WMS students Peyton, Michael and Orren dropped off a total of 726 rolls of toilet paper to Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse. In their own words, "It is our small step in helping the world four squares at a time.”

Toilet Paper Drive

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Jet Lucsy Youth Arts
TCAPS News & Events

“It is an opportunity to encourage the appreciation and understanding of creative artistic achievement. ”

TCAPS Students Participate in Michigan Youth Arts Festival

TCAPS students recently took part in the 56th annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) on May 10-12, 2018, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. Nearly 1,000 Michigan high school student artists were invited to attend this year’s festival. The students, chosen from a pool of more than 250,000 across the state, are selected via a rigorous adjudication process adhering to specific artistic standards. The invited scholars represent multiple artistic disciplines, including creative writing, dance, film/video, instrumental and vocal music, music composition, theater, and visual art.

Traverse City Central High School’s The Quantum Quartet was selected as an outstanding string ensemble representing the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA). Dr. Michael Markley is Central High School’s orchestra director. Members of the group are: Aili Simpson, violin; Amelia Burke, violin; Kaysen Mortensen-Chown, viola and Quinten Gabrowski, cello. All members of the quartet are seniors and have been playing together, as an ensemble, since their freshmen year at Central High School.

Central High School’s Elliott Smith, Lauren Breederland and Adrianne Evans participated in the MYAF Orchestra. David Hester is the band director at Central High School.

Central High School’s Choral-Aires were selected the top ensemble at the Michigan School Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) Central Solo & Ensemble Festival. The Choral-Aires perform under the direction of Tamara Grove Williams. CHS sophomore soprano, Lauren Fleming, was chosen as one of two top soloists at the MSVMA Central Solo & Ensemble Festival.

Traverse City West Senior High School senior, Madison Hertel, was not only selected as one of the two top soloists at the MSVMA Central Solo & Ensemble Festival, but she was also selected as the top soloist in the state of Michigan. Last year, Madison was selected as the state runner-up.

Erich Wangeman, director of choral activities at West Senior High School had three choral ensembles selected to perform at MYAF. Choral-Aires, Bel’undici and Westmen were all selected to be featured during the ensemble recitals.

West Senior High School sophomore soprano, Daniela Castillo, was invited to join 120 singers from around the state of Michigan in the MSVMA All State Choir.

Traverse City West Senior High School student, Jet Lucsy, was selected as one of the Top 100 high school artists in the state as part of the MYAF. The festival showcases outstanding painting, drawing, graphics, photography, crafts, weaving, ceramics, mixed media, computer design, jewelry and sculpture produced by high school art students from all regions of the state of Michigan. It is an opportunity to share student artwork indicative of good art education with the public, and encourage the appreciation and understanding of creative artistic achievement.

August 7, 2018 Bond: Did You Know?

No Increase - 3.1 Mills
Same Rate for Last 20 Years
40% Lower Than the State Average of 5.4 Mills
10 Year Capital Plan
Responsible Management of $370 Million in Assets

The proposal would provide $107 million over 10 years at an estimated tax rate of 3.1 mills. If this proposal is approved, it is expected that there would be no increase to the current tax rate. TCAPS’ debt millage rate has been the same for the last 20 years and is 40% lower than the state average of 5.4 mills. At a millage rate of 3.1 mills, the cost to an owner of a $200,000* home is $310 per year or less.

*Property taxes are assessed based on taxable value, which is 50% or less of a home’s value. Many $200,000 homes have a taxable value of less than $100,000.

Elementary Reconstruction
Reconstruct one elementary school building. The TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis building is currently the highest priority building in the district due to its condition, age, and lack of physical design to support Montessori instruction.

Safety and Security Improvements
Reconstruct the main entrance at Central High School, West Middle School, and several elementary buildings to improve security infrastructure and facilitate improvements to visitor check-in procedures.

High School STEM/Robotics Rooms
Create dedicated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and robotics laboratories at Central High School and West Senior High School. K-12 STEM instruction is a key educational initiative for TCAPS, which is designed to give students the tools and knowledge they need for the future.

Facility Improvements at All Schools
Projects vary by building based on need and include projects to upgrade or replace roofs plumbing, heating and cooling systems, flooring, parking lot/walkways, restrooms, classrooms, physical education spaces, and playgrounds.

Bus Replacement
Continue the bus replacement program, which allows the district to offer safe and reliable transportation for TCAPS students as well as other area private and parochial school students. TCAPS continually receives 100% passing ratings on school bus inspections by the Michigan State Police.

Continue capital investment in technology, which allows students and schools to access technology that supports learning and student achievement.

Voter Registration Deadline: July 9, 2018
Election Date: August 7, 2018
Absentee Voting: Contact your city/township, ballots available by June 23rd
Find Your Polling Location, Sample Ballot and Voter Registration Information:

TCAPS Bond Election

2018 Graduation Information

Traverse City High School Commencement
June 1, 2018
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Lars Hockstad Auditorium, 301 Seventh St, Traverse City, MI 49684

West Senior High School Commencement
June 3, 2018
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4000 M-137, Interlochen, MI 49643

Central High School Commencement
June 3, 2018
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4000 M-137, Interlochen, MI 49643

TCAPS High Schools Receive Awards for College Readiness and Excellence

Traverse City West Senior High School (10) and Traverse City Central High School (9) received College Success Awards from GreatSchools, a nonprofit that gathers and analyzes statistical information about secondary and post-secondary education from schools across the nation. The award criteria ranks schools a scale of 1-10 and includes SAT scores, advanced placement participation, graduation rates, and graduates who enrolled to pursue two- or four-year college degrees. Traverse City Central High School (88.96) and Traverse City West Senior High School (94.40) also received high marks on the 2016-17 Michigan Department of Education School Index Score. The 0-100 index score replaces the school scorecards and focuses on factors including graduation rate, state test performance, and improvement within sub groups (ex: special education). In addition, Traverse City West Senior High School received a Silver Award from U.S. News and World Report, ranking #23 in the state of Michigan.

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TCAPS Engineering and Architecture Students Receive High Marks at the Michigan Industrial and Technical Education Society Regional Competition

High school students and teachers from Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School participated in the Michigan Industrial and Technical Education Society (MITES) Regional Competition on Friday, May 4, 2018. Students submitted projects they completed in class throughout the 2017-2018 school year. The projects were judged by industry professionals in the region. Regional awards were as follows:

Central High School
Teacher: Jim Baran

MITES Region 15 MD 8C Category: CAD Detail Mechanical Drawing – SINGLE PART
- Noah Robitshek - 1st Place
- Elizaphina Amann - 2nd Place
- Ethan VanderRoest - 3rd Place
- Ben Thorell - 4th Place
- Ethan Slocum - 5th Place
- Madylin McLean - 6th Place

West Senior High School
Teacher: Mark Skodack

Architectural Interior CAD Photo-Realistic/CAD Rendered Presentation
AD 11 C
- Nicholas Rapin, 1st Place
AD 11 B
- Jeremy Ly, 1st Place and awarded Best in Show for Architecture Drawing
AD 11 A
- Granite Winowiecki, 1st Place

Architectural Presentation Rendering - Software
AD 10 C
- Nicholas Rapin, 1st Place
AD 10 B
- Loe Guba, 1st Place
- Andrew Walter, 2nd Place
- Jeremy Ly, 3rd Place

Mechanical Drawing
CAD Rapid Prototype Models – Assembly
- Nicholas Gustafson, 1st Place and awarded Best in Show for Mechanical Drawing

The top four places in the regional competition advance to state competition, which took place May 9-12, 2018. The results from the state competition are:

MD – Mechanical Drawing
MD -21 CAD Rapid Prototype Models – Assembly
- Nicholas Gustafson, 2nd Place

AD 10 -CAD Architectural Presentation Rendering - Software
AD 10 C
- Nicholas Rapin, 4th Place

AD-11 Architectural Interior CAD Photo-Realistic/CAD Rendered Presentation
AD 11 A
- Granite Winowiecki, 5th Place  

Purchase your BBQ tickets now!

West Senior High School Student’s Art to be Displayed at Michigan Department of Education Office

Traverse City West Senior High School senior, Rachel Kreta, had her work selected to hang in the Michigan Department of Education office in Lansing for the 2018-2019 school year.

Central High School Robotics Team Hosts 2018 College Signing Day

On Friday, May 4, 2018, Traverse City Central High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1711 – The RAPTORS, hosted a 2018 College Signing Day celebration for the team’s graduating seniors. College Signing Day celebrates high school seniors choosing to pursue higher education at a professional training program, a community college, a four-year college or university, or the military. More than 2,000 College Signing Day events have been planned in nearly every state across the country by communities, students, and organizations committed to helping students pursue higher education.

College Signings

TCAPS Students Advance to Nationals in History Day Competition

Students from Traverse City Area Public Schools competed in the state level competition for National History Day, on Saturday, April 28, 2018, in Bay City, Mich. East Middle School students Julia Flynn (website) and Joie Baldyga (exhibit) are advancing to the national level competition, which will be held June 10-14, 2018, at the University of Maryland, College Park. George Parvel was selected as the alternate (2nd place) for his website and Olivia Strom is the alternate (2nd place) for her documentary. Alexandria Maxwell and Sam McDonough both were given special awards for use of primary sources. West Middle School also sent students to the state finals. The students presenting their projects were: Sara Bagley and Emily Sprenkle (group exhibit), Baylor Baldwin and Keegan Sutherland (group exhibit), Ella Mae Rintala (individual paper) and Audrey Michael (individual exhibit). More information:

TCAPS Community Rummage Sale

Come on May 19 for this HUGE INDOOR garage sale. The sale supports more than 40 students who will be traveling this summer to Mexico and Spain. This multi-family garage sale is the last big fundraiser to support these students. Please come show your support and find a great deal on the things you need: sporting goods, clothing, books, electronics, housewares, and more!

TCAPS Rummage Sale

Willow Hill Elementary School Crowned 2018’s Most Bike-tastic

The Willow Hill Elementary School Falcons were crowned 2018’s Most Bike-tactic for their participation in the Northern Michigan’s Bike/Walk to School Day held on May 9th. Willow Hill had 232 students participate and nearly 800 kids from 22 area schools in total participated in the event. TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis, Central Grade School, Traverse Heights Elementary School, and the Eastern Elementary School bike-to-bus all received honorable mention.

Cinco de Mayo

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Students benefit from local grant opportunities.

Traverse Heights Elementary School Receives TBA Credit Union Classroom Improvement Grant

K-5 art teacher Sarah DeKett received a TBA Credit Union Classroom Improvement Grant for $800 for the art room at Traverse Heights Elementary School. The grant was used to purchase sculpture, printmaking and painting supplies. TBA Credit Union provides classroom grant opportunities to help fund school projects and programs as part of their commitment to the success of local students and the educators dedicated to their success. Grant recipients are selected for funding based on how many students will benefit from the request, how the request relates to classroom instruction and how funding will impact the future of students.

Heights Improvement

Blair Elementary School Receives a Silver Award

On Thursday, May 10th, 2018, Blair Elementary School, along with 40 other schools throughout Michigan, was recognized at the Michigan State Capitol building for excellence in creating a culture of wellness in their school. Blair received a Silver Award for their healthy school endeavors! The School Wellness Award recognizes schools that are making significant policy and environmental improvements in their environment related to healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco-free lifestyles. During the ceremony, held in the Michigan State Capitol rotunda, representatives from Blair met with and were congratulated by Larry Inman, Representative of the 104th District. Blair Elementary School has had a Healthy School Team since 2016. This team includes staff, students, food service, health instructors, and community organizations. They meet regularly to discuss and implement new programs, activities, and opportunities for students and staff to enjoy creating healthy habits. Among other health initiatives, Blair is an active participant in Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement.

The School Wellness Award is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Action for Healthy Kids, and Michigan’s Health and Wellness Education Workgroup. These partners want to honor schools that are working hard to create healthier school environments.
Wellness Award
Left to Right: Samuel Walter (Blair Elementary School 5th grade teacher and Healthy School Team member), Caitlin Lorenc (Michigan State University Extension), and Larry Inman (104th District Representative)

adidas Gives Back

Last fall, TCAPS entered into a partnership with adidas where buyers received a 20% discount on all purchases and 5% came back to the district to support athletic trainers and supplies. So far TCAPS has received nearly $12,000 from adidas due to our community’s support of this partnership. Thank you to everyone who made a purchase and helped make this program such a huge success.

And, because it was so successful, adidas is once again offering this program to our community. So when planning for summer gear or when back-to-school shopping comes around, don't forget about this great give back offer from Partner In Education adidas! Simply use the offer code TRAVPS18ADP and TCAPS families will receive 20% off and free shipping on all orders! Plus 5% comes back to TCAPS to continue to support athletic trainers and supplies!

Make your purchase here

LEAP Banner Heroes

Over the next few weeks, you will see banners in elementary and middle school gymnasiums as well as the middle schools track and field areas. This new effort offers area businesses the chance to support scholarships for student who may not be able to afford participation in LEAP offerings. Many thanks to our first LEAP Banner Hero sponsors Schulz Orthodontics, B.C. Pizza, Independent Bank, Gaston Chiropractic, and Dave Schuler / Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtor. Banner Hero Sponsorships start at just $175. For more information on how your business can get involved, contact Partner In Education Coordinator Karyn Hertel at 231-933-5654 or

Learn more here


Now through September 30, 2018, several of the awarded vendors on the 2018 REMC Device Purchasing Bid are also offering discounts to TCAPS staff, students and families on computers and accessories purchased for personal use. Featured vendors are InaComp, Presidio and Sehi.


Munson Medical Center

TCAPS has expanded its relationship with Partner In Education Munson Medical Center by bringing in experts in certain areas to share their knowledge with students. Special thanks to Community Health Coordinator and Diabetes Education and Support Service Coordinator Tara Rybicki, MS, RD, CDE for recently visiting Mr. Mike Gle’s PE class at TC Central High School. Tara shared important dietary information with students and answered many great questions from students. Click here to see a news story on the partnership.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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