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K-12
Public charter
Traverse City, MI
Students enrolled: 1,185
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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1245 East Hammond Road
Traverse City, MI 49686

School website
(231) 995-0665
(231) 995-0880
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Grand Traverse Academy address.

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September 05, 2014
I used to go to this school from kindergarten to 10th grade, and I enjoyed my time there up until highschool, where everything came crashing down. Well known/popular students, on festival days, were/are allowed to wear shorts that leave their behinds hanging out, while other students are sent to the office because of a dress or skirt a half inch less than the dress code. The school seems to only focus on sports, even taking funding out of the very small art program for it. The year I left, the best history teacher in school history joined the team, and I would definitely recommend him for people who like a quiet classroom and actual teacher focus.

- submitted by a community member
August 28, 2014
i miss this school D: i wanna go back to michigan! D: D: D: D:

- submitted by a community member
June 14, 2014
I love the school! Compared to other schools, I realize how healthy of an environment I am put in everyday. The school enforces character education, we write papers on how we are with the character traits and we always show them in school. There are no bullies either. You may get picked by someone, but that person will have automatic suspension. We are also not allowed to hug or touch (holding hands are acceptable) for more than 5 seconds. People may think we are a strict school but my dad has an answer for that: "They are raising up for the way a person should live in the real world and work environment." We also wear uniforms at are school, which I personally don't like, but I can live with it. I could name more than half of the high school students and about half of the junior high students. But, it isn't the most fun having a small school because there are not a lot of sports teams! I wanted there to be a soccer team so we tried joining other schools but it didn't work out. And my parents didn't want me to go to another school to pursue my soccer dream because they like the school so much. All in all though, the staff are close, students are family, and there life is good.

- submitted by a community member
January 05, 2014
As an alumni, I attended Grand Traverse Academy from 2006 to 2009 in their High School area. It was an okish school but with many problems unfortunately. First one, they do not have their own busing, you have to come up with your own transportation, which means either driving your kids to school or setting up a BETA route. They also don't have a typical lunchroom and you must pack your own and try to get a microwave when lunch time comes. furthermore, there is a huge lack of interesting elective classes, all there is to choose from is art, music, and advanced classes. They could at least put more effort into electives! E.G. a class like personal finance that teaches real world skills. The only good thing about this school are some of the teachers who were excellent. Mr. Cook is one of the best teachers at GTA, I loved his wisdom on whatever we were talking about in class, I learned a lot from him! Overall, it's a decent school for it's elementary department from what I hear, but the middle & high school part of Grand Traverse Academy is far from excellent, and could use improvements in the departments of what I mentioned earlier

- submitted by a community member
October 17, 2013
Although there are a lot of great teachers at the school, there is very little trust from the administration for the teachers. Heavy control issues are what steer many teachers away. Even writing notes home to parents need to be "checked" by an administrator. Very little trust in the staff which leads to high turnover. Very unfortunate.

- submitted by a teacher
September 25, 2013
I am amazed every time I step foot into GTA. The staff is friendly and helpful and the students are joyful and polite. My children in elementary and secondary have blossomed in this environment since they began GTA in kindergarten. It is an outstanding school.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2013
I have had four students go through GTA from K- 8th, 9th, 9th, and 10th grades. When they left the academy for reasons I will address in a moment I discovered serious issues. My oldest and youngest children were classified as *gifted* by state testing yet never challenged by offering the "Gems" classes (many teachers kids are though) and my two middle children were passing but when they left they were GRADES behind at other schools and it was discovered they had serious learning disabilities. The biggest reasons that 3 of my children left there is the bullying. It is physical (the kids KNOW where the cameras are) it is emotional (in FRONT of teachers) and even when it's addresses with the principals it's never dealt with. It is so vicious that numerous High school students have left because of this.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2013
Unfortunately due to personal reasons I needed to resign from my position at Grand Traverse Academy. I have absolutely loved my time at GTA and was planning on staying for my entire career because I love this school so much. The staff is so friendly and helpful - I have made some great friends during my time at GTA. The students are beyond most teacher's dreams, as far as, their level of respect and caring. I am incredibly disappointed that I will not be able to see my students grow up and graduate. I hope that if my life brings me back to Traverse City in the future there will be a place for me at Grand Traverse Academy. In my 3 shorts years, I learned a lot about myself as a teacher and what make GTA superior to other schools. I am so thankful for having this wonderful teaching experience - it is really setting the bar high for all of my future schools. Sincerely, Rachael Borcherdt

- submitted by a teacher
July 30, 2013
The high teacher turnover at Grand Traverse Academy is alarming. Unfortunately, this speaks volumes and has given the school a poor name among other schools. As for technology, very little is utilized in the classrooms, besides an overhead projector and a few computers. It would be nice if the leadership team would support the teaching staff as much as they do the parents.

- submitted by a teacher
May 27, 2013
We moved our son to GTA at the beginning of the school year after spending several frustrating years with another local school in the district. We are amazed every single day at the genuine care and concern displayed by every single person in the school. For the first time ever, we feel that our son is in a school where the educators and staff members truly care about the children and quality of education; it is more than just a paycheck for them! The staff at GTA genuinely care about the individual success of each and every student and go to great lengths to address each child's needs. They understand that everyone is different and we all do not fit in to the same mold. We also love the fact that GTA has high standards and expectations in regard to character, choices and behavior.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2013
The principal is not very strict with discipline and allows kids to bully other children. One student got up in my child's class on career day that all one of the particular student's only career choice would be a call girl. When sent to the office, she was only sent back to apologize. Are you kidding me? This same child has been known to make comments over FB and spread rumors about several of the female students at the school. Where is the leadership here???? They've got to do a better job with dealing with discipline. It's one thing to make A comment but if this student is continuously pestering other children then she should be suspended and her behavior should NOT be tolerated, PERIOD!!!

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2012
Academics and extra-curricular activities are important parts of a child's education. However, in order to be successful in society, you have to have strong character traits. Grand Traverse Academy has a very strong character education program. My daughters have improved in their work ethic, responsiblity, getting along with others and being respectful.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2012
Both of my sons have had an excellent school experience at GTA, and are achieving above grade level in every subject. They are appropriately challenged, loved by their teachers, and the entire staff demonstrates exceptional customer service for parents. It is hard to believe that this type of educational institution is available in Traverse City, and is tuition-free!

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2011
The teachers and principals are great at Grand Traverse Academy. My only complaint is there hasn't been a single field trip for my lower elementary child this year and there won't be one. I think at least one field trip, whether just for fun or educational, is valued by 1st/2nd/3rd graders and enhances their learning experience.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2010
As a parent and teacher at Grand Traverse Academy, I am VERY impressed by the availability and use of technology. Our students use SmartBoards and projected PC tablets daily. These tools enhance visual thinking. GTA teachers also implement whole-to-part instruction to deliver high-quality, student-centered lessons that match perfectly to the visual learning style. We use Senteo voting cubes and advanced scanning technologies to quickly assess learning and individually modify instruction to meet the needs of our students. Seeing and using all of the wonderful technology GTA has to offer allows my students and my own children the opportunity to learn how these tools to compete in the workplace on a global scale.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2010
I have found that GTA does not always provide the necessary aids or tools that some children need to learn. The administration seems to place a low value on technology that might help some students succeed. Teachers have their hands tied with the use of these aids because administration will not support them. Not every difference in learning is due to a vision difference, and that seems to be their only recourse.

- submitted by a parent
July 26, 2010
I am a current student at GTA and it is excellent! The teachers know what they are doing ,unlike some other schools. The classes are very challenging, yet fun on the same basis. The Principals rock! This school has changed me as a person through the years.

- submitted by a community member
June 23, 2010
First off, I was a student at this school and I attended this school years 2006-09 9th grade though 11th grade. When I first arrived at Grand Traverse Academy on my first day of 9th grade my first impression was the school being so small. I was used to the huge amount of students at East Junior High School. So that already earns Grand Traverse Academy some credit right there. I also really liked the teachers when I first starting going, most of the teachers were great! I also liked the principal, if you had a problem they would be the one to talk to. One big complaint I have against this school is that they require performing arts credits & lack a variety of art classes. They only have drawing and music classes while TCAPS schools have a big variety of art classes.

- submitted by a community member
June 18, 2010
GTA offers the difference between night and day in excellence of schools. They teach the students to expect great things of themselves and are challenged to think outside the small little white box. To the negative reviews, I would say to those parents, how high did you escalate your issues, just the teacher, principal, school board? If you child is truly that gifted to understand all those concepts, then homeschool them, because i doubt you will find a better school in this region. This school has turned my sons life around from temper tantrums to being happy to learn and respectful The triad teaching is great, because the students excelling will move up with parents consent, or moved down if needed. We can't get along with everyone all the time, so get a different teacher/ hallway if not working.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2010
I am a parent of two children that started at GTA in Kindergarten and moved into a public school system in fourth grade due to a move. My children were so well prepared! They are at the top of their class as far as grades and MEAP scores, but more importantly, they know what a quality education looks like. They have learned not to do something for a 'prize' but instead to make good choices because it feels good and is the right thing to do. My daughter struggled in reading in first grade. She was quickly diagnosed with a visual learning problem. After a year of intensive therapy to retrain her eyes, she is now reading 2 grades above her level. My children were without a doubt loved by their teachers. I would recommend GTA to any family.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2010
As a fellow parent I must comment that the school listens to the parents, and has cancelled the 'health issues and reproductive health' sessions with planned parenthood. This school is led by women who are also mothers. They listen and respect the opinion of parents like no other school that I have heard of.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2010
Grand Traverse Academy has been good for my daughters. Unfortunately they have invited a pro abortion group into the school under our noses. to teach 'health issues and reproductive health' I will be looking for a different school in the fall

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 28, 2010
My son has attended GTA since second grade and is now a senior. He was recently honored by The Rotary Club of Traverse City as Student of the Week for excellence in character and academics. Despite being very nervous, he made a grand speech in which he talked about his success in the dual enrollment program with Northewestern Michigan College and credited the staff of GTA for preparing him for that challenge. Although we as parents like to take much of the credit, GTA's emphasis on excellence in character has helped make him the wonderful young man he is.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 23, 2010
My children have attending GTA since before the doors offically opened. My oldest has graduated and moved on to college where she out performs many of her peers. She frequently tells people that one of the biggest things that helped her to be successful was the liberal dual enrollment program. She felt that by dual enrolling during her junior and senior years of high school, she was able to cross the bridge from dependent to independent learning more easily. My youngest child enjoys the feeling of being special and well known by all his teachers. He is thriving and does not complain about going to school. Our family is thrilled to be a part of GTA! We count our blessings each day and often recommend that people stop by and visit the school. Once you're in the building the quality of instruction, relationships and physical surroundings speak for themselves!

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2010
My daughter has been at Grand Traverse Academy for 8 years now. This school is the best decision I have ever made for her. She has always been a very bright and a child very interested in learning. She was always given the opportunity to work at the higher levels that she needed. She was always able to be academically challenged so that she was not becoming board in school. She was able to grow both educationally and as a young lady in her community. The school has given her the keys to have a wonderful character. I feel the school really looks at each child as an individual and helps them to grow. Every one is always so friendly and always there to listen. if you have a question, thought, idea, or concern the staff is more than willing to hear what you have to say. I can not say enough good things about the high school at GTA my daughter has been so successful and her needs are always being meet. I believe that GTA will help her become very successful and help her to become well prepared for collage and her future. Thank you GTA and all staff who have been such a wonderful part of our lives. GTA is just like family to us.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2010
I was very hasitant to put my children in at GTA this year because both of my children have special needs but I have to say I am so happy I did. In TCAPS they were not thriving & not making much of a gain, I was always upset about one thing or another due to lack of 'thinking outside the box'. Now that the kids have been at GTA I can see a difference in both of them, they are doing great & loving school. The teachers & administrators are wonderful & are very understanding. I am so thankful I deceided to change schools.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2010
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- submitted by a student
February 03, 2010
I have 2 kids that go to GTA both have individualize educational plans. My oldest son start at GTA when he was in 4th grade and had no self estem from being beaten down at another school. The staff worked with him and he was a totally different kid after the first year. The staff is great with the kids and if you have any issues you can go to them and they will take care of the problem. I would highly recommend them to anyone and am a prood GTA mom.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 15, 2009
Our daugher has went from 1st grade and now to High School this year at GTA. GTA does expect above and beyond, they do enforce rules, sometimes questionable, but harmful...no. Academically our daughter is challenged, taught strong study skills, and gets the help she needs. When we have issues we are heard! Leadership works with us (the parents) to solve any concerns we may bring to them. Character is taught and it truly shows in the kids of all ages at GTA. Is this school perfect? No, but we would much rather send them to GTA with strong boundries, high expectations and the character teachings. The sports program is growing, changing, and getting stronger. We as a family are proud to be part of the GTA family.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2009
Years ago were offered a choice of schools. My husband and I were impressed with GTA's program and what the possibilities were for our three children. GTA offered execrated instruction, dual enrollment with our local college, Spanish, music, etc. We are so thankful that we made GTA our choice. Our children have excelled over the years. We have one graduate who was very prepared for the university level education. I have recently asked my child if we could go back in time, should we make the same choice that we made years ago, my child said 'yes, definitely!'

- submitted by a parent
October 21, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 20, 2009
Every inquiring parent should take the time to walk throught the school, meet with the administrators, observe the teachers in action, and form an opinion of their own. Personally, we are thrilled so far. We have a 3rd grader, who has been at GTA since preschool. At first, he was hesitant socially. The teaching team at GTA was able to create a comfortable learning environment for him, while still challenging him in healthy ways. The character learning component reinforced safety for him to grow. While partnered with our home-educational efforts, the school has assisted our son in becoming an exceptionally bright over-acheiver. He excels in every subject & the teaching staff does a good job finding him materials and peers that continue to challenge him & support his growth. We are so confident, we enrolled our 4-year old in GTA's preschool program & intend for him to 'follow' along this learning path.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2009
This school is wonderful. Great curriculm, teachers and staff. The students are well behaved and courteous. The character education component is very helpful (and I was most skeptical.) An excellent environment for being the best you can be.

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2009
We had our son here for K and half of 1st grade. We noticed by January of his 1st grade year that the lessons/instruction that he was being given was very far behind his friends at the public schools in math, reading, language arts, etc. The 1st graders were grouped together in their 1st-3rd grade class and were reading little booklets with 1 word on them for weeks and weeks, which was absurd because our son was already reading chapter books at home. His math was also a major joke and similar to what he was doing in preschool. It was simple addition (ie. 1+1=2) and the teacher stated that they go at a slower pace because they are working on retention. I implore all parents considering this school as a viable option to truly look elsewhere. I promise you that it is not worth it!

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2009
GTA is a great school. They go from preschool they go from highschool. It is so convinient and such a great school all around!

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2009
GTA has been a great experience for our child, but he has yet to excel in the real world. His education received at GTA was great at the time, but he is greatly struggling in college. I'd recommend GTA for a elementary child, but it has yet to prepare my own child for the real world, and college.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2009
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- submitted by a community member
August 02, 2008
Unbelievable school! We have 2 children attending there this fall and could not be more excited for them. Our K and 2nd grader love the uniforms, welcoming staff and clean environment they get to work in. This school trumps all other in our area. I have visited almost all the elementary school and we feel so fortunate that our children are getting an education from GTA.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2008
This school was the best place we could have ever put our children. The staff is so friendly and always there for you and your child. The teachers really care and no child will ever get left behind. And if you have a gifted child they will always be able to work at there level.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2008
Nice school, safe atmosphere. Ill equipt to serve children with learning disabilities. Don't offer companion programs for learning. All that is available is IVL, which is what they try to put everyone in who is struggling. My daughter was by a private IVL consultant who told us she didn't qualify for the program but needed other special ed services. GTA only had IVL, so that was all they offered her...a Program that wouldn't help. It is a nice school, if your child doesn't need 'helps'; do expect them to be very helpful with this. It took me 6 months to get my child into a program that wasn't even going to help her, and it didn't! The grades 1-2-3 didn't work either, the teachers seemed to pressured to 'move on' to the next grade, no time for errors that children might make. Parent involvement was great.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2008
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- submitted by a community member
January 30, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2008
My daughter and 4 nieces all attend GTA. My sisters and I love the school. Our children are happy and excited about school each day. They are learning at their ability levels which can be variable from subject to subject. The staff and other familes are all very friendly and welcoming. Parent participation is enthusiasticly encouraged and appreciated. Uniforms are a great choice for keeping kids focused on learning and also help with the morning routine! Every grade learns spanish and many sign language signs. The community atmosphere is welcome and the children are invested in their school and larger community through service learning projects. Throughout the year there are extra curricular activities, both free and fee, offered for your enjoyment. There are many opportunites to catch kids showing respect and demonstrating their good character through their everyday actions. All in all - a GREAT school!

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2008
This school is great. Beginning with the atmosphere before you enter the building. You see smiling faces and students excited to be there! Students help keep the school clean and are respectful and helpful.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
no rating September 04, 2007
What a refreshing alternative...both teachers and students actually enjoy being there! The facility is beautiful, well-maintained and state-of-the art. Character education is evident in the behavior of students. MEAP scores are not everything - read the parent reviews, visit the school and decide for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 12, 2007
my son was not happy at this school. It kinda reminds you of a boot camp. You do alot of in school supensions, overly strict. Wasn't what I hoped for.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2007
Fantastic place of learning. Sadly, only able to attend for 1 yr due to job changes. Top notch staff & admin. Changed the life of our 8th grader. Teachers take personal interest with goal of learning material. Innovative methods respectfully keep all kids on track. Love the online grade book and printable homework pages. No heavy books to haul home. A unified student body. Second grader with ADHD & Aspergers benefited from small class size of 17. Teacher and class were able to readily adapt to the various needs of students. Character education just as important as academics. Positive behaviors stressed rather than focus on negative behaviors. Children are accountable. Wonderful facility - bathrooms within 20 feet of every lower elem. room. Uniforms truly do stop peer stereotyping. So much easier to get ready in the morning. Too many innovative approaches to list. Check out Glasser Quality Schools

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2006
I found more info that makes me feel more confident that my son is going to a better school sorry public schools charter has the secret This year he is in grades 1-2-3 together and that is working I don't think I will change my mind ever and I know I wasn't sure last year but the more people, teachers and the more involved I am in I get more excited

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2006
This is our first year at GTA and my son is in first grade. The teacher communicates with our family every day and if there is a problem I am informed the very day something happens. I am updated each week by the office staff of school functions. I have two other children in a public school system and wish they would agree to join GTA - the cirriculum and staff are wonderful. I can't say enough about GTA and how well they interact with each family. Great Job GTA! :-)

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2005
I am very impressed with the quality of the cirriculum. What the public schools define as a 'gifted' program level, GTA calls it the normal standard of education. The staff encourages students and families to strive for a higher level. Students start learning spanish in the GTA preschool (when learning different languages is easier) to learning the ins and outs of running a school based business (raising money for class needs or events). The high school has grown in leaps & bounds, allowing for basketball, cross-county & volleyball. I'm so happy that my family are members of the GTA family.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2004
Great school for younger children. Very caring staff. I like the idea of Spanish starting in grade K. I think it is great that they teach the children about respect and manners. I am concerned about some of the MEAP scores, especially in writing and math.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2004
Great school for the lower grades. Teacers are very involved and students are exposed to a large amount of material. My daughter was in Kindergarten this year and learned spanish as well as sign language. The higher grades have not figured out yet how to incorporate students who are at various levels. If a student has attended they will have better spansih skills than new students. No sports program.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Grand Traverse Academy
1245 East Hammond Road, Traverse City, MI  49686
(231) 995-0665
Last modified Grand Traverse Academy is a Charter school that serves grades K-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Grand Traverse Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 56 reviews. Top