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November 2017
News & Events

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“It’s what a great community with great schools is all about. For that, I am truly thankful.”

TCAPS Families, Staff and Friends,

The month of November is about giving thanks. This year, as I reflect on the many things to be grateful for, in both my personal and professional life, I feel particularly thankful for all of the opportunities that exist in Traverse City to connect our students with our community.

Just this month, we hosted events recognizing Veterans, inviting service members into our schools to share their stories and teach students about the value of service.

The Central High School TechGirls talked to participants in the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Grand Traverse program about the district’s STEM opportunities, particularly for young women, and West Senior High School Choral-Aires and Advanced Theatre students performed for the group.

Our students helped build community by presenting a $7,400 check to the Inland Seas Education Association to support their education and outreach efforts.

The student governors from TC Central and TC West attended the Chamber’s Economic Outlook breakfast, joining the business community to hear perspectives about the state and nation’s financial forecast.

And, theatre goers have been wowed by the high school productions of Les Misérables (Central High School) and The Crucible (West Senior High School).

These are just a few examples of experiences where community members contribute to student learning and where students give back to the place we call home. It’s what a great community with great schools is all about. For that, I am truly thankful.

Paul A. Soma, Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

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TCAPS students meet Senator
SEA Club students with Congressman Bergman

TC West and TC Central Face Off in First “Hockey Fights Cancer Game”—December 13th

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at Howe Arena, the TC West Titans and TC Central Trojans face off in their inaugural “Hockey Fights Cancer Game” to benefit Michigan based Van Andel Institute’s cancer research programs. Players from both sides of the blue line will be fighting for more than a regular conference win, they will be honoring friends or family that have been affected by cancer. Each player will be wearing a special pink and purple game jersey with the name of the person they are skating/playing for on their back. “Hockey Fights Cancer” T-shirts will be available for purchase through West Senior High School and Central High School’s Student Senate and athletic departments prior to the game. Come out and watch hometown hockey rivals battle it out on the ice and against cancer.

Central High School’s SEA Club Learns Valuable Lessons

Students from Traverse City Central High School learned about citizenship and governance while preparing for a presentation about climate change to U.S. Representative Jack Bergman. Watch this inspiring mini-documentary about how a few students can affect the conversation and make a difference.

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“Sharing information to help students be safe and smart when using technology.”

Teens and Technology Series at East Middle School

On November 7, 2017, Traverse City East Middle School hosted its first installment in a series called “Teens and Technology.” Representatives from the Michigan State Police, Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office, and the TCAPS Technology Department shared information with parents and students to help students be safe and smart when using technology. View the presentation and notes here. The next event in the series will take place on December 6, 2017, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the East Middle School library (1776 Three Mile Rd. N.).

Homeless Awareness Week—November 13th-17th

Each November, TCAPS recognizes Homeless Awareness Week. It is a week dedicated to education and outreach about the issues facing hundreds of our students who lack fixed, adequate or stable living situations. The district’s Students In Transition Empowerment Program, or STEP, works with eligible students who have lost permanent housing due to foreclosure, eviction, or reasons related to economic hardship to locate and coordinate available services based on each student’s individual needs. The goal of the program is to ensure school stability, remove barriers to full participation in their education, and support academic achievement while children are in residential transition.

Central High School Presents Les Misérables—November 16th-19th

Traverse City Central High School will present its second weekend of performances of Les Misérables from November 16, 2017, to November 19, 2017. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, ‘Les Misérables travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjean, as he runs from the merciless Inspector Javert on a journey beyond the barricades at the center of the Rebellion. Valjean promises a poor factory worker, Fantine that he will save her child, Cosette and raise her as his own. Marius, a war veteran during the battles of post-French Revolution, falls for Cosette, but their lives change forever when the battle takes a dreadful turn. Thursday-Sunday evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances begin at 2:00 p.m. at the Central High School auditorium (1150 Milliken Dr.). Tickets range from $15 to $25 and can be purchased at

Click here to get your tickets now!

Traverse City West Senior High School Presents The Crucible—November 17th-18th

On Friday, November 17, 2017, and Saturday, November 18, 2017, Traverse City West Senior High School’s Advanced Theatre will present The Crucible at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium (5376 N. Long Lake Rd.). With a modern new twist on Arthur Miller’s 1953 The Crucible, Traverse City West Senior High School’s Advanced Theatre troupe maintains the searing dramatic portrayal of a community engulfed in delirium. Teeming in the rigid oligarchy within the halls of Salem High, rumors of witchcraft galvanize the town’s most primitive suspicions. A ruthless trial and prosecution bring the academy’s deepest secrets into the spotlight. Tickets range from $7 to $12 and can be purchased at

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Safe Routes to West Middle and Central Grade Action Plan Meetings—November 20th

The Safe Routes to School teams at West Middle and Central Grade schools will be hosting Action Plan meetings to assess possible improvements to make routes students use to walk and bike to school safer. The Action Plan meetings for West Middle and Central Grade Schools will take place on Monday, November 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Committee Room, 2nd Floor, Governmental Center (400 Boardman Ave.). Participants will review walking audit comments and maps to identify possible improvements that will aide in the safest routes for children to walk and bike to school. Snacks will be provided. The meeting is expected to last one hour.   

TC West 24 Hour Basketball Fundraiser for Cancer Travels—November 24th-25th

On Friday, November 24, 2017, and Saturday, November 25, 2017, the Traverse City West Senior High School boys’ and girls’ basketball programs are hosting a 24 hour basketball fundraiser. The event is one basketball game that lasts 24 hours with a continuous score. The TC West basketball programs are the purple team and will be playing against the white team made up of community businesses and organizations. The event raises funds for Cancer Travels, a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides gas cards and other financial assistance to families that are battling cancer. The event has raised and donated more than $7,000 to date. Tip off begins at 12:00 p.m. on Friday and the final buzzer sounds on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Admission is free. Businesses and organizations can sign up to sponsor and register a team by emailing

Traverse City West Choirs Host 3rd Annual “Mix and Mingle with a Holiday Jingle”—December 9th

The third annual "Mix and Mingle with a Holiday Jingle" is being presented by the Traverse City West Choirs on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at Kirkbride Hall, located in Building 50 of the Grand Traverse Commons. This seasonal celebration features music sung by the award-winning TC West High School Choral-Aires, Westmen, Bella Voce, and West Middle School Madrigals. Ticket prices include all you can eat hors d'oeuvres, a dessert bar, and seasonal music performed in a relaxed atmosphere. A silent auction will also be held. Join TC West vocalists for a wonderful evening of music, amazing food, and the chance to pick up a few holiday gifts for that special someone. Tickets are $25, 2 for $45 or 4 for $75 and can be purchased at

Get your tickets now!

TCAPS Students Qualify as Finalists in the Michigan Math Prize Competition

Traverse City Area Public Schools is pleased to announce Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School students have qualified as finalists in the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition (MMPC). These students are among the top 1,157 students who took Part I of the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition in October 2017.

Finalists will take Part II of the exam in December 2017. The Part II exam consists of five challenging problems to which the students must provide written explanations for their claims and mathematical proofs of the answers. The students with the top 100 scores on both parts of the exam will be invited to an Awards Day program in March 2018. The students with the top 50 scores will be presented with scholarships ranging from the bronze awards of $500 to $2,500 for the first place gold medalist.

Traverse City Central High School MMPC finalists are:
Rayna Archibald
Joseph Aulicino
Nicholas Linder
Elliott Smith
Dan Curtiss
Ted Roe
Yuliy Pyshnyvuk
Andy Zaloudek
Abraham Arends
Jack Kernan
Oliver Phillips

Traverse City West Senior High School MMPC finalists are:
Ryan Farese
Madison Hertel
Erin Murphy
Robert Parsons
Ian Beck
Meg Farah
Jeremy Gauden
Aage Grenchik
Nick Gustafson
Pierson Klein
Jayden Mayville
Lainey Trubiroha

For more information, visit the MMPC website.

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Student Business at Central High School Sells Gift Baskets

The Traverse City Central High School Junior Achievement class of 2017 launches its new business—Traverse City Treasure Chest, otherwise known as TC Squared. The up-and-coming company harnesses the skills of TC Central students and provides them with real-world experiences in the business field. TC Squared is now selling gift boxes filled with local goodies made to please the palates and warm the hearts of its recipients. For more information or to place an order, contact the business’ Facebook page, TC Treasure Chest – A Junior Achievement Company – Traverse City Central HS.

National Weather Service Members Speak to Students about Measuring and Predicting the Weather

Traverse City Central High School welcomed members of the National Weather Service – Gaylord to speak to students in the SCI-MA-TECH program and math students about the technology, the science and math behind the technology, and the measurements and instrumentation used in their profession.

TCAPS Announces New Lacrosse Co-Op Team

Traverse City Area Public Schools is pleased to announce that a new boys’ lacrosse co-op team has been approved by the MHSAA for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. Lacrosse has been a club sport in the area for a number of years, but it was not a school-sponsored, MHSAA approved sport. The new team, Traverse City United, will consist of players attending both Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School and will include both JV and varsity squads.

Traverse City West Middle School Hosts OK2Say Assembly

Traverse City West Middle School hosted a presentation by OK2SAY - Michigan’s student safety program and the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative. The Michigan Attorney General’s office has developed a presentation to teach middle and high school students about OK2SAY, a confidential student safety threat reporting system, which encourages anyone who has information about a student safety threat to submit a tip by text message, mobile app, email, phone, or on the OK2SAY website. It was presented in conjunction with the national award-winning Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative. Learn more about OK2SAY.

German Band Einshoch6 Performs in Traverse City

Traverse City West Senior High School hosted German band Einshoch6. German language students from West Senior High School, West Middle School, Glen Lake, and Kingsley attended the show. The stop in Traverse City was part of the 2017 U.S. Tour by the band, which is being coordinated by the American Association of Teachers of German and was made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: TC Guitar Company, Tiernan Family, Bill Marsh, Well Spring Psychiatry, Inland Lakes Machine (of Cadillac), Maxbauers, Cherry Republic, and Park Place Hotel/Minervas.

German band Einshoch6

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November Calendar Reminders

Wednesday, November 22nd No school, teacher workday
Thursday, November 23rd No school, Thanksgiving recess
Friday, November 24th No school, Thanksgiving recess

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TC Track Club
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“Thanks to Lisa Taylor and the entire grant committee for supporting our students.”

TC Track Club Grant Funds Scholarships for LEAP

The Traverse City Track Club, through the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, has generously awarded TCAPS’ Learning, Enrichment and Athletics Program (LEAP) a grant in the amount of $5,800. The grant will fund scholarships for the LEAP cross country and track and field programs. This fall, the Traverse City Track Club received requests from nine organizations totaling $127,979.50 and were able to fund seven requests for a total of $44,173. With the fall grant cycle, the Traverse City Track Club has exceeded the $1.5 million mark in contributions to the community since 2007.   Many thanks to Executive Director Lisa Taylor and the entire grant committee for supporting our students.

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Traverse City Area Public Schools
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