skip to main content

About Us



Palisades Elementary School offers a student-centered, achievement oriented and character building education.  With the combined efforts of an innovative staff, involved parents and broad-based community support, our students are caring individuals who achieve at high levels.
As one of 36 elementary schools in the Capistrano Unified School District, Palisades currently enrolls 325 students in a diverse and eclectic beach community. The school's student population is diverse in its income level, as well as its ethnicity.  Numerous cultures and languages are represented; and students’ cross-cultural friendships demonstrate their regard for one other as individuals.  Additionally, inclusive experiences with our students with Autism provide opportunities for learning about compassion for and friendship with students with special needs.
Instruction at Palisades focuses on an integrated curriculum, collaboration, data analysis; and, is fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Dedicated to Great First Instruction (GFI) strategies, teaching responsibilities within grade levels are shared to capitalize on the unique talents and expertise of staff members. Teachers meet regularly in grade level teams to analyze and respond to data and share best practices in order to meet meet the needs of ALL of our students. Weekly targeted intervention is provided to our students by name and by need.  The principal, 18 teachers, 30+ support staff members and parents work closely together in goal setting and decision making. All levels of learning are addressed by modifications, interventions, and/or depth and complexity. On any given day you will see teachers working in both small and large groups, teaching the critical reading skills of decoding and comprehension through a balanced literacy approach.  In the area of Math, Palisades’ teachers emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving skills components, embedded into their math instruction, as a result of extensive teacher training in Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) strategies. All of our teachers are eager to work with our young scholars on improving their critical thinking and problem solving skills; and, students have responded with a greater level of engagement and conceptual understanding.
Additionally, Palisades now has a fully equipped STEAM Lab, where students have weekly opportunities to solve challenges by designing, building, and creating using the latest technological tools. These novel experiences provide hands on opportunities to learn and apply coding skills, engineering concepts, and math formulas to create working robots, video games, etc. We work as a team to assist all Palisades students to become contributing members of society empowered with the skills, knowledge, and values necessary to excel in a changing world. We are a 21st Century Learning Collaborative, in which technology is incorporate into all facets of the instructional program. Technology is integrated across the curriculum to offer flexibility and practical use for young children. All 3rd - 5th-grade students are provided personal Chromebooks for use throughout their school day. Students in grade K-3 have class sets of Chromebooks, as well as access to iPads for intervention, enrichment, and free choice. Internet access, computer networking, and multi-media programs, are strong components of Palisades’ technology plan as well.
Character development and the enhancement of social skills are inherent in maintaining Palisades’ positive climate. The WAVES Character Counts program, along with our school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), serves as the backdrop for building sound character in students and guiding them to make good choices.
Finally, parent and community involvement are integral to Palisades’ exceptional education experience.  Organized by our incredible PTA, students, staff, and parents take an active role in both San Clemente and Capo Beach community events. Additionally, both our Education Foundation and our PTA support outstanding enrichment opportunities for all of our students throughout the year, and need your help and involvement to continue.  Our children’s educational experience at Palisades is truly a family affair!