The Pathfinder School: Traverse City Community School

Pre-K & Kindergarten

What makes Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten at Pathfinder so unique?

We are extremely proud of our dynamic Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten program at Pathfinder. As the entry point into the rigorous 1st-8th grade curriculum, we engage our youngest students in a developmentally appropriate level of creative and critical thinking as they build relationships with their classmates through hands-on, project based learning. Our deep understanding of  Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory enables our teachers to build student confidence in their areas of strenth and use that excitement for learning to stretch their weaker capabilities.

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WE ARE CURRENTLY SOLD OUT with a waiting list for both Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten 2017-2018. If you are interested in learning more about our program, we urge you to contact the Admissions Office to schedule a tour. 

Admissions Director Caroline Maier: 231.995.3800 ext.1 | cmaier@thepathfinderschool.org
 

 

In Pathfinder Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms your child will experience...

  • The development of a caring school family throughout the year
  • Communication, creativity and problem solving in both individual and whole group projects
  • Critical thinking through questioning and exploration
  • Conflict/Resolution tools that are taught, modeled and learned
  • Imaginative play time with friends daily
  • Outside play time in our 22 acre wooded wonderland daily
  • Authentic and lasting relationships with teachers
  • An environment in which the whole child is embraced and taught
  • Curriculum adapted to both interests and individual development
  • A classroom filled with laughter, movement, discovery and engagement

 

Pre-Kindergarten Age Range & Schedule: 
(3-5 years old) | Half Day - 8am-11:30am | Full Day - 8am-3pm
At Pathfinder, the majority of our Pre-Kindergarten students are ages 3-5. We have a suite of scheduling options to choose from ranging from two half days a week to five full days.
SEE SCHEDULE & TUITION PRICES HERE.

  • Our student to teacher ratio in Pre-Kindergarten is 8:1 enabling each child in the classroom to have individual attention in addition to a safe, and comfortable social environment.  
  • We have two full time Pre-Kindergarten teachers: Paula Ward & Kristin Spangler
  • Pre-Kindergarten students have co-curricular classes in Music (2x/week), French (1x/week) and PE (3x/week) however only 5 FULL DAY students receive all of these electives. If you have a abbreviated schedule, your child may not experience all of these co-curriculars but will certainly receive at least two different co-curricular teachers.
  • Half day students are picked up in the classroom at 11:30 before lunch.
  • Full day students continue with lunch and then a mandatory rest time. Each child pulls out a yoga mat, pillow and blanket and rests from 12-1pm. They can read quietly, play with a puzzle or sleep.
  • Following rest, Pre-Kindergarten students engage in a series of dynamic, hands-on activities, art projects, outdoor exploration and service learning.

 

Kindergarten Age Range & Schedule:
(5-6 years old) | Half Day - 8am-11:30am | Full Day - 8am-3pm

We offer HALF DAYs and FULL DAYS in Kindergarten. SEE SCHEDULE & TUITION PRICES HERE.


As children in our Pre-K program approach the end of their second year, teachers and parents sit down to discuss the child's readiness for Kindergarten. If all parties agree that the child is ready to progress as a five year old to Kindergarten, we happily accept that child into the Kindergarten classroom for the next year. If not or if parents would prefer to have their child start at 6 years of age, we can accomodate that request as well. Ultimately, we want to operate in your child's best interest.  

  • Our student teacher ration in Kindergarten is 12:1.
  • 5 Full Day Kindergarten students have co-curricular classes in Music (2x/week), French (1x/week) and PE (3x/week). Students with an abbreviated schedule receive some of these co-curriculars but not all. 
  • Half day students are picked up in the classroom at 11:30 before lunch.
  • Full day students continue with lunch and then a mandatory rest time. Each child pulls out a yoga mat, pillow and blanket and must rest from 12-1pm. They can read quietly, play with a puzzle or sleep.
  • Following rest, Kindergarten students continue with more dynamic, hands-on activities, art projects, outdoor exploration and service learning.

 

To read more about starting Kindergarten at age 5 versus 6 click the links below:

 

Pre-Kindergarteners dissect a salmon donated from the weir in Traverse City. The yellow paint is from the Gyotaku prints students made of the fish body prior to hypothesizing about what they would find inside of their prize salmon. As a part of this lessson, students also traveled down to our dock on Cedar Lake and caught 12 bluegill that were cared for by our 3-6 year olds throughout the school year.

 

 

"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