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GreatSchools Rating

Thomas Jefferson High School

Public | 9-12 | 1792 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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15 reviews of this school


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Posted September 13, 2012

I had high hopes for this school but I've attended it for two years and I am somewhat dissapointed in my experience here. The problem isn't really a school problem, but more of a district problem and I believe it is starting to become a state problem. The FW district installed a new grading system that is very confusing and is difficult to understand exactly where you are standing. At least you used to be able to have a good idea of how well you were doing when they had percentages (70% = average, 80% = good and so on) but for some reason the district thought it would be a good idea to use standards instead of percentages that you either pass or fail. It wasn't because a great number of students failed last year and I imagine a good chunk will possibly fail this year as well. Now, this is the last year they are required to do this grading system so perhaps it will get better next year but I wouldn't bet on it. Try avoiding going to this district, and if you can help it try avoiding going to the neighboring districts (kent, auburn, sumner) as well. As for this school, education is good, some teachers are good. If you're competitive about sports, try another school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 13, 2012

I know that TJ has been a great academic school in the past but it has gone down hill. There are average, terrible, and great teachers. All the teachers are treated the same: horribly and disrespected. This past year none of the teachers knew what was going on because of the new grading system. I just want to say, Don't do something you don't know how to do. All the students were taught differently and confused. Different curriculum throughout the three different teachers for the same exact class. Apart from the few amazing teachers I've had, most tell you hat you're doing that day, give it to you, then, expect you to do it on your own while they're on the computer or talking to other staff. Curriculum: I give it a 3.4, teachers, on average: 3, involvement in students: 2.9, and all around: 3.5.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 9, 2011

I had high hopes for this school, but now that I attend here as a freshmen I'm pretty dissapointed. The school is overcrowded and the people here are not always friendly, but that's only part of the problem. The big problem is that they put everybody into the MYP program for 9th and 10th graders, and that's not a good thing. Not every student wants to be challenged, and not every student deserves to be in a class where they distract other people who do want to learn. And worst of all, they put everybody into the IB program if they pass the HSPE. This is stupid because not every student who gets pushed into the IB program wants to be there, and not every student in IB deserves to have an IB diploma simply because they were pushed into it. From what I hear, this is also becoming a problem at Decatur for the AP program and at Federal Way High for the Cambridge program. If you can help it, avoid going to any school in this district whatsoever. This district has no idea what they are doing and are creating problems that shouldn't have to be dealt with in the first place.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 25, 2011

My granddaughter attends this school, I was educated in an Eastern prep school so maybe the comparison is unfair but I would rate this school no higher than a "D." The problem is as simple as this, the teachers are third rate probably due to their union and the tax payers being too cheap. You get what you pay, the fault is ours.


Posted June 3, 2009

Education is good. Not really the best school for doing a sport. There hasn't been a lot of fights. Really crowded now. Has options that will help you get through high school easier like raiderlinks. I would recommend it for education but not for doing extracurricular activites like sports.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 19, 2009

I am currently enrolled at TJ as a Sophomore class of 2011. To me TJ has been a good school for academic and the social scene. They offers many electives that will help the student succed to a four year college or university, like AVID for example a program to help the student prepares for college. So yep I difinitely recommend this school
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 1, 2008

Tj has excellent programs that give not only students who are seeking to challenging courses, but even those who are not. They give numerous types of programs (IB, Raiderlinks, Running Start, regular) in order to suit the student body's needs. The IB program have excellent teachers (Mr. Webber!!) Thomas Jefferson excels at non-contact sports (i.e. Math Team, Speech and Debate-which by the way, won state twice a row :D- Deca). However, there's been a steady increase of numbers of students (mainly because of the IB program) that it assembly seatings and lunch times have been a slight problem. But it should be noted that as of now, the current administration is piloting a new lunch schedule that, although confusing, will hopefully benefit the entire school. Drug use, alcohol, and violence are at a minimum at this school. Practical pranks of the fire alarms are decreasing. Good neigborhood.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 6, 2007

TJ is giving me chances to get me through high school and into college. The teachers are very helpful and don't have that high of standards. The sports here are not that great of a team but they can help keep kids out of trouble and give them something they enjoy. There business programs in my opinion are the best in the area and will give great opportunities to get something out of it
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 19, 2007

That parent who said there's no drugs or violence at TJ obviously is being censored by his/ her student. Of course its at every school and TJ is no exception. But it never becomes prominite nor does it interfere with the education. TJ does have excellent Math teaches, some great English teacher and if your in IB, you'll love Mr. Webber for history. If you can do it, join IB. The experence is great if you can bear the workload. And don't expect to win too many football games ;]
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 23, 2006

The international baccalaureate program has been very challenging for my child however there's a good balance between high academics and a social life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 4, 2005

I am involved with Rotary and is actively involved with Kids and community service from Kennedy High School. I was always impressed with their involvment and level of education. I would feel very comfortable with the education they provide.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 14, 2005

A good school, with a good International Baccaulaureate program. The math dept. goes above and beyond, and the math club has been in the top 5 nationally in competition for the last 10 years. I was astonished when my son's math teacher called us personally to let us know of my son's strengths and weaknesses weeks before the end of the grading period. There is very little violence or drug use that I have heard of. The English program is good, but is hampered by the school board's censorship on both the right and left politically, so the reading material is marked by blandness, even for the IB students. Mark Twain is banned here, and not as many of the American classics are taught as i would like. Essay writing is emphasized--creative writing almost non-existant. TJ's history teachers bring history to life--a good program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 31, 2005

My opinion is that TJ is the best high school in the Federal Way school district and has continued to improve over the years. As with any school there is so much to take advantage of, but not enough students and parents aware of, or willing to grasp, the opportunities. The students in the pre IB and International Baccalaureate Programs are serious, outgoing and competitive in a very positive way. There are terrific young people at Thomas Jefferson! Principal and staff have a positive supportive attitude.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2005

TJ is the best out of the 4 high schools in Federal Way. Teachers are helpful, but a few are determined to fail students just to make the impression that the class is tough. I often see the teachers idling in the teachers lounge though. It is discouraging to see that the teachers spend there free time watching commercials of Victoria Secret's 'Angels' instead of preparing for their lesson the next day. All in all though, aside from the lazy teachers (who fill their lessons with worksheets and busy work), I highly give this school 1 thumb up, and 1 thumb sideways.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 24, 2004

Overall happy w TJ - They offer a amazing amount of educational & extracirrular opportunities. Access to grades online is another advantage. Dissapointed with a few teachers this year but Principals are willing to listen. Outstanding Math & computer programs.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 54% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
39%
Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 82% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 93% in 2013.

162 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
73%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
82%
Integrated Math I

The state average for Integrated Math I was 53% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Integrated Math II

The state average for Integrated Math II was 96% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 22% in 2013.

159 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
21%

2012

 
 
24%

2011

 
 
24%
Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 66% in 2013.

367 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
51%

2012

 
 
55%
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 72% in 2013.

120 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
41%

2012

 
 
37%

2011

 
 
58%
Integrated Math I

The state average for Integrated Math I was 28% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Integrated Math II

The state average for Integrated Math II was 61% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 19% in 2013.

58 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
17%

2012

 
 
24%

2011

 
 
36%
Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 35% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 35% in 2013.

38 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
24%

2012

 
 
29%

2011

 
 
43%
Integrated Math I

The state average for Integrated Math I was 30% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Integrated Math II

The state average for Integrated Math II was 23% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 15% in 2013.

19 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
5%

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
46%
Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 34% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 20% in 2013.

10 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
10%

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
29%
Integrated Math I

The state average for Integrated Math I was 18% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a

2011

 
 
n/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Black7%
Asian44%
Asian/Pacific Islander39%
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White30%
Low incomen/a
Not low income36%
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Limited English6%
Migrantn/a

Biology I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Geometry

All Students73%
Female65%
Male81%
Black87%
Asian76%
Asian/Pacific Islander76%
Hispanic63%
Multiracialn/a
White74%
Low income72%
Not low income74%
Not special education74%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Integrated Math I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Limited Englishn/a

Integrated Math II

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Not special educationn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

All Students21%
Female20%
Male23%
Black7%
Asian32%
Asian/Pacific Islander35%
Hispanic2%
Multiracial25%
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White37%
Low income10%
Not low income39%
Special education4%
Not special education25%
Limited English0%
Migrantn/a

Biology I

All Students51%
Female51%
Male50%
Black23%
Asian57%
Asian/Pacific Islander58%
Hispanic32%
Multiracial45%
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White65%
Low income38%
Not low income63%
Special education28%
Not special education53%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Geometry

All Students41%
Female40%
Male42%
Black16%
Asian45%
Asian/Pacific Islander45%
Hispanic31%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White57%
Low income44%
Not low income37%
Special educationn/a
Not special education41%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Integrated Math I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Limited Englishn/a

Integrated Math II

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Limited Englishn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

All Students17%
Female21%
Male15%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic13%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White29%
Low income20%
Not low income14%
Special educationn/a
Not special education18%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Biology I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Limited Englishn/a

Geometry

All Students24%
Female18%
Male29%
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic12%
Multiracialn/a
White40%
Low income26%
Not low income20%
Special educationn/a
Not special education22%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Integrated Math I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Not special educationn/a

Integrated Math II

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Hispanicn/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special educationn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Algebra I

All Students5%
Femalen/a
Male0%
Blackn/a
Hispanic0%
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Low income0%
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special education6%
Limited Englishn/a

Biology I

All Studentsn/a
Low incomen/a
Not special educationn/a

Geometry

All Students10%
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Hispanicn/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Special educationn/a
Not special education10%
Limited Englishn/a

Integrated Math I

All Studentsn/a
Malen/a
Whiten/a
Low incomen/a
Not low incomen/a
Not special educationn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used End-of-Course (EOC) examinations to assess students in Algebra I, Geometry, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Math

The state average for Math was 42% in 2010.

466 students were tested at this school in 2010.

2010

 
 
47%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 84% in 2013.

381 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%

2012

 
 
83%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
82%
Science

The state average for Science was 50% in 2011.

434 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
45%

2010

 
 
44%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 85% in 2013.

379 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
89%
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) to test students in reading and writing in grade 10. Math skills are tested by the End-of-Course (EOC) exams. The HSPE is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Reading

All Students84%
Female91%
Male76%
Black68%
Asian93%
Asian/Pacific Islander93%
Hispanic80%
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White87%
Low income76%
Not low income92%
Special education42%
Not special education87%
Limited Englishn/a
Migrantn/a

Writing

All Students85%
Female94%
Male76%
Black70%
Asian97%
Asian/Pacific Islander97%
Hispanic78%
Native Americann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White89%
Low income78%
Not low income92%
Special education44%
Not special education89%
Limited English0%
Migrantn/a
Scale: % basic, level 3, or level 4

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington used the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) to test students in reading and writing in grade 10. Math skills are tested by the End-of-Course (EOC) exams. The HSPE is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Washington. The goal is for all students to score at or above the state standard.

The different student groups are identified by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 42% 60%
Hispanic 21% 20%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 20% 7%
Black 9% 5%
Two or more races 7% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Transitional bilingual 14%N/A8%
Special education 110%N/A13%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 249%N/A44%
Source: 1 WA OSPI, 2009-2010
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student-teacher ratio

  This school District averageState average
Students per classroom teacher 22N/A17
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Average years educational experience 13N/A12
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree or higher 59%N/A66%
Source: WA OSPI, 2009-2010

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4248 South 288th St
Auburn, WA 98001
Phone: (253) 945-5600

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