We love this school and the school district. Excellent academically, small class sizes, individualized lesson planning, creative approaches to learning, educators truly care about students and about learning.
We really loved the community feel of the Palisades School District when we first moved there. However as my children moved into Middle School and High School, this feeling changed, about the same time as administration.
After having had roles that afforded me an insider view of the district, I was greatly disappointed in what I saw. Administration was primarily concerned with making things "look good" to outsiders. Unfortunately the impact meant less educational opportunities for its students. It was ironic that a district with so much "technology" could not offer students interested in STEM, a full AP curriculum to be as competitive in college admissions. Offering MOOCs/cyber courses are not an equivalent substitute for instructor-led learning, but quickly became administration's easy/no-low cost response.
Using technology and winning awards became such a priority at Palisades that the budget was shifted to "technology" while students were being told that the district couldn't offer certain classes. Placing kids in online courses with little teacher oversight, having them learn on tablets and blogging is not an adequate education. Students still need to learn directly from their teachers, learn how to write full essays, collaborate face to face with peers, and be challenged in their coursework to their fullest individual ability.
After we moved into another school system, we were excited to have additional AP courses available, extracurricular STEM clubs, field trips and access to competitions. These are educational experiences and opportunities that Palisades didn't offer.
Unfortunately, we were also surprised with some of the educational gaps that my children had. They were "A" students at Palisades; how could this be? Palisades Course Curriculum did not align at their new school and my children had to be moved to lower levels in subjects and writing skills were so deficient that an attempt at an AP course was not possible.
When I watched Palisades' PR videos, I didn't recognize the school being described - it's certainly not the real environment that students experienced and not the impression that the community held. Palisades used to be all about the students' education, now it's just a PR dog and pony show. A real shame.
PLEASE look at the decline in this district - it trickles down & can be tracked to when Dr. O'Connell took over. The downward spiral is evident in everything from test scores to morale. Administration does not LISTEN to students or parents (even when solutions and support are offered). There is a SERIOUS disconnect between teachers and students - no respect demanded or given. We moved here because of the "Blue Ribbon" status - that is seriously outdated. The community needs to look HARD and make things right for their kids. Drugs, lack of academic extras, NO college guidance. The FEW good teachers with experience are under appreciated (I REALLY appreciate you). Strive to be the best Palisades - not to be "not as bad as some of the other schools" - direct quote from administration. Shame on you. We're moving. You won't miss us because we CARE about our kids' education.
I have had two children go through Palisades but have witnessed a decline in the way this district operates. The students are not being put first. Administration and principal have a huge disconnect with students. This district also likes to portray that they have no problems and so they are not as transparent as they like to claim. My sophmore son is bored and he hates the ernviroment so much we have decided to get him out of there and send him to private school. Changes in leadership are needed.
My kids go to Palisades and I would rate it as 1 star. This is due recent incident where the wrestling coach got suspended due lack of support by School. The community is great, but the school and it's Principal are really not out for the interests of the students
They love to coverr themselves up as a perfect school, which means they dont like to admit the drug, behavior, and learning issues. The students are disrespectful and just plain rude.It has been decided I will be switching schools next year.Both of my brothers went here, and plenty of issues accured due to this "blue ribbon school".
I didn't feel comfortable attending this school what so ever. I am a junior, and i went to palisades from 6th to 10th grade. I switched to a cyber school because i hated the environment, the students were ignorant and rude, i was never comfortable there and concentrating in a class was impossible. I feel like i learned more at my elementary school before i moved and my new cyber school then i ever have in my 5 years of attending Palisades.
Palisades is known for being a good school, but as a student there I find myself bored in some classes. I also feel that were way to isolated! Some kids haven't a clue what your talking about if you mention things happening around the world, for example today a group of friends and I were talking about the scandal with the mayor in New York, and some kids in my class had no idea what we were talking about!
Palisades HS has a lot going for it in terms of a great community and wonderful kids but it does not prepare its students well for higher education. The courses are too easy and the standards are set way too low for kids that are capable of doing a lot more.