Frequently Asked Questions

+ What is your typical student? How would you describe your student population?

All of our students have a language-based academic or social deficit that impacts their ability to reach their true potential in a typical education setting. Our students have 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 high-functioning Autism (formerly identified as Asperger’s Syndrome.)

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+ 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. All of our students qualify for Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

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+ Are you a therapeutic school? What does that mean?

Many people may be confused by this term and often incorrectly associate “therapeutic schools” with a school that heavily focuses on emotional trauma. At Pinnacle, both therapeutic services and academic instruction are a focus for personal and academic 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.

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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. 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 skills and create small daily successes upon which we can build.

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+ 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.

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+ How many students are in your school and what is your average class size?

Currently we have approximately 50 students enrolled in grades 2 - 12. Our average class size is 4 students.

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+ 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 do not span more than a 2 year age difference so that class composition is developmentally-appropriate. All our students rotate through a block schedule with a variety of students.

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+ 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.

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+ Do you have advanced classes and electives?

Yes, we do. Students may take advanced classes in any subject, including Advanced Placement (AP) classes. We offer the 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.