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September 2009 1

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AIMS Announcement: MARK Your calendar for the below testing dates ( P l e a s e e n s u r e yo u a r e a v a i l a b l e i f yo u n e e d t o t e s t )

If you are an 11th or 12th grader who has not yet passed AIMS Reading, Writing or Math, or you have passed and want to improve your score, the exams will be given in October on the following dates: • • •

Writing, Tuesday October 27, 2009 Reading, Wednesday October 28, 2009 Mathematics, Thursday October 29, 200

Remember, passing all three AIMS tests is required for graduation. If you have not received additional information about testing by October 1st, please contact your Virtual Guidance Counselor. If you have passed the test, but would like to improve your score, please notify your Virtual Guidance Counselor no later than September 15th. Otherwise, you will not be included in the AIMS correspondence. If you do not know how to reach your Virtual Guidance Counselor, please call 480 755-8222 x2965.

What is A z cis? AzCIS stands for Arizona Career Information Systems. AzCIS is a website that can be visited at http://www.azcis.intocareers.org/. In order to log-in and utilize AzCIS you will use the following username and password: Username: virtualhs Password: 4azcis02

Passing AIMS test in Reading, Writing & Math are required for an Arizona High School Diploma.

Arizona Career Information System is a resource created by the Arizona Department of Education. It includes resources and assessments relating to occupations and employment, as well as education and training. Students can also click on “Education Career Action Plan” and register for a unique account in which their assessment and profile information is saved and stored. It may be fun for parents/guardians to sit down with their students and explore AzCIS and discover all it has to offer. STUDENTS: Don’t miss the Employer Locator on the homepage right side menu if you are looking for a JOB!!

In this issue... • Links Library - 2

• Top Ten SAT & ACT Test-Taking - 4

• Important Dates - 2

• College Board Code - 4

• Pinnacle Staff Spotlight - 2

• College Bound Action Plans - 5

• Tips of the Month - 2

• December Graduation - 6

• Parent Corner - 3

• National Suicide Prevention Week - 6 & 7

• Teen Parenting Tips - 3

• Contact Information - 7


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Links Library Links to helpful documents | Scholarships w/ October Deadlines | Scholarship Bulletin | Financial Aid Bulletin | Websites for College Bound | | SAT/ACT Bulletin | College Fairs Bulletin |

Tracking Sheets Did you know for each course there is a tracking sheet to guide you through the course in 6 or 12 weeks? These tracking sheets allow you to see how far along you need to be each week to meet your goals of finishing the class early (6 weeks) or on time (12 weeks). Use this great feature to stay on pace with each of your classes! Here’s where they are located: •Click on your course in Angel •Click on your “Lessons” tab •Click on the “Tracking Sheets” folder link • Week of September 6th, National Suicide Prevention Week • September 9th, SAT Registration Deadline for October 10th test. • September 15th, if you have passed the AIMS exam but would like to re-test for a higher score, notify your Virtual Guidance Counselor by this date. • September 18th, ACT Registration Deadline for October 24th test. th

• September 24 , College Week Live: Test Prep Webinar (www.collegeweeklive.com). • September 27th, NACAC’s Greater Phoenix National College Fair at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, Noon-4 p.m. See College Fair Bulletin in Links Library for more information. • September 29th, Tucson College Night at the Tucson Convention Center, 6:30-9 p.m. See College Fair Bulletin in Links Library for more information. • October 1st, if you are an 11th or 12th grader who has not passed all the AIMS exams (Reading, Writing and Math), you should have received AIMS information by this date. Notify your Virtual Guidance Counselor if you have questions or did not receive the information.

*Get the details from you VGC

Staff Spotlight Julie Godel - Junior Lead, Virtual Guidance Counselor • Julie graduated with a Masters Degree in Education Guidance Counseling in 1997 from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. • She is married to Randy and has 3 grown children Travis(28), Adam(24), Julie Go del Chelsey(20) and one grown step-daughter, Kristine(30). She has 7 grandchildren; Kalisha (13), Hannah (8), Ethan (8), Aden (5), Anthony (4),Kalin (4) and Skylar (1). • Julie moved to Arizona 6 years ago and has been working as an educational guidance counselor 4 out of the 6 years. • Julie has worked at Pinnacle Online High School for 1 year. • She does not like to cook but loves to eat and watch cooking shows. Favorites: Paula Dean, Rachel Ray and Sam the Cooking Guy. • Hobbies: Movies of all types (except horror), reading mysteries and spending time with friends and family. • Her favorite part of the job is helping students to be successful so that they can graduate!


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Your Child’s Pinnacle Team See the diagram below in order to understand how many people are a part of your student’s Pinnacle team. Each of these people, and their departments, are interested and invested in your child’s success. Get to know your child’s Virtual Guidance Counselor. This is the person who is going to assist and guide your student through this school year. Making contact with them, being available for them when necessary, reviewing a copy of your child’s Graduation Plan with them, and working together to help support your student is very important. The Online Instructors are also wonderful resources. Instructors are available by phone or email Monday-Friday and would be happy to help your child with their questions or concerns about the course and its content. Please, help and encourage your child to connect with the important people that are part of their Pinnacle team. And of course, feel free to do the same so that they can work directly with you in helping your student. Thank you for being an involved and active part of your child’s academic success. We appreciate you and we NEED YOU!

Teen parenting tips (Taken from the Arizona Department of Health Services, Women, Infants & Children division)

Top 10 ways to grow happy kids: • • • • • • • • • •

Let them decide how much to eat. Present healthy food as “treats.” Offer water instead of juice. Include a fruit and/or vegetable at each meal. Serve fat free milk to children over two. Use mealtime to strengthen family ties. Lead by example-“walk the talk” Create activities-for you and them-every day. Provide attention instead of food or the bottle. Encourage and praise their efforts

Child & Family Resources, Inc. Check out this website, Child & Family Resources, Inc. The “Programs” tab on the left hand menu has upcoming events and resources available all over the state of Arizona. http://www.cfraz.org/index.html

Top 10 ways to help babies blossom: • • • • • • • • • •

Hold them while feeding. Breastfeed or use iron-fortified formula for one year. Wait 6 months before feeding solid foods. Space new foods 3 days apart to check for allergies. Introduce the cup after 5 months of age. Take care of yourself to take better care of them. Read them to sleep. Don’t put pureed food in a bottle-they might choke. Stay current with shots-check with your doctor. Cuddle with them-make lasting memories together.

NOTE: The information from these lists is taken directly from the Arizona Department of Health Services and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Pinnacle Education, Inc.


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Top 10 sat & act test-taking Brought to you by the American School Counselor Association

1. Be Equipped On the night before the test you should gather everything you'll need: the admission ticket, a valid form of photo identification, several #2 pencils, a calculator with fresh batteries (for the SAT only), a watch, and a highenergy snack. 2. Don't Cram You've worked hard. The best thing to do the evening before the test is to get a good night's sleep. You've covered the content and you've perfected the skills. Now it's time to get in test mode -- calm, rested, confident, and ready. 3. Dress in Layers The climate in test centers can vary from sauna-like to frigid. Be prepared for both extremes and everything inbetween. You need to be comfortable to do your best. 4. Arrive Early You may want to scope out your test location before test day to ensure that you know where you're going. Getting to the test should be the least of your concerns. 5. Don't Spend too Much Time on One Question Each question is worth the same number of points. If a question is confusing or too time-consuming, don't lose your cool. Instead, move on to greener pastures. You can come back to hard questions if you have time at the end of a section.

6. Don't Look for Un-scored Questions/Sections The experimental section on the SAT is well-camouflaged. Sometimes the ACT contains experimental questions that are scattered throughout the sections. Do your best on every question--that way, you're covered. 7. Keep Track of Where You Are in a Section on the SAT, obvious answer choices early in a set may be correct. Obvious choices near the end of a set are often booby traps. 8. Guess Aggressively If you don't know an answer, don't leave the question blank or guess randomly. Eliminate the choices you know are wrong, then make an educated guess from the remaining options. Remember, if you can eliminate even one answer choice then it pays to guess on the SAT. On the ACT, students aren't penalized for guessing. Only the correct answers count toward their score, so it is better to guess than leave a blank. 9. Be Careful Filling in the Answer Grid Make sure you're filling in answers next to the right numbers. 10. Relax Your attitude and outlook are crucial to your test-day performance. Be confident.

Pinnacle Online High School - College Board Code: 030666 You will need this code for some testing registrations (i.e. PSAT/SAT, ACT) as well as certain scholarship applications.

Student Movie Critics Every month, we’ll be posting new movie reviews from students. If you would like to submit a movie review for the Pinnacle Post, please email your review to newsletter@pin-ed.com with your name & grade.*

ATTN: ALL Student Writers! If you are an aspiring author, poet, journalists, or just like to write - submit your personal article, poem, short story, etc. to newsletter@pin-ed.com. We want to see your work published in the Pinnacle Post!*

*Note: All submissions must be school appropriate and no more then 500 words. If you have a question about the content of your submission, please ask your VGC before submission. Unfortunately, we will not be able to publish every student’s movie review and/or personal written article each month. Keep submitting your reviews and/or personal written articles, we will do our best to rotate submissions from different students.


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College bound action plans Seniors Pulling Your Applications Together • Narrow your list of colleges to between 5 and 10 and review it with your counselor. Get an application and financial aid info from each. Visit as many as possible. • Make a master calendar and note: • Test dates, fees, and deadlines • College application due dates • Required financial aid applications and their deadlines • Recommendations, transcripts, and other necessary materials • Your high school's deadlines for application requests, such as your transcript • Ask for recommendations. Give each person your resume, a stamped, addressed envelope, and any required forms. • Write application essays and ask teachers, parents, and friends to read first drafts. Applying Early Action or Early Decision? • November 1: For early admissions, colleges may require test scores and applications in early November. Send your SAT® scores at collegeboard.com. • Ask if your college offers an early estimate of financial aid eligibility Get Financial Aid Info • Attend financial aid info events in your area. • Talk to your counselor about CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® and learn about it with Completing the PROFILE. • Use Scholarship Search at collegeboard.com, review scholarship books, and ask your counselor about local and state funding sources. Juniors Take the PSAT/NMSQT • At school, sign up early to take the PSAT/NMSQT® in October. Get PSAT/NMSQT tips and a free practice test. Start Your College Search • Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, preferences, and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college. • Jumpstart your college planning by reading about majors and careers.

• Use College Search to find colleges with the right characteristics. Start Thinking about Financial Aid • Talk to your counselor about your college plans and attend college night and financial aid night at your school. Use financial aid calculators to estimate your aid eligibility and college costs. Sophomores Plan for the Year Ahead • Meet with your counselor to discuss your college plans. Review your schedule with him or her to make sure you're enrolled in challenging classes that will help you prepare for college. Colleges prefer four years of English, history, math, science, and a foreign language. • Start a calendar with important dates and deadlines. • Get more involved with your extracurricular activities. • Use College Search to find out the required courses and tests of colleges that you might be interested in attending. • Go to college fairs in your area. Consider Taking the PSAT/NMSQT® • Sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT, which is given in October. Ask your counselor which date is offered at your school. Get free online PSAT/NMSQT practice. • If you're taking the PSAT/NMSQT check 'yes' for Student Search Service® to hear about colleges and scholarships. Freshman Plan for the Year Ahead • Meet with your counselor to discuss your college plans. Review your schedule with him or her to make sure you're enrolled in challenging classes that will help you prepare for college. Colleges prefer four years of English, history, math, science, and a foreign language. • Use College Search to find out the required courses and tests of colleges that you might be interested in attending. • Start a calendar with important dates and deadlines. • Get more involved with your extracurricular activities. • Go to college fairs in your area.

(Taken from http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/starting-points/index.html)


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December Graduation returns! Pinnacle Education is proud to announce that Decem-

completed before December 2, 2009 in order to participate in the ceremony. Graduation applications must be

ber graduation is back! Graduation will be held

submitted before November 15, 2009. Students must also successfully meet the standards for all three AIMS

December 16, 2009 at

exams by December 2, 2009. For those students who

7p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center. The

are graduating early, please see the Scholarship Bulletin link (in the Links Library) for information on how to apply

Mesa Convention Center is located at 201 N Center St. Mesa, AZ 85201. All courses must be

for the Early Graduation Scholarship Grant. If you feel that you are eligible to participate in our December graduation please contact your Virtual Guidance Counselor for additional information.

National suicide prevention week The week of September 6th is National Suicide Prevention Week. In this article you will read about the symptoms and danger signs of suicide, what to do if you or a loved one has suicidal thoughts, and common misconceptions around suicide. All of these resources were obtained from www.save.org.

Symptoms and Danger Signs Warning Signs of Suicide • Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide) • Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance) • Purposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging) • Anger • Trapped (feeling like there is no way out) • Hopelessness (there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism) • Withdrawal (from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies) • Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation) • Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior) Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood) Additional Warning Signs of Suicide • Talking about suicide. • Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.) • Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness. • Preoccupation with death. • Suddenly happier, calmer. • Loss of interest in things one cares about. • Visiting or calling people one cares about. • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order. Giving things away, such as prized possessions. A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.

Suicidal Thoughts:

What to Do If you have thoughts of suicide, these options are available to you:

• Dial: 911 • Dial: 1-800-273-TALK • Check yourself into the emergency room. • Tell someone who can help you find help immediately. • Stay away from things that might hurt you. Most people can be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. If You Don't Have Insurance The following options might be used: • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room. • Look in your local Yellow Pages under Mental Health and/or Suicide Prevention; then call the mental health organizations/crisis phone lines that are listed. There may be clinics or counseling centers in your area operating on a sliding or no-fee scale. Some pharmaceutical companies have "Free Medication Programs" for those who qualify. Visit the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website at www.nami.org for more information.


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National suicide prevention week, con’tD: last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

Some Common Misconceptions The following are common misconceptions about suicide: "People who talk about suicide won't really do it." Not True. Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," -- no matter how casually or jokingly said, may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

"People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help."

"Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy."

Not True. Studies of suicide victims have shown that more then half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths and a majority had seen a medical professional within 1 month of their death.

Not True. Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They may be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are always signs of mental illness and are not signs of psychosis.

"Talking about suicide may give someone the idea." Not True. You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true -- bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.

"If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her." Not True. Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, and most waver until the very

The 2009-2010 school year is off to a great start! We want to encourage student’s to be sure and log all off-line (outside of class) time in the time application that pops up when you enter each class. Remember, online and off-line time is like attendance and is very important!

Pinnacle Online High School Phone Contacts

Follow Us!

Office: (480)755-8222 Long Distance: 1-888-567-1844 English Department: Extension 2734 Math Department: Extension 2748 Science/Electives Department: Extension 2729 Social Studies Department: Extension 2720 Student Services (Guidance Counselors): Extension 2965 Published by Pinnacle Education Inc. © 2009 *Disclaimer: You are receiving this newsletter because you are a registered student or student parent at Pinnacle Online High School.


Pinnacle Post - September Issue