TCAPS Kindergarten Program

2023-24 Enrollment Opens February 16, 2023

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 Program Options

The following kindergarten program options are available:

2023-2024 Registration - Opening February 16, 2023

Parent Information nights will take place February 13-15.


Traditional Kindergarten is available at all TCAPS elementary schools. TCAPS’ kindergarten classes are taught by experienced, certified, early childhood teachers. Students attend a full day, five days per week. School day times vary depending on school location. 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, and physical education are all part of the curriculum.

Registration for kindergarten is conducted in paper format. See below for more information and/or contact the school directly for registration assistance. 

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. Learn more about the Montessori program.

Registration for the Montessori primary program is conducted in paper format. See below for more information and/or contact the school directly for registration assistance at or 231.933.6420.

The Junior Kindergarten Program* is a district program that will be offered at schools that have the highest enrollment interest and/or available classroom space for district programming. 

Junior Kindergarten is designed for students who meet the kindergarten age requirement, but may benefit from a year of additional time prior to entering our traditional kindergarten program. Students may have a later birth date or simply need more time to develop in academic or social areas.  The intended academic track for these students is Junior Kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and so on. Junior Kindergarten follows the school year calendar and is a five day, full day program provided at no cost to families. Unless living within the host school boundary area, transportation is provided by the parent.

The Junior Kindergarten curriculum materials are different than what will be used in the traditional kindergarten class. English language arts, math, science and social studies are taught using Michigan kindergarten standards. However, teachers spend additional time teaching lessons and focus on supporting the developmental needs of each child to help prepare him or her for success in kindergarten the following school year. Students will receive math, reading and writing instruction daily, and science and social studies regularly. Music, art and physical education are also part of the program. PDF DocumentView First Steps Kindergarten Guide.

*Pending enrollment (A minimum of 20 students are required at the individual site in order to be able to run the Junior kindergarten program at the school.)

2023-2024 Registration - Opening February 16, 2023

Online registration for the Junior Kindergarten program will be coming soon. Interested families are encouraged to enroll early as space is limited. Placement into the program is handled on a first come, first served basis. All registration forms must be completed to be considered for placement. Families will be notified in mid-May of their placement status. 

Junior Kindergarten Information Session

Video presentation will be held virtually on February 8, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. This meeting will be recorded and a link will be posted afterwards.

Registration for Current TCAPS Preschool Students

  • Current TCAPS preschool families registering for the Junior Kindergarten program can log directly into the PowerSchool Parent Portal and use their child's current access ID information. 
  • This tool may be useful to help you navigate through the parent portal if needed. 
  • If you have never logged in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal or you do not remember your login information, please email Alex Crane at for assistance.

Registration for New Students

  • Registration will open February 16, 2023 at 9:00am
  • If your student is new to the district, you will need to complete our Enrollment Express pre-registration here.
  • Once submitted, you will receive a second email to set up a Parent Portal account.
  • This tool may be useful to help you navigate through the parent portal if needed.
  • Along with your electronic submission, you will need to email Alex Crane copies / photos of three additional documents: student birth certificate, up-to-date immunization records, and proof of residency.

For More Information

  • For more information regarding the Junior Kindergarten program and/or registration assistance, please contact Alexandra Crane at or 231.933.1779.

Traverse City Area Public Schools is pleased to offer families a full-time K-12 online learning program. Open to K-12 students in the five-county region, UpNorth Virtual (UPNV) provides a unique opportunity for students to receive 100% of their courses virtually while still being part of a local school community. Learn more at


General Kindergarten Questions

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.  PDF DocumentView TCAPS First Steps Kindergarten Guide.

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 or Junior Kindergarten.

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 Erika Swartz at or 231.933.1722.

Enrollment for all day, every day kindergarten and the Montessori primary program is completed in paper format. Completed forms may be scanned and emailed to the school office or dropped off at the school's main office. School contact information can be found in the next section below.

Enrollment for the Junior Kindergarten program will be conducted online for the 2022-2023 school year. Please see the Junior Kindergarten section above for registration instructions. 

Enrollment Forms

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.

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

  • 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 5:30 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 231.933.1759. 

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 231.933.1722.