At Turning Point, we live by our mission: We open our doors every day to create a dynamic learning community in which each child grows into their best self.

Our commitment to fostering the development of every child to thrive in a complex and interconnected world guides our actions. We cultivate our dynamic, inclusive community with belonging as a prerequisite for thriving.

Belonging is more than participating; it is constructing a place where everyone is deeply accepted for who they are. It means everyone sees themselves reflected in mirrors and learns about others through windows. No one must downplay or renounce parts of themselves in order to feel accepted or to gain access to the full benefits of the community.

Turning Point has made it a strategic priority to create and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We use the lenses of equity, inclusion, and antiracism to approach teaching and learning, to guide our relationships with each other and our students, and to ensure that our school policies address systems that underlie inequities.

We invite and expect our community members to challenge stereotypes and to create a space where children can learn to become the types of leaders we need in our increasingly interconnected and complex world—those who hold respect, justice, and love at the center of their orientation.

Thank you for your interest in this important work, which we strive to undertake with never-ending curiosity and unflinching self-examination. I look forward to continuing and evolving our collective, continuing journey in the months and years to come.

Warmly,


Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School

“Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.”

-Rev. angel Kyoto williams

Being a “dynamic learning community” requires Turning Point to do the work necessary to create and maintain an inclusive, equitable space where all members—students, faculty, staff, and families—can show up each day as their authentic selves and experience true belonging.

What does it mean to do “the work”? Working toward inclusion and equity means simultaneously focusing outward on the world and inward on our own selves. Doing “the work” requires us to take a hard look at our blind spots, assumptions, and projections. Contributing to causes that foster equity and justice outside ourselves is critical, and we need to understand the ways in which the biases and prejudices we wish to fight in the world exist in us as well.

“Doing the work” means, in part, unflinchingly examining and exploring the disowned parts of ourselves with inquisitiveness and curiosity. At Turning Point, we encourage our faculty, staff, and families to unearth their hidden thoughts and biases in order to see, understand, and transform them.

Download our Commitment to Equity PDF to learn more.

Being a “dynamic learning community” requires Turning Point to do the work necessary to create and maintain an inclusive, equitable space where all members—students, faculty, staff, and families—can show up each day as their authentic selves and experience true belonging.

How do we continue to foster a highly inclusive, engaged community?

As defined in Turning Point’s Strategic Priorities, “culture and community” comprises one of four main pillars that guide our school’s work and serve as our roadmap for positive, adaptive change.

We know that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment improves learning outcomes for all students. By using a lens of equity and antiracism to approach teaching and learning, to guide our relationships with each other and with our students, and to inform school policies, we can ensure that every member of our community experiences a true sense of belonging—allowing us all to thrive.

Our work is based upon the following concepts:

Diversity | Representation
Equity | Eliminating Barriers
Inclusion | Belonging
Justice | Repair and Restore
Anti-racism | Acting

Download our Commitment to Equity PDF to see how we define the above terms and view the Guiding Questions that inform our work.

Creating a school culture where we all understand and embrace differences requires us to first see and acknowledge differences.

When we nullify differences in favor of likenesses, the “likeness” is often anchored in culturally dominant norms: white, middle class, heteronormative, able-bodied, Christian. Defaulting to these invisible norms invites “color blindness,” a well-meaning gesture that attempts to find commonality among different groups but instead can further divide us through its use of a single lens to view issues and identity.

Work we have done to strengthen our school culture includes:

  • Ongoing professional development inclusive of the entire faculty/staff
  • Parent/Caregiver education that mirrors topics discussed in the faculty/staff professional development
  • Long-term engagement with consultants such as Elizabeth Denevi and Dr. Derrick Gay who work with schools to increase equity promote diversity pedagogy, and implement strategic processes for growth and development.
  • The implementation of a Board of Trustees committee in 2020 to focus on diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice in support of and in service to the school’s DEIJ initiatives.

Download our Commitment to Equity PDF to learn more about how we used the above strategies to strengthen our school culture.

“How do we swim against the tide of a culture that has historically been ineffective at talking about issues related to race and identity?”

-Elizabeth Denevi

Key to our work in teaching and engaging students is the development of anti-biased, anti-racist curricula, resources, and multi-modal teaching strategies that focus on the individual and myriad ways children learn and process information. To date, we have engaged in the following work:

DEIJ SCOPE AND SEQUENCE

Our DEIJ Scope and Sequence serves as Turning Point’s main guide to specific learning outcomes and resources for each grade level, and is organized in three sections: diversity, equity, and identity. Teaching with these outcomes in mind leads to greater inclusion and justice.

TENETS OF AN ANTIRACIST CURRICULUM

Our Tenets of an Anti-Racist Curriculum assists teachers in ensuring that lessons around diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and identity are integrated fluidly throughout the curriculum.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS IN GRADES 3-8

These Essential Questions serve as guides and themes for each year’s literature selections and the ensuing discussions and assignments that take place in Grades K-8. Each essential question aligns with our DEIJ Scope and Sequence, ensuring that students examine history and literature through multiple perspectives and experiences.

LITERATURE DIVERSITY AUDIT

This audit system, run in collaboration with the Library, ensures we are monitoring diverse and inclusive representation in our core literature and book club programs, not just in individual grade levels but over the duration of a student’s time at Turning Point.

IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI BIAS FOCUS AND
LESSONS IN OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD DIVISION

Based on the DEI Scope and Sequence, these Early Childhood Goals for Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Activism outline our goals for understanding of identity, diversity, justice, and activism in our youngest students.

Download our Commitment to Equity PDF to learn more about our work in academics and curriculum.

At Turning Point School, the concept of “well-being” sits at the foundation of everything we do. We are committed to supporting a 360-degree view of our students—intellectually, socially, physically, ethically, and emotionally. We are equally committed to caring for the well-being of our wider community, including faculty/staff, parents, and other caregivers.

While well-being is woven into the fabric of what makes Turning Point unique, specific initiatives include:

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Turning Point uses a restorative justice approach to discipline for students in upper elementary/middle school grades where students are empowered to “repair the harm” when they have broken community agreements or when their intention does not match their impact.

FAMILY GROUPS AND MENTORING PROGRAMS

Turning Point multi-age Family Groups and other mentoring opportunities allow younger children to see “mirrors and windows” in older peers.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Turning Point is grateful for the opportunity to partner with and learn from community organizations that work to support, protect, and elevate the experience of Black and other BIPOC students in independent schools, such as Private School Village and Private School Axis.

LEARNING SUPPORT

Every student at Turning Point has an individualized learning plan which allows teachers and specialists to ensure each child has access to the tools they need to learn optimally. Our Student Learning Support Coordinator supports teachers in incorporating multimodal teaching strategies and scaffolds work with small groups of students when needed.

Download our Commitment to Equity PDF to learn more about how we prioritize student well-being by utilizing the lens of DEIJ.

As we continue our planning and implementation of DEIJ work at Turning Point School, we recognize that there is still much work to be done as we rise to meet the obligations of meaningfully participating an ever-evolving society.

We will continue to examine our policies, procedures, and best practices in all levels of our organization—from the boardroom to the classroom to ensure that our impact as an institution matches our intention.

Examples of work currently in progress include:

• Creation of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice vision statement

• Human Resources professional development to ensure we are disrupting processes and practices that perpetuate bias in the workplace

• Dissemination of a school-wide Climate Survey

• The launch of affinity groups (for faculty/staff, parents, and older students) that reflect how the school’s mission, vision, and values intersect with diversity, equity, and inclusion

• Extension of our Restorative Justice practices to all grade levels

• Continued DEIJ training for our Board of Trustees, under the guidance and leadership of the DEIJ

Download our Commitment to Equity PDF to view additional examples of our Work to Be Done.

We are proud of how our community continues to engage in these important conversations as we strive to seek diversity and value equity at all levels of our school.

Below are a few specific resources that have guided us in our ongoing work. Certainly, there are many more organizations, thought leaders, and resources that o er expertise, so we encourage you to do your own exploring as you join us in your own commitment to equity.

Dr. Derrick Gay
(Diversity and Inclusion Strategist)

Learning for Justice
(formerly Teaching Tolerance)

Facing History & Ourselves

Restorative Justice Educator Toolkit
(Restorative Resources)

Anti-Bias Education Resources
(Anti-Defamation League)

Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture
(by Tema Okun, dRworks)

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