Annie Wright Schools were founded as Annie Wright Seminary by Right Reverend John Adams Paddock and Charles Barstow Wright, who named it for Charles's daughter Annie, to educate the daughters of the pioneers.
In 1884, Annie Wright Seminary opened its doors to 46 students from the Washington Territory, Oregon, British Columbia and Hawaii. At that time, there were ten members of the faculty. The first school catalog outlined the offerings of Annie Wright Seminary: "For board, furnished room, tuition in English branches and Latin, and laundry service, $350 a year."
By the early 1900s, it became apparent that the school building was becoming too small to meet demand. A new location and building were desired to give the school its much needed space. Property was purchased on North Tacoma Avenue where the cornerstone of a new building was laid on June 9, 1924. Construction of the school was completed in time for the start of the 1924–25 school year and the doors opened to students September 18, 1924.
In 2009, Annie Wright Schools became an International Baccalaureate World School, offering the IB Diploma Programme, with the first diploma recipients in 2011. In 2015, the school was authorized to offer the IB Primary Years Programme in Preschool through Grade 5. As of 2017, Annie Wright Schools recently qualified for the Middle Years Programme as well.