COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

April 2nd District Update

(posted April 2, 2020, 3:39 p.m.)

Governor Suspends In-Person Instruction for Remainder of Year, TCAPS’ Ongoing Learning Plans Being Finalized

Today, Governor Whitmer announced External LinkExecutive Order 2020-35, which suspends in-person K-12 public and private schools in the state of Michigan for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year, in order to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

While this news is not unexpected, we cannot help but experience a collective sigh and moment of sadness as a TCAPS community at the realization of not being able to see each other in-person for a while. However, while the ways we interact with each other have inevitably changed for the foreseeable future, we have already begun to forge new ones. We will continue to get better at interacting and learning remotely as we grow in this new way together. I am pleased to share that we have already begun conversations with our seniors and students about the activities that they will miss in this new remote environment and we are exploring ways to create new experiences and life-long memories for our students and families. More on those efforts to come.

In the meantime, here are a few key takeaways from Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order issued today:

  • All K-12 school buildings are closed for the remainder of the school year, except to essential employees, unless restrictions on public gatherings and use of school buildings are lifted. 
     
  • High school seniors who were on track will have the opportunity to graduate.
     
  • The executive order sets out guidelines for ongoing remote learning.
     
  • All standardized tests previously scheduled for the remainder of the school year, including the M-STEP and the SAT, will be canceled. (It is expected that there will be a date in October for rising high school seniors to take the SAT and for other high school students to take the PSAT).
     
  • Teachers and school employees will be paid for the remainder of the school year, and staff will be redeployed, as necessary, to ensure the completion of meaningful work.

TCAPS’ district, building and teacher leaders have been working on a plan for how the district will continue to deliver online and remote instruction and are in the final stages of development at this time. TCAPS has also already begun the conversation with the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, who under the Executive Order will approve local school district plans, about what continuing learning might look like. We have also begun conversations with our labor groups to lay out what future work and expectations will be moving forward. We will communicate further with families and staff as TCAPS plans are approved and ready to begin. TCAPS expects to have its ongoing learning plan in place no later than April 28, 2020, per the order, and hopefully sooner.

I also want to note that TCAPS plans to continue delivering critical services, like meal programs, to students during this extended school building closure. In addition, the district has been and will continue to collaborate and plan its response to COVID-19 in conjunction with agencies and organizations across the county and region, as we work together to continue to deliver instruction, food and other necessary services to northern Michigan students and families. It is a constant point of pride to see our school staff continue to raise their hands to answer the call.

As we move into a new phase of the state’s response to COVID-19, your children continue to be at the forefront of our minds. We recognize that there are many details that will still need to be worked out in the coming weeks, including everything from what graduation will look like to what to do to access any personal belongings that might have been left at the schools. We know that there will be setbacks as we continue to respond to COVID-19 and our new normal. Please be assured, we will continue to do everything in our power to support our students, families, staff, and community as we navigate through challenging times together.

Sincerely, 

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

March 27: District Update

March 27th District Update

(posted March 27, 2020, 3:36 p.m.)

As the second week of our closure draws to an end, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you, our amazing families, for all of the encouragement you have given to your children to keep them engaged in enrichment and learning while schools are closed. We know that times are challenging right now and we truly miss having our students filling our classrooms, playgrounds and cafeterias each day. Luckily, I continue to see all kinds of good things happening in this moment of challenge, including the exchange of kind words, the extension of helping hands (appropriately distanced of course), and people partnering to care for one another. We are fortunate to have a community that comes together the way that the Traverse City region and TCAPS does and continues to do.

While no official decision has been made as to what the rest of the school year will look like in Michigan, as we likely all expect, there could be a need to continue to take statewide measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. In fact, the Governor was quoted in media reports today stating that it is possible the state ordered school closure may need to continue beyond the current date outlined in Executive OrderExternal Link2020-21 Stay Home, Stay Safe, which mandated that K-12 schools remain closed until April 13th. 

We hope to get additional guidance from the Michigan Department of Education/Governor’s Office/Legislature in the next week or two regarding what the next weeks and months will look like for schools in our state. Many of our next steps will rely on decisions and guidance from these organizations. At the same time, I can assure you that we remain as committed to our students and staff, now, as ever. We are continuing to advocate for action and clarity on behalf of our families through statewide professional organizations, like the Michigan Association of School Administrators. And, as a school district, we remain ready to do everything we can for our students, families and community to keep as much learning and connection to schools happening as possible and to help provide basic needs, like food, to our students. 

We will continue to provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, it is critical that we all do everything we can to follow physical (social) distancing guidelines in order to reduce the length of time and severity of the impacts of COVID-19. If we take this seriously now, we have a chance to slow the spread. 

For information about continued learning opportunities and additional resources for families, please see the information below.

Wishing you a healthy and safe spring recess. 

Sincerely, 

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

Learning Opportunities

Beginning, today, March 27th, and continuing through April 4th, is the planned spring recess for the district. Therefore, as I shared with you on Monday, the district has posted another week’s worth of lessons to our online learning platform, which are activities that are designed to be completed any time between now and April 13th. For elementary students, packets and information previously shared will still be available during Spring Break recess. Week #1, #2, and #3 packets can be accessed online at the External LinkTCAPS 24/7 website. Secondary students have the ability to access appropriate Google Classrooms using the codes provided on the External LinkTCAPS 24/7 website. Parent and student technical support with TCAPS issued devices and systems can be received by emailing tech-info@tcaps.net. Please note, teachers and curriculum leaders collaborated to create the Google Classrooms in core subject areas. Although the teacher's name showing on the Google classroom may not be your child's teacher, as long as your child is in the right class and grade level, the content in that district Google Classroom is accurate. 

All of this work is designed to be accessible to students with little to no adult support. At this time, all learning opportunities and activities provided by the district or by TCAPS teachers is recommended. It is not required. However, we believe that during the closure, students who do academic activity for at least 60-90 minutes per day will come back to school ready to jump right into new learning.

Additional Resources for Families

As a reminder, here is some important information from recent communications:

  • The Governor announced an Executive Order (External LinkEO 2020-21 Stay Home, Stay Safe), which extends the statewide school closure mandate until April 13, 2020.
  • Parent and student technical support with TCAPS issued devices and systems can be received by emailing tech-info@tcaps.net. For any families needing assistance with internet access, Spectrum has an offer for those with Pre-K to 12 or college students who need remote education: Call 1-855-243-8892 to sign up. 
  • FREE meal distribution will continue through spring recess and the additional week of the state-ordered school closure on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Additional meals will be provided for the days when the distribution centers are closed in order to ensure that students have a healthy breakfast and lunch each day. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all children 18 years of age and younger. Packaged meals will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents/students can pick up meals between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the locations noted below. No identification or proof of school enrollment is required. Those who may not have transportation to pick up food should continue to email: info@tcaps.net. The district will do whatever possible to assist. Meals will continue to be distributed from four locations:
    • Blair Elementary School 
    • Long Lake Elementary School
    • Traverse Heights Elementary School
    • Traverse City East Middle School
  • Families are reminded to continue to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following basic prevention measures. The best prevention for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold is to:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
    • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
    • Replace handshakes with a friendly wave from six feet away.
  • For more information regarding TCAPS’ COVID-19 response, visit: www.tcaps.net/COVID-19.
  • For daily updates from the Grand Traverse County COVID-19 Joint Operations Center, visit: External Linkgtcountycovid19.com.

March 23: District Update - Statewide School Closure Order Extended to April 13th

March 23 District Update

(posted March 23, 2020, 3:21 p.m.)

Statewide School Closure Order Extended to April 13th

TCAPS Families and Staff,

As you may have heard, today, the Governor announced an Executive Order (PDF DocumentEO 2020-21 Stay Home, Stay Safe), which extends the statewide school closure mandate until April 13, 2020. The order also directed a temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. In other words, Michiganders are being asked to stay home, when possible, to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

In light of the now extended state-mandated school closure period, I want to update you about current plans for ongoing learning opportunities and to announce the continuation of our meal distribution efforts through spring break and the extended closure period. In addition to this email, a phone message will also be sent to families regarding ongoing learning opportunities, technology device support, and meal distribution. 

Learning Opportunities

In support of continuing as much learning as possible while we are not in session, district-level learning opportunities for the week of March 23rd have been shared with families and many teachers are providing additional direction to their students about enrichment activities that can be completed at home. TCAPS will send out updated learning opportunities for the week of April 6th by March 27th, the day of the scheduled start of spring break, with the idea that the new learning could be completed by April 13th. (TCAPS Montessori and Traverse City High School students and families will receive updated information directly from their respective schools.) 

It is important to note that at this time, based on the latest information from the Michigan Department of Education, online enrichment and instructional opportunities completed during the mandated school closure period are all currently voluntary. However, students are encouraged to do as much learning as possible to keep their minds sharp and ready to learn when school resumes. 

TCAPS is aware of ongoing discussions at the state-level regarding the online learning issue and we expect additional, updated guidance soon. Remember, all school districts in the state are dealing with similar issues about how to proceed with the rest of the school year and how to continue to best serve all students and families. The Governor’s Office and Michigan Department of Education are actively working on guidance for Michigan’s school district’s and Governor Whitmer has already indicated that seniors will graduate. 

Should any families need access to a device to support online and at home learning, please Google Formscomplete the following form (Please limit to 1 request per household as we work towards providing every family in need with a device for student learning.). All middle and high school students have district provided technology that is regularly taken home. If any student or family is in need of technology assistance, or if any district staff member or community member has knowledge of families or students in need of technology support to stay connected to their learning, please contact: tech-info@tcaps.net. For any families needing assistance with internet access, Spectrum has an offer for those with Pre-K to 12 or college students who need remote education: Call 1-855-243-8892 to sign up. 

TCAPS teachers, principals and administrative staff have been planning for the continued delivery of instruction in core content areas (and beyond), and we are prepared to step up to do whatever it takes to support our students during this unique time as well as during the recovery period that is sure to follow after the threat posed by COVID-19 subsides. 

Meal Distribution

TCAPS is also pleased to announce that FREE meal distribution will continue through spring recess and the additional week of the state-ordered school closure on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Extended meal distribution dates include: Monday, March 30th, Wednesday, April 1st, Friday, April 3rd, Monday, April 6th, Wednesday, April 8th, and Friday, April 10th. Additional meals will be provided for the days when the distribution centers are closed in order to ensure that students have a healthy breakfast and lunch each day. 

Meals will continue to be distributed from four locations:

  • Blair Elementary School  - 1625 Sawyer Road
  • Long Lake Elementary School - 7600 N. Long Lake Road
  • Traverse Heights Elementary School - 933 Rose Street
  • Traverse City East Middle School - 1776 Three Mile Rd N. (Note: the location is behind the school)

Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all children 18 years of age and younger. Packaged meals will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents/students can pick up meals between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. No identification or proof of school enrollment is required. Those who may not have transportation to pick up food should continue to email: info@tcaps.net. The district will do whatever possible to assist.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available. We ask for your ongoing patience and support as we work our way through this together. I want to assure you that we understand and feel the same sense of urgency as you do and we are working to create as much clarity for our families as possible, as quickly as possible.

Finally, families are reminded to continue to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following basic prevention measures. The best prevention for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

For more information regarding TCAPS’ COVID-19 response, visit: www.tcaps.net/COVID-19.

For information and updates on the countywide response to COVID-19, please visit: External Linkgtcountycovid19.com.

With Deep Appreciation, 

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

Updated Mar. 31: Learning Opportunities

(posted March 31, 2:23 p.m.)

Chromebook Requests

In order to support distance learning opportunities, TCAPS is working to provide elementary students who do not have access to a computer at home with a district-issued Chromebook. At this time, we are asking families to limit their request to one device per household as we work to provide every family in need with a device for student learning. If you have not already received a device during the first round of distribution and/or are in need of computer access for your child, please fill out this Google Formswaitlist request form. If you have previously completed this form or called in to request a computer, please do not complete this form again as your request is already on file and you will be contacted once a device is available. At this time, all new requests will be placed on a waitlist. The TCAPS technology department will contact you as soon as a device becomes available and is ready for pick-up. Thank you for your patience as the district works to ensure all families who are in need of access are provided at least one device prior to distributing extras.

(posted March 27, 3:50 p.m.)

Beginning, today, March 27th, and continuing through April 4th, is the planned spring recess for the district. Therefore, as I shared with you on Monday, the district has posted another week’s worth of lessons to our online learning platform, which are activities that are designed to be completed any time between now and April 13th. For elementary students, packets and information previously shared will still be available during Spring Break recess. Week #1, #2, and #3 packets can be accessed online at the External LinkTCAPS 24/7 website. Secondary students have the ability to access appropriate Google Classrooms using the codes provided on the External LinkTCAPS 24/7 website. Parent and student technical support with TCAPS issued devices and systems can be received by emailing tech-info@tcaps.net. Please note, teachers and curriculum leaders collaborated to create the Google Classrooms in core subject areas. Although the teacher's name showing on the Google classroom may not be your child's teacher, as long as your child is in the right class and grade level, the content in that district Google Classroom is accurate. 

All of this work is designed to be accessible to students with little to no adult support. At this time, all learning opportunities and activities provided by the district or by TCAPS teachers is recommended. It is not required. However, we believe that during the closure, students who do academic activity for at least 60-90 minutes per day will come back to school ready to jump right into new learning.

Student/Parent Tech Support

For any issues or questions regarding your TCAPS device, student account access or other technology issue, please email tech-info@tcaps.net. Technology staff will be monitoring the email and will respond as quickly as possible.

(posted March 21, 2020, 8:50 a.m.)

Google DocView March 20, 2020 Email to Families with information on all learning opportunities, updated learning packets for elementary students and Google Classroom access codes for secondary students. 

(posted on March 16, 2020, 5:36 p.m.)

Google DocView March 16, 2020 Email to Families with information on all learning opportunities including Google Classrooms access codes for middle and high school students. 

(posted March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

Delivery methods for elementary and secondary students are described below and are intended to enhance skills students have learned this year. Work selected is designed for students to be able to complete with little to no adult support. Grades will not be collected on this work.

  • Elementary Schools - Packets have been developed that include five days’ worth of relevant work in the area of language arts and mathematics. These packets will be sent home with students on Friday, March 13th. Individual teachers may be sending some additional resources home as well.
     
  • Secondary Schools - Students will be given access to assignments in the core content areas of mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies. This will be done using Google Classroom, a commonly used online tool in our district. An email will be sent to students with the relevant Google Classroom access codes by Monday, March 16th. Individual teachers can also tell students to stay tuned to their own local Google Classrooms.
     
  • NMC Students (Early College/Dual Enrollment) - Students enrolled in NMC courses will have access to ZOOM to participate in college coursework throughout the closure.

The district will communicate with families next week regarding plans for additional learning materials and resources that may be available to students. 

March 20: District Update

March 20, 2020 Update

(posted March 21, 2020, 8:50 a.m.)

TCAPS Families and Staff,

As this first week of our closure draws to an end, I wanted to share the following video update regarding TCAPS’ response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. I also want to extend my sincerest gratitude to our incredible staff for their willingness to answer the call, and to thank our Board of Education, parents, and the community for their continued support as we navigate our response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

We also wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone that, even though school may not be in session, TCAPS will continue to provide families with access to academic activities to keep skills sharp during our time away.  

Elementary students can be working through the paper packets provided to them before we left school last week. Those packets can also be accessed online at the External LinkTCAPS 24/7 website.  School work in the areas of mathematics and language arts for the week of March 23rd can be accessed at the External LinkTCAPS 24/7 website. Montessori students should continue working on things that were sent home on March 13th. If families missed picking these up, they will be mailed home and should arrive early next week.   

Secondary students will continue to access materials online through the Google Classrooms that they joined earlier this week (codes are also provided Google Sheethere). Week 2 resources will be available by Monday, March 23rd.  

Many teachers are also establishing a presence with their students (mostly online). Any tasks recommended by your children's teacher(s) should take priority over the district recommended work. Many teachers have well-established communication tools, such as their own preexisting Google Classrooms, and are communicating with students in that way. Feel free to email your child's teacher(s) or building principal  if you have any questions.  

All of this work is designed to be accessible to students with little to no adult support. At this time, the student work is recommended by the teachers or district. It is not required. We believe that during the closure, students who do academic activities for at least 60-90 minutes per day will come back to school ready to jump right back into new learning.

Thank you for partnering with us during these unprecedented times to keep academic skills fresh with our students!  

Sincerely, 

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

March 18: Online Counseling Available

(posted March 18, 2020, 12:37 p.m.)

TCAPS is making every effort to support families during this time. We know that uncertainty can cause a sense of vulnerability, which can lead to increased stress and anxiety. We want you to know that we are here for you. Because we understand the need to connect and support each other, our staff and community partners are working to help in various ways.

If your child needs to talk to one of our social workers or counselors we ask that you Google Formscomplete this form. Certified staff will reach out to you within 24 hours via a phone call or a Google hangout (through an email invite).  

Social and Emotional Health

March 18: District Update

March 18, 2020 Update

(posted March 18, 2020, 12:37 p.m.)

TCAPS Families and Staff,

TCAPS is making every effort to support families during this time. We know that uncertainty can cause a sense of vulnerability, which can lead to increased stress and anxiety. We want you to know that we are here for you. Because we understand the need to connect and support each other, our staff and community partners are working to help in various ways.

If your child needs to talk to one of our social workers or counselors we ask that you Google Formscomplete this form. Certified staff will reach out to you within 24 hours via a phone call or a Google hangout (through an email invite).  

Partnerships that support families if needed:

  • PDF DocumentFood Bank and Food Pantry List
  • Food Delivery (as appropriate and possible)
    • Those who may not have transportation to pick up food may email info@tcaps.net. The district will work to deliver food to identified and vulnerable students and families with no transportation option.
  • Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) - If you are eligible for STEP and have unmet needs please, contact Abby Jordan at 231-933-5901.
  • Bill Payment Supports
    • External LinkConsumers Energy News Release
    • For other utility and service provider bill postponement inquiries please call the company directly (some are offering temporary bill postponement due to COVID-19)
  • Unemployment Information
    • Michigan Unemployment benefits (recent expansion of qualifiers due to COVID-19): 1-866-500-0017
    • For the fastest assistance submitting claims, External Linkgo online
  • United Way of Northwest Michigan
  • Home Internet Services
    • Spectrum/Charter (FREE internet service for 2 months for students grades K-college): 1-866-866-4959
    • External LinkComcast Internet Essentials - A low cost internet service for qualifying families, now free for 2 months.
    • External LinkAccess from AT&T - A low cost home internet package for qualifying families.

In addition, the following free community supports are available for families as needed: 

Sincerely, 


Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent 
Traverse City Area Public Schools

March 16: District Update

March 16, 2020 Update

(posted March 16, 5:27 p.m.)

TCAPS Families, 

As you are aware, the Governor has closed all K-12 schools to students until April 6, 2020. In order to provide you with additional resources and quick access to information that you may need during the state-ordered closure, please find the following: 

Basic Prevention Measures

It is important to note that the objective of the school closure order is to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Families are asked to please do their part to practice social distancing while school buildings are closed and to continue to follow the precautionary recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.

Resources for Families

Food Services

Learning Opportunities

Social and Emotional Health

COVID-19 Hotline
For questions related to COVID-19, call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provided hotline at: 1-888-535-6136 (available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily). 

For updated information and additional COVID-19 resources, visit: www.tcaps.net/COVID-19

Thank you to everyone in our TCAPS community for pulling together to as we work to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Sincerely, 

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

Updated March 16: Meal Program

(updated on March 16, 2020, 4:04 p.m.)

TCAPS will continue to provide nutritious meals to all students who need them during the state-ordered school closures.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18th, through Friday, March 27th, TCAPS will provide FREE breakfast and lunch to all children 18 years of age and younger at four pick-up sites across the district. 

Packaged meals will be available Monday through Friday on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents/students can pick up breakfast (for the following day) and lunch between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Parents/students will not enter the school building, instead, meals will be passed out in the car line. Additional meals will be available for the weekend if requested. No identification or proof of school enrollment is required. 

Please click on the school site to see directions for pick up: 

Those who may not have transportation to pick up food should email: info@tcaps.net. The district will do whatever possible to assist.

For additional information about TCAPS’ response to COVID-19, visit: www.tcaps.net/COVID-19. For a complete list of food services provided by area schools within TBAISD five-county region, visit: External Linktinyurl.com/regionalschoolfoodservice.

 

(posted on March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

The district is currently evaluating what options may be available to continue food service and expects to be able to offer breakfast and lunch to-go starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, through Thursday, March 26, 2020, at four locations. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.

Google DocAdditional Community Resources

March 18: Additional Community Resources

(posted March 18, 2020, 12:37 p.m.)

Partnerships that support families if needed:

  • PDF DocumentFood Bank and Food Pantry List
  • Food Delivery (as appropriate and possible)
    • Those who may not have transportation to pick up food may email info@tcaps.net. The district will work to deliver food to identified and vulnerable students and families with no transportation option.
  • Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) - If you are eligible for STEP and have unmet needs please, contact Abby Jordan at 231-933-5901.
  • Bill Payment Supports
    • External LinkConsumers Energy News Release
    • For other utility and service provider bill postponement inquiries please call the company directly (some are offering temporary bill postponement due to COVID-19)
  • Unemployment Information
    • Michigan Unemployment benefits (recent expansion of qualifiers due to COVID-19): 1-866-500-0017
    • For the fastest assistance submitting claims, External Linkgo online
  • United Way of Northwest Michigan
  • Home Internet Services
    • Spectrum/Charter (FREE internet service for 2 months for students grades K-college): 1-866-866-4959
    • External LinkComcast Internet Essentials - A low cost internet service for qualifying families, now free for 2 months.
    • External LinkAccess from AT&T - A low cost home internet package for qualifying families.

In addition, the following free community supports are available for families as needed: 

March 13: Cancellation of Events/Activities

(posted March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

While school is not in session, all events, activities, practices, etc. are canceled through April 5th. As previously stated, all out of district school-sponsored travel will be suspended through April 30th, or until new guidance becomes available. This includes professional conferences, academic activities requiring travel outside of the district, out of district field trips, and non-MHSAA athletic events.

March 13: Child Care Services

(posted March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

All district buildings will be closed and services suspended for Monday, March 16th, and Tuesday, March 17th, of next week.This includes all child care services. Fees will not be assessed for children enrolled in tuition-based programs  (preschool, extended day) during the closure period. We are exploring what opportunities may exist to provide childcare after March 17th, but cannot guarantee services will be available. The district will communicate with families the afternoon of March 17th on whether services can be provided or not.

March 13: 2020-2021 Tuition-Based Preschool Registration

(posted March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

Online registration for next year’s preschool program will remain open for families. Deadlines for turning in necessary documentation will be extended as necessary. 

March 13: GRSP & ECSE Program Information

(posted March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

As we respond to the COVID-19 virus, we want your child’s early childhood education to continue.  Your child’s education, as well as his/her wellbeing, is our highest priority during these times. We are working to make sure that we have resource packets put together so that your child can continue to practice his/her skills.  Our teachers have already developed this list of activities to help aid in learning.

We recommend that your child work for a total of 30 minutes per day in the area of math and literacy.  We are hopeful that by completing these tasks, learning will continue and your child will continue to grow.  It is suggested that these 30 minutes be broken into smaller time frames in order to keep your child engaged in the learning process.

Packets will be sent out via email and are available to be picked up at the administration building (412 Webster Street) beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. While these are not mandatory packets, we hope that all families take part in the learning process.  In the event that you have internet access here are a few free online resources that children may enjoy: 

PDF DocumentRead the Michigan Department of Education memo regarding GSRP Requirements and FAQs during COVID-19 Closures. 

March 13: Morning District Update

March 13, 2020 Morning District Update 

(Posted at 5:35 a.m.) 

TCAPS Schools Open Friday, March 13th, Preparing to close March 16th - April 5th 

TCAPS Families and Staff,

All TCAPS schools are OPEN Friday, March 13, 2020. The district is currently working to finalize a plan to implement Governor Whitmer's K-12 school closure order, which would close all schools in Michigan to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, through Sunday, April 5, 2020. The statewide directive was announced at an 11:00 p.m. press conference on Thursday, March 12, 2020. A copy of the press release issued by the state is below.

The district will be communicating further with families and staff regarding TCAPS' plan for the school closures later today, Friday, March 13, 2020. In the meantime, learning will continue for the day.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to keep our community safe and to respond to COVID-19, and for your continued support of our schools.

This update and all others related to COVID-19 will continue to be posted on the district’s website at: www.tcaps.net/COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent
Traverse City Area Public Schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 12, 2020 

Governor Whitmer Announces Statewide Closure of All K-12 School Buildings

School building closures will last Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5 

LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that in order to slow the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan, she is ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, to students starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. School buildings are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6. 

As of tonight, the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan is 12. 

“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time and to do everything they can to protect themselves and their families.” 

“Closing our K-12 school buildings is the responsible choice that will minimize the risk of exposure for children, educators, and families and mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Michigan State Superintendent Michael Rice. “The Department of Education will continue to work closely with our partners in state government to help our students and educators in each school district get through this time. This is about protecting the most people in Michigan.” 

Governors across the country, including Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andy Beshear (D-KY), and Larry Hogan (R-MD), have taken similar steps to close schools and ensure the protection of children and families in their states. 

“Closing our school buildings is the smart thing and the right thing to do for the public’s health,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “These actions will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our four COVID-19 task forces to ensure we protect our children, our families, and our communities.”  

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.   
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.   
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.   

If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others. 

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at External LinkMichigan.gov/Coronavirus and External LinkCDC.gov/Coronavirus

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March 13: Afternoon District Update

March 13, 2020 District Afternoon Update

(posted March 13, 2020, 3:13 p.m.)

As we shared in an email communication earlier this morning, Governor Whitmer has ordered all K-12 schools to close to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, through Sunday, April 5, 2020. We would like to share the following information (see dropdowns below) regarding delivery of instruction, events, and other services available over the next three weeks. 

Thank you to our families, students and staff for your understanding and patience as we continue to work through the details of implementing an extended closure. We will keep you updated as information becomes available. Please continue to check our TCAPS COVID-19 website for updates and information: www.tcaps.net/covid-19.

As our community takes steps along with the rest of the state and nation to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that we all do our part to ensure that the measures we are taking have the greatest chance of success. To help, we are each asked to practice the External Linksocial distancing guidance from the CDC and to avoid unnecessary or large gatherings.

Thank you to our incredible team at TCAPS, to our parents, and our community. I am proud of all that we have accomplished in a short time, and I am proud of all that we will accomplish together to address this global health concern.

Sincerely,

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent

Staff should also visit the district's For Staff webpage for staff-related updates and information at www.tcaps.net/staff

stop the spread of germs - help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19. Avoid close contact with people who are at risk. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Was your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Visist www.cdc.cov/covid-19 for more information.

Previous Communications

Mar. 12 Update: Proactive Steps to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

March 12, 2020 District Update

TCAPS Families and Staff,

The safety of our students, families and staff is our top priority. In light of ongoing developments related to COVID-19, we wanted to share the following updates and information with you. 

The district is working closely with health professionals and community response partners, including the Grand Traverse County Health Department, and is prepared to assist in the community’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

TCAPS has not received any recommendation to close at this time, however, the district is taking the following proactive steps (see sections below). We ask that you also consider the actions your family can take to stay healthy and stop the further spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to share information and updates with you as they become available and as the situation evolves. Special thanks to our administrative team and union leadership for their time, support and ideas put into the planning process. I would also like to send my sincerest gratitude to our teachers and support staff for their ever-readiness to answer the call. Just as you are heroes in the eyes of so many children, you are each heroes in mine as well. 

Together with our families and partners in community response, we can each help lift a little to carry the load until we see COVID-19 cases begin to decline.

Sincerely, 

Jim Pavelka

Mar. 12 Update: Large Gatherings/Events (Now-April 5th)

In effect now through April 5th, or until new guidance becomes available

  • Restrictions and/or cancellations may be placed on assemblies, performances and/or other gatherings where spectators and/or audiences are expected to be more than 100 people. Should this be necessary, information will be communicated. Decisions will be made on an ongoing basis as information becomes available.
     
  • Athletic competitions will follow the guidance of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) which as of 2:25 p.m. today (3/12/20) means all MHSAA winter tournaments are suspended, effective immediately and indefinitely, due to concerns related to COVID-19. View MHSAA updates and guidance at External Linkwww.mhsaa.com/coronavirus.
     
  • Please review External LinkCDC Recommendations for Large Gatherings. Persons who are sick or displaying signs of illness should refrain from attending events. Attendees are asked to leave events if they begin to have symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. See CDC guidance on External Linkwhat to do when sick with COVID-19.  

Mar. 12 Update: School-Sponsored Travel (Now-April 30th)

All out of district, school-sponsored travel will be suspended until April 30th, or until new guidance becomes available. This includes professional conferences, academic activities requiring travel outside of the district, out of district field trips, and non-MHSAA athletic events. Travel regarding MHSAA athletics will follow guidance from that organization at this time.

Mar. 12 Update: Continued Delivery of Instruction

 

  • Staff and administrators have been planning for the continued delivery of instruction should extended school closures become necessary.
     
  • Parents and students will be notified of plans for the delivery of instruction in the event of an extended closure.  
     
  • In the event of closure, students will be given academic activities in core areas so that learning can continue.  
     
    • Elementary students will have work sent home with them in the areas of language arts and mathematics.  
       
    • Secondary students will have work provided to them in the areas of mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies online.
    • Access codes will be communicated via email.  If your family cannot access online materials, call your school’s office to make alternate arrangements.

Mar. 12 Update: Expectations for Employees

 

  • Employees are expected to work unless they are ill and/or all students and staff are directed not to report. 
     
  • Human Resources will collaborate with union leaders to determine expectations for individual employee groups.  
     
  • Employees who are ill or symptomatic with any illness or condition should not work and may choose to be paid using their accrued but unused sick time or paid time off balances.
     
  • If you believe you have symptoms or need to self-quarantine: 1) please follow your regular absence reporting process; and, 2) contact Shawn Stowe, Director of Compensation, at stowesh@tcaps.net or 933-1740 to discuss your time reporting and pay.

Mar. 12 Update: Cleaning Procedures (ongoing)

 

  • The district continues to deep clean, sanitize, and disinfect all district facilities and buses.

Mar. 12 Update: Proactive Actions for Families to Take from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

  • Take steps to protect yourself including:
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently
  • Stay home if sick, especially if a fever is present
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes 
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people who are ill
  • Get plenty of rest

Feb. 27 Update: What TCAPS is Doing to Prepare

February 27, 2020 District Update

TCAPS Families and Staff,

As the United States, Michigan, and Traverse City prepare to respond to the possible spread of COVID-19 (previously referred to as the Coronavirus), we wanted to share with you the proactive efforts the school district has underway to plan for and respond to COVID-19, should it become necessary. 

First, the safety and security of our students, staff and the community are always at the top of our mind. Therefore, to ensure the best possible response, TCAPS is working closely with the Grand Traverse County Health Department and will rely on their expertise related to, if, and when, school closures or other actions may be necessary to contain any further spread of the illness. The CDC is also currently developing guidance for schools, and TCAPS expects to adhere to their guidance once it is released. 

As some may recall, TCAPS has had previous experience preparing for and responding to the spread of illness, including closing schools to slow the spread of H1N1 (Oct 27-30, 2009) and developing plans related to concerns about the spread of measles in 2019. 

Second, TCAPS has already been conducting additional, proactive cleaning procedures in the district’s school buildings and on its buses to help combat the spread of seasonal illnesses. These procedures include frequent cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms and common areas using non-bleach based cleaning products that also reach the side, underside and backside of surfaces. 

These cleaning technologies kill 99.9% of bacteria in 5 seconds, kills cold and flu viruses, MRSA and norovirus in 2 minutes or less, and sanitize soft surfaces. TCAPS will continue to use these cleaning technologies throughout the district to provide an extra layer of protection. Each building and school bus will be treated frequently, or as recommended by health professionals. 

Third, TCAPS has begun the discussion about planning for ways that students can remain engaged in their learning in the event school is canceled. In addition to existing resources like TCAPS 24/7, the district’s investment in technology devices and resources will allow for flexibility in the planning of remote or distance learning in a variety of formats, should it become necessary. 

Along with the efforts being taken by the district, you can also help to stop the spread of germs and help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19. A few steps recommended by the CDC that each of us can take include:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

Symptoms* of COVID-19 can include: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

*Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

We will continue to share information with families and staff as it becomes available. In addition, the district has created a webpage where the most current information regarding TCAPS’ planning and response to COVID-19, as well as, links to local and national resources and information will be shared. The website link is: www.tcaps.net/COVID-19.

Thank you for your support of our schools and for your support of maintaining a healthy and prepared community! 

Sincerely,

Jim Pavelka
Interim Superintendent 
Traverse City Area Public Schools