Welcome to our 50th Anniversary Year! It is truly a thrill to greet your children after the summer break, seeing them joyfully reunite with beloved friends and teachers as they invite new students into the fold. The first morning of drop-off is always a favorite for me: the excitement, the bittersweet good-byes, the bravery, and of course the meticulously-planned first-day outfits. One of my favorite moments was seeing a Grade 8 boy who has been here since Primary wearing a t-shirt with a photo of himself from his very first day of school eleven years ago!
Our K-8 students spent the day learning how to organize their binders, practicing lining up, generating agreements about classroom norms and behaviors, doing scavenger hunts to get to know their classroom resources and peers better, discussing the middle school summer reading and sharing identity projects, and even celebrating a first-day-of-school birthday (Happy Birthday, Paige G!). New Primary friends are visiting their classrooms this week and are eager to join the ranks of full-day students next week.
Our children’s job today was to encounter new teachers, new peers, and new expectations, and as they finish their school day, I encourage you to create the support and structure at home that will foster their best efforts. Establishing routines and getting to know each other in the smaller communities of the classroom or advisory are among the ways that students feel known and understood, which allows them to take risks—intellectual, social, physical, ethical, and emotional.
School is full of unknowns, even in a familiar environment, especially on the first day. At Turning Point, we leverage neuroscience and positive psychology to create a learning environment that is—from the very first day—engaging, inclusive, challenging, and fun, and which allows students to feel important, supported, and confident. We know that:
- We become more successful when we are happier and more positive;
- That our brains are hardwired to perform at their best when they are positively oriented;
- That when we are in a positive state, we release chemicals that make us feel significant, alleviate anxiety, and motivate us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs.
The science is clear: when you feel happy, you learn better. When you are absorbed in a state of flow, having positive emotional experiences, and finding meaning and purpose in your life, you feel deeply satisfied. Happiness is not the absence of negative emotions; it is the ability to experience them less frequently and to rebound more robustly when they arise.
Our strengths-based approach to teaching and learning focuses on each student’s unique “positive equation for achievement” that helps them pursue increasingly challenging goals, perform better, and persist longer on challenges. It helps them navigate difficult situations more resiliently and inspires them to share their authentic selves and genuine talents with others. It is a profound marker of future success of all kinds, and creates the traits we want to see in those who will, one day in the not-too-distant future, inherit our planet.
I look forward to seeing you at the Back-to-School events we have planned for the next several weeks:
Back to School Night: Primary and Elementary
Thursday, September 12 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Back to School Night: Middle School
Thursday, September 19 | 6:00 -8:00 pm
Learn from your child’s teacher about the curriculum, his or her teaching philosophy, ways your child will receive constructive feedback, communication policies, and ways to support your child’s learning and development.
Back to School Picnic
Saturday, September 14 | 4:00 – 6:00 pm
*Please note the Picnic is on a Saturday this year from 4 – 6 pm
Please bring the whole family (non-Turning Point siblings included) to enjoy an afternoon of food, games, and fun. We’ll be rolling out our new Turning Point School merchandise, too!
Grade Level Coffees (all begin after morning drop-off)
Grades K-2 | September 10
Middle School | September 11
Grades 3-5 | September 26
Primary | October 4
Take this opportunity to meet other parents, learn about upcoming events and opportunities, and chat with administrators and other staff members.
State of the School Address
Thursday, October 10 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
This evening provides an opportunity for you to hear from me about the school’s strategic initiatives, our goals for the year, and hear about what we learned from last May’s parent survey. All parents are strongly encouraged to attend.
I hope you and your children had a truly wonderful first day of school. From each child’s individual accomplishments to our school’s milestone birthday celebration, I am thrilled to celebrate this upcoming year with you all, in so many different ways. Cheers to 50!
Head of School