Turning Point School Blog
This morning, the Turning Point community celebrated another successful food drive to benefit S.A.V.E.S (Saint Augustine Volunteer Emergency Service) with a special all-school assembly. Students embraced the spirit of giving through song, dance, prose, and displays of student leadership. The items donated will help feed families in the Culver City area this holiday season.
Many thanks to our special guest from S.A.V.E.S., Sister Margaret, for speaking with our students about the impact their donations will have on the greater community. And our sincere appreciation to our PSA Community Service Co-Chairs, the Faculty Service Learning Committee, and our parent volunteers for organizing this important annual event.
Thank you to all who donated and thoughtfully participated. Service learning opportunities are an ongoing and important part of the Turning Point culture, and are designed to deepen connections for our students with the school’s curriculum and core values.
In "Hands in the Dirt," our young gardeners have been planting, weeding, thinning, and best of all, tasting! Levels 2-4 students worked very hard throughout the entire trimester to maintain their own table garden with basil and dill, which they were able to take home to prepare in dishes shared with their families. Students loved getting their hands dirty and being part of the transformation from dirt to dish. Great job, gardeners!
In the After-School Class Yoga, students in Levels 2-4 have been practicing their basic poses as well as learning new poses such as Eagle Pose, Warrior 1, 2, and 3, and even Standing Splits. In concert with Turning Point's focus on global education, students have learned about the origins of yoga stemming from India's Hindu and Buddhist cultures. They explored the classical language of Sanskrit, viewing many of the characters and even learning the Sanskrit names for some of the popular yoga poses!
Our yogis have been practicing handstands, and they love to practice the partner poses. They have also practiced uses for the yoga block including the restorative back bend and how to use it as a tool to aid in flexibility poses. Each student has found a niche with their favorite poses and love to work on different aspects of yoga during Free Yoga time at the end of class. Namaste!
The Turning Point community enjoyed the second Family Event of the year this morning when students, Faculty, and Staff joined in small, multi-age groups to explore the importance of giving back to the community. Families discussed the annual SAVES Supply Drive which provides non-perishable food items for local families in need through St. Augustine Volunteer Emergency Services, and then engaged in a group actitivty to create a "messages of thankfulness" display. The New Beginnings family drew messages ofgratitude on leaves that they then glued to a tree - creating a "pile" of things for which to be thankful.
The Turning Point Family Program provides a multi-age environment that encourages continuity and builds a sense of community among Faculty, Staff, and students. Faculty and Staff “Elders” facilitate monthly Family meetings designed to help younger students benefit from interaction with older students, encourage older students to practice responsible modeling, and inspire all members of the Turning Point community to learn, share, and grow together.
Students in the After School Class Books and Cooks have been cooking up a delectable mixture of reading, baking, and artistic flare this Trimester! Recently, the budding chefs prepared turkey meatballs after reading the classic story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. After washing their hands and reviewing the recipe, students focused on adding flavor through herbs and spices, such as basil, parsley, and mint. In addition to taste, the class also discussed the high nutritional value of herbs and the many ways they can eat and even drink herbs to keep them healthy and strong.
After the meatballs were seasoned, prepared, and baked, students let their artistic side shine by using parsley, meatballs, and marinara sauce to make a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs scene on their plate! In the end, all cooks gave their meatballs a big thumbs up!
The following links feature a variety of kid friendly recipes and activity guides that focus and build on the benefits of cooking with kids, including safe and healthy cooking and eating habits, as well as practical life, science, language, and math applications.
Our annual Thanksgiving Supply Drive begins on Monday, November 9. Keeping our tradition of helping others in the community, we continue our involvement with St. Augustine Volunteer Emergency Services. S.A.V.E.S. offers non-sectarian assistance to families and individuals who experience economic difficulties. Our collection of nonperishable food items continues through Tuesday, November 24.
In addition to giving to S.A.V.E.S., volunteers from the PSA Community Service Committee will adopt 20 families from the community of schools that we connected with for Community Service Day last May (King Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, and Colosseum Elementary), and will provide each adopted family with a Thanksgiving meal.
The items requested for S.A.V.E.S. are: canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned tuna, canned soup, canned beans, canned pasta, canned meat, soup in microwaveable containers, macaroni and cheese (boxed or in microwaveable containers), ramen in microwavable containers, microwaveable oatmeal, boxed cereal, dry or powdered milk, plastic containers of jam or jelly, boxed potatoes, boxed stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, boxed cake mix, cake frosting, and canned yams. There has also been a request for disposable diapers.
All donations should be left in the collection boxes outside of your child's classroom. Thank you in advance for your generous contribution to Turning Point School's efforts to support others in our Culver City community.
For more information contact Sonia Kirkman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Service Committee Co-Chairs: Mikara Davis, Sonia Kirkman, Debbie Magidson, Orit Michiel, and Caro Pasvolsky
In Science this week, Level 4 students used red cabbage indicator solution to determine whether or not substances were acids, bases, or neutral.
Students were safely equipped with gloves and goggles as they worked in groups, using pipettes to transfer solutions from a 25ml flask into a test tube filled with cabbage indicator solution. Our budding scientists were in awe as they watched colors change from the neutral purple to deep red for strong acids, hot pink for acids, grass green for bases, and dark blue for strong bases.
Each group then completed a lab worksheet, where students collaborated to determine the approximate pH level of the substance, wrote down the color of the solution, and decided if the substance was an acid, base, or neutral.
Great work Level 4, your attention and focus was outstanding!
Middle School Spanish students contributed to an altar in honor of Dia de los Meurtos. In order to make this assignment personally significant, students were asked to inquire about a close or distant relative who is no longer living. This encouraged conversations at home and many students were able to learn something that they did not know about those being honored.
The stories shared about the many portraits and items on display were truly touching and brought tears and laughter during a poignant moment in class.
"Collaboration" is the word of the week for Levels K, 1, and 2 students in the after school class Being Da Vinci! As they create art, students discuss the implications of group and partner work, including how to ask permission to draw on one another's work and how to negotiate with a friend and plan a project before beginning.
Visual art explorations have included both individual and collaborative drawings as well as a study of French artist, Henri Matisse and his cut outs. Contrasting both geometric and organic shapes, students have begun to draw with scissors to create a colored paper collage emulating Matisse's work.
Students also are studying city planning and landscape architecture by using techniques such as drawing, cutting, folding, and re-purposing material to create 3-D buildings.
All of our Being Da Vinci artists are independent and engaged thinkers who love working together to build their artistic prowess and practice concepts of practical cooperation and collaboration.
Technology teacher Mr. Isles and Spanish teacher Ms. Escobedo partnered to bring Level 2 Spanish students a special lesson combining science and Spanish. Using a circuit chip called Makey Makey, students triggered animal sounds by touching specially rigged coins that acted as buttons. The students were then encouraged to identify the animals in Spanish.
This activity provides a wonderful example of Turning Point's diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum that encourages the adaptable, entrepreneurial spirit required for success in the 21st century.
Students in the after-school class Chess have been enjoying a great season of strategy and gamesmanship! Each week, players in Levels K, 1, and 2 take on a different opponent - including Ms. Parker and Ms. Short. After spending the first several weeks becoming acclimated to the game, students are focusing on technique and testing new skills. By the end of the trimester, every student will have had a chance to play a different friend in the tournament style games. Great job, students!
Is there a future US Open champion within our midst at Turning Point? We think so! Students in the after-school class TGA Tennis have been making huge strides in developing solid skills in serving, volleying, and ground striking. Our TGA tennis instructors keep students engaged during every minute of class. From stroke training to trivia to cooperative partner activities, these young athletes gain the confidence to perform both on and off the court.
Utilizing a series of station based activities, students rarely wait in line to hit a ball. Each station supports the weekly stroke lesson (serve, volley, forehand, backhand) while an academic focus remains on building character through dedicated class themes and educating students on the rules and etiquette of the game.
Many thanks to our coaches from TGA Tennis for providing students with an inclusive, encouraging, and rewarding Trimester of tennis!
Level 2 had an exciting adventure at Underwood Family Farm when they visited for a Study Tour. In Science, students have been learning all about seeds, the parts of plants, plant growth, and sustainability. In Social Studies, they have been researching different vegetable families and learning how to put this research into their own words to present to their classmates.
Students were able to put their knowledge into action as they picked vegetables straight from the field. They learned the proper way to pick carrots, beets, basil, and cilantro. Students (and teachers!) were also allowed to pick their very own sugar baby pumpkin. They were excited to bring what they picked home to make a farm fresh meal!
The Turning Point School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Dr. Laura Konigsberg has been appointed the next Head of School beginning July 1, 2016. She will succeed Deborah Richman who, in the beginning of 2015, shared her plan to retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year after 28 years of service.
"Unanimously chosen by the Board of Trustees, Laura was a standout among an impressive field of candidates. She is the ideal leader to build on the remarkable legacy that Deborah Richman has built over the past 28 years at our exceptional school." - Steve Plum, Board President
Read the letter to the community from Board President Steve Plum here.
Dr. Konigsberg currently serves in the role of Associate Head of Bentley School, a dual campus K-12 day school in Oakland, CA (360 students; 70 Faculty and Staff), where she oversees the entire K-8 campus. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Konigsberg has energized Bentley’s program, modernized its curriculum, and consolidated the K-8 faculty into one body. She has implemented numerous innovative programs involving mathematics, science, diversity, and professional development and has been integral in enriching the overall academic program. She has also been instrumental in strengthening Bentley’s community outreach, and the school’s enrollment has increased under her guidance.
She now brings that breadth of experience and passion for progress and advancement to Turning Point School.
“In my conversations with the Turning Point community I have encountered a deep, abiding love for the school, a shared vision of the school’s purpose, and a rich atmosphere of collegiality and respect. Turning Point is a school that celebrates the myriad transitions in growth from childhood to adolescence; that the school’s name embodies these passages, together with the commitment of the entire community to students’ authentic growth, is both moving and inspiring.” – Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Originally from New York, Dr. Konigsberg earned her undergraduate degree in English from Trinity College, and her Masters and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis; in addition, she holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley.
Over two decades, Dr. Konigsberg has worked as an English teacher, English Department Chair, Freshman and Sophomore Class Dean, Director of Counseling and Student Support, Dean of Teaching and Learning, Assistant Head of Upper School, and Head of Lower School.
She also shares in the global leadership perspective that Turning Point champions. She lived in Tokyo during high school and graduated from the American School in Japan. She later spent her junior year of college in London.
Dr. Konigsberg will be relocating to Los Angeles with her husband, Ted Courant, who is a mathematician with a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley, and her two children, Jack and Miles.
“I am excited to build on the legacy of Deborah Richman, who has imbued the school with its character of excellent academics alongside the education of the whole child. We are looking forward to having our children, Jack (age 10 / Level 5) and Miles (age 6 / Level 1), join Turning Point School and are especially excited to have Jack start middle school at Turning Point.” – Dr. Laura Konigsberg
The Head of School search is the Board’s highest responsibility. The nine-month journey was led by a Board-appointed Search Committee that, with guidance from a national consultancy firm, vetted dozens of outstanding candidates from across the country and abroad. More than 72 hours of interviews were conducted by the Search Committee, including open “question and answer” sessions for the parent community, administrators, and faculty.
“Laura is an outstanding leader whose intelligence, character, values, warmth, and vision will resonate deeply with the Turning Point community. I am delighted that the Board has appointed her your next Head of School, and could not be more proud to welcome her to our vibrant, diverse community.” – Deborah Richman
Current Head of School Deborah Richman will remain in her position through the end of June, 2016. Plans to celebrate her service to Turning Point School will be shared with the community as they are confirmed.