NORTH POINTE'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 statutes 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.
What does NCA accreditation and College Prep really mean?
An accreditation process certifies that a school has met the set of standards set forth by the accrediting agency. The following explanations are from the NCA CASI website (www.ncacasi.org): Accreditation assure parents and the public that the school is focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation. Accreditation extends across state lines, assuring parents and the public that their school adheres to high quality standards based on the latest research and successful professional practice. NCA CASI schools are required to meet quality standards, engage in a process of continuous school improvement and host external review teams to verify the quality of their school. Benefits to the schools include increased performance, transfer of credits, and access to programs and scholarships. "College Preparatory Accreditation" is our NCA category of membership. The College Preparatory standards for accreditation require a solid academic program designed to prepare students for college including a faculty with more advanced degrees than required by the usual Secondary Accreditation standards.
How does Pointe define Bully Free Zone and what are schools doing to maintain this?
Bullying is absolutely not tolerated at any Pointe school. 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 whoa re 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 public charter school, we receive money from the state of Arizona. We also receive some federal grants.
How long has Pointe Schools been in operation?
North Pointe Preparatory opened its doors in 2001. Canyon Pointe Academy, formally 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 being?
Pointe Schools students are required to study a foreign language in High School, but some students may being to take classes in Jr. High. For several years, we taught Spanish as one of the specials in the elementary schools, 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 on instructional assistant. Our other instructional assistants work with classes and students on an "as needed" basis.
Is there music intruction - when does it start - what does it consist of?
Pointe Students being taking music as Kindergarteners. It is one of the "specials" that every class takes (P.E. and art 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 composers. Prep faculty travel to the elementary schools so that sixth grade students are able to take band twice a week as an elective.
What music classes does North Pointe offer?
In our dedication to the arts, the Prep offers a variety of musical electives in order to encourage our students' musical understanding, appreciation and gifting. These classes include: band, choir, piano and guitar.
Is there P.E. everyday?
In our elementary schools P.E. is one of the specials that every class has on a rotation basis. Students can plan on having P.E. 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 notes 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 the 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 reading, 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. At the time, however, none of our schools has a full-day resource room on campus.
Is after school care available?
Pointe Schools contracts with the YMCA to provide after school care for our elementary students. Information, including pricing, is available at the school.
Does Pointe provide transportation?
Yes, our fee based bus service allows parents to drop off and pick up a Prep student 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 25 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. Throughout their time at the Prep, students are able to enjoy the Back to School Bash, Homecoming, dances, Coffee House Night, spirit weeks, plays, concerts, assemblies, sports events, field trips, Prom, the 8th grade trip, the Physics trip, all topped off by the fabulous Senior Trip.