The Pathfinder School

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The Pathfinder School Photo #1 - Middle School art students visit a local ceramic artist at his studio (and Pathfinder Alumnus) - one of many exciting off campus trips to enhance learning.
Since 1972, Pathfinder's academically vigorous program has been on the cutting edge of education, developing critical thinking skills, intellectual curiosity and an unparalleled love of learning through Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences pedagogy.
Our mission is to discover and develop each student's individual abilities by investing in a community of families and teachers in which serious study flourishes alongside creativity, responsibility and enthusiasm.
At Pathfinder, children feel safe to be themselves, think independently, work cooperatively, become avid learners and strive to make a difference in the lives of others.

Quick Stats (2021)

  • Grades: Prekindergarten-8
  • Students: 120 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $9,450
  • Acceptance rate: 97%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Prekindergarten-8
Year Founded
1972

Student Body

Total Students
120 students
Student Body Type
Co-ed
% Students of Color
8%
State avg.: 19%
Students by Grade
The Pathfinder School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
18 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
7:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
35%
Average Class Size
12 students
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Casual

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten tuition can be lower due to a reduced schedule. Please visit our website for tuition information.
% on Financial Aid
35%
Average Financial Aid Grant
$3,000
Acceptance Rate
97%
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Caroline Maier

Sports

Total Sports Offered
5 sports

Extracurriculars

Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
7 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.
Body Wellness, Fencing, Odyssey of the Mind, Orchestral Strings Program, Singwell Academy, The Green Club, Water Color and Oil Painting

School Notes

For the past 40 years, The Pathfinder School has been inspiring children to achieve their personal best as lifelong learners, young global citizens, creative thinkers and stewards of the Earth.  Our students are motivated to look beyond the outward appearance of things toward deeper understanding.  The basis of all inquiry begins with the fundamental question, "How am I and all other things connected to this topic "  This question arises time and time again in all of our classrooms - grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th.  Consequently, student learning is grounded in relevance and the positive results, as measured both by student achievement and engagement, are irrefutable.

MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES - In our classrooms, we emphasize deep understanding of varying concepts through experience-based learning while employing the Multiple Intelligences pedagogy developed by Howard Gardner.   There is a constant flow of new information on how the human brain operates, how it differs in function between genders, how emotions impact intellectual acuity, even on how genetics and environment each impact our children’s cognitive abilities. While each area of study has its merits, Howard Gardner of Harvard University identified different KINDS of intelligence we possess. This has particularly strong ramifications in the classroom, because if we can identify children's different strengths among these intelligences, we can accommodate different children more successfully according to their orientation to learning. Teaching with this understanding has been a primary focus at Pathfinder since the school's inception in 1972.  Many of our faculty attended Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero where the Gardner pedagoy is taught.  As a result, our veteran educators continue to develop a responsive and engaging curriculum based on the most current research in teaching and learning.   By staying on the cutting edge of education, we develop higher achieving students who are inspired to become more active learners as a result of their natural curiosity and joy in finding success.  

PATHFINDER IS...
  • The only accredited independent day school serving Pre-Kindergarten - 8th Grade students
  • Fully accredited by the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS)
  • Small classes and personal attention; Individualized instruction with a student:faculty ratio of 8 to 1
  • Dedicated teachers whose real-life field experience adds relevance to classroom instruction
  • An engaging and responsive curriculum built on the proven principles of experiential education
  • Recognized increasingly as a destination school, attracting families from across the country
  • A 22-acre wooded campus brimming with learning opportunities nestled on the shores of Cedar Lake and Grand Traverse Bay
  • Many opportunities for parental involvement including an active parents’ association, community building activities, and adult education
  • Centrally and conveniently located 3 miles from downtown Traverse City at the base of the Leelanau Peninsula
  • A school culture that honors diversity in its many forms and promotes civility: our school admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin
  • A GREEN CERTIFIED SCHOOL with a robust compost, recycling and no waste program for our students to experience and learn from.

PLEASE NOTE: The YouTube videos you see at the bottom of this page ARE NOT FOR OUR SCHOOL. To learn more about Pathfinder (located in Traverse City, MI) please visit our Facebook page or website.

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Quick Stats (2021)

  • Grades: Prekindergarten-8
  • Students: 120 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $9,450
  • Acceptance rate: 97%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Michigan is $6,107 for elementary schools and $10,527 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Michigan is 94% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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