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:

  • 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. 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.
  • 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. 
  • Young Fives Program* will be offered at  Courtade Elementary School, Eastern Elementary School, Long Lake Elementary School and Silver Lake Elementary School for the 2020-21 school year. The Young Fives kindergarten program is for young learners turning five with late birth dates (between July 1 and December 1). The program is designed to provide younger children with additional support and time to develop their abilities and skills prior to entering kindergarten the following year. Young Fives 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 Young Fives 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 Young Fives brochure.

    *Pending enrollment (A minimum of 20 students are required at the individual site in order to be able to run the Young Fives kindergarten program at the school. A decision will be made on or before August 1, 2020.)

    2021-2022 Young Fives Interest Survey
    In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, TCAPS is conducting a short survey to help determine interest in the Young Fives kindergarten program. Young Fives is a tuition-free, all day/every day kindergarten program specifically designed to meet the needs of some of our youngest kindergarten students. To be eligible, students must be turning five between July 1 and December 1. Participating students would spend one year in Young Fives kindergarten, then move to kindergarten the following year, then on to first grade. Transportation is only available to students who live in the "home school" boundary area of the school that they are attending. Young Fives will tentatively be offered at Courtade, Eastern, Long Lake, and Silver Lake elementary schools (pending enrollment). If you or someone you know is interested in enrolling a child in the Young Fives program for next school year, please complete this Google Formsshort survey. For more information, please call 231.933.1779.

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.  PDF DocumentView TCAPS Kindergarten Information Booklet.

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 Young Fives 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.


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 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 231.933.1759. 

Beginning in March, 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.