The Pathfinder School: Traverse City Community School

Application Process

Steps in the Pathfinder Admissions Process

Below are the steps in the Pathfinder Admission Process. In addition to a tour of our campus, we invite you to join us for one of our many open houses or events. This is a wonderful way to engage with our faculty and parent population and see the Pathfinder mission in action.  To view our Open House  & Events Schedule: CLICK HERE

1. TOUR: Interested parents are invited to make an appointment to visit the school.  Talk with teachers - see classes in action - experience our wooded campus. Tours are given year round.  This meeting is a wonderful,  informal opportunity to learn more about the school and to ask questions you have concerning the program and our Multiple Intelligences approach.

2. APPLICATION:  If, following the tour, you decide to pursue a formal Admissions Visit for your child, our Admissions Office will forward you an Admissions Application to be completed prior to your child's visit along with the other forms listed below. 

3. VISIT & FORMS: For children applying to grades 1-8 parents are asked to submit the child's last two years of report cards and any other information you would like to share regarding your child.  We will simultaneously schedule a two day visit for the child.  The visit integrates the prospective student into the Pathfinder classroom and allows us to evaluate the student's potential for success at the school as well as his/her interaction with classmates.  Additionally, the visit gives your family the opportunity to see if the Pathfinder culture is the right fit. 

NOTE to Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Families: Our youngest visitors  are invited to campus for a one hour visit with our teachers and other prospective students in the Jan/Feb prior to their prospective Fall enrollment. Your child is invited to attend school and see the classrooms, participate in activities and enjoy being at Pathfinder for a shorter window of time. This gives us a chance to get to know your child, and you a chance to see Pathfinder in action.  

4. NOTIFICATION OF PLACEMENT: The Admissions committee meets every Friday to review all prospective student applications. Enrollment decisions are based on an evaluation of the child's school visit, school transcripts, and the availability within the existing class.   Parents will be contacted regarding our admission decision by the following Monday. If the child is accepted a contract will be issued.

5. FINANCIAL AID: We have a need-blind Admission policy at Pathfinder meaning that we accept the student first, before we provide a family with a financial aid reward.  For those parents interested Finanical Aid, the process can begin at the same time as the student visit but no offer will be made until a child is accepted. For families receiving Financial Aid, the contract and financial aid reward will be provided at the same time. 

Please contact our Main Office with questions or to request further information at

(231) 995-3800 

"I feel free to call upon the faculty at our school anytime - weekday or weekend, to voice a concern, seek advice, raise a classroom issue or share an anecdotal story of accomplishment. It’s like having a competent group of allies to assist in the daily challenge that raising children with character poses."

- Parent, grades 3, 8 and graduate