This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted February 03, 2014
- a community member
I went to Keys from K-8 and am now a freshman at Menlo High School. As much as I love Menlo, Keys will always be where my heart belongs. The school is extremely inclusive and does a great job of preparing me for what life will be like as I get older. The school has taught me many valuable lessons that will carry me through High School and beyond.
This used to be a good school. The last 3-4 years have been fraught with turmoil and poor overall management since the school's expansion. Many great teachers have left due to lack of support from the administration. The school really hasn't settled in since the expansion. There seems to be a disconnect between the administration and the teachers, and unfortunately this affects the kids and families. The school's "whole child" philosophy has essentially become a marketing tool for prospective parents and not a reality anymore. The depth is just not there and there is too much teaching inconsistency from year to year. In addition the school pushes kids to be more independent more due to lack of resources rather than appropriate child development. Now that the Head of School AND Lower School Head are leaving the school (Spring 2013) I hope the school does some real soul searching and turns things around. I would not currently recommend especially the lower school due a host of problems.
Since there have not been any posts since 2011, i thought it would benefit those looking to have an update. In 2011-2012 the school went through major transition. The school split into 2 sections, lower and middle school that are about 1.5 miles apart now. This did change the culture of the school. There was a huge teacher turnover (7 out of 9 homeroom teachers). In the last 4 years the school has doubled in size. Now in Nov of 2012, the school has really settled in. The new teachers are wonderful. The project based learning and Singapore math are back on track. At the end of this year there will be a change in the head of School. It looks like things are really looking positive. Our 2 children who attend Keys are thriving, and learning in a very supportive environment.
We have two children at Keys, and have been thrilled with our experience. The teachers are outstanding, the parent community is warm and supportive, and the school really lives its mission to focus on educating the whole child with a broad, hands-on, project-based curriculum. It is true that there has been teacher turnover in the last two years, but all of the new teachers brought on board this year are exceptional. I think Keys may have suffered a few hiccups in its expansion to two campuses and two sections per grade, but those issues seem to be resolved and the school community has recovered nicely this year. This is really a special place, and we consider ourselves lucky to have our kids here.
The teacher turnover at this school is a big problem. The lower school division head is problematic and in her short tenure has caused mayhem on the campus and teachers are leaving as quickly as they can. Too bad because the school has potential to be really great. Management needs a turnover big time
Keys has a wonderful student body, involved parents and there were some gifted teachers present at this school. 5 teachers left the lower school this year and they were all excellent. It seems the new lower school head is a really poor manager and is driving away all the talent.
Incredible place! Excellent hands-on curriculum, wonderful teachers, great community. Teaches love of learning. Strives to make kids both reach their full academic potential and become considerate, caring individuals who will make a difference. Our kids have thrived there!
Keys continues to have staff turnover. This year the 3rd grade teacher, 4th grade teacher and middle school principal are all moving on. While some of the turn over is good - Keys now has a very good art teacher, for example - it is unsettling for the community. The 4th grade teacher who is leaving is quite gifted at sharing her enthusiasm for math, and will be missed. Spanish is poorly and lazily taught at the elementary level here, with a lot of dependency on worksheets and movies.
I find it ironic that a parent rated this school without ever having their child attend it and years later they are still bitter. This review is based on my child actually attending Keys. She has been very happy with her experience there. We are pleased with the progress she has made. One thing that is outstanding is that, if there are any issues with her classes; she feels more than comfortable talking to her teachers during free time and also going to the principal for any concerns she may have.
They only want very old boys. They wanted to make our son wait a year for kindergarten - they said he wasn't ready - and they were mean about it and said it would catch up with him. We ignored them and sent him off to Walter Hays. Now he's in 3rd grade - Each and every teacher says he is a delight to have. He has lots of friends and get this - his scores on the STAR are at the very top of advanced. Too bad he wasn't ready for school! We feel like we dodged a bullet - it's amazing how many people pull their kids out of that place. I'm happy to see that our preschool (Bing) no longer encourages parents to apply to Keys.