|A lone worker toils below the scaffolding on the new addition at Pinnacle Canyon Academy. The school is not only expanding its building but early this month it was allowed to expand its curriculum next year by adding 10th grade to the schedule. For fall 2008, the school has been approved to add 11th and 12th grades as well.|
Pinnacle Canyon Academy appeared before the Utah Board of Education at the May meeting in Vernal to request final approval of expanding the local facility to include high school classes.
The state board members approved the addition of the 10th grade for the 2006-2007 school year.
Students who are currently enrolled in the ninth grade at the charter school will be the first graduating class of Pinnacle High in 2009.
The state board also approved the addition of 11th and 12th grades the following two years.
"We want every child to have choices, to know what those choices are, and to be educated enough to stand up for what they believe in and make the right choice," said Lorrie Weaver, a junior high teacher at Pinnacle as she asked the board to approve the request.
"The students' involvement in this process shows both the staff and student's commitment to work toward this goal together. Please don't interrupt what our students have been working toward as members of their school community and force them to leave their school and attend a school that is not their choice. Please don't take away these students' right to make an educated choice about their future education," continued Weaver.
Ninth grader Jessica Houskeeper and seventh grader Chrystal Rich represented Pinnacle Academy students at the state education board meeting.
Houskeeper explained that PCA meets the needs of the students.The ninth grader told the board the students wanted to stay in the small setting to complete high school educations.
Rich said she was happy to have teachers who help her get As and Bs.
"That's something I didn't get at my last school," commented the seventh grader.
After discussing the matter and directing questions to Pinnacle administrative officer Roberta Hardy, the board voted to approve adding the high school level at the academy.
Pinnacle Canyon is a public charter school established in Carbon County in August 1998. It currently houses grades pre-kindergarten to ninth grade.
All high school grade levels will be added to the school in fall 2008.