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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 and may change from time to time. 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.

Search Homes For Sale in University Place School District
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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.

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Best Public High Schools in Pierce County

A   Curtis Senior High, University Place🏠
A-  Harrison Preparatory School, Lakewood
A-  Stadium High School, Tacoma🏠
B+  Steilacoom High School, Steilacoom🏠
B+  Science & Math Institute, Tacoma
B+  Franklin Pierce High School, Tacoma🏠
B+  Lakes High School, Lakewood🏠
B+  Puyallup High School, Puyallup🏠

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.

See Homes For Sale in Lacey-North Thurston School District
See Homes For Sale in Olympia School District

Best Middle Schools in Thurston County

Grades 6-8 (click the 🏠 to see nearby homes)

A   Jefferson Middle School, Olympia🏠
A   Washington Middle School, Olympia
A   Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts, Lacey
A   Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Olympia🏠
A-  Reeves Middle School, Olympia🏠
A-  Olympia Regional Learning Academy, Olympia

Best High Schools in Thurston County

Grades 9-12

Click the 🏠 to see nearby homes in that schools district.

A    Olympia High School, Olympia🏠
A-   Timberline High School, Lacey🏠
A-   Capital High School, Olympia🏠
B+  North Thurston High School, Lacey🏠
B    River Ridge High School, Lacey🏠
B    Avanti High School, Olympia🏠
B-   Yelm High School, 🏠

What About On-Base Schools?

On base housing is part of the Clover Park School District, which has an overall grade of B- on 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.

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