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Pinnacle Peak Preparatory Is a Core Knowledge School

The "Core Knowledge" movement is an educational reform based on the premise that a grade-by-grade core of common learning is necessary to ensure a sound and fair elementary education. The movement was started by Professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr., author of Cultural Literacy and The Schools We Need, and is based on a large body of research in cognitive psychology, as well as a careful examination of several of the world's fairest and most effective school systems.

Professor Hirsch has argued that, for the sake of academic excellence, greater fairness and higher literacy, early schooling should provide a solid, specific, shared core curriculum in order to help children establish strong foundations of knowledge. Currently, hundreds of schools and thousands of dedicated educators are participating in this school reform movement throughout the United States.  

The Core Knowledge© Sequence represents the common ground upon which a faculty meets and collaborates to teach a sequenced, coherent curriculum. In this cumulative curriculum, the knowledge and skills learned each year become the students' foundation for learning in subsequent years.

Core Knowledge

  • Classic education - rich and compelling subject matter

  • Knowledge that spirals from grade to grade

  • Standards-based with specific guidelines

  • Cross-curricular connections (interdisciplinary)

  • Sustained, sequential learning

Project-Based Learning

  • Framework to organize and present curriculum content

  • Innovative and proven instructional approach

  • Instills a "culture of thinking"

  • Requires students to understand relevance of what they are learning and apply in problem-solving situations

  • Inquiry-based learning

  • It's a Project Based World

Project Based World Guide 

Gold Standard PBL: Essential Project Design Elements 

Main Course Not Dessert

PPPS Middle School Curriculum

All PPPS Middle School students will take four full-year academic courses: English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Honors English, Math, Science and Social Studies will also be available. 

Middle School Electives

Middle school students have the opportunity to choose from an array of electives for their class schedule. Students have two periods for elective courses. Note that some courses are year-long, while others are semester-long.

Students may choose one of the following:

  • 2 full-year electives and 0 semester electives
  • 1 full-year elective and 2 semester electives
  • 0 full-year electives and 4 semester electives
​  ​Four PPPS students from Honor's Band.


  • Computer Coding and Robotics

  • Concert Band

  • Culinary Arts and Life Skills

  • Design Thinking through STEAM 

  • Digital Media

  • Drama/Theater

  • Frank Lloyd Wright Experience

  • Physical Education 

  • Spanish (Online)

  • String Orchestra

  • Study Skills

  • Teacher Aide

  • Video Productions

  • Visual Arts

  • Yearbook

E.D. Hirsch Jr. founded the Core Knowledge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that publishes the Core Knowledge Sequence. The curriculum includes language arts, history and geography, mathematics, science, music, and visual arts.  The Core Knowledge curriculum covers preschool through eighth grade.

Learn more about Core Knowledge.