History of Canyon
HISTORY OF CANYON POINTE ACADEMY
Since 2002, Canyon Pointe has grown to over 400 students and serves kindergarten through sixth grade students.
Although Canyon is surrounded by several district and charter schools who also provide families with challenging academic programs, unlike these other schools, Canyon provides students athletic and arts opportunities as well as activities designed to promote positive relationships and life-long memories.
Canyon's athletic programs have also grown and provide fourth-sixth graders after school opportunities in football, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball and basketball.
Canyon's arts programs have also flourished and feature after school opportunities in tv production, piano, theatre and choir.
Canyon is a member of Pointe Schools - one of the State's largest Independent Public Charter School District serving over 1700 students on three Northwest Valley campuses.
Pointe Schools was founded by four families who were interested in creating a high school that would support parents as they built character and leadership qualities in their teens, provide an excellent education, and be financially accessible to everyone. Since no such high school existed in the northwest valley, the founders individually explored avenues to establish such a school. In the fall of 1999, they came together and formed Pointe Educational Services, a non-profit corporation, in order to open and operate an independent public high school that would fill this unmet need.
After a year of planning, the State Board for Charter Schools granted Pointe a contract to operate a college preparatory school. In August of 2001, North Pointe Preparatory opened on 51st Avenue and Union Hills with ten teachers, six classrooms and 130 students in grades 7-9. Students were provided with a traditional education with a "classical" emphasis. The curriculum was designed to prepare students for college, requiring that all students take College Preparatory, Honors and Advanced Placement courses. In addition to the academic emphasis, the school truly functioned as a community. By November, three more classrooms and a library were completed. Stanford 9 test scores that year were all above the state averages.
The Prep was such a success that parents began asking about the possibility of opening an elementary school that would set the foundation for junior high and high school. In the Spring of 2002, the State Board for Charter Schools expanded the Pointe charter to include kindergarten through sixth grade and Canyon Pointe Academy (called North Pointe Academy at the time) was born. A group of seasoned elementary teachers joined Pointe Schools and worked through the summer without pay to make sure the school was ready to open. The Prep had already outgrown the Union Hills site, so Canyon moved in and the Prep moved into a site at 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
The 2002-2003 school year was full of growth for Pointe Schools. Canyon Pointe Academy opened with 160 students. North Pointe Preparatory almost tripled in size to 350 students, and a second elementary school was added to the Pointe Schools family. The new school, Pinnacle Pointe Academy, was located on 67th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road and opened in September of 2002 with just under 25 students in grades K-4. Two Canyon teachers and their classes moved to Pinnacle and provided leadership for the new school. By the end of the year, enrollment at Pinnacle had increased to over 90 students.
Massive building projects took place at the three Pointe School's campuses between 2003 and 2009. The Prep moved to its current location at 43rd Avenue and Peoria in 2003 and expanded the campus to include 14 additional classrooms, a second gymnasium, fitness/weight facilities, batting cages, a practice field, band and choir rooms, music labs, a remodeled theater, an on campus TV station (preptv), a third parking lot and a fabulous Prep Cafe. Canyon remodeled offices, added security fences and completed a new field, a new playground and a new building consisting of 4 additional classrooms and the Lion Cafe. Pinnacle's building projects also included remodeling offices and adding security fences, as well as the addition of 10 classrooms, a field, new playground, basketball court and the Pinnacle Patio and Panther Cafe.
Additionally, the Prep received accreditation from the North Central Association as a College Preparatory School and was placed into the Arizona Interscholastic Association's 2A Central League for high school athletics.
In 2006, Jody Johnson (one of Pointe's founders and the first Principal of the Prep) became the Superintendent of Pointe Schools and undertook a massive, campus wide re-structuring. Seven years later, Pointe has never been healthier. With three schools, 1700 students, and 100+ employees, Pointe's original programs and activities are being imitated in charter, private and district schools and Pointe Schools receive state and national recognition.