TCAPS team wins Chairman's Award at FIRST Robotics Competition

TCAPS Student Programs

Traverse City Area Public Schools is committed to preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the 21st century world economy through its strong PreK-12 curriculum.  TCAPS’ curriculum aligns with Michigan Department of Education standards at every grade level. The elementary curriculum focuses on achieving core content expectations and balanced literacy.  The secondary curriculum aligns with the new Michigan Merit Curriculum graduation guidelines. District-wide goals stress increasing student achievement annually in the core content areas of language arts, math, science and social studies while also engaging students, staff, parents and community in the process.  TCAPS has been a leader in incorporating “best practices” in the classroom and throughout all district initiatives.  Following  is an overview of (and links to) the many programs that complement student achievement:

Elementary Programs

Elementary Programs

  • Child care programs operate in all elementary schools for school age children.
  • TCAPS’ Montessori program provides an environment that encourages independent, engaged learners.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme* is taught at Traverse Heights Elementary School. IB students receive daily language instruction. 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.
  • Great Start Readiness Program is a full day preschool for eligible children. 
  • Early childhood developmentally disabled program for preschool age children needing special education services is available half-days at several elementary schools.
  • A reading teacher is available in most schools for low-performing first grade students to increase literacy achievement.
  • The Talented & Gifted (TAG) magnet program provides services to 4th and 5th grade identified gifted and talented students.
  • Shared time programs are offered through many of TCAPS’ community partners.
  • All schools have quality art, music, and physical education programs taught by a certified staff.
  • Spanish world language instruction is part of the elementary curriculum for students in grades preschool-5.

Secondary Programs

[Middle School | High School]

  • TCAPS’ One2World Program provides all middle and high school students with a laptop computer to enhance classroom learning.
  • TCAPS Online Academy options are available to all students who reside in the TCAPS attendance area.
  • Students may begin to earn high school credit in middle school.
  • Honors and Academically Talented (AT) courses are available in language arts, math, science, and government.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme* tracks are offered at both middle schools. 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.
  • An Early College program is available to help students earn up to two years of college credit before high school graduation.
  • Dual Enrollment at Northwestern Michigan College is available to student who meet the criteria.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses are available to students in a variety of curricular areas.
  • Online and blended online courses are available to all students.
  • Small learning communities such as neighborhoods, academies, advisories, and SCI-MA-TECH provide unique learning experiences to high school students.
  • Academic assistance is available to students who need additional support within their school. Tutoring is available for those students at risk of failure.
  • The Transition Program provides support for students who have academic and/or attendance problems.
  • Traverse City High School is an External Linkalternative high school available for students who may have difficulty with traditional time structures, lecture formats for learning, or social issues that occupy a large portion of their energies.  Additional programs located at Traverse City High School include the infant/toddler child care program for student parents, indian education program, homeless student program services, and drug free schools and prevention services.
  • Noon Activities Program (NAP) provides optional activities for students during the lunch period and is available is some schools.
  • Aleks is a math intervention support program available at all middle schools.
  • Summer school is available to all high school students for remedial course work or to get ahead in the coming year.

District Programs


  • Special Education programs and services for students with disabilities are available at every school.
  • Students identified with a disability are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education. Modifications, accommodations or interventions will be put into place, regardless of mitigating factors. In some cases, a 504 Plan, which is an accommodations plan for a student with a disability, may be indicated. Any service provided for a child with a disability must be aligned with the impairment.
  • The External LinkTraverse Bay Area Career -Tech Center provides programs and services for high school students to learn a variety of trades and skills ranging from office procedures, to drafting, to food service.
  • A broad range of rich, comprehensive K-12 curriculum offerings and extracurricular activities in the arts, athletics, as well as academics are offered to help students broaden their experiences and learn important social, leadership, and life skills.
  • The following list of tutors is compiled for you as a courtesy service of Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Language Arts Department.  Volunteers included in this list have indicated their interest in tutoring and have been screened by the TCAPS Human Resources Department.  It is up to you to interview tutors who may fit your needs, to determine their suitability, and to make your own arrangements. PDF DocumentTutor List

*Traverse Heights Elementary School is a candidate schools** for the Primary Years Programme. TC East Middle School and TC West Middle School are candidate schools** for the Middle Years Programme. These schools are pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality, programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

**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 Programme (and in addition, the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. Further information about the IB and its programmes