Principals Post

Welcome to 2019

The new year always causes time for reflection and anticipation. The year in the rearview mirror prompts thoughts of accomplishments and adversity that came with the past year. The year in the windshield conjures up thoughts of what's to come. In school, our freshmen may reflect on how fast their first semester of high school went. Our seniors have the gravity of realizing that 2019 is "their" classes year of the big commencement ceremony. From the school leaders perspective, I reflect on all the changes and the challenges that have occurred in 2018. There are priorities that I place on how we can improve our school and I would like to usher in the new year by sharing what these priorities are.

Our number one priority is school climate and culture. I have referred to this as focusing on creating a culture of caring. The American psychologist pioneer Abraham Maslow developed the concept that humans have a hierarchy of needs. The foundation of these needs includes food, safety, love, and self-esteem. For learning to occur these needs have to be addressed. The vision I have for Palmer High's staff is that all our students know that we care for them and that we believe in them. This is what sets the tone for our school climate and culture.

The second big priority is the focus on student achievement. We measure our student achievement in a variety of ways. PHARM is a homegrown system that we have in place that measures student achievement every four and a half weeks. The benchmark is a 2.5 GPA and no failing classes, and this annual measurement keeps students aware of their academic standing. Standardized tests is another measure of student achievement. Our annual MAP testing will measure student achievement from Fall to Spring. These test also provide valuable data that helps our teachers to improve instruction in areas that are identified through student testing. This makes our standardized test a valuable tool for both school improvement and student achievement.

The last emphasis I have is improving our campus. We have an older building, plain and simple. This year new lockers were installed. This was a much-needed facelift for our school and has made life easier for our students. Building improvement has been occurring on a daily basis this school year. I refer to this as lipstick and rouge, but hallways and walls are getting a fresh coat of paint throughout the building. We have been getting Improved lighting to start out the new year, and we are constantly assessing areas to continue to improve.

To conclude, I encourage feedback and suggestion for ways to improve our school. I value all of our stakeholder's feedback. Students, parents, and community members all have an invested interest in our school and I have an open door policy.

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E-Sports Has a Great Start at Palmer High

This year Palmer was one of the district school to establish an E-sports team. The program set the bar high by winning regions and advancing to the unofficial state championship this week. Palmer High fell short to Dimond High in a close and well-fought match-up. Congratulations to the students that competed and congrats and thank you's are deserved to Palmer High teachers Nikki Henry and Sarah Kitzan for giving our students this unique and enriching opportunity.