Palmer Middle School

Summary:

Palmer Middle School is a public middle school in Palmer, Alaska, serving 594 students in grades 6-8. The school is part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, which is ranked 8th out of 24 districts in the state and has a 4-star rating from SchoolDigger.

While Palmer Middle School was once a high-performing school, ranking 22nd out of 135 Alaska middle schools in 2011-2012, its statewide ranking has since declined to 67th out of 92 in 2022-2023. The school's SchoolDigger rating has also decreased from 4 stars to 1 star over the same period. Performance varies significantly across student subgroups, with the school ranking relatively well for Hispanic and Native American students but much lower for White, Multi-racial, and Special Education students. Academically, the school's proficiency rates in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science are all below the district and state averages.

When compared to other middle schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, Palmer Middle School generally performs worse than Teeland Middle School and Colony Middle School, which have higher proficiency rates and better statewide rankings. However, Palmer Middle School outperforms Wasilla Middle School, which is also in the same district and has similar demographic characteristics. The school's high percentage of students (45.45%) receiving free or reduced-price lunch may contribute to its academic challenges and should be considered in any improvement efforts.


Detail:

Public 6-8

 1159 S Chugach
       Palmer, AK  99645


(907) 761-4300

District: Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

SchoolDigger Rank:
67th of 92 Alaska Middle Schools

Per Pupil Expenditures:  $15,320 Help


Students who attend Palmer Middle School usually attend:

High:    Palmer High School

Feeder schools for Palmer Middle School:

Elementary:    Butte Elementary
    Sherrod Elementary
    Sutton Elementary
    Swanson Elementary

Student/teacher ratio:  20.7 Help
Number of students:  594

Racial breakdown:

White:
65.2%
Two or more races:
15.3%
Hispanic:
8.4%
more

Free/discounted lunch recipients:  45.5% Help


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Performance Trends
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Compare Details Palmer Middle School ranks worse than 72.8% of middle schools in Alaska. It also ranks 3rd among 5 ranked middle schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. (See more...)
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Compare Details In 2023 the calculated Average Standard Score was 29.77. (See more...)
Student Body
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Compare Details Racial makeup is: White (65.2%), two or more races (15.3%), American Indian (8.4%). (See more...)
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Compare Details 45.5% of students are receiving a free or discounted lunch. This is the highest percentage in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. (See more...)
Teachers
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Compare Details The student/teacher ratio at Palmer Middle School is 20.7, which is the highest among 5 middle schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District! (See more...)
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Compare Palmer Middle School employs 28.6 full-time teachers.
Finance
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Compare Details The average total spent per student at Palmer Middle School is $15,320, which is the 2nd highest among 5 middle schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.
Schooldigger 2023 Rankings:

Palmer Middle School:

SchoolDigger ranks Palmer Middle School 67th of 92 Alaska public middle schools. (See Palmer Middle School in the ranking list.)

Middle School Test Score Ratings by Student Subgroup:


Multi-racial students:
Special Education students:
Low Socio Economic Status students:
Migrant students:
Female students:
Military Connected students:
Male students:
Hispanic students:
White students:


Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District:

SchoolDigger ranks Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District 8th of 24 Alaska school districts. (See district ranking list.)


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Rank History for Palmer Middle School

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Rank History for all students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2005 67.13 45th 138 67.4%
2006 69.05 48th 132 63.6%
2007 78.33 26th 128 79.7%
2008 79.71 21st 132 84.1%
2009 83.76 14th 131 89.3%
2010 83.98 13th 136 90.4%
2011 80.79 20th 133 85.0%
2012 79.02 22nd 135 83.7%
2013 76.55 30th 136 77.9%
2014 74.68 34th 138 75.4%
2015 57.50 59th 151 60.9%
2017 41.43 55th 88 37.5%
2018 43.61 59th 96 38.5%
2019 31.17 70th 99 29.3%
2021 27.73 65th 84 22.6%
2022 20.77 76th 95 20.0%
2023 29.77 67th 92 27.2%
See the entire list of Alaska Middle School Rankings!

Rank History for Multi-racial students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2021 39.27 18th 30 40.0%
2022 26.26 21st 28 25.0%
2023 38.10 21st 31 32.3%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Multi-racial Students!

Rank History for Special Education students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2023 25.01 9th 11 18.2%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Special Education Students!

Rank History for Low Socio Economic Status students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 37.33 38th 64 40.6%
2021 35.71 28th 43 34.9%
2022 34.33 25th 43 41.9%
2023 36.24 35th 55 36.4%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Low Socio Economic Status Students!

Rank History for Migrant students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 43.39 12th 24 50.0%
2021 42.85 4th 10 60.0%
2022 28.61 7th 12 41.7%
2023 17.24 18th 20 10.0%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Migrant Students!

Rank History for Female students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 34.43 54th 74 27.0%
2021 37.91 36th 57 36.8%
2022 22.81 51st 66 22.7%
2023 33.74 46th 66 30.3%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Female Students!

Rank History for Military Connected students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2021 49.54 6th 14 57.1%
2022 9.36 17th 17 0.0%
2023 37.19 12th 17 29.4%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Military Connected Students!

Rank History for Male students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 27.17 56th 73 23.3%
2021 23.84 49th 62 21.0%
2022 19.93 54th 68 20.6%
2023 26.79 56th 72 22.2%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Male Students!

Rank History for Hispanic students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2022 32.25 12th 19 36.8%
2023 34.03 14th 21 33.3%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Hispanic Students!

Rank History for Native American students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 42.40 23rd 40 42.5%
2022 35.01 7th 16 56.3%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for Native American Students!

Rank History for White students at Palmer Middle School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Middle Schools AK State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2019 20.86 61st 72 15.3%
2021 21.13 52nd 58 10.3%
2022 14.55 61st 69 11.6%
2023 20.65 59th 75 21.3%
See the entire list of Best Alaska Middle Schools for White Students!

Data source: test scores: Alaska Department of Education and Early Developmenr, rankings: SchoolDigger.com

As you review the school rankings data, please be aware that some of the information from certain demographics is missing. The reason for this omission is that the data has been redacted from the source data itself due to low population samples in these specific demographic groups.

Redacting data from low population samples is a necessary step to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the results, as small sample sizes may not be representative of the broader population. Additionally, this measure helps protect the privacy of individuals belonging to these demographic groups.

Palmer Middle School Test Scores
Tests: 
  
Grades: 
  
Years: 
  
Group by: 
District Scores:
State Scores:    
  
Subgroup: 






Data source: Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

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Enrollment information for Palmer Middle School

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Year White African American Asian Hispanic American Indian Pacific Islander Two or More Races Not Specified Total
1989 449 1 3 1 32 n/a n/a 0 486
1990 483 9 4 5 34 n/a n/a 0 535
1991 499 16 5 5 50 n/a n/a 0 575
1992 575 11 4 3 42 n/a n/a 0 635
1993 633 5 4 4 41 n/a n/a 0 687
1994 625 3 4 4 48 n/a n/a 0 684
1995 658 6 7 11 64 n/a n/a 7 753
1996 658 6 7 11 64 n/a n/a 7 753
1997 644 5 5 14 58 n/a n/a 0 726
1998 699 4 4 15 58 n/a n/a 0 780
1999 683 9 7 11 68 n/a n/a 0 778
2000 640 8 10 6 71 n/a n/a 0 735
2001 606 9 8 10 79 n/a n/a 0 712
2002 600 8 8 6 65 n/a n/a 0 687
2003 600 8 8 6 65 n/a n/a 0 687
2004 612 14 6 10 75 n/a n/a 0 717
2005 551 14 8 12 69 n/a n/a 0 654
2006 582 13 15 19 83 n/a n/a 0 712
2007 547 14 12 9 67 n/a n/a 0 649
2008 535 9 11 12 84 n/a n/a 19 670
2009 512 8 6 16 70 3 16 0 631
2010 479 9 5 11 70 2 22 0 598
2011 476 6 6 13 63 2 9 0 575
2012 477 10 19 18 102 9 2 0 637
2013 437 13 23 18 108 5 1 0 605
2014 441 16 19 16 143 6 0 0 641
2015 406 17 13 16 131 7 0 0 590
2016 429 11 8 11 109 9 31 0 608
2017 384 13 7 15 105 7 30 0 561
2018 387 12 8 21 112 10 22 0 572
2019 367 15 9 32 109 8 23 0 563
2020 388 3 4 46 69 8 59 0 577
2021 326 4 5 34 51 8 63 0 491
2022 374 3 4 39 56 5 81 0 562
2023 387 2 7 50 50 7 91 0 594

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Enrollment/Ethnicity

For more information about how the Department of Education defines ethnicity, see Defining Race and Ethnicity Data, National Center for Education Statistics

Students eligible for free or discounted lunch at Palmer Middle School

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Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
1989 486 23.0 21.1 13.4
1990 535 25.5 20.9 11.6
1991 575 33.0 17.4 19.3
1992 635 33.0 19.2 9.6
1993 687 33.0 20.8 8.9
1994 684 33.0 20.7 8.9
1995 753 44.0 17.1 22.4
1996 753 44.0 17.1 22.4
1997 726 44.0 16.5 21.8
1998 780 43.0 18.1 30.1
1999 778 42.0 18.5 28.1
2000 735 37.5 19.6 30.1
2001 712 42.0 17.0 29.8
2002 687 45.0 15.3 33.2
2003 687 45.0 15.3 33.2
2004 717 40.5 17.7 32.8
2005 654 36.0 18.2 35.2
2006 712 41.0 17.4 37.9
2007 649 39.6 16.4 36.8
2008 670 37.5 17.9 38.7
2009 631 40.0 15.8 34.1
2010 598 38.8 15.4 35.6
2011 575 36.5 15.7 35.7
2012 637 33.5 19.0 41.6
2013 605 24.8 24.3 44.3
2014 641 30.2 21.1 41
2015 590 30.0 19.6 39.8
2016 608 32.0 19.0 40.3
2017 561 31.9 17.5 40.8
2018 572 29.7 19.2 44.9
2019 563 30.8 18.2 51.2
2020 577 27.0 21.3 47.8
2021 491 28.2 17.3 n/a
2022 562 30.0 18.7 n/a
2023 594 28.6 20.7 45.5

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Students eligible for discounted/free lunch:

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides low-cost or free meals to students in U.S. public and nonprofit private schools based on household income. Those with incomes below 130% of the poverty line receive free lunch, while those between 130% and 185% qualify for reduced-price lunch. The percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch serves as a marker for poverty, as it reflects the socioeconomic status of families in a given school or district. A higher FRPL rate typically indicates a higher concentration of low-income families, suggesting that the school or district may face additional challenges in providing adequate resources and support for student success.

Student/Teacher Ratio Palmer Middle School

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Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
1989 486 23.0 21.1 13.4
1990 535 25.5 20.9 11.6
1991 575 33.0 17.4 19.3
1992 635 33.0 19.2 9.6
1993 687 33.0 20.8 8.9
1994 684 33.0 20.7 8.9
1995 753 44.0 17.1 22.4
1996 753 44.0 17.1 22.4
1997 726 44.0 16.5 21.8
1998 780 43.0 18.1 30.1
1999 778 42.0 18.5 28.1
2000 735 37.5 19.6 30.1
2001 712 42.0 17.0 29.8
2002 687 45.0 15.3 33.2
2003 687 45.0 15.3 33.2
2004 717 40.5 17.7 32.8
2005 654 36.0 18.2 35.2
2006 712 41.0 17.4 37.9
2007 649 39.6 16.4 36.8
2008 670 37.5 17.9 38.7
2009 631 40.0 15.8 34.1
2010 598 38.8 15.4 35.6
2011 575 36.5 15.7 35.7
2012 637 33.5 19.0 41.6
2013 605 24.8 24.3 44.3
2014 641 30.2 21.1 41
2015 590 30.0 19.6 39.8
2016 608 32.0 19.0 40.3
2017 561 31.9 17.5 40.8
2018 572 29.7 19.2 44.9
2019 563 30.8 18.2 51.2
2020 577 27.0 21.3 47.8
2021 491 28.2 17.3 n/a
2022 562 30.0 18.7 n/a
2023 594 28.6 20.7 45.5

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Student-Teacher Ratio

Student/teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the total number of students by the total number of full-time equivalent teachers. Please note that a smaller student/teacher ratio does not necessarily translate to smaller class size. In some instances, schools hire teachers part time, and some teachers are hired for specialized instruction with very small class sizes. These and other factors contribute to the student/teacher ratio. Note: For private schools, Student/teacher ratio may not include Pre-Kindergarten.
Finances

Per Pupil Expenditures for Palmer Middle School

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YearExpenditures from Federal FundsExpenditures from State and Local FundsTotal Expenditures Per Pupil (All Funds)
2019 $1,484 (9.7%) $13,836 (90.3%) $15,320

Data source: Alaska Department of Education
Pre and Post Pandemic Data

Impact of COVID-19 on Palmer Middle School

The coronavirus has had a profound impact on education in America. Learning shifted online overnight, attendance numbers dwindled, and enrollment decreased. SchoolDigger.com is making it easier for you to better assess how COVID-19 has impacted your school. Through the collection of pre-pandemic (2019) and current data, SchoolDigger.com is sharing test scores, enrollment numbers and school demographics from schools across the country – and we make it easy to see how impacted schools compare locally and statewide.

Rankings

Rank
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Rank
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Ranks 70th of 99 Middle schoolsRanks 67th of 92 Middle schools
 2.1%

Test Scores

% proficient
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
% proficient
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
8th Grade Science (Palmer Middle School)50.738.4
 12.3%
   8th Grade Science (Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District)48.641.4
 7.2%
   8th Grade Science (Alaska)43.134.5
 8.6%
All Grades Science (Palmer Middle School)50.738.4
 12.3%
   All Grades Science (Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District)5146.5
 4.5%
   All Grades Science (Alaska)44.736.9
 7.7%

Student Body

Number of students
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Number of students
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Total Students563594
 5.5%
African American152
 86.7%
American Indian10950
 54.1%
Asian97
 22.2%
Hispanic3250
 56.3%
Pacific Islander87
 12.5%
White367387
 5.4%
Two or More Races2391
 295.7%
% Free/Discounted Lunch Recipients51.2%45.5%
 5.7%


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Frequently Asked Questions about Palmer Middle School

Students at Palmer Middle School are 65% White, 15% Two or more races, 8% Hispanic, 8% American Indian, 1% Asian, 1% Pacific Islander.

Students who attend Palmer Middle School usually go on to attend Palmer High School

In the 2022-23 school year, 594 students attended Palmer Middle School.

Palmer Middle School ranks 67th of 92 Alaska middle schools. SchoolDigger rates this school 1 star out of 5.


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SchoolDigger data sources: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Developmenr.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: Not all boundaries are included. We make every effort to ensure that boundaries are up-to-date. But it's important to note that these are approximations and are for general informational purposes only. To verify legal descriptions of boundaries or school locations, contact your local tax assessor's office and/or school district.





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