« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
9-12
Public
Tacoma, WA
Students enrolled: 1,007

Contact this school

12420 Ainsworth Ave South
Tacoma, WA 98444

(253) 298-3000
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Washington High School address.

Profile Completeness

INTERMEDIATE

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
 
September 26, 2013
Alright, so putting aside "Patriot Pride" or whatever other buzzwords get plastered on here, this school was decent enough. I recently graduated from WHS as a part-time student there, the rest being spent as a Running Start Student. WHS is NOT by any means a bad school. They have done much to improve their image. It is a fairly safe school and quite honestly had some of the greatest teachers that I have ever met. The 70% rule was fantastic. If you can't do that you better like working a dead-end job because it doesn't get any easier post High School. Now, as I said this WAS a great rule. Now it's just stupid. Students being able to retake tests in order to pass, grade padding with a ridiculous percentage of the final grade being attributed to homework and attendance, it's all just lying really. A student shouldn't be able to skip a test because they can retake it until they pass. Even blind guessing will eventually get them a 70% so whats the point. Why pass unable students through the system? It's not helping anyone. In the end, that's what ruins this school's scores. Not it's "lack of caring teachers" nor it's "passiveness" it's the fact that it's to lazy to fix itself.

- submitted by a student
January 27, 2013
Best teachers! I enjoy everything this school has to offer. The coaches are cool and very inspirational.

- submitted by a community member
November 05, 2012
I love this school ! I'm proud to say that i'm a Patriot! This is honestly the BEST high school ever.

- submitted by a student
October 06, 2011
As a senior at Washington High School and someone who has attended this school since freshmen year I believe our school deserves a much better rating. Our test sores have improved greatly and we have made our school have a family like environment. Everyone from freshmen to seniors show their pride every Friday. We support our football team with huge audiences and we always know how to do things right. Washington High School is an amazing school wit the best teachers out there. They don't come to school everyday just to teach, they build relationships with us and help us be successful in all we want to do. If it wasn't for their amazing encouragement and involvement our school wouldn't be as great as t it, not to mention we have great administrators that actually take part and care about what we do. I love WHS :)

- submitted by a student
September 23, 2011
I'm currently a senior at WHS and I can say with conviction that it is the best school I've ever been to. Our principle is always out and about, ready to answer questions or encourage us when we need a pick-me-up; the staff is incredibly kind and ready to help anyone at the drop of a hat; my counselor has gotten to know me on a personal level and genuinely cares about my future; and my teachers? Don't get me started! I've never had a teacher at WHS that I haven't liked. I consider many of them to be mentors and role models rather than simple instructors. The teachers at WHS invest in their students personally, and are always there if we have troubles - inside OR outside of school. Though it's corny, a few of my teachers have helped shape the person I am today. There are those rare "inspirational" teachers who stick with you long after you graduate. Our school climate is awesome. For the most part, everyone respects and loves one another. I have never felt unsafe or threatened at WHS, and we have a zero-tolerance stance on bullying. There are tons of different clubs, we have monthly homework help and study sessions, and no one is excluded. Everyone has a place at WHS!

- submitted by a student
September 23, 2011
Best school EVER! Honestly, i've gone here 3 years, and it's been the best 3 years of my life. The leadership program continues to get stronger and the school continues to get better! Love all the teachers and everyone is SUPER Friendly. Also, there is an overload of pride and spirit at this school. Gotta love that PATRIOT PRIDE! I <3 WHS :)

- submitted by a student
December 16, 2010
I go to this school right now as a freshmand. Its okayy but people are so passive. But there is a lot of school spirit so i guess thats cool. The teachers are really cool and there is a lot of freedom in the class room. But maybe too much freedom. Its not a bad school but honestly it depends on the type of person that you are in order to like it. :)

- submitted by a student
May 11, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2010
I love Washington High School. I have been there all four years and I wouldn't change it for anything. The teachers and students of WHS are all accepting of everyone. There is never bullying here and there aren't even cliques. We all hang out with each other and every kid there has school spirit, whether they show it or not. Many students have transfered from Franklin Pierce and every one I've had the opportunity to talk to have ALL said that WHS is much more relaxed and much more fun. And everyone who transfers from WHS to FP always transfer back. We have a reputation of being a bad school, but that's only because we're small. I love my school.

- submitted by a student
December 29, 2009
I personally think that naming WHS 'Washington High School' was a big mistake. If it was named 'Parkland High School' it would give the school and town so much more pride and WHS would no longer be the high school in Tacoma that people always ask, 'Where's that?'. Names can really help identify a school and associate it with the town it represents. Parkland has a lot to offer especially with PLU right in the heart of town. Such a great university that really should give our town a superb image. Parkland could revolve around WHS if only the community would support the school more! WHS has a lot of great students, teachers, and staff and a small town feel. If only everyone would embrace WHS more instead of always pointing out the negative aspects they would see how diverse of a school it is and it's potential.

- submitted by a student
October 21, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 18, 2009
it is a great school... for students to successed in life.. the teachers are great in different ways.....

- submitted by a student
no rating September 16, 2009
I like that the teacher are always available to discuss how my child is doing in their class and at the school in general. The staff is helpful.

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2009
Washington High School is a wonderful school, despite all of the negative reviews its recieving. I really don't think parents have a right to rate this school, after all, they aren't the ones ATTENDING it. How do they know what the teachers are like? How do they know what the classes are like? How do they know how students interact? They DON'T. I'm a student at WHS and I have to say---I love it. I have the best teachers who actually take the time to help me understand the material. They also care about my well-being. My classes are interesting. My classmates (for the most part) are respectful. Sure, there are some idiots, but that isn't a reflection of the school itself; you're going to find idiots everywhere. WHS is a great school, but I guess if you don't want your kids to have great, caring teachers, don't send them here.

- submitted by a student
May 06, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2009
Most people just look at the negitive neds of the school but why dont they take out the time to look at the true patriots and the great things about this school. they have great support team and great spirit!!!!!! Go Pats!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 23, 2009
i definetly give this a five star because my daughter learns so much. my son said he feels very safe here.

- submitted by a community member
November 19, 2008
I love this school absolutely friendly no 'cliques' Everyone is accepted here

- submitted by a student
October 01, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2008
I love attending washington! I am sad that this is my senior year! All of the faculty put our best intrests at heart and help us succeed!

- submitted by a student
June 03, 2008
Wonderful school! I really feel like my child's best interest is taken into consideration. The teachers really seem to care, and my child is happy to learn! The test scores are climbing by large increments every year, so they must be moving foward and not looking back!

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
March 14, 2008
Horrible school. Poor teachers that don't know how to motivate their students, as shown by the test scores. Poor security as well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 28, 2008
I am a former part time student of WHS, and it was a wonderful experience for me. I found the teachers and staff to be very nice and helpful. All I had to do was ask and they would set up a time for me to come in and get help if I needed. I would often go in before my classes just to talk with the librarians. It is a very diverse school, with students from many different backgrounds. It is not one for good sports, and I think that their portfolio thing is ridiculous. WHS has its problems, but so does every school. I found no problem keeping up my grades. The kids that had problems were the ones who were talking or texting in class and who did not take advantage of asking for help after school.

- submitted by a student
January 26, 2008
I am a former student from the class of 2005. I also have a sister who became a freshman when I became a senior. From my experiences with making visits to the school after graduation and while I attended the school I can say that it is simply not up to par. Most of the teachers have little or no passion in what they teach and drama runs rampant throughout the school. The only school organizations that gets any praise or funding is the Cheer squad and the Football team which both perform poorly for the amount of attention they recive. Now as for the 70% rule, its average, simply said if a student finds that too hard to acheive then the student isnt trying hard enough or the staff dosent recognize a mentally challenged student.

- submitted by a student
September 22, 2007
I'm a recent graduate of WHS and I had an incredibly positive experience. Most of the posters on here complain too much. Ooh, oh no, 70% is too hard. No one cares. It's high school. Buck up and do the work. Study. If you'd rather go out to a movie or look at your Myspace, that's fine. But realize that you're gonna get bad grades. I'm writing this in my dorm room right now and I didn't get to college by complaining about crap. Go to school. Work hard. If not; cool. But have fun taking my order at Taco Bell.

- submitted by a former student
August 10, 2007
I currently am a student at Washington High School, and you can ask almost everyone who goes there that getting up for WHS is a daily dread. There are always fights, the teachers are incredibly rude, with the exception of a few. The 70% requirement is ridiculous. Really, a lot of kids cannot even reach 70% and they wind up failing the classes and just giving up on school. I wish i could go to school somewhere else and i would not suggest WHS to anyone, not even my worst enemy.

- submitted by a student
January 23, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 18, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2006
As a student, I was involved in extra-curricular activities as well as sports and managed to have good grades. The 70% requirement for kids is not too high, if anything it is too low.

- submitted by a former student
February 21, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
August 27, 2005
Being a former student at WHS, I found the academic program lacking. There wasn't any opportunity for one-on-one help with a teacher for those tough assignments. The school was/is over populated leaving little chance for the strugling students to succeed.

- submitted by a former student
August 15, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 18, 2005
Very diverse school. Lots of options.

- submitted by a student
February 14, 2005
I am a former student of Washington and from my experience there I had no problems with anyone or the staff. This school was very helpful in furthering my education and also a great help for me to get into college. I personally don't know why anyone would complain about this school because frankly it is up to the students to make the choice to do the work and participate in class. I mean the staff can only do so much for students but it is mostly up to the students themselves to put forth the needed effort in order to accomplish the required work to graduate. So with all the bickering about the teachers is just ridiculous because the student can be just as guilty.

- submitted by a former student
January 23, 2005
Washington High School is not a school for aspiring athletes! Not only is the coaching poor but their records in just about everything is sad for a High School. My child came out of Keithley Middle School and would have attended Washington but once I looked into the school never will she go anywhere near it! The kids there are just full or drama and no future. The district does a poor job in just about everything! My child has been told may times that if she wants to go somewhere in sports or even in her life she should find a different school and we were advised to check out Tacome Schools which was the best deicion me and my child could have made. -Lori Bush

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2005
I am currently a sophmore are WHS and I have also had the opportunity to be a cheerleader, I would say that this is a great school. Everyone seems to be close and is friends with everyone. I do not think Washington is segrigated by clicks or race. I also had the chance to go to another school in another state for a month out the school year, and i hated every moment of it because Washington is such a good school. The staff try very hard to get to know each one of there students and most of the teachers do a great job teaching. I wouldnt change schools even if someone payed me. I highly recamend this school.

- submitted by a student
January 18, 2005
I am a former student of WHS, graduated in 2002. I believe that, while there were many teachers that didn't care, that shouln't limit a student's ability to learn. While it is up to the teachers to know thier subjects and grade accordingly, it is also up to the student to put forth the effort. Fellow students I saw that were not making the grade simply didn't care and were too engrossed in their little soap operas than graduating. At the issue of high standards only makes sense, because I am currently enrolled in college and it is required in many degrees to have a portfolio, job shadowing/internships, and community service. And I've read that some think that WASL is unnecessary. This is a test required by the state. WHS has no control over that issue, so if you want to complain, take it to the politicians.

- submitted by a former student
December 17, 2004
i am a former student of WHS. i left washington high school and started over at franklin pierce high school after being told by friends and teachers that fp is a more caring school. i did not enjoy my time at whs because there was a lot of gossiping and fighting and not enough kids that really care about school. i only felt that a few teachers really deserve praise. whs is basically just a place for kids to go during the day. counselors never really helped me with my portfolio or really anything that i really needed. i would never go back to whs if i had to... i would drop out like most of the school seems to do. thank you. kelly ketchum c/o 2006 also.. if you are looking for a school, i recommend franklin pierce high school. much better environment.

- submitted by a former student
November 22, 2004
My experience at WHS wasn't as bad as the parents feedback say. The community needs to get more involved with the high school instead of belittling the staff. I don't think many people see the school from other point of views; I think Washington is a very diverse, open high school, welcoming everyone. I am a graduate of WHS, class of 2000; I am graduating this spring with a B.A./B.M. in Music Performance and planning on going to Graduate School. I am proof that WHS helps their students, preparing them for the real world and challenging them to make something of themselves.

- submitted by a former student
November 09, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2004
I think that WHS is a unique school. Standards for a passing grade is too high (70%), and yet the attention and help students recieve in the class are not close to what they need. The counselors are almost never there during school hours when students need to talk to them. They never give students any useful information about college and all they do are generate schedules. I also do not think the portfolio is useful in any way. All it does is take time out of the student's schedule and forces them to create something they will not use after high school. I also think that lack of school spirit makes school less enjoyable for students, and my child also tells me of school dances being canceled his freshman year because no one bought tickets. That is just plain pathetic.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2004
My son no longer attends Washington High School and I can say that my encounters with the counseling staff and attendance staff leaves alot to be desired. He struggled thru school, and yet no teacher or counselor stepped up to help. Only after my involvement did something happen. His transcript records have never included his first summer at WA High Summer school and I was always told by Staff that he had to talk with his teacher. What is with the staff is that not your job to keep accurate records on students. And while I am at it, the attendance phone call is a joke. They either call when he is there or don't call until he has missed almost 2 weeks of school.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2004
I am extremely disappointed and concerned with the lack of caring that seemes to be the norm at Washington High School. Some of the teachers and staff are trying to do a good job but it must be frustrating to them when their leadership is so disfunctional. The counselors are absolutley worthless and have no follow up skills. It is always someone else's fault or someone else responsibility. They should be graded like the students are and their compensation should be tied to their perfomance (or lack of performance). If you don't ask the right questions you never get the correct information. And they never return phone calls, ever. They are very good about 'tracking' a student and making them believe they are not college material or even technical school material. These kids deserve better than what Washington HS gives them.

- submitted by a parent
April 15, 2004
This is one of the worst schools ever for teacher and staff involvement. The counselors are ineffecient and have no follow up skills. It is just a job to them there is no passion for making sure the students succeed. I removed my child from this school it is so bad.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2004
I would try my best to discourage any parent from sending their child here. What should have been a positive and memorable experience has turned out to be totally the opposite. A few of the teachers are committed and truly seem to want to help the students. However, the counselors and the administrators are more concerned with their own agendas and put the needs of the students last. I wish my child had never attended this school.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2003
I do not reccomend this school for parents to send thier children to. Overall, it is horrible when it comes to the development of a teenager. In my opinion, they would rather hold a student back, than help them. There have been many examples of unjustice shown to me through this school, and unacceptable behaivor accepted.

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2003
I think that Washington High School is an overall extremely wonderful school. My friend attended as a freshman and wishes she could go back. The teachers are wonderful and it seems like they teach them everything they need to. I loved how they have portfolios and community service as a requirement for graduation, it makes them work harder. They also have wonderful extracurricular actives such as the assemblies and dances.

- submitted by a community member
August 26, 2003
I currently have one student in this school and one has graduated. It was a positive experience for my oldest because he didn't struggle as a student. My student currently enrolled stuggles due to a slight learning disability that does not qualify him for any additional help in the classroom. I find most staff do not adapt well to each students way of learning and are ridgid in their teaching style. There is a small group of teachers that are great at motivation and have relationships outside the classroom because of the teachers involvment with other school activities. With the number of students that attend WHS I find that there is not much parent participation. There is a small group of the same parents that do a great job but it just isn't enough. I do believe that the principle is exceptional. In the few times I have had to go to him, he has listened, helped and solved the issues to the best of his abilities.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2003
Washington High School has a wonderfully diverse student and staff community. The academic standards are high, with a requirement of 70% or better to pass. Students are also required to job shadow and participate in volunteer activities to meet graduation requirements. This school and administration should be commended for establishing standards that will provide the students with valuable life skills that will provide a life long benefit. Parents are encouraged and invited to participate by volunteering or becoming involved in the parent booster club. The parent organizaton meets each month and those meetings are always attended by an administrator. As a parent this provides a relaxed atmosphere for questions and networking with other parents.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2003
WHS has too much gossip and social drama for my children to pay attention to their studies. The overall expectations are much too high for 14-18 year olds. The learning expectations are about average, but not all teachers care if the student passes. The administrators are not very good at controlling harassment and violence around the school.

- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2003
Last year was our son's first year in this school and our experience had been a positive one. The administration staff were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The teachers, we believe, are above average in giving instructions and motivating the students. We are quite pleased with the overall quality of the school. We look forward to the next years to come.

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: December 15, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Washington High School
12420 Ainsworth Ave South, Tacoma, WA  98444
(253) 298-3000
Last modified Washington High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 4 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Washington High School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 53 reviews. Top