Pinnacle Post - December '09

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The fall semester is almost over! And as winter break approaches, we are excited to introduce our fifth edition of the Pinnacle Post! We would like to encourage all of our students, and parents alike, to take the time to explore this great resource! What You'll Find: - The New Counselor's Corner Website - Write for the Pinnacle Periodical - Beating the Holiday Blues


  • Links Library - 2 Important Dates - 2 Staff Spotlight - 2 Keeping Up With The Pace - 3 Time Management Tips For Students - 3-4 Tracking Sheets - 4 Win A Free Netbook! - 5

    Fresh Start: Tips To Be A Successful Pinnacle Student - 5 Parent Corner - 6 Tips Of The Month - 6 Write For The Pinnacle Periodical - 6 Pinnacle Scholarships - 7 December Graduation - 7 Beating The Holiday Blues - 7-8

    December 2009

    1 5

    In this issue...

    Pinnacle Unveils New Counselors Corner Website!

    The Student Services staff is proud to introduce the Pinnacle Counselors Corner website. Creation of this website has been a long-standing goal of the Student Services department. They have looked forward to providing information and guidance through a unique website while also offering students a new way to receive assistance in an online setting. So after much deliberation, collaboration, and development, the long-awaited and highly-anticipated site is here. The Counselors Corner website is now live, and can be accessed from the Pinnacle Education website! The Counselors Corner link can be found on the left side menu under Programs, as well as in the Student Portal. The Counselors Corner is targeting full-time virtual students; however, all the information on this site is relevant to all Pin-nacle students and parents. Here are some great features that you can find on the Counselors Corner:

    A Blog from Student Services Information for college-bound students Current and previous issues of the Pinnacle Post Calendar of events Counseling and Guidance Links And More!

    Please visit the website often. As we continue to develop content, this site will become a valuable resource!

  • | December Financial Aid | December Scholarships | January of Senior Year | 2010 College Goal Sunday |

    | Websites for College Bound | SAT/ACT Bulletin | Federal Grant A | Borrowing C | Loans B |

    Links Library L i n k s t o h e l p f u l d o c u m e n t s

    P A G E 2 V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 5

    December 12 - Phoenix National Portfolio Day Hosted by: Cornish College of the


    Mesa Community College 12pm -


    December 16th Winter Graduation! December 21st January 1st Winter


    January 14, 2010 - Paying for College - Paying for College is

    a single-day education fair featuring colleges and uni-

    versities worldwide with a focus on financial aid. Live

    video presentations with admission and financial aid

    experts discussing ways that students can afford their

    college education. Topics include financial aid forms,

    scholarships, student loans, and other sources of finan-

    cial aid.


    Staff Spotlight Bryant Murphy - Guidance Counselor I began working in social ser-

    vices as a volunteer group

    home staff in Washington,

    D.C.. Later I was offered a

    full time position working

    with at-risk youth as a job

    coordinator. I began studying criminal justice and earned

    a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Back then, I had the desire to

    work in adult probation. I then began working with previ-

    ously incarcerated adults at a community corrections cen-

    ter in Florence, AZ. I then discovered that the best way

    to help others was to become involved in education. It

    was then I began studying to earn a M.A.Ed. while pre-

    paring students for their G.E.D. as an Academic Instruc-

    tor in Florence and Eloy, AZ medium and maximum secu-

    rity prisons.

    My return to working with youth at Pinnacle has

    been a positive shift in my career. I have enjoyed the

    opportunity to work with students because I have been

    able to mentor, motivate, and mediate by using examples

    of real life situations. This way, my audience can truly

    appreciate and relate to me, rather than someone who

    has no clue what this population faces daily. I am cur-

    rently pursuing a certification in Advanced Graduate

    Studies in Education Intervention to develop a program

    for at-risk youth and diverse learners in education.

    Bryant Murphy










  • P A G E 3

    Keeping up with the pace of an online course What is pace? Pace is a measure of where you should be at in a course, compared to when you started and are scheduled to end. For exam-ple, in Pinnacles twelve week courses, you should be at the midterm by week six, and the final by weeks twelve. However, keeping ahead of pace is

    a great idea so that you can ensure all of your courses get done in a timely manner. Pace is a very important part of your success at Pinnacle, and will affect both your attendance time and your grades. Talk with you Virtual Guidance Counselor (VGC) for more details on pace and how you can stay caught up!

    The pace of an online course is different from a traditional high school course, and in order to complete assignments and move to another lesson, online students will have to develop Time Management Skills. It is very easy to skip a day of studying when not in a classroom setting. But there are ways students can establish a routine and follow it in order to complete a class.

    Students should designate a study time each day that they can devote energy to without the fear of interruption. The time should be the same each day. If this is not possible, the student will need to set aside an amount of time each day that they will study.

    Students should complete one lesson at a time in order to stay organized and maintain a constant pace. Skipping ahead to see what is coming next is a waste of time.

    Read one or two pages more each day than originally planned. This will keep the pace going and keep a student slightly ahead of where they want to be. This will help in case there are times when studying cannot be done.

    Keeping a steady pace does not mean that a student has to work through the lessons quickly. A steady pace is a comfortable speed where students are learning information and do not feel stressed about completing assignments. Online classes are designed to be completed slowly rather than quickly. Taking the time to learn the lessons will pay off in the end.

    V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 5

    Time Management tips for students

    It is important to treat an online program just as seriously as a traditional classroom program. Putting time aside each day to work on assignments is essential to getting them completed so that more can be learned. On this page and the next are tips for time management and organizing a student's workspace so that one can enjoy what he/she is learning without having to rush through it.

    1. Work at the same time each day to develop a routine. This will keep a student focused on what they need to learn. Try to put aside at least two hours each day for class work. Even though students will not have to attend classes, they will still have to complete assignments and study.

  • V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 5 P A G E 4

    2. Download weekly or daily lectures at one time and print them out in-stead of reading from the computer. Too often, people miss important in-formation when reading on the computer. They will have to go back and reread the information, which proves to be a big time waster. Print off lec-tures and assignments so that they will be available any time you want to look at them.

    3. Find a workspace and keep the computer and other equipment in this space. Keep papers and assignments in this space so that they do not get lost. Losing paperwork can also be a waste of time. Having a workspace will also enable a person to focus on their schoolwork.

    4. Create a weekly schedule to follow when completing assignments. Even though assignments are completed at the student's pace, it is impor-tant to stay on task and be productive. Following a schedule that is similar to a syllabus given to students in traditional college programs will help the online student stay productive as well.

    5. When studying, take frequent breaks to eat and stay hydrated. This will help process information faster and will save time in the long run. When people spend long hours studying, they will often have to reread sections of the text. By taking breaks, stu-dents are keeping their minds alert and focused.

    6. Each student has 12 weeks to complete their course, and Pinnacle takes attendance! You must log a minimum of 30 hours (online and offline time per class) before the midterm will be unlocked and 60 hours before the final will be unlocked. This is attendance for the virtual classroom! The midterm is only halfway through the course, around Week 5. There are more lessons before the final. Finding time to study can be difficult, but with a little practice anyone can become a great online student.


    Tracking sheets . . . Use this great feature to stay on pace with each of your classes! Did you know for each course there is a tracking sheet to help you keep up the pace in your courses? These tracking sheets allow you to see how far along you need to be each week to help you meet your goals of finishing the class early or on time. Heres where they are located:

    -Click on your course in Angel -Click on your Lessons tab -Click on the Tracking Sheets folder link -Click on the course link (it will be the name of your course) -Click once more on the course link (again the name of your course, and underlined)

    Time Management Tips for Students, continued . . . .

  • P A G E 5

    E-mailing your Instructor Remember to e-mail your instructor, through the course, and ask for the midterm and final exams to be unlocked. The instructor has up to 24 school hours to review your progress and unlock the exam. Be sure and leave yourself plenty of time for this process to take place, which means you should be staying ahead of pace for your end date. Sending mail to All Course Faculty Click into your course Click on the Communicate tab on the top of the page Click on Quick Message Click the To: button On new screen under User, check All course faculty. Then, click the To button, then OK. Type a subject and message and click Send.

    Remember: Instructors LOVE to talk to you as well! Instructors are available to talk with by phone from early in the morning to late in the evening. Think of calling your instructor like raising your hand in class. See below for all the department contact information. Call Pinnacle at 480-755-8222 or 1-888-567-1844 Then press #1 for extension then enter in the depart-ments direct extension four digit number.

    English x2734 Math x2748 Science x2729 Social Studies x2720 Electives x2745

    Fresh Tips to be a successful pinnacle student


    V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 5

    Say Thank You To Our Troops . . . Something cool that Xerox is doing.just click the link below and select the card you want to send. If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

  • P A G E 6 V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 5

    Students who have a class with a start date of 9/28/09 or later will be given an automatic two week extension in

    order to account for the Winter Break.

    Always try to keep ahead of pace in your courses so that you have plenty of time to complete them. Your VGC can give you specific details about where you stand with your pace, but also try keeping your own calendar and try to stay ahead be taking the midterm in week five, and the final in week eleven. Courses are all twelve weeks long. See the front page article for more informa-tion on Pace.

    Attention Parents: WE NEED YOU! Believe it or not you play a large role in your students suc-cess. Please make sure your students Virtual Guidance Coun-selor (VGC) knows how to get a hold of you and the best time of day to reach you. Good phone num-bers and an e-mail from you are wonderful resources so we can re-

    cruit your help when necessary.

    Tips to stay involved:

    Help your student set up a cal-endar and plan out what they need to have done, and by when, in each class.

    Ask your student how their classes are going.

    Have your student show you their progress in each class.

    Help your student study for quizzes and exams.

    Contact your students VGC if you have questions or concerns.

    Wondering how to check your students grades? Run a grade report! Heres how:

    -Click into the academic course you are interested in looking at.

    -Click Report tab on top of screen.

    -Under Category use the drop down menu and select Grades.

    -The screen will automatically refresh: under Grades it should say Student Grades and User should be your stu-dents name.

    -Click Run on the bottom right of screen.

    -The Reports Console will then come up.

    No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will

    eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking

    about the kids. ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986

  • P A G E 7 V O L U M E 1 , I S S U E 5

    A Future So Bright A Pinnacle Scholarship will help

    you on your path to a brighter future. Congratulations to each and every one of you for putting forth the ef-

    fort necessary to earn your high school diploma!

    Pinnacle Education recognizes the remarkable talents and achieve-

    ments of our students. In an effort to encourage lifelong learning, Pin-

    nacle has created the Pinnacle Excellence Scholarship and the

    Pinnacle Challenge Scholarship. These scholarships will help our

    graduates in pursuit of their educational goals beyond high school.

    Every Pinnacle High School graduate is eligible to apply.

    If you would like to learn more about how you can take ad-

    vantage of this great financial opportunity, please contact

    your Virtual Guidance Counselor or campus principal.

    December graduation: is rapidly approaching Graduation and we would like to remind you of some important


    Beating the holiday blues Feelings of sadness and depression are common during the holidays, but not inevitable. University of Maryland experts offer a variety of practical tips to help you keep the blues away. Article Source:

    Once again the holidays are upon us, which means it's

    time for festive partying with friends and family, sharing

    gifts and laughter -- and getting depressed. That's right.

    For many people, the holidays bring on feelings of sad-

    ness and anxiety that can be hard to shake.

    According to the National Mental Health Association, rea-

    sons for feeling blue around the holidays are numerous.

    They range from fatigue -- a result of all of the increased

    Courses must be completed by December 2, 2009

    Contact your Virtual Guidance Counselor as soon as possible...