History of Pointe Schools in Phoenix AZ

Pointe Schools was founded by four families who were interested in creating a high school that would support parents as they built character and leadership qualities in their teens, provide an excellent education and be financially accessible to everyone. Since no such high school existed in the northwest valley, the founders individually explored avenues to establish such a school. In the fall of 1999, they came together and formed Pointe Educational Services, a non-profit corporation, in order to open and operate an independent public high school that would fill this unmet need.

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After a year of planning, the State Board of Charter Schools granted Pointe a contract to operate a college preparatory school. In August of 2001, North Pointe Preparatory opened on 51st Avenue and Union Hills with ten teachers, six classrooms and 130 students in grades 7-9. Students were provided with a traditional education with a “classical” emphasis. The curriculum was designed to prepare students for college, requiring that all students take College Preparatory, Honors, and Advanced Placement courses. In addition to the academic emphasis, the school truly functioned as a community. By November, three more classrooms and a library were completed. Stanford 9 test scores that year were well above the state averages.

Students At North Pointe E1572889490780The Prep was such a success that parents began asking about the possibility of opening an elementary school that would set the foundation for junior high and high school. In the Spring of 2002, the State Board for Charter Schools expanded the Pointe charter to include kindergarten through sixth grade and Canyon Pointe Academy (called North Pointe Academy at the time) was born. A group of seasoned elementary teachers joined Pointe Schools and worked through the summer without pay to make sure the school was ready to open. The Prep had already outgrown the Union Hills site, so Canyon moved in and the Prep moved into a site at 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

The 2002-2003 school year was full of growth for Pointe Schools. Canyon Pointe Academy opened with 160 students, North Pointe Preparatory almost tripled in size to 350 students, and a second elementary school was added to the Pointe Schools family. The new school, Pinnacle Pointe Academy, was located on 67th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road and opened in September of 2002 with just under 25 students in grades K-4. Two Canyon teachers and their classes moved to Pinnacle and provided leadership for the new school. By the end of the year, enrollment at Pinnacle had increased to over 90 students.

Massive building projects took place at all three Pointe School’s campuses between 2003 and 2009. The Prep moved to its current location at 43 Avenue and Peoria in 2003 and expanded the campus to include 14 additional classrooms, a second gymnasium, fitness/weight facilities, batting cages, a practice field, band and choir rooms, music labs a remodeled theatre, an on-campus TV station (preptv), a third parking lot, and a fabulous Prep Café. Canyon remodeled offices, added security fences, and completed a new field, a new playground, and a new building consisting of 4 additional classrooms and the Lion Café. Pinnacle’s building projects also included remodeling offices and adding security fences, as well as the addition of 10 classrooms, a field, new playground, basketball court, the Pinnacle Patio and Panther Café.

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Additionally, the Prep received accreditation from the North Central Association as a College Preparatory School and was placed into the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s 2A Central League for high school athletics.

In 2006, Jody Johnson (one of Pointe’s founders and North Pointe’s first Principal) became the Superintendent of Pointe Schools and undertook a massive, company wide re-structuring.

Over the next twelve years, Pointe Schools became a fixture in the community, receiving state and national recognition. Superintendent Johnson (now Dr. Williamson) returned as North Pointe’s Principal in 2019. Dr. Williamson is committed to continuing the traditions that have meant so much to Pointe’s students and families over the years, and ensuring a culture of trust and stability for Pointe’s teachers, students, and families.

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