Health Information

Healthy children are more successful learners.

The health and well-being of a child directly impacts his or her ability to fully access educational opportunities that will allow them to reach their fullest capacity. In December of 2021, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) was awarded a Rotary Charities Systems Change Accelerator Grant. The grant awarded the district $150,000 to improve the health and wellness of students and staff by creating, promoting, and sustaining policies and practices within the district. 

Since being awarded the grant, TCAPS has hired Ty Schmidt as the District Wellness Coordinator and formed a new seven-person Health and Wellbeing Executive Committee, which includes central office administration, community members, an athletic director, and a principal.

Additionally, the Executive Committee has formed a new sixteen-person Health and Wellbeing District Committee, which includes students, family members, community members, teachers, social workers, and a pediatrician, as well as five-person Health and Wellbeing Teams at every school in the district, which include school staff and family members that meet set criteria. 

TCAPS Health & Wellness Initiatives:

  • Hosted Jeff Olson at CHS & WSH for a community screening of Do it For Daniel during Mental Health Awareness Month.
  • Awarded a $45,000 Emerging Needs Grant from Rotary Charities to pilot the University of Michigan's award-winning P2P mental health program at both CHS and WSH during the 2022-23 school year.
  • Awarded $50,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield in partnership with Benzie Leelanau District Health Department to pilot a Community Health Worker at Traverse Heights Elementary School for the 2022-23 school year.
  • TCAPS hosted a Community Health and Wellbeing Expo, following the 2023-24 Staff Welcome Back event on August 28, 2023.
  • Launch of TCAPS Lunch Buddies program in 2022 and expanded in 2023.
  • TCAPS has partnered with Northwest Michigan Health Services Inc. to open a district-wide Student Health Center, which will be housed in West Middle School and is set to open in October of 2023.

Additional Programs and Support:

TCAPS Grant Press Release

TCAPS Nursing Department & Care Plans

Parents carry the basic responsibility for the health of their children. TCAPS’ Nursing Department  is available to assist parents with this responsibility. If your child has a “life threatening” illness, Liisa Szarapski and Erin Johnson can provide assistance for your family to develop a care plan and in training  your child’s school staff on the care plan. Contact Liisa at 231.933.8389  or Erin at 231.933.7314.

Health & Wellness Resources:

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) believes children deserve to feel safe, loved and understood in their daily life, and families deserve to know their child is treated with compassion and respect while in the care of a school district. For this reason, TCAPS prioritizes the mental health and wellness of all students, staff, and families. 

Here you can find helpful tips and resources to help you and your student navigate mental wellness now and in the future. 

Factors that can shape the mental health of young people. Links to the U.S. Surgeon General's Advisory.

24-Hour Help Lines & Quick Resources:



CALL 2-1-1

A Free Community Service
Michigan 2-1-1 is a free service that connects Michigan residents with help and answers from thousands of health and human services agencies and resources right in their communities—quickly, easily, and confidentially.


Students can always anonymously report an incident at any time to the OK2SAY tip line (855-565-2729), text to 652729, or email

Local Resources:


  • Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority: 24-Hour Crisis Hotline- 833-295-0616 (711 TTY)
  • Traverse City Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Hotline: (855) 706-9275
  • 24-Hour Substance Abuse Hotline: (800) 662-4357
  • Addiction Treatment Services: (231) 346-5216
  • Traverse City Munson Behavioral Health: (231) 935-6382
  • Traverse City Mental Wellness Counseling: (231) 714-0282
  • Traverse City Lakeview Counseling: (231) 929-0300

National Resources:


NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community for hope for all of those in need.

NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, NAMI Affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.


SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.


The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.


Depression and bipolar disorder can be isolating illnesses, but DBSA support groups can help you connect with others who have been there as well. Visit a DBSA support group and get the support that is essential to recovery.



If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of seriously harming themselves or someone else, call 911.

All children who enter and attend schools in Michigan are required by state law to have a certificate of immunization on file showing completion of the minimum requirements of immunization, or a signed waiver. TCAPS requires this information for all preschool, kindergarten, seventh grade students and any new students transferring to the district.

Waivers for medical reasons must be obtained from a physician or health care provider. Waivers for non-medical reasons must be obtained from the Health Department. The immunization record, from a health care provider, or a signed waiver must be on file at the school office prior to the first day of school.

Students who enroll in a public school who do not have up-to-date immunizations or an authorized waiver will not be allowed to attend school until the appropriate paperwork is on file in the school office. Contact Liisa Szarapski (231.933.8389) or Erin Johnson (231.933.7314) with the TCAPS’ Nursing Department for more information.

Requirements for ages 3 years - 4 years

  • 4 doses of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccine
  • 3 doses of Polio vaccine
  • 3 doses of H. influenza type b (Hib) vaccine; one dose on or after 15 months, or age appropriate complete series
  • 1 dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine on or after 12 months of age
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 1 dose of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine on or after 12 months of age, or date of the Chickenpox disease
  • 4 doses or Age-appropriate complete series  of Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine

Requirements for ages 4 years - 10 years

  • 4 doses of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccine including a booster dose on or after the 4th birthday
  • 3 doses of Polio vaccine including a booster dose on or after the 4th birthday
  • 2 doses of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at least one month apart and with one dose on or after 12 months of age
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 2 doses of Varicella (chickenpox) the first dose of vaccine on or after 12 months of age, or date of the Chickenpox disease; the second dose of vaccine on or after 4 years of age

Requirements for Children between the ages 11 – 18 years

  • 4 doses of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (Td booster required every 10 years)
  • 3 doses of Polio vaccine
  • 2 doses of Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine, at least one month apart and with first dose on or after 12 months of age
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine
  • 2 doses of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • 1 dose of Meningococcal (Meningitis)
  • PDF DocumentTeen Vaccines – Information from MI Dept. of Community Health

Date of immunizations is important in determining protection achieved.  Written proof of immunization from a healthcare provider or waiver signed by a parent/guardian must be provided to the school.

Where To Go For Immunizations

  • Your family health care provider, by appointment.
  • Grand Traverse County Health Department, for an appointment call 231.995.6131 [External Link]
  • K-Town Youth Care, Serving ages 10 to 21. Open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Located at 112 Brownson Avenue, Kingsley, Call 231.263.5895 for an appointment. Walk-ins accepted if schedule allows.
  • Munson Medical Center Specialty Immunization Walk-In Clinic at 106 S. Madison St., Traverse City. Weekend and off-hours times are available. Call 231.935.8125 in advance or for more information.
  • Youth Health & Wellness Center, ages 10-21, for an appointment call 231.922.6416.[External]

*Bring immunization records. Parent or guardian must accompany child under 18 years. Your health insurance may cover vaccines. If no health insurance or if health insurance denies coverage of vaccines, ask about the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC.)

Vaccines for Children Program

If your health insurance does not pay anything for vaccines, your child may be able to get VFC vaccine.  Check with your doctor or contact the Health Department. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program provides childhood vaccines to eligible children and the government pays for the vaccines. Doctors and clinics give VFC vaccines to children who qualify in order to help kids stay healthy. Children from birth through 18 years of age can receive VFC vaccines if they: are currently on Medicaid or eligible for Medicaid, do not have health insurance, are American Indian or Alaskan Native, are under-insured. For more information on VFC, go to:External Link

Many children must take medication during the school day. Our school policy was developed in accordance with state law and provides for the safe administration, storage and transporting of medication. We realize the effort it takes and we appreciate your support and cooperation.

PDF DocumentMedication Authorization Form must be on file whenever medication is brought to school. The form includes written instructions from the child’s health care provider, specific information about the medication and a parent signature. This policy applies to prescription as well as over-the-counter medications. The forms are available in all school offices and in many physician’s offices. We can also fax a form to you or your health care provider.

Please note:

Elementary students can carry emergency medications. All other medications are to be administered by school staff. Middle school students can carry and administer medications that are not “controlled substances” (i.e.. Ritalin, Dexedrine, Codeine). High school students can carry and administer all medications. It is against school policy and the law for students to share medication.

Health screenings are offered regularly to students attending Traverse City Area Public Schools.

Screening Programs

  • Hearing
  • Spinal Screening
  • Vision

The goal of screening programs is early detection and treatment of conditions that may progress and/or interfere with health and learning. Parents will be notified if there is a need for further evaluation. We encourage you to take advantage of these screening programs that are offered to you at no cost. For more information, please contact Liisa Szarapski (231.933.8389) or Erin Johnson (231.933.7314).

Spinal Screening Update

A free spinal screening will be offered during  middle school registrations at both East Middle School and West Middle School.

TCAPS, in cooperation with Northern Michigan Helping Hands, will be conducting the screening for 6th grade girls, 7th grade boys and girls, and 8th grade boys. The purpose of the screening is to detect possible curvature of the spine (Scoliosis, Kyphosis, or Lordosis), or other abnormalities (such as leg length differences). The procedure for screening is simple, private, and takes only a few minutes. To participate in the screening, students will need to bring a parent permission slip. [PDF Document Permission Slip and Spinal Screening Information]

To provide for the safety of student athletes, all athletic programs of the district shall comply either with the concussion protocols of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, or the protocols set forth in AG 5340.01, which shall meet all the requirements of state law and Department of Community Health guidelines regarding concussion awareness training and protection for youth athletes. The district shall comply with whichever standards are more protective.

As member schools of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), student-athletes at East Middle School, West Middle School, Central High School, and West Senior High have access to the MHSAA’s Catastrophic Accident Medical Insurance Policy which pays up to $1,000,000 for medical expenses left unpaid by other insurance after a deductible of $25,000 per claim in paid medical expenses has been met. All students enrolled in grades 6 through 12 at MHSAA member schools who are eligible under MHSAA rules and participating in practices or competition in sports under the MHSAA’s jurisdiction are covered by this policy for injuries related to their athletic participation.

Since the 2015-16 school year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association has provided athletic participants at each MHSAA member junior high/middle school and high school with additional insurance that is intended to pay accident medical expense benefits resulting from a suspected concussion. The injury must be sustained while the athlete is participating in an MHSAA covered activity. Policy limit is $25,000 for each accident. Covered students, sports and situations follow the catastrophic accident medical insurance. This new program intends to assure that all eligible student-athletes in MHSAA member schools in grades 6 through 12, male and female, in all levels of all sports under the jurisdiction of the MHSAA, receive prompt and professional attention for head injury events even if the child is uninsured or under-insured. Accident medical deductibles and co-pays left unpaid by other policies are reimbursed under this program to the limits of the policy. Should you need to make a claim under this new program please click here:

For additional information, please contact TCAPS’ high school athletic directors:

Additional information regarding concussions can be found in the student handbook.

Sex Education Curriculum Public Hearing Notice

The 2023 sex education curriculum material review and two public hearings have been scheduled for June 12th and July 10th. View the PDF Documentpublic hearing notice here. View all public notices on the Board of Education page, under Public Notices.

Sex Education Advisory Committee

The PA 226 Sex Education Advisory Committee meet once a month, from 4 PM - 6 PM, to review sex education curriculum and materials. 

  • Dan McGee 
  • Erin Johnson
  • Emily Taylor
  • Jim Burke II
  • Katie Kubesh
  • Linda B Pepper
  • Annelle Kaspor
  • Dee Zuidersma
  • Ian McGurn
  • Kristin Laing
  • Katie Strittmatter
  • Jacalyn Money-Bruno
  • Rev. Dr. Wendy Von Courter
  • Marshall Collins
  • Jen Bowerman
  • Julie Flaherty
  • Gail King
  • Kelsey Knaack
  • Wm. Josh Sloat
  • Carrie Ullery-Smith

For More Information

For more information, please contact TCAPS Sex Education Coordinator Dan McGee at 231.933.6982 or


As a service to students and their families, TCAPS makes available an affordable 80/20 student accident insurance plan with several coverage options. All school-sponsored/supervised activities and time spent in school are covered in accordance with the terms and limitations of the policy. For an added premium, the policy will cover your student 24-hours a day, 12 months a year, rather than only during school-time. There are additional options available to cover interscholastic sports (note that grades 9-12 football coverage must be purchased separately). Extended dental coverage can be added to any other purchased coverage option.

This policy pays the first $100 of eligible medical costs regardless of other insurance. Medical bills beyond the first $100 must first be filed with your private/group insurance plan, if applicable. Those items not covered by your own insurance plan will then be processed by this optional insurance plan, within the coverage limitations outlined in the brochure. Please read the brochure carefully so that you understand the extent of the coverage. The plan is underwritten by the Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company. The agent is First Agency, Inc., 5071 West H Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI  49009-8501 (269.381.6630). View the student insurance information brochure.

Students identified with a disability are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education. Modifications, accommodations or interventions will be put into place, regardless of mitigating factors. In some cases, a 504 Plan, which is an accommodations plan for a student with a disability, may be indicated. Any service provided for a child with a disability must be aligned with the impairment.

TCAPS Vision

Every learner will reach his or her potential in an engaging, inspiring, and challenging environment.

What is a student with a disability?

Any student with a mental or physical impairment that impacts a major life activity is considered a student with a disability.

Goals for Students with Disabilities

  • To provide the least restrictive environment for learning.
  • To provide academic support services when a need is identified.
  • To provide ancillary support services when a need is identified.


Policies & Guidelines

More Information About Students with Disabilities

For more information regarding students with disabilities, please contact your child’s principal, or Tiffany Pomaville at 231.933.1780.