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.