Turning Point School, a premier Preschool–Grade 8 school located in the greater Los Angeles area, seeks a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to begin July 1, 2022.
The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a newly designed position within the Turning Point School community. After years of collective work and responsibility spearheaded by Head of School Dr. Laura Konigsberg, the inaugural Director will step into the role from a position of strength, based upon the school’s engagement and institutional commitment to equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism. Reporting to the Head of School, the Director will join a dedicated Senior Administrative Team as they support faculty and staff in meeting Turning Point’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. The Director will champion the school’s efforts to foster a learning environment and community where students, faculty, staff, alumnX, and families feel a genuine sense of belonging. The Director will provide a strategic vision, overseeing and leading the implementation of the DEIJ aspects of the school’s strategic plan. The new Director will also synthesize the goals of the faculty, staff, and families’ commitments to create a vision towards becoming an even more diverse, equitable, and inclusive school where justice and belonging are paramount.
The ideal candidate will find resonance in the mission and values of the school and share the school’s commitment to equity, which can be found on the school’s website at turningpointschool.org.
strategic priorities and opportunities
The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be a highly visible presence within the school community, engaging individually and collectively with faculty, staff, students, families, and Trustees. The Director will have the essential role of examining school-wide policies alongside the Senior Administrative Team to ensure an equity lens is applied across all facets of the school: from admissions and advancement to marketing, communications, governance, and finance, to curriculum, pedagogy, and student life.
The inaugural Director can look forward to working with a professional community of lifelong learners in the faculty and staff dedicated to taking their commitment to equity, inclusion, and antiracism to the next level in terms of capacity, pedagogy, and confidence. One such example of this work is the school’s DEIJ Scope and Sequence, highlighting the specific DEI learning outcomes and resources for each grade level. Under the guidance of the Division Heads and the Director of Teaching and Learning, the grade-level teams and departmental-level groups developed their tenets of an anti-racist curriculum that serves as the community’s north star when developing curriculum. In 2018, Turning Point worked with Elizabeth Denevi, a consultant who works with schools to increase equity, promote diversity pedagogy, and implement strategic processes for growth and development. Since 2018, the school has been engaged with Chicago-based consultant Dr. Derrick Gay to practice and activate diversity, equity, and inclusion conversations into the broader community. With Dr. Gay’s guidance, the school has moved from understanding the skills, mindsets, and cultural competencies children need to succeed in a multicultural social environment. The school now has courageous conversations with its students and with each other about race to leverage these skills into action. Parents and caregivers were also invited to participate in their own journey as a part of an ongoing Parent Speaker Series facilitated by Dr. Gay. The incoming Director will build upon this work to support the broad spectrum of dimensions of diversity and identity, including—but not limited to—intersections with race, LGBTQIA+, neurodiversity, and socioeconomic status.
Acting as a resource and thought leader to students, families, employees, and Trustees, the Director, with the support and engagement of all school leaders, will lead the school’s strategic vision in guiding the community towards a deeper understanding of and appreciation for what it means to be increasingly equitable and inclusive, finding ways to both challenge and support people through their equity growth journeys.
Specific opportunities for engagement will include:
Work with leadership, faculty, and staff to devise ways in which the community can hold a diversity of perspectives; in particular, providing guidance on creating an inclusive space where students/families who have beliefs outside the norm feel heard, seen, and experience a sense of belonging
Partner with the Head of School and serve as a key liaison to the Board in thought leadership, strategic vision, and implementation
Engage with appropriate stakeholders to develop, implement, operationalize, and measure the school’s strategic DEIJ plan, vision, and related goals to ensure their execution
Collaborate closely with the program team to revise and refine curricula and pedagogy, and develop ways to ensure all students feel valued and valuable, and can see and celebrate differences and connections
Support, coach, and collaborate with teachers in employing best practice pedagogies, developing lesson plans through an equity lens, and assisting with efforts to further incorporate diverse, equitable, inclusive, and antiracist perspectives into curricula development
Engage students directly and collaborate to develop programming to support their well-being and foster the critical thinking skills of all Turning Point students
Plan with senior leaders on how to integrate best practices and anti-bias/unconscious bias strategies into recruitment, hiring, onboarding, employee evaluation, and retention practices
Work collaboratively with the Admissions team to identify, recruit, enroll, and retain families of all backgrounds—ensuring that Turning Point is walking the talk with prospective families
Work with parents, particularly families from historically underrepresented backgrounds, to ensure that they are feeling valued and valuable, supporting ongoing parent education on topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and antiracism
Explore additional pathways for faculty and staff fulfillment and growth, including new ways to build community, supportive relationships and networks, and provide direction for professional growth
Qualifications & attributes
The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be a passionate and compassionate individual who listens deeply and empathically, and possesses the experience to guide with expertise and the patience and persistence to steward change over time. The Director will be an equity leader with deep and proven relationship-building skills who can meaningfully engage faculty, staff, students, parents, alums, and Trustees in this work. This leader will have high EQ, bring genuine warmth and caring to the role, and foster deep connection and belonging.
Specific desired qualifications for this position:
A graduate degree in a relevant field is preferred, with a bachelor’s degree as a minimum criterion
Demonstrated success and at least five years of leadership experience stewarding an inclusive, culturally responsive school community
Management skills, including evaluation and feedback
Teaching experience and familiarity with progressive pedagogy, curriculum development, and child and adolescent development
Knowledge of digital tool and data systems, facility with social media, and the ability to learn and adapt to new technologies
Additional highly-valued attributes for this position:
A child development background to help translate equity principles into the separate developmental stages of Turning Point students from Preschool through Grade 8
Expertise in leading relevant professional development around diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism
The ability and the fortitude to develop, implement, and execute short and long-term goals regarding equity and belonging with meaningful and measurable outcomes
Demonstrated experience in establishing, implementing, and communicating a vision and strategic plan in collaboration with other leaders associated with equity, inclusion, and justice, including the Board of Trustees
The aptitude and energy to be the architect of the next level of institutional change in terms of strengthening school culture, researching and implementing policies, and supporting leaders, educators, and students in their growth and development
The ability to advocate for self and others with curiosity, kindness, agility, integrity, compassion, and purpose
Turning Point School, located in Culver City, California, is an independent, coeducational day school enrolling approximately 300 students in Preschool through Grade 8 grade from the greater Los Angeles area.
Turning Point is committed to an outstanding academic program featuring innovative teaching and learning, deeper understanding of content, and the development of students’ critical thinking and analytical abilities. The school sets a high bar of learning and ensures each child has support to meet rigorous expectations. It strives to further develop curricula to be thematic, process-based, personalized and intentionally sequenced.
Early Childhood Division: 2¾–5 year-olds
In the Early Childhood Division’s nurturing, stimulating environment, students discover the elements that will define their growth through their years at Turning Point. Students learn by engaging in free play, making guided choices, and valuing themselves and each other. The school’s Preschool and Pre-K classrooms are carefully constructed to inspire self-directed learning, develop confidence, and cultivate independence in its youngest students.
Preschool classrooms consist of children from two years and nine months through three years, while the Pre-K program is for children ages four, five, and sometimes six years old (depending on Kindergarten entry plans).
Students practice social skills daily by sharing, communicating, and collaborating with others. A favorite activity for both the youngest and oldest students is the “Big Buddies” program, where Preschool and Pre-K students engage in authentic, inspiring activities with their Grade 8 buddies.
Elementary Division: Kindergarten–Grade 4
During the Elementary years, students are empowered to take risks as they explore their capacity for learning in a safe and inclusive environment. The Elementary program provides a strong foundation in fundamental academic skills while also nurturing and guiding students’ social and emotional growth and development. The curriculum is rigorous, supportive, and developmentally appropriate. Study tours (field trips) extend classroom instruction out into the world, while cross-curricular themes and connections within all aspects of the program help students bring learning into focus. The instructional learning teams use a variety of methods to reach all children, including a combination of direct instruction, independent practice, hands-on learning, and cooperative group work.
Middle School: Grades 5–8
Each facet of the Middle School program is specifically designed with middle school brains in mind. The interdisciplinary curriculum encourages students to adopt the adaptable, entrepreneurial spirit required to embrace the challenges of a rapidly evolving world. Students practice key communication skills by developing strong interpersonal relationships and mastering purposefully selected technology tools, allowing them to become self-directed learners who exercise critical reasoning.
In Leadership classes, all Grades 7 and 8 students explore civic responsibility as it relates to their daily lives at school and their interactions with the broader community. Individual leadership strengths are identified and developed through a range of projects and activities, including mentorship and service-learning, empowering students to fully understand and explore their potential to contribute.
Middle School interscholastic teams extend the physical education program as a means to foster students’ skill acquisition and deepen their understanding of healthy competition. A “no-cut” policy encourages participation and enables athletes at all levels to experience the benefits of team practice and play. League participation with various independent schools on the west side of Los Angeles includes sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, cross-country, swimming, and track & field.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, And Justice
In every hiring opportunity, Turning Point seeks candidates who will contribute to and are committed to diversity and inclusive practices, demonstrate skills that represent multiple perspectives, and enjoy communicating and collaborating effectively with a diverse and broad spectrum of individuals.
The school’s commitment to fostering the development of every child to thrive in a complex and interconnected world guides its actions. They cultivate their dynamic, inclusive community with belonging as a prerequisite for thriving. At Turning Point, belonging is more than participating; it is co-creating a place where everyone is deeply accepted for who they are. It means everyone sees themselves reflected in mirrors and learns about others through windows. The school believes that no one should downplay or renounce parts of themselves to feel accepted or to gain access to the full benefits of their community.
Turning Point has made it a strategic priority to create and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. They use the lenses of equity, inclusion, and antiracism to approach teaching and learning, to guide their relationships with each other and their students, and to ensure that their school policies address systems that underlie inequities.
Turning Point invites and expects its community members to challenge stereotypes and to create a space where children can learn to become the types of leaders needed in an increasingly interconnected and complex world—those who hold respect, justice, and love at the center of their orientation.
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 1980s, 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.
Procedure to apply
March 25, 2022
Early April, 2022
Late April, 2022
Early May, 2022
*Approximate dates subject to change
Interested candidates must submit the following materials confidentially in one PDF attachment that includes in the following order:
Cover letter expressing particular interest in Turning Point School and the position of Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Statement of educational philosophy and practice that expresses who you are and how you connect to this work (no more than two pages)
List of three references including name, title, phone number, email address, and professional relationship (references are contacted only with the candidate’s permission)
Please direct any questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 415-881-7105.