The Pinnacle Approach: Our Philosophy


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Relationships, Collaboration, and Building on Success

We use use a relational, collaborative approach to students, combined with teaching that is highly specialized and differentiated for each type of learner.


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Build Relationships to Foster Trust and Support

Our first approach with students is to develop trusting and supportive relationships. These relationships serve as a foundation through which we develop and utilize individualized interventions. Through continuing to foster trust and mutual respect, we get to know students on a deeper level and support them in learning the skills to solve problems.


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Collaborative Problem-Solving to Develop Academic, Social and Emotional Skills

At Pinnacle, in the words of Dr. Ross Greene, we believe “kids do well if they can.” This means that we believe behind every behavioral, social and emotional challenges is a lagging skill or unsolved problem, or both. This is the same mentality that many educators apply to academic challenges. When we approach kids from this perspective, students are more apt to collaborate and problem-solve with adults, because the conversation is not about what is “wrong” with them, but what skill they need to develop or problem to solve. This subtle but dramatic shift allows us to gain a deeper understanding of our students.


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Integrated, Specialized Approach to Teaching: Coaching in the Moment

The three legged stool of our program is academics, social cognition, and a diverse offering of related, therapeutic services such as psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapy and behavioral support.This integrated approach creates an environment that can meet each student where they are in the moment, whether they are struggling with a math concept or English essay, or feeling frustrated or disappointed in themselves.  The key is knowing when to implement which approach with kids. With our specialized team, we analyze the moment, rooted in our deep understanding of the individual, and coach each student through that challenge so that they can practice those skills. This creates small successes which we build on daily. Over time, perceived obstacles dissipate, students see their potential and the active role they play in their own success. Parents find that they learn more about their child by working and collaborating with us.