When people with kids are buying a home in Tacoma, schools are often a major factor in choosing a neighborhood. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin, especially if you’re relocating to the area.

1. Familiarize yourself with Tacoma neighborhoods.

Check out our clickable neighborhood map and neighborhood guide that includes median home price by neighborhood. Get a feel for which districts might be a good fit for you and your family.

Tacoma Public Schools also offers an interactive map and you can search by grade level and location.

2. Check out education data (with a critical eye)

Beware: statistics don’t always tell the whole story. Numbers can perpetuate discrimination. Websites like Zillow often promote Greatschools ratings. While Greatschools says information drives equity, we should consider Greatschools ratings with a grain of salt. Check for progress scores on Greatschools, because those numbers show which schools do the best overall job teaching students.

Learn more about Greatschools ratings here.

Check out this local data source from the Washington State Department of Education. Tip: they also have growth scores for schools.

Use data to learn more about Tacoma schools on a surface level. Once you have a few schools in mind, ask around.

3. Connect with other Tacoma parents.

The best way to figure out how a school feels is to talk with other parents because they also had to make this tough decision. Connect with people who can answer your questions and paint a more holistic picture of a school experience. Prepare a list of your priorities for schools and ask about those. Reach out to Marguerite – she would love to get you connected to locals who love their schools.

If you’re unable to connect with parents at the school, reaching out to the principal for information and a tour is a great way to get to know a school’s culture and strengths. For more about this, check out our interview with Tacoma Public Schools Superintendent Carla Santorno.

4. Check out our list of schools in Pierce County.

There is a wide variety of amazing educational opportunities in Pierce County. It can be challenging to search and compare with so many different districts, public, and private schools! We did the hard work for you and gathered this list together to make your research a little easier.

Public School Districts in Pierce County

Tacoma Public Schools

Bethel School District

Carbonado School District

Clover Park School District

Dieringer School District

Eatonville School District

Fife School District

Franklin Pierce School District

Orting School District

Peninsula School District

Puyallup School District

Steilacoom Historical School District

Sumner Bonney Lake School District

University Place School District

White River School District

Private Schools in Pierce County

Charles Wright Academy – University PLace

Annie Wright Schools – Tacoma

Community Montesori – Tacoma

Seabury School – Tacoma

Religious Schools in Pierce County

Life Christian Academy – Tacoma

Puget Sound Christian School – Tacoma

Heritage Christian School – Tacoma

Bellarmine Preparatory High School (Catholic) – Tacoma

Lakewood Lutheran School – Lakewood

Sound Christian Academy – Tacoma

Concordia Christian School (Lutheran) – Tacoma

Holy Rosary School (Catholic) – Tacoma

Covenant High School – Tacoma

St Francis Cabrini (Catholic) – Lakewood

Northwest Christian School – Puyallup

Cascade Christian Schools – Frederickson, Puyallup, McAlder

Lighthouse Christian School – Gig Harbor

Tacoma Christian Academy – Tacoma

Want to dive deeper into Tacoma schools?

Additional resources on finding a good school for you in Tacoma:

Listen to our interview with Carla Santorno, the beloved Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools

Tune in to our chat with T’wina Franklin, Director and Board Legislative Representative for the University Place School District

Check out our talk with Nathan Bowling, Washington’s 2016 Teacher of the Year and 2016 finalist for National Teacher of The Year

Resources for buying a house in Tacoma:

We also have this clickable neighborhood map and neighborhood guide that includes median home price by neighborhood if you’d like to explore Tacoma and Pierce County!
Here is a link to the MoveToTacoma.com Podcast if you’d like to learn more about Tacoma culture!

Marguerite Martin, Founder of MoveToTacoma.com is a real estate agent in Tacoma, WA . As a real estate “Matchmaker,” she specializes in connecting real estate clients to the perfect agent in Tacoma and across the country. Learn more at Meet Your Guide.

Tacoma real estate agent Marguerite Martin smiling with her arms crossed. Text over photo reads: Need a Tacoma real estate agent? Marguerite has been a real estate agent in Tacoma for over 17 years. She can introduce you to the best agents in town, at no cost to you! Click here to contact Marguerite.