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October 2009 1

AIMS Testing:


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


If you are an 11th or 12th grader who has not yet passed AIMS Reading, Writing or Math - 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, 2009

* *

Remember, passing all three AIMS tests is required for graduation. If you have not received additional information about testing please contact your Virtual Guidance Counselor. If you do not know how to reach your Virtual Guidance Counselor, please call 480 755-8222 x2965. (Please ensure you are available if you need to test)

Have you seen our links library? Don’t forget to check out the “Links Library” on page two. Included are a variety of links to several helpful tools and resources. Parents and students alike will find great information on things such as scholarships, testing, and upcoming college fairs. Check it out!!!

In this issue...  Links Library - 2

 Parent Corner - 4

 Tips of the Month - 2

 Attendance Policy - 5

 Pinnacle Periodical - 2

 December Graduation - 5

 ECAP - 3

 10 Tools To Live Your Life Well - 6 & 7

 Staff Spotlight - 3

 Stress Management For Students “Webinar” - 7

 Important Dates - 3

 Free Netbook - 8





Links Library Links to helpful documents

| Scholarships w/ November Deadlines | Scholarship Bulletin | Financial Aid Bulletin | Websites for College Bound | | SAT/ACT Bulletin | College Fairs Bulletin | Federal Grant A | Borrowing C | Loans B |

New Resources: Every Pinnacle student has an Orientation class.

Inside the Orientation

class, under the Resource tab, are links to websites that assist students with skills such as time management, studying, and note-taking. Make sure and revisit your Orientation class and spend some time in the Resource tab at the top of the page. Also, remember to complete the “Student Survey� at the beginning of Orientation so we can help serve you more effectively!




PAGE 3  October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Ecap: Class of 2013, Parents and Students. The ECAP class that you are currently enrolled in does count for .5 elective credits. This is a mandatory class for all incoming freshman and will help you build your personal ECAP (Educational and Career Action Plan). Please make sure that this class is a priority along with your other classes here at Pinnacle, as you will be receiving a pass or fail grade based on your participation and completion of the course. If you have questions, concerns, or comments about your ECAP course, please e-mail the instructor through the course mail, or contact your Virtual Guidance Counselor. Also, for Pinnacle Participation points, check out our upcoming Stress Management Webinar program. Details on page 7.

 October 4 - Mental Health Awareness Week  October 8 - National Depression Screening Day  October 13 - Stress Management Webinar (Online Seminar), see page 7 for more details  October 1—15 - Registration for SAT (November 7th)  October 20 - PHOENIX-West Valley College Fair Location: AZ Northwest Christian School-16401 North 43rd Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85053 Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 Time: 6:30-9:00pm Name: Kimberley Wiedefeld Organization: Azusa Pacific University Phone: 626-8153899 Email:  October 30—November 12 Registration for SAT (December 5th)


Staff Spotlight Anielka D. Contreras -

America, where she traveled to Belize, Honduras and Guatemala as an ambassador to the multitude of community service projects in these areas.

Manager of Student Services (Juniors and Seniors)

 Serves on various community boards such as: Mujer, Inc. and Mountain Park Health Center Foundation.

 A native of Nicaragua.  Raised in a small silver mining community of Carson City, Nevada.  Graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a BA in Political Science and Spanish Literature.

Anielka D

. Contre


 Previously a Program Director of Anytown Arizona, Inc.  In 2007, Anielka was selected for Rotary International’s Group Study Exchange Program to Central

 Awarded the Phoenix Business Journal’s ‘40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 Award’ for 2009 through the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  Anielka is currently in the class 31 for Valley Leadership Institute, a nine month leadership program designed to engage and inspire current emerging leaders to serve and transform their communities.  She enjoys travel, reading, designing jewelry, and exploring. She completed her first half marathon in January of this year.





Parenting during tough economic times If you're a parent with money worries, life can be pretty tough. You might need time to earn extra money, work on your finances or just unwind from a draining, demanding day. But your kids still need your attention, and they may have worries of their own. How can you parent well when times are tough? Consider some steps that can support your family and preserve your own health and well-being.

 Limit kids' exposure to worries. Try not to talk too much about your own fears when the kids are listening, and consider turning off the TV news. You may think your 5-year-old tunes out adult topics, but he may hear just enough to spark his active imagination.

 Share honestly but appropriately. Secrets can be scary. You certainly don't want to overwhelm your child with information, but it's probably best to share some of your family's financial situation. Take a reassuring approach by pointing out any areas you know are stable, such as staying in the same school despite any other changes.

 Economize in a way that's clear and fair. If you need to scale back on your children's after-school activities, letting them pick from a few options may decrease their disappointment. You might also consider lessexpensive options at local community centers and libraries too. And don't forget to show kids that you're cutting back on some of your own “extras” as well.

 Keep predictability high. Kids like routine. Make sure your child's includes exercise to burn off energy, soothing nighttime activities and, above all, some special time with you. Children crave attention, and if they're not getting it in positive ways they may get it by acting out.

 Let kids contribute. Even little kids can help around the house to ease your load. They also can donate old clothes or toys to a local shelter. Helping out builds selfesteem and a child's sense of effectiveness in the world.

 Take a breather. Let's face it: Raising kids can be a ton of work. If you feel that your stress is affecting your ability to be kind and gentle, go off somewhere to regain your composure. Don't let your kids feel it's their fault you're having a bad moment. Set aside “me” time. You're probably working hard at work and then working hard at home. If you don't refuel somehow, you're going to run out of steam. Get enough rest, squeeze in a little fun, and maybe take just 10 minutes to connect with friends. Learn more about some simple ways to take care of yourself and boost your emotional strength at  Get professional help if you need it. If you're having trouble parenting–or dealing with any of your other day-to -day responsibilities–a mental health professional can help you learn new coping skills. Some sources for finding therapists include your primary care doctor, clergy member or Mental Health America affiliate. If your child is showing signs of stress like trouble sleeping, headaches, or acting sullen or angry, you also can talk with a school psychologist or guidance counselor. (Information was obtained from

Don’t forget that each student has their very own VGC (Virtual Guidance Counselor). Your VGC is available Monday through Friday and is an excellent resource for all sorts of things. You should be speaking with your VGC at least one time a week. When they leave you a message, or send you an email, please make sure to call them back. They are here to help you be successful at Pinnacle Online High School. This includes helping you keep on track in your attendance, pace, and grade in each of your classes, as well as other things such as post-graduation planning, scholarship help, AIMS testing, Graduation, ECAP, etc. If you don’t know your guidance counselor’s direct extension, you can call Student Services at 480-755-8222 x2965 and someone can help you reach them.





Attendance policy:

Just be cause your cla ss is online, doesn’t mean you don’t have to attend. . . Just like a traditional school has an attendance policy and it is monitored by being present in class, Pinnacle also has an attendance policy. The great thing about Pinnacle is the flexibility of being able to work in your classes whenever you want! But, don’t forget, you still have to WORK, which means ATTEND. Let’s review Pinnacle’s attendance policy. For at least 5 days a week you should be working in each of your classes for at least 1.5 hours. Typically, in order to stay on pace to complete the class in the allotted 12 weeks, you will have to put in additional hours. For a full load of four classes, this means that you should work at least a total of 25 hours a week in all of your classes. This 25 hours a week is time that is recorded automatically when you are actually in your virtual class, or is time that you manually submit in the offline timesheet that

pops up when you enter the class. Offline time is time that you spend doing anything related to school work, but is not spent actually inside the course. Examples of offline time include: talking to an instructor or counselor, tutoring, doing a science lab, reading a book, taking notes, studying, etc. The combination of your online and offline time a week, in all four classes, should equal at least 25 hours a week. In order to gain access to your midterm exam and move to the second half of your course, you will need to have submitted at least 30 hours of online and offline attendance time. To get the final exam unlocked and be graded out with a passing grade, you will need to have submitted at least 60 hours of online and offline time. Attendance is very important, even at an online school! Please check with your Virtual Guidance Counselor if you are concerned that you are not meeting the school’s attendance policy. Don’t forget, at least 25 hours a week in your school work is a MUST!

December Graduation:

Pinnacle Education is proud to announce December graduation is back for our online high school students. Graduation will be held December 16, 2009 at 7p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center. The Mesa Convention Center is located at 201 N Center St. Mesa, AZ 85201. All courses must be completed before December 2, 2009 to participate in the ceremony. All graduation applications must be submitted before November 15, 2009. Students must also successfully meet the standards for all three AIMS exams by December 2, 2009. If you feel that you are eligible to participate in our December graduation, please contact your virtual guidance counselor for additional information.




Are you feeling stressed out?


M e n ta l h e a lt h awa r e n e s s m o n t h :

“10 Tools to Live Your Life Well” from

1) Connect with others.

4) Help others.

Humans are social animals. We tend to do much better when we feel supported, valued and understood. Some ways to build connections: Join a book group, hiking club or other group. To make your entry smoother, consider contacting the group’s leader in advance. Enroll in a class. You and your classmates will already share a common interest. Boost existing connections. Commit to a certain amount of time with your loved ones each week–without pagers, iPods or other distracting contraptions. DID YOU KNOW? The research suggests that people who feel connected are happier and healthier–and may even live longer.

If you help your neighbor, it’s good for her, but it’s good for you too. Some ways to help others: Volunteer with a community organization. You can make a great contribution while developing your skills and learning more about an area that interests you. Volunteer a smile. Helping doesn’t require grand gestures or huge time commitments. Tell someone what you admire about them. Even if you think they already know, it’s always nice to hear. DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD Research suggests that those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm and fewer pains.

2) Stay positive.

5) Get enough rest.

Thinking negatively can drag down your mood and your health. But don’t let that worry you. Experts say you can learn to be less gloomy. Some ways to stay positive include: Don’t assume the worst. Our fears often don’t materialize. Ask yourself how realistic yours are. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down anything that makes you smile, like great relationships or special occasions. Remember your achievements. If you think you’ll flop at the office party, remember times when you were outgoing and confident. GOOD NEWS People who regularly focus on the positives in their lives are less upset by painful memories.

Sleep may seem like a waste when there’s so much to do, but you’re more likely to succeed at your tasks if you get enough rest. Some ways to create good nights: De-caffeinate yourself. Caffeine lasts a long time, so stop about six to eight hours before bed. De-stress yourself. Turn off daytime worries by finishing any next-day preparations about an hour before bed. Avoid frustration. If you can’t fall asleep after 15 minutes, get up until you feel more tired. SLEEP DEFICIT People who don’t get enough sleep face a number of possible risks, including weight gain, decreased memory, impaired driving and heart problems.

3) Get physically active. Our bodies were built to move, especially when they’re pumping out stress-induced hormones. Some ways to make sure you exercise: Put it in your calendar. Schedule physical activity as you would any important appointment, and keep it. Work out with a friend. It’s sometimes harder to break a commitment to someone else than to ourselves. Really run your errands. If you’re busy, you can still find small ways to get active. Try walking a bit faster or further when you stop for groceries, for example. BOOST YOUR MOOD Exercise can help prevent heart disease, relieve insomnia and reduce anxiety and depression.

6) Create joy and satisfaction. Go ahead, kick up your heels or just kick back. Feeling good is good for you. Some ways to increase joy and satisfaction: Pop in a humor CD. Keep one in the car and steer clear of traffic frustration. Do something you loved as a kid. Run through the sprinklers, hang from the monkey bars, make a mess with finger paints. Identify the high points of your day. Take note of what gets your “juices” flowing and then try to do those activities more. JUMP FOR JOY Positive emotions can boost your ability to bounce back from stress. (“10 Tools” continued on page 7)


Are you feeling stressed out?



Mental health awareness month:

“10 Tools to Live Yo u r L i f e W e l l ” . . .Continued. . .

7) Eat well. Our bodies–and our brains– need good fuel to function well. Some ways to promote good nutrition: Eat regularly. Skipping meals can make your blood sugar drop, which may leave you nervous or irritable. Snack well. Sustain your energy–and your ability to resist junk food–by packing healthy snacks like nuts or raisins. Strive for balance. Your brain needs a variety of nutrients to perform functions that affect your mood and your thinking. TASTY TIDBIT Eating healthy food can boost your energy, lower the risk of developing certain diseases and influence your mood.

8) Take care of your spirit. Taking care of your spirit means connecting to whatever you consider meaningful and holy, whether that’s God, nature, art or something deep within yourself. Some ways to connect with your spiritual side: Pray, or focus on your notion of God. You can worship from a prayer book or from your heart. Talk with others who share similar spiritual beliefs and learn from each other. Read inspiring texts for insights that can enrich your life. INSPIRING TIP People who have strong spiritual lives may be healthier and live longer. Spirituality seems to cut the stress that can contribute to disease.


9) Deal better with hard times. Most of us will face some particularly tough times in our lives, like a loss or divorce. Having ways to cope with these challenges can protect your health and well-being. Some ways to deal with especially hard times: Tackle problems. Instead of just worrying, make a list of possible solutions. Pick one and break it into manageable chunks. Get support. Other people who’ve gone through similar situations can offer concrete advice–and a real understanding of how you feel. Write it out. Writing about an upsetting event can make you feel better. It organizes your thoughts and helps you file the problem away. TACKLING PROBLEMS People coping with stress feel less depressed after problem-solving.

10) Get professional help if you need it. If the problems in your life are stopping you from functioning well or feeling good, professional help can make a big difference. Some ways to get professional help: Find names of mental health care providers. You can ask your doctor, friends or clergy. You can also contact your local Mental Health America affiliate, which you can locate through www. searchMHA. Prepare a list of questions for a possible provider, like “What experience do you have treating my issues?” and “Do you use a particular approach?” Determine your coverage, if you have insurance. If not, you can ask your community mental health center about free or lower-cost services. FEEL BETTER More than 80 percent of people who are treated for depression improve.

Stress management webinar Tuesday, October 13th, at 1 p.m. Register for this online seminar event through your Virtual Guidance Counselor. Parents welcome to participate as well. We need a working e-mail address in order to send the link so that you can join the seminar. Sponsored by the Pinnacle Student Services Department.




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

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.

Published by Pinnacle Education Inc. Š 2009 *Disclaimer: You are receiving this newsletter because you are a registered student or student parent at Pinnacle Online High School.

Pinnacle Post - October '09 Issue  

The October issue of the newsletter for Pinnacle Education.