Inspirational Graduation Quote

•May 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

With graduation season upon us, high school students across the globe will be reflecting back on their high school career and dreaming about their futures. Whether they are continuing their education at a college or university or jumping in to the workforce, graduating seniors are riding high on optimism and excitement as a new chapter in their lives begins. If you are one of the many high school seniors in the Class of 2012, here is an great quote to inspire you as you begin your new journey.

“You are educated.  Your certification is in your degree.  You may think of it as the ticket to the good life.  Let me ask you to think of an alternative.  Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”  ~Tom Brokaw

The Top Five Benefits to Taking High School Classes Online

•April 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

With the evolution of current technologies both inside and outside the classroom, it’s no surprise that we are seeing an increase in the number of students enrolling in online classes. In recent years, schools saw over 1 million K-12 enrollments in online courses, and by 2019, it is estimated that 50% of all classes taught will be delivered online.

It is no longer a foreign concept to think about getting an education in a virtual environment. Platforms such as Skype and YouTube, and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are turning today’s 21st century learners into full-fledged digital natives. Whether we like it or not, these technologies are revolutionizing the way we communicate and greatly impact every aspect of our lives, including our education.

Today’s classrooms are no longer bound by brick-and-mortar locations and pre-defined schedules. Students now have the ability to video chat with their instructors online and even watch full lectures over the internet. Classrooms aren’t just a room with desks, chairs and a group of students; now they can be any place with a computer and internet connection.

As the online education and eLearning domains continue to evolve, taking online high school classes has become a legitimate and viable option for students looking for an alternative to the traditional education setting. Many organizations, including Pinnacle, now offer accredited and NCAA-approved courses that allow students to earn their high school diploma online. If you’re thinking about enrolling in online high school classes, here are the top five benefits to taking your education online:

  1. Work at your own pace. With online classes, you aren’t bound by a defined class schedule. You can log in to your classes and work at a time and pace that fits your schedule.
  2. More personalized learning options. Since students can take courses online, teachers can now create personalized learning plans that are specifically designed to fit the needs of each individual student.
  3. Avoid large class sizes. Classes are now reaching monstrous proportions and student:teacher ratios are bordering on the absurd. To avoid crowded classrooms, you can now enroll in online classes where you can receive more individualized instruction and one-on-one attention from your teachers.
  4. Learn important technological skills. Now more than ever, students are asked to be technologically literate when they enter the workforce. In order to prepare you for your desired career path, online classes give you the chance to work with the computer programs and develop the necessary computer skills needed to succeed in your future career opportunities.
  5. Recover missing course credits. If you have any missing or failed high school course credits, you can enroll in an online high school to make up the necessary credits. Some programs even allow students to enroll in their classes while students attend class at their traditional school.

Earning your high school diploma is an important step in your career and is vital for achieving academic and professional success. While technology continues to increase its footprint in the world of education, new teaching models such as eLearning and flipped classrooms are changing the way students learn. Students now have greater control over their learning experience and access to more interactive and engaging resources. It truly is an exciting time for the education space.

The Pros and Cons of Online High School

•March 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

By: Justin Montanez, Pinnacle Student

In the past, there was only one way to get a high school education. It involved going to a school and sitting in a classroom for most of the day. The lunches were bad and sometimes so were the teachers. Kids were more concerned about what they were wearing and how their hair looked than what grades they got. It could be difficult to concentrate on what was being discussed in the classroom because someone else might want your attention. However, if you are considering online school as an alternative you need to weigh the pros, the cons, and make up your own mind about what is best for you.

There are many pros to taking classes online. The main ones are that you can work whenever you want and at your own pace. If you are working, you can do your school assignments around your work schedule. You don’t have to get up early and sit in a class when you are half asleep. It also doesn’t matter what you are wearing. You can even do the work in your pajamas if you want to! You can also do work anywhere as long as you have a laptop. You are not confined to a certain room or even a certain building. Online classes can be less intimidating than a classroom. There are no distractions and there are more options for student-teacher communication. Lastly, you don’t have to spend money on gas to get to school.

However, there are also cons to attending online school. If you don’t already have a computer and internet service, these things can cost quite a bit of money. Also, computer malfunctions or internet connection failures can prevent you from completing your work. Online school can be difficult because it requires a student to have quite a bit of discipline. You have no real-world interaction with teachers and you don’t always get immediate feedback on work that is turned in. You also don’t have the opportunity to develop friendships with other classmates.

If you are considering taking online classes, you need to weigh these pros and cons before deciding whether or not to attend regular school or online school. It would be a good idea to determine what style of learning is best for you based on past experiences. If you are someone like me who is easily distracted and finds it difficult to concentrate in a school setting, then online classes could definitely be a good option. If you have a tendency to procrastinate and are not a self starter, then a regular classroom setting might be better for you.

After weighing the pros and cons, it is important to decide based on what is best for you. Don’t let someone else make the decision for you because they might not be a good judge of which environment would allow you to be more successful. Only you can decide what is best for you. Getting a good education is an important part of anyone’s life. No matter what a person decides to do for a career, a good education is almost always a requirement.

A Note from Pinnacle: One of our five Pinnacle sites may be a great alternative for students who need a little extra structure in an online environment.

Pinnacle Charter High School Sites Offer Student Support Groups

•February 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

By: Principal Vince Mosca

Student support groups are facilitated by our Personal and Career Explorations instructors, and often with our districts life coach.  These instructors have attended the Student Assistance Training International (SATI) support group facilitation training.  The three-day intensive workshop teaches attendees how to implement Student Support Groups on their campuses. Students are invited to the Support Groups which meet during their instructional block.   Participation in the Support Groups is voluntary and the student may opt out at any time.

An example of how each group is opened is as follows:

Review Purpose and Guidelines of Group

  1. To provide a safe place to share your feelings, thoughts, and concerns.
  2. To learn to identify and express your feelings appropriately.
  3. To learn healthy communication skills.
  4. To learn to treat ourselves and others with respect.
  5. To learn we are responsible for our own lives and based on our choices, have the power to change.

The facilitator will share a challenging life situation.  They will then ask the group if anyone would like to share a challenging life situation. There is a go around /warm up where participants go around the circle and share.    At the end the group is concluded with a closure that consists of an affirmation, and a modified serenity poem that the group recites.

Guidelines

  1. Confidentiality-what is said in group stays in group. **Exceptions- child abuse, harm to self, and harm to others.
  2. No put-downs, everyone is treated with respect.
  3. Everyone has the right to pass and share at their own comfort level.
  4. Everyone has the right to be heard.
  5. Be on time
  6. Come to group free of mind altering chemicals.
  7. Everyone speaks for him/her self.

Our support groups are a great place to share, grow, and here from other students that may be going through similar difficulties.  For any questions regarding support groups please contact one of our school’s Personal and Career Explorations instructor for more information.

Watch the 2011 Fall Graduation Ceremony Video

•January 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

On December 14, 2011 we held our Fall Graduation Ceremony for our 2011 online high school graduates. More than 60 students from our Site and VHS programs participated in the ceremonies and hundreds of family members and friends attended the event to support their graduates. All in all, the event was a great success!

If you were unable to attend, or would simply like to rewatch the high school graduation ceremony, we have made the video of our Graduation Ceremony available for viewing online. To watch the video, just click on the link below. The Graduation video is also available for download so you can share this great occasion with family and friends! The download link can be found on the video web page.

Watch Video

If you have any trouble accessing the video from the links, you can find the video on our Vimeo page at http://vimeo.com/PinnacleOnline.

Professional Development and Service – A Recipe for Success

•November 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment
MGRM Pinnacle Team

MGRM Pinnacle Teachers & Staff at the St. Mary's Food Bank

What do you get when you combine professional development training, 37 MGRM Pinnacle employees and St. Mary’s Food Bank?

You get an amazing day of training and service, just like what happened on Thursday, November 17th. MGRM Pinnacle Education held their professional development training at the St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, AZ.

The morning PD session was filled with team building activities and training . Adam Dregely, Special Education Instructor, led a discussion regarding MGRM Pinnacle’s special education services, and offered several key activities that would help instructors and counselors get students actively engaged within their first 45 days. Kathie Driscoll then led the group through a workshop on grading rubrics designed to improve standards and ultimately improve the academic achievement of our students. Not to be forgotten, the Enrollment and Registration team completed their own professional development activities, around improving their customer service approach to student interactions, after which they joined the rest of the team at St. Mary’s for the community service activity.

St. Mary’s Food Bank is part of the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, the world’s first food bank, and this nonprofit organization works to “alleviate hunger by gathering and distributing food to sites that serve the hungry.” MGRM Pinnacle employees rolled up their sleeves, stepped up to the line, and got to work helping to assemble packages of food. Two hours into the activity our team members had assembled more than 1,000 boxes of food which sat waiting for distribution on 17 pallets. That’s more than 20,400 individual meals that St. Mary’s will now be able to ship out. The sense of accomplishment and team work was evident in the faces of each person there. It was obvious that not only had the members of the MGRM Pinnacle Education team gained some valuable tools and knowledge during professional development training that would help them improve the educational experience for their students, they had also contributed to improving lives within their community.

At this time of year we would extend the same challenge to you. Find away to improve yourself, and then look for ways to improve the lives of other around you.

Chance’s True Story

•October 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Chance playing guitar

In our previous post, we introduced you to our new True Story campaign. With this new campaign, we are hoping to highlight a few of our outstanding students and share their true stories as online high school students.

Previously, we introduced you to Kendra. This time, we’d like to introduce you to Chance, another one of our site program students. After his first year at Pinnacle, Chance said he began to see a big improvement in his school work.

“Pinnacle has completely turned my life around. I used to attend another high school, and education wise, I was not thriving,” he said. “My old school was too big for me and was not hands on. Since I arrived at Pinnacle, the teachers have been more than willing to help me and they actually care about my success.”

While his grades improved, Chance said he also noticed other dramatic changes after enrolling at our online high school.

“Pinnacle has lifted my attitude immensely, I went from unhappy and uncaring, to a happy and lively person,” he proclaimed.

When Chance isn’t in class, you can find him playing on his acoustic and electric guitars or working on his custom, forest-green VW Bug. As a Pinnacle Online High School student, he has the ability to spend time doing the things he loves, while still receiving a quality education.

Chance is another great representative of our unique and diverse student body. Our online high school courses gave Chance a fresh start on his education and allowed him to realize his true potential in the classroom. With Pinnacle’s online program, he gained the confidence he needed to earn his high school diploma.

He is a true student of life.

 
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