Posted March 15 2015, 11:22 AM PDT

Vashon Island Schools

As a resident of Vashon, you will join a community where education is given the highest priority.  Elementary, middle, and high school students will attend the Vashon Island School District.  This highly-acclaimed school district ranks 11th among all school districts in the Seattle area and is ranked 21st (of 220 districts) in the state of Washington. 

With only 1,500 students from kindergarten through high school, there’s a lot of room for one-on-one attention.  Teachers meet with each student regularly and the principals at all three schools know their students by name.  The high-caliber teaching staff and wide breadth of offerings have attracted almost 150 students to commute by ferry every day to Vashon Island.

The Vashon Island School District has been recognized for its excellence through such honors as:

  • 2013: McMurray Middle School’s (MMS) eighth-grade math team took fourth place at the state masters Math Is Cool competition
  • 2013: Vashon Island High School (VHS) received the Washington Academic Achievement Award, placing in the top 5 percent of high schools across the state.
  • 2013: VHS achieved Level 1 Green School status with King County for efforts in recycling and sustainability education.
  • 2011: MMS students took the top three spots in the Puget Sound region’s Patriot’s Pen essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
  • 2010: VHS’ debate team named WIAA IA State Champions.
  • 2010: Chautauqua Elementary School’s Math Is Cool team
  • 2009: VHS’ boys’ varsity basketball team won the state championship in their division. In addition, Vashon’s wrestling and football teams have competed at state level.
  • 2008: VHS was named the coveted Blue Ribbon School and a Washington State School of Distinction.
  • Ongoing:  Chautauqua Elementary School’s Math Is Cool team consistently place in the top three at the annual state tournament. VSH students have been recognized as Washington State Top Scholars (top 1%), Presidential Scholars, National Merit Finalists and scholarship winners, and Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Scholar Athletes.  Recent VHS graduates and currently enrolled students have earned state and national recognition in debate and video production.  The VHS band annually receives top honors in regional and state competitions, including the WIBC and Solo and Ensemble.  In 2010 the band was also invited to march in the Disneyland parade.

In addition, the award-winning Vashon Island Artists in Schools program (LINK) continually seeks artists from the island’s rich and diverse talent pool to teach teachers and students about their work as it relates to a variety of subject areas.

The district offers Link Programs; FamilyLink is an alternative education program that supports the educational goals of about 65 K-12 home school students and their families.  StudentLink, an independent study-based program serving 16 high school students, is one of two Washington State schools and 110 schools nationwide to receive recognition as a National Service Learning Leader School by the Corporation for National Service Learning.

Chautauqua Elementary School has over 70 staff members and 500 students pre-school through 5th grade.  Chautauqua is a school where children thrive academically through interesting problem solving and project-based learning opportunities.  Alternative programs are offered, such as, Spanish immersion Kindergarten, multi-age for grades 1st – 3rd and Spanish extension for 1st & 2nd grades.

McMurray Middle School, with over 400 students in grades 6 through 9, focuses on engaging, challenging and supporting students in literacy, mathematics, critical thinking and life skills.  Students participate in Community Days, student mentors, student clubs and leadership, homeroom advisory and student-led conferences which have enhanced the school’s climate.  All of Chautauqua’s sports teams received WIAA recognition as distinguished and outstanding scholar-athletes.  Eighth graders take part each year in Exploratory Week.  The purpose of Exploratory Week is to engage each 8th grade student in interest and career-based experiences that augment the McMurray curriculum and nurture social, emotional and interpersonal growth.

Vashon Island High School, with a student population of approximately 500 students in grades 9 through 12, is committed to a rigorous college preparatory curriculum with high expectations and grading standards.  The test scores are consistently in the top percentile, the graduation rate is almost 100 percent, and the college acceptance list is impressive.  Recent graduating classes have been offered admission to highly-acclaimed colleges and universities such as: University of Washington, Georgetown University, Vassar College, Colgate University and Loyola Marymount University.

VSH is accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.  The University of Washington recognizes the rigor of the VHS program.  In a five-year study comparing public and private high schools, Vashon’s students maintained the highest grade point average compared to their high school GPA during their freshman year at the University of Washington.

New AP courses including United States history, choir, statistics, trigonometry and advanced math topics have been added to the diverse course catalogue.  Additionally, new career and technical education courses, including veterinary technician, anatomy and physiology, botany, photography, leadership and filmmaking.