I have had 2 children recently graduate from the Palmer IB, Diploma Program. We chose Palmer not only for the IB program, but also for its wide variety in activities and the diversity of the student body, both economic and cultural. They both did well, and found activities and clubs that fit their interests and personalities. The rigor of the program and the community involvement greatly helped both of them with being admitted to the colleges they chose and receiving scholarships. The teachers were supportive and willing to take time out of their schedules to help students when needed. The only acception to this was the art department. It was chaotic and disorganized. Little to no actual art instruction was offered. Students were just told to explore different art mediums and create whatever they wanted. No guidance, no instruction, no improvement to the students' skills at all. That aspect was frustrating, but aside from the art department, Palmer was a good school experience for our family.
This is my daughter's 2nd year at Palmer as a Sophomore. We chose this school instead of others within our school district (2), and 12 because of the IB program and the wonderful reputation Palmer has. She went to North and continued at Palmer and has so far received an excellent education. Her classes keep her challenged and the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. There are plenty of sports, clubs and after school activities to keep kids busy and involved. Yes, it is an open campus in the downtown area and you will see people from different economic stratas which is important in developing good character. If you have a student who is easily led to temptations like smoking and drugs then I would not recommend Palmer for you because there are definitely some negative influences there.
I'm a Freshman this year, and Palmer is making it a really fun year for us! Link Crew is amazing and the upper classmen are really supportive. Teachers are fun, which makes learning easier and time flies by. The only negative i can think of is the druggies at Acacia Park, but you just have to know who to hang around and who not to hang around. And athletes need some serious help. But other then that, Palmer is a great High School! I can't wait to spend the next 4 years here! :)
Palmer has an excellent faculty who genuinely care about their students and an environment in which kids feel safe, welcome and like they belong. Without that combination, I never would have developed the educational foundation, community involvement and self-confidence that has carried me through college. I am so proud to be a Palmer alumni.
The academic programs are strong, especially with the International Baccalaureate program. There isn't too much in terms of art, but there are acceptable programs for sports, and there are quite a few extracurricular activities. Parents typically don't seem to be too involved, although some are.
I'm enrolled in the PHS IB Programme and that's the only reason why I go there. I don't like some of the teachers that are selected for this programme because several do not teach the curriculum well enough for the students to understand it - however, there isn't much to do because there are specific qualifications for a teacher to become an IB teacher. At times I feel TOO safe because now we have gates - they prevent the defacement of the school, but I never noticed the defacement beforehand, anyway. However, I guess more security is better than none. The discipline isn't strict enough because we can get away with skipping and a lot of the teachers tolerate frequent tardiness. All in all, PHS is a great school and I love that we have the opportunity to eat lunch off campus!