Public Schools Eight school districts provide primary and secondary education to the majority of Thurston County's students. These districts range in size from rural Griffin, with a total of 657 students, to the more urban North Thurston Public Schools, which had 15,177 students during the 2017-2018 school year.
The majority of students attend school in the Lacey–Olympia–Tumwater area, accounting for approximately 75% of total public school enrollment. The fastest growing school districts between 1991 and 2017 were Yelm and Rochester. Tenino School District is the only district in Thurston County with an overall declining enrollment during the same period of time, likely due to a decrease in school-aged population.
Private Schools In addition to the educational opportunities offered by public schools, 20 State Board of Education-approved private schools in Thurston County provided schooling to a total of 2,078 students during the 2017-2018 academic year. Overall, 240 additional students have been enrolled in private schools since the 2000-2001 academic year - an increase of 13%.
Most students enrolled in private schools are in elementary and middle school grades. Seven private schools serve high school students, with two serving such students exclusively (Northwest Christian High School and Pope John Paul II High School).