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June 2022
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Announcing Season 3 of “Live from the Opera House: It’s Storytime!”

City Opera House, Traverse City Area Public Schools, and the Michigan Learning Channel are pleased to announce the third season of “Live from the Opera House: It’s Storytime!.” The show will air on the Michigan Learning Channel on Mondays at 12:00 p.m. from June 20th through August 15th and will be available to view anytime at and Episodes will also re-air Thursdays at noon.

In each episode of the show, host Ben Whiting introduces viewers to a special guest who reads a book and then an activity leader who demonstrates a project related to the week’s theme. Each activity uses items commonly found around the house or classroom and focuses on learning about science, technology, engineering, art, math, and local culture. The show also features mindfulness moments to help students prepare their minds and bodies for learning. “Storytime!” is geared toward 1st-3rd grade students, but offers entertainment and educational content for viewers of all ages.

Live from the Opera House, It's Storytime!
Musician Miriam Pico guides students through a moment of mindfulness.

In addition to being publicly available on, TCAPS’ website for families to access anywhere, anytime learning, the show is being used in classrooms, extended day and summer camp programs, and is available to a statewide audience through a partnership with the Michigan Learning Channel. Activity sheets that correspond with each episode are also available online and have been included in printed learning packets, which are being distributed to students throughout the state.

“As we continue to look for new ways to engage students in learning, both in the classroom and at home, shows like ‘Live from the Opera House: It’s Storytime!’ highlight our TCAPS schools and teachers and allow them to share fun, educational programming that is free and available to every student in the state,” said Dr. John VanWagoner, superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools. “It takes a special place to rally around its children and its schools in this way and it is a privilege to work with the many partners in our region who know that, together, we can support the needs of growing young minds.”

This summer the Michigan Learning Channel is offering an 8-week program for grades Pre-K-6. The program includes standards-aligned English Language Arts and Math lessons for each grade, plus physical fitness activities, hands-on STEM programs, and fun enrichment activities that bring in partners from across the state around a weekly theme. “Live from the Opera House: It’s Storytime!” is one of the featured series.

Show themes, time/air dates, guest readers and activity leaders include:

Take Flight (12 p.m., June 20, 23)
Ben Whiting, Ben Whiting Productions
Keith Forton, Central High School Science Teacher

Underwater (12 p.m., June 27, 30)
Michele Howard, Traverse Area District Library
Tara Gang, Westwoods Elementary School and Willow Hill Elementary School Art Teacher

Heroes (12 p.m., July 4, 7)
Dr. Christine Nefcy, Munson Healthcare
Peter Milne, Northwest Education Services/REMC-2, with Patrick Milne and Lorelei Thomet

Engineering (12 p.m., July 11, 14)
Stacey Feeley, GoSili
Renee Disbrow, East Middle School Science Teacher, with Emmy Lingaur

Creatures (12 p.m., July 18, 21)
Scott Tucker, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Kelly OBranovic, Eastern Elementary School Instructional Coach, with Lucy OBranovic

Great Outdoors (12 p.m., July 25, 28)
Sakura Takano, Rotary Charities of Traverse City
Angela Ballmer, TCAPS Montessori Lower Elementary Teacher, with Austin Ballmer

When I Grow Up (12 p.m., August 1,4)
Dr. Nick Ceglarek, Northwest Education Services
Sam Walter, Blair Elementary School 5th Grade Teacher, with Ronald Dahl, Adalynn Harris, Gabby Johns, and Brycen Kaley

Shoot for the Stars (12 p.m., August 8, 11)
Trey Devey, Interlochen Center for the Arts
Peter Deneen, East Middle School Band Director

Congratulations Graduates!

Graduation Ceremonies

Congratulations and good luck to the TCAPS Class of 2022! The graduating classes at Traverse City Central High School, Traverse City West Senior High School, and Traverse City High School were celebrated during commencement ceremonies held Friday, June 3 and Sunday, June 5, 2022. Learn more about the class of 2022 below or visit

Class of 2022 Information
  • 784 Graduates
  • 328 Presidential Education Awards
  • 325 Magna/Summa Cum Laude
  • 341 Academic Awards
  • 13 National Merit Scholars

Prepared for the Future
  • TCAPS High Schools Ranked Among Best High Schools (U.S. News & World Report)
  • TCAPS' Advanced Placement, Early College & Dual Enrollment Courses Saved Area Families Over $4 Million Annually
  • 2022 Graduates Earned More Than $6.9 Million in University & $140,980 in Local Scholarships

If you missed any of the senior ceremonies or want to watch them again, recordings are available here.

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TC High Commencement
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Traverse Heights Elementary School's Amazing Shake

Traverse Heights Elementary School recently hosted the second annual Amazing Shake. The Amazing Shake provides fifth grade students invaluable experience to strengthen their connection to our community through a series of one-on-one interviews. After practicing shaking hands, eye contact, posture, manners, and important interview skills, all fifth graders participated in a first round of interviews with local volunteers. From there, seven students moved on to the second round, and two finalists attained final interviews with Richard Lewis, Mayor of Traverse City and TCAPS Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner.
Amazing Shake

During the first round of interviews, each 5th grade student traveled from volunteer to volunteer, spending about 2 minutes interacting with them. After students introduced themselves, they were asked prepared questions. Volunteers scored students based on their answer, charisma, confidence, and their ability to carry a conversation.

Round Two is known as "Out on the Town" and took place Thursday, June 9th. The top seven students traveled to the District Library to complete five tasks. Their job was to navigate their surroundings and interact professionally with others to find items they may need in the future.

Round Three, known as "The Lunch Interview" took place at Traverse Heights on Monday, June 13th. The top two students participated in lunch interviews with the Mayor of Traverse City and TCAPS’ Superintendent. This year, Harlow Westbrook and Emma Yang were named co-champions of the Amazing Shake competition! It is the first time in Traverse Heights history that two students earned the Roadrunner of the Year title.

The winning Roadrunners of the Year have their name engraved on a plaque outside the school’s main office. Additionally, the co-champions earned a one night stay with their family at the Park Place. Congratulations to the Roadrunners of the Year and to all of the fifth graders who participated!

West Senior High School Wind Ensemble Invited to Perform at 2023 Michigan Music Conference

Congratulations to Mr. Mielens and the Traverse City West Senior High School Wind Ensemble for earning the distinguished honor of being invited to perform at the 2023 Michigan Music Conference!
Titan Band

The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) selected only three high school bands to perform, one of which is the Traverse City West Senior High School Wind Ensemble. Each applying band submitted previous recordings, recommendation letters, prior programs, and class rosters. This is the third time the Traverse City West Senior High School Wind Ensemble has been invited to perform as an MSBOA featured ensemble (2005, 2009, 2023). The performance will be at 3:00 pm on January 20th, 2023 at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI.

East and West Middle Schools Celebrate Readers!

The Library Media Center(LMC) once again ran The Great Titan/Trojan Read contests to grow the reading culture at the middle schools. Students and staff were encouraged to submit book tickets (plot summaries) for books they completed before May 28, 2022 in order to earn points for their grade level team. Much reading took place! An amazing number of 758 book tickets were submitted by over 300 participants!
Celebrate Readers

In the end, only one team can prevail. The Class of 2027 was victorious at both campuses! All seventh grade readers (approximately 140) who submitted book tickets were invited to attend the Winners Celebration to celebrate their accomplishments. Prizes during the celebration fit into two categories: things to do while taking a break from reading and snacks to eat while reading. The LMC staff is so grateful for the support of the following local businesses that made this year’s prize giveaway absolutely thrilling: Brilliant Books, ELEV8 Climbing & Fitness, Jimmy John’s (E. Front Street & W. South Airport locations), Lucky Jacks, Pirate’s Cove, Rocket Fizz, The Filling Station and Wares Bros Frosty Treat. In addition, the LMC purchased some fabulous books to jumpstart summer reading for eight lucky Titans and Trojans.

Congratulations to the Top Titan/Trojan Grade Level Readers who each received a $20 gift card to Brilliant Books.
East Middle School: Jimena Duran (6th), Willow Hulst (7th), Kat Dickinson (8th)
West Middle School: Laila Adamo (6th), Erica Jones (7th), Cadence Irish (8th)

TCAPS Pop-Up Enrollment Events

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) will be hosting pop-up summer enrollment events to assist local families and prepare for the 2022-2023 school year. Interested in learning about preschool? Have a Kindergarten student to enroll? New to Traverse City and not sure how to enroll at TCAPS? Just want to learn more about TCAPS? These events are for you!
TCAPS Enrollment
TCAPS enrollment events will include enrollment information, free books and school supplies for students, information for families, giveaways, and more! Additional information will be shared via the district website, email blasts, and TCAPS social media outlets, later this month.

Pop-up enrollment events will take place on the following dates:
  • Tuesday, June 28, 2022
  • Thursday, July 14, 2022
  • Wednesday, August 10, 2022
For more information, visit

TCAPS Academic Excellence Fund

Helping Families Discover Summer

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) collaborates with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) on summer learning and has developed a new online resource for families to help them partner in their children’s summer learning. In addition to the summer learning program search feature, there is access to resources from leading youth organizations to keep the learning going all summer long.

NSLA's new online family resource, with over double the amount of programs featured in its search tool, has additional resources to help families make more informed decisions regarding summer learning.

Interlochen Arts Discovery Camp

TCAPS Summer Building Hours

All TCAPS school buildings offer summer office hours to assist families with enrollment questions and paperwork. For more information, please contact the school directly.


Thursday, June 16th • Regular Building Hours
Friday, June 17th • Regular Building Hours
Monday, June 20th • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Thursday, June 23rd • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Monday, June 27th • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Thursday, June 30th • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

The school offices will be closed during the month of July. If you need to register your child in school, please complete the student registration forms found online at: Completed forms should be mailed, emailed, or dropped off, along with a copy of your child’s birth certificate, immunization records, and proof of residency to TCAPS - Enrollment, 412 Webster Street, Traverse City, MI 49686. For more information, please call 231.933.1710, visit

Monday, August 1st • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 4th • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Monday, August 8th • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 11th • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM


TC East Middle School
Monday – Thursday • 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

TC West Middle School
Monday – Thursday • 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM


TC Central High School
Monday – Thursday • 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Traverse City High School
Tuesdays • 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

TC West Senior High School
Monday – Thursday • 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

LEAP Office
Call for assistance • 231.933.6570

The Tompkins Boardman Administration Center* will be open to the public from 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, June 20th - August 11th. * All buildings will be closed the full week of July 4th - 8th. Normal Monday-Friday school hours will resume on August 15th.

Traverse City Area Public Schools Announces Sponsorship of The Summer Food Service Program for Children

Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and under or persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that is recognized by a state or local public educational agency. The meals will be provided without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Due to federal regulations, food will not be permitted to leave the premises, all children must consume the meals onsite at designated eating areas. Meals will be provided at the site listed below, Monday-Thursday from June 27th through August 11th:

Traverse Heights Elementary School
933 Rose Street
Traverse City, MI 49686
Breakfast: 8:00am-8:45am
Lunch: 11:50am-12:50pm
*Closed July 4th & July 5th

If you will be traveling this summer, please use the Meet Up and Eat Up Site Locator to find the meal location nearby.

For more information about TCAPS food services, free and reduced meals, and summer food service programs, please visit

Tech Tip of the Month for Parents from the TCAPS EdTech Loop


Passwords are not hacked by a person anymore; they are hacked by software. The days of hackers sitting at a computer trying to guess your password are over. Consider implementing a “passphrase” instead of a password on your work and personal accounts. Share this information with your children - they also need to secure their login information. Read more: Why You Should Have Passphrases, Not Passwords.

For more tips on Parenting Digital Kids, check out our Parenting Digital Kids Guide. We are here to share tools and resources to support you in whatever decisions you make about the role of digital devices in your home.

Grand Canyon University

Important 2022-2023 Enrollment & Registration Dates:

Enrollment has begun for many 2022/23 TCAPS schools and programs. TCAPS will continue to offer both LIVE and On Demand options for the 2022/23 school year, pending enrollment. For general enrollment information, please visit, or follow the links below for more information about specific programs:
TCAPS First Steps: Kindergarten Guide
Important Enrollment Dates

Great Start Readiness Program is Now Enrolling

The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is a free state-funded preschool program for eligible children who turn four years of age on or before September 1. Children attend school four full days, Monday – Thursday, at select TCAPS locations. Transportation options may be available. Children of all abilities are encouraged to apply. Eligibility is determined at the time of application. To learn more, click here or call Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency at 231.346.2116 or 800.632.7334 to begin the application process.

TCAPS Board of Education Monthly Office Hours - June 23, 2022

The Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) Board of Education will host its next monthly “office hours” in person on June 23, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Horizon Books, 243 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684. The meetings will be located on the mezzanine level (second floor) of the bookstore. TCAPS Board office hours provide community members with the opportunity to talk to a school board trustee. This month, President Scott Newman-Bale will be attending. Visit the Board calendar to view the board schedule in its entirety at:

TCAPS Board Election Schedule

Public Hearings and Material Review Regarding Sex Education Curriculum

According to Michigan Law, all school districts must conduct two public hearings on any additions or revisions of the sex education curriculum or materials and have Board of Education approval before implementation. The additions and revisions of the sex education curriculum, along with public hearing dates, are included in this material review and were reviewed and approved by the Sex Education Advisory Board (SEAB) during the 2021-22 school year.

2022-2023 School Year Calendars

Please review the 2022-2023 school year calendars linked below. Dates to pay special attention to include: half days, early release days, spring break, last day of school, and potential inclement weather make-up dates.

Please note TCAPS Montessori will follow a separate 2022-2023 calendar to allow necessary time for a mid-year move to the new TCAPS Montessori building. TCAPS Montessori will begin August 23, 2022. In exchange, families will have four additional days off January 3-6, 2023. This calendar adjustment only applies to TCAPS Montessori. The new TCAPS Montessori building will open officially for classes on Monday, January 9, 2023.

If you have questions about the district calendar, please contact your school’s front office or email
*Please note the updated calendars above reflect a RSDD (Teacher work day/Regional training day) date change from 11/7/22 to 11/1/22.

Upcoming Events:

TCAPS Media: In Case You Missed It

Hiring Coaches

This Just In….

  • David Oosse from Traverse City West Senior High School was the winner of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association's Concerto Competition. Out of 108 students nominated and 60 students who competed, 4 students were named winners. David is not only one of those winners, but the first person in TC West history to win the award!
    David Oosse

  • The U.S. Coast Guard made a lot of kids smile during their helicopter landing in between Eastern Elementary School and Traverse City Central High School. Thank you to all who made this event possible!
    Coast Guard

  • The Traverse City West Middle School 4x100 relay team took 3rd in the state at the recent State MEGASTAR Meet with a time of 48.06. This was a new school record, breaking the West Middle/West Junior High/TC Junior High record from 1989-90!
    Titan Track

  • TCAPS Montessori staff, students, and families commemorated 20+ years of peaceful education with a celebration at the Botanic Gardens Pavilion. All past and present TCAPS Montessori community members were invited to enjoy lawn games, food trucks, music, treats, fellowship and fun. Great job to all who made this event a success!
    Montessori Anniversary

  • 9th grade Sci-Ma-Tech students at Central High School took an awesome and educational trip on the Inland Seas!
    Inland Seas

  • Students at Blair Elementary School celebrated the end of the year with a water day!
    Blair Water Day

  • Mr. Steele's 5th grade and Mrs. Jackson's 2nd grade classrooms were able to harvest, clean, and enjoy some of the veggies grown in the Westwoods hoop house!
    Green House


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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.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Available for all TCAPS Families

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is now available for children from birth to their 5th birthday who reside in Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, or Leelanau county. Each child will receive one book mailed to their home every month until their 5th birthday. You can register any time up until the child’s 5th birthday at

Young children who own their own books are read to more often, learn to enjoy reading, and are more likely to build skills they need to start school successfully. All costs are covered by generous donors to the local affiliate, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library GTR (Grand Traverse Region). Email for more information.

Biggby Traverse City Donates to Kickstart 715 Trojan Coffee

Introducing 715 Trojan Coffee: a classroom run coffee pick-up and delivery service that serves coffee and tea to school staff on Fridays! Students in Ms. Rachel Fernandez’s Mildly Cognitive Impaired (MICI) classroom worked together to develop their logo and brand design earlier this year. Students then worked on resume building, identifying personal strengths and job interests, applying for jobs, and participating in formal interviews. Jobs include: manager, cashier, accountant, marketing director, barista, greeter, server, cleaner, and stocker.

Upon a formal job offer, students sign a contract that includes the rules and expectations of 715 Trojan Coffee employees. The coffee business is designed to help students develop early vocational skills, including money management, time management, collaboration, appropriate communication, and overall confidence.

The classroom worked together to decide on an appropriate name. They decided 715 because that is their classroom number and who doesn’t love coffee at 7:15am?! Join us in congratulating the students and staff of 715 Trojan Coffee and wishing them luck! Many thanks to Biggby Coffee Traverse City for the product donations to support this incredible opportunity.
Trojan Coffee

General Mills Makes Generous Donation to Traverse Heights Elementary

A fabulous gift of snacks, school supplies, blankets, clothing and more were delivered to Traverse Heights Elementary School from the staff of General Mills! How thoughtful of them to think of supporting students in need during their statewide sales conference in Traverse City. Thank you for your kindness, General Mills!

General Mills

Traverse City Central High School Sophomores Practice Their Formal Interview Skills with Local Businesses

TC Central High School sophomores participated in multiple mock interviews with volunteers from various businesses. Volunteers gave feedback, advice, and insight to help students with their future employment endeavors.

Participating businesses included Cherry Republic, Chik-Fil-A, Clark Construction, Honor Bank, Meijer, Michigan Technological University, MiddleCoast Brewing Co., Munson Healthcare, On Target Marketing, The Pool Doctor of Northern Michigan, SCORE, Serra of Traverse City, Sparks BBQ, Spence Brothers Construction, Starbucks, The State Theatre, Tom's Food Markets, and Trattoria Stella. Great job to all of the students and a big thank you to each of the businesses who helped make this event possible!
Student Interviews

BC Pizza Gives Back

BC Pizza of Traverse City (3186 LaFrainer Rd.) is hosting its 4th Annual Pizza For a Cause on Sunday, May 22! 🍕🤝

BC Pizza will gift 100% of the day's proceeds to TCAPS' Student Support Network, which provides assistance to students in need and helps to remove barriers that may create obstacles to student learning.

The restaurant is open from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and the offer is good for delivery and pickup. Everything counts! In addition, BC Pizza of Traverse City will be giving away free pizza for a year (1 large pizza per month for 12 months) to one lucky winner! Simply use the hashtag #bctcgivesback and share photos enjoying pizza that day on social media to be registered to win. To order online, visit or call 231.995.9900.

The Allen Foundation Makes Donation Towards Westwood Hoop House

Thank you to The Allen Foundation, for their generous donation of $20,000 towards Westwood Elementary's Hoop House. Their kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated!

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