Turning Point students are mindful of their responsibility as citizens of a shared planet. They actively pursue the formation of meaningful ties with their local and international communities. Equally curious about finding common ground and seeking diverse perspectives, students take seriously their role as advocates for cross-culturalism, pluralism, and ethnic inclusiveness.

Responsible global citizens passionately explore world issues; they confidently communicate and respectfully engage in constructive problem solving and conflict resolution. Creative and critical thinkers, Turning Point global citizens are equipped with the tools and habits that will garner success in a diverse, interconnected, and ever-changing world.

In 2015, Turning Point was awarded International Certification through the Council of International Schools (CIS). To receive certification, Turning Point was required to demonstrate proficiency in four major areas: student growth and leadership commitment; whole school development; an emphasis on reflection followed by outcome-oriented action; and the translation of international education into authentic project-based learning across the community.

One of the benefits of a Preschool-8 model of education is that it provides built-in opportunities for students of varying ages to engage with each other in authentic, inspiring ways. Under the guidance of teachers, students in  Middle School work closely with their younger classmates in Preschool and Elementary, developing leadership skills and taking an active role in strengthening the community.

Mentors and mentees form close bonds while they engage in an integrated curriculum that includes academic problem-solving, with an emphasis on character development, fair play, ethical interactions, and positive leadership.

Student-led mentoring programs at Turning Point are mutually beneficial: They allow older students to become empathetic leaders in a unique setting, and allow our youngest students to gain confidence and learn from role models they are eager to emulate. As students progress through the grade levels, they naturally and eagerly transition from the mentee to mentor role—developing poise and self-confidence at a younger age than many of their peers at other schools. The bonds that are formed are strong and long-lasting, and the various mentoring programs become a highlight of the year for all involved.

Service Learning provides Turning Point School students with opportunities to take their educational practice beyond the classroom walls and consider how the knowledge they are acquiring might help support and sustain the wider community.

When students are provided with opportunities to build meaningful relationships with others in their community—at home, at school, locally, and globally—they connect more deeply with the learning process and begin to realize their ability to impact change. While working to build a stronger community and healthier environment, students make inspired leaps of understanding in developing a sense of responsibility extending beyond themselves.

Turning Point was honored as a Silver Level recipient of the California Green Ribbon Schools award through the California Department of Education. This award is inclusive of the school’s many community-service and service-learning initiatives, including those that reflect an ongoing commitment to programs that impact sustainability. In addition, it encompasses our commitment to environmental education, particularly in incorporating STEAM education, civic skills, and green career pathways.

The Turning Point Family Program provides a multi-age environment that encourages continuity and builds a sense of community among faculty, staff, and students.

“Families” at Turning Point are a long-held tradition; upon admission to Turning Point every student is assigned to one of 21 “Families” where they remain through graduation. Each family consists of approximately 16 students plus four “elders” (teachers and staff), spanning all grade levels. Every student and faculty/staff member of Turning Point participates in this program, from Preschool through Middle School, teachers, business office staff, leadership, facilities and tech teams, and everyone in between.

This multi-age environment builds a sense of community in many ways. Younger students develop bravery and adore the time they spend with older students, older students practice responsible modeling and mentoring, and all members of the Turning Point community are inspired to learn, share, and grow together. Meaningful bonds and trusting relationships are formed among children and adults who might not otherwise have occasion to interact during the regular course of the school day.

Courageous Conversations

Fostering GENDER-INCLUSIVE Schools: Courageous Conversations Series with Dr. Derrick Gay

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 | 6:30 – 7:30 PM

During this workshop for Turning Point parents/caregivers, Dr. Derrick Gay will continue his Courageous Conversations series by exploring inclusion and belonging through the lens of gender.

Building on our ongoing parent education around racial literacy, and in alignment with the school’s professional development for faculty and staff, this workshop will provide common language and understanding of gender, research around what young children understand around gender at various developmental ages, and current challenges and opportunities that K-8 schools are currently navigating.

Dr. Gay will conclude the workshop by providing strategies for parents to foster and sustain gender inclusion.

We encourage at least one parent/caregiver from every family to join. Current caregivers can RSVP through the ParentSquare app.

Dr. Derrick Gay is an internationally recognized Diversity and Inclusion Strategist for schools and businesses around the world. Dr. Gay has consulted with over 300 independent schools around the world and has served as a senior content advisor to Sesame Street over the past seven years to ensure that programming is grounded in research around what children at varying developmental ages understand about themselves and others.

Kate Shepard

The Neuroscience of Stress: Naming and Normalizing our Response to Crisis (with Kate Sheppard)

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1  | 6:30 – 8:00 PM
FOR CURRENT TURNING POINT PARENTS/CAREGIVERS

Have you noticed how your brain responds to stress differently these days? What coping mechanisms kick into gear when something unexpected happens? How do you identify and process grief? And, most importantly, what does the path to strength and healing look like for you?

We’ve learned from our own experiences and from colleagues at other schools that in many ways, fatigue and increased social-emotional challenges have made this year even more difficult than the remote learning period at the height of the pandemic; not just for students but for the adults in the community as well.

We’d like to invite you for a learning opportunity that will provide insight into navigating and processing feelings of fear, grief, stress, and fatigue. You’ll also acquire some new tools to support resilience and well-being for yourselves, your children, and our school.

Since the summer of 2020, Turning Point faculty and staff have engaged in regular sessions with facilitator Kate Sheppard, who is an expert in Organizational Resilience. Through our work with Kate, we have begun to deepen our understanding of how the stress of the past 18 months has impacted our brains and how to recognize when others may be responding to their own experiences. We are excited for parents and caregivers to have the chance to reflect with Kate on these topics.

We encourage at least one parent/caregiver from every family to join. Current caregivers can RSVP through the ParentSquare app.

Kate Sheppard is passionate about applying a human-centered approach to ensure individual and organizational resiliency through times of challenge. Kate has specialized in supporting organizations navigating through crises for the past decade and has led over 100 organizational assessment projects to catalyze paradigm shifts and disrupt inequities within organizations. Kate has over 20 years of experience facilitating adult learning. She is a professional coach for heads of school and educators at all levels of the organization, trains professional development coaches, is a facilitator for Parker Palmer’s organization the Center for Courage and Renewal, and is a Trauma-Informed Systems Trainer in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  

Loretta Ross

Calling In the Calling Out Culture: Conversations Instead of Conflicts with Loretta J. Ross

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 | 5:00 – 6:30 PM
Part of the Critical Conversations Series hosted by New Roads School

Last year we helped launch the Critical Conversations Speaker Series to aid school communities examine the impact of systemic inequity and inequality, develop critical awareness, promote wellbeing, and advance equity and justice. The first two guests were Professor Ibram X. Kendi and Isabel Wilkerson, hosted in partnership with other local private and public schools.

We are excited to announce that the next event in the series takes place on November 18 and features the incredible Loretta J. Ross leading a discussion on “Calling In the Calling Out Culture.” All Turning Point parents, faculty, and staff are invited to take part in this online session alongside members of many other dedicated school communities.

RSVP required. Register here!

The Critical Conversations series now partners with over 45 public and private school communities across 34 districts and 9 states. We are schools (private, public, charter, and parochial) that work and learn together to foster informed, nuanced, and deliberative discourse and professional development around equity and justice on a local, state, and national level. Our aim is to build the capacity of schools to liberate the full potential of each person and to recognize the interconnected nature of humanity that is fundamental to the survival and wellbeing of our species and health of our planet.

Every parent at Turning Point School is an important member of the Parent Association. There are no extra dues or requirements to join—just a desire to lend time and talents in a way that is most meaningful for each individual.

There are a number of committees that parents (and even grandparents!) can join, and countless ways our school and students benefit from each parent’s experience, interests, and abilities.

Plan teacher appreciation events and activities, come work in our school garden, serve as a classroom representative for our Annual Fund, help organize school-wide community service initiatives, coordinate our Party Book, or help plan and organize important annual school events such as Book Fair, Spring Gala or Hoop-A-Thon. There is something to fit everyone’s time, talents, and interests.

In addition, the PA hosts a monthly Parent Association Community Event (PACE) where parents can help teachers by preparing materials for classrooms and special events, while also hearing from our Head of School and other administrators about exciting upcoming school initiatives and opportunities.

If you are a current Turning Point parent, you can sign up to volunteer on a committee through your Parent Portal. If you have questions about our Parent Association, or are a grandparent who is interested in volunteering, please send us a note.

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