Expanded Public Academy offers tours

The first of a series of open houses for the newly expanded Federal Way Public Academy will be held today at 9:30 a.m. at the Public Academy campus.

Principal Ray Griffin said the open houses are part of the academy’s recruitment program.

“We have to entice people to come here, though that’s getting easier and easier,” he said.

Following a question and answer presentation, interested parents and students will be able to tour the school and drop in to see some of the classes in action.

The school board last month approved a three-year contract for the academy, expanding the school from grades seven through nine to grades six through 10. The board also agreed to begin searching for a larger facility to house an ever-growing number of interested students.

The academy will begin enrolling 10th-graders in 2002 and sixth-graders in 2003, when the district transitions to a middle school system.

The academics-oriented academy prides itself on setting young students up for achievement. Once they complete 10th grade at the academy, they’ll be faced with several options, Griffin said.

Academy graduates will be prepared for advanced programs in their junior years, like honors, advanced placement and the IB program at Thomas Jefferson High School.

Of the 27 ninth-graders who left the public academy last year, 15 went on to Thomas Jefferson with the intent of enrolling in the IB program.

Some academy graduates will be able to sign up for Running Start. Others will be able to pursue internships, apprenticeships, international exchange or study abroad programs.

“The intention was never to be a junior high,” Griffin said. “We’re planning to do a radically different proposal: a high school of two years.”

Open houses

In addition to the open house scheduled for 9:30 this morning, there will be an open house at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 and another at 9:30 a.m. March 13.

All three open houses will be held at the Public Academy campus, 36001 1st Ave. S. in Federal Way.

More information on the Federal Way Public Academy is available online at

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