State of the School

At last Thursday’s State of the School event, I had the pleasure of sharing the strategic priorities that will guide Turning Point School’s future direction and orient us for the choices we will make over the next few years. These priorities have emerged from many sources; from the surveys distributed to all our community members to inform the Head of School position statement, to the many “entry conversations” during my first year, to the work we did on the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Accreditation exercise, and finally, by my day-to-day impressions and experiences over the past 18 months working with a talented faculty, administrative team, and staff.

Over the course of several months, our Strategic Planning Committee—consisting of a collaborative group of trustees and administrators—developed four strategic priorities, which were approved by the full Board of Trustees earlier this month. Strategic priorities offer clear compass points for Turning Point’s evolution. These interconnected, dynamic priorities are:

Mission and Identity
What is the logical evolution of Turning Point’s unique identity? How do we use our differentiating features to tell the Turning Point story?

Academic Excellence
How can we refine and articulate our outstanding, innovative academic program to align with our mission and identity?

Financial Sustainability
How might we further support and promote our values and priorities through financial and operational sustainability?

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

You may notice that we have presented these crucial priorities in the form of essential questions rather than in declarative statements. Just as teachers structure their lessons around essential questions to stimulate thought and spark more questions, we wanted our strategic priorities to provoke inquiry and stimulate discussion.

At the State of the School event, in addition to unveiling our strategic priorities, I reviewed the significant progress we have made since July 2016. If you’d like to learn more, you can view the slides from my presentation.

After the presentation, participants had the opportunity to engage in an inquiry-based exercise in which they were asked to project five years into the future and consider the following: What evidence would demonstrate that we had accomplished our goals for each strategic priority? What does success look like for each priority?  The answers provided will help us create important implementation steps as we operationalize each strategic priority.

With our strategic mindset at the forefront, eight trustees and I attended the annual CAIS Trustee/School Head Conference in San Francisco this past weekend. The dynamic keynotes and workshops helped us to think about the opportunities and challenges that schools face in our rapidly changing world. We are lucky to have a dedicated Board composed of talented people who love Turning Point and work hard to make it an exceptional school and community. As you may know, independent school boards are tasked with ensuring long term sustainability for their schools. I want to thank the Board for their outstanding long-range, strategic work on behalf of Turning Point School.

Additionally, I would like to thank the parents who arranged child care and gave up their own family time to attend the State of the School presentation last week and so thoughtfully engage with one another and members of our Board to share ideas and wisdom. If you were not able to attend the presentation, please feel free to email me any thoughts or ideas you have. The faculty and staff enjoyed the same exercise, and I am eager to see everyone’s input.

As I consider the exciting journey ahead, I am exceedingly grateful to be surrounded by so many creative, talented, and engaged community members – from parents, to trustees, educators, and colleagues. I look forward to our continued collaboration, and am eager to see the expression of our priorities begin to take shape!


Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School

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