Turning Point School has always maintained a focus on the whole child, emphasizing successful development of all facets of children's learning: academic, emotional, creative, physical, social, and ethical.
The school began as a Montessori-based preschool in 1970, when a group of educators and business professionals strongly committed to the principles of developmentally appropriate education founded Montessori of West Los Angeles. Housed in facilities leased from the Leo Baeck Temple in Bel Air, the school had 125 students enrolled in its first year, with a combined Faculty and Staff of 18.
By the end of the 1980's, the school had adopted an independent model of governance with a self-perpetuating board. The school’s name was changed to Turning Point School and a new logo was created to represent the series of “turning points” through which the school nurtures and guides its students. In 1990, the school was accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
In 1991, the school’s Board of Trustees created a long-range plan for the school, including a mandate to acquire and develop its own campus. In 1993, Turning Point School began accepting major gifts to fund the purchase, and the search began for a facility that would accommodate ongoing enrollment growth and the creation of a Middle School. On February 11, 2001, Turning Point School moved into its permanent home at 8780 National Boulevard in Culver City.
In 2005, the Board of Trustees seized the opportunity to control the property on the school’s west side through a long-term lease—allowing the school to more than double the square footage of the campus. Over the course of the next five years, donors responded generously to the Building Tomorrow Today Capital Campaign, and new construction began on what is now Building 2 and our Field/Outdoor Classroom in September of 2009, concluding in August 2010.
In 2013-2014, the school took another ambitious step in its strategic planning by making the decision to formally embrace its role as an institution that celebrates international diversity, promotes inclusive thinking, and integrates a global perspective into its curricula and culture. With careful review and input from different school constituents, including approval from the Board of Trustees, the words “globally oriented” were added to the mission statement and the school began pursuit of International Certification with the Council of International Schools. The school received its formal certification in June of 2015.
In June of 2016, Deborah Richman retired from her position as Head of School after 28 years of service. Her visionary leadership, advocacy of education, and deep love for the children she served continues to be a driving force behind the success of Turning Point. In July of 2016, Dr. Laura Konigsberg took the helm as Head of School, and Turning Point continues to grow, flourish, and evolve under her leadership and insight.
Today, Turning Point is an independent and fully accredited Pre-K through 8 school that educates the whole child, instills a natural love of learning, engages students in exploring international perspectives, and provides a strong foundation for high school and beyond. Its spacious classrooms, art studio, storytelling centers, multimedia centers, SmartLab, science labs, 10,000-square-foot gymnasium, and visual and performing arts center all embody a state-of-the-art design that reflects the quality of the school’s mission and supports our commitment to teaching the art of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration through project based learning.