West Sound Academy

5.00 5 1 (6 reviews)
16571 Creative Drive NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Tel: (360)598-5954
  • 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 11, with classes ranging from 7 students to 20 students. Since our first commencement in 2002, WSA graduates have been accepted to over 180 colleges and universities.
  • These include some of the most selective schools and programs: American University of Paris, Mount Holyoke College, Pomona College, Reed College, Savannah College of Art and Design,University of California-Santa Cruz, University of Portland, University of Puget Sound, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Whitman College, and Willamette University.

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.Other school association(s)
International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
Grades OfferedGrades 6-12
Year Founded1998

Student Body

Total Students117 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 27%
Students by GradeWest Sound Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers15 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio8:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size11 students
Number of AP Courses1 courses
Advanced CoursesAP Calculus AB, IB Biology HL/SL (Group 4), IB Chemistry HL/SL (Group 4), IB English (Group 2), IB French HL/SL (Group 2), IB Language and Literature in English HL/SL, IB Mathematical Studies (Group 5), IB Mathematics 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 (Group 3)
Average SAT score1213
Average ACT score27
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineMar. 1
Yearly Tuition Cost$16,863
Tuition Notes$16,025 for Domestic Middle School and $17,700 for Upper School
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorLisa Gsellman
Admissions AssociateSusan Trower


Total Sports Offered3 sports
SportsDance, Kayaking, Rock ClimbingDanceKayaking,
Rock Climbing


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.11 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Knowledge Bowl, Listen to Your Art (annual music & arts festival benefit for The Trevor Project), Literary Journal, Photography Club, Queer Straight Alliance, Social Committee, Strategy Gaming Club, Student Council, Yearbook

Arts and Music Programs:
Drama Club, International Thespian Society

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, three science labs, four teaching studios (art, theatre, dance, 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 20% 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 is encouraged in our students.
  • Class Size - Class sizes vary according to grade level and course, but are always designed to insure individual attention to students. Average class size is 11, with classes ranging from 7 students to 18 students. Student to teacher ratio: 7 to 1.
  • Faculty - West Sound Academy's faculty is comprised of fifteen full- and part-time teachers, with an administrative and support staff of eight. The Academy's enthusiastic faculty of talented professionals fosters curiosity and discovery and stress 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 2017 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, to performing arts, to publications (yearbook and literary journal), to recreational clubs, and more.
  • Advocacy Program - A small group of students is paired with a teacher for one or more years. The advocacy groups meet on a weekly basis to discuss important issues and to record reflections on CAS activities completed by the student. The advocate meets with students, teachers and their parents for two formal conferences during the school year and on an as-needed basis. New students and their parents meet with the student`s advocate and teachers for "Get To Know You 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 adventures in the outdoors, beginning with the Fall Gathering. Faculty and students in Grades 6-11 camp out overnight on campus, shares meals and campfires, 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; artists speak at school assemblies and appear at evening receptions
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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (6 reviews)
5  11/24/2017
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
5  11/24/2017
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
5  5/17/2016
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
5  5/17/2016
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
5  7/24/2015
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
5  10/6/2012
An absolutely amazing school for 6-12 grade. Academics are a very strong focus as is kindness, community, and compassion. Faculty is incredible. They offer great financial aid (which has been fantastic for us as a middle class family) & WSA is the only IB program around Kitsap. Recommended for smart, motivated students who want to achieve great things in the world and attend college after graduating, and for parents who are disappointed with the local public schools and the "just get by" attitude.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average acceptance rate in Poulsbo, WA is 90% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).