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GreatSchools Rating

Keystone Montessori Charter School

Charter | 1-9 | 300 students

Our school is best known for providing a foundation for a lifetime of learning.

 
 

Living in Phoenix

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $185,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,040.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 19 ratings
2013:
Based on 6 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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60 reviews of this school


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Posted August 4, 2009

My two children went to Keystone for several years. Our experience has been mixed. The extra curricular activities at Keystone are fantastic, the field trips, the year end tours, the science fairs - fabulous. Considering the fact that they do all this with little or no extra money from the parents is great! Parental involvement is also phenomenal. One thing I have a major peeve about Keystone is about the quality of teachers. There is a very high turnover of teachers - my kids had a new teacher every year, which defeats the Montessori advantage of having mixed age classes (grades 1-3, 4-6 etc). Teacher quality was mixed at best, there were a couple of teachers who had major difficulty communicating with the students and the parents. They didn't encourage gifted children by providing extra challenges or opportunities to learn. I have decided to move both my kids to another school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 19, 2009

My son was really struggling with school when he attended a traditional public school. I decided to move him to a Montessori setting, and chose Keystone because it was a good size, a beautiful campus, and most importantly the teachers seemed very engaged with the kids. We have been so happy to find that Keystone was everything that we hoped it would be! Within just a few weeks, my son was reading at grade level, and his behavior was excellent. He has been motivated to learn in new ways, finding engagement in subjects that weren't even an option at his previous school. I highly recommend Keystone Montessori.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 24, 2009

Keystone is an amazing school with outstanding students, teachers, administration, and parents. The school is an authentic Montessori program that nurtures each child's individuality. My two children have attended the school for 6 years and it is the only school I see them going to through the 9th grade. I have spoken with other parents of children who have transitioned out of the school and into high school and they have all had wonderful things to say about their children's smooth transitions, social adjustment, and academic accomplishments.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2008

I have 2 children at this school. My children have attended Keystone for 3 years and I am thrilled with the school. The teachers at Keystone are certified (I checked), the program is a true Montessori program, and my children are thriving. They score very high on standardized tests and are socially well balanced because of this type of education. I would recommend a true Montessori education to every parent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 26, 2008

My son has attended Keystone for the past year. I am thrilled with this school overall. The staff is responsive and motivated. They genuinely belive in the kids and their potential. Parents are invited to participate throughout the year with community workshops, Montessori Journey (overview of Montessori methods for parents), classroom meetings, etc. We get a weekly email update from the school about events and upcoming projects. My only negative would be the lack of a hot lunch program. As a working parent, I would like that option. I'll keep making sandwiches, because I love the school otherwise.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 7, 2008

The most authentic Montessori environment of any school I have seen or researched. It is unusual to find this kind of quality Montessori in a charter school situation. After a job transfer we had to pay more than 12,000 a year to get a similar education elsewhere. It still does not measure up in many ways to Keystone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 18, 2008

The best. The best. The best. Teachers. staff, volunteers. All caring, loving, tolerant, and truly passionate about what they do. Montessori curriculum, the best I ever seen. I'd recommend it to any parent, especially to those who have children who have been labeled as behaviorally challenged.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 12, 2006

Keystone really strives to provide an authentic Montessori education. The school has worked hard to employ qualified teachers Montessori trained teachers. The student ratio is low, about 13 to 1. Independence is encouraged and children learn by doing. My child has taken several multi day fieldtrips with his classmates and these experiences have also helped develop independence. I would recommend this school to anyone who wants a more intimate school environment with a quality authentic Montessori curriculum.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 12, 2006

Keystone is a wonderful place for children. The staff is caring and children have fun learning. Keystone provides an authentic Montessori education unlike other so called 'Montessori' schools. It is a safe and welcoming envoironment. The children are exposed to a lot of real-life experiences including day field trips and overnight trips. The classrooms are wonderful, I just wish the outdoor envirnoment were more shaded and had playground equipment, but in time hopefully the school will have the funding to do something about that.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 5, 2006

Fantastic acadmic program. Pure montessori curriculum. Some extra curricular activity and deep level of parent activitiy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 5, 2006

My kid has gone to keystone for 3 years. We are happy wiht the school and the environement that it provides for our kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 10, 2006

Keystone Montessori provides an authentic Montessori education, on par with that provided by private schools. The small school environment and low student to teacher ratio promote a sense of community and shared responsibility for the education of all children. Students are treated as unique individuals, with respect provided by both staff and other students for individual difference. Children are encouraged to advance at their own pace, with guidance from staff, but motivation and task selection from within. I highly recommend visiting Keystone for a first-hand look at the quality education that takes place there daily.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 14, 2005

Administration focuses on the key issues of education while adding important experiences for the kids. While there are frequent requests for donations, the cost/benefit ratio for this school is unbeatable. I have parental experience with 3 other Montessori schools in the area and this is clearly the best value
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2005

My son is in the second year of the three through six year old program. I love this school. The teaches are passionate about the kids and the Montessori method. The school is committed to provide the teaches the materials they need for the classroom enviornment. The parents are involved and committed: attend a community meeting and you will see what I mean. The school last year purchased their land and they are involved in an ambitious project to construct the space for their fledging sixth through nineth grade program. The building is scheduled for completion for September 2005. I feel very fortunate to have found this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 31, 2004

I have loved the small community atmosphere at this school. My kids always feel safe and are not a number at this school. The Montessori education is ideal for the self learner. My kids have a love for learning which I attribute to the educational style found at Keystone. The families that are drawn to this school are outstanding. If you are looking for a small, highly parent involved school, this is it.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 23, 2004

My daughter has thrived at Keystone. The quality of teachers and the attention each child receives is outstanding. Do I mind that they look for donations? Absolutely not. The quality of eduaction is worth it to me. The volume of parent volunteers is truly amazing. So many people getting involved in the education of our children is a hugh benefit to the entire Keystone Community. I couldn't be happier at Keystone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 19, 2004

Two years at Keystone and my child was behind. His Standford grades where outstanding at Keystone. So I was not only schocked to see how poor he scored in the Kyrene School Destrict on his Standford testing. He also had alot of catching up to do. I left the school because I was tired of the constant begging for money that was used to pay off the building.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 31, 2003

Our family's experience at Keystone was one of great disappointment. Our biggest concern was the lack of quality teachers, lack of technology and the constant demand for donations. The learning in the classroom is very limited, primarily due to the lack of experience/education of the teachers in addition to the lack of structure within the classroom. In our view, we did not think that Keystone provided the Montessori concept of teaching. On a positive note, the parent involvement is very high.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 11, 2003

I have been a parent at Keystone for over 5 years. We are a school community committed to growing the best Montessori program possible for the children of today and tomorrow. Good enough simply isn't and we are dedicated to continous improvement. We are funded by tuition, state monies and donations. Keystone is a nonprofit organization. We conduct our formal fund raising program in direct proportion to what it takes to pay for the high quality program that attracted families to Keystone in the first place. Many thanks to those who donate as your generous investment in the future allows all of us to enjoy a quality small Montessori school environent and low ratios. A byproduct of these is high test scores. I'm proud to belong to a community that demands excellence and is willing to find a way to pay for it. We refuse to settle for what the State of Arizona (ranked near the bottom in the nation on education spending) would give us for 'free.' The cost of education is rising and many traditional public schools are cutting 'fun' and 'extracurriculars' to make ends meet. But I am confident that the Keystone community will continue to think outside the box, take responsibility for our choices and find ways to fund our goal of growing the best possible Montessori school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 1, 2003

Like many Montessoris, Keystone is a very structured school and classrooms vary greatly by the individuality of the teachers. The student/teacher ratio is great and our child is learning well, but we are troubled by the lack of technology-related educational tools/work (i.e., computers, Internet) as well as extra-curricular activities and creative 'fun' work (i.e., there are minimal creative activities done in-classroom, such as holiday-related projects, unless developed by parent volunteers). Our biggest complaint about Keystone is its constant plea for donations - we selected this school not only for its great academic reputation/test scores and because it is a true Montessori, but also because it is a charter school that is supposedly 'free' and an alternative to public education. In fact, the school not only requests and expects monthly donations, but can only truly survive on private funding.


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

31 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
89%

2010

 
 
91%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

31 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
100%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

28 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
88%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

28 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
92%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
96%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
73%

2010

 
 
96%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

18 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
72%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
81%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

18 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

18 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
87%

2010

 
 
88%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

20 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
100%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

20 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

20 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
45%

2010

 
 
100%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
n/a
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 58% 42%
Hispanic 18% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 14% 3%
Two or more races 7% 2%
Black 4% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Female 50%N/A49%
Male 50%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Music teacher(s)
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Academic Excellence Award for Reading (2011)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Textile design
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Poetry

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 2:45 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 5:30 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Sherri Sampson
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (480) 283-8402

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Montessori
  • Multi-aged
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Remediation
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • None
Girls sports
  • None

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Textile design
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
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1025 E. Liberty Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 460-7312

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