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Advanced Academics

Advanced Placement (AP) Classes

Offered at Decatur and Todd Beamer high schools, AP courses are rigorous, college-level classes. Students can earn credit or advanced standing at most of the nation’s colleges and universities by taking and passing AP exams, which are administered by the College Board. A variety of AP Classes are available in each school; please check the course catalog at each high school for specifics.

Cambridge CheckPoint Preparatory Academy

In Federal Way, this academy is offered to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Lakota and Sacajawea Middle Schools. Checkpoint offers a rigorous and relevant curriculum, and helps students develop skills for success. Upon completion they can enter Cambridge Preparatory Academy at Federal Way High School and an Advanced International Certificate of Education through Cambridge University.

Cambridge Preparatory Program

Federal Way High School offers this international, pre-university curriculum and examination system. Cambridge emphasizes the value of a broad and balanced study for academically able students. It aims to encourage the skills of independent search and investigation, the use of initiative and creativity, and the application of knowledge and skills.

International Baccalaureate

This international, academically rigorous program is designed to meet or exceed the entrance requirements of the most selective colleges and universities throughout the world. Many colleges and universities offer advanced standing or course credits to students with strong IB exam results. The IB program involves in-depth study in a broad range of subjects representing six fields of knowledge, followed by a series of oral and written examinations. In Federal Way, the IB Program is only available at Thomas Jefferson High School.

International Baccalaureate (IB) the Middle Years 

Thomas Jefferson, Totem Middle School and Kilo Middle School are authorized providers of the IB Middle Years Program. aThese schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education—that we believe is important for our students.

The IB Middle Years Program, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.

The program consists of eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction that provide a framework for learning within and across the subjects. Students are required to study their mother tongue, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year of the program, students also engage in a personal project, which allows them to demonstrate the understandings and skills they have developed throughout the program.

Todd Beamer High School is a candidate school* for the IB Middle Years Program and is pursuing authorization as an IB World School.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programs: the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP) or the Diploma Program (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programs, visit

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