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TCAPS Horizons

TCAPS Accepted into National Network of Innovative School Districts

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) was accepted into the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking K-12 school districts organized by Digital Promise, a global nonprofit working to expand opportunity for every learner by bringing together solutions across research, practice, and technology.

Working with educators, researchers, technology leaders, and communities, Digital Promise and the League of Innovative Schools provide an environment for superintendents and district leaders to share and learn from best practices; leverage research and participate in continuous improvement models; engage in Research & Development projects with peers to address education’s biggest challenges; and implement new technologies and innovations in their school systems.

“TCAPS is very excited to join the League of Innovative Schools and learn about the leading strategies that are helping to raise student achievement in schools across the country,” stated TCAPS Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner.

The Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, launched within the United States Department of Education in 2011, accepts new members through an open application process once per year. The full list of members can be found at

The League will officially welcome new members at its fall meeting on October 19-21, 2022, held in-person in Los Angeles, CA. The new members’ entrance into the League extends the network’s reach to more than 150 districts across 38 states, and expands its cumulative impact to 4.4 million students served over time.

For more information on the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, visit:

TCAPS Transportation Safety Reminders

TCAPS buses are back on the roads! Please be aware and cautious of school bus danger zones and provide students extra space and time to get on or off the bus.

Always treat school buses like traffic signals!

  • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop.
  • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop.
  • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution.

Bus Safety

Important Free and Reduced Meals Application Reminder

Congress is not extending free meals for all students for the 2022-2023 school year. Due to this decision, we are asking all TCAPS families to complete a free and reduced meals application so that if your child is eligible they can receive a free or reduced meal this school year. We ask that all TCAPS families complete an application whether your child would be eligible or not. All application information is used to determine eligibility for many grants and other financial resources that TCAPS receives.

Complete the Free and Reduced Meal Application at: traverse Families can also get a copy of the application in their school's main office. Please complete one form per family.


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

The internet is a minefield of phishing scams, and they are everywhere - emails, text messages, social media, ads, and even Google Maps. With voice cloning and artificial intelligence (AI) programs, creating convincing fake audio and video – also known as “deepfakes” is relatively easy. Some are so sneaky that they can trick even the most tech-savvy person.

Phishing simply means an instance when scammers attempt to fool you into thinking they are someone else in order to make you do something. For example, they can steal your bank password by tricking you to click on a link and log into a fake website that looks exactly like your bank.

Read more: What is Phishing? And How to Avoid Phishing Scams

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.

Important Calendar Dates

  • October 5: Count Day
  • October 13: Two Hour Early Release
  • November 1: No School: Teacher Work Day
  • November 8: Two Hour Early Release

Superintendent Office Hours

Held Monthly, Open to the Community
Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. John VanWagoner, will have monthly “office hours”, alternating each month between in person and virtual meetings. In person office hours will be held at Horizon Books, 243 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684 on the second floor (mezzanine level). Virtual office hours will be held via Google Meet and can be accessed here or by calling +1 707-785-6547‬ and entering PIN: ‪692 435 167‬#. All meetings begin at 5:00 pm. The alternating schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - Google Meet
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - Horizon Books
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 - Google Meet
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - Horizon Books
Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - Google Meet
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - Horizon Books
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 - Google Meet
Tuesday, May 9, 2023 - Horizon Books
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - Google Meet

TCAPS Board of Education Monthly Office Hours - October 27, 2022

The Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) Board of Education will host its next monthly “office hours” in person on October 27, 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, Board Trustee Josey Ballenger will be attending. Visit for additional information or to view the full Board schedule.

Upcoming Events:

  • September 23: CHS Homecoming Football Game
  • September 24: CHS Homecoming Dance
  • September 30: CHS Pink Out Football Game
  • October 7: WSH Homecoming Football Game
  • October 8: WSH Homecoming Dance
  • October 10: MSBOA Marching Band Expo
  • October 14: WSH Pink Out Football Game
  • October 19: WSH Fall Choir Concert- Green
  • October 20: WSH Fall Choir Concert- Gold
  • October 20: CHS Orchestra Fall Concert
  • October 21: Annual TC Patriot Game
  • October 25: CHS Choir Fall Concert
  • October 26: WSH Orchestra Fall Concert

TCAPS Hiring

Upcoming TCAPS Open Interview Dates

Thursday, September 29, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, October 12, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 27, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.


TCAPS Media: In Case You Missed It

With so many amazing TCAPS events and performances happening, it's hard to catch them all! So, please enjoy these impressive performances again, if you’ve already seen them, and for the first time, in case you missed it…

Want to see more amazing TCAPS performances, events, and videos? Check out TCAPS Media on YouTube!

This Just In…

Inland Seas Field Course

TCAPS Montessori Adolescent Guides, Alice Bowe and Angela Stricker were accepted as participants in the 2022 Inland Seas Great Lakes Watershed Field Course. This grant-funded project accepted 24 teachers to learn how to streamline implementation of field-based project work with students for education about freshwater ecosystems and water quality issues in their communities.

They joined their colleagues from around the Great Lakes basin in the new lodging at the Captain Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station in Suttons Bay for hands-on activities and lesson planning around water quality issues that can make standards more engaging and memorable for students. Participants learned about the watershed; run-off; stream, river and lake sampling including macroinvertebrate counts, invasive species identification, pH; riparian buffer zones; and wastewater treatment.

As part of this program, seventh and eighth grade students of the Montessori Adolescent Community will be provided a trip on the schooner, Inland Seas, work with the submersible ROV, and three-days lodging to deepen their understanding of the science of healthy water. Over the course of the school year, students will also be working together and with community resource partners to discover solutions to water problems in our community.

Partner In Education

TBA Donation

TBA Credit Union Awards Grant
TCAPS is thrilled to announce that TBA Credit Union CEO Karen Browne presented a check for $14,000 to TCAPS Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner to benefit TCAPS LEAP, the purchase of dry erase markers, and the Thirlby score board. This is a perfect way to start the year off right! Thank you TBA Credit Union for always supporting our students and schools!

TBA Credit Union allocates funds every calendar year for Classroom Improvement Grants, too. Visit to learn more about applying and see our previous grant recipients.

Shift Health Care Gives Back
A huge THANK YOU to Shift Health Center for helping our schools start the year off right with this wonderful donation of classroom supplies! We are grateful to be able to share these with our schools. Thank you to your entire practice and to all of your patients who supported your efforts!

Shift Health Care Donation
Pictured: Office Manager Sheena Konas

TC Central High School Receives Traverse City Track Club Grant
The Traverse City Track Club (TCTC) awarded Traverse City Central High School a grant of $7,500 in support of the expansion of the school-wide Fitness Room Treadmill Project. This is a project that aligns with the TCTC mission to encourage running and walking as a means to promote health, enhanced fitness, family recreation and competition for all.

“Despite canceling our 2020 and 2021 Bayshore events, we are grateful the TCTC Board of Directors was able to approve a 2022 budget that allowed us to return to our value of charitable giving.” said TCTC Executive Director, Lisa Taylor.

To learn more about the Charitable Gifts program of the Traverse City Track Club, please contact Executive Director, Lisa Taylor, at 231-631-2195 or for more information, go to The Traverse City Track Club was founded in 1962 to encourage running and walking as a means to promote health, enhanced fitness, family recreation and competition for all individuals.