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We help support our trip with a See's Candies fundraiser. Please support our fundraising drive!

Test Your Knowledge

How tall is the Washington Monument?

  • 55 feet?
  • 555 feet?
  • 5555 feet?

When was it first opened to the public?

  • in 1777?
  • in 1888?
  • in 1999?

Check your answers at the National Park Service website.

Class Trip 2015

Gettysburg and Washington DC Tour

The 8th grade Class of 2015 took a a 6-day 5-night trip with the Palms Middle School History Department for a tour of Gettysburg and Washington DC in the Spring 2015 semester. This was the second year we took this trip.

The tour was run by the Explorica educational travel service. Palms teachers were the chaperones, one adult for each 10 students. Class trips are for students and teachers only, not for parents (not even as chaperones).


Trip dates:

Registration deadline: November 2014

Departing: Saturday March 28, 2015

Returning: Thursday April 2, 2015

Parent Information Meetings

Parents of students interested in the 2015 trip came to one of the Parent Information Meetings on Back to School Night:


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Room 210

Either 5:30pm or 8:05pm


Another meeting for parents will be held in the Spring:


Wednesday, March 4, 2015


5:00pm to 6:00pm

Number of Students

There is a practical limit to the number of students that can be taken on a class trip.

Almost 50 students signed up by September 2013 and nearly 80 by October 2013. A final total of 76 students went on the trip.


Eligibility for the Washington trip was based on the rules for Eighth Grade Eligibility as of the Fall semester 20-week report card.

The "Travel Protection Plan Plus" travel insurance plan covers students who are unable to take the trip because they do not meet these eligibility requirements. The "Standard Travel Protection Plan" does not cover this possibility.


The cost for the 2015 trip was $1,728 per student, with a slight increase after October 1, 2014.

The price covered:

  • travel
  • lodging, 3 or 4 students to a room
  • tours and tourguides
  • security
  • tips
  • meal expenses

The price did not include:

  • travel insurance (see below)
  • souvenirs
  • airline baggage fees

Three payment plans were offered with no extra fees:

  • Pay in full.
  • Pay $15 deposit, the rest in 6 monthly payments.
  • Pay $99 deposit, $300 in 30 days, the balance in December 2014.

Optional extras:

  • Room with 2 students instead of 3 or 4: $175
  • Travel Protection Plan ($72): covers injury, sickness, flight cancellation, lost luggage, etc.
  • Travel Protection Plan Plus ($108): also covers cancelation for any reason

See details at the Explorica website

Students Visited...


  • Civil War Battlefield
  • Visitor's Center
  • Little Round Top
  • Observation Tower
  • National Cemetery

Washington DC:

  • National Archives
  • Memorials: Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, Martin Luther King, FDR, Jefferson
  • National Mall
  • Tidal Basin
  • Washington Monument
  • White House
  • US Capitol 
  • Library of Congress 
  • Ford's Theatre
  • Holocaust Museum
  • Civil War Battlefields
  • Smithsonian Museums (some of the following): National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • International Spy Museum
  • Arlington National Cemetary
  • Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial
  • Mount Vernon
  • Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Explorica Trip Information and Registration

Trip information was on the Explorica website:

Scholarship Contest

Friends of Palms generously donated funds for an Eight Grade Washington Trip Scholarship Contest.

All 8th grade students could enter, whether or not they were registered for the Washington Trip.

To enter the contest, students wrote an essay covering who they are, what inspires them, their travel history, and financial need, submitted to Mr. Nicholson by Friday November 7, 2014.

Download contest instructions

Scholarship Winners for Class of 2015

2014-2015 Washington scholarship winners

  • Alexis Marie Tappe, 3rd place, awarded $350
  • Amanda De Leon, 3rd place, awarded $350
  • Lila Avendano, 2nd place, awarded $700
  • Andre Hustace, 1st place, awarded $1400
  • Giselle Garcia, 2nd place, awarded $700

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to Friends of Palms!

For More Information