FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHO IS YOUR TYPICAL STUDENT? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STUDENT POPULATION?
Our students have language-based learning differences that impact their ability to reach their true potential in a typical education setting. A typical Pinnacle student has average or above cognitive ability and often have uneven learning profiles. For example, many of our students may have strengths in verbal abilities and relatively weaker processing ability. In terms of diagnoses, many students have specific learning disabilities, ADHD, or mild Autism (formerly identified as Asperger’s Syndrome.)
All of our students are socially motivated, academically capable, and can thrive when provided with the tools to be successful.
WHAT IS A SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOOL?
A special education school is a school for students who require an individualized approach to their learning in order to fully access their education. Most of our students qualify for Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).
ARE YOU A THERAPEUTIC SCHOOL? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Many people may be confused by this term and often incorrectly associate “therapeutic schools” with negative connotations. At Pinnacle, both therapeutic services and academic instruction are a focus for academic, social and emotional growth. To that end, our wrap-around approach with our students integrates interventions including specialists in school counseling, behavioral support, occupational therapy and speech and language services.
WHAT MAKES PINNACLE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SCHOOLS I AM CONSIDERING THAT ALSO HAVE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS AND SOME RELATED SERVICES?
The Pinnacle difference is our relationship-based, integrated approach to student growth. Before any interventions or strategies can be effective, we know that a trusting relationship with each student is the foundation. Our staff collaborate with each other, and most importantly, the students, to identify strengths and lagging skills and use Dr. Ross Greene's CPS model (Collaborative and Proactive Solutions). For example, in order to see academic growth in English and Language Arts, a student may require personal insight and awareness together with, perhaps, occupational therapy or talking with a school counselor. Working as a team, our staff coach students in the moment to develop lagging skills, learn how to effectively solve problems, and create small daily successes upon which we can build. Learn more about The Pinnacle Difference.
DO YOU GIVE HOMEWORK?
Yes, we give homework. The ability to complete independent work is a vital skill for college and beyond. We have an extensive executive functions curriculum that helps support students by teaching them the specific skills they need to successfully complete homework. If homework completion is an issue or it causes stress, we work with the student to problem-solve the cause and work toward overcoming those obstacles.
HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE IN YOUR SCHOOL AND WHAT IS YOUR AVERAGE CLASS SIZE?
Currently we have approximately 75 students enrolled in grades 2 - 12. Our average class size is 4 students. See Pinnacle At A Glance.
WILL CHILDREN ONLY BE WITH STUDENTS IN THEIR OWN GRADE LEVEL ALL DAY?
No, students will be exposed to a bigger social group than their grade since we place students into classes based on their instructional level, not their age or grade. Generally our classes group students within one grade of each other so that class composition is developmentally-appropriate. All our students rotate through a block schedule with a variety of students.
WHAT ARE YOUR SCHOOL HOURS?
School begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. every day except Fridays, when we end at 12:09 p.m.
DO YOU HAVE ADVANCED CLASSES AND ELECTIVES?
Yes, we do. Students may take advanced classes in any subject. We offer standard electives such as art, physical education, and music as well as robotics, coding, video to improvisation, drama, marine science, and photography. Electives vary from year to year based on student interest but many are offered consistently because they are always in demand by the students. Learn more about our Program.