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Palmer Elementary School5
Posted December 16, 2013
- a parent
My son just started at Palmer in Kindergarten this year. The school felt solid to me, but not exciting and had been our second choice. Now I am so glad we came here. Palmer got a new principal over the summer and she is great - very knowledgeable, approachable and involved. Palmer has had steady growth in test scores over the past years, and is now set to build on that foundation to become a really good, innovative and dynamic school.
My kids love Palmer! We have been at the school for 3 years and will continue thru 5th grade. My kids have thrived there. We are a multi-racial family and I love the diversity of the school. Hard to find in DPS. (My kids attended another DPS school in 1st grade and our family had to deal with some racism.) I have found that the teachers are very approachable and interested in every child in their class. There are many different extracurricular activities from sports to Shakespeare and learning languages. I have a friend who kids were a top performing school in DPS ((but where they did not feel welcome) who moved her kids to Palmer this year and they are loving it.
This is our first year at Palmer and my son is in the Advanced Kindergarten class. The school wasn't our first choice but we have been generally impressed. He is learning well and his class is learning together. Teachers are generally friendly and accessible and the principal is straightforward. She could be friendlier but you can't argue with the school's performance levels and improvement it has made. We are hoping to choice into the school next year and that should indicate our happiness.
Very happy with Palmer. It's in a nice, middle-class, safe neighborhood. I have two kids attending, one is an accelerated learner and the other has delays, but both have had the help they need and are doing extremely well. I think the PTA could use more parental support, but overall they do very well with the help that turns out. There are a plethora of after-school activities and in-school productions that kids can be as active as they want or as much as parents can withstand. The principal/staff has made changes that have improved the state tests over the past three years without changes to the school's demographics. The principal will not typically approach me, but is always open to talk when I've asked. The front office friendliness has improved over the the last year too. Overall, I have had a refreshingly positive experience. My kids are happy too and genuinely like going to school.
My son started at Palmer this year for 1st grade. On the second day of school I approached his teacher about my sons learning difference hoping it would give her early insight and together we could find a way to keep him engaged and teach him how to read and write. I was sent to speak with the special ed teacher about it. Everyone was so nice and assured me they would do everything they could. Days turned into weeks and into months. He has made very little progress. They have swept us aside unable to explain what, when or how. My son shows signs of Dyslexia and is on a long waiting list to be properly diagnosed. Do yourself a favor. If your child does not fit into the box that is our Public school system. Run away before its too late and seek the appropriate alternative or your child will get " left behind".
Palmer is an execellent school by any definition of the word. To know this, one need only to walk down the main hall, cheerfully decorated with student art work, or listen in on a classroom and hear the sounds of happy children going about their learning. I have been impressed with the wide variety of enrichment activities ranging from learning Japanese and Persian dancing to playing lacrosse. I love the school-wide wikispace where I can see what both of my students are learning. The principal's monthly newsletter highlights special school activities and recognizes students' work. She has been at all of the extra functions this year such as Math and Literacy Nights, the Easter Brunch, and open house. There are plenty of opportunities for parents to become involved like joining the PTA, volunteering in the classroom, and helping out with special activities such as RIF and the Shakespeare Festival.
The diversity of cultures of attending families is great. Palmer tries very hard to be a quality school but often falls short. The PTA puts forth great efforts although it is unorganized, as are most of the school functions. The school does not supply sufficient notice to parents for functions; field trips etc. and are disappointed if the outcome is not a success. The only time notice is given is if financial assistance/support is needed. The principal only focuses and pays notice to those that she is familiar with. I participated in a meeting held in the auditorium where the principal walked in, never introduced herself before speaking and sat in an awkward manor to which she had her back to parents. The office staff is unfriendly and unwelcoming. I m sorry to say that I've been disappointed with our experiences at Palmer but do hope it get better.
Most of the teachers are awesome at Palmer. The administrator has something to be desired. She hardly interacts with the parents and won't address you unless you say 'hello' first while you are standing directly in front of her. There aren't a lot of extracurricular activities. This school could be improved for sure!
There are definitely great teachers at Palmer... Ms Katie, Ms Mazooji, Mrs Fultz, Mr Hudson... + more. The principal needs to be more involved with the parents. It would benefit the school if she would address parents in a positive way. The feel of the school isn't as positive as it could be, hopefully some type of change will come and the school can blossom into an awesome neighborhood school.
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