West Sound Academy: an International Baccalaureate World School offering a college preparatory curriculum for grades 6-12 on the Kitsap Peninsula in Poulsbo, Washington. West Sound Academy transforms the lives of students by respecting and supporting the individual, preparing them for college and life beyond through superior teaching, excellent curriculum, and high expectations, and providing a safe community in an inspirational setting in which to grow and learn.
The West Sound Academy campus resides on twenty pastoral acres overlooking Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, Washington.
With views of the Olympic Mountains, our four modern buildings have state of the art science labs, a technology center, dance, drama and music studios, a library and seminar rooms.
Outside there are sports fields, a picnic area and an outdoor amphitheater, all set amidst old fir and cedar trees.
It is an ideal setting for students to learn and explore. Small classes ensure individual attention to students.
The average class size is 16, with classes ranging from 8 students to 21 students. Since our first commencement in 2002, WSA graduates have been accepted to over 225 colleges and universities.
WSA graduates, 2016-2020, enrolled at 36 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad, including: American University of Paris; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; Colorado School of Mines; Ithaca College; Lewis & Clark College; Maynooth University; Michigan State University; Pacific Lutheran University; Parsons School of Design; Pomona College; Reed College; Savannah College of Art and Design; Stanford University; The Hartt School, University of Hartford; Tufts University; University of Portland; University of Puget Sound; University of Vermont; University of Victoria; University of Washington; Washington State University; Western Washington University; Whitman College; Willamette University.

Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • School Type: School with Special Program Emphasis
  • Grades: 6-12
  • Students: 102 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $23,500
  • Acceptance rate: 81%
  • Average class size: 16 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

Upcoming Events and News

  • West Sound Academy moves to sliding scale tuition model - 01/24/2020
    West Sound Academy has adopted a more equitable, sliding-scale model for charging tuition its domestic and international students. The goal is to increase economic diversity among its student body and ...moreto promote fiscal responsibility in the operation of the school. hide
  • West Sound Academy to open “She Kills Monsters” - 11/11/2019
    West Sound Academy students will be presenting their production of "She Kills Monsters" a play by Qui Nguyen Nov. 15-17 at the William D. Harvey Theatre at Olympic College.

Top Rankings

West Sound Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Washington for:


School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 6-12
Year Founded
Summer School Offered
Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students
102 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 28%
Students by Grade
West Sound Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
10 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
16 students
Number of AP Courses
1 course
Advanced Courses
AP Calculus AB, IB Biology HL/SL (Group 4), IB Computer Science HL/SL (Group 4), IB English (Group 2), IB French HL/SL (Group 2), IB Language and Literature in English HL/SL, IB Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation HL/SL (Group 5), IB Spanish HL/SL (Group 2), IB Theatre HL/SL, IB Theory of Knowledge, IB Visual Arts (Group 6), IB War & Peace in the 20th Century HL (Group 3)
Average SAT score
Average ACT score
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
Each fall, the Board of Trustees sets a minimum and maximum tuition scale. The Board also sets enrollment targets for each level of the tuition scale. The 2021-2022 tuition scale is set at a minimum of $4,195 and a maximum of $23,500. Each family’s tuition rate will be determined on the scale based on the information provided in the Family Financial Worksheet. Families may also opt to waive the worksheet and commit to paying the maximum tuition. Families with income less than $250,000 per year are encouraged to complete the Family Financial Worksheet to determine their place on the sliding scale.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Lisa Gsellman
Admissions Associate
Susan Trower


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
11 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Dungeons and Dragons Club, Knowledge Bowl, Literary Journal, Queer Straight Alliance, Robotics Club, Social Committee, Student Council, Yearbook

Arts and Music Programs:
Drama Club, International Thespian Society, Musical Theatre Club

School Notes

  • Mission - West Sound Academy is a college preparatory school that graduates accomplished, creative, intellectually curious young adults prepared to contribute responsibly to the world.
  • Type of School - West Sound Academy is an independent college preparatory school serving students in grades six through twelve.  The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is offered for students in grades 11 and 12.
  • Location and Campus - West Sound Academy is located on a wooded, twenty-acre campus overlooking Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, Washington. The school's four buildings include classrooms, a library, a technology center, science labs, three teaching studios (art, theatre, and music), an art gallery, and a Commons. The outdoor setting and the magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains inspire students and staff. Outdoor facilities include an amphitheater, a playfield, and a sports court.   
  • Accreditation - IB World School, authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme; Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and Subscriber School, Northwest Association of Independent Schools.
  • Admissions - West Sound Academy admits students of any race, color, or national or ethnic origin. Qualified students are those who have sound academic records, a sense of individuality, are motivated toward discovery, demonstrate integrity, and have an abiding interest in their world.
  • Students - West Sound Academy students typically come from all parts of the Kitsap Peninsula and Bainbridge Island, as well as from eastern Jefferson County. In line with our mission, approximately 10% of our student body is comprised of international students. West Sound Academy is a diverse community that affirms and values people's differences. We have a multiplicity of backgrounds and perspectives within our school family, and mutual appreciation and respect are encouraged in our students.
  • Class Size - Class sizes vary according to grade level and course, but are always designed to ensure individual attention to students. The average class size is 16 with typical classes ranging from 8 students to 20 students.
  • Student-to-teacher ratio -  8 to 1.
  • Faculty - West Sound Academy's faculty is comprised of ten full- and part-time teachers, with an administrative and support staff of seven. The Academy's enthusiastic faculty of talented professionals fosters curiosity and discovery and stresses critical thinking and clear communication.
  • Curriculum - Providing a rigorous academic and art curriculum to prepare students for college, West Sound Academy is an IB World School, authorized to deliver the International Baccalaureate Degree Programme (IBDP) for students in Grades 11-12. The curriculum for Grades 6- 9 is centered on a pre-IBDP course of study, while Grades 10-12 have a selection of challenging college preparatory courses in the six academic areas of the Diploma Programme. The curriculum stresses critical and disciplined thinking, effective communication and scientific analysis, and creative problem-solving. Skills introduced and reinforced in the classroom, including critical reading, critical writing, and document analysis and evaluation, will prepare students for the rigors of the Diploma Programme and for success in college after their years at West Sound. Graduates leave West Sound Academy with the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.
  • Technology- West Sound Academy`s Technology Access Center provides new learning opportunities in the fields of robotics, programming, 3-D design, and graphic design.  This supports WSA's Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) initiative. The overall objectives of the Tech Center are to practice problem-solving, teamwork, making, and programming.  West Sound Academy has a Bring Your Own Laptop Computer policy.  WSA students learn appropriate use of technology so they can communicate effectively; collect, analyze, process, and present information; as well as master the technical skills necessary to succeed in college and later life. Students are provided Google Apps accounts which include email and other online collaborative tools. To best utilize online resources the school has a state of the art 10 MB+ fiber connection to the Internet with a campus-wide LAN and WiFi service.   
  • College Placement - 100% of the Class of 2021 admitted to college.Leadership
  • Opportunities - A host of leadership opportunities are available from serving as officers or grade representatives on the WSA Student Council to student leadership in community service, performing arts, publications (yearbook and literary journal), recreational clubs, and more.
  • Advisory Program - A small group of students is paired with a teacher for one or more years. The advisory groups meet on a weekly basis to discuss important issues and to record reflections on CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) activities completed by the student. The advisor meets with students, teachers, and their parents for two formal conferences during the school year and on an as-needed basis. All students and their parents meet with the student`s advisor and teachers for goal-setting conferences in September.
  • June-Term -  During June-Term the normal class schedule is suspended and students study one or two intensive classes of their choice for three weeks.  June Term takes place after spring semester finals. June Term provides a forum where students put the academic skills they had been building into practical application. Examples of June-Term offerings include: Money Management, Rube Goldberg (invention creation), Star Trek`s Influence on Culture,  Cajun Culture and Cuisine, Food Art, Craft Creations, Athletic Adventures, Gohn Dagow Martial Arts, Devised Theatre, and Music Ensemble.
  • Experiential Education - A year at West Sound Academy includes experiential adventures, beginning with the Fall Gathering. Faculty and students in Grades 6-12 leave the classroom to spend time outdoors on our twenty-acre campus, sharing meals and field games, while building friendships and strengthening the school community. Before classes even begin in the fall, Seniors depart on the Senior Retreat, with faculty leaders to a retreat center where they prepare for the coming year with team building activities, college essay writing, and class-bonding experiences.  At the conclusion of Spring Semester, West Sound Academy offers half-day and full-day June Term classes and the option for students to participate in experiential trips called June TRECs.  A June TREC ((Travel, Rethink, Explore, Connect) is designed to put students into unfamiliar surroundings where they can have new and different experiences. TRECs may involve outdoor activities such as rafting, sea-kayaking, or rock climbing. Other TRECs may include travel: domestic excursions to other regions of the United States or international trips to compelling and engaging destinations overseas.
  • Performance Art -  Annual school drama productions; presentations by documentary film and music students
  • Frodel Gallery -  WSA's own gallery occasionally hosts work by local professional artists
Profile last updated: 06/23/2021

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (10 reviews)
Our daughter has been at West Sound Academy since middle school, and she is now in high school. Before she started there, she was apathetic about school. This isn't everyone's experience at public school, but for her the classes and classwork were tedious and uninspiring. WSA's magical way of helping students discover their academic abilities and their individuality shifted her view of school and of herself 180 degrees. She is now an excellent student who knows herself and understands what she is capable of. We love West Sound Academy's mission and culture-warm, welcoming, inclusive, and an excellent college preparatory experience. The value, to us, is tremendous. During the pandemic, the school has continued offering that value, remotely. It is the closest thing to in-person school that I can imagine.
- Posted by
We are very happy with West Sound Academy. It offers a good approach to education, with an experience catered to each student. Class sizes are small, and the school itself is small — ensuring that all the teachers know each student and have a great experience.
- Posted by
We are new parents to WSA and can not say enough positive things about it. Our son suffers from anxiety and the public school system was not a good fit for him. He's a high academic achiever, but was so distracted by misbehavior that he wasn't getting an opportunity to learn. The WSA curriculum goes beyond that of the public schools to encourage the students to be creative and inventive as well as good self-managers.At WSA he is treated as a valued individual and not a number and I can send him to school knowing he will be safe. That is worth more than anything!The WSA faculty has treated us like a family and I am so thankful we have the opportunity to be a part of it.
- Posted by
My daughter attended one of the best public high schools in the state for 9th grade and found it lacking an educational challenge and lacking a sense of community. She knew No one At west sound and started at a 10th grader. The students immediately included her and it quickly has become a safe, friendly, welcoming community of students and staff. The academic work is both challenging and interesting and the small class sizes allow teachers to really give the kids the help or extra challenges that they kid to succeed. We`ve looked at so many schools both private and public and we are couldn`t be happier here. I really do think it`s rare to find a school that values academics and works so hard to train students to be caring, thoughtful, kind world citizens.
- Posted by
West Sound Academy is a wonderful school, and my child is flourishing there. The academic program is outstanding, and the excellent teachers are preparing her for success in college, while supporting her as an individual and giving her a safe place to grow. My family loves being a part of WSA!
- Posted by
I currently have two students enrolled at West Sound Academy. The curriculum is a great mix of arts and sciences, with the students having a fair amount of flexibility in the path they would like to take. For a small school, there are abundant activities and electives to be a part of, as well as a strong connection to the local public school and parks department for additional opportunities. However, what I appreciate the most about the school is how much they care about the kids, and the way each student is treated like an individual and managed accordingly. My two kids are very different in terms of academic and behavioral concerns. They both have a place at West Sound Academy, and are assisted in ways that fit them individually. This makes me feel so comfortable knowing they are being taught, guided and respected by people who truly care and understand how to help them grow.I am delighted we found the school and every day I thank my stars the kids go to school there.
- Posted by
West Sound was a game changer for our youngest. Smart, talented but shy and quiet, she got lost in the larger public school and was somewhat lost. That plus public school bullying led to feelings of depression. Things completely turned around a WSA. The curriculum is challenging enough for her, but there is so much support, no one ever feels lost or like they will fall between the cracks. If there is ever an issue, the school does it's best to look at the situation, listen to ones view, and work with all parties to solve the issue. No school is perfect, however I feel WSA is willing to address ones concerns in a fair and balanced way. This has been a great fit for us and our child.
- Posted by
I am so thankful for West Sound Academy and what it offers my daughter academically socially, and emotionally. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty, community-oriented, IB program allows students to begin college as sophomores (saving parents money), focus on math and science as well as the arts, everything I was looking for in a school and more. I am so impressed with this school, it is worth the tuition (and also offers scholarships & financial aid) and compared to Seattle private schools, it's a bargain for what each student receives. I''m so thankful to have this school in Kitsap County--it's truly filling a need no other schools around are. All classes are AP, and any extra help students need is there as well as a truly supportive faculty and administration. An incredible school for parents who want the best for their kids and for kids who want to do well academically and get a little more advantage when it comes to college and his or her future. Kind smart kids doing good things in the community (and the world), truly makes me thankful for West Sound Academy.
- Posted by
My sons have both attended West Sound Academy. This school brings to light the true value of learning. That education is the cornerstone in a person's life. The philosophy of creating creative, independent life long learners is seen throughout the entire community. The students are challenged, stretched, and nutured all at the same time. I believe an education from West Sound Academy prepares my child for the future at a level I never imagined was possible when I became a parent. There are caring invested staff. There is a rich international culture. There is a community of students wanting to grow and learn every day. I cannot even beging to put a price on what this school has done for our family.
- Posted by
We feel extremely fortunate to have found West Sound Academy. Coming from a homeschool environment, the small class sizes and welcoming atmosphere allowed our children to quickly gain confidence and thrive in this challenging academic environment. The faculty and staff are top-notch and truly treat each child as part of their family. More impressive, are the students themselves. They are extremely conscientious, well-rounded, polite, articulate and support each other. I continue to be extremely impressed with West Sound Academy.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2021-22)

  • School Type: School with Special Program Emphasis
  • Grades: 6-12
  • Students: 102 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $23,500
  • Acceptance rate: 81%
  • Average class size: 16 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Kitsap County, WA is $9,507 for elementary schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Kitsap County, WA is 88% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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