Pinnacle Academy PTO
BRADENTON FL 34202-6708
The mission of the Pinnacle PTO is to establish a culture of fundraising that will support special "legacy projects" to enhance the educational experiences of students who have special learning needs. 
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Mrs. Krystilin Smith
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2014
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2018
State Registration No 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
The Pinnacle PTO has proudly supported special projects to enhance the educational experience of students who require a highly specialized learning environment.  The PTO's fundraising efforts have provided for several, exciting projects, including 1) speech therapy tool boxes for preschool-aged children who have language impairment, 2) a new swing set for the school playground, 3) a greenhouse for the horticulture program, and 4) a fully turfed, outdoor field to provide opportunities for sports activities.  Currently, the PTO is actively fundraising for a STEAM Lab to enhance appropriate exposure to science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
Needs Statement
1.  STEAM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)  $100,000
Microscopes, living lab curriculum packages, light tables, Smart Board, Robotics, Lego Mindstorms kits, safety equipment.  
2.  Speech Bins  $5,000
Professional materials to enhance speech and language, iPads to enhance augmentative communication for children who cannot speak. 
3.  Horticulture  $4,000
Paved outdoor classroom area with gazebo, garden shades. 
4.  Physical Education Field   $5,000
 sports equipment shed. 
5.  Library   $5,000 New books and sets of middle and high school novels for classes 5-12
Background Statement

The relationships within Pinnacle Academy’s community, which includes students, teachers, staff, parents, and patrons, are a vital influence on the success of our children’s futures. Therefore, our purpose is to foster a sense of support, pride and enthusiasm; to encourage parent and public involvement in the Manatee and Sarasota County communities; and to bring into closer relation the home and the school, that the parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of these exceptional learners. This organization shall provide service for school functions, engage in fundraising projects, encourage parent, teacher, and community involvement, and cooperate with school administration in providing educational opportunities. All (100%) activity will occur during the academic school year.  Projects funded by the PTO will leave a "legacy" of collaboration on the campus for years to come.

Areas Served
Areas Served
Areas Served Comments The Pinnacle PTO serves students, teachers, and families who may benefit from the educational services, professional training, or community involvement of the Pinnacle Academy.  Although the Academy is located in Manatee county (Lakewood Ranch), families relocate from many states and often countries to benefit from the Academy's special education programs.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
The greatest success we see is the continued growth and maturity of the school.  Our mission to grow and complement the school with needed technology is paramount for the children to succeed and thrive in our community.

The STEAM lab is designed to provide technology education at its best by supporting academic development, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The students work through a wide-range of modules and projects that relate to specific career clusters. The strength of the lab lies in the philosophy of providing technology education, not technology entertainment. It does this by providing a dynamic combination of computer-based learning resources that incorporate multimedia technology within a managed learning environment. Students work in teams on collaborative projects linked to modular study. In each assignment, students are learning workplace skills such as problem solving, team work, and communication skills.

Our STEAM Lab will strive to create a problem-centered, interdisciplinary learning environment for students of all ages. In the lab, students will be motivated to learn for life.

Budget $100,000
Category Education, General/Other Special Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success Subject areas such as math and science are often very challenging for students who have attention deficits, learning disabilities, or performance anxiety.  Our population of special learners will be able gain enhanced exposure to and retention of the learning objectives for various subject areas including science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.  Education will be provided using a multi-sensory, hands-on approach.  Annual data collection will indicate student mastery of the outlined curriculum that is targeted with the STEAM Lab materials and curriculum.
Long Term Success
Our long-term goal for success is to have a 90-100% matriculation of exceptional high school students into post-secondary education. This process to success begins in the early years, making the STEAM Lab an essential opportunity for all ages.

STEAM Projects integrate all subjects into one project-based outcome. For example, high school students may research energy efficiency and sustainable materials (science) on the internet (technology) and culminate their findings into a design project (art) to build a school for the future, while ensuring that the design specifications are mathematically sound (math). A kindergarten class may use spaghetti and marshmallows to construct a building structure (engineering), while discussing the use of geometric shapes (math) and force and gravity (science). They will finalize a presentation by taking photographs of each stage of the design (art) and preparing the project as an Animoto™ short film (technology). 

Program Success Monitoring Once the STEAM Lab is complete, students will be assessed on a quarterly basis to determine their level of performance in each subject area with a comparison to baseline at the beginning of each school year.  In addition, we will administer faculty and student questionnaires to assess the effect of the STEAM Lab's learning environment and multi-sensory materials on attitude towards learning, engagement, and effort.
Program Success Examples

The central pedagogical approach adopted in the STEAM Lab is inquiry learning. In inquiry learning, students follow a process in which investigations are pivotal. This means that information is not offered directly to students but needs to be extracted from an interaction with a phenomenon in the real world or with a model of the phenomenon. This investigation process is guided by a research question or hypothesis, requires interpretation of results and the formulation of conclusions, and the outcomes need to be communicated to others. Research shows that in order for inquiry to be successful it needs to be combined with guidance; when guidance is available, an inquiry learning process leads to better conceptual knowledge than traditional instruction. In a recent meta-analysis that focused specifically on inquiry learning with simulations, d’Angelo et al., 2014) concluded that students who learned with a simulation had better achievements than students who followed an alternative form of instruction and that adding guidance to a simulation, especially scaffolding, and using multiple representations further increased students’ performance.


This unique program brings children with social-learning needs together with trained peer models to enhance their social confidence and aid in friendship development.  Under the guidance of a professional therapist, students interact and work towards goals in social communication, play/game skills, and social awareness.  The research-based program runs throughout the summer months. 

This social training model was developed out of deep concern for the many children who are missing out on these essential experiences due to a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, sensory dysfunction, or social anxiety. Core challenges in social interaction, communication, play and imagination place these children at high risk for being excluded by peers. 

This project uniqueness lies in the sensitivity training component for the participating peer mentors. This peer group is made up of siblings, neighbors, extended family, and other typical learners who are interested in having fun and embracing differences. 

Budget $10,000
Category Education, General/Other Special Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success
The Integrated Social Group program has been provided to Pinnacle students and participants from the community for six years.  Data is collected each year to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and the impact that this unique model has on the social interactions between children who have social-communication challenges and their peers.  Each year, the data reflects a 75-100% increase in social skill demonstration during therapist-led sessions.  
In several cases, participating peer mentors have pursued a path of vocation or extracurricular involvement that has involved the field of special education.  Michael Ordetx was so moved by his experiences during the Integrated Social Groups, that he wrote and published a book about autism at the age of 11.  He has since spoken at various state and national conferences to encourage others to promote sensitivity training.   
Long Term Success There are numerous studies available that demonstrate the empirical data to support the long term outcomes of the Integrated Social Group model within large schools and community programs.  The Pinnacle PTO experiences the success via the rate of return requests that are submitted each summer to participate in the program.  In addition, parents and peers report a noticeable increase in positive social interactions outside of therapist-led sessions and throughout the school year.
Program Success Monitoring The Integrated Social Group program has been provided to Pinnacle students and participants from the community for six years. Data is collected and graphed each year to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and the impact that this unique model has on the social interactions between children who have social-communication challenges and their peers. Each year, the data reflects a 75-100% increase in social skill demonstration during therapist-led sessions.
Program Success Examples Several Integrated Social Group sessions will incorporate a theme, such as drama, dance, sports, or art.  In the past 3 years, 75% of the participants in a themed group have gone on to enroll in an extracurricular activity following their Integrated Social Group training.  These are children who had previously been intimidated or avoiding of any outside social group participation.   

The horticulture project was created to enhance student learning outside of the classroom and reinforce Pinnacle’s strong philosophy of kinesthetic learning. Every student can contribute to the development, growth, and sustainability of the school garden. We have chosen the Square Foot Garden method because it is simple and yields a beautiful and bountiful garden. With no need for tilling, digging, or fertilizing, we can demonstrate a practical way for our students to sustain a garden at their own homes and practice important life and vocational skills. We are committed to creating our garden with rich, organic matter. Our students practice the true meaning of recycling with a "no waste" composting method. Most importantly, the garden 

Recently, the Pond Preservation Project has been added. With an array of water lily species, the pond provides an opportunity to further enhance horticulture lessons and vocational skills.

Budget $2,000
Category Education, General/Other Special Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success Since its inception in 2014, the horticulture program has provided an environment for students to learn and prepare for life after school. The garden and greenhouse serve as a milieu where a variety of core standards will be taught across subjects, including math, social studies, science, language arts, art, social skills, and creative writing.  In addition, students on the career development track utilize the garden, pond, and greenhouse as a "living lab" to rehearse for employment.  Their short term goals have been to gain experience for the workplace and establish community partners.  In the first year, 60% of the students have attained employment (paid and non-paid) and four community partnerships have been successfully maintained. 
Long Term Success The anticipated success in future years includes sustained life and vocational skills for Pinnacle students. The garden, greenhouse, and pond preservation programs will provide opportunities for students to develop essential skills in independence, responsibility, problem-solving, and community collaboration. 
Program Success Monitoring
The success of the horticulture program is evident in the confidence and increasing employment of students in the career development program.
The vocational learning opportunities that this program offers are priceless. In future years, the program outcomes will be monitored through student questionnaires to measure the effectiveness of the horticulture program.  In addition, vocational skills rating scales will provide evidence of gains in job and life skill performance that result from the experiential learning that the horticulture program provides.    
Program Success Examples Following a community garden project, the Pinnacle students were offered employment opportunities from three local organizations.  Students in the career development program joined the Lakewood Ranch Gardening Club to plant an herb garden in Summerfield Park.  
Program Comments by Organization We are getting closer to achieving our goal of a fully functional STEAM lab.  The STEAM lab in innovative and crucial for the school to provide state of the art teaching methods so our children may complete in the global technology sector.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 6
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
The Pinnacle PTO has been privileged to collaborate with organizations in the community to enhance the support that is provided to the students of the Pinnacle Academy, both on campus and within their communities.  The following partners have collaborated with the Pinnacle PTO:

The Wilkisons

Nuovo Salon

The Cassidy Family Foundation

Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority

SMR Farms

Lakewood Ranch Garden Club 
Jacqueline Lewis
Cardinal Mooney Catholic School
Center for Autism Resources and Education
Southwest Florida Therapy Animals
Honor Animal Shelter 
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted May 2015
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Krystilin Smith
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Aug 2016 to July 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mrs. Banh Huitema Community Volunteer
Mrs. Deana Martinson Community Volunteer
Mrs. Krystilin Smith Community Volunteer
Dr. Paul A Twargoski Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 87
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 0
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $60,000.00
Projected Expenses $75,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$6,217$101,944$8,945
Administration Expense$26,680$0$609
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.530.794.43
Program Expense/Total Expenses19%100%94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$85,549$35,376$56,604
Current Assets$85,849$35,376$56,604
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$85,549$35,376$56,604
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $58,263Contributions, gifts, grants $57,631Fundraising $25,224
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $21,387Fundraising $19,520Contributions, gifts, grants $13,775
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $3,420Membership Dues $3,565Membership Dues $3,335
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal 990-EZ.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit Pinnacle Academy PTO
Address 6215 LORRAINE RD
BRADENTON , FL 34202 6708
Phone 941 755-1400