Frequently Asked Questions

Where is The Greenspire School located?

Abutting 500 acres of state and local parklands, The Greenspire School is located at 1026 Red Drive, Traverse City, on the Grand Traverse Commons, near Building 36 and the TBAISD building.

Is there tuition for The Greenspire School?

There is NO tuition. Public charter schools receive per pupil funding from the State of Michigan, just as other public schools do.

What are The Greenspire School's instructional methods or pedagogy?

Our model includes student and instructor designed projects explored with the assistance and consultation of instructors and specialists from the community. Within this framework, students will engage in varied methods of instruction (see Pedagogy under Philosophy for more detail):


  • Individualized and small group instruction

  • Large group, for student and guest presentations, productions, and large group student council

  • Socratic Method, following a specific pedagogy of question and responses

  • Multi-age instruction and mentoring which provide positive teaching opportunities and allow students to work at their own pace in specific areas

  • Key Presentations/Stories - brief, lively, story-like presentations by the instructor to establish common background information, common vocabulary necessary for study, or common story frameworks

  • Uninterrupted Learning Times

  • Outdoor Education

  • Portfolio production and presentations

  • Summative and formulative evaluations

What exactly is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school with a focused purpose and without the restrictions of a local neighborhood school. A charter school fills a specific niche or need within the area it serves. Charter Schools must have an authorizer - usually a university or other educational entity - and it must give assurances that its program will result in superlative education to the extent that an authorizer is willing to put its good name to the charter.


All public schools - local, neighborhood public school and charters - must meet Michigan academic standards, aligning curriculum and using assessments such as the MEAP as an indicator of outcomes.

How many students are there?

Greenspire's enrollment is 126 students in grades 6, 7 and 8.

What will The Greenspire School curriculum be like?

The Greenspire School's curriculum aligns with Michigan state standards. Students will study the core disciplines through thematic inquiry that is project based, and framed with real world problems to be solved. Instructors reinforce key concepts through either formal or informal individual or group lessons.

What electives or other programs will The Greenspire School offer students?

Greenspire offers physical education, world language (Spanish & Mandarin), exploratory, independent study, art, and Peace Jam service learning as well as after-school clubs (Lego league, 4H, Odyssey of the Mind, cross country, skiing) and other activities based on student interest and parent volunteers. Athletics/team sports are available through a cooperative relationship with TCAPS. Greenspire instructors offer informational sessions on curriculum and methodology for parents and the community in addition to classes on parenting adolescents. Outdoor education camp at the Leelanau Outdoor Center is provided in the fall, with targeted field trips throughout the year.

What are the requirements for admission? Who can attend The Greenspire School?

As a charter school, requirements for admission are similar to public schools. Enrollment is open to students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade who are interested in a rigorous academic program focused on the environment and outdoor education. Class sizes are limited which means students are placed on a waiting list, after a lottery process, if there are more applicants than spots available.

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   © The Greenspire School                                     1026 Red Drive  ~  Traverse City, Michigan  ~  49684                                         (231) 421-5905