Thursday, November 19, 2015

Traverse City Offers Young Professionals and Families a Great Community with Great Schools

Greetings, readers! We're closing in on the holiday season, which means the snow and cold are on their way. As we wrap up a fantastic Autumn here in northern Michigan we're sharing a guest blog post today from Christine Guitar, Director of Marketing and Communications at Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS). Whether you're moving to Traverse City or a longtime resident, rest assured: the public schooling system in Traverse City is one of the best around! Read on for more details about why our region is a great place to start or grow a family.

There are so many things that make Traverse City great. The bay views, the food scene, the cultural and arts opportunities. There is also another fundamental piece of the puzzle: our schools. Great schools ensure that the community has the foundation it needs to be great now and into the future.

Whether parents want their child to go to one of the only free, public school Montessori programs in the state, gain hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM—education, or learn Mandarin Chinese, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) offers its roughly 10,000 students and their families those opportunities and so much more.

Students can focus on career technical training, like culinary arts or construction trades, through our partnership with the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. Students can also earn college credit before they receive their high school diploma through Advanced Placement courses. Early College and Dual Enrollment opportunities are offered in collaboration with Northwestern Michigan College (saving our community’s parents an estimated $2 million dollars annually!).

What is incredible is that TCAPS offers all of these opportunities while receiving some of the lowest per pupil funding in the state. Receiving thousands of dollars less per student is certainly no reason to celebrate, but what should be a reason for the community to cheer is that even in the face of an inequitable funding distribution, TCAPS ranks just as highly.

For the 5th year in a row, TC Central High School and TC West Senior High School have been named among America’s “Most Challenging High Schools” by The Washington Post. Only 11% of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools earned placement on the list. Both schools have also been ranked for the last 4 years among the “Top 50 Best High Schools” in the state by U.S. News and World Report. Out of the 849 public, charter and magnet schools in Michigan that were ranked, TC West Senior High School ranked #16 on the 2015 list…Grosse Pointe South, which receives $2,500 more per student ranked #17.

Couple TCAPS’ low state funding with a low local millage rate of 3.1 percent (the state average is 5.1), and it is clear that families in Traverse City and the entire community get a real return on their investment in education.

While young professionals may move to Traverse City hoping to build their careers and enjoy the great amenities that the area offers, they can stay and raise a family knowing that the educational opportunities offered are top notch.