Advanced Programs

Enrolling students for the future

Tacoma Public Schools sees the potential in every student and believes all students can be successful. That’s why the district is automatically enrolling qualified high school students into advanced programs or courses during the school year.
To help reach the district’s academic excellence strategic goal in which all students will perform at or above grade level, and to comply with a state senate bill, the school board adopted the Academic Acceleration and Rigor Policy in June 2013.

Only the second district in the state to implement auto enrollment into advanced programs ― also referred to as Academic Acceleration ― this will be a big step to further foster a college-going culture and prepare every student for life after high school.
TPS is committed to building equity in all schools. By increasing our cultural awareness of the students we serve, our teachers can effectively implement equity-based and culturally-responsive instructional strategies that help all students succeed.


Although each Advanced Program has a unique set of standards aligned with the many subjects offered, Tacoma Public Schools has a consistent focus on rigor and culturally responsive teaching. Each program is expected to provide a well-rounded, inclusive educational experience for our diverse learners. The college level content is intended to spark high level inquiry and discourse in a respectful, safe, and brave space. Students are encouraged to have academic courage and engage fully in class(es) and complete selected readings and assignments.  

Non-Discrimination and Equity Policy 3111

Academic Acceleration and Rigor Policy 2406

Academic Acceleration and Rigor Policy 2406 - Khmer

Academic Acceleration and Rigor Policy 2406 - Spanish

Academic Acceleration and Rigor Policy 2406 - Vietnamese

For questions about the supports provided to students at the school level and to answer any questions about school procedures, please contact the designated Advanced Academics Administrative Team Leader.

Also please refer to the Advanced Academics Family/Student Checklist periodically throughout the year, beginning now, to ensure you are meeting all appropriate deadlines and taking a proactive approach to success.

Advanced Academics Family/Student Checklist - Spanish

Advanced Academics Family/Student Checklist - Vietnamese

If you need translation for documents listed on this webpage, please reach out to the ELL Department for more information. 

Advanced Programs


Academic Equity & Access

Lyle Quasim

"Advanced programs give our students the opportunity to create the future that they deserve." 

Lyle Quasim
Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective

Plan Your Future on These Trusted WSAC Websites

There is no shortage of college and career-planning advice out there, especially online. Some is good, some is…not-so-good. So where can you find information that is correct and clear? The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) offers trustworthy web resources that can help you find the right education and career path for you.

  • WSAC Website
    Review WSAC’s Plan Your Future page for information and resources on college planning, career exploration, financial aid, apprenticeship, and more. Learn about Washington’s state financial aid programs and how to apply for financial aid.
  • College & Career Compass
    Explore your options with the College & Career Compass. This web-based tool will help you identify educational pathways that can lead to promising careers and a brighter future. 
  • GEAR UP Student & Family Resources
    Access free college planning resources on the GEAR UP website. GEAR UP links to quality materials and websites about planning your path, paying for college, visiting campuses, and building a support system.


School Contact Email Address
Foss AP Mark Kilcup
Lincoln Principal Karl Hoseth
Mt. Tahoma Principal David McColgan
SAMI AP Elizabeth Minks
SOTA AP Bliss King
iDEA AP Zach Varnell
Stadium Principal Shannon Marshall
Silas AP Allison Bennett
Tacoma Online AP Paul Eliot