Palmer Home School Reaches New Heights
In 2013, Palmer Home for Children formed a plan to address the specific educational needs of a few of their children. Out of this plan was born the Palmer Home School on their Columbus, Mississippi Campus. In their first year, the school served 6 students who benefitted from the small size and one-on-one nature of the classroom. In their second year, the school expanded to benefit 15 students, then 23 students, and this week, the fourth year will begin with 38 children walking across campus each morning to attend classes, where 4 certified teachers await them.
Pam Abrams joined the school in its first year as Educational Coordinator, lending her 30 years of teaching experience to the school. “It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” she says. Her role at Palmer Home’s school differs in a lot of ways than her previous years in the classroom. “It’s a different situation, because not only can I meet the child where they are, I have the chance to work one-on-one with each child on social skills, manners, etc. I can give them the attention they need. It’s more than just a job. Every little thing I say makes a difference for these children.”
While Abrams’ job is emotionally rewarding for her, the school has proven to be rewarding in every way. Many children who come to Palmer Home for Children have previously experienced lapses in their education. Some students arrive with significant gaps in their school records, and many test one or more years behind their grade-level. Others may have experienced trauma in their pasts that make a regular classroom setting especially difficult for them, both socially and academically. At Palmer Home School, children are able to overcome many of these deficits.
Through a customizable educational model, teachers can meet a student where he or she is, providing help and encouragement all along the way. Tutoring is available for students who need an extra boost, and children are immediately tested by a licensed psychometrist to assess their specific needs, strengths, and weaknesses. While every child is different, the goal is for every young person to graduate high school and pursue higher education, whether through trade school, community college, or university.
Palmer Home School has seen excellent results so far. Abrams reports on one student who was able to complete two grade levels in one academic year, and another who came to school without knowing any colors or numbers and is now reading, writing in cursive, and adding double digit numbers. Teachers at Palmer Home tend to measure the progress of their classes by the excitement and motivation they see in their students, but the numbers tell the same success story. At the end of last year, students completed the Stanford Achievement Tests to lend a better understanding to the progress they were making. The results showed that 96% of students at the Palmer Home school improved their scores in both math and reading. Any way you slice it, Palmer Home School is achieving great success and carving new futures for the students of Palmer Home for Children.