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Turning Point School - Posted Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 11:19:43 AM

Chef Jordan Kahn of Vespertine and Destroyer joined us on campus this week to help our Dirt-to-Dish campers prepare an incredible snack for our 120 preschool through sixth grade students.

We served a roasted carrot and strawberry sofrito (who knew?) with labni (a type of yogurt cheese of Middle Eastern origin) and hemp, flax, and sunflower seeds; avocado; and herbs, greens, and edible flowers from the garden.

Chef Jordan spoke with campers about the importance of exploring the tastes and smells of all parts of the plants we cook with, and how we can expand our understanding of what plants and animals are healthy and tasty.

We were also reminded by the chef of the importance of writing a convincing letter. It was fascinating to hear how Chef Jordan got his break in the culinary world when he was just a recent culinary school graduate from Augusta, Georgia. He wrote a letter to legendary chef Thomas Keller, convincing him to bring him on as an intern in his world-renowned restaurant, The French Laundry in Napa Valley.

While Chef Jordan didn’t tell us this last part, we know that letter was a turning point in the chef’s life that allowed him to use his unique talents to doggedly pursue his passion and purpose.  We’re grateful to have been a part of it for a moment this summer here in Culver City.


In Turning Point’s Dirt to Dish program, students harvest produce from our garden along with products from local chefs and farmers to serve snack to all of our summer campers every day. Through Dirt to Dish, students learn that keeping and harvesting a garden, along with cooking and eating together, allows for a true expression of affection for others and leads to long-term good health, physically and emotionally.

Dr. Laura Konigsberg - Posted Monday, Jun 18, 2018 2:44:00 PM

Below is an excerpt from Dr. Konigsberg's remarks to the Turning Point School graduating class of 2018:

Graduates, look at this packed theater. We are all here for you, to celebrate your educational journey through Turning Point School. Some of you started in Primary or Kindergarten, and many of you came to Turning Point along the way. You are all treasured members of our community. And as communities do, we have come together on this joyful and pivotal occasion—a very special turning point—to witness this culminating moment. 

There is very little that I would rather do than talk about great literature with smart young people, so facilitating your book club meetings is always a highlight for me. This year we had the chance to analyze The Odyssey, The Crucible, Catcher in the Rye, and March, all of which explored themes of personal legacy; of the individual’s role, responsibilities, and identity when faced with dramatic, larger-than-life events. Our rich discussions about these pertinent issues impressed upon me your intellect, maturity, generosity, and humor. 

Many of you may be familiar with the graphic novel, March, about iconic Congressman John Lewis’ early days in the Civil Rights movement. 

March describes the seminal events in Mr. Lewis’ life from growing up in a family of sharecroppers to organizing sit-ins to protest segregation in Nashville lunch counters, to his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his key role in the 1963 March on Washington. March provides a first-hand, intimate look at this volatile and rousing time. March is also a verb—and in the imperative tense, no less—urging young people to understand the Civil Rights Movement and to feel inspired to build upon the work of earlier social justice activists. March is a story that features integrity, conscience, and hope for future transformation. As Congressman Lewis said, “I tell people all the time if you see something that is not fair, not right, and not just, then you have a moral obligation to do something about it—to get in the way, to get in trouble.” 

You are that future, and I know your time at Turning Point has helped you to conceive of the ways you can “get in the way” to disrupt the status quo, “getting in trouble” both by learning history and creating your own. 

You have made your own history here by launching the Capstone Projects, using your passion to positively affect your community. You inspired others, raised awareness of social issues, overcame challenges and found solutions, and created something that did not exist previously that helped people in need. You have demonstrated in this project, and in many other ways, the power of your intellect, the depth of your passion for social change, the integrity of your character, the breadth of your caring and empathy, and the wide scope of your curiosity and talents. 

You have also bettered our Turning Point community and the larger community as mentors—with fifth grade mentees, with your preschool buddies, as the elders in your Turning Point Family Groups, as admissions ambassadors, and as tutors and mentors to the second graders at Weemes Elementary School. Make no mistake: you have made a difference in myriad ways. 

I am excited for you to begin the next stage in your educational “marches” that will leave the world better than you found it. You leave behind a rich legacy. You probably know from study with Ms. Bender that legacy comes from the Latin legatus, or ambassador. Its roots from 15th century Scottish also suggest a gift, something to remember one by. 

As you embark on your next adventure, you’ll represent Turning Point superbly. And you will leave behind the gifts of your intellect, your creativity, your curiosity, your service to our school, and the next generation of mentors for whom you have shaped their view and practice of leadership. You will always have a home here at Turning Point. 

Thank you for everything, and good luck to you all.


Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School

Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Jun 15, 2018 12:55:00 PM

Summer Camp is well under way at Turning Point, and once again, students in our Dirt to Dish program are knocking it out the park with help from some fabulous friends.

As part of our summer curriculum, campers have been learning about where our food comes from. On Tuesday, our friends at Hayseed BBQ came and helped our Dirt to Dish students prepare snack for all 90 of us. We used Lodge Bread Co., as we always do; we know the organic wheat comes from Montana, the salt from the sea, and the water and yeast comes from LA. We know all our produce came from the Turning Point garden, and we know that the amazing pulled pork came from Apricot Lane Farms in Simi Valley. Thanks so much to Chef Robb and Chef Pat of Hayseed BBQ!

On Thursday, Nathalie and Guillermo Zapata of Sur Restaurant joined us to help make both beef and cheese empanadas in the style of Guillermo’s native Argentina, garnished with nasturtium from the Turning Point garden and cilantro from our neighbors at Co+oportunity Market. As we prepared the food, we discussed the dumpling as a global dish with meat or cheese or fruits and vegetables cooked inside a flour covering. In Argentina, these dumplings are called empanadas, in the United States, a turnover, in China, shumai, and in Italy, a gnoccho or raviolo.

After the fabulous empanadas, we washed it down with freshly made lemonade with lemons from the Zapata garden. Tasty!

Thanks so much to our friends at both Hayseed BBQ and Sur Restaurant for lending your expertise and helping us create such incredible food!

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, Jun 14, 2018 2:22:11 PM

A group of 18 Turning Point middle school students are participating in a Summer Service trip to the Fiji islands, where they are learning about some of the challenges faced by the island nation and helping to preserve Fiji’s beautiful marine ecosystem. 

Here is a diary from Day 7 of their trip:

This afternoon we said moce (good-bye) to Somosomo and the friends that we made in the village.

Yesterday we placed our coral bed and our fish houses on the reef off of Dollar Beach. Before placing our coral beds, we spent the morning snorkeling while our group leaders clipped stag horn coral for our planting. We all saw amazing coral, lots of fish, and one group saw a turtle.

In the afternoon, we learned about Fiji’s semi-diurnal tides and explored the tide pools and kayaked. We also had a wrap up discussion about our service and how we can apply what we have learned to our lives at home.

This morning we woke before dawn and hiked to the summit of a majestic overlook and observed the sunrise with twenty minutes of silence. Before leaving the island, we had a final kava ceremony.

We are now on the ferry looking forward to our pizza dinner in Nadi Bay.

Read about Day 1-3
Read about Day 4
Read about Day 5
Read about Day 6

Turning Point School - Posted Wednesday, Jun 13, 2018 3:16:46 PM

A group of 18 Turning Point middle school students are participating in a Summer Service trip to the Fiji islands, where they are learning about some of the challenges faced by the island nation and helping to preserve Fiji’s beautiful marine ecosystem. 

Here is a diary from Day 6 of their trip:

We spent the day yesterday around our island base. In the morning we learned about the three different types of mangroves and what mangroves do to protect the local and global environment. Did you know that a greater percent of the world’s oxygen is produced by mangroves than all of the Amazon? We then did a clean-up of the local mangroves while observing the differing crabs and lobsters that live around the mangroves. Before leaving the mangroves, we each planted at least one mangrove.

After lunch, we went swimming and kayaking. In the afternoon we walked to the village where we learned to weave from the local women and to watch and participate in a traditional "meke," a performance that enacts ancient lore. After the meke, the village women opened up their shell market for us.

After dinner, we had a bonfire and the local children came to join us. We learned to dance the Taki-Taki and taught the children some of our traditional camp songs. We ended the evening with an energy filled game of Duck Duck Goose.

Read about Day 1-3
Read about Day 4
Read about Day 5

Turning Point School - Posted Tuesday, Jun 12, 2018 12:02:00 PM

A group of 18 Turning Point middle school students are participating in a Summer Service trip to the Fiji islands, where they are learning about some of the challenges faced by the island nation and helping to preserve Fiji’s beautiful marine ecosystem. 

Here is a diary from Day 5 of their trip:

Yadra (Good Morning),

Yesterday was a day full of service and fun. After a delicious breakfast, we began our two service projects for the morning, making coral planters and fish houses. Before we could begin, we walked the beach collecting pieces of coral and shells to use for the fish house. We made over three dozen coral planters and two fish houses.

Before lunch, we had some downtime to play volleyball, play cards, read, and relax.

In the afternoon, we learned about the crown of thorn starfish, an invasive species from Australia that eats the coral. 8th graders were able to show-off their knowledge from Mr. Kline’s science class as we discussed invertebrates, classification of animals, and different marine phyla and their characteristics.

We then headed to the reef to snorkel and spot crown of thorn starfish, which our local staff member safely removed from the coral. We removed a total of nine, saving 240 meters of coral.

In the late afternoon, some of us went kayaking and others played cards.

We ended the evening with reflections of our trip so far.

It was another spectacular day filled with learning about the environment, the culture, ourselves, and one another.

Read about Day 1-3
Read about Day 4

Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Jun 11, 2018 3:00:00 PM

A group of 18 Turning Point middle school students are participating in a Summer Service trip to the Fiji islands, where they are learning about some of the challenges faced by the island nation and helping to preserve Fiji’s beautiful marine ecosystem. 

Here is a diary from Day 4 of their trip:

Yesterday was another incredible day. We arrived at the island to a welcome song and met the island of 12, who will be working with us along with our three adventure guides for the duration of our stay. After a delicious lunch, we walked into the village for our Sevusevu, welcoming ceremony, with the 93 year old female chief of the village. We were welcomed to the island and introduced ourselves to the chief.

We then went out for our first snorkeling trip at a reef off of beautiful dollar beach. We practiced our snorkeling skills and received tips from our guides. We returned to our base and were treated to tea.

In the evening, we had another welcoming ceremony with our local staff and discussed our observations about the health of the coral reef and discussed our plans for today.

We went to bed under beautiful stars and are now waking up to the smell of breakfast.

A few observations from the students:

“Island time is a real thing, and it’s awesome.”

“It has been cool to learn some of the language and to meet new people from a different culture.”

“Being here is very calm, and I feel welcomed by the islanders and the chief. You feel like you are part of the family and not a bystander on vacation.”

Read about Day 1-3

Turning Point School - Posted Monday, Jun 11, 2018 9:29:00 AM

A group of 18 Turning Point middle school students are participating in a Summer Service trip to the Fiji islands, where they are learning about some of the challenges faced by the island nation and helping to preserve Fiji’s beautiful marine ecosystem. 

Changing climate has had a major impact on Fiji’s fragile marine ecosystem. Students have learned about the various strategies in place to protect, conserve, and restore Fiji’s marine environment, as well as how to identify tropical fish and coral species.

With the assistance of local village partners, students are working towards rebuilding coastlines and marine animal biodiversity in the Somosomo Bay region. Students and chaperones will stay on the remote island of Toba Totoka, which is part of the Yasawa Islands.

Each day, leaders will work with students to create their schedule depending on the weather conditions, tides, and objectives of the group. They will study the many unique components of a ridge-to-reef ecosystem, and how the health of each affects the overall state of the reef. Students will spend time doing fish counts, creating coral gardens, and planting mangroves.

When not working in the water, students are able to relax and enjoy island life, embark on island adventures, and get to know Fijian culture by visiting nearby villages.

Visit our blog to see regular updates on our students’ progress!

Days 1 and 2: Flight from LAX to Nadi International Airport

 Waiting to board the plane at LAX

Day 3: Viti levu Island: Momi Bay and Natadola Beach


We had a fantastic first day and now are on the ferry headed to Somosomo.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the beach and enjoyed the warm Fijian water, played some games, and got to know our three adventure guides, who will be with us for the entirety of our stay.

After the beach, we returned to the eco lodge, and enjoyed a sunset walk to the top of a hill where we could see the surrounding countryside and the famous Cloud Break surf spot.

After dinner, we took part in a welcoming ceremony led by our Fijian guide, Vili. He talked to us about the importance of welcoming people to the community and we learned about the significance of Kava and took part in a Kava ceremony. Before ending the ceremony, Vili and four other Fijians sang the traditional Fijian welcome song as well as a rendition of Happy Birthday for Nick.

We went to bed early and are looking forwarded to settling into our new home this afternoon, meeting the chief of island, and snorkeling this afternoon.

Read About Day 4

Turning Point School - Posted Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018 9:25:31 AM

Last Friday, Stephanie Elam (CNN correspondent) presented to a group of second, third, and sixth graders about the Mount Kilauea volcanic eruption. Stephanie spent three weeks on Hawaii's Big Island covering the volcanic activity. She presented pictures of the ash and smoke clouds, recalled a journey through a lava tube, and showed one of her CNN segments that covered those most affected by the natural disaster.

Students were enthralled as she answered questions and told her story. Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing your expertise and spending your morning with us!

Dr. Laura Konigsberg - Posted Monday, Jun 4, 2018 4:26:00 PM

This final week of school brings new beginnings, endings, and smaller transitions. On Friday we celebrated our rising Grade 6 students into the middle school with Candle Lighting. Students reflected on meaningful milestones in preschool and elementary that had shaped their intellect and character, preparing them for the next level of learning and leadership as the “top dogs” at Turning Point.

Tomorrow we will send off our graduating eighth grade students to a rich variety of excellent high schools that are as unique and promising as our students themselves. Our students’ placements and acceptances demonstrate how sought-after Turning Point graduates are, and we know these high schools will benefit from their sharpened critical thinking, intellectual rigor, incisive logical reasoning, excellent communication skills, emphasis on social justice, and confidence in their ability to impact the world in positive ways.

Sandwiched between these events was our Kindergarten New Friends Day last Saturday, bringing our focus on our youngest elementary children. What energy, vitality, and zest these students and their families bring to our community. Returning families with rising Kindergarteners watched them lead their new counterparts through activities, and new families marveled at the ease in which their children adjusted to this new environment. This special morning set the tone for many positive years ahead of strong partnerships and growth of children and the adults who raise them, as we like to say, in the same job on different shifts.

As educators and parents, our purpose is to foster the growth and development of children to prepare them for increasing independence and agency. I am proud of the accomplishments of our students and marvel at their growing maturity and poise. And yet, as a parent, I am familiar with the longing to sometimes slow time down and treasure our children’s diminishing babyhood or childhood as these cherished stages give way to something equally profound.

As I participate in these wonderful milestones, both as a parent and as an educator, I try to be present with all my complex feelings and thoughts. We tend to make decisions based on what we hope the future will bring, but the truth is that humans are bad at predicting our reactions to both positive and unfortunate events. We are more satisfied when we remain in the present and experience the myriad thoughts and emotions in each moment. Being open to all the feelings that emerge this time of year offers the chance for true, candid experiences that transcend the ordinary and surprise us into new understandings of ourselves as educators, parents, and people.

One feeling that keeps rising to the surface for me as I experience these special moments is gratitude. I am honored to be among your children, who inspire me to be the best version of myself, truly a gift, if a challenging one! I am grateful for all the support of our wonderful parents, who entrust us with your children each day. And I am grateful to work with a talented, dedicated, intelligent, faculty and staff committed to honing their craft and knowing our students deeply—resulting in transformational education for all.

So, as we strive to remain in the moment and savor the victories, I do want to take a moment to celebrate our year. The comprehensive list is long, but as I reflect on all there is to celebrate, these five come immediately to mind. Thank you all for the integral part you have each played in bringing these to life:

  1. Across our divisions and grade levels, we worked to focus on defining the outcomes of learning, exploring the “why” of what we do, and designing lessons that meet the needs of all learners.
  2. Record-breaking fundraising: we are almost at $1,000,000 for Annual Giving this year—only $15,000 short! Part of this success is due to the success of this year’s Spring Gala, which raised a record-breaking $146,000 to support our students, both current and future. Thank you all who gave generously. If you have not yet given or want to be that special person who gets us across the finish line, now is the time to support this worthy goal.
  3. We had an excellent high school acceptance and placement year, as mentioned above. This would not have been possible without a stellar “trifecta” partnership of student, home, and school.
  4. Our 2018-19 Admissions season was incredibly successful. We exceeded our overall enrollment goals, and are excited to engage our many new families in the life of Turning Point School.
  5. Our Robotics program flourished this year, with Turning Point not only hosting the FIRST LEGO League Regionals in the fall, but watching the Green Team earn the top spot out of 24 regional teams competing! Both of our Robotics teams – including students, advisors, and parents – worked joyfully and collaboratively during the course of the year to elevate the program to a new level. We are excited to build on these excellent efforts in the years to come.

Of course, in addition to these tangible accomplishments are the many ordinary ones that aggregate over time into bigger gains. Designing your own experiment and documenting the process, increasing your reading stamina, writing your own adventure, creating monologues to speak against injustice, developing a budget, traveling to a new city or country, balancing your pride with awareness of others’ feelings, learning to share, making amends, speaking in public, developing and defending your point of view, going on interviews, listening to a friend, cheering on peers, surveying community needs, remembering your homework, rebounding after setbacks, imagining the lives of others different from you, marrying your passion with improving the world. These are the incremental, steady steps we watch our students make as they happily pursue fulfillment, grace, and fellowship.

Savor these last days of the school year, remaining present with the joy, pride, love, and even the longing each milestone and celebration brings. As always, I am honored to share these moments with you.


Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School


Did you know?

The wonderful competencies children develop throughout the year positively affect their brains, producing not only immediate feelings of accomplishment and success but actually hard-wiring the brain to expect and seek additional pleasurable feelings of accomplishment. I hope you will read our community book this summer: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina, a molecular biologist who studies the genetics of brain development. I look forward to sharing what we learn when we meet again this fall.


Turning Point School - Posted Friday, Jun 1, 2018 3:46:00 PM

Congratulations to all of our Grade 5 students on successfully completing your years in elementary! During today's Candle Lighting program, students reflected eloquently on their school experience thus far and sang "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars. They also enjoyed a slide show of memories from the year, and received kudos and appreciation from teachers, administrators, and their Grade 8 mentors.

We will miss you all as leaders in the Elementary Division, but look forward to sharing your journey through middle school... and beyond!

View additional photos on our Facebook page.

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, May 24, 2018 3:26:00 PM

Students in Grade 2 were able to put their math skills to real world use during a STEAM inspired lesson. They first read the story Iggy Peck, Architect in which the main character, Iggy, builds a bridge out of materials he finds at a picnic. Students discussed the different types of bridges and how various designs help the bridge support weight. Working together in small groups, students then received a bag of materials that they used to build a bridge between two chairs that could hold 200 grams. Some of the bridges even survived earthquakes (a shaking of the chairs)! Our budding urban engineers had so much fun planning, designing, and testing their architectural designs.

Turning Point School - Posted Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Would you rather crab walk for 20 feet or hop for 20 feet? Would you rather be given $100 and get $40 each week, or be given $200 and get $30 each week? Not sure? Ask a Turning Point sixth grader!

Students in Grade 6 Pre-Algebra are studying two-variable equations and constructing tables and graphs to show the relationship between independent and dependent variables. In order to answer the above questions, they had to chart, graph, and write the equation to support their claim on which they would choose. 

To answer the first question, students conducted an experiment outdoors. Without realizing it yet, the equation they were applying was d=rt (distance = rate * time). Students were overheard having in-depth mathematical conversations about their hypotheses, outcomes, and independent/dependent variables. They also discussed other questions, such as: “Does distance depend on time, or time depend on distance?”

For the second question, students worked in groups to decide which income scenario would be more lucrative. Again, mathematical thinking was evident. An example of a conversation that was overheard follows:
Student A: “Do we have a limit on the number of weeks?”
Student B: “No - why does this matter?”
Student A: “It depends on the number of weeks, because if it is under ten, then the second option would be better.”

Students supported their mathematical arguments by showing their results in a table and describing when the money would be more beneficial. Great job to our sixth grade students and their teacher Ms. Grissom for bringing algebra to life!

Dr. Laura Konigsberg - Posted Monday, May 14, 2018 3:25:00 PM

I have been watching the news this week with alarm and dismay about the various incidents regarding the police being called on Black people and people of color simply living their lives: writing a graduate class paper in a Yale University common room, barbequing at a city park in Oakland, staying in an Air B&B in Rialto, CA, golfing at their country club in York, PA, and visiting Colorado State University as prospective students. Additionally, Black students graduating at the University of Florida who danced a few celebratory steps after receiving their diplomas were forcibly removed from the stage.

As a white woman, I can move about public spaces without fear of being called out as an outsider or a criminal. No one will call the police when I walk around in an upscale neighborhood, I am not followed around by plainclothes detectives in a department store, and I can sit in a café without ordering while I wait for friends without fear of being accused of trespassing or worse. If I am stopped for a traffic violation, I do not fear that the interaction with the police will endanger my life or my freedom. I am lucky to enjoy these privileges that have come with the color of my skin and not with any effort on my part. Though each day I strive to enact hard work, good deeds, empathy, and a strong moral character, these actions did not earn me these privileges.

I worry that as a society we are going backward instead of forward in our concern for our neighbors and fellow citizens, that we are missing opportunities for inclusion and equity as our nation and communities become more diverse. I worry that we are instead creating rifts and divisions and misgivings. This worry fuels my desire, as an educator and the leader of our school, to ensure that we are fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, which as we know, improves learning outcomes for all students.

At Turning Point School, we are committed to helping students flourish while they are here and to be equipped with skills to thrive in the future when they enter the larger world. We want them to be change makers, to find new ways to co-exist with people who differ from them, to create new systems that allow a larger swathe of people to find success and to live with dignity and honor. I see these efforts reflected in our curricula, both formal and informal, and we will continue to teach our students to embrace challenge as the pathway to discovering their own abilities and resourcefulness.

As this school year comes to an end, I am grateful for all the accomplishments we can celebrate together, and our strong, dynamic community that loves our school and wants what is best for all its members. Relationships are at the heart of a vibrant, prosperous school community; they create the bonds that maximize student learning. We are planning more opportunities for parents and families to engage in dialogue about issues close to all of our hearts, and to continue to nurture our students to face a challenging and changing world.

While we must work hard to keep up with the pace of change and the attention it requires, I take solace in knowing that Turning Point will always be a nurturing community that strives to instill a fundamental sense of integrity and inclusion. Thank you for your partnership in helping us model best practices, both at school and at home. I have no doubt our students will serve as excellent agents of positive change in this world they are inheriting.


Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School

Dr. Laura Konigsberg - Posted Monday, May 7, 2018 3:09:05 PM

If you have a child in preschool, you are likely currently cataloguing many first-hand experiences with your budding scientist. I remember both of my sons dropping food methodically from their high chairs. Wow, it fell to the ground! Will it fall to the ground again? What about this time? And this time? And what will my parent’s reaction be? Will it be different this time? What about this time?

Young children are keen observers of gravity and adult psychology. It helped me to understand that my sons were not being obstinate or recalcitrant, but rather attempting to understand the laws of the natural world and human behavior. Young children are, as UC Berkeley professor Allison Gopnik termed them, “scientists in the crib.” This exploration mindset, which lays the foundation for life-long learning, informs our approach in Primary to allow children to be curious and to problem solve.

This insight of young children as keen testers is among the many nuggets from our upcoming community reading book for 2018-19: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. We chose this book because it’s one of the best resources for understanding how knowledge of neurology can help us teach children, and also improve our own adult lives. With much information swirling around, this research-based book offers clear recommendations for nurturing healthy and effective brains. Chapters focus on exercise, sleep, stress, wiring, attention, memory, sensory integration, vision, music, gender, and exploration.

The topics you will read about in Brain Rules set the stage for us to explore other interesting ways our minds work, both consciously and subconsciously. For example, I have always been fascinated by how our “fast” brain and “slow” brain are involved in decision-making processes. As we continue to explore themes of inclusion and equity in our school community, it is valuable to consider how implicit bias, a form of “fast” decision making, compels us to unconsciously attribute particular qualities to members of various social groups. These biases, favorable and unfavorable, are activated involuntarily and are largely beyond an individual’s control – but, by learning more about how our brains work in this way, we can become aware of and in fact minimize the power these “fast” decisions have on our actions and thinking.

We encourage you to read this stimulating and accessible book in preparation for conversations next year about the many new things we are learning about brain science, and how we are implementing this knowledge into our classrooms to ensure that every student is well-served at Turning Point. Whether your child is three or 13, you will better understand his or her mind—and be armed with information to enhance your commitment to your own well-being. I’m excited for us to come together in the fall for stimulating discussions about how to leverage the full power of our brains to help us understand, evolve, and thrive together as a community.


Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School

Extra Credit!

Other excellent brain resources:

Daniel Kahneman. Thinking Fast and Slow. NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011.

Kahneman debunks our theories of ourselves as rational decision makers and reveals instead how vulnerable we are to biases.

Claude Steele. Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.

Steele shares groundbreaking research on stereotype threat that undermines our abilities when we feel we are at risk of confirming stereotypes about our social group.

8780 National Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232


Turning Point School is an independent, coeducational school providing a premier education to Preschool - Grade 8 students in the greater Los Angeles area. For over 45 years, we have educated confident, curious, and globally-aware preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school students.

Located in the heart of Culver City, we enroll students from the west side of Los Angeles including Beverly Hills, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Marina del Rey, Hancock Park, Cheviot Hills, and Playa del Rey.


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