Bottom line: the academics at Turning Point are not challenging. They're middle of the road, for kids who will go on to colleges like CSU Fullerton, the University of Redlands & the University of Bridgeport. It's a safe place for mediocre students. And that's not a bad thing if mediocre is the best your student can do. But your child is capable of more, then keep looking.
The students who graduate from Turning Point are as well prepared as possible for high school, college and beyond. They leave the school not only with strong academic skills but also with the ability to analyze, conceptualize and take responsibility for their learning. Turning Point students both appreciate and engage in the arts and physical activities, and develop a strong sense of responsibility toward others as citizens of their communities and the world.
My children love Turning Point School. They have made wonderful friends. (Me too, I count Turning Point parents among my very closest friends).The teachers are phenomenal.Even when there are teacher-student problems, we have found the faculty to be super responsive and engaged in solving the problem. While we love the low key social nature of the school, it is not laid back in terms of academics. The academics, most especially, the humanities/social studies programs have engaged my kids and caused them to want to learn more. What I am especially impressed with is that all of my kids are poised and confident public speakers. Part of the Turning Point curriculum from the very earliest levels, encourages and fosters each child's ability to present ideas to a group. Boy, if only I had learned that in school...
Not a bad school & not a great one. This school is the functional equivalent of a very good public school in Vermont or Wisconsin. Which, actually, in Los Angeles, is not a bad thing at all. But if you're looking for an LA Dalton or St. Ann's or Brearley, look elsewhere. This school is safe and competent. But it is not academic. Just look at where the 8th grade graduates have gone on to college. No Ivy Leagues or even second tier schools like Williams or University of Michigan. They may be working on changing this but, really, it's about the level of academics offered at this school, and that's not changing. Of course, like all LA schools, their primary concern is fundraising. This is, of course, the primary concern of all private schools, regardless of coast. Thing is -- on the east coast (or really, even at elite private schools in places like Chicago & Minneapolis) they have Ivy League college admissions to back up their academics. Turning Point does not. And it doesn't seem to aspire to that, either. It's very L.A. in that way. If you're okay with that, and also okay with an administration that is unaccustomed to explaining itself to anyone, this is your school.
Turning Point School meets the needs of your student wherever they are. My daughter is a high achieving math student who has been board in other math classes. We are thrilled to have her at Turning Point where the teachers go out of their way to make sure she continues to be challenged. She has gone from hating math class to loving it. We are also thrilled that she is becoming so much more passionate about history. The school believes that group work and living history is the best way for the kids to learn. Although we were somewhat skeptical at first it is clear that they were right. Our daughter seems to remember everything. The school focuses more on the events and their meaning rather than names and dates. We are very impressed!
My son has had three great years at Turning Point, and I am looking forward to the years ahead! There are so many opportunities for growth and enrichment with this tremendous program. He has wonderful relationships with the teachers and the community is one that I feel lucky to have helping me raise him as a respectful and responsible person. It is a nurturing place that takes its mission to heart. Just walking in the halls, you can FEEL the goodness. Happy kids = Happy parents!
I am a Turning Point School lifer who is well-prepared for the academic rigor at Phillips Exeter Academy, my soon-to-be new home. I have learned at Turning Point that I thoroughly enjoy learning itself. At Exeter, I will continue to enjoy learning by working hard, pursuing different things and, at the same time, I will have some fun in my time there. I am confident in my good character, heart, values, decision making, and conscience. Even in my young age, after 14 years of life and 10 years at Turning Point School, I feel I have picked up very many valuable lessons and skills. I still have countless things to accomplish, but even so, I feel that my time at Turning Point has been a spectacular start to my life. I have learned that it is important to really know your teachers and make sure they know you (close relationships with teachers are important) and that loyalty is the most important part of friendship. I thank everyone at Turning Point School for helping me get into my new home and always being a place that was a comfortable sanctuary of a school. I have been well prepared. And, I have had a spectacular experience at Turning Point that I will never forget.
I am a parent of two and the only thing they have in common is their intellectual curiosity and above grade level abilities. Turning Point challenged them academically while also nurturing their very different personal passions - science, performing arts, spanish, athletics, and community service. Now graduates of the school, their love of learning continues, in great part attributible to their elementary school years there. Terrific teachers working with a truly 21st century educational program and being led by a highly professional and thoughtful administration.
An average school for average students. If your child has above average academic ability, then this school is not for you--the curriculum and the school philosophy is designed to be non-challenging academically. The smarter the student, the worse the disconnect. The administration does not view their job as "college prep" and have admitted such in a school meeting. Bullying is a perennial problem in the grade school, and the school does little to alleviate it. Many families leave the school because their child is getting bullied. The junior high school (6th through 8th) is much more responsive and proactive. Many of the teachers are quite good, but they are limited by the chosen curriculum. The facilities are very nice, with a two-building campus, nice library for the grade school (not as good for the junior high), great specialist classrooms, and a lovely theater. Parental involvement in the classroom is actively discouraged. Parents are limited to field trips, snacks, and fundraising. The school's wants parents to drop their kids off and write the check, nothing more.
This is our fourth year at Turning Point and we feel that choosing Turning Point was one of the best decisions we ever made. The teachers, the curriculum, the academics, the sports/art/music/spanish programs, parental involvement, the school ethos, the culture as well as the environment are beyond comparison the absolute best in Los Angeles. An outstanding school.
My daughter just finished her first year in the primary program. We chose the school for the strong faculty and the nurturing environment that they provide. Found the entire community very welcoming and supportive. Great program and highly recommended.
We just finished our first year at this school. I say 'we' because there is a strong emphasis on the entire family being actively involved in the school. Deborah Richman is a strong, maternal leader who has assembled an outstanding team of faculty and support staff. Our daughter completed primary (preschool) and will be continuing into the K1 program next year. One of the things I have appreciated about the school is its emphasis on making the children feel as though it is a second family for the children. The teachers, staff and students all treat each other with respect, and genuine care. Our daughter loves going to school, loves everyone there and feels loved in return. I also need to single out Maggi, the head of admissions. As the gatekeeper she has a knack for choosing families that are a great match for each other and the school. We've had the pleasure of meeting with a lot of fellow parents and everyone is simply great. No extreme philosophies, just great sensible people.
I am sorry to read that the parent who gave this school 2 stars had a bad experience. Considering all of the other reviews seems to have the same experience as myself, perhaps this just wasn't a good match for that family. The staff, teachers, and students at Turning Point are awesome! The fact that the school not only emphasize strong academics but also how to prepare their students to take on the challenges of the world beyond their school years, is something that is very rarely found at any school I have researched or been a part of. The love, support and caring found at this school is unbelieveable. I'm happy to be a part the Turning Point family.
The love of learning is stressed at this school. Teachers are great. My daughter looks forward to going to class.
This is an outstanding school. It perhaps flies a little below the radar because it is not purely 'academic' or purely 'developmental.' Instead, it offers an approach that is a mix of the two. So parents that are religious about a free-thinking, developmental style of education probably find the school too academically-oriented for their tastes. Conversely, those that value academic challenge above all may find the school does not strictly go in that direction either. But for the parent that wants a balanced approach for their child or children, the school is ideal.
I have looked at all kinds of schools in Los Angeles, both public and private, and nothing compares to Turning Point. It is academic without using outdated and uncreative traditional methods like memorizing, lecturing and testing. Turning Point values the whole child and respects children's strengths be it academic, creative, social or physical. Turning Point students are 'Well Prepared' and graduate as confident learners who know who they are, how best they learn and where they want to go for higher education. The only problem with Turning Point is getting in. The admission process can be tough and disappointing even for A list celebrities. Good luck!
We have been so impressed with this school and the staff. There is not only a strong academic presence, but the school also emphasizes a strong 'sense of character' and an appreciation for the community. It is diverse, with families from different socio-economic backgrounds. The Middle School is small but growing, and there is a general sense of respect amongst the kids. Spanish starts at the preschool level (which is rare), and the afterschool classes are numerous and reasonably priced. The school has 2 main fundraisers, and does not pressure you to donate the way other private schools do. (this may or may not work in their favor) Overall, we have found this school to provide a very well rounded education for our child.
This is an outstanding school at all levels. My son, now in 8th grade, has been a student there since K. It takes seriously its mission to develop well-rounded, well-prepared students. Strong academics: lots of solid writing and research instruction, my son has been taking Latin for two years, outstanding science curriculum with the opportunity for travel-study in middle school. The school has a great athletic and arts program as well, and they don't just cater to the strongest kids in these fields--the teachers and coaches work really hard to develop ALL children. It's a caring atmosphere--parents get lots of feedback and information about their children. The middle school is fantastic. It's small, but it offers big school opportunities in a safe environment while the kids are navigating through early adolesence. As for fundraising, yes, they do it, but no more than any other private school in Los Angeles.
Our child joined TP in middle school and it is an amazing program thanks to its dedicated teachers, small class sizes and the wide-variety of subjects covered. We loved our public school for an elementary education, but knew our child needed art, music, drama, a foreign language, integrated learning between subjects, science labs and enthusiastic math teachers in order to stay passionate about learning during the middle school years. Our public middle school had large classes, overwhelmed teachers and no art or music. We also wanted to end the constant memorization that subtitutes for teaching in public school and see our child become an inquisitive, independent thinker. If you are committed to your child's education, fund raising is necessary. The # of fund raising events is slightly less at this private school than our former public school. And everyone just gives to the best of their ability in time and money.
We think that Turning Point is an excellent school. It is very individualized to our child even in primary and our child h is learning how to write even at age 4, and is beginning on reading. There is no pressure but if your child is ready for it, they receive generous support and encouragement. The extracurricular, language, music, and sports programs are top notch. The library is well-stocked and the librarian is extremely knowledgeable and takes the time each week to tailor books to our child. There is fundraising as at any school, but it is not excessive. Our child, and us, are very happy there.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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