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34620 9th Av South
Federal Way, WA 98003

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(253) 945-3270
(253) 945-3399
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Map of Federal Way Public Academy address.

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December 03, 2014
Best public school in Federal Way. Two to three hours of homework every night, sometimes more, especially for older students during finals week. High school instruction is great, and a good school for above average math students. The Spanish program isn't too good. The quality of middle school instruction varies; their science program is good, but their eighth grade reading program is pretty mediocre, and sad being some of the student's ability levels, and the seventh grade writing class is horrible. Teachers can be biased and pick favorites, but mostly just can't put up with students that aren't willing to learn, study, and do homework every night. Some very talented teachers, along with a few that could be better. Your student will thrive if they're willing to work hard and take advantage of the leg-up that FWPA provides.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2014
FWPA is not for everyone! You should know what the school is about before making a commitment. It is true that they emphasize on academic...they are true to their words. After all, it is a college prep school. For those who don't appreciate an academic environment, don't enroll your child there. You will only end up complaining about the school, staff, and claim victim because it did not work for your child. My son finished through 10th, and have two daughters currently attending. They love the school. My oldest daughter told me the materials she learned in the first few months in sixth grade was more than what she learned in the years combined in elementary school. FWPA kids are exposed to a plethora of topics that one can only wish for their child. They are exposed to worldly topics from knowledgeable teachers. They are allowed to be creative and apply what they've learned in class into their projects. Kids are allowed to show their leadership skills at an earlier age than most schools; the dances, spirit week are all student organized and run. As someone once said ' FWPA is the gem in the Federal Way school district'. I would have to agree.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2014
Having done some research, I see that there is a misconceptions about the teachers at FWPA. I just have to say that it's not that they pick favorites and purposely try to make the lives of those who struggle miserable, they try to help and want to see their students succeed. I had problems with the material in 6th and 7th grade. Yes, the teachers constantly nudged me to work harder and it was tiresome, but I'm so glad they did. Thanks to Mrs.Whisenhunt, and Mr. and Mrs.Tarling, I've developed great work ethics.

- submitted by a community member
May 22, 2014
Safe school in terms of gangs and drugs, but teachers tend to play favorites and makes kids feel bad. Do not send your kids to this school if your child is not willing to sacrifice their own social and athletic life for some college prep school with teachers who went to a community college.

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2014
I go to FWPA currently, and the ASB President, Boomer Lusink, is very good at his job and truly an extraordinary person.

- submitted by a community member
August 06, 2013
The atmosphere is wonderful. Small schools like this help develop some really amazing traits in a human being. Not only does it develop great academic skills, but you can really learn how to socialize on a more personal level.

- submitted by a community member
August 06, 2013
FWPA is by far the best school in the Federal Way School District and one of the best in the State of Washington. My children worked hard there, learning to set high academic standards for themselves in a small, safe school community where every teacher knows and promotes the growth of every student. The values of hard work, respect for others and community service they learned at FWPA have been rewarded by admission to top-ranked college programs and a personal sense of accomplishment for each of them. Most importantly, FWPA instilled a strong motivation in each to improve the world, and I'm confident that they will. We need more schools like FWPA!

- submitted by a parent
August 05, 2013
I attended FWPA from grades 6 to 10 and absolutely loved it. The school has a wonderful sense of community as well as great academics. The teachers truly care about students and want them to succeed, which unfortunately isn't the case at many schools. Of course, it's important to note that, because FWPA's designed for college prep, academic expectations are high. The transition to FWPA's workload is almost always difficult, but I can assure you, totally worth the struggle. I graduated from FWPA in June and have taken and succeeded in two writing-based courses at Harvard this summer. I've even been praised by professors for the lucidity of my prose (which I accredit to FWPA.) I'm also more advanced in math and more knowledgeable about science than many peers. One other common concern about FWPA is that it doesn't provide P.E. classes (credit must be earned outside of school) or many physical activities (which is true.) I've never been very engaged in sports, so the fact never presented a personal issue. However, several friends were involved in soccer, golf, and volleyball, and succeeded in those activities (winning and placing highly at tournaments) as well as at school.

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2013
FWPA is a great school if you want to be there. There are great teachers, kids, and a fantabulous environment. It's really small, which I like because everybody is able to know each other and the teachers are able to get to know you better, therefore being able to better teach you. Obviously the education quality is excellent. Just take a look at our test scores. If you are considering going to FWPA, take a tour of the school. That's what I did. Before I went I had no interest in going to middle school at FWPA, but after an orientation thingy I decided that no other school would do.

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2013
I went to this school for 5 years and had a wonderful experience. I was able to challenge myself intellectually while forming lasting bonds with friends and teachers. However, this school is not for everyone and is not easy. If you want to pursue sports this can be a difficult path to take, but it is not impossible. I would definitely recommend FWPA to anyone, as it is one of the most accepting, kind, challenging, fun, and interesting schools and I was very fortunate to attend it. If one is willing to work hard and make the most out of their time, they would surely benefit and have a wonderful experience at FWPA!

- submitted by a community member
August 04, 2013
This is a fantastic school! The school would be a perfect "10" if it developed the whole child. Certainly is not for everyone, but it's an exceptional school.

- submitted by a community member
May 27, 2013
My two children loved this school and elected to remain there for all five years (grades 6 through 10). They benefited enormously from the small school size, friendly atmosphere, and intense academics, as well as a principal and staff committed to the welfare of each student. It is truly an intense college prep environment - not for every student. If you (or your child) is not willing to work very hard and do hours of homework each night, go to another school. If you work hard, do your homework, and use the study skills FWPA teaches, you'll succeed. My older daughter, who is now graduating from high school, was admitted to a top college thanks largely to the study skills she learned at FWPA.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2011
I have attended FWPA since 6th grade. and OMG yess i love it. Ok, so a lot of people say that the grades dropped as soon as they got into FWPA and they are blaming...what?..the school? Uhh whyy? It's a school that challenges students. If you didn't want a challenge then don't come in the first place . Our school is like no other it is so unique. ENJOY.

- submitted by a community member
January 23, 2011
I am a student at FWPA and I've been there since 6th grade. Not once have I ever regretted staying because I absolutely love it there. Sure we have a lot of homework, but it's all preparation. You can't get to the best schools being coddled. There are a decent amount of after school activities and people can always start clubs with approval from the teachers. I think this is the one school with a true family atmosphere. The teachers genuinely care, and they're more like friends who can help you with their experience and knowlege. I've met a lot of friends from all grades, it's hard not to know somebody at FWPA. Some reviews complain that they're child's grades dropped but whose fault is it really? It's definitely not the school who is just trying to help their students be succesful in life. I totally recommend this school!

- submitted by a community member
January 14, 2011
This school challenged me and was the best possible prep for college. I haven't found an academic environment as good in any other high school I've heard about or visited.

- submitted by a community member
October 09, 2010
We love this school! My son attended FWPA from 6th through 9th before moving into the IB Program at Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Lauer and the staff there were incredible and the academic progress my son made in those years helped him get into a great university with solid skills. I'm stunned that there are students and parents complaining about FWPA concentrating on academics. Students actually have to choose to go to FWPA and there is a long waiting list every year. If you didn't understand what the FWPA charter was, you shouldn't have signed up and prevented other students from attending who actually wanted to succceed academically.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
this school i believe is the most horrible excuse as a school. the teachers are always picking favorites. yes it's like family there ONLY if your asian. they (the teachers and students) are not accepting to other culture they are always biased and offending. i did not like it one bit and i encourage ppl NOT to go there.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 05, 2010
As a school board director looking for quality programs. I was very impressed by this school. Student involvement appears to be one of respect for each other and their school. I observed students interacting in class rooms and hall ways without adult suprevision and respecting each other. Plants throughout the school which would never last in our district. Qualtity of education can be proven with factual statistics. Ron Morehouse

- submitted by a community member
February 28, 2010
In this school the teacherss pick favorites and if any student isn't their favorite they smash them into the ground. I went to this school one month and hated it. This was the third school I had gone to in my entire life so I might not have much experience with recommending schools but this school givews way too much homework, your family is always going to be stressed out and your students always tired. I wouldn't want my worst enemy going here.

- submitted by a student
February 24, 2010
My daughter and my son both attended this school after transfering from Sequoyah at semester last year. Immediately they were bullied. My daughters grades were usually always 4.0 but once she transfered to Sac. her gpa began to lower too much I am talking 2.8! My son remained a steady 3.56 but he as well alwaysed had 4.0. After 3 months of being there were transfered to Illahee. They love it there!

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 03, 2009
none yet, but interested in finding out more about this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2009
This school is superb. The friends you make here really last a life time. I attended this school for only one year (I wish I could have stayed longer), but that is the year that I made my closest friends. The atmosphere is really like a family, and you feel close to everyone. The teachers are great, too. I really learned a lot in this school. There are times that you can really hate your teachers for giving you so much homework or making you do things that seem dumb, but when you look back, you really appreciate them. I do. I've gained a really thorough knowledge of each subject. If you go here, you'll WANT to get up and go to school in the morning.

- submitted by a student
October 22, 2008
I have had 2 students go through the Academy (last one is 9th) 2 completely different types of student. I find the school to be excellent in alot of ways, the teachers care about the students. Truly want to help them succeed

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 20, 2008
Great kids and excellent teachers! This is his 4th yr attending and my son loves the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2008
I was a part of this school from 6th-9th. My name is Larry Chang and leaving this school for 10th grade was the biggest mistake I have made. This school provides a atmosphere where student can bond like family. According to the other students and parents, this schools only for nerds, brainiacs, and people who have no life other than to study. We'll no offense to them, but they really don't see what this school is really made for. Yes there is no PE course but it is a place where student can bond with one another with out the fear of being picked on. Overall it is a family like atmosphere. Yes, you are hearing this from a student, but I have the proof that this is really a great school. And besides all the staff there are considered family to me.

- submitted by a student
June 14, 2008
I went to this school in 9th grade and I didn't like being there at all. The teachers have huge ego's and they never listen to anything students say. I didn't like a teachers and I didn't like the curriculum. The school prides it self on being a 'college prep' academy that challenges it students, but I don't feel like I was challenged at all I just felt pressure from the teachers to NOT fail! And trust me this it wasn't because they were worried or that they were trying to be supportive or anything; FWPA's principal and teachers are just overly concerned with the school's reputation. The principal is really noisy; he gets into everyone's business. They have a cross country team, but they don't compete and they have an adventure crew for PE credits.

- submitted by a student
May 28, 2008
FWPA is a special kind of school. It is a place where the teachers, staff, students, and parents become a family. The teachers honestly care about the students and will do whatever it takes to help them succeed not only in school, but in life. The principal is a wonderful, caring man who makes sure that the kids are getting an excellent education. PE classes are not offered, but after school activities such as cross country, archery, tennis, bowling, soccer, are.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2008
This school is mostly focused around academics. My children and I personally don;t like this school because they don't give students a chance to explore different things like sports or arts. My son was a phenomenal athlete but didn't kno until he went to illahee for his 8th grade year. The coaches at Illahee are great, especially Mr. Wood and Mr. Eilertson! If you want your child to learn about things other than academics, FWPA is not the school for you!

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2008
I was a part of the Federal Way Public Academy's first sixth grade class (in 2003-2004), and I am a tenth grader now and have been going here for 5 years. As of yet the best decision I ever made in my life was going to this school. I am an extremely bright student (I am actually skipping high school to go to the UW Honors Colege next year) and in my elementary years I was extremely underchallenged and often picked on by other students. However at the Academy, everything changed. Not only was the academic work rigorous, but the vast majority of the kids were very nice and hard working like me. Although the school does have its downsides, such as no in school PE and lots of homework, I would highly reccomend this school to any student who wants to make academics a priority in their lives.

- submitted by a student
May 17, 2008
This school is great for people who want to be challenged in academics but, if you want to be challenged in physical education you need to get up and leave this school because FWPA is a college prep school. I am not a big fan on academics but I love the school, the teachers, and the students. Some teachers can be a pain in the butt but its because they care and they want you to succeed or your just on their bad side...just joking. I actually thought one of my teachers hated me but I learned that she didn't hate me she wanted me to succeed in school. So after all it is a great school.

- submitted by a student
April 13, 2008
If you want your kids to have many all-around skills, this is NOT the school that you're looking for. This school only focuses on academics. There is no athletics program, and their arts program isn't very big. Students won't have a chance to know if they're talented in other categories. My son didn't know that he would be a super athlete until he went to Illahee! But for the brainiacs who need a challenge, this school is great!

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2007
I have two children that attend FWPA. We love the school, and because my children are small for their age, and very smart, I am sure they would have been the target for bullies at the regular middle school. The teachers are great and they care about the kids there. They make sure you know if you child is behind in homework, not just at report card time. It is definitely a place my children will flourish!

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2006
I have 1 child that just graduated from this school and 1 other that is still there. How lucky we are to have a school like this in our community! We have 100% PTA membership and the parent involvement at this school is unbelievable! There is no sports program but there are plenty of extracurricular activities for after school that can count for PE (i.e. Archery, Cross-Country). WASL test scores (one of the highest, if not the highest in the state) is reflective on parents involvement and the very dedicated teachers and staff of the school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 06, 2006
I think that this school has a tough course and that this really prepares you for college. Although it doesn't have any sports or P.E classes the intensity of the school gives a good education.

- submitted by a student
April 03, 2006
My Son went to this school for 3 yrs from 6th grade to 8th grade.He Went as a raw piece of stone and he became a gem!

- submitted by a parent
December 22, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a administrator
September 27, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 09, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2005
This school focuses on academics. Getting PE credits will take extra effort on your part. Transportation is not provided, but it's worth the trouble of car pooling. The small school setting where the teachrs know every student, and all the students know what is expected of them. This school has high standards, but isn't just for 'the smart kids'. It's for any child who is willing to work hard, and wants to prepare for college.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 18, 2003
I was actually a student there for 3 years. I had many good opportunities and feel that overall I had three successful years. There was a lack of after-school activites, but requirements were superb.

- submitted by a former student
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Federal Way Public Academy
34620 9th Av South, Federal Way, WA  98003
(253) 945-3270
Last modified Federal Way Public Academy is a Public school that serves grades 6-10. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Federal Way Public Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 43 reviews. Top