Even During a Pandemic, Students Flourish in Clubs and Activities

Open for face to face and online learn­ing since the begin­ning of the school year (August 31st), Palisades stu­dents, fam­i­lies, and staff have been work­ing dili­gent­ly to mit­i­gate the spread of COVID-19 in our com­mu­ni­ty, to keep schools open and allow face to face and online pro­grams (K‑12) to flour­ish for the near­ly 1500 stu­dents enrolled.

Limiting the num­ber of pos­i­tive cas­es among our stu­dents and staff has been in no small part because of the com­mit­ment of our school board, admin­is­tra­tion, fac­ul­ty, staff, stu­dents, and par­ents. The devel­op­ment of a Health and Safety Plan, which was Board approved in July, is the foun­da­tion for Palisades’ suc­cess.  Regular com­mu­ni­ca­tion about any pos­i­tive cas­es in the dis­trict, reminders about hand wash­ing, mask wear­ing and social dis­tanc­ing, as well as resources for test­ing, vac­cines and improv­ing men­tal health are con­sis­tent­ly dis­trib­uted across the dis­trict.  We are very proud of the sup­port of our entire school com­mu­ni­ty in mit­i­gat­ing COVID and keep­ing our stu­dents and staff safe and our schools open.

Academics dur­ing the COVID pan­dem­ic is just the begin­ning of the Palisades sto­ry.  Beginning in the fall, with the onset of our fall sports sea­son, our student-athletes have com­pet­ed in PIAA sanc­tioned ath­let­ics pro­grams as part of the Colonial League and District XI.  Our sports teams con­tin­ue past the win­ter months with post­sea­son meets for our wrestlers and post­sea­son games for both girls and boys bas­ket­ball teams.  Our high school’s march­ing band per­formed at games in the fall and went on to com­pete in local Virtual Marching Band Competitions host­ed by Cavalcade of Bands and Nationally through the University of Central Missouri.  Throughout the school year, mid­dle school and high school stu­dents also par­tic­i­pat­ed in the­atri­cal, as well as instru­men­tal and vocal musi­cal online per­for­mances which are aired for par­ents, guardians and oth­er com­mu­ni­ty sup­port­ers.  Heading into the spring, Palisades sports will con­tin­ue with base­ball, soft­ball, soc­cer and track.

And that is again, just part of our sto­ry.  Our nation­al­ly rec­og­nized Cybersonics robot­ics team will take to the world’s stage this year, com­pet­ing vir­tu­al­ly in a new plat­form with new­ly devised bench­marks for achieve­ment with teams across the globe!  Organizations like the high school’s debate team and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) par­tic­i­pants have also tast­ed suc­cess so far this year!  Educators, coach­es, and oth­er vol­un­teers in our dis­trict are all cre­ative­ly find­ing ways to engage and excite stu­dents.  From online work­outs for the field hock­ey team in our sta­di­um, to vol­un­teer­ing in dis­trib­ut­ing meals to our com­mu­ni­ty with the help of our Palisades Community Foundation, to the online cook­ing and craft­ing activ­i­ties for ele­men­tary stu­dents, our dis­trict and school com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers are cre­at­ing ways for our stu­dents to remain con­nect­ed to learn­ing in and out of the classroom!

Here are Several Outstanding Achievements for Palisades Students in a Year of COVID:

  • FBLA Team — Five stu­dents qual­i­fied for state com­pe­ti­tion this spring.  Jacob Curtin and Collin Schaufele (both Class of 2022) — Computer Game & Simulation Programming; Sarah Goggin (Class of 2022) — Personal Finance; Camila O’Donnell (Class of 2023) — Electronic Career Portfolio and Michael Zaleski (Class of 2023) — Business Ethics.
  • Cross Country Team — Palisades team fin­ished 3rd in District lev­el com­pe­ti­tion with Thomas Smigo (Class of 2023) tak­ing first place in dis­tricts. Two run­ners qual­i­fied for states — Smigo and Mitchel Campbell (Class of 2022); Smigo also took third place over­all among Class A boys in the state championships.
  • Girls Soccer Team — Palisades took 2nd place in District Finals.
  • Football Team — Palisades won District 2A Championship; Mason Smeland (Class of 2021) achieved 1000 yard rusher.
  • Girls and Boys Basketball — Both teams went onto post sea­son play; Boys are con­tin­u­ing to District lev­el play­offs; Trinity Williams (Class of 2021) named Colonial League MVP and scored her 1000th point this season.
  • Wrestling Team — Palisades team is this year’s Colonial League Champion; Ben Haubert (Class of 2021) won 1st place in region­al com­pe­ti­tion; Ben and Mason Smeland (Class of 2021) will com­pete in the Super Regional com­pe­ti­tion in March.