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Test Your Knowledge

Question 1. The Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom, was a gift

  • from the state of California to the state of New York
  • from the United Nations to the people of North America
  • from the people of France to the United States

Check your answer at the National Park Service website.

Question 2. The tablet held by Lady Liberty represents

  • the rule of law
  • an immigration recordkeeping book
  • a computing device

Check your answer at the National Park Service website.

Class Trip 2017

Founding Fathers East Coast Tour

The 8th grade Class of 2017 is invited to take a 7-day 6-night trip with the Palms Middle School History Department for the Founding Fathers East Coast Tour. Eighty-one students will visit Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC during the week of Spring Recess in the Spring 2017 semester.

This will be the fourth year we've had an 8th grade class trip.

The tour is run by the Explorica educational travel service. Palms teachers will be the chaperones, with at least one adult for each 9 students. The trip is for students and teachers only, not for parents (not even as chaperones).

Although the registration deadline will be in November 2016, we have already reached capacity.


Trip dates

Discount for early registration by: April 30, 2016

Registration deadline: November 2016

Departing: Saturday April 8, 2017

Returning: Friday April 14, 2017


Registration Status

Trip roster is full

We expect 6 scholarships to be awarded

Waiting list will be available when the roster is full

Number of Students and Waiting List

There is a practical limit to the number of students that can be taken on the trip. In past years, about 50 students signed up before the start of the Fall Semester and about 20 more once school stared. The final total was 72 students in 2015 and 81 students in 2016. We expect to take a similar number this year.

Space has filled up fast for the 2017 trip. There was an initial cap on the number of students. Once the cap is reached, a Waiting List will be available. If enough students sign up for the Waiting List, we can reopen registration and take additional students.


Eligibility for the Washington trip is 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 will cover 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 2017 trip is $1,958 per student, with a $75 increase to $2,033 on May 1, 2016.

On the Payment page, be sure to click "I have a voucher code" and enter "SpringShowers2017" to get the $1,958 price during the month of April.

The price covers:

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

The price does not include:

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

Three payment plans are offered with no extra fees:

  • Pay in full.
  • Pay $50 deposit, then 9 monthly credit card charges of $198.00 and one of $201 in February 2017.
  • Pay $50 deposit, then 10 monthly checking account payments of $198.30 through February 2017.
  • Pay $99 deposit, $300 in 30 days, and the balance in January 2017.

Choice of travel protection plan:

  • No travel protection plan
  • Standard Travel Protection Plan ($84 extra): covers injury, sickness, flight cancellation, lost luggage, etc. (details)
  • Travel Protection Plan Plus ($126 extra): also covers cancelation for any reason (details)

See details at the Explorica website

Parent Information meetings

Informal Q&A: 7th grade parents were invited to stop by last Open House to ask questions:


Thursday April 14, 2016

Room 210

4:30pm to 5:00pm or shortly after 7:00pm


Information Q&A: 7th or 8th grade parents were invited to stop by last Back to School Night to ask questions:


Thursday September 15, 2016

Room 197

5:30pm to 6:00pm or shortly after 8:00pm


Upcoming: Mandatory Parent Meeting: meeting for 8th grade parents whose children are registered for the trip:


February or March 2017

Date to be announced



Day 7 photo 1

Students Will Visit...


  • Boston City tour: Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Boston Public GardenHarvard
  • M.I.T.
  • USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides"
  • Freedom Trail Walking Tour: Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, Old Granary Burial Ground, Boston Common, King's Chapel, Old State House, Faneuil Hall

New York:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Midtown tour: Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trump Tower, Times Square, Grand Central Station
  • Times Square tour: Broadway Theaters, TKTS booth
  • Ellis Island
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Lower Manhattan tour: Trinity Church, Wall Street, 9/11 Memorial
  • One World Observation at One World Trade Center
  • Neighborhood tour: Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, SoHo


  • Independence Hall
  • Liberty Bell center

Washington DC:

  • Memorials: World War II, Lincoln, Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, Martin Luther King Jr., FDR, Jefferson
  • National Mall
  • Tidal Basin
  • Washington Monument
  • White House
  • Mount Vernon
  • Old Town Alexandria
  • Library of Congress 
  • U.S. Capitol 
  • National Archives


Scholarship Contest

An essay contest was held to determine scholarship winners for the 2016 trip.

  • Nicole Heinze (1st place, $1550 scholarship)
  • Jennifer Rivera (1st place, $1550 scholarship)
  • Giselle Galindo (2nd place, $800 scholarship)
  • Mikaela Jackson (2nd place, $800 scholarship)
  • Joanne Lee (3rd place, $400 scholarship)
  • Taylor Robertson (3rd place, $400 scholarship)

Thank you to all students who entered the contest, and to Friends of Palms for funding these scholarships!

pictured from left to right Jennifer Rivera, Joanne Lee, Gisslle Galindo, Mikaela Jackson, Nicole Heinze and Taylor Robertson.


Explorica Trip Registration

Sign up for the class trip at the Explorica website:

On the Payment page, click "I have a voucher code" and enter the code " SpringShowers2017" to save $75.00 during April 2016.

For More Information