Welcome to Palma School — we are happy that you have chosen to be a Chieftain and are committed to helping make your transition as smooth as possible. This section provides the information that new families often seek. If you don’t find the answer here, please feel free to inquire through the main office (422-6391) or the Dean of Students (422-6391, ext. 231).

Parent Orientation on Wednesday, August 8th, is now available on Palma's Youtube channel. Click here to watch the video.

Before the School Year Begins

Summer Reading  Summer reading is required. The summer reading list is posted on Quicklinks (found at the top of the website).
 
Immunization Record  New students must provide Palma School with a current immunization record that includes proof of Tdap and MMR, along with a birth certificate, before the first day of classes.
 
Emergency Contacts  All students must submit the Emergency Contact & Medication Administration form (found in Packet A within the July mailer) before the first day of classes.
 
Class Schedule  Your son’s class schedule is mailed in early July. It will also be posted on Renweb (through which students are enrolled). To access Renweb, click on the link at the top of the website. In Renweb, click on “Student Information” (located in the left margin), then “Schedule.”
 
Textbooks  A list of required textbooks can be found on Quicklinks under “Booklist.” The list will detail which books will need to be purchased. You can purchase textbooks or ebooks from any source you wish, just be sure you match the ISBN exactly. Parents sometimes offer to sell their used textbooks at the end of the school year, but this is usually done by word-of-mouth — there is no official book exchange.

First Week of School

Orientation Days are Wednesday and Thursday of the first week of school. Wednesday is for incoming 7th graders, freshmen and those who are new to the 8th grade. Thursday is for all students at designated times (see below). During these days, parents are able to purchase school pictures, the yearbook, Palma clothing, and the lock for your son’s locker. Locks are required to be purchased at Palma because the Dean of Students has a master key in the event your son forgets his combination. Palma logo wear will also be available during these days. Some purchases need to be made separately and some are not able to accept credit or debit cards. Bringing several checks will ensure you will be able to make the purchases you desire.
 
Wednesday — Orientation Day For Freshmen and Students New to Junior High
This orientation day is for Freshmen and students new to Palma’s Junior High only. Freshman orientation is from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm in the gym. Students new to Palma’s Junior High orientation is from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm in the gym. Students don’t need to bring anything. Their attire and grooming need to conform to the Palma Dress Code, which can be found in the student and parent handbook (an electronic version can be found on Quicklinks).
 
Wednesday — Orientation Day For New Parents
Two new parent orientations are scheduled this day. New parents of a high school student will have an orientation in the MPB (Multi-Purpose Building) from 8:00 to 9:00 am. Orientation for parents of new junior high school students will be in the MPB from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.
 
Thursday — Orientation Day FOR ALL STUDENTS
All students' attire and grooming will need to conform to the Palma Dress Code, which can be found in the student and parent handbook (an electronic version can be found on Quicklinks). Students should bring their iPads so they can be inspected for compatibility. Access to the school’s WiFi and Renweb will also be ensured. It is helpful if iPads are preset with log ins, contacts, etc. School pictures will be taken on this day for the yearbook and student ID (which students will receive this day). Students who wish to purchase photographs will need their filled out order form (located in Packet A which is mailed in July to enrolled families). Orientations by grade level will be staggered throughout the morning.
   Seniors at 8:00 am
   Juniors at 9:00 am
   Sophomores at 10:00 am
   Freshmen at 11:00 am
   Junior High at 12 noon
Each class will be dismissed at the conclusion of their orientation.
 
Friday — First Day of Classes
Period one of the school day begins at 8:15 am. Classes officially begin and students are expected to have everything they need. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase in the cafeteria starting this day (if desired, students are welcome to bring their own lunch). The lunch menu is available on “Quicklinks.” Lunch can be purchased in advance or at the cafeteria. Advance orders must be placed by 9:00 pm the night before.
 
Saturday — Red & Gold Chieftain Spirit Day
The first Saturday is reserved for Red & Gold Chieftain Spirit Day, a day of kids’ games, food and intrasquad football scrimmages that runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on the turf. Campus clubs are encouraged to set up information tables and Palma parents, faculty and friends get an opportunity to enjoy great food and community. There is no admission charge and your entire family is welcome to attend. A delicious BBQ meal is available for purchase/take-out.
 
Starting Times  The first period of school begins each morning at 8:10 am except on Thursdays when first period begins at 9:10 am. The Cislini Study Center and Cafeteria are open at 7:00 am every school day. The cafeteria has a variety of breakfast offerings ranging from $1.00 each to $5.00. There are also Red and Gold Block Day schedules on the calendar with modified class times. The bell schedule is available under “Quicklinks.” NOTE: The Principal and President are usually out front in the morning greeting students as they arrive on campus. You are encouraged to say “hello” as well, but are asked not to engage in “business” at this time so that they may be present for the students.
 
Weekday Mass at the Blessed Edmund Rice Chapel  Mass is celebrated every school morning at 7:30 am. All are welcome. Morning Mass is usually 20-25 minutes long and concludes prior to the beginning of first period. Students are not required to attend, but will be requested to attend from time to time with their teammates/classmates participating in an extra-curricular activity.

    • Palma School Campus

Policies of Note

You have acknowledged having read the Student and Parent Handbook and should be familiar with all of the policies at Palma School. Following are important policies to note:
 
Messages to Students A student will not be called to the front office for a telephone call except in the case of a bonafide emergency. Students will not be called out of class for items delivered including forgotten assignments, homework, apparel or lunches. Items delivered after the school day has begun will be available in the front office and it will be up to the student to come to the office to retrieve delivered items during his breaks.

Student Absences To excuse an absence, both a telephone call and note are required. A parent or guardian must telephone the main office prior to 8:15 am on the day, or first day, of an absence. The student must bring a note to the Dean of Students that is signed by his parent or guardian that states the dates and reason for the absence on his first day back to school. Students are not allowed to attend nor participate in any school activity nor practice on the same day he is absent from class. Missing three or more periods of class is considered an absence. If those periods are after lunch, then the student is prohibited from participating in after-school or evening school-related activities including sports.
 
Permission to Leave Campus Students are not allowed to leave campus until the day’s instruction has concluded, with the exception of authorized early dismissal for school-related activities.

Please see the Student Handbook found on “Quicklinks” for more details on these and all other policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • Who is Blessed Edmund Rice?

    In 1802 Edmund Rice, along with seven colleagues, founded the Congregation of Christian Brothers to educate boys in Ireland. To read more about Edmund Rice, click the “About Us” tab on the homepage, then click “Overview.”
  • What are the Essential Elements?

    These are the Essential Elements that constitute an Edmund Rice Christian Brother education. They are found in the “Overview” section of “About Us.”
  • What are ISOs?

    Integral Student Outcomes (ISOs) are the Spiritual/Moral, Intellectual, Physical and Social goals to which every Chieftain should aspire. They are found in the “Overview” section of “About Us” and in every classroom on campus.
  • What is the best way to know what is going on at Palma on a given day?

    Palma publishes a monthly newsletter that is distributed at the beginning of each month (mailed, emailed, and available to view and download from the website under “Quicklinks”). The newsletter has two calendar versions detailing school activities, sporting events, testing, etc., plus several flyers for upcoming events. You’ll want to save flyers for any special events that interest you since these are sometimes not on the master calendar. RenWeb is also an excellent resource. You can access this free of charge at Renweb.com or use the link located on the Palma website. Renweb is one of the main ways that the school communicates events and deadlines. Under “School” look for “Daily Announcement” or “Calendar.”  You can also access everything about your son — his schedule, school calendar, grades, daily homework, etc.
  • Is there a safe place for students to go while they wait for their ride home after school?

    Yes. Many students gather in front by the flagpole after dismissal; the gym is nearly ALWAYS open and boys gather there to shoot hoops or sit in the stands and do homework; or they can go to the Cislini Study Center or adjacent patio to study and do homework which are open until 5:00 pm (M-Th) and until 3:30 pm on Fridays. Unless students are participating in extracurricular activities under the supervision of a teacher / coach, parents are encouraged to pick up their son no later than 5:00 pm as few students are still on campus by then and there is minimal, if any, adult supervision on a high school campus after hours. 
  • Is there a Lost & Found?

    Yes, located in the Dean of Students’ office (#5 on the campus map). It is recommended the “Find iPad” app be downloaded onto your son’s iPad and that it has the Palma settings. In the event his iPad is misplaced the school can track it down to a specific room/area.
  • Is the dress code, including shave and haircut, really enforced?

    Yes. Sweatshirts must be Palma or an accredited college. Camouflage is strictly forbidden on anything (including backpacks and lunch bags). Polo shirts can be solid color, striped, etc., just prefer polo-style without large lettering and/or logos. It’s OK to wear polo shirts “out,” they do not need to be tucked in. No headware — very strict on this. Any type of shoe is fine except flip-flops, slippers, etc. Shorts are typically cargo style shorts — no sweats, workout/gym shorts, etc. If your son finds this dress code in conflict with your family / religious beliefs, please contact the Dean of Students right away to appeal to him for his authorization of possible exceptions. 
  • Should our son have Renweb on his iPad and cell phone?

    Palma will help your son set up his mobile Renweb access at the beginning of the school year. There is a free Renweb app and also an “extended version” app for $5.00. Some parents report that the $5.00 version is slightly easier to use.
  • Does my son have to attend the Palma physical if he has already had a physical with his doctor within the last 6 months?

    No. Simply have the doctor fill out his physical paperwork and upload to the athleticclearance.com website. Call the Athletic Director if you have questions.
  • How often do the boys have Mass at school during the school year?

    School-wide Masses are celebrated during the school day on or around the following dates:
    Assumption of Mary — August 15
    All Saints Day — November 1
    La Virgen de Guadalupe — December 12
    Ash Wednesday  March 6 (varies according to liturgical year)
    Founder’s Day — May (Thursday that precedes May 5, annually)
    School-wide Masses during the school day are about 45 minutes long, usually during class periods 1-3, respectively.
  • What are Lenten Masses?

    During Lent, starting the first Wednesday after Ash Wednesday, Lenten Masses are held on Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm in the Blessed Edmund Rice Chapel. Six Masses are celebrated with the last during Holy Week (right before Easter). A different grade-level Theology class will “sponsor” each Mass from which the altar servers, ushers, extraordinary ministers, and lectors are selected. Lenten Masses feature a different “guest” priest each week and everyone is welcome to attend.
  • Do students need to bring a Bible every day?

    Theology teachers review expectations for personal Bibles during the first week of school.
  • Is it okay to purchase textbooks from vendors besides Amazon or the digital link furnished on the book list?

    Yes, you can buy textbooks from other sources. Be extra cautious that the ISBN is identical. Don’t assume, because the covers look similar, that they are identical.
  • Why so many books when students have iPads? Why can’t we just download all e-books?

    Some publishers do not provide e-book versions. Where e-book versions are available, Palma provides links to access them. Academic departments make every effort to select premium text books integral to student mastery of course content in a college preparatory atmosphere. Affordability of and access to text books are also considered annually.
  • If both options are available, should I buy the digital or hardcover book?

    This option is up to you. The teacher may require a preference for one over the other. Palma's one-to-one relationship with iPad may be easier for you to rent / buy the digital version, which is often cheaper and easier to carry than a hard cover text book. For some classes, such as math, hard cover books may be easier from which to study. 
  • Where can I buy Palma SWAG?

    Palma logo wear and novelties are presented on campus for sale during orientations in August, the annual Saturday Red & Gold Chieftain Spirit Day, and at home football games, which are hosted at Rabobank Stadium, often near the concession stand. Small sizes often sell out fast. Retail store Ace High Designs (400 Salinas St., Salinas) is exclusively authorized to sell Palma logo wear and novelties, and custom orders may be made there also; a limited supply of products are also available online. Palma novelties are not available for purchase on campus.
Palma is a private, college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 through 12 owned and operated by the Christian Brothers Institute of California. Palma School is dedicated to providing young men an excellent education in a Roman Catholic environment that embraces the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education and challenges each individual to develop spiritually, intellectually, morally, physically, and socially.