Advertisement
Advertisement

No rating

GreatSchools Rating

First Presbyterian Church School

Private | PK-5 | 300 students

Classical Christian Education with an Arts' Emphasis
 
 

 
 

Living in Tacoma

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $326,800. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $930.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 11 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

20 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted August 8, 2014

FPCS is a strong academic school that offers an excellent classical education to students from 18 months old through 5th grade. Elementary students engage in learning with an Art, Music, and Latin Specialist. As a staff member, I am blessed and proud to work here. And as a parent, I couldn't ask for a better education and loving environment for my daughter.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted May 9, 2014

It is tragic to see this once prominent private school going in such a horrific direction. The new Headmaster is unengaged and way out of his league. You can see the results as the teachers grow more disenfranchised and the parents and students more frustrated. The new cirucculum has no continuity from year to year and is based on learn, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. Lot's of parents opting out for next school year. Very sad as most of the teachers are super amazing people who truly love and care for each child in their class. Hoping the School Board will step in before it is too late.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 4, 2013

Recently this school has undergone many new changes including a new head of school. There have been changes in curriculum and it is NOT the school it used to be. Unfortunately the changes of late have been anything but stellar.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 6, 2012

First Pres. is an outstanding school! With the absolute most amazingly, loving, understanding and thoughtful teachers I've ever encountered. All 3 of my children attend/attended the wonderful preschool. During preschool they learn social skills, their letters and numbers, how to recognize and spell their names, and so much more. It is a fantastic foundation for any child beginning their school career. We continued on with my oldest into the elementary school and currently still have 2 in the preschool. The elementary school has nice small class sizes, where the children develop long lasting friendships. The parent community is very welcoming and friendly on both the preschool and elementary sides. I would've gladly given a 5 star ranking, but I do believe their are a handful of flaws with the administration and head of school. Both could stand to run the school a bit more efficiantly and possibly have a stronger protocol in place. But, that said ALL schools have their flaws and I am very thankful my children get the opportunity to attend First Pres. I am proud of our little school and know my kids have a great foundation to their education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 19, 2012

FPCS has been a great experience for both my kids. I just we could find the same quality of teachers and education at a reasonable tuition after 5th grade! My youngest is in 5th grade this year, and we are sad to be leaving the school. It's the best deal in Tacoma!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 1, 2011

First Presbyterian Church School has an excellent learning environment which nurtures students academically and spiritually. Lessons and curriculum are designed to give students tools for success and trains young people to think critically. These young individuals will have the resources to meet the challenges the world today offers. Each classroom in the Elementary wing has its own library which includes classical as well as contemporary literature to expand young minds and excite learners about the world around them. The partnership between parents, educators, and leadership is positive and each works to ensure a child's success academically, and socially. The playground and equipment is designed to strengthen large motor skill development and provides opportunity for creative and imaginative play. Teachers are present and alert monitors of children during recess and are aware of the safety of the children at all times. At First Presbyterian Church School children are nurtured and loved with respect and an awareness of individual needs and learning styles.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted November 30, 2011

This has been an outstanding school for our elementary aged daughter and our family. The education is well-rounded and focused on the whole child and my daughter feels very loved by all of her teachers and the principal who greets each student every morning! She is flourishing in the arts, especially drama, and is now more comfortable in front of others with the monthly oral presentations and recitations that are done in class. The academics are very challenging and she works hard, but she loves it! They integrate the history, literature, science, Bible and art together and it's been a wonderful way for her to learn. My extended family is impressed by her knowledge base and her vocabulary. I am truly grateful for this excellent school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 21, 2011

I have had my children at FPCS for 10 years - and would not have them ANY OTHER PLACE! The environment is warm and loving - the teachers are stellar and the education is FIRST RATE! After graduation from First Prebyterian, my oldest child found himself to be ahead academically and prepared to encounter middle school. The projects, attention to subject matter, in depth opportunities for learning and growth - all focused on the concept of the classical education model - and excell above and beyond general education. Our family has been the benefactor of love, friendship, service, kindness, and community at First Presbyterian Church School. Anyone looking for a community for their child will find just that - a community of loving families, good people, and forever friendships. There isn't enough room to post the entirety of my feelings for this little lovely heaven in the city.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 21, 2011

Our son had a wonderful years of pre-school at FPCS that prepared him for success at his current public school. His teachers were loving, well-organized and always focused on learning outcomes, without ever overlooking the unique needs and gifts of the children. Our son's academic and social confidence grew substantially at FPCS, and he reflects often and fondly on the teachers, projects, field trips and friends that influenced him there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 20, 2011

We have been at FPCS for 9 years, and I can attest to the great Classical Christian education that my children have received from preschool through 5th grade! Check out the school's ITBS scores - they are a true testament to the quality of the teachers and the administration. FPCS is on the cutting edge of technology with an Ipad lab in the elementary school which no other local schools have! The recess area is a little open though it is gated, however others fail to mention that adults are always present. I have seen school faculty direct people that they cannot cut thru the courtyard during school hours. Our children are quite safe. As for the complaints about withdrawal fees, parents are well aware of this policy or should be prior to registration if they read the paperwork! This school is a non profit entity and is hardly looking to line their pockets! The problem is when they have to turn away other prospective students if a class is fully registered. Any negative comments here are purely a case of sour grapes! Please check out FPCS for yourself-you will not be disappointed. My children are truly nurtured and loved and will leave here prepared to thrive at any other school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 20, 2011

I have several children that attend this school and the curriculum is top notch. My children s classes all have scored in the 90th percentile in ITBS testing every year. The teachers are nurturing and the administration is concerned with the kids becoming well rounded members of society. The arts are stressed and the classes have weekly specialists for art, music, physical education, Spanish and science. The community of families is great as well. During the year there are family movie nights, a Harvest Festival, and an end of year barbeque to name a few of the events. I highly recommend this school to anyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 19, 2011

My Child has attended FPCS for 7 years now. It is true they are working on the library and there is hot lunch only one day a week. However, the loving environment and education has been fantastic. The last two years my child's ITBS scores were in the top 5% of the entire country. They are extremely accommodating of family issues. The tuition is very reasonable relative to the excellent curriculum. The head of school is wonderful, knows each child personally and is at the door every morning greeting the kids and parents. This other reviewer is wacky - I believe the head of school has a phd in education and is a gem. If you are considering this school, talk to the office about sitting in on the kid's weekly chapel service. You will leave impressed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 2, 2011

My child went to FPCS for many years. After many terrible experiences, we pulled our child out. Not once we were we ever late on a tuition payment, yet, when we pulled our child out, I received a letter demanding a 10% withdrawl fee payment in full and if it was not paid within 2 weeks, I would be sent to collections. Disappointing on many levels.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 19, 2011

Very unhealthy enviroment for our child. Situations are not handled properly, Negative social skill teachings in such a small school. The playground is very, very small and right next to the street, easy access through the gates and there are so many times throughout the day when the gates were open. Very scary for us. Less than impressed with the leadership. No computer labs, no library. My child left the school very behind in academics. Our child is caught up now and thriving. Our child is no longer attending FIrst Presbyterian School doing beautifully now!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2011

First Presbyterian Church School is not who they claim to be. The teachers are excellent but the administration side of the house needs cleaned out. The head of school lacks experience and doesn't have any background in administration or education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 10, 2011

I paid 2011-12 tuition on August 3 and tried to cancel it on August 10th because we unexpectedly bought a house over the weekend. I accepted that the $165 registration fee was non-refundable, but the school continued to bill me another $240 for withdrawing. Mind you, $405 later, my son did not attend a single day of school for that school year. I would say they are more concerned will filling pockets than they are about teaching and extending Christian values.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2007

Our child has been enrolled at FPCS for the last 5 years. The school is known for it's preschool. These young preschool children learn to sign and sing the words to songs, they learn the alphabet, write their names, phone #, addresses all before kindergarten. The school goes up to the fifth grade. At the time we are going through a transition with no principal. One of the school board members has started to fill in by being the head of school. The elementary classes provide specialist such as Art, PE, Spanish, Latin, Music, and Drama. There are no computer labs, nor a library that children can check out books. As for hot lunches and buying milk you would bring your own. For recess there is a few balls and a basketball hoop. Strangers can walk through the gates at any time when the children are out side playing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 7, 2007

I have two children attending the school and we wouldn't have our children go anywhere else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 13, 2006

I currently have 3 children in FPCS and I absolutely love the education they have been getting. Classical education is important to me and my family. Our school now goes to the 5th grade and teaches our kids how to learn and develope independent learning skills on the foundation of language, logic and tangible fact. When I recieved my kids ITBS testing scores back, I was so amazed at the heighth of our schools test scores compared to other private schools. Jennifer J
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 17, 2006

My daughter has attended this school for two years now and the parent/family involvement is outstanding. The student to teacher ratio is also outstanding as is the quality of teaching. If you are searching for a private school for your child, I would highly recommend calling for a tour.
—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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 85% 60%
Hispanic 9% 20%
Black 3% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 2% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 7%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 2%
Two or more races 0% 6%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff None
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Community service awards received in the past 3 years
  • Best Preschool by South Sound Magazine (2014)
  • Best Private Elementary by South Sound Magazine (2014)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Latin

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:20 am
School Leader's name
  • Matt Shuts, Head of School
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • Infant
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Presbyterian
Associations
  • ACCS
  • ACSI

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Classical (e.g., focuses on the "classics")
  • Core knowledge
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Foreign languages
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Religious
  • Visual arts
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Latin
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • None
Extra learning resources offered
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Cub scouts
  • Girl scouts
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
Date
Title
  • {{date}}
    {{title}}
Export calendar
Outlook.com
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
POWERED BY
Tandem

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer in the classroom
More from this school
  • We take pride in our small classes, loving teachers and staff, and wonderful community! We are unique beyond our Classical Christian model and welcome families to come visit and expereince first hand FPCS!
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

20 Tacoma Ave S
Tacoma, WA 98402
Website: Click here
Phone: (253) 272-7145

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

Special Services
Tacoma, WA


Home Based
Tacoma, WA





Bryant
Tacoma, WA


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT