Best Schools Near JBLM and the South Puget Sound Area
When deciding where to live, many folks first consider where they want their kids to go to school. If you are coming from JBLM, or relocating to the South Puget Sound area for any reason, this list of top schools will help you to recognize where the best schools are.
Joint Base Lewis McChord straddles the county line between Pierce and Thurston Counties. Pierce County has a more urban feel whereas Thurston County offers a more rural setting. Whatever your preference, both offer some really nice neighborhoods with great schools and easy access to JBLM.
All School data is provided by Niche.com and may change from time to time. Niche.com ranks the schools with a letter grade, and puts them in sequential order from best to worst. I’ve included the letter grade for each school and where applicable, you can click on the 🏠 emoji to see nearby homes.
Best Primary Schools in Pierce County
Grades PK, K-4
A Sunset Primary School, University Place
A Chambers Elementary School, University Place
A Evergreen Primary, University Place
A University Place Primary, University Place
A- Fruitland Elementary, Puyallup
A- Woodland Elementary, Puyallup
B+ Maplewood Elementary, Puyallup
B+ Cherrydale Elementary, Steilacoom🏠
As you can see, University Place pretty much sweeps this category. There are no other elementary schools in University Place, so as long as you live in the district, you’ll get an A school.
Best Public Middle Schools in Pierce County
A Drum Intermediate, University Place
A Narrows View Intermediate, University Place
A- Curtis Junior High, University Place
A- Kalles Junior High, Puyallup
B+ Ballou Junior High, Puyallup
B+ Pioneer Middle School, Dupont
B Glacier View Junior High, Puyallup
B Aylen Junior High, Puyallup
B Mason Middle School, Tacoma🏠
B Ferucci Junior High, Puyllaup
Again, University Place and Puyallup lead the pack in this category. Pioneer Middle School in Dupont is actually part of the Steilacoom School District and it’s the only Middle School in that district. Both Steilacoom and Dupont are great places to live a short commute to the base.
Best Public High Schools in Pierce County
Best Public Elementary Schools in Thurston County
Grades PK, K-4
The Olympia and North Thurston, (Lacey) School Districts dominate the top 20 of this category. Lacey Washington is just a little South-West of JBLM, and a lot of people choose to live in Lacey because it offers affordable housing, and in some neighborhoods, a more country like feel. Olympia is just a little further West along I-5 and still remains a viable option for affordable off base housing.
Honestly there are so many high ranking elementary schools to choose from in Thurston County that I didn’t even include anything less than an A- rank. Use the map to see the list of schools.
Best Middle Schools in Thurston County
Grades 6-8 (click the 🏠 to see nearby homes)
Best High Schools in Thurston County
What About On-Base Schools?
On base housing is part of the Clover Park School District, which has an overall grade of B- on Niche.com. Harrison Prep High School snathced the #2 spot for Best High Schools in Pierce County. The elementary and middle schools all received either B or C grades.