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