High School Programs

TCAPS High Schools Among State and Nation’s Best According to U.S. News and World Report

Traverse City Central High School & Traverse City West Senior High School Ranked Among Nation's Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report

Central High School ranked #38 and West Senior High School ranked #64 in the state

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is pleased to announce that Traverse City Central High School (#38) and Traverse City West Senior High School (#64) have again been recognized among the “Best High Schools” by U.S. News and World Report.

“I know the quality of our schools because I interact with our teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, and community members on a regular basis. Still, it is always uplifting when an external organization looks at our schools and places us among the best,” said Jim Pavelka, interim superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools. “It is an honor to receive this year’s U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools ranking and is recognition of the collective efforts of our talented and dedicated team that inspires student learning from preschool through graduation.” 

The U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools rankings are based on a methodology that considers college readiness, math and reading proficiency and performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum, and graduation rate. Nearly 18,000 schools across the country were reviewed for the 2020 ranking. In Michigan, 1,147 K-12 schools received a ranking out of the more than 3,400 public schools in the state.

Learn more about the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools program here: External Linkwww.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools.

Student Work Permits

Following is the school district’s process for student work permits:

  1. Student obtains a copy of the appropriate blank work permit form from his/her employer or by using the appropriate link below (based on student age).

External LinkLink to Work Permit for students ages 16 or 17 

External LinkLink to Work Permit for students under 16 years of age

  1. Student completes Section 1.
  2. Student takes the form to his/her Employer.
  3. Employer completes Section 2.
  4. Student goes to his/her school or the administration office with completed form and school ID or state ID card/driver’s license.
  5. School or administration office reviews the work permit, confirms information with the student's PowerSchool record and ID that is presented, and completes Section 3 of the work permit. School makes a copy of the work permit for the student's file.
  6. Student takes his/her completed work permit to his/her employer.  

Please Note: A face mask is required toi enter any TCAPS school building or the administration center and social distancing must be practiced while in the building.

If you have questions about this process or need further assistance, please speak with your school’s main office or call Kelly Walter in TCAPS' Human Resources office at 231.933.1713.

Congratulations Class of 2020

Class of 2020 Celebrations

Congratulations to our graduating seniors on their outstanding accomplishments

  • 748 Graduates
  • 291 Presidential Education Awards
  • 275 Magna/Summa Cum Laude
  • 310 Academic Awards
  • 6 National Merit Scholars

Commencement Schedule

Senior Walk and Diploma Presentations*

Video DocumentView the livestream during each event here


The Senior Walk and Diploma Presentation will be held in lieu of each school’s traditional whole group Graduation/Commencement (which was scheduled for TC Central and TC West on May 31st at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and for TC High School on May 29th at Lars Hockstad Auditorium). Each graduate will have an opportunity to walk through their school one more time in their cap and gown, receive their diploma, and have a professional commencement photograph taken. Senior families are then encouraged to take the “Commencement Cruise” to show off their diplomas and get some photos around town, including at locations where banners have been hung in the Class of 2020’s honor. A full video version of graduation, including senior speeches, will be released after the event. 

* Please Note: Due to COVID-19 and current restrictions on large gatherings, the 2020 Commencement Walks are intended for graduating seniors and their immediate families only. Health and safety protocols will be in place for those participating. A Video Documentlivestream of the event will be available to view during the senior walk and a commencement video, including student speeches, will be produced as a keepsake after the event. 

Honors Convocation Videos & Programs 

Traverse City Central High School

Video DocumentCentral High School Convocation Video

PDF DocumentCentral High School Convocation Program

Traverse City West Senior High School

Video DocumentWest Senior High School Convocation Video

PDF DocumentWest Senior High School Convocation Program