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PinnaclePost The

January 2010

P i nnacle Online High Schoo l ’s M a g a z i n e f o r S t u d e n t s a n d P a r e n t s

Volume 2, Issue 1

In this Issue: Links Library

Important links with tips and resources for students. pg. 5

Important Dates Mark your calendars with these important Pinnacle events. pg. 4

Tip of the Month Helpful student tips. pg. 4

Student Spotlight: Brianne Disney Read about her experience with Pinnacle Online High School. pg. 4

Scholarship Scams What to look out for when you apply for financial aid. pg. 3

What is T, P & G? Learn about Pinnacle’s unique student tracking model. pg. 5

Spring Testing AIMS and Stanford 10 tests are coming! pg. 3

Action Plans

What you should be doing to prepare for college. pg. 6

Congratulations Graduates! More than 70 graduates walked in our Fall Graduation Ceremony. pg. 2


January 2010 - Volume 2, Issue 1

Congratulations to Our December Graduates!


n December 16, 2009, Pinnacle Education held its Fall Graduation Ceremony at the Mesa Convention Center. More than 70 students from our virtual and campus programs walked in the ceremony and received their diplomas. Several Pinnacle staff members were on hand to participate and congratulate the students in attendance. Dr. Mike Matwick, CEO of Pinnacle Education, was the keynote speaker for this year’s graduation and urged the students to create their own path to success. “The students graduating tonight have demonstrated commitment, dedication, flexibility and resolve in attaining this accomplishment and are well-prepared to step into today’s demanding economy,” said Matwick during his speech. Along with Matwick, several student speakers also shared their story with the more than 150 friends and family members in attendance. Erin Blake, a 2009 graduate, was one of the speakers and was grateful for the help that she received from Pinnacle.

Several students from Pinnacle Online High School graduated this past semester and attended the graduation ceremony at the Mesa Convention Center.

“Pinnacle has provided us with the knowledge and skills needed to help us achieve our goals,” said Blake as she addressed the crowd. “The flexible schedule, amazing teachers and great counselors helped me become the graduate I am today. Pinnacle also presented scholarships to

Visit the Counselor’s Corner Website!

four graduates, including Sarah Turpin. “It [graduation] means accomplishment,” said Turpin. “This chapter in my life is finished and I can now focus on the future.” Turpin plans to go to the University of Arizona to study nursing.

Be sure to visit the Pinnacle Online High School Counselor’s Corner website at! Parents and students can find resources and a variety of relevant information on Counselor’s Corner. Visit the site today! Check back often for updates.

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Spring Testing: AIMS & Stanford 10 Mark your calendars

f you can’t answer both of the above questions, call your VGC (480 755-8222 x2965). Unless you have already passed all three AIMS tests, the answer is YES, you need to test.


11th and 12th graders: The Reading, Writing and Math AIMS will be available for you to take if you have not yet passed a subject area. Remember, you have to pass all three subjects to graduate.



Do you need to test? When are the tests?

Stanford 10 (9th graders)

AIMS tests (10th-12th graders)

WHO: 9th graders: This year you will be participating in a standardized test called the Stanford 10. 10th graders: This is your first year to attempt the state tests called AIMS. There are three subject areas that you need to pass for graduation: Reading, Writing, and Math. You will also be taking the Science AIMS as a pilot this year. TESTING IS MANDAOTRY FOR ALL 10th GRADERS. If you do not attend testing, you will be withdrawn from Pinnacle.

Testing takes place at various locations throughout the state, including the following cities: Mesa, Avondale, Casa Grande, Tucson, Nogales, Lake Havasu, Flagstaff, Prescott, Show Low and Yuma. You will be receiving information in the mail about your testing location. If you have not received information by the 1st of February, be sure and call your VGC right away!

** If you have any questions, please contact your Virtual Guidance Counselor.

WHEN: AIMS Writing: Tuesday, February 23rd AIMS Reading: Wednesday, February 24th AIMS Math: Wednesday, April 7th AIMS Science: Thursday, April 8th Stanford 10: Thursday, April 8th

Scholarship Scams Scholarships take some work on your part, but you should never have to pay for a scholarship. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions families to look for these signs: • “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.” • “I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.” • “We’ll do all the work.” • “The scholarship will cost some money.” • “You’ve been selected by a national foundation to receive a scholarship” or “You’re a finalist” in a contest you never entered. For more information, visit or call toll free 1- 877-382-4357. 3

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Student Spotlight Brianne Disney Brianne Disney is one of the 2009 receipients of the Pinnacle Challenge Scholarship and graduated in December. She is one of the many success stories at Pinnacle Online High School and we recently talked to her about her experience at our school. Here is what Brianne had to say… When did you start at Pinnacle? I started ( attending Pinnacle) back in February 2009. I finished my second semester of junior year and then completed my full Senior year to graduate in December 2009. I went to a regular high school near me. I was behind in some classes and decided to give online education a try again. I had previously tried another online school in AZ and I was unsuccessful. So I heard about Pinnacle and decided to give them a try. I really enjoyed my first semester at Pinnacle and I was successful. After that, I decided to stay for my senior year. Why did you choose Pinnacle? My school counselor mentioned Pinnacle to me. After trying it for one semester, I decided to stay. I choose Pinnacle because I did really well and I wanted to graduate

early. What was your favorite thing about Pinnacle? I really liked the people at Pinnacle, including the instructors and staff. They do an exceptional job communicating with the students and parents. I really felt like they cared about me and wanted to help me be successful. I also liked the fact that the online courses were self-paced. Having them online helped me stay independent as opposed to being in a regular classroom setting. You just graduated from Pinnacle, what are your plans now? I’m going to attend Chandler Gilbert Community College for Spring 2010; I’m undecided right now, but I’m thinking about business or interior design. A little bit about Brianne: She enjoys spending time with friends and family. She also likes to write scripts and stories during her free time. Brianne was born in Davenport, IA and moved to AZ in 1997.

s p i T ont m e of th


Parents: We need your participation in your child’s academic ventures. You can help by encouraging your student to call their VGC and their instructors. Calling is like raising their hand in a physical classroom, and often we can help students past obstacles that may be holding them back. We also would love to hear from you! We often will ask you for additional support and resources as we guide your student through their courses. Counselors are available at 480 755-8222 x2965 —please, don’t hesitate to call! Students: If you are working towards earning a FREE NETBOOK (see page 5), did you know you can call your VGC and they can give you an update of your progress? Your VGC has information about how many total hours you have spent in each of your classes, and how close you are to meeting the requirements! Your VGC loves to hear from you anyway, so give them a call at 480 755-8222 x2965.

Important Dates January 18: Martin Luther King Day

February 15: President’s Day

January 23: SAT Test

February 21: National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

February 4: SAT Registration Deadline for March 13 test February 6: ACT Test

February 23: AIMS Writing February 24: AIMS Reading

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What is T, P and G? By: Pinnacle - VGC Department hen your Virtual Guidance Counselor (VGC) speaks with you, you may hear them often refer to your Time, Pace and Grade (T, P and G). T, P, and G are the measurements we use to track every student in every class, so that we can properly guide, instruct, and provide support to our students.


Time is the same as attendance in a traditional classroom. Time is measured in two ways: offline time and online time. Online time is actual time spent inside your course, and we record that for you automatically. Offline time is time spent working on school outside of your course. Examples of offline time include tutoring, studying, reading, doing science labs, talking to instructors and counselors, etc. Make sure you are recording all of your offline time so that your time information is accurate. Pace is the measure of how far along in the course you are, compared to where you should be. For example, since our courses are 12 weeks long, a student should be at least 50% complete (at the midterm) by week 6. It is very important for a student to stay on, or ahead, of pace in order to be successful in courses. Lastly is grade. Grade is exactly what it says… Your grade in the course. Remember though, because our courses are meant to be flexible and somewhat self-paced, sometimes your grade can be misleading. For example, you see you have a 90% in your course, but if you are behind pace, then you don’t really have a 90% overall because you are behind on submitting assignments. T, P and G are all three very important components to your academic success, which is why we track and talk with you about each of them. If you are ever interested in your T, P or G progress, just call your VGC at 480 755-8222 x2965….we are here to help you!

Links Library Here you can find some helpful links to information and tips that will help you during your high school career. From scholarship information, to SAT/ACT tips, there is something for any educational need. Check out the links below.

Arizona Financial Aid

Scholarship January Deadlines

SAT/ACT Bulletin

College Goal Sunday

Websites for college bound students


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Winter Action Plans

What you need to do for the upcoming semester. For those of you looking to continue your education at a college or university, you need to make sure that you are prepared and do your research. Here are some tasks to help you prepare for college during the upcoming semester.



Application Details

Plan Your Spring Testing Schedule

• Most regular applications are due between January 1 and February 15. Keep copies of everything you send to colleges.

• You can take either the SAT Reasoning Test™ or up to three SAT Subject Tests™ on one test day. Plan your testing schedule carefully if you want to take both types of SAT®. See the SAT schedule of test dates and register online for the SAT.

• Have your high school send your transcript to colleges. • Contact colleges to make sure they’ve received all application materials.

• Use the access code on your PSAT/NMSQT score report to sign in to My College QuickStart™. With this personalized planning kit, you can prepare for the SAT using a study plan based on your PSAT/NMSQT results and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors, and careers.

Financial Aid: Apply Early. Apply Right. • You and your family should save this year’s pay stubs to estimate income on aid forms that you’ll file early next year. • Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan. 1. Men 18 or older must register for the selective service to receive federal financial aid. • Many priority financial aid deadlines fall in February. To get the most attractive award package, apply by the priority date. Keep copies of everything you send.



Prepare for Tests

Learn about Colleges • Learn about college costs and how financial aid works.

• Use the access code on your PSAT/NMSQT score report to sign in to My College QuickStart™. With this personalized planning kit, you can prepare for the SAT using a study plan based on your PSAT/NMSQT results and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors, and careers. • Talk to your counselor and teachers about taking SAT Subject Tests™ in your strong subjects this spring. Take Subject Tests such as World History, Biology E/M, and Chemistry while the material is still fresh in your mind.

• Use the College Savings Calculator to see how much money you’ll need for college, whether you’re on track to save enough, and what you need to do to reach your goal. Talk to your parents about financing college. • Visit colleges while they’re in session. • Find out about college firsthand from college friends who are home for the holidays.

Prepare for Tests

Learn about Colleges • Learn about college costs and how financial aid works.

• Talk to your counselor and teachers about taking SAT Subject Tests™ in your strong subjects this spring. Take Subject Tests such as World History, Biology E/M, and Chemistry while the material is still fresh in your mind.

*Action Plans from: Pinnacle Online High School -


Money for College & Vocational School/FAFSA Information How do I find scholarships? Be sure not to pay for a scholarship search. There are several free searches you can use. You can try or Who is eligible for scholarships? • Scholarships aren’t just for straight “A” students. If you have done community service, there may be a scholarship for you. • Check with the financial aid office at the college you wish to attend; they may have scholarships available to students pursuing a particular degree. When is a good time to look for scholarships? The earlier, the better. Almost all scholarships have application deadlines, so don’t miss them! Apply for all scholarships for which you qualify— why not have others help you pay for college? What if I’m having trouble finding scholarships? • Ask your VGC/counselor for help. • Search online sites. • Ask your parents if the company they work for offers any scholarships.

What is FAFSA?

How to Check Your Grades

• FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (grants/loans/ work study). • Seniors, apply for a PIN (www. now; both you and your parents need one. • Complete your FAFSA in January. • Attend FAFSA and Financial Aid Nights– check your local campus for the exact dates. What is FAFSA4caster? FAFSA4caster is an online tool to help students and their families prepare financially for college before officially applying for federal student aid. It provides an estimate of federal student aid eligibility by instantly calculating an estimated Expected Family Contribution— the indicator used to estimate the family’s or student’s financial strength. FAFSA4caster determines what type of federal aid (grants, work-study and loans) the student is eligible to receive and provides an estimated award amount for each. FAFST4caster is available at www. Source: Funding Education Beyond High School, The Guide to Federal Student Aid 2009-1010

POHS Phone Contacts


Office: 480.755.8222

English: x2734 Social Studies: x2720

Long Distance: 1.888.567.1844

Math: x2748

If you would like to monitor your progress in your Pinnacle classes, you can check your current grade in each of your courses via the class website. To view your grades, follow these steps: 1. Click into academic course. 2. Click Report tab on top of screen. 3. Under Category, use the drop down menu and select Grades. 4. The screen will automatically refresh; under Grades, it should say Student Grades and User should be your student’s name. 5. Click Run on the bottom right of screen. 6. The Reports Console will then come up.

Follow Us!

Electives: x2745

Science: x2729 Student Services: x2965 7

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New Year’s Quote: “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce 3225 S. Hardy, Tempe, AZ 85282 Tel: 480.755.8222

Fax: 480.755.8111

Pinnacle Post - January '10  

The spring semester is finally here! And as we return from winter break and get back in the swing of things, we are excited to introduce our...