Applying to high school is an exciting and sometimes anxiety-filled rite of passage. It’s difficult to feel evaluated by people who do not know you, or challenged to “sell yourself;” and it can be particularly intimidating to imagine leaving a community where you have been known and valued for years.
At Turning Point, we understand the pressure families feel about matriculating at a high school that will broaden their college choices down the line. But when we consider how well Turning Point Level 8 students know themselves, how confident they are, and how ably they articulate their talents and abilities, we recognize that this is a unique opportunity for our oldest students to make their mark. All the classes and curricula your children have experienced over their Turning Point career have prepared them for the myriad excellent secondary schools in Los Angeles. We take pride in the fact that we know our students so well, and can confidently guide each of them to a school that fits best.
As a Preschool-8 independent school, we value and execute a well-informed and resourced handoff from Level 8 into high school. Our students are characterized by their diverse array of skills, passions, and interests, and can consider a variety of exceptional high school options. We dedicate substantial time and resources to understanding the educational landscape and counseling our families through the numerous opportunities at their fingertips.
Conversations about high school placement can begin at any time, and we do host workshops for our families that outline the steps and best practices for a successful matriculation. The formal process begins in earnest in the spring of Level 7. At that time, students are approaching the final phase of their formative middle school experience. Because of their emerging sense of identity and maturation, they are developmentally ready to participate thoughtfully in exploring the landscape of secondary schools, and identifying the high school environment that presents the best match.
While parents must ultimately make the final decisions, our graduates can more appropriately inform those decisions—a role they relish. The process begins by working with families to reflect upon their child’s educational career to date, upon the child’s current stage of development, and upon the family’s goals, values, and expectations.
We ask families to contemplate the following questions:
- How does my child learn?
- What are my child’s strengths and what are his/her stretches?
- What values do I wish to see represented in my child’s next school?
- What are the interests/passions/opportunities that my child hopes to see represented in his/her next school?
- What are the logistical considerations for my family (i.e. distance, cost, sibling enrollment, etc.)?
The Director of Admissions and Placement works alongside our dedicated middle school faculty and administrators to gain an understanding each student’s academic profile and personal attributes. We meet with every family individually to discuss all aspects of the school search and application processes.
The majority of graduating families anticipate applying to selective high schools. Those schools may consist of area independent schools, such as Harvard-Westlake or Windward, boarding schools like Cate School and Phillips Exeter Academy, parochial schools such as Loyola and Notre Dame High School, single gender schools like Archer and Marymount, hybrid schools like ICL Academy, and of course, public, charter, and magnet schools.
We familiarize ourselves with every application process; visit and develop relationships with each school to which our students apply; and track admissions and enrollment trends. The Director of Admission and Placement watches over this process, providing a skillful level of understanding and insight that advantages our families. From the admissions office to the Division Heads and Head of School, we maintain open communication with the many secondary schools our students attend—cultivating relationships, exploring options, and most importantly, advocating for Turning Point students.
Where will you child land? We cannot wait to help you discover the possibilities!
Visit www.turningpointschool.org/placementprocess to see a list of recent matriculations, check out frequently asked questions, view links to helpful resources, and see a sample timeline and checklist of placement steps.
Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School
Director of Admissions and Placement