Turning Point School Blog
As the school year drew to an end, we found ourselves in a flurry of festivities and ceremonies, all of which celebrated the competence and confidence of our students. Our Level 5 students stood proud and poised at the Candle Lighting Ceremony, filled with enthusiasm for all that Middle School will bring. The Class of 2014 Graduates radiated brilliance and vibrancy at the Commencement Exercises, well prepared to begin a new path towards a bright future. Our strong and supportive community filled our campus on the last day of school, as we all reveled in the happy end to what has been an enriching school year.
I want to wish our community safe travels and a wealth of stories to see you all through the summer and into the new school year. We invite you to keep our Turning Point stories alive as you depart for your various summer excursions, whether they are ones enjoyed from your back yard, at the kitchen table, or from distant destinations. We would love to know what has captivated and inspired you and your children this summer! We invite you to share your school year and summertime stories with us via email, as well as follow all that will be happening on campus in June and July at Summer Camp via Facebook and Twitter.
The fun has officially begun for so many students and friends at Summer Camp. We will be posting pictures and blogs from camp online throughout the summer, so be sure to check in. I look forward to seeing all new and returning faces in the fall for what will surely be another exciting and rewarding year along the path.
Until then, I hope you delight in the joys of summer!
- Ms. Richman
After an in-depth study of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Level 8 hosted a “Mockingbird Tea” on May 15. At the tea party; guests were transported to rural Maycomb County, Alabama by students who greeted them in costume complete with southern accents and 1930’s vocabulary. Each student had taken on the role of a character from the novel and developed a sense of him/herself through a comprehensive character study. By thoroughly analyzing a particular point of view, students were able to incorporate the characters’ hopes and fears in a speech they wrote from the character’s perspective. In their speeches given as Harper Lee’s characters, imagined secrets were shared, fears revealed, traumatic moments discussed, personal letters read, and graduation speeches rehearsed. Each presentation ended with a question for the audience to consider and discuss, and thoughtful conversation ensued over tea and treats throughout the morning. Level 8 students hosted a memorable event that demonstrated their strong critical thinking skills, as well as their creativity and compassion.
Level 2 students recently learned about Persuasive Writing in Writer's Workshop. They learned how to express their opinions fairly while trying to persuade people to feel the same way. As a culminating project, students wrote to their favorite companies trying to persuade them to make a product, make more of that product, bring products back, or tell them why they should continue with their great work. Our first response just arrived and the students are very excited to see who will hear back and what they will learn. Paige heard back from American Doll and learned that they put dolls in the archives to make room for newer dolls, and that they are in the process of making new historical dolls!
A favorite Primary tradition is the annual Week of the Young Child Art Exhibit. Each artist selects their canvas size and shape and the medium they choose to create their picture – watercolor, dot paint, tempera, or markers, and sometimes a combination of those choices. All the classes and parents are invited to view the exhibit throughout the Festival of the Arts. Enjoy a virtual tour of this exhibit!
In honor of Memorial Day, Levels 2-4 had the pleasure of welcoming guest speakers to Turning Point's campus. One of the two presenters, Chris Rushing, is the president of the Condor Squadron, a WWII Air Force Veterans group based at Van Nuys Airport and an Air Force Vet and Reservist who flies his own WWII AT-6. The Condor Squadron is a nonprofit that aims to honor veterans and promote the history and legacy of the AT-6.
Students were enthusiastic to welcome our guest speakers to Turning Point, and asked thoughtful and insightful questions throughout this rewarding experience.
Books and Cooks…what could be better than a good story paired with a tasty treat? This month, one of the first festive pairings in the Books and Cooks After School Class honored Dr. Seuss’s birthday. To celebrate, they read Green Eggs and Ham, and then made “green eggs” out of green vanilla pudding and Nilla cookies. Another popular, healthy, and tasty treat began with A Fine St. Patrick’s Day and led to shamrock shakes using a mystery green food. After the Cooks shared examples of naturally and artificially colored foods, and had a chance to guess, SPINACH was revealed as the mystery ingredient. The cooks couldn’t believe their taste buds! In their last class, they put on their baker’s hats for Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake and practiced patience like Betty Bunny, as they prepared and then waited for their delicious chocolate cake to bake.
On Friday, April 25, Level 3 students traveled to another time and place on their trip to La Plazita Olvera, a charming Mexican style marketplace and plaza, located in the birthplace of modern day Los Angeles. Their adventure began with a scavenger hunt that led students to historic monuments including the Avila Adobe, the oldest house in Los Angeles, and Pio Pico House, the town’s first luxury hotel named after the last Mexican governer of Alta California. Students also practiced their conversational skills to locate unique Olvera Street finds, including a giant 80 year old candle, and authentic Mexican sweet treats. They then joined together for a tasty Mexican meal, which our students ordered in their very best español. Their adventure concluded with a stroll through the marketplace for an afternoon of shopping and bargaining for souvenirs. Our students’ excitement, curiosity, and participation made this day a truly memorable experience for all.
In keeping with Turning Point’s global awareness initiatives, we are pleased to announce the addition of a world map wall mural located in the Level 2 hallway of Building 1. The mural highlights examples of wonderfully engaging, internationally-driven lessons by connecting blurbs/photos to the country being studied via "Turning Point postcards."
We hope that our parent community can stop by the wall mural when next at Turning Point to see the fabulous student work displayed.
The Robotics class has been progressing quite impressively! Students have been working in teams to design, construct, and program some very intelligent robots. While some robots have been programmed with more elaborate tasks, others have been designed with more complex features. Beyond this, students are learning to trouble shoot, work effectively within a group, and most importantly have fun with their newly acquired science and engineering skills.
Parents of Level K and Level 1 students were invited to campus from April 24-April 30 to see their child(ren) present their original poetry. Students took pride in their creative writing, sharing their poems with family and friends on the Grassy Area. We are so impressed with the wonderful work the Level K and Level 1 students produced!
Announcing Turning Point’s 2014 Upper School Acceptances.
In a year when a record number of students applied to Upper Schools, Turning Point is proud to announce the success of the Class of 2014. This year, 100% of Turning Point graduates were accepted to competitive, highly selective Independent, Religious, Boarding, and Performing Arts High Schools. More than 85% of the class was accepted into their preferred choice.
Our Placement Office stresses the importance of finding the right fit for each individual student. The diversity of Upper Schools explored and selected is testament to the diverse make-up of our student community.
The journey to Upper School 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 the best school for their 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 I celebrate their acceptances, it is important to acknowledge the path each student has journeyed on their Middle School career at Turning Point.
This year’s graduating class includes talented artists, athletes, and actors. There are gifted writers, 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 trite, but listening to these students speak about their future plans gives me great hope in our collective future.
As graduates of Middle School, these students have experienced unique learning and leadership opportunities. They have mentored younger friends. They have collaborated with seniors on intergenerational writing projects. They have collaborated with peers and faculty alike.
They’ve been challenged to think and grow beyond their comfort zone by excellent teachers who honor the distinct development of the middle school student.
Yet these graduates are much more than well prepared for Upper School. These children on the cusp of young adulthood are exceptionally prepared for the challenges that an increasingly complex, interconnected world will present them.
It has been a singular pleasure to observe their growth and achievements this year. I truly could not be more proud of their accomplishments and wish them the best of luck as they traverse life’s many turning points in the future. On behalf of the Placement Office, please join me in congratulating the Class of 2014!
Director of Admissions and Placement
2014 Upper School Acceptances:
Archer School for Girls*
Baylor School (Boarding School in TN)
Cate School (Boarding School in CA)*
Immaculate Heart High School
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts*
Loyola High School
Marymount High School*
New Roads School
Northfield Mount Hermon School (Boarding School in MA)*
Notre Dame Academy
Notre Dame High School
Oaks Christian School*
Pacifica Christian High School
Renaissance School for Arts and Sciences
Rolling Hills Preparatory School
Sierra Canyon School
St. Bernard's High School*
St. Johnsbury Academy (Boarding School in VT)
The Episcopal School of Los Angeles
*At least one Turning Point graduate enrolling fall 2014.
On Tuesday, Turning Point "Families" came together to raise awareness for our upcoming Community Service Day on Saturday, May 17. The annual Turning Point School Community Service Day is an event where Faculty/Staff, students, and parents come together to volunteer time and resources to the greater Los Angeles community. This year, Turning Point School will be dedicating a day of service to Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School. The families and teachers at Weemes Elementary are excited to brighten up their school with new paint, landscaping and gardening, and clean classrooms. In addition to the volunteer activities, we are also hosting a Book Sale, selling gently used books donated by Turning Point families.
During Tuesday's Family Event, students and Faculty/Staff decorated Community Service Day reminders to be posted on refrigerators at home. This Family Event provided a wonderful opportunity for our students to reflect on the importance of giving back to our community.
Community Service Day is from 9:00 am -3:00 pm on Saturday, May 17. Please come for part or all of the day with your family to enjoy good company for a good cause.
Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School
1260 W 36th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90007
In After School Yoga, students have been demonstrating what they have learned this year by taking turns leading small portions of each class. They are putting forth their best effort in practicing harder poses such as the Funky Chair and Twisting Triangle, and getting more comfortable with ones they have done more often such as the Happy Baby (a class favorite!!). They are becoming experts at focusing on their breath during meditation. At the end of the semester they will take home their yoga mat and their yoga towel to aid in practice over the summer. We want to stay limber and centered over the summer so we can come back "yoga strong" in the fall!
When I heard that I would be Head of School for a day, I didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t the faintest idea about how the school was run, and I was interested to find out. I was so excited to be able to fill the shoes that I’ve been looking up to my entire life.
As a Level 8 student, I’m used to having a fair amount of responsibility and leadership opportunities, but nothing prepared me for the amazing whirlwind of a day I was about to have.
First thing in the morning, I prepared extensively to give a speech about our latest Speaker Series Presenter, Lori Getz. I was honored to give that introduction. After giving my introduction, I went back to Building 1 and got ready for my close up! We took some really great photos, especially for that early in the morning.
After photos, I was ready for my first, of many, meetings throughout the day. I was amazed to see how Division Heads like Mr. Segar and Mrs. Akana check in on classes and meet with so many teachers. Then, much to my enjoyment, I went back three years and visited a Level 5 class to discuss one of my favorite books, Maniac Magee.
I have to admit, though, my favorite parts of the day happened just before lunch. I went back to my roots on the Primary Playground and supervised the children playing. That was really touching for me because I was once playing there with the same carefree smile plastered to my face that I could see on all of theirs. It was really special for me, because that was the playground that cultivated me into the person I am today. I gained so many foundations there.
Another highlight for me would have to be going to lunch at The Point (which despite the na
me isn’t owned by Turning Point) with Ms. Richman. After a refreshing walk there, upon which we discussed social media opportunities for the school and the stylistic decisions that some buildings had made, we were there. During lunch we also talked about common interests like reading and writing.
That concluded my day and my taste of being part of the Administrative Team, but I had a blast. It was an amazing opportunity, and the twelve years I’ve spent at Turning Point made it all the more sweet.