TCAPS Superintendent Discusses Plan to Start School Year Online for 2 Weeks

The Traverse City Public School Board has made the decision to start the school year virtually.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, TCAPS decided to start the year with online learning for the first two weeks. Then in the third week, TCAPS plans to return to in-person, face-to-face learning.

Parents have had mixed reactions. Some parents are happy, others are angry, frustrated or concerned. 

Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner says teachers aren’t contractually required to be at work until just a few days before the start of the semester, so two weeks of online learning will allow teachers and staff time to prepare safety and cleaning protocols before students are back in the buildings.

“We can get all of that figured out and get everybody feeling as good as we can, that we have all the safety protocols in place and practice as much as we can before we have kids in front of us,” VanWagoner says.

And, he says, the two weeks at home will allow the district to see what problems other districts across the state are having, so they know whether to make further adjustments. Plans are in place should TCAPS need to readjust weeks or months into the school year. Those plans keep options on the table for going fully online or a choosing a hybrid with in-person learning, which would include some days in class and some days online.