Turning Point School Blog
Is Mr. Fox guilty of stealing from the farmers? If so, should he be responsible for replacing the stolen items? Level 3 recently put Mr. Fox on the stand during a mock trial where students represented characters from the book and argued their side in this controversial case.
While our jurors worked hard to stay undecided until both sides were heard, our defense and prosecution councils did their best to back up the case in favor or against the accused. In the end, Mr. Fox was declared guilty, and our Level 3 students learned about the criminal justice system!
Level 3 visited Olvera Street last week. They learned about the history of early Los Angeles, and experienced some unique features including a walk through the Avila Adobe, the oldest house in Los Angeles, and the Pico house, the city’s first grand hotel built by Pio Pico, the last governor of California under Mexican rule. Students also practiced their Spanish by asking questions and ordering food at a Mexican café.
The afternoon was spent taking in the lively and colorful culture of the marketplace and shopping for souvenirs. A great time was had by all!
From the Director of Admissions and Placement
This year, 100% of Turning Point graduates seeking admission were accepted to competitive, highly selective Upper Schools. More than 80% of the class was offered admission at their first choice school.
Our placement process emphasizes the importance of finding the right fit for each student and family. The diversity of Upper Schools explored and chosen is testament to the diverse make-up of our community.
This journey began nearly ten months ago with our Level 7 Parents Meeting in May. At that gathering we outlined the steps each family would take to effectively research and identify school choices, explore and refine their lists, navigate the various application processes, and ultimately guide each student to a school that will set the stage for long-term success.
As the Placement Director, I have the privilege of cataloguing and presenting the many accolades and successes of our Level 8 students. While we celebrate their acceptances, on behalf of the entire Middle School Division I would also like to acknowledge their time, effort, and partnership.
This year’s graduating class includes talented artists, athletes, and actors. There are gifted writers, powerful speakers, and blossoming agents of change. Their experiences here in Middle School have fundamentally shaped their trajectory in academics and in life. It may sound like a platitude, but observing the growth and achievements of the Class of 2015 should give us all great hope in our collective future.
As future alumni of Turning Point School, these students have experienced unique learning and leadership opportunities. As mentors to our youngest friends they have planted the seeds of success for graduates to come.
They’ve been challenged to think and grow beyond their comfort zone by excellent teachers who honor the distinct development of each child.
And yet these graduates are much more than just well prepared for high school. Our graduates, on the cusp of young adulthood, are exceptionally prepared for the challenges that an increasingly complex, interconnected world will present to them.
It has been a true pleasure and privilege to work alongside each student and family as they make this transition. We could not be more proud of your accomplishments and wish you the best of luck as you traverse life’s many turning points in the future. Congratulations, Class of 2015!
Director of Admissions and Placement
2015 Upper School Acceptances
Chaminade College Preparatory School*
Crespi Carmelite High School*
Immaculate Heart High School
Lycée Français de Los Angeles High School
Loyola High School*
Marymount High School*
Milken Community School
New Roads School*
Notre Dame Academy
Notre Dame High School*
Pacific Hills School
Pacifica Christian High School*
*Denotes Turning Point graduate(s) enrolling next fall.
In Level 2 Science last week, students enjoyed an exciting visit from Inside the Outdoors Traveling Scientist, Marie, who gave a wonderful lesson on natural resources and how we can best protect our environment. The hands-on presentation allowed students to collaborate on how they could positively impact environmental sustainability.
Students also learned about the sun and started an experiment that uses the Scientific Method to understand how sunblock protects us from harmful exposure.
Last week in Level K Social Studies, students continued their Farm to Table unit by studying the different parts of a plant, including the roots, stem, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Students identified edible plants and discussed where they grow. They learned that carrots grow as roots underground, apples grow on trees, lettuce grows on top of the ground, and pumpkins grow on a vine. Finally, students created pictures of plants using actual fruits and vegetables. Great work, Level K!
As Turning Point continues to explore the possibilities of 3D Printing with the recently donated Makerbot Replicator, another great project has "extruded" from the SmartLab that will help the school community expand its 3D capabilities.
Level 6 students Paige G. and Ryan T. recently decided to take on a 3D Printing project with the intention of testing the printer's upper limits. In what has so far been our longest and most detailed print, Ryan and Paige created a three dimensional castle that took over seven hours to print. After experimenting with more complicated 3D Objects, Ryan and Paige created a wonderful complex castle with relatively simple shapes.
During the modeling process, Paige and Ryan discovered first-hand the concept of "overhang," which is when shapes will not print correctly due to lack of support in the layering process. They also gained a better understanding of what geometric shapes work best when they are combined to make cohesive objects. These are valuable hands-on learning experiences that Paige and Ryan were able to share with their classmates as students become more proficient with this new technology.
In honor of tax season, there will be “no taxation without calculation” in Ms. Pritchet’s Level 7 Pre-Algebra classes! The students were given hypothetical taxpayer scenarios to pay their federal income tax. They each received W-2 and 1099 forms in order to fill out their 1040EZ or 1040a Forms.
The students learned the important 21st Century skill of Financial Literacy by understanding the taxation process and why federal and state governments collect income taxes. They also received real-world insight into entering the future work force.
In preparation for the annual International Village presentation, each student also researched how taxation is managed in the countries they will be representing.
This week in the SmartLab, Level 6 students Mason L. and William K. presented a project they had been working on for Ms. Hoang's Level 4 class. Mason and William knew they wanted to learn about 3D printing, but weren't sure what they should try to print. All SmartLab projects must in someway benefit the community, so William and Mason eventually decided to create bathroom passes for a classroom in the elementary division. After surveying the students of Ms. Hoang's class to get a sense of their interests, the team learned how to model objects in 3D and created customized passes for both the boys and girls in the class. During their final presentation for Ms. Hoang's class, Mason and William discussed how 3D Printing works and left the passes for the class to use.
Stay tuned for more great SmartLab projects that feature new technologies and crossover with the Elementary and Primary divisions!
Congratulations to our Levels 3-5 students for their creative, innovative, and imaginative work at the Elementary Science Fair! The annual Science Fair gives Levels 3-5 students the chance to display their knowledge of the multitude of scientific themes they have studied this year.
Students kicked off the morning with an energetic All-School Assembly, where they shared their knowledge through skits, songs, and even dance. Next, the Lower Elementary and Middle School students were invited to view the interactive projects that had been set up throughout Building 2.
Level 3 projects featured region-specific African animals, Level 4 students highlighted innovations and inventions from around the world, and the Level 5 projects highlighted experiments and students’ uses of the Scientific Method. Thank you to everyone who came out to join us for this fun-filled, educational day! Go Tornadoes!
Maya is a 2014 graduate of Turning Point School who is currently a member of the Class of 2018 at Archer School for Girls. We caught up with Maya to see how her high school experience has been so far, and to ask if she could share any advice with our current middle school students.
What has been the biggest surprise about your upper school experience so far?
There have been MANY surprises that have come along the way of finding a path to create for myself in upper school. I think the largest, most positive surprise was realizing how wonderful it was to be able to meet over 100 new people just on the first day of orientation, and then a week later becoming friends with girls I never thought I would hang around with. Not only did these new friendships come as a surprise, but they also have led to extreme fun, and I wouldn’t exchange the unsuspected friendships I made for the world.
What opportunities, outside of the classroom, have you taken advantage of in your new school?
I have joined the Community Service Board at Archer, and am proud to take part in the many service-learning projects we do monthly. In addition, I am a member of the Dance Company, which has been one of my favorite parts of Archer. Being a dancer outside of school, having the extra hours to unwind and have fun with my friends is really great. I am also very involved in the theater program at my school. I was also just recently in Archer’s Upper School performance of Jesus Christ Superstar which was an incredible!
Have you felt prepared academically for the transition to high school?
Absolutely. While there are always challenges in different classes, I came to Archer confident in my ability to adapt to a new style of learning and proceeded to finish my first semester with grades that reached and exceeded my goals for the first couple months of school. I was able to conquer challenges including honors Physics, French 3 Honors, and a totally new math system. Turning Point prepared me just enough to allow me to feel confident and ready, but also prepared me to be able to find myself as a student and find my way through the new academic jungle we call “high school.”
In your opinion, what have been the advantages to attending an all-girls upper school?
Where do I start?! By far the greatest thing is being able to wake up in the morning, throw on my uniform, brush my teeth, occasionally brush my hair, and hop on the bus without one care in the world as to what people will think of me when it comes to appearance. Not only that, but all the girls at Archer are supportive and so incredibly fun to be around. I have gained an extreme sense of confidence since the beginning of my days at Archer, and the all-girls aspect has been the most dominating factor of this change. At an all-girls school, you feel comfortable asking questions in class, talking to your teachers for help, and being a total goofball with you friends, whom you know you will have a bond with forever, at lunch.
What advice do you have for current Turning Point students making the transition to high school?
Don’t stress! I put a lot of pressure on myself when it came to getting into one particular school. In the end, I ended up going to my second choice school, and I couldn’t be more grateful for not getting into the school that I wanted so badly at the start of the transition process. The best thing you can do for yourself is focus on your school work and enjoying the last months you get with each other.
The Turning Point class of 2015 is an amazing group of kids, and I send a huge hug to all of them and I have 100% faith in them as they go through this process!
As you look to the future at Archer, what are you looking forward to most?
I am greatly looking forward to all the new classes I get to take next year as a sophomore, and even more so for the interesting junior and senior AP classes my school offers. I am also excited to get more involved in the theater. I am so happy to be able to be at such a great school that will expose me to so many new opportunities in the future.
In Ms. Rosati's After-School Class, Story Time Yoga, students have been learning tales from around the world. Class begins by reading an international story, and then students practice yoga poses that demonstrate their own version of the narrative. Sun salutations, animal poses, and stretching allow students to creatively express themselves through yoga and movement.
After yoga practice, students engage in a game or activity that compliments the country or region they learned about that day. Recently, students created Buddhist mandalas to compliment their study of India, and also colored their names in hieroglyphics to compliment their study of Egypt.
This week, a traveling scientist visited Level 2 and taught students all about sustainability of resources and how to be "green." Students learned that trash can hurt our wildlife, how to make a real no-waste lunch, and which every-day items are made from non-sustainable resources.
Students also discussed how the five R's can help reduce trash: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot, and Repurpose. They even were able to meet two animals that are important to the environment: Beetles help with food rot, while salamanders soak water into their skin which helps scientists learn about pollution in our water ways. Lastly, the students made a commitment to reduce waste, just in time for Earth Day!
Level 5 had a wonderful time on their Study Tour to the Blue Ribbon Children's Festival last week. Held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Festival is an annual admission-free program that is designed specifically for fifth grade students. Our Level 5 students experienced a live professional performance of "Sequence 8" by 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main), and then gathered together to perform a short choreographed dance inspired by the production. A great time was had by all!
Congratulations to Turning Point alumnus Jarred Green (Class of '07) who recently completed his Senior Capstone Project at Skidmore College by giving a recital of his originally composed music. He conducted and performed with fellow student musicians and singers who volunteered to take part in his recital.
The Capstone Project provides graduating Skidmore music majors with an opportunity to engage in an intensive study of their craft by creating, proposing, planning, and executing a public performance for peers, instructors, family, and friends. Congratulations to Jarred on completing this exciting milestone!
After graduation, Jarred will be spending three and a half months in Milan, Italy as one of the 100 American college students hired to be an ambassador at the 2015 Worlds Fair, an international exposition that is expected to draw over 29 million visitors.
Pictured above: Jarred with parents Rich and Adena, and younger sister (and current Turning Point Level 5 student) Mae.