Brain research shows that early childhood and adolescence are the two most critical periods of a person’s cognitive, emotional, and social growth. At Turning Point, we thoughtfully and purposefully construct a path for students to bridge these stages effectively—in the classrooms, on the playing fields, and in our various creative spaces. Our methods are research-based, our approach is systematic, and our outcomes are carefully measured.
Turning Point is a positive community, and our students remain happily engaged from the time they arrive at drop-off until they go home at the end of the day. Yet, happiness is far more than an easy morning routine. It is what results from the exercise of personal strengths and virtues, guideposts that help us all—students, educators, and parents—make our way toward purposeful and courageous lives.
When our students are engaged in enhanced, meaningful learning and the deep satisfaction which accompanies authentic growth and achievement, we can observe it on their faces and in their body language. We call this a “state of flow”— it makes them better able to select more challenging goals, perform better, and persist longer on challenges. It helps them navigate difficult situations more resiliently and inspires them to share their authentic selves and genuine talents with others. It is a profound marker of future success of all kinds, and creates the traits we want to see in those who will, one day in the not-too-distant future, inherit our planet.
Turning Point continues to evolve after almost 50 years of excellence, thanks to our robust partnership between school and family, which not only nurtures our greater school community, but promotes the well-being and happiness of others. Our community’s dedication to a larger, common good guides us toward noble purposes which transcend meaning we merely create for ourselves. I cannot think of a more profound compass to guide our myriad positive equations for achievement.
I look forward to meeting you and your child.
Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School
Parent of Jack (Class of 2019) and Miles (Class of 2023)
Based on scientific research and the field of positive psychology, our positive equation for achievement encompasses the intellectual, social, physical, ethical, and emotional elements that drive each student’s experience and growth, from the very first day of preschool until eighth grade graduation.
As our students navigate our rigorous curriculum, we encourage them to take ownership of their learning. While a thoughtfully designed scope and sequence guides our curriculum, we honor your child’s unique path. Personalized, strengths-based instruction means students experience the right level of challenge as they practice critical thinking, innovation, and problem-solving—elements they will continue to utilize through high school, college, and beyond.
Very few things happen in isolation. Having the aptitude to move comfortably among peers and to connect with those different from oneself are crucial qualities your child will need to successfully contribute to a global society. From day one, our students exercise leadership, inclusion, trust, and kindness as they learn to collaborate and to build healthy friendships.
Research reveals a significant correlation between physical well-being and success in learning. A balanced curriculum creates space for play, promotes agility and motor skills, and elevates sportsmanship. We foster in our students an appreciation for their physical selves, and dedicate intentional time to nurturing healthy habits.
Growing your child’s ethical mind goes deeper than knowing right from wrong. As a community, we cultivate shared values rooted in integrity, equity, and empathy. Our students speak up for themselves as well as for those who do not have a voice, and shoulder responsibility for their peers as they embrace their obligations as compassionate global citizens.
Children travel remarkable and complex paths through childhood and adolescence. In our dynamic environment, students harness the power of emotion to assign personal relevance and meaning to their learning. By summoning the courage to test their independence, confidence, and compassion, students are able to see themselves in the best light—as great friends, deep learners, and true collaborators.
The Turning Point program, which spans preschool through eighth grade, honors the profound brain reshaping periods during both early childhood and early adolescence.
Research shows that middle school students perform better academically and have a higher perception of their own abilities in Preschool-8 schools, where they feel safer, more confident, and more engaged.
Turning Point is committed to a Preschool-8 program that produces talented, capable students who are not only ready to take on the challenges of high school, but are proud to have already made the world a better place.
For 50 years, Turning Point School has 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, and the school’s name was changed to Turning Point School 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 Global Citizenship 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 Preschool – 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. Our 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 spirit of our “positive equation” and supports our commitment to fostering the intellectual, social, physical, ethical, and emotional growth of every student.
Turning Point School is an independent school that provides harmony between the structure of a rigorous academic program and the freedom that guides each child through the many academic, emotional, creative, physical, social, and ethical turning points the primary, elementary, and middle school years present. We succeed when our students become responsible, well-balanced adults who are confident, honest, knowledgeable, community-focused, globally oriented, joyful, and well prepared to face a challenging and changing world.
Our Board of Trustees plays a crucial role in Turning Point’s long term stability and vision. One way of thinking about the Board is that its core activity is planning, and its primary constituency is not today’s students but students of the future. Trustees are responsible for developing a strategic plan, for hiring and evaluating the head of school, for approving an annual budget and overseeing financial accountability, and ensuring that we are fulfilling our mission.
Robert Friedman, President
Sam Widdoes, ’97, Vice President
Adena Smith, Treasurer
Angela Mabon, Secretary
Dr. Laura Konigsberg, Head of School
Located in Culver City, CA, Turning Point School is a co-educational, independent school for students in Preschool, Elementary School, and Middle School.
Current Open Positions:
Educational Technology and Innovation Specialist | Elementary (posted 4/30/2021)
- Undergraduate degree for Elementary and Middle School
- Associate or Bachelor degree for P.E. positions
- Twelve units of Early Childhood Education units for Early Childhood positions
- Credentials for all teachers and Montessori certification for Early Childhood candidates
Turning Point School is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace and seeking a diverse and broad spectrum of qualified candidates. Turning Point School does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, gender or gender identity, age or sexual orientation.
Full-day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 2:30 pm
Short-day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 1:00 pm
Grades K-1: 8:30 am – 2:40 pm
Grades 2-4: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Grade 5: 8:30 am – 3:10 pm
8:15 am – 3:15 pm
Available at no additional cost starting at 7:30 am.
After School classes, lessons, athletics, and care is available for full-day students until 6:00 pm at an additional cost.
Title IX Notice of Nondiscrimination
In accordance with the requirements set forth in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), Turning Point School provides this notice of nondiscrimination and states that the School does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities. Questions concerning Title IX may be referred to the School’s Title IX Coordinator whose contact information is below or to the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education.
Title IX Coordinator Contact Information:
Julia Yzaguirre, Chief Financial Officer
8780 National Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 841-2505, ext 127
Tuesday, September 1
Grades K-8 Classes Commence (Remote Learning)
Monday, August 31 – Wednesday, September 2
New Student Phase-In (Early Childhood Division) – On-Campus
Tuesday, September 1 – Wednesday, September 2
New and Returning Phase-In (Early Childhood Division) – On-Campus
Thursday, September 3
First Full day of school for Early Childhood Division – On-Campus
Monday, September 7
Labor Day (No School)
Monday, September 28
Yom Kippur (No School)
Thanksgiving Break Extended:
Monday, November 23 – Friday, November 27
Monday, December 21 – Friday, January 1
Winter Break (School resumes on Monday, January 4)
Friday, January 15
No School for Students | Professional Development Day
Monday, January 18
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (No School)
Monday, February 15
Presidents’ Day (No School)
Tuesday, February 16 – Wednesday, February 17
No School for Students | Professional Development Days
Monday, March 29 – Friday, April 9
Monday, May 31
Memorial Day (No School)
Wednesday, June 9
Last Day of School