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Students enrolled: 1,022

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2112 South Tyler St
Tacoma, WA 98405

(253) 571-7300
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Foss address.
Teacher effectiveness: Ineffective
July 21, 2015
In my opinion, Henry Foss High School is a mediocre school. The system is, as Gordon Ramsay would say, "Not good enough." There are a number of problems that will appear in this review, including performances, responsibilty, and more. The school is lacking student responsibilities. Students need to learn responsibilities for themselves and not be disciplined and legally threatened to do their work. They're growing into adults, they need to have some independence. Their thoughts are their own faults. And the school is just not letting them have their choices, its either you do it or you get kicked out of class. Another issue is there are events that are mandatory for example pep assemblies. Its bad enough the school doesn't have any spirit whatsoever. It should be optional, it does no good to education or interest, as well as (for music students) pep band (for sports games and marching). Forcing students into events like that increases the chances of students not respecting music or the class. It also gives the school a bad reputation (being known for the inflexible) Some students persue their career in serious classical music like myself. Another issue is the lack of options when it comes to switching a class. The school has less classes to offer to students who are not enjoying their class. It puts students in classes they don't enjoy, for example, JROTC at their will. This also gives a bad reputation as a so called "IB League School." The students are just so dysfunctional. Everyday, I see students harassing other students based on how they physically function (like walking "weird"). There is a lack of respect for substitute teachers in most classes. Overall, I would NOT reccommend this school for any serious musician or anyone who is looking for a great school. There are other schools that are superior than Foss High School. Choose wisely. P.S. Disregard the spelling errors, this device has no way to indicate incorrect spelling.

- submitted by a community member

September 17, 2013
A very nice caring wonderful school where every teacher cares about your well being and the counslers know your name and the principle is always there and so is the vice.

- submitted by a student

August 08, 2013
Our school was named after Henry O. Foss. He was an elected official, businessman and civic leader. Our school was built in 1973 and in 1982, Foss became the first school in Washington State to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This program is one of great standards as well as one that gives all students who have enough work ethic and discipline to grow immensely in critical thinking and college like attributes. In 2001, the school was elected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an Achiever High School in Washington State. The school its self is a phenomenal education destination. Students are diverse and come from everywhere around the world. Our ASB is a very unique set of people who are the teachers and students cheerleaders throughout the year. Using their skills to really get people to keep their heads up, keep smiling and always continue to improve. Our school is exclusive and uncommon to others around our state and nationwide. Please make us one of your choices. Our daily saying is on the intercom in the morning is " I'm a Henry Foss Falcon full spirit of pride and I love to hold it down for Henry Foss High. Have a great day Falcons!"

- submitted by a student

October 16, 2010
Foss has great teachers who work really hard to make a positive learning experience for the students.

- submitted by a parent

March 22, 2008
I came to Foss from Curtis high school, and I have to say, I was quite impressed. I had a wonder time there, and the teachers are amazing. A lot of diversity, which helped me a lot, and fairness in grades as well.

- submitted by a student

March 07, 2006
Foss is a large, diverse urban school with students from all backgrounds, economic status, ethnicity, country of birth, and academic ability. Teachers are committed and caring. When our son was struggling, every one of his teachers and his counselor came to a 7 a.m. conference with us to talk about how to best help him. We have two students there with totally different learning styles and for the most part, both have received excellent instruction. The school is going through a lot of changes and staff morale is low, but I don't think that has affected the teaching. Communication from the administration can only be described as inadequate. In an effort to bring up WASL scores, the administration is quietly weakening the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, which draws ambitious students from all over. This is disheartening and could result in bright students choosing to go elsewhere. Overall, many plusses and minusses!

- submitted by a parent

January 04, 2006
A very nice school, with great acedemics, but the students aren't the greatest, and there are many students in gangs.Parents are not very involved, but this school has many elective class choices.

- submitted by a parent

October 17, 2004
I think Foss is the best school in the surrounding area hands down (including all the private schools). Although the school has had some problems with student-administration relationships, I have throughly enjoyed my time here. I agree that the gates grant has overall lowered attention on certain aspects of the school, however, now that it is instated, the school should support the program to it's fullest (as long as it does not interfere with the IB program).... 1 thing the school could do is focus more on the IB program, because from what I see, Foss has excellent college placement among IB students (Within the last couple years students from Foss have gained admission to; Havard, Yale, MIT, Berkeley, Cornell, Georgetown, Stanford, etc.).... The school could reward these high achiving students more than they already do. But those are just my general comments. Overall, it is still the best school.

- submitted by a student

February 18, 2004
I would like to say that the quality of Foss has greatly gone down. My son graduated in 2001 and he loved it. The people were great and Mr. Lange was the greatest. My daughter is a junior and she despises Foss. The principal is never there, her counselor doesn't even know her name and she has been there for 2 years. She has one teacher that actually cares what happens to the students.

- submitted by a parent

February 14, 2004
I think one of the best decisions I have ever made was to enroll my daughter in Foss. The Academic Standards set by the staff are wonderful. We also have completely enjoyed the Girls Basketball Program. The coaches are some of the best I have ever seen. They set the stakes and expectations high. Thank you Foss for the wonderful experience.

- submitted by a parent

January 22, 2004
Foss High School has good students and bad faculty. The principal and the staff needs to concentrate on the students and curriculum more than the construction of the building and meeting with each other. Quit talking and let's see some action being made.

- submitted by a student

January 17, 2004
My daughter loves Foss and its diversity. The staff is very caring, but firm with the discipline when needed. She loves the cross country and track program. She is in the IB program and it is very challenging, but she receives the support she needs from the staff. She participates in the chamber orchestra and it is an excellent program. I have my son at Bellarmine Prep around the corner and I can say overall she is receiving the more challenging program and has more compentent teachers. The temptation of drugs seems to be not as high at Foss as it is in some of the surrounding schools.The principal treats everyone like a long lost cousin and the counselors have been wonderful. My daughter has received great information about college testing and admissions and has heard more than her brother at the expensive private school. Whenever I have contacted the staff they have been very helpful and they treat parents very well. I am very very pleased with Foss.

- submitted by a parent

August 25, 2003
The 'new schools' concept has greatly interfered with the academics of the present population of junior & seniors. Too much time spent on that has affected the teachers' time they should be spending on the current student body.

- submitted by a parent

June 22, 2003
My child is a senior there this yr(c/o 04) and she has loved it there. I think Foss is the best Tacoma school.

- submitted by a community member
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Last modified: July 21, 2015

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2112 South Tyler St, Tacoma, WA  98405
(253) 571-7300
Last modified Foss is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 3 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Foss Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 16 reviews. Top