We are in our third year at the school. Everything we have experienced has been fantastic. The curriculum, individualized attention and meeting the kids at their own achievement level is something you just don't find in the public schools. The love and spirit of this school is palpable and worth every sacrifice to send our kids here!
I would like to start off by saying I don't normally rate anything on line and or even bother with reviews because they can be misinterpreted. However I would like to take a moment to say that i absolutely LOVE - PES.... This school is like an extension of our home and values as well as learning. The teachers are FABULOUS - EVERYONE of them I am so happy that my son has found a school that allows him to be himself and grow to the heights that are limitless.
Thank you PES for doing what you do and NO words can describe how grateful we are to you for being here for our children. It is a true testament that with GOD all things are possible.
Sometimes I dont have money for alot of things but I look at my son and how HAPPY he is at school and it makes EVERY sacrifice we have worth it.
We the BLADES love you and please keep up the GREAT work you are doing
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.