Welcome Back to the 2019-20 School Year

Welcome Back to the 2019-20 School Year
Dr. Bridget O'Connell

Dear Palisades Families,

Welcome back to Palisades School District for the 2019-20 school year! As we begin another great school year at Palisades, and I begin my ninth year as Superintendent of the District, I am pleased to spotlight a few recent accomplishments of our district with you. Some examples of our recent successes include:

* Accolades and honors received by our high school during the last school year, including: being named a School District of Distinction by schooladministrator.org for our Medical Career Pathways Program; named one of only 373 schools in North America (U.S. and Canada) honored by the CollegeBoard with placement on its 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll; ranked 38th out of 675 high schools across the state by Bizjournals.com; and recognized by US News & World report as a top high school nationally, in the top 17% of all high schools.

* Palisades Middle School was designated as a Don Eichborn School to Watch. PALMS joins an elite group of 41 schools in the Commonwealth of PA and 480 schools across the nation to receive such a prestigious honor. The Schools to Watch program is sponsored by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform. PALMS was evaluated on its academic excellence, responsiveness to the developmental needs of young adolescents, fairness in administration of programs, and efficiency of the structures and processes.

* PALMS AND PHS have both been recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as No Place for Hate schools. No Place for Hate is a self-directed program helping all of our stakeholders to take the lead on improving and maintaining a positive school climate so all students can thrive. These schools have designed and implemented school-wide bullying prevention activities and have formed student committees to assist with their development.

* The Positive School-Wide Behavior Intervention and Supports Program (PSWBIS) is now implemented at Durham Nockamixon, Springfield, Tinicum and PALMS. PSWBIS teaches and models expected school behavior in an effort to improve student achievement and promote a safe and positive climate where students are responsible, respectful, and kind. Springfield Elementary has been honored two years in a row at the state level, and Durham Nockamixon was honored last year for implementing this program with fidelity.

* Tincum Elementary earned a distinction as a Distinguished School by the PA Department of Education last school year. The school was recognized as being in the top 5% of Title I schools in the state for performance in math and language arts based on student growth assessment data. Tinicum was one of 158 schools recognized across the state.

* Our schools continue to surpass the state average on all standardized tests including PA System of School Assessment (PSSA), Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT), College Admission Test (ACT), and the average global scores for Advanced Placement (AP) testing. Furthermore, 90% of our students who attend college after graduating from Palisades High School, continue into their sophomore year. According to the National Clearing House (the organization that tracks this data across the nation), this is a strong indication of preparedness upon graduation from high school.

During the past eight years of my superintendency in the Palisades School District, I have focused my efforts on preparing students for college and career by ensuring all students have access to a rigorous curriculum, find relevance in their classes and program areas, and are supported academically and behaviorally to be successful. I am appreciative of the support of the community, school board, administrators, teachers, and staff. Thank you for helping to move our district forward. I eagerly anticipate another outstanding school year at Palisades!

Warm regards,

Dr. Bridget O’Connell
Superintendent

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