|Henry Foss IB World School|
2112 South Tyler Street |
Tacoma, Washington 98405
|Type||Public, Coeducational high school|
|School district||Tacoma Public Schools|
|Principal||Lysandra D.M. Ness|
|Number of students||700 (2018)|
Green and Gold and White|
Henry Foss High School is an American high school in Tacoma, Washington. Named after civic leader and tugboat tycoon Henry Foss, the school first opened in 1973. It is currently a part of the Tacoma Public School District.
In the spring of 2001, the school was selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an Achiever High School in Washington State. The school received a $9 million grant to restructure college preparation efforts, as well as an additional $100 million in scholarships. Among the efforts funded by these grants was a restructuring of the school into smaller "academies", a move unpopular with some faculty and students. In April 2004, a group of Foss sophomores threatened to boycott Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) standardized tests if the school board did not promise to retain pre-IB honors courses in English and history. The principal and school board promised to offer these honor classes in the academies, and the boycott was called off. However, the school ultimately removed the pre-IB classes and replaced them with Honors courses.
In March 2006, the faculty voted by a 60-40 margin not to apply for a renewal of the Gates Foundation grant; those opposed argued that the grant "destroyed good programs" in the school, including the IB Program and the "team teaching" structure. Shortly after, Tacoma Schools Superintendent Jim Shoemaker directed the school's principal to override this decision and apply for a grant extension.
Each year, Henry Foss High School participates in the Pierce County Daffodil Festival, a regional tradition since 1933. Each year a competition is held in the fall within the school, for the title of Henry Foss Daffodil Princess. Once selected, the Henry Foss Princess joins other area school representatives in competition for the title of Daffodil Festival Queen. A prestigious regional award, Henry Foss princesses often return to the parade as area celebrity alumni. At Henry Foss High School, every princess is professionally photographed, and her portrait is displayed alongside every other Henry Foss Princess in the school hallway.
Henry Foss High School is host to an AFJROTC program. It develops leadership, self-discipline, citizenship, and patriotism within students.
On January 3, 2007, 17-year-old student Samnang Kok was shot to death in the school's hallway as classes were about to resume after Winter break. The 18-year-old student Douglas Chanthabouly was convicted of Kok's murder, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.