I really don't like the school that much. I am an actual student there, And I want to see friends & at least have a little free time but they don't like that it seems like. It seems like all they do is be strict over your Uniforms, Makeup, And jewelry! There very into you being plain, Like your shoes have to be plain! As well as your uniform. They give you Gym Uniforms also. They don't like hair in your face or anything. They have such a list of what they don't like. And it's so religious!! Every time you leave a classroom you have to pray and sometimes I just really need to get going. But they don't understand, They get mad! I'm personally scared because I always get nervous in class. I'd say if they calm down on rules and give us some social time then yeah it's good.
Coming from an actual student, I really disliked this school ever since I got into middle school. Kindergarten through fifth grade were ok. Then middle school (7th and 8th grade) was TERRIBLE. For one, the academics aren't the best. The teachers can be VERY hostile. A lot of them are not very willing to help all that much. For example, the math and science teacher there would literally yell at you if you had a question. He would only use power points to teach math, and he would blame the student if they were having difficulties learning. Another issue was how Palmer would invade the students personal privacy all the time! The women working there constantly gossip about the STUDENTS. It sickens me. No one at that school can keep their mouth shut. The women teachers in middle school would make the biggest deal out of the uniform code, it was ridiculous. I felt like they wanted us to look bad, so they could make themselves look good, or make us look like nouns. Just a tad bit of lip balm would have those women teachers giving you a long lecture about no makeup. They throw the BIGGEST fit. They might of preached the message of God, but boy did they never act on it themselves.
This school is amazing. The principal is incredible and runs a tight ship with a loving hand. She is very active with the children and knows every student's strength's. If they have a weakness that will need help with she is creative and thinks outside the box to make sure that student has the tools and support they need to be the most successful student they can be. The office staff is amazing! They are all kind, loving and hardworking. We have been at the school for 7 years and we love it! We have moved across country and have been some of the top schools in other areas and I feel like this is the best schools we have attended.
The enrichment classes are great. Spanish is wonderful. Students can learn the language from K-8th.
The emphasis on character as well as academic achievement can't be beat!!
We are very happy with Palmer, Mrs. Earp, and our daughters 4th grade teacher as well as the curriculum.
The middle school team uses pre AP strategies which is a big plus for students enrolling in high school honors classes. Palmer graduates are consistently in contention for valedictorian in their senior year in high school. Parents feel that the team also cares about each student as a child of God and encourages Christlike behavior.
We pulled our child out of a PVB public school after first grade. We are now in our second year at Palmer and have another child in kindergarten. The academics are equally good at both schools, but Palmer offers so much more. Obviously, religion was an important part of our decision to put our children at Palmer, but education is of upmost importance as well. We have been very pleased with the academics. I think Palmer teaches and enriches the 'whole' person. They do not have a 'gifted' program, but their program still challenges the children (you just don't get the braging rights that the public school's PACE parents get) They reinforce the moral we strive to teach our children at home and guide the kids to become caring, respectful, generous members of society. We did not see any of those morals being taught at the public schools.
Palmer Catholic Academy has been a wonderful school for my two children. The school is incredibly family oriented. When my kids were in 1st and 3rd grades, every teacher in the school knew them. It is a school of families with parents that are required to be active in the school. Every parent knows every kid. It is a tremendous feeling dropping my kids off, knowing that they are in safe loving hands. The school is disciplined so there is no nonsense in the classes. The spritual exposure is welcome in a society that is out of touch with family values. Palmer Catholic Academy has been awarded a Blue Ribbon School - only 10% of all schools (public / private) to receive this designation. Palmer take the national IOWA test for Parochial schools vs. the FCATS. This past year 2008, our students scored in the top 10% Nationally.
We have been very happy at Palmer! My daughter's teacher is always on top of her learning and progress. She is extremely creative and always prepared. You cannot beat the value based education tied in with a staff that greats you by name. My daughter is not a number here, and that is very important to me. We looked at the public schools (which are very good as well) but when it came down to it, learning by faith was best for our child. I am happy to be part of the Palmer family.
I totally disagree with the other reviews, this school is a blue ribbon A+ school. Their Iowa test scores (which is like FCATS in public schools) are always in the top 10% of the nation. I would never put my kids in a different school.
Great school. Small class size. Good discipline. Teachers and aides in classrooms. High parental involvement. Excellent library and music programs. Needs more sports, which should be mandatory. Blue Ribbon school. Sky high Iowa Test scores.
I agree with the last several posts regarding the administration and the level of academics. We pulled our daughter out after 1 'wasted' year in a classroom with 26 children. We had always thought she was bright but saw her performance diminish throughout the year at Palmer. To clarify if we were expecting too much, we had her tested and found that she is Highly Gifted. We are convinced that her sliding performance was due to not being challenged in the classroom, in fact being overlooked in the sea of other students, many of which had behavior issues. She is now in a gifted program and has thankfully regained what she lost last year. Administration is hostile, indifferent, and unwelcoming to parents. All of this is very different from my own Catholic school experience. Very sad.
This math program at this school is horrible. My child is in 4th grade and they use the Real Math Text Book. This is the first year they are using this text book.
Three yrs ago, we moved away leaving Palmer. While there, the math program had been poor. Seems like it hasn't changed. Palmer didn't even have a list of tutors. Teacher offered to tutor, but because our son hadn't learned the basics, it didn't help. She only reviewed the daily assignments and never revisited the basics. Palmer had been testing a new computer math program, that confused students and wouldn't allow them to move on unless they got 100% on everything. It wasn't until my son was in 6th, they stopped it. Damage done already, he was confused. Now in 9th, he has a tutor retraining him on all the basics. He's doing great now! Think of this as a glimpse into how it may be for your child in high school. Get help now if your child needs it. Take my advice, call the local public schools for a tutor list.
Two of my children graduated from Palmer Catholic, and my youngest I took out before any more damage could be done. Palmer punished children for ridiculous reasons and pried into their personal lives. They did not offer hardly any special help for my youngest child, who greatly needed it, and told me, if I kept my child at there school he would not get held back, but if I placed him in any other school, they would hold him back a grade. The people in charge of the school are unfriendly, bias, and hostile to some of their students for merely personal reasons that should be taken care of through the student's parents and not by the teachers and faculty.
Math program is terrible. I graduated from there and from having a poor math foundation, I struggle greatly. My writing improved greatly but that was due to a teacher who no longer works there. Their sports teams (of what they have) are pretty good - soccer and basketball being their primary successes. The rules for both the students and parents are overbearing and completely unnecessary.
I do not care for this school. Its math program was horrible and they have no lunch lines. They have very few sports, and they have no gymnasium. I swithced my child to public school and it was much better.
Academic programs are good - especially the primary grades phonics program. Lots of parental involvement - easy to meet other parents and participate. Students attend one class per week in PE, art, music and Spanish - just as exposure.
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