Newspaper Archive of
Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
February 21, 2001     Beverly Hills Weekly
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February 21, 2001

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guest Turningpoint School By Helen Molitz Turningpoinl School is a Weslside institution wilh an cstablished tradition of academic cxcellcnce Voundcd ~l ycars ago, in 1970, "l~rningpoin~ School is well regardcd [or 0s early childhm)d and c]cmcnlary programs Since i('s carlv day~, Turningpom~ Ua~ leased space Irom Lco Bacck Ibmple ~n Scpul~eda Bird in Be1 Air As mc school's program glcw and cnrolhncn~ expanded, i~ b~:calne obvious that it needed a ncwcr and larger fil~ility to Ii{~usc its smdculs and leach ors Undcr the dircctfon and leadership of The B~ard {U "['ruslccs and [Icad of ScUo~l. DchoraU Richman, a search ~,l a silc hcgan In 1994, Turningpou/t purcUascd the churcU localed on South Rexl~,rcl mi m Bcvelly Hills Thc school was cagcr to become a par1 ol ihe Beverly Hills conm/unily and made a commitment to kccp the integrity of this historic ci(y Landmark Ahhough many Bcverly Hills citizens wclc(mlcd a new priw~(c scho(,I,, cspc cially parents of Bcvcrly Vista Elmncntary studcnts, pmtcstcd Ihal thc Iralr~c c~mgcslion that might be caused by Turningpoint School would pose a threat to Ihe comrnunily The~e complaints began a time consuming, expensive, and pain~l process tot both lUc City of Beverly Hills, as well as Tumingpoint School. After two years of meeting with thc l~rningpoing School community and coizcns of Bcverly Hills. The Bever]y Hills City Planning Commission decided thai Turningpoinl posed no threal to Iraffic congestion or other problems It ruled ~brningpoint to he an asset to the Bevcrly Hills community, but that decision was appealed by a neighbor, resulting in a Cily Council hearinE Turningpoint's deIight that their pcrseverancc and determination has paid c~ff was short lived. After hcaring from The Board of Education, as well as principals and tQ'A presidcnts Iom four publi~ elcmcntary schools, thc City CouncU denied thc sch~,ol's purchasc in a surprisc 3 Io I vote. The thrcc dissenters were; Vicki Rcyaolds. Alhm Alcxaadcr and T(Jm Lcvyn The only aye vote was from MeraLce Goldman. Dcspilc this blow from Bcvcrly Hills, Deborah Richman aad the si(c acquisition c~ml- mutcc wcrc determined m fiad a ncw home ~r Turningpoinl, and thcy did On Fehruary 12, 2001, Ihe school wil] bc opcning thc (h~ors to thcir brand new, stale of Ihc art faml- Uy at ~780 National Blvd., il~ Culver City The Levitt G[oup, a rcnowned Wcst~idc ar~:hitcctural firm. designed this sl~wc~lsc school tllal lcatures a luny equipped gymnasium, a mUhilncdia and re,cash cea~e~ a pcrformit~g arts center, and two scicncc laboratorics. Each classr~)l,ill ~alures a wide ~crcen TV Ihat tcachers can commcl to their computers ~r Ics~)ns, and all middle sch(,~l ~tudenls nave acces~ to lapt~)ps and classroom~ de~igncd m supp~rt wireless communi- ~atUm throughom Ihc school The biggest curricular change, howevcr, is the additi,m ~)1 ~hc middlc scho{g Turningpoint's Middlc School i~ comprised of levels 6 thr~mgh 8 wil]l appr,~xlmalely 36 students (two classes of Ig~ pcr levcl The rigorous academic pmgrum is presented m a crcativc cnviromnent that c~mbincs cutting edge educational trcnds in education w0h proven traditional mclhods The cntirc focus is (In ~hc adolesccm Icarncn Division }lead, Hclen Moluz, will ovcrsec the program and its deveh)pmenl. At each grade lever, the social studies program drives thc curriculum ]n Icvcl 6. il is Ihc sludy of Early Man to the fall of the Roman Empire. In Icvcl 7, U is I~)cused on lhc ~111 of Rome to the Agc of Enlightcnmcnl, and in level 8, it is Ih study of American Hislory from the Civil War to Ihc cnd of World War 11 Since the curriculum is Ihemal- ic and inlegra(es thc languagc arts and lilcrature curriculums al cach grade Icvcl will relate to ~h appropriate period of hislory Thc science program also supports (he thcmalic curriculum, aad in addition to Ihc s(udy of chemistry, human biology, aslron~my, and Ihe like, cach grade level win main- rain a garden that also supports [heir ~trand of learning. For instancc, levcl 6 will havc an herbal garden such as those found in the ancicnt Mcditerrancan cuhurcs Sincc the school houses bolh wet and dry sciencc labc~rat~rica, ~cience ir*vestlga~mns will bc a big part of thc program Prc Algebra is introduced in levcl 6, and takes studcnls through Algebra ~)ne and introduction to geometry in thc thrcc ycar program A giftcd math pmgraln is provided for the studcnts who nced an cxlra ~hallengc in math toni. on page 18 16 Beverly Hills Wee~y LOOKING FOR A UNIO~E PLACE TO DINE? 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