My daughter is in kindergarten at Pinnacle Peak Elementary. I couldn't be more pleased with the school, staff, and teachers. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. The class size is small (18), and the kids get the attention that they need. Parental involvement is very high. Parents are encouraged to eat lunch with the kids and help in the classroom. I love the school and am look forward to the next several years there!!
Choose wisely -- you have a choice. This school will never be good or even average until it gets a principal who does something besides back-up ineffective teachers and students who are bullies. The parents are lovely, many of the kids are, too, but the academics are weak in comparison to other elementary schools and teachers. Bullies run rampant and the teachers and targets can't do anything because the principal doesn't handle it in a meaningful way. Teachers know they can slide by on little and the principal will back them up. There are some good teachers, but many are weak, and this principal brings the whole school down. Choose another school with a better leader; most of the good families avoid Pinnacle Peak -- we left, following the lead of three far wiser families who left months before us, and we all went different ways but are delighted with our new situations.
The school is good, not great. There are both good and bad teachers. And there is a lot of nepotism, staff's children getting preferential treatment. The No Limits program is a combined 5th and 6th grade class with almost 40 kids and one teacher. They score well on AIMS because they teach to the test. It is a large public school with overcrowded classrooms. It is what it is.
We are new to Pinnacle Peak and are amazed at how great this school is. This is a dream school. Perfect in every way. The principal is outstanding. The school is run smoothly and the teachers are what you wish every teacher across America would be like. I have never seen my kids so happy and excited to go to school. Also, all of the parents that we have met are so nice along with their children. An A + school.
I feel so blessed to have my neighborhood school be Pinnacle Peak. Mr. Lee is an outstanding principal. We have the most amazing teachers, dedicated PTO and parent volunteers.Our school is always looking for unique way to make it a better learning and social enviroment for the children at the school- Ipad lab, project gold, No limits, etc... We are really looking forward to another great year at PPES- The Best School in America!!! !
As a teacher of the PPES staff I can assure you that the educators in this building are some of the most dedicated and talented educators you will find. We focus on what is best for every student and provide support so every child can be successful. And their success shows, we were ranked as the #1 K-6 elementary school in the state. Our school's innovation and hard work is being recognized by our district. This year we will be piloting a "No Limits" program for a group 5th and 6th grade students that integrates inquiry based learning, physical education and technology. With the support of our Professional Development department we have created a Center for Teaching Excellence that is starting within the primary grades. Our goal is for these programs to expand. These programs would never have been an option without the caliber of educators we have in EVERY classroom as well as the leadership of our principal and the support of our community.
In my opinion, it is true that many of the teachers at this school give preferential treatment to kids whose parents shower them daily with gifts such as Starbucks, dessert items, fast food, etc. For the enormous quantities of donations the PTO takes in, there should be more money to supplement such things as textbooks and field trips. Certain teachers, however, such as the art, band, and honors teachers, DO NOT participate in this behavior and are FANTASTIC teachers. There are very tight cliques of parents who rule the roost at this school. Parents who are not part of these cliques feel like outsiders and our children pay the price daily. The core knowledge curriculum is EXCELLENT, but many of the teachers (especially those demanding gifts) do not adhere very closely to it. The lunch period is too short, especially when time spent in line to and from the cafeteria and to buy food is taken into account. In my opinion, although the principal may not be getting everything right, he has good intentions. I do not believe that this school is terrible, but there is much room for improvement.
I am one of the parents who went on the Library field trip and I love this field trip. The students are getting to walk on a beautiful day with as many parents as want to join. We learned all about the construction of this wonderful library, it being Green and all, our kids were able to check out books for an up comming report that was due and then we all walked back and enjoyed a picnic lunch and fun in the local park! Its nice to get back to the basics and enjoy the simple things in life. Walking to our local library with our brown bag lunches.
It's no surprise the defenders of PPES are lurking to challenge any truths about the school. A neighboring elementary public school took their 2nd grade kids to the Music Instrument Museum, and they have an upcoming trip to a different cultural museum. Our kids walk to the nearby public library? As if kids have never been there? Some "trip"... The PTO is partially involved in sharing the expense of field trips with the school. The PTO has fundraiser after fundraiser and the kids are walking to a library? As for the favoritism, it exists, whether you are aware of it, or not willing to admit it. Maybe you haven't experienced the discrimination that goes on in this school. When you don't play to the school's games, you see certain kids receiving preferential treatment in class. Either you are a participant or not very involved in school. Those who attend know the modus operandi of this school.
I am reading the previous post and am floored by the lack of knowledge this person has. The textbooks are provided by the district and not by the PTO. The PTO at Pinnacle Peak has always been great about providing what the teachers request. You can see by the test scores, all of the students of Pinnalce Peak are treated fairly by the teachers. Parent involvemnet does not mean your child is treated differently.. As far as field trips, PPES is a public school and does not have the ability to do extravagant field trips just like all other public schools.
This is my family's fourth year at Pinnacle Peak Elementary. We are so happy with the core knowledge program and the overall learning experience that out children are receiving The dedication of the Mr. Lee, the teachers and the PTO board are so amazing. All three are constantly working to make sure that all of the children receive the best education possible. We feel very fortunate to have out children there!
We have had a very good experience at this school with each of our children. The Core Knowledge (trademark;-) curriculum is fantastic. I love that my children are learning so much about our and other cultures, religions and histories. We've had very good teachers at PPES and the PTO works very hard to provide as much supplemental support as possible. One additional comment: Who are these people who are complaining that Mr. Lee doesnt care about the kids because the lunch time allotment is too short?? If a child cant accomplish lunch in 20 minutes...(in addition to the 20 minutes of recess just prior)...Im just saying...in my house, that's called lollygagging. I send my children to school for a great academic experience and social development but clearly the education takes the priority. The school day is from 9-3 which isnt very much time, so I am happy my kids get 40 minutes for lunch and recess and no more. Is that even determined by a principal? I'd *think* that scheduling is a district issue. In either case, if you want to see changes, which I thoroughly respect....get to work on them! As far as Mr. Lee, I've never seen a more involved Principal. I am done now;-)
This is our first year in Pinnacle Peak and I am very pleased with the progress my children have made. My 4th grader didn't have and IEP, but that didn't stop the school from giving him the necessary attention to motivate him academically to participate. They were successful! My 1st grader came to the school with a pre-school reading level and finished the year strong at 2nd grade level. I am pleased with where my kids are at the end of the school year. There are rumors about bullying, but nothing that scared my kids enough to ask me to move them. They said over and over that they love the school.
This is our first year at PPES and we couldn't be more disappointed in the chronic bullying that takes place and the low academic standards at a school in this demographic. We have had to bring to the attention of the Principal, on several occasions, about our child being choked, pushed down, etc. Again today our child is telling us it is still happening. Regarding academics, they have no system in place to handle well above average students until the 4th grade. We are even receiving graded work from the teacher that shows 100%, but after we review it, it is clear it was never truly graded. God help us all if any parent at this school is satisfied with the low academic standards that are being advertised as "better than other places in the Valley." Having come from another state's system, I assure you that this school is well behind the competition, and so will your child be when they become adults in the real world. I would strongly advise against moving in this area simply for the school; however, if you have $10K a year to spend there are many good private schools within 15-20 minutes away. The community is great, the school is not.
I'm reading the reviews for Pinnacle, presently looking for schools for my girls, one will be entering 3rd grade and the other 11th in sept/2011, I will be relocating to scottsdale in July.2011 and will like to have them in a good school. After reading all the reviews below, it seems that Pinnacle may be one to consider for my 3rd grader.
Pinnacle Peak Elementary is a vibrant, engaged and creative school. The Core Knowledge curriculum adds so much debth to the student's learning and really brings the subjects alive. The teachers and staff are highly dedicated and I have always found that they are willing to go the extra mile when my child needs help and are responsive to my questions or concerns. Mr. Lee the principal is an excellent leader and is well loved by the staff and parents. The parent group is very active at the school. I've always found them to be inviting, open and working hard for the students and staff. I would recommend this school to anyone who is looking for a great education for their children.
Pinnacle Peak Elementary school has been a great school for both of my kids for the past 5 years. It takes a village to raise a child and the school has done their part! The PTO has done a lot for our children and I appreciate their efforts especially as volunteers! I believe if you aren't happy with what is going on then get involved. It doesn't have to be during the day or all day. There is always an opportunity for everyone.
I have a 4th grader and a 1st grader, so this will be our fifth year at PPES. The principal is awesome - very involved and clearly loved by the students. When I grew up the principal was someone to be feared. There are some awesome teachers there and then there are some that do have their favorites. The curriculum is strong. The PTO is very involved with the school, which is great to see, but I think there are too many requests for volunteering time and money/donations/selling items. Supporting this school as an involved parent could be a full-time job! My main beef is all the requests for money for gifts for the teachers, administrators, and support staff throughout the year. I think having one time during the year when we show our appreciation to them is fine, but this school pressures people to send in money for birthdays, Christmas, teacher's appreciation week, and more! My brother-in-law is a teacher in Texas and he thinks this number of gifts is excessive. Just recently the children were each asked to bring in a dollar or two (of their own money) for a birthday gift for one of the admins. That was just not called for, in my opinion.
I have only one child, in thier first year of school, at their first school ever. I have struggled as a single parent, working full time in the banking industry, to keep up with all the fundraising, events, and time that I am unofficially required to put into the school and classroom. PPES PTO always says that "everything is voluntary", but if you cannot be involved or simply dont have the money, you get emails from multiple parents reminding you that you are the only one not participating. My child has also been a victim of bullying and has even been pulled aside to ask of problems at home! However, I feel that the cirriculum is good and my child is learning at the pace that she should be. All in all, I am academically happy but have been made to feel as thought I am lacking as a parent.
At PPES, many teachers pander to the clique of the "in crowd" of parents and their kids. It is a community of people who are all about show, and the school mirrors this. The lunch period is ridiculously short so the kids are hungry all day. Bullying is present, although I have to say that my kids have only had minor incidents. If you read some of the other posts, you can see the clique attitude coming through. On the positive side, the current principal has made HUGE improvements to this school since taking over a few years ago. The Core Knowlege curriculum is excellent. Some of the teachers are really good, kind people who care about the kids. Overall, I would say that this school has a lot of what's wrong in education and some of what is still good.
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