School Details

First Presbyterian Church School

20 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 272-7145

(out of 10)

Private Grades PK-5 300 students 14 students/teacher (WA avg is 17)

Test Scores by grade

About this school

First Presbyterian Church School is a private elementary school in Tacoma. The principal of First Presbyterian Church School is Matt Shuts, Head of School, whose e-mail is 300 students go to First Presbyterian Church School and identify primarily as Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and Black, non-Hispanic. The ratio of students to teachers at First Presbyterian Church School is 14:1. Special Services is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Hispanic 9% %
White, non-Hispanic 85% %
Black, non-Hispanic 3% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 2% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 1% %
Asian 1% %
Native American or Native Alaskan 0% %
Multiracial 0% %

Community ratings & reviews

  • (9 months ago)

    FPCS is a strong academic school that offers an excellent classical education to students from 18 months old through 5th grade. Elementary students engage in learning with an Art Music and Latin Specialist. As a staff member I am blessed and proud to work here. And as a parent I couldn't ask for a better education and loving environment for my daughter.

  • (1 year ago)

    It is tragic to see this once prominent private school going in such a horrific direction. The new Headmaster is unengaged and way out of his league. You can see the results as the teachers grow more disenfranchised and the parents and students more frustrated. The new cirucculum has no continuity from year to year and is based on learn repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat. Lot's of parents opting out for next school year. Very sad as most of the teachers are super amazing people who truly love and care for each child in their class. Hoping the School Board will step in before it is too late.

  • (1 year ago)

    Recently this school has undergone many new changes including a new head of school. There have been changes in curriculum and it is NOT the school it used to be. Unfortunately the changes of late have been anything but stellar.

  • (2 years ago)

    First Pres. is an outstanding school! With the absolute most amazingly loving understanding and thoughtful teachers I've ever encountered. All 3 of my children attend/attended the wonderful preschool. During preschool they learn social skills their letters and numbers how to recognize and spell their names and so much more. It is a fantastic foundation for any child beginning their school career. We continued on with my oldest into the elementary school and currently still have 2 in the preschool. The elementary school has nice small class sizes where the children develop long lasting friendships. The parent community is very welcoming and friendly on both the preschool and elementary sides. I would've gladly given a 5 star ranking but I do believe their are a handful of flaws with the administration and head of school. Both could stand to run the school a bit more efficiantly and possibly have a stronger protocol in place. But that said ALL schools have their flaws and I am very thankful my children get the opportunity to attend First Pres. I am proud of our little school and know my kids have a great foundation to their education.

  • (3 years ago)

    FPCS has been a great experience for both my kids. I just we could find the same quality of teachers and education at a reasonable tuition after 5th grade! My youngest is in 5th grade this year and we are sad to be leaving the school. It's the best deal in Tacoma!

  • (3 years ago)

    First Presbyterian Church School has an excellent learning environment which nurtures students academically and spiritually. Lessons and curriculum are designed to give students tools for success and trains young people to think critically. These young individuals will have the resources to meet the challenges the world today offers. Each classroom in the Elementary wing has its own library which includes classical as well as contemporary literature to expand young minds and excite learners about the world around them. The partnership between parents educators and leadership is positive and each works to ensure a child's success academically and socially. The playground and equipment is designed to strengthen large motor skill development and provides opportunity for creative and imaginative play. Teachers are present and alert monitors of children during recess and are aware of the safety of the children at all times. At First Presbyterian Church School children are nurtured and loved with respect and an awareness of individual needs and learning styles.

  • (3 years ago)

    This has been an outstanding school for our elementary aged daughter and our family. The education is well-rounded and focused on the whole child and my daughter feels very loved by all of her teachers and the principal who greets each student every morning! She is flourishing in the arts especially drama and is now more comfortable in front of others with the monthly oral presentations and recitations that are done in class. The academics are very challenging and she works hard but she loves it! They integrate the history literature science Bible and art together and it's been a wonderful way for her to learn. My extended family is impressed by her knowledge base and her vocabulary. I am truly grateful for this excellent school.

  • (3 years ago)

    Our son had a wonderful years of pre-school at FPCS that prepared him for success at his current public school. His teachers were loving well-organized and always focused on learning outcomes without ever overlooking the unique needs and gifts of the children. Our son's academic and social confidence grew substantially at FPCS and he reflects often and fondly on the teachers projects field trips and friends that influenced him there.

  • (3 years ago)

    I have had my children at FPCS for 10 years - and would not have them ANY OTHER PLACE! The environment is warm and loving - the teachers are stellar and the education is FIRST RATE! After graduation from First Prebyterian my oldest child found himself to be ahead academically and prepared to encounter middle school. The projects attention to subject matter in depth opportunities for learning and growth - all focused on the concept of the classical education model - and excell above and beyond general education. Our family has been the benefactor of love friendship service kindness and community at First Presbyterian Church School. Anyone looking for a community for their child will find just that - a community of loving families good people and forever friendships. There isn't enough room to post the entirety of my feelings for this little lovely heaven in the city.

  • (3 years ago)

    We have been at FPCS for 9 years and I can attest to the great Classical Christian education that my children have received from preschool through 5th grade! Check out the school's ITBS scores - they are a true testament to the quality of the teachers and the administration. FPCS is on the cutting edge of technology with an Ipad lab in the elementary school which no other local schools have! The recess area is a little open though it is gated however others fail to mention that adults are always present. I have seen school faculty direct people that they cannot cut thru the courtyard during school hours. Our children are quite safe. As for the complaints about withdrawal fees parents are well aware of this policy or should be prior to registration if they read the paperwork! This school is a non profit entity and is hardly looking to line their pockets! The problem is when they have to turn away other prospective students if a class is fully registered. Any negative comments here are purely a case of sour grapes! Please check out FPCS for yourself-you will not be disappointed. My children are truly nurtured and loved and will leave here prepared to thrive at any other school.

  • (3 years ago)

    I have several children that attend this school and the curriculum is top notch. My children s classes all have scored in the 90th percentile in ITBS testing every year. The teachers are nurturing and the administration is concerned with the kids becoming well rounded members of society. The arts are stressed and the classes have weekly specialists for art music physical education Spanish and science. The community of families is great as well. During the year there are family movie nights a Harvest Festival and an end of year barbeque to name a few of the events. I highly recommend this school to anyone.

  • (3 years ago)

    My Child has attended FPCS for 7 years now. It is true they are working on the library and there is hot lunch only one day a week. However the loving environment and education has been fantastic. The last two years my child's ITBS scores were in the top 5% of the entire country. They are extremely accommodating of family issues. The tuition is very reasonable relative to the excellent curriculum. The head of school is wonderful knows each child personally and is at the door every morning greeting the kids and parents. This other reviewer is wacky - I believe the head of school has a phd in education and is a gem. If you are considering this school talk to the office about sitting in on the kid's weekly chapel service. You will leave impressed.

  • (3 years ago)

    My child went to FPCS for many years. After many terrible experiences we pulled our child out. Not once we were we ever late on a tuition payment yet when we pulled our child out I received a letter demanding a 10% withdrawl fee payment in full and if it was not paid within 2 weeks I would be sent to collections. Disappointing on many levels.

  • (3 years ago)

    Very unhealthy enviroment for our child. Situations are not handled properly Negative social skill teachings in such a small school. The playground is very very small and right next to the street easy access through the gates and there are so many times throughout the day when the gates were open. Very scary for us. Less than impressed with the leadership. No computer labs no library. My child left the school very behind in academics. Our child is caught up now and thriving. Our child is no longer attending FIrst Presbyterian School doing beautifully now!

  • (3 years ago)

    First Presbyterian Church School is not who they claim to be. The teachers are excellent but the administration side of the house needs cleaned out. The head of school lacks experience and doesn't have any background in administration or education.

  • (3 years ago)

    I paid 2011-12 tuition on August 3 and tried to cancel it on August 10th because we unexpectedly bought a house over the weekend. I accepted that the $165 registration fee was non-refundable but the school continued to bill me another $240 for withdrawing. Mind you $405 later my son did not attend a single day of school for that school year. I would say they are more concerned will filling pockets than they are about teaching and extending Christian values.

  • (7 years ago)

    Our child has been enrolled at FPCS for the last 5 years. The school is known for it's preschool. These young preschool children learn to sign and sing the words to songs they learn the alphabet write their names phone # addresses all before kindergarten. The school goes up to the fifth grade. At the time we are going through a transition with no principal. One of the school board members has started to fill in by being the head of school. The elementary classes provide specialist such as Art PE Spanish Latin Music and Drama. There are no computer labs nor a library that children can check out books. As for hot lunches and buying milk you would bring your own. For recess there is a few balls and a basketball hoop. Strangers can walk through the gates at any time when the children are out side playing.

  • (7 years ago)

    I have two children attending the school and we wouldn't have our children go anywhere else.

  • (8 years ago)

    I currently have 3 children in FPCS and I absolutely love the education they have been getting. Classical education is important to me and my family. Our school now goes to the 5th grade and teaches our kids how to learn and develope independent learning skills on the foundation of language logic and tangible fact. When I recieved my kids ITBS testing scores back I was so amazed at the heighth of our schools test scores compared to other private schools. Jennifer J

  • (9 years ago)

    My daughter has attended this school for two years now and the parent/family involvement is outstanding. The student to teacher ratio is also outstanding as is the quality of teaching. If you are searching for a private school for your child I would highly recommend calling for a tour.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 22 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools