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November 4, 2011

Calendar of Events


Half day for students, 11:01 AM dismissal


No School



6th Gr Choir Informance, Little Theatre, 6:00 PM



Fall Symphonic/Jazz Band Concert, Gym, 7:00 PM


Half day for students, 11:01 AM dismissal


No School, Thanksgiving


No School, Thanksgiving


No School



Senior Citizen Social, 6:00 PM



WMS/WSH Concert & Jazz Bands, at WSH, 7:00 PM


WMS Holiday Vocal Concert Gr. 6-8, Lars



6th Gr Symphonic Band / WSH wind Ens. Holiday Concert, Gym, 7:00 PM



Gr 6-8 Orchestra Concert, WSH, 7:00 PM



East/West 6th Gr Caroling, Lars Hockstad


Gr 6-8 Orchestra Holiday Concert, WSH, 7:00 PM


Half Day for Students


No School, Winter Recess


School Resumes

Go to Calendar

Community Resources

In an effort to reduce the amount of paper coming home in your child's backpack, we have created a Community Resource Page to share upcoming community events, programs, local resources, and information.

Go to Community Resources

Check Your Grades!

TCAPS' online option to keep track of student grades, assignments, and attendanceParents & students can view student grades, assignments, & attendance online. Contact ID Number and Parent Internet Password are required for access. Login information has changed for 2011-12 and letters with the new information were sent home from your school in October. Login Information cannot be provided over the phone, but parents can request information by email or fax ( 231-933-8200).


Parent Internet Viewer – Helpful Tips for Login Problems

Click here for tips on navigating Parent Internet Viewer including log in problems, editing contact information, and signing up for regular email notifications on your student's grades, attendance, homework assignments, etc.

Go to Internet Viewer

Cafeteria Information

Hot breakfast & lunch is prepared & served on site daily. Fresh high quality foods & a wide variety of healthy choices are offered. All TCAPS' schools offer breakfast & lunch options. The cost for these meals daily is: $1.50 - breakfast, $2.35 – lunch, and milk - .40 cents.


Breakfast or lunch money can be placed “on account” by bringing cash/checks to the cafeteria staff any time after 7:15 AM throughout the school year. Again this year you can deposit money on your student’s lunch account at: & using your credit card. You will need your child’s ID number. Please be aware that there is a $2.00 charge for using this service.


Free & reduced lunch program available. Applications can be picked up at school or completed online at


If you have any questions, please call Food & Nutrition Services at 933-1910 or Deb Brown in the cafeteria at WMS at 933-8368.

View Menus

School Store

The West Middle School Store will be opening soon! Hours will be:


Monday – Friday
7:20 AM - 7:40 AM and
2:00 PM - 2:40 PM


Hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, pajama pants, long and short sleeved t-shirts, shorts, baseball caps, sports bags, fleece blankets, and school supplies are available to purchase. If you would like to purchase merchandise from the school store at another time during the school day, please contact Mary Gillison at 933-8200 or email to arrange a day and time. Cash and checks made out to TCAPS are accepted.

Visit School Store

Office Reminders


PLEASE give our wing offices advance notice when you need to pick up your student for an appointment. We ask that you contact the office as early in the day as possible either by phone or letter.


PLEASE no attendance issues by email! Your child will be issued a pass and we can have your student ready when you arrive!


Just a reminder….

Due to lack of funding we do not offer after school care for West Middle School students. Because there is no supervision after 2:37 p.m. we are asking that children either take the bus home or are picked right after school dismissed at 2:37 p.m. Thanks for helping us keep your children safe.



School Nurse

This year we have a school nurse, Liisa Szarapski, who will be here all day on Tuesday, Wednesday morning and Thursday. Please feel free to contact the nurse regarding any medical issue your child might have at 231-933-5613 if she is not available leave a message and she will get back with you.



Driving/Parking Rules & Information

We have had a great start to the new school year & are so excited to see all of the smiling faces in the building. The parking lot drop off is going well & we appreciate people pulling forward to the large drop off sign with students entering & exiting through the gym doors. Please remember that the lanes accommodate two-way traffic coming into the premise & cars need to stay in the correct lanes so the traffic keeps flowing. Thanks for keeping our children safe and sharing your precious cargo with us!


Do You Have a New Address or Phone Number? Planning to move to a different residence or have changed your phone number, please remember to call the grade wing secretary so that the school records can be kept up to date.

More School News

Office Directory

Main Office

Mary Gillison, Admin. Assist.


Judy Yakel, Admin. Assist.


Pamela Alfieri, Principal


South 6th/7th Wing


Andrea DelGiudice, Admin. Assist


WMS Social Worker


Kirsten Morgan, Assistant Principal


Barb Parker, Admin. Assist. (p.m.)


Kimberly Szatkiewicz, Behavior Specialist


West 6th/7th Wing

Mandi Furstenberg, Admin. Assist.


Dan Tiesworth, Assistant Principal


Beth Weaver, Admin. Assist. (a.m.)


North 8th Wing


Paul Crowley, Counselor


Jill Hale, Admin. Assist.


Lynn Hansen, Assistant Principal


Barb Parker, Admin. Assist. (a.m.)


Complete Staff Directory


Office Hours

7:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Monday through Friday


WMS Phone Numbers

Cafeteria 933-8368

Fax 933-8205

Library 933-8393

North Wing 933-8260

South Wing 933-8220

Main Office 933-8200

West Wing 933-8300


WMS Staff Email Addresses:

1st eight letters of last name,

1st two letters of first name,



TCAPS Phone Numbers

LEAP 933-1722

Music Dept. 933-7570

Nursing Dept. 933-5610

STEP 933-8976

West Senior High 933-7500


Transportation 933-1933

Bus Hotline: 933-1955

Bus Routes:


WMS Web Site

Want to learn more about what’s happening at TC West Middle School – music events, sports, conferences, daily events, newsletter, current events, etc.? Check out this website:

Please share this newsletter with your friends and neighbors

From Principal Pam Alfieri

Principal Pam AlfieriDear West Middle School Families:


Thank you so much for your support during the MEAP window and participating at Parent/Teacher conferences. The teachers enjoyed sharing pertinent information with you on the progress of each child in the building. Our teams have a collective understanding of the students and connecting with the families puts us all on the same page to meet the needs of these fine young people. We are always looking for volunteers especially for our National Junior Honor’s Society tutoring program, noon duty activities, school library, and field trips. If you are able to assist in any of these areas, please do not hesitate to call 933-8200.


A big thank you goes to Shawna Asher, Alison Arnold, Larry Burden, and Angelo Vozza for promoting a cancer fundraiser at Jacob’s Maze, owned by Mike Witkop and Steve Fouch. West Middle School raised a little over $4,000 dollars with all the help from our school community!!!! Each one of us can make a significant difference in many lives when we work together!


Enjoy the fall,


Pamela Alfieri

West Middle School Principal

Read more

School News


Listed below is a community project that the Purple Team has planned:


Hat Day Fundraiser

One day a Chemo patient told everyone she was having a great day. That morning she received four bags of food so her family could have a Thanksgiving Dinner. She couldn’t work and while her husband was employed it was not enough to support their family of five growing boys. Whenever you think you have it bad, you can always find someone who has it worse.


I’ve never forgotten that experience so when my college roommate explained how her Seventh Grade Math students provided Thanksgiving Dinner for the needy each year, I was interested.


The purple team will be looking at nutrition, appropriate food choices and portion sizes to create a healthy menu and grocery list. The teams armed with their grocery list and budget will walk to Meijer to purchase the food. Each team will have to spend only what is given to them so they will have to really watch the choices they make while still buying everything on the list. After all the groceries are paid for and the students walk back to school, some wonderful parents will pick up the groceries and deliver them to school. With the help of Mrs. Alfieri, the food will be given to the families that need it the most.


On October 28, we held HAT DAY for all WMS students and teachers who wanted to participate and help raise funds for this worthy cause. All participants paid $1.00 for the privilege to wear a hat all day. We are excited to report that the Purple Team raised approximately $425. This money will be used for our Meijer shopping trip to buy Thanksgiving Dinner food for families in need. Thank you to all who participated!



When should I keep my child home from school?


Whenever a child complains of not feeling well on a school day, parents are faced with the decision of whether or not to send their child to school. How do you make the right choice? Generally speaking, if a child is sick, he/she should NOT come to school.


If you child is vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, has a rash, sore throat, or running a fever of 100 or greater, please keep your child home for at least twenty-four hours or until he/she is completely recovered. Should a child become ill during the school day, parents will be contacted to take him/her home.


The Communicable Disease Chart located in the TCAPS student handbook is a valuable resource for you to use in making this decision.


If a youngster is sick, but you feel he/she can come to school as long as they stay inside or don’t participate in PE, PLEASE RECONSIDER: A STUDENT WELL ENOUGH TO ATTEND SCHOOL WILL BE CONSIDERED WELL ENOUGH TO PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOL RELATED ACTIVITIES.


Reporting Illness: Please report to the school when your child is out of school due to the following symptoms: chills, fatigue, FEVER (temperature over 100), sore throat, cough, or muscle aches.



Items of clothing, books, lunch boxes, etc. are accumulating in all grade wings, the cafeterias, and the boys and girls locker rooms. All items not claimed by Winter Break, December 22, will be recycled into the PE Department or donated to charity.



The Annual Grand Traverse Ski Club sale will be held at West Middle School Saturday, November 12, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 13, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Time slot tickets, on a first-come first serve basis, will be handed out beginning at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. If you want to sell equipment, drop off time is Friday, November 11, between 5:15 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. New this year - you can register your items to sell online and take the "fast lane" on Friday evening to drop off your equipment. Pick up money or unsold equipment on Sunday from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Any questions, contact the G. T. Ski Club. This is not a TCAPS sponsored event.



West Middle School’s Math Club will be meeting on Thursdays from 2:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in room 315. For more information or if your child is interested in signing up, please contact Mrs. Taplin at 933-8273 or email her at



During the weeks of October 31 and November 7, the 8th grade class at West Middle School is running a Virtual Book Drive through the United Way for all 13 of our TCAPS elementary schools. This type of drive is done completely online. This website explains the process and purpose of the Virtual Book Drive:


Oh and I forgot to mention that this United Way Virtual Book Drive program is so new that we are the first school in the whole state of Michigan to do it!


Please listen for a radio commercial from our student council kids. A couple of eighth graders went to the WTCM office to cut a radio commercial for the book drive. It will air on a couple of local radio stations.


The United Way and our school district believe that a book drive can make a difference in our community. Kids who don’t have books – or an adult reading with them – don’t read as well. And kids who don’t read well don’t do well in school. Children who aren’t strong readers by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school. Books and interactive reading help build reading skills – and academic success.


The United Way can purchase books for $2.50 apiece, which means that if each of our 8th grade WMS families donated $5 we could raise over $2000 and provide over 800 books to kids right in our community! We are asking that sometime before November 11, please go online and make a donation.


You can donate by clicking here to access the web site listed above and then “Choose to donate to an existing fund.” Just enter TCAPS in the search engine and the system will show the three different 8th grade teams at West Middle School. Choose a team and make your donation.


At the end of our 2-week drive the United Way will take all of the funds raised and purchase books for our elementary schools from a wish list the schools have compiled. Then, on November 23, all 407 West Middle School 8th grade students will participate in a Day of Action where we will travel to our elementary schools and read books to the students there.


We are really excited about having the opportunity to give back to our elementary schools and help promote the power of reading in all our students!

Thank you so much for your support!


Questions or comments? Please contact 8th grade Student Council Advisor, Tara DenHerder, at 933-8323.



(Formerly the Traverse Junior Nordic Ski Club) meets Tuesdays and Thursdays Jan. 10-Mar. 1, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM at Timber Ridge. Just $75 for the season; includes a one way bus ride to Timber Ridge immediately after school, trail pass, snack, and on-site instruction with coaches. Store your cross-country skiing equipment at Timber Ridge or rent it for only $40 for the season. Beginners to advanced skiers are invited to join the outdoor winter fun. Download the registration and waiver forms from; or call John Pflughoeft (946-2588) if you have questions.



22 WMS band students will audition for the Michigan Middle School All-State Band on October 29-30...they are:

Montana Anderson

Brianne Giddis

Austin Barth

Nick Hirschenberger

Claire Bergin

Jerome Horton

Nicole Blakkan-Esser

Lauren Klaft

Dalton Bouschor

Madeline Merwin

Nick Burns

Camellia Minervini

Kirsten Campbell

Emily O'Leary

Ashley Croff

Kailey Rubinas

Delaney Drake

Allison Shaughnessy

Sabrina Eisner

Hayden Talbot

Jack Ensign

Katelyn Zeits

Best of luck to all of you!



Bus passes are issued for emergency purposes only. If your child must ride on another bus, please send a note to the main office requesting the pass on the day it is needed before 12:00 p.m. (we must have this in writing or we will not be able to issue a buss pass). When requesting a bus pass we need the following information: first and last name, grade, wing, parent/guardian name, phone number, date or dates bus pass is needed; name, address and route number of the student your child is going home with. When possible please use the bus pass form that is located on the WMS website.


Click on "More School News" for information on:

What to do if you have a new address, phone, or email


Students in Transition Empowerment Program (STEP)


Box Top For Education Program


Additional Parent Information


Volunteer Opportunities


Yearbook- Order Today

More School News

Learning Enrichment & Athletic Program (LEAP)

Learn more about TCAPS' Learning Enrichment & Athletic Program

Share Your Feedback

Parents and students are invited to share feedback on their LEAP experience. Click on the appropriate link below to begin a short survey:

Parent Feedback Survey


Student End of Season Participation Survey

Middle School Athletic Opportunities

Athletic programs are available for middle school students in sixth through eighth grade. The following athletic offerings are available for 6th grade students:

  • Basketball, Boys
  • Basketball, Girls Extension League
  • Cross-Country
  • Dance
  • Fitness & Conditioning
  • Flag Football
  • Floor Hockey
  • Indoor Soccer
  • Tennis, Boys
  • Tennis, Girls
  • Track & Field, Co-ed
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

The following athletic offerings are available for 7th & 8th grade students:

  • Basketball, Boys
  • Basketball, Girls
  • Cross-Country
  • Football
  • Softball
  • Track & Field, Co-ed
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

The focus of LEAP athletic offerings is on skill development, growing a love of sport, and teamwork. Team placement for all LEAP programs will be determined by school of attendance and/or by random placement with the goal of each team being equitable. Teams will not be determined by a hierarchy of assumed talent. No student will be "cut" from any LEAP program.


Reminder: All 7th & 8th grade students must have a physical on file prior to the start of the first practice!! Click here to download physical card.


For additional questions please contact LEAP Director, Scott Robertson at 231-933-1758 or 231-933-1722.


More LEAP News & Schedules

District Notes

Tell Us How You Like Your New Electronic School Newsletter?

This year, TCAPS has introduced the electronic school newsletter as a new avenue of communication for TCAPS families. We invite you to participate in the following short survey to share feedback on your school's new electronic newsletter and offer any suggestions you may have for improvement. Click here to begin survey.



TCAPS Team with Most Trotters To Win "Super" Serenade

Calling all TCAPS Turkey Trot Enthusiasts – Staff, Schools, PTO's, and all TCAPS Departments!

Sign Up & Join the UpNorth Media Turkey Trot Race for Charity on Thanksgiving Day: TCAPS is thrilled to be a partner who will benefit from this year's Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Race for Charity! The race will start and end at TCAPS' Thirlby Field Stadium with a 5K Walk/Run and 5 Miler options. We invite all our families, staff members, and the community to participate in this exciting event.


Superintendent Cousins, the guitar man, is challenging our collective school community to team-up for this event that will support TCAPS with $10 from every registration fee that comes through TCAPS' special sign up page. These funds will help make athletic opportunities possible for more students in our schools. Steve will give a special performance to the TCAPS team with the most registered participants in this year's Turkey Trot at Thirlby Field. Get your group together today and register for the Trot.


The winning team of trotters gets to choose their event, such as a PTO fundraiser, school assembly, or staff gathering to receive a "super" serenade!


For TCAPS to benefit, Trotters must sign-up through the special TCAPS Turkey Trot web page.



TCAPS' LEAP Under the Lights

Come and run on TCAPS' Thirlby Field with the stadium lights and excitement celebrating you! LEAP Under the Lights at Thirlby Field, is a FREE event, on November 23rd from 5:00 PM-8:00 PM. Kids will enjoy fun and games Under the Lights at Thirlby Field Stadium at this special pre-Turkey Trot FREE event. The evening will be filled with fun activities for youth of all ages including:

Punt-Pass-Kick Competition

Challenge Courses

100-Yard Dash



Volunteers Needed to Serve on Sex Education Advisory Committee

TCAPS is recruiting volunteers to serve on the Sex Education Advisory Committee. This advisory board meets on the first Thursday of every month to review sex education curriculum and materials according to state law and our local bylaws. Membership on the advisory board must include:

• Parents

• Students

• Educators

• Clergy

• Community Health Professionals

Click here to download the application. The deadline for submitting an application is November 11, 2011. For questions or additional information, please contact Sue Wilson via email at or call TCAPS’ Nursing Department at 933-5610.


Backpacks for Kids Fundraiser - Skippyjon Jones - November 26

Support Backpacks for KidsWhat do a Chihuahua, Sunrise Rotary, and kids have in common? Skippyjon Jones! Together they are going to help raise money for your local Backpacks for Kids program. A portion of the proceeds from all Skippyjon Jones tickets purchased through Sunrise Rotary goes to the Backpack for Kids program.


Sunrise Rotary’s Backpacks for Kids has annually supplied 1,300 new backpacks stuffed with school supplies to public school children in grades K-5 since 2004. Help support the Backpacks for Kids program by purchasing tickets to a Skippyjon Jones performance. There are two performances at the City Opera House, Traverse City, MI on Saturday November 26, 2011 at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM. Tickets are just $10. To support Backpack for Kids, tickets must be purchased through the Sunrise Rotary site:


More District News

Learn more about opportunities at NMC Learn more about Big Brothers & Big SistersClick here to download great coupons to be used at the new Valvoline Express Care and earn money for your school.Click here sign up for the Turkey Trot and help support TCAPSLearn how you can sponsor TCAPS newsletters
Click here to download a coupon for Maui WowiClick here to learn more about how you can sponsor TCAPS' school e-newslettersClick here to sign up for the Turkey Trot and help TCAPS raise funds for our students

Special Thank You to Our TCAPS Title Sponsor:

Your Listing Here


Thank you TBA Credit Union, a proud sponsor of TCAPS

Your Listing Here


Copyright (c) 2011 TC West Middle School
Traverse City Area Public Schools

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