TCAPS Kindergarten Program

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TCAPS offers comprehensive educational programs for your child in a safe and joyful learning environment with capable and caring teachers. Child care programs for preschool and kindergarten age children that complement the regular school day experience are also available as fee-based program offerings.


Kindergarten Options

The following kindergarten options are available (*pending enrollment):

  • All day / every day kindergarten is available at all TCAPS elementary schools (including Montessori). TCAPS’ kindergarten classes are taught by experienced, certified, early childhood teachers. Students attend a full day, five days per week. The kindergarten program is based on a set of engaging standards, aligns with the State of Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and is intended to prepare children for first grade upon successful completion. Language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, physical education, and Spanish language instruction are part of the curriculum. 
  • International Baccalaureate Programs - TCAPS offers an all day / every day kindergarten program that is delivered through the International Baccalaureate (IB)** model. IB is a high-quality education program designed to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Daily instruction in a second language is provided:  **Traverse Heights Elementary School is a candidate school for the Primary Years Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy–a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that these schools believe is important for their students. Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Program (and in addition, the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit External
  • Montessori Primary Program is an all day / every day kindergarten program for students of kindergarten age.  Kindergarten in a TCAPS Montessori program is a primary experience with a child-centered environment endorsing Montessori philosophy and methodology. The classroom director has Montessori and Michigan Elementary Certification. Transportation will be self-provided at TCAPS Montessori at Glenn Loomis.

Questions About Kindergarten

TCAPS’ kindergarten program will provide an exciting and joyful learning journey for your child. TCAPS’ caring and highly qualified teachers understand the whole child and are skilled in approaches that will engage and inspire your young learner. See below for more information about the kindergarten program and how to register. 

How old must my child be to enter kindergarten?

To enroll in kindergarten, a child must be five years old on or before September 1 of the enrollment year.  However, according to Michigan law,* if a child residing in a district is not five years of age on or before September 1, but will turn five years of age not later than December 1 of the enrollment year, the parent or legal guardian may choose to enroll their child in kindergarten by completing a PDF DocumentKindergarten Waiver Form to enroll his/her student in school.

When in receipt of a waiver request, districts can make recommendations to the child’s parent or legal guardian, as to the child’s readiness for school, and whether or not the child should be enrolled early. Regardless of a district’s recommendation, the parent or legal guardian retains the sole discretion to enroll their child. Questions regarding enrollment should be directed to Mary Beth Stein at or 231.933.1718.

What documents do we need for registration?


Where can I find contact information for my local school?

View school address and phone numbers here. If you are not sure which school serves your area, please call our transportation department at 231.933.1933 for more information.

Do you have child care programs at the schools?

Extended Day Child Care programs are offered at all TCAPS elementary schools. The programs are licensed through the State of Michigan and offer:

  • flexible scheduling
  • enrichment activities to build social skills, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships
  • homework and academic support
  • qualified, caring, trained, and experienced staff
  • outstanding facilities
  • nutritious snacks
  • a safe and nurturing school environment

Before school hours begin at 7:00 AM and continue until the start of the school day. After school hours begin when school ends and continues until 6:00 PM each day. The program starts on the scheduled first day of school and ends on the scheduled last day of school. For more information, visit the Extended Day Child Care webpage or call 231.933.7967. 

When do we register for kindergarten?

Beginning in February, Traverse City Area Public Schools will conduct parent information meetings and begin to register children for kindergarten for the following school year. If you are not able to attend one of the parent meetings, please contact your local school for more information or call TCAPS’ Pupil Accounting at 231.933.1718.