This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted August 21, 2014
- a teacher
I'm a certified teacher and worked at this school for a few months after moving to Bloomington. I was stunned by the amount of unethical things going at the school. The tests being given do not transfer to the local school districts and the director cut our salaries by almost 40% midway through the year because there was a "shortage of funds". According to the staff members who were there for several years, this salary cut happened every year. Most of the kids I worked with didn't even seem to have dyslexia or learning disabilities, but instead had behavior disorders or seemed to come from families where private education was a preference. Additionally, the standardized testing procedures here did not seem to follow codes. I believe our tests were submitted way after they were taken, which made me suspicious as to whether the scores were altered after students took the tests.
Pinnacle has been a life saver for our 2 sons. Both of them were struggling in public school, in spite of being above average in intelligence. Pinnacle did ongoing evaluations with our children and came up with a customized plan for each of them to succeed. They are both doing quite well now and are testing above average in their grades. Without Pinnacle, our boys would have continued to struggle, receiving poor grades and their self-esteem would have plummeted. Both boys have said, "Pinnacle is the best school I have attended". (The have both attended 3 previous schools including public and private).
Pinnacle staff understands how my daughter thinks and builds upon her strengths. We discovered that my daughter has dyslexia and started her at Pinnacle in 2nd grade. There she learned to decode and read fluently. She was a very reluctant writer, but Pinnacle has turned her into a teenager who writes stories for fun! Pinnacle reaches students when other schools do not. At Pinnacle, my daughter is supported, motivated, challenged, and heard. She thrives in this diverse and STEM-focused environment. My only wish is for Pinnacle to be available at public-school cost for those with learning differences. However, the State of Indiana recognizes the value Pinnacle brings to our community by supporting families through the School Choice voucher program. This helps make Pinnacle accessible to even more students who think differently. I cannot say enough about the good Pinnacle does for families in Bloomington.
Pinnacle School has been everything and more that we could hope for. the teachers/staff/director are great communicators with us regarding our sons status and progress, and have really helped him make great strides in his abilities and self confidence. We are so happy with Pinnacle!
Our children attend Pinnacle and it has been a beneficial for them. Teachers and staff are quite supportive and understanding. They offer varied educational opportunities to challenge and engage students who struggle with learning disabilities. Pinnacle is different from a traditional school setting. Children interact more with different age groups, have greater responsibility in taking care of and shaping their school, and engage in learning activities that are "non traditional." They do not "teach to the test." Class size is limited to 12. There are some areas of weaknesses that need to be addressed . First, there is no playground equipment and very limited "recreation" time. students would benefit from having more time for physical exercise, such as climbing, jumping, swinging, etc. These are important sensory activities that can be beneficial to their ability to learn. Another concern is with their arts and foreign language program. I would like to see a variety of Art classes offered for older students and a music program adopted school wide. I hope that, as the school grows , hose options are also integrated into their curriculum.
Pinnacle is for school for dyslexia and will only tolerate very COMPLIANT other processing issues children who are accepted only to fill slots to cover operating costs. Too long of day considering that more homework than public school (took 2-3 hours a night), too many non-educational movies watched in school, lack of fitness (20 minutes per day) in a car garage, and math covered only 60% of books (public school covered 80%). No accommodations for individual child as promised in interview. Also can't leave mid-year with half of tuition refunded no matter what is stated in interview. Counselor was good. Only Orton-Gillingham program utilized, no alternatives. If child is not dyslexic, still must do O-G program and no grade level reading/vocabulary/writing will be taught beyond what is determined for the general dyslexia classroom setting no matter what is promised in interview.
At first this school appeared to be the answer to our prayers. With small (max of 12) class size, a special reading program for dyslexia and opportunities for things outside of the typical school offerings like yoga and pet care made this school worth the $10,000/year tuition. Unfortunately the discipline issues take most of the teacher s time and there is far too much time spent on movies, video games, and parties. It turns out there is really no good option in this town for children with reading problems since the MCCSC schools are far worse.