The Education Community


Thurston County offers a variety of educational opportunities to students and adults in the community, including private and public primary, secondary and higher education institutions. A number of schools offer programs outside their regular hours, providing greater accessibility to working adults and students so that they may meet their educational goals.

Eight school districts provide primary and secondary education to most of Thurston County’s students. Services and opportunities for students include the Head Start program for preschoolers, Advanced Placement courses for high school students and numerous community-based learning experiences for
all ages.

In total, 69 schools are located in Thurston County – three colleges, 14 high schools, 10 middle schools and 42 elementary schools. While most of these schools are comprehensive and offer a full range of academic and activity programs, non-traditional schools are also available.

Private schools in Thurston County serve 2,073 students, most of who are enrolled in elementary and middle schools.


North Thurston Public Schools
(360) 412-4400
305 College St. NE
Lacey, WA 98516

North Thurston Public Schools is committed to excellence in education and putting student learning at the center of all they do!

Founded in 1953, NTPS is the largest and fastest-growing district in Thurston County, with more than 1,600 staff members supporting nearly 14,000 students in 21 schools. This diverse school system has award-winning staff with a high percentage of National Board-certified teachers, Fulbright Scholar and Middle School Principal of the Year. Education for the whole child is central to the mission of North Thurston Public Schools.

This student-centered focus on behavior and academics includes instruction in core areas, as well as visual and performing arts, peer tutoring, strategic interventions and enrichments, career and technical education, Advanced Placement and honors classes. Additionally, the district offers programs in gifted, special and alternative education, plus a performing arts middle school (Aspire).

Olympia School District
(360) 596-6117
111 Bethel St. SE
Olympia, WA 98506

For more than 150 years, the Olympia School District has provided students with a supportive, caring and rigorous learning environment. In its 19 schools, it emphasizes a collaborative approach with the 9,000 students, their families and community, an approach that has led to high student achievement.

The Olympia School District teaching staff is one of the most experienced in the state and nearly 70 percent of the teachers have a master’s degree or higher. The modern facilities allow students to use up-to-date technologies at each of the schools. About 85 percent of high school students participate in school-sponsored, co-curricular activities including athletics, music, drama and academic clubs.

The district’s nationally recognized child nutrition program provides organic and locally grown foods to students.

Tumwater School District
(360) 709-7000
621 Linwood Ave. SW
Tumwater, WA 98512

Tumwater School District is a mid-sized district serving over 6,000 students. Schools include a district-wide Early Childhood Learning Center, six K-5 elementary schools, two 6-8 middle schools, two traditional high schools and an alternative high school. Tumwater is also the home for New Market Skills Center, which provides career and technical education.

Tumwater schools provide a comprehensive curriculum emphasizing mastery of the basics in reading, writing and mathematics, along with science, history, the arts, professional-technical education and foreign languages. The district continues a tradition of providing effective programs to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Programs offer a wide range of options from basic skills classes to Advanced Placement college preparatory classes. Students also have the opportunity to participate in team and intramural athletics, as well as numerous club offerings. Tumwater School District is committed to “continuous student learning in a caring, engaging environment.”

For more information or to get involved in the school district, visit


Griffin School District
(360) 866-2515
6530 33rd Ave. NW, Olympia, WA 98502

New Market Skills Center (360) 570-4500
7299 New Market St, Tumwater, WA 98501

Rainier School District  (360) 446-2207
307 Alaska St., P.O. Box 98
Rainier, WA 98576

Tenino School District  (360) 264-3400
301 Old Hwy. 99, P.O. Box 4024
Tenino, WA 98589

Yelm School District (360) 458-1900
P.O. Box 476, Yelm, WA 98597


Community Christian Academy  (360) 493-2223
4706 Park Center Ave. NE, Lacey, WA 98516

Cornerstone Christian School  (360) 923-0071
6701 Fairview Rd. SW, Olympia, WA 98512

Eagle View Christian School  (360) 458-3090
13036 Morris Rd. SE, Yelm, WA 98597

Faith Lutheran School  (360) 491-1733
7075 Pacific Ave., Lacey, WA 98503

Holy Family School  (360) 491-7060
2606 Carpenter Rd. SE, Lacey, WA 98503

Northwest Christian High School  (360) 491-2966
4710 Park Center Ave. NE, Lacey, WA 98516

Nova School  (360) 491-7097
2020 22nd Ave. SE  Olympia, WA 98501

Olympia Christian School  (360) 352-1831
1215 Ethel St. NW, Olympia, WA 98502

Olympia Community School  (360) 866-8047
1601 North St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501

Olympia Waldorf School  (360) 493-0906
8126 Normandy St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501

Paramount Christian Academy  (360) 878-8915
3816 College St. SE, Lacey, WA 98503

Pope John Paul II
High School
(360) 438-7600
5608 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey, WA 98503

St. Michael Parish School  (360) 754-5131
1204 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501

Sunrise Beach School (360) 791-8348
1601 North St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501

The Phoenix Rising School  (360) 446-1500
13411 Cedar Grove Ln., Rainier, WA 98576


Brandman University  (360) 493-6392
1445 Galaxy Dr. NE, Ste. 201
Lacey, WA 98516

The Evergreen State College  (360) 867-6000
2700 Evergreen Pkwy. NW
Olympia, WA 98505

Since opening its doors in 1971, Evergreen has established a national reputation for leadership in developing innovative interdisciplinary, collaborative and team-taught academic programs.

The college boasts a vibrant undergraduate program, three graduate programs and public service centers that constitute a unique academic setting. The Evergreen State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Evergreen has been a leader in environmental education from the beginning. In recent years, the college stepped up its commitment to sustainability to reach beyond the classroom and even the campus. Evergreen values a student-centered learning environment, a link between theory and practice, and a multicultural community of diverse faculty, students and staff working together. Current enrollment is approximately 4,300.

Saint Martin’s University (360) 491-4700
5000 Abbey Wy. SE, Lacey, WA 98503

Saint Martin’s University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Established in 1895 by monks of the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the university’s identity is rooted in its Catholic, Benedictine tradition. Saint Martin’s is a member of the Independent Colleges of Washington.

Guided by the principles of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Saint Martin’s University endeavors to unite academic rigor and excellence with moral thought and social responsibility – higher education that seeks to serve and promote the common good – higher education that seeks to transform lives by grappling with issues of faith, reason, service and community. Faculty, staff and students form a community of individuals who are learning to live a meaningful life. Current enrollment is approximately 1,700.

South Puget Sound Community College (360) 754-7711
2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia, WA 98512

The South Puget Sound Community College learning environment is a collaboration between faculty, staff and students. The community enrichment that results from this collaborative process starts at the top. The administration is driven by the college’s mission to engage the community in learning, which is an important part of the college’s history.

The college is here to guide you, whether you want to learn a new skill, land a new job earn a new degree or pursue an opportunity that didn’t seem possible before. Passionate staff and small class size translates into a learning environment focused on helping you achieve your goals. Current enrollment is approximately 6,060.


Griffin  |  649
North Thurston  |  14,000
Olympia  |  10,486
Rainier  |  930
Rochester  |  2,245
Tenino  |  1,346
Tumwater  |  6,540
Yelm  |  5,899