"Our school is known for our Christ-centered classical curriculum."
Students enrolled 165
Hours 8:00 AM - 2:45 PM
School leader Kerin Hughes
Transportation options None
Type no info
Before school Yes
After school Yes

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13120 Grand Palisades Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28278

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Map of Palisades Episcopal School address.

4 stars
Based on 36 ratings

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August 03, 2014
Our children attended Gaston Day before moving to PES. We have liked PES better - smaller class sizes and poorer performing teachers are mostly gone (although be prepared to supplement where needed). It is amazing the children feel like they are part of a community and support each other across the grade levels (plus k-8 only is so much better), so the learning atmosphere is just right. Sports opportunities are better for PES students (ie PES students play whereas other schools kids ride the bench). What PES could improve on is its sophistication with addressing low performing aspects of curriculum and/or teachers, and have a far better growth plan. We will keep our children at PES because we know PES challenges are manageable compared to other schools (where many of these same challenges exist, but the student community and learning environment is not at the level PES experiences year over year), the classes will remain very small and tailored to learning, and the better teachers PES is attracting and retaining will, over the long term, provide its students with an optimal environment that most other schools in the area have been unable to foster as a school culture.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2014
I toured 3 Christian schools before deciding on Palisades. All 3 offered similar teaching philosophies and class sizes, but Palisades struck me as the one place where forgiveness, a key Christian aspect, was practiced. And that has been true of our experience. My son is a normal, active child, and they work with him and the other boys to help them learn to manage their activity. Generally, girls are more willing to sit still, and in many schools, the boys are judged against a girl standard of behavior, but not here. The love shown to the younger children by the older children is heart-warming. My son loved one of the 8th graders so much that he invited him to his birthday party--and the 8th grader CAME! It's a newer school, so it doesn't have flashy facilities. I didn't care about that. I'm not into status symbols of any kind. I wanted a school where my moral standards at home would be supported at school. He can learn reading, writing, and math anywhere--but it's the way people treat each other that matters to me. I see the difference at the local playground--most kids are horrendous to others, including adults. I don't see that at Palisades.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2013
PES is a fantastic environment that enables my kid to be cool being smart. I have a 6th grader that tries to teach me about the use of distributive properties , explains the jokes that he can say in Latin and is working feverishly on the piano to learn Billy Joel s Piano Man for the talent show because his classmates think it s really cool. He and several of his classmates were awarded the Duke Tip award. I couldn t be happier about how cool it is at PES.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2013
For too long we hoped that PES would become the great school it professed to be. While there, the math program changed direction four times. Writing and grammar were afterthoughts in the classroom. Project-based learning was another catch-phrase like core knowledge--intended to impress but not implemented. Curriculum questions were often skirted. Specials like Latin are time-gap fillers, and teacher turnover was high. Communication was a constant struggle. Some classrooms were chaotic, and too often classroom management reflected poor judgement and leadership. The facility is disappointing. Parents were asked not to discuss their concerns with others. And students who have left report struggling to catch up. Do your homework when choosing schools. Ask to observe (not just tour). Ask how test scores are utilized (good schools share scores and use them to make improvements). Ask for examples of writing; ask to see text books/materials used; ask teachers about their classroom experience. And ask for examples of problem solving (i.e., recognizing learning challenges, discipline strategies, individualized learning). Be an advocate for your student's academic success.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2013
I love our school and all that it has done for our kids. I love to see how our children have grown with their friends, teachers and community. It is going to be a sad day when they go to graduate but their reward will be in the knowledge, confidence and love of learning they will take into their future. There is no other place like Palisades Episcopal School.

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2013
Palisades Episcopal School continues to allow our children to make gains, academically, athletically, spiritually and socially. We came from a previously mentioned public school where we were just a number. Our children were straight A students just memorizing information. The teachers at PES are very much certified and majority have their Masters Degrees. The test scores are high, but not every child can be in the 99th percentile. Our children are challenged and if a child needs additional help the teachers can direct them to the services needed. The current families are actively involved, realistic and loving. We came from a school with over 1000 students and were lucky to see 10% involvement. For families that continue to pressure their children to have perfect lives, perfect grades, perfect friends and perfect test scores PES may not be for you, but the hundreds of other schools out there will not be for you either. This school is a blessing and the current children and graduates continue to amaze us.

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2013
Although I wholeheartedly agree with the vision and mission of this school, I am deeply disappointed that they are failing to meet not only the high standards they have set for themselves, but even the basic academic standards we would have expected for our children at any school (private or public). You cant look at the standardized testing scores PES uses as a relevant marker bc IOWA testing is not used by any other valued private school in the Charlotte area. (This is not a coincidece). Poor standardized testing scores and failure of the lower grades to thrive given the small class sizes is directly related to the fact that the teachers are inexperienced (many of them not even certified teachers). Besides failing academically, the social and emotion needs of the children are not being addressed. There is constant strife and drama in the upper grades, bullying amongst kids in younger grades and no evidence that any of the teachers or leaders are willing to step in. If you're considering this school...Ask questions about standardized test scores, family turnover and teacher experience and credentials before you sign up!

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2013
My son just completed his first year at the Palisades Episcopal School and I am blown away by the difference one year makes! The Palisades Episcopal School has exceeded every expectation that we had as parents for our child. The hands-on, differentiated learning atmosphere along with the intimate clasroom size and low teacher-to-student ratio has been a perfect fit for us! My son is reading two grade levels above his current grade and he just finished Kindergarten! I cannot say enough about the amazing teachers who really are the heart of our school. All you need is to take a tour and you will feel the difference. People ask me all the time what makes the Palisades Episcopal School so unique and so wonderful. The short and easy answer is EVERYTHING. Everything about PES is unique and amazing. I could go on for days with my long answer to that question!

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2013
After 4 years in public school, we chose Palisades Episcopal School when we realized our daughter needed something more in her educational experience. In her first year at PES, she has been consistently engaged and challenged to do her best. We were so impressed with the school that we moved our son to the JK program after the first of the year. Both of our children have flourished in their academics as well as their spirituality and citizenship. At PES, children are seen as individuals with their own gifts to be nurtured. Teachers meet children where they are academically and help them grow in their own time. Lessons are often hands-on and not dictated by the writers of a textbook. Real world resources are utilized and time out of the classroom experiencing the lesson is just as important as the lesson itself. Growth is gauged by comprehensive review of the student s work. This approach has given us a better picture of how and what our children are learning. If you value individuality, rich curriculum topics and a community of respect not just for others but also for the art of education, then you will want to give Palisades Episcopal School a closer look.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2013
Palisades Episcopal School exceeded all of our expectations. Our son transferred to PES several years ago and has experienced the elementary and middle school programs. The quality of educaton is superb. The teachers are the most knowledgable and dedicated group of educators I have ever seen. The faculty are committed to developing strong minds through academics and stong hearts through character and faith building. I feel the quality of educational programming can be measured not only in individualized performance but also in the very impressive national test scores. The emphasis of serving others is demonstrated through meaningful community projects and mission trips. Palisades Episcopal School offers a sense of acceptance and community while encouraging each student to acheive academic excellence. We could not be happier with a school and we are deeply grateful that our son has had the opportunity to experience such an outstanding educational environment.

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2013
After touring all the well known private schools in Charlotte, Palisades Episcopal School was the choice we made for our children, and it could not have been a better choice. Our children are thriving in this school at the proof is not only in their happiness, but in their test scores. The curriculum, the staff, and the overall environment have exceeded all of our expectations. We could not ask for a better experience across the board. We are so thankful that PES is here. It is a truly remarkable place!

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2013
Words cannot express what an amazing school this is. We have been there 4 going on 5 years now and it was the best decision that we have ever made for our daughter. Every year after attending the year end review I cry and feel so thankful and blessed that we have this amazing place for our children. With each passing year the level of curriculum astounds us! I know each day when I drop her off not only is she being challenged mentally but she is in a warm, loving and fun environment. As as parent you could not ask for anything more! My mother has been a teacher for over 35 years and is contantly blown away by PES. She will express this often as she looks over homework, visits class or just has a simple conversation with my daughter. As I tell many people, it is a special place. If you are considering PES I would encourage to visit the school and see if it works for you and your family. For us it is the best thing we ever did!

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2013
PES has been such a wonderful experience for my children and our entire family. We came from a local public school where our children received perfect report cards every year, but could not tell us one thing they had learned. They were memorizing information and because they were A students they were lost in the shuffle. Palisades Episcopal Schools curriculum is challenging & engaging while teaching the children to learn and engage in the classroom so when they take a test/exam/quiz/write a paper they already know the information. Majority of the children are above average on National not State testing. The teachers are available and majority have their Masters Degrees. Yes, not every child can be in the 100th percentile, but if tutoring or additional services are needed the teachers can provide this help or direct the family to what services may be needed. Our children are confident, good leaders and are surrounded by children and families that believe in their strengths and their weaknesses. PES continues to grow each year!

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2013
Sending our kids to PES was a huge mistake. We thought we were going to a school that provided "a superior education". We were wrong, the education is mediocre, at best. The teachers are fresh out of college with no experience or aren't certificated. The education is particularly weak in writing, math and science I thought they were teaching my children "how to think", well if you haven't first studied basic math facts or grammar rules, you can't perform well. We are not alone, many, many other good families with smart children have left the school. The sad part is the Board and administration have their heads in the sand. I'm writing this so that other well intending families don't make the same mistake. We wasted some important years and a lot of money. We are left with very expensive tutoring bills to catch our kids up to their peers. I'd be surprised if the school makes it with the new "free" public school being built at the end of the street. Ask questions about standardized test scores, family turnover and teacher experience and credentials before you sign up! Everyone seems safe and loving, but there's not always a lot of substance behind the fluff.

- submitted by a parent
December 31, 2012
PES has been such an incredible experience for my son who is in his second year at the school! As a former teacher my expectations have been greatly surpassed. The love, compassion and commitment to each child's individual needs is comforting as a parent and sets a foundation of confidence and love of learning. My son loves going to school and he continually surprises me with not only what he has learned but how they teach him to think and come up with multiple solutions in any situation. My daughter will start JK in the fall and my husband and I are very excited to see her benefit from all the wonderful things that make up PES!

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2012
I cannot recommend third school, due to the current leadership. The staff is ok. Some teachers seem to really care, but others do not. My child no longer attends the school. I was told for years that nothing was wrong with my child. But I knew something was amiss. After further testing (on my own) I was right all along. I guess I would have never known as long as I wrote my check every year to PES. Cannot recommend, public would have been a better option.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2011
I can relate to every review whethr great or sub par. I agree, I often question the focus of Christianity in the lesson, when I looked at my daughter's calendar for JK it was a block of 30 minutes, which is not acceptable when you state you are a Christ honoring school. I can not speak on behalf of the Head of School and BOD because my contact was limited to " Hi -------" when they saw us. However what I can say, is when there was a lost of employment in my home, theyw orked with us, and did not hesitate to make sure we came back even with the financial difficulty and working with our family. I know that in CMS what my daughter learned in JK was being taught to the entering kindergartners, so the children are most assuredly ahead. I agree that the older children step up and acts as leaders and treat the younger children like family, with Book Buddies reading time, walking them to chapel on Thursday, my daughter would always point to a older child that was in 5 or 6 th grade and say there is my best friend such and such, as that child was a friend and a mentor. I do not feel there was any favortism, as we came from a bigger school where I felt like a stranger not a parent.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2011
Watching my sons grow and respond to the world, I am continually reminded that a real education is not a simple transfer of information, not a competition, but a gradual process of awakening compassion, deepening understanding, and fostering the development of imagination, curiosity and will. Learning well doesn't always mean scoring high on a test but it does mean acquiring the tools necessary to take on the most challenging work of all - becoming the person you were meant to be. The combination of structure and freedom, nurture and challenge, education and exploration Palisades provides has given my young man the opportunity to truly bloom and begin his path of discovery. It is a very special place and a refreshing approach to developing children. I challenge you to try to find a school any better.

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2011
PES is a wonderful school and I cannot think of having my daughter anywhere else. The teachers are wonderful individuals who find teaching moments in everything, not just classroom instruction. The curriculum is such that the subject matter is taught across all subjects. This teaches the students how the subject is intertwined in all areas - and they learn! From bird club to Latin, my daughter is learning so much more. For those that think the Board is hidden, I challenge you to simply look at the letterhead as all names of the Board are clearly identified and would welcome any calls. People who think the Head of School shows favoritism are just being petty in my opinion. She has children of her own at the school and these people cannot separate - or respect - the fact that she is sometimes "Mom" and not "Head of School" all the time. In the third grade, my daughter is learning Spanish (this isn't an immersion school ) and conjugating verbs in Latin. They are learning how God is great and how helping others is important in all they do along with being challenged in all subject matters. PES is wonderful and a blessing!

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2011
Very disappointed by our kindergarten experience last year. The class had 21 students all crammed into a tiny room. Absolutely no individualized instruction and negligible hands-on learning took place. Half of the students were too young for kindergarten and did not turn 5 until Sept., Oct. or even Nov. Faculty did not know how to motivate students to learn except by rewarding them with stars, stickers, treasure boxes, etc. Learning was not valued as a worthwhile activity in itself. The reward systems created a stressful environment that encouraged students to rush through their work. It was definitely not the "unhurried" environment that we were promised. Systems used for classroom discipline at PES were no different than what is found at the local public schools. Specials were a complete joke. Half-day field trips were numerous, rushed and often unrelated to anything that the children were studying. Parent involvement consisted mainly of fundraising and bringing sweets to classroom parties. Many parents are content with the school merely because it keeps their children out of the dismal CMS system. There are literally no other independent school options in the area.

- submitted by a parent
November 19, 2010
Very disappointed by the lack of quality leadership at the school. Teacher turn-over is VERY high (nearly 100%) in only a few short years in existence. The school claims to 'teach children how to think". This is NOT the case, rather it becomes a race to be done first and not produce quality work. We found our child's quality of work declining rapidly in order to appease the teachers desires to be done in hurry. Rewards were rampant, which is not how children should be taught "how to think". Look closely at the statement and mission of the school as many of the phrases are trite and meaningless. Lastly, realize that many of the reviews of this school swing from 1 to 5 with the 1's coming from parents who expected MUCH more for their children. The remaining come from parents who are pleased to find an alternative to a public school but aren't expecting much from their school. Parent involvement at the school only stemmed from fund-raising and very little education involvement. Very disappointed.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2010
WASTE OF MONEY what you receive here you can get at any school, even the free ones. They tell you it is a creative and individualized learning environment it is NOT it is all memorization, repetition, and conformity. Discipline and clip giving are just short of military school expectations - children are taught through fear, condemnation and negative reinforcement. Positive testimonials are either coming from teachers or administration whose children all go there, or founding families and friends of theirs, all of who receive preferential treatment and attention. Leadership is horrible, backstabbing, superficial and full of deception. The Board of Directors exists in name only; you cannot get contact information for any of them to voice administrative complaints. This was the worst year and investment of our lives.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2010
Our children have been at PES for three years. We have been so pleased with our decision. We are excited to be part of a school that is growing and thriving. Our children are being stretched mentally and spiritually. I have seen the administration and teachers pour their hearts into our children. My husband and I believe people, not buildings or playgrounds make a great school. My children love going to a place that is safe, nurturing and challenging.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2010
Terrible Waste of Money- Looking for a private school in the Charlotte area? Check out Providence Day, Charlotte Latin, Charlotte Country Day, or Gaston Day. The other reviewers are so right about nepotism. Another thing, the motto is "Teach Children How to Think". That is insane...children naturally know how to think. Scratch beneath the surface if you plan to send your child here. Would you pay $10,000 ++ a year for a "gymacafechapeltorium" and no playground and trailers? This school had so much potential and they got it all wrong.

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2010
We have been with PES since day one; its growth and success is due to the dedicated teachers and staff and the vision of the school leaders. PES is like an extension of our family; my children love going to school and have flourished because of the diversity of offerings and, as parents, we have enjoyed getting to know other parents who are dedicated to their children's academics and to their school. PES is only entering its fourth year, therefore it is to be expected that there is room for improvement. The BOD and administration are working hard to continue to develop and fine tune all aspects of the school. Not only is its growth and success due to the dedicated teachers/staff and the vision of the school leaders, it's also the amazing PES families who make it such a special place. Without a doubt we made the right decision.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2010
As parents of a student also identified as a Duke TIP scholar we would like to credit our students own merit for this achievement not the school. This school had potential. The lack of leadership has damaged the school. The reviews that have cited deficincies are spot on & can't be refuted. From our vantage point this is how we see it: NO Board accountability;NO teacher liasion;NO vice principal;NO txtbooks;NO set curriculum;NO print only cursive;NO nurse/1st Aid training;NO line between professionals of school & neighborhood families;Nepotism is king;Christianity only in name; Retention of great families & teachers is a real problem here. The board seems to have blinders on. As parents you are not allowed to petition the board & members of this board are not public knowledge. Only so many new families to recruit to fill these gaps. Will this be the eye opener?

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2010
We have three children at Palisades Episcopal School and couldn't be happier with our choice. The school's classical curriculum ensures our children are receiving an excellent liberal arts education where a mastery of reading, writing and arithmetic is an integral part of the program. All subjects are integrated which adds a depth to our children s learning that is difficult to find in other curriculums. The Christ centered aspect of the school's mission is apparent in every area lending to a school where children are taught daily to connect the head to the heart. Our children are excelling academically (as evidenced by our eldest being identified as a Duke TIP Scholar) and are learning to be great thinkers and citizens. We couldn't have made a better choice for our family.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2010
My daughter is in junior kindergarten at Palisades and I love it! The curriculum really gives the students a chance to explore and really apply what they are learning. Yes it is true that the curriculum is not scripted like in public schools, but that is what I love! This curriculum really gives the teachers a chance to be creative and let the children learn in fun and applicable ways. If you are considering this school and worried about there not being a scripted curriculum, I would advise you to get to know the teacher and I can assure you that you will be impressed!

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2010
If you are investigating this school as an option please look beyond the marketing plan to recruit your family. Ask the right questions you will see the severe deficits you get with a hefty tuition. Mixed bag curriculum with no text books really is the tip of the iceberg. There is no substance to the special classes such as Art, Technology, PE and Music. Foreign language is taught but we have seen no results. Large blocks of time spent in these subjects take away from valuable classroom time where math, science, and grammar could really improve. Couple that with several field trips every month, a mandatory club, and random staff celebrations little instruction time is left. The Christianity taught is left up to the teacher as there is no Bible course mandated by the school. No playground and very limited classroom space should be a red flag.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2010
Tremendously disappointing. Although the school claims to be a Christian school there is very little evidence in what is taught and how business is conducted. The academics are very weak and nothing is quantifiable. Many times I have no idea what my child is learning or where my child's reading level is. However, there is plenty of focus on fun and feeling good, and making sure everybody is happy. The leadership is weak and lacks the ability to provide a continuity in the curriculum and does not walk the walk of Christianity. The administration also socializes entirely too much with parents, crossing the line and making it difficult for her to be an effective leader. If you are looking for a school where every is made to feel special and the academic bar is set very low so everyone does well, this is the place for your child.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2010
My daughters have been going there for over a year and we love it. I could speak to the teachers love or the inspiring curriculum but the most wonderful part of the school is that everyday my children come home excited about learning and want to go back and learn more. That speaks volumes to me and the only regret I have is that we didn t start sooner. I have one in 6th grade and one in 3rd.

- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2010
My son has been a student of PES for 2 years now, starting in kindergarten. I can't say enough wonderful things about the staff, the teachers, the curriculum, etc. Each child is treated as an individual and they nurture each child's individual personality and natural abilities according to their needs. When my son started kindergarten he didn't even know his letters. After kindergarten he not only knew all his letters, he was able to read and write in cursive. Learned about all the continents and is most adept at math. He copntinues to build on that wonderful foundation. All the children are taught about faith, how to respect one another and themselves. There is no bullying and the older children take the younger children under their wing (so to speak). It is a truly loving & nurturing environment. My son loves this school as do we.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 21, 2009
We were among the founding parents of the Palisades Episcopal school. We were disappointed in this school for the lack of curriculum, lack of faith and lack of leadership. We observed a retention failure of great teachers and staff. We were also among the many founding families who had left the school for a better education for our children. Take care!

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2009
My child has been in this school for two years and we could not be happier. We researched so many schools and compared curriculum and really thought this would be the best fit for our child. Well it has surpassed our expectations! What an amazing learning environment, teachers that are so dedicated and will challenge each child in such a positive, nurturing way. We believe the schools is worth every penny and feel so blessed to be a part of this challenging, nurturing, Christ-Centered school!

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2009
As a parent of grown children and as a long-term weekly volunteer, I get to see the school through different eyes than most. I feel that the PES is a wonderfully nurturing environment where each child can learn at there own level. The PES staff are professional and engaging and the administration is supportive. Had I to do it again, I would send my children there.

- submitted by a community member
May 04, 2009
I cannot imagine my children attending any other school. Palisades Episcopal School is like an extension of our family. My children are not thriving but flourishing. There could be NO better school in the Charlotte area. I could not be happier with my experience. My children look forward to their days at school -- and that can be attributed to the incredible attention and nurturing they receive each and every day.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2009
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Palisades Episcopal School. It is the most loving environment where children learn early to love learning. My child loves going to school everyday and I have been amazed by what he has learned and he is only in the first grade. We looked at many other schools in the area before choosing Palisades Episcopal School. We moved to the neighborhood because of the school. Our experience with Palisades Episcopal School has far exceeded our expectations.

- submitted by a parent
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Palisades Episcopal School
13120 Grand Palisades Parkway, Charlotte, NC  28278
Last modified Palisades Episcopal School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
Palisades Episcopal School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 37 reviews.