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TCAPS District Newsletter

Board of Education Authorizes Capital Bond Proposal

2024 TCAPS Bond

After a yearlong planning process, TCAPS Board of Education authorized the school district to place a capital bond proposal on the August 6, 2024 ballot, with a focus on projects to keep students safe, warm, and dry.

Highlights of the TCAPS 2024 Capital Bond Proposal include:

  • No Projected Increase Over Current Levy - Maintain Current 3.1 Mills
  • Same Bond Millage Rate for the Last 26 Years
  • 40% Lower than the State Average Bond Millage Rate of 5.4 Mills
  • Responsible Management of $400 Million in Assets
Major proposed projects include:
  • Elementary Renovation / Reconstruction (Central Grade School)
  • Safety and Security Improvements
  • Facility Improvements at All Schools
  • Aging infrastructure upgrades, instructional enhancements (including Music and STEM), and improvements for ADA access
  • Technology Upgrades
  • Bus Replacements
    • Additional proposed capital project plan information includes:
    • Approximately 35,000 Square Feet of Learning Space Enhancements
    • Up to 9 Roof Replacements
    • Approximately 800,000 square feet of coverage across school district facilities
    • Facility Improvements Across the School District (estimated)
    • 26 boilers
    • 260 heat pumps
    • 5 playground drainage upgrades
    • 6 building bleacher replacements with ADA upgrades
    • 13 site improvements to driveways, curbs, sidewalks, and parking lots

    The Board vote follows a comprehensive pre-bond planning process, which included the collection of data and information from district-wide programming assessments, facility condition assessments, and outreach surveys to students, staff, parents, and the community.

    Learn more at

TCAPS State of The District Address

State of the District Address

This month, TCAPS Superintendent John R. VanWagoner shared a State of The District address with families, staff, students, and the community. Please take a few minutes to watch this video message, which highlights TCAPS’ recent successes and provides an overview of the focus areas for the year ahead. Thank you for your continued support of our schools.

TCAPS Compass Award Program Recognizes Staff

Compass Award Winners

The Compass Award is an employee recognition program that recognizes the contributions individual staff members are making toward the implementation of the District's Strategic Plan in their daily work.

Congratualtions to the February TCAPS Compass Award recipients for all you do to educate, inspire, and support learners to maximize individual excellence and success.

Matthew “Matt” Hall - AFSCME
Lead Custodian, Long Lake Elementary School
10 years at TCAPS

Randy Martin - TCTA
Bus Driver, Transportation
35 years at TCAPS

Alison “Ali” Sullivan - TCEA
Behavioral Coach, East Middle School
25 years at TCAPS

Jonathan Swegles - TCAA
Principal, Eastern Elementary School
4 years at TCAPS

Kristine “Krissy” Gaylord - Non-Affiliated Support/Child Care
Toddler Room Assistant, TCAPS Montessori School
8 years at TCAPS

Catherine “Katie” Kubesh - Non-Affiliated Administrator
Student Support Network Coordinator, Administration
11 years at TCAPS

Teresa Khoury - FSEA
B Cook, East Middle School
23 years with TCAPS

Jennifer Wejrowski - TCCAPSA
Library Media, Cherry Knoll Elementary School
13 years with TCAPS

TCAPS Announces National Merit Finalists

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is pleased to announce four students as Finalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors reach this level of academic achievement. Read More

Grandview Parkway Construction Begins March 10

Beginning the evening of March 10, contractors will begin removing pavement on US-31/M-72 (Front Street) between Garfield Avenue and Peninsula Drive, and on M-37 from US-31 to Peninsula Drive. This will require detours on city streets. Families affected by these detours are asked to plan ahead for delays. Read full details.

Generations Ahead Seeks Mentors to Empower Young Families

Generations Ahead is a non-profit that supports pregnant teens and young parents throughout the Grand Traverse Region. Generations Ahead uses a human-centered approach to their services by walking alongside their families as champions and helping build their resilience. They offer a multitude of services ranging from case management, mentorships, and internship opportunities to a baby pantry, an inclusive community of other young families, and so much more. Generations Ahead focuses on empowering young families to create a stable and healthy future for generations to come.

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or mentor, learn about their new Fatherhood Advocate position they are hiring for, donate to the baby pantry, or if you would like to learn more about the organization, please visit

Free TCAPS Breakfast, Served Daily!

Free Breakfast

TCAPS Food and Nutrition Services would like to remind parents and students that TCAPS offers free breakfast before the start of every school day at every building in the district!

Secondary buildings offer breakfast in the cafeterias and elementary buildings offer a "grab & go" breakfast for students to enjoy in the classrooms or the cafeterias. TCAPS encourages every student to grab a free breakfast before the start of each school day to ensure every student has the energy necessary to excel!

2024-2025 Enrollment Information

Enrollment is now open for the 2024-2025 school year! Learn more at

TCAPS Enrollment

Lunch Buddies

Inclement Weather Alerts & School Closures


Winter has arrived in northern Michigan, bringing with it ice, snow, and potentially slick roads! Families of TCAPS students will be notified of inclement weather school closures through news media, email, and if opted-in, a district text message. Announcements will also be posted to the TCAPS website, social media, and bus hotline. The determination is typically made by 5:00 a.m., if possible, and by 6:00 a.m. at the latest.

If you do not already receive texts, you can opt-in at any time by texting the word YES to 79041, using the phone number that is already on file with the school. If your cell phone number is not on file with the school and added to your child's account, you will not be able to receive text messages. Texting is limited to contact numbers tied to the district’s staff and student databases, and therefore is not available to the general public. At any time, families may also call the Bus Hotline at 231.933.1955 to hear a daily message with information about school closures or transportation delays. For additional information about inclement weather closures, alerts, and snow day FAQs, visit

As a reminder, if school is canceled on a two hour early release day, the two hour early release day will occur on the following Thursday when school is in session. If school is canceled on a half day, the half day will occur on the following Tuesday when school is in session.

BIGS Up North
This Just In
100th day of school

TCAPS students celebrated their 100th day of school this month!

Blair Skiing

The TCAPS Choral Departments of Central and West Senior High Schools presented “The Journey of Harriet Tubman” on February 1, 2024 to a packed house. This performance was the culmination event of the 3-day residency with composer Ron Kean and filmmaker Hannah Kean. “The Journey of Harriet Tubman” is a multimedia work featuring familiar African-American Spirituals in the west African music style. The selected Spirituals reflect the life and times of Harriet Tubman with the voice of Harriet being sung by dramatic soprano Vanessa A. Allen, of Grand Rapids. In addition to Central High School’s Chorale and West Senior High’s Chorale and Bel Canto choirs, high school artists displayed visual art and instrumental ensembles were also featured. Watch the performance here!


Congratulations to all of the TCAPS MathCounts teams and students who competed in the regional competition this month! Traverse City West Middle School came in first in the region and will be heading to the State competition in March. In addition, Evan Kohler came in 7th, Christopher Stott came in 6th, and Kyle Biglin came in 2nd place, and will head to State as an individual competitor. Dash Price will be representing Traverse City East Middle School in the state competition, and TCAPS Montessori's team received a 9th place individual award in the Countdown round! Congratulations to all of the mathletes!

Lunch Buddies

Thank you to local Costco team members for volunteering as Lunch Buddy mentors! Courtade Elementary School students celebrated Valentine's Day and Wonderful Wednesday with their new buddies. Learn more about TCAPS' Lunch Buddies program or volunteer to be a mentor at!

Montessori Winterfest

TCAPS Montessori hosted their annual Winterfest at Ranch Rudolf!

Packing Meals

Key Club and National Honor Society students from Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School packaged more than 20,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger with students from Grand Traverse Academy and St. Francis! They were also joined by members of the Traverse City Kiwanis Club.

Innovation and Manufacturing Center

Interior and exterior construction of TCAPS’ Innovation & Manufacturing Centers is in full swing!

TCAPS thank you

Student Support Network (SSN)

The Student Support Network (SSN) is a program administered by Traverse City Area Public Schools that provides free supportive, educational-related services and non-academic support to help overcome obstacles that may create barriers to learning for all students, ages 3-20. SSN provides backpacks, school supplies, personal hygiene items, clothing for school purposes; referrals for housing, medical and mental health needs, transitional living, and more. If your student(s) needs help overcoming obstacles, please contact SSN Coordinator at 231.933.1789 or complete the Student Support Network Request Form.

The Student Support Network is successfully removing barriers to learning thanks to community donations and programs. If you would like more information about SSN, or to donate, please visit

SSN Donations

Many thanks to an anonymous donor who contributed hundreds of pairs of new shoes and boots via United Way of Northwest Michigan. We are so grateful for these shoes to be shared with students.

Upcoming Events & Calendar Dates:

2023-2024 School Year Information

Now Hiring

Employment Information & Open Interviews

TCAPS Learning, Enrichment, and Athletics Program

Health and Wellbeing Team Newsletter