POINTE SCHOOL'S FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Distinction of a Charter School vs Private and Public Schools?
It has been said that charter schools are the perfect blend between public and private education. In fact, charter schools are actually privately-run public schools. Each charter school enters into a contract or "charter" with the state to receive state funds to educate Arizona students. The "charter" specifies a specific educational philosophy and curriculum that the school will provide. As a charter school, we receive funding directly from the state of Arizona, so families pay no tuition. However, since charter schools are public schools, they must provide special education services and they cannot provide religious education. Arizona statues free charter schools from many of the bureaucratic regulations associated with the government-run public schools, allowing charter schools to be more agile and innovative.
How does Pointe define Bully Free Zone and what are schools doing to maintain this?
Bullying is absolutely not tolerated at any Pointe schools. Our faculty and staff take every opportunity to ensure that students understand how to treat each other with respect and dignity. We provide supervision during recess, lunch and during transition times and vigorously investigate any reports of bullying. Students who are found to be harassing or bullying other students are given consequences in accordance with the student conduct code. Students who continue to engage in bullying will be expelled.
Who pays for school?
As a public charter school, we receive money from the state of Arizona. We also receive some federal grants.
How old is the oldest school Pointe operates?
North Pointe Prep opened its doors in 2001. Canyon Pointe Academy, formerly known as North Pointe Academy, opened in August of 2002 and Pinnacle Pointe Academy opened in September of the same year.
When does foreign language begin?
Pointe Schools students are required to study a foreign language in High School, but some students may begin to take classes in Junior High. For many years we taught Spanish as one of the specials in the elementary school, but found that there was simply not enough progress to justify the amount of instructional time invested.
How many instructional assistants are there in a classroom?
The kindergarten classes each have one instructional assistant. Our other instructional assistants work with classes and students on an "as needed" basis.
Is there music instruction - when does it start - what does it consist of?
Pointe Students begin taking music as Kindergarteners. It is one of the "specials" that every class takes (PE, art and computer labs are the other specials for grades K-5). We follow the Core Knowledge music curriculum to insure that our students are musically literate. Students are introduced to musical concepts including melody, harmony, rhythm and performance. They also become familiar with musical genres and composer. Prep faculty travel to the elementary schools so that sixth grade students are able to take band twice a week as an elective. There are several courses that are available at the Prep that offer music instruction.
Is there PE everyday?
In our elementary schools PE is one of the specials that every class has on a rotating basis. Students can plan on having PE twice during most weeks. At the Prep, students may choose to take Fitness or weight training as an elective.
Is there homework?
Yes, students will have math and reading homework beginning in Kindergarten. By the time a student is in High School, he/she is also expected to spend time studying and reviewing note from class. Although the curriculum at each grade is designed to prepare our students for college, it remains developmentally appropriate. The faculty works hard to balance rigorous academic expectations with a well-rounded student's need for extracurricular involvement and time with family and friends.
How does Pointe teach reading?
We use the phonics-based Spalding program in the elementary grades. This highly structured program equips students with the tools necessary to become excellent readers. Because it uses all of the child's senses in the process of learning to read, Spalding is also known as "The Writing Road to Reading."
What services are available for Students with special needs?
We do provide services to students with special needs. We passionately believe in utilizing inclusion, the philosophy that students with special needs should remain with their peers as much as possible. As a public school we offer the full continuum of services as needed for our students' progress in the general curriculum.
Is after school care available?
Pointe Schools contracts with the YMCA and several other child care providers to provide after school care for our elementary students. Information, including pricing, is available at at the school.
Does Pointe provide transportation?
Yes, our fee based bus service allows parents to drop off and pick up a Prep student off at either of the elementary schools and to drop off and pick up Canyon students at the Prep.
How many students are in a class?
Most of our classrooms are designed for 28 students.
What are some of the fun activities for students?
Elementary students enjoy a wide range of activities including field trips, Family Skate Nights, concerts, assemblies, Storybook Character Day, Field Day, the Annual Block Party and special events at the Prep. Students may also participate in several after school clubs and activities. Throughout their time at the Prep, students are able to enjoy the Back to School Bash, Homecoming, dances, Spirit Weeks, plays, concerts, assemblies, sporting events, field trips, Prom the 8th grade trip, all topped off by the fabulous Senior Trip.