This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Keith Country Day School5
Posted April 29, 2015
- a teacher
As a member of this school since 2002, I have worked for a number of Heads of School, many were great personalities and excellent advocates for our school. Unfortunately, they were unable or unwilling to make difficult decisions to help improve our school. Inheriting this, Dr. Dimke has made difficult choices to lead our school, as have many schools continuing to be affected by our regions 'Great Recession'. Change can be perceived as negative, but those at our school, who know and love it, know we are in the best shape (program and financially) we have been in for quite some time.
As you can read, I am a faculty member at Keith and have proudly taught here since 2008 after spending several years teaching in other local schools. As with any school that strives to be innovative, it is this faculty s perspective that our challenges offer us opportunities for innovation. There is confidence and love from all who have benefited from having a fully-accredited, independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school in our community. The passion for our programs come from current and alumni families who share resources and services generously, a faculty and staff that are encouraged and directed by effective leadership to innovate curriculum and instruction, and an overall program that truly values a renaissance-based education. We can only offer the advice of doing your own research and due diligence before drawing conclusions from anonymous sites like these. If you want statistics of true constituent surveys, performance evaluations, curriculum samples, or faculty profiles, contact the school at 815-399-8850, stop by for a visit to our beautiful and friendly campus or visit our website at www.keithschool.net.We would love to show you what we truly about, thank you!
I'm a former Keith parent having just decided not to renew our contract for 2015-16. I think its interesting to read the reviews here because nearly everything from 2012 on is negative. 2009 to 2012 seems positive and prior to 2009, most reviews are positive with the exception of a mix in 2008. Having been a parent at the school for most of these periods (we started in second semester 2008 in cottage), I would say the reviews are definitely reflective of who the head of school has been during these times. Betty Geisen -- not so good. Alan Gibby -- very good. Debra Dimke -- clearly bad.
This school is on a sharp decline and doesnt look like it will stop anytime soon. They fired the best teachers and the last two headmasters were great. The student body constantly complains about cetain aspects of the school yet they still do nothing to fix it. The only things the school cares about is their image, volleyball, and theatre. The faculty is honestly so under qualified it is ridiculous. They hire young teachers with no experience and sometimes with a degree that doesn't even meet with what they are teaching. An example is a math teacher that taught here had a Russian literature degree. The head of school also seems very fake and the board of administration is just a bunch of parents that hire and fire who they don't like or like. They can not handle money that well and I honestly don't see this school existing in the future. The only thing making this school even run is parents donating large sums of cash. So the only reason I would send my chold here is if they play volleyball or LOVE theatre but even some public schools can match these departments.
The beautiful thing about this country, city, and school is the choices and opportunities we are given. Is everything perfect? No, of course not, that is not the world we live in. But for the educational options we have in Rockford I believe Keith is the best option for my child. We have been with the school for 5 years and I believe my child has been given many opportunities that he may not have experienced if he would have been in a public school. The curriculum and teachers challenge him to be the best student he can be. I believe a good relationship between the child, teacher, and parent make a difference. If I ever have an issue with my child's progress the teachers are easy to contact and very responsive. The Arts, Sports, and extracurricular groups offer a great variety. Because there is such a small student body, many of these kids are in multiple activities at any given time and are able to manage everything including their schoolwork. We as parents along with the school are preparing our children for their future and for my child and I Keith Country Day School meets our needs. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing, so we choose to be Keith Cougars!!
This is the worst school one could send their child to. The teachers are not qualified nor are they good teachers at all. The teachers often have favorites and treat their students accordingly. The administration is horrible at decision making and so is the headmaster. Also, volleyball players and theater kids often get better treatment than the rest of the students, and one will notice this if they walk into the gym or the commons. This school is not worth the amount of money it charges to attend the school, and I see myself as a credible source seeing that I've attended the school for many years.
I have been going to Keith since kindergarten. I am a freshman now. I love the school now the same way I did when I was in lower school. I have never met a situation where it was not dealt with properly by the faculty there. The classes and curriculum are excellent. One of the things I admire most about the school is you make a personal connection with the teachers, and your not just a number. Another thing I noticed is that all the grades socialize with each other witch I don't think you get often at other schools. I feel like the people that write bad reviews are the ones that have been there a while, and are just getting bored with it so they are trying to come up an excuse to be mad. I would agree that the one department that needs help is Spanish. If people are leaving Keith for social reasons what I have noticed is you may have more "friends" at other schools but you wont make a connection with them like you would at Keith. So you would have a smaller amount of really close die hard friends versus a large amount of people you just hang out with. I'm not saying you wont make relationships with people at other schools you can but not like the ones you would have at Keith.
My child has attended Keith for years. The weakness in leadership at the school has been evident from the beginning. The principals of the school seem to do little to ensure that teachers are fulfilling their responsibilities. So, if your child's teacher is doing everything s/he should - you are lucky. If your child's teacher is not doing everything they should, then tough luck. For most of the elementary grades, we got lucky. Our child was in small classes (10-13 students) and we got the strong teachers for the early grades. In late elementary, the education was absolutely ordinary, but our child was in a nice, safe community and we valued that. But, our view of Keith has changed RADICALLY during the middle school years. It took time to pick up on this, but we realized that the culture in the upper school is extremely permissive. Discipline is almost non-existent. Exmaple: students (and teachers!!) spend a lot of time playing video games during the day because even though the internet does not allow access, they download them at home to their computer. Some teachers are good, but those who are not are not forced to do their jobs. Keith is squandering their reputation.
Keith is one of the greatest places you can attend for the academics. But the social life is terrible, there are no secrets before you know it the entire middle and high school knows your secret. Really the only way i began to make friends was by joining volleyball. Keith is one of the most un fair schools I could imagine if you have a parent committed to the school you could literally sell drugs right in front of the head of school and she would act like she didn't see it. Drugs have also become a problem in some social groups at keith but it is not terrible and not everyone does it. The students can be awful to each other. But the academics are amazing in some categories and lacking in other the french and spanish departments are struggling. All of the other classes are amazing especially the latin and greek departments. I am currently in 8th grade and looking to go to boylan for high school for a better social experience but am very afraid of leaving this little school that i have grown up inside of