I have to comment about this school. I was at the Open house this last Sunday Nov 10th with my kids and after the 2 hours middle school tours, my kid just fell in love. My son wants to start like tomorrow. I will say kudos!!! I was sold after the two hours. The teachers, the curriculum, parents involvement, the science teacher, the music teacher (22years), etc. The upper school, the SAT mean score, the campus, etc. Keep up the good work guys!!!! Looking forward to be a parent 2014-2015
Key School has been an excellent choice for my two daughters who both started in the preschool. I looked for a place where my children would become lovers of reading, critical thinkers, problem solvers, and well-rounded, passionate individuals. Key has been all that and more! Each of them have different personalities and learning styles and Key has met both of their needs. They love going to school each day and don't want to leave. How many kids can say that? Every staff member in their schools knows them by name. It is a great community and a great place to learn and grow. I, too, have learned so much as I've walked alongside them in their educational journey. If you're looking for drill-and-kill and lots of worksheets for homework every night, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for a place where kids learn to be independent thinkers and that there is more than one way to solve a problem; are able (and required) to present their thinking; and are excited to discuss what they are learning daily, then this is your school! One reviewer commented that Key only focuses on creating good people. Well, that's a mighty fine and noble priority in my opinion!!!!
FACT: Graduates of the Key School, as a percentage, matriculate into "highly," "very," and "most" competitive colleges at a higher rate than Severn, St. Mary's and Indian Creek. Not even close. I guess you could make your school decision based on personality differences described in the comments below or you could make it on academic performance and achievement.
Key School is way overrated. It charges significantly more than the adjacent schools like Severn, St. Mary's, Indian Creek yet doesn't produce any better outcomes. Moreover we have been deeply disappointed by the lack of support and transparency on the part of the administration. Parents have little understanding of how well their students are doing in comparison to other students. And the administration is obsessed with self protection to detriment of the larger community. Many good families have left Key in recent years - families that could well afford tuition but could not justify spending so much on a school that really doesn't value the needs to the parents or seemingly the students; it's all about "get more money" and "protect the reputation of the school."
I can't say enough good things about key School. Our son attended public school until he started at key in 9th Grade. He is now in tenth and doing extremely well. My favorate thing about Key School is that they teach children how to think for themselves and problem solve as opposed to just memorizing text. The school is not cheap but is a great investment in my son's future. Also, they have a wonderful committed staff .
Our daughter, who is now in the Upper School, has been at Key since Pre-School and has gotten an excellent education. The rigorous academics and emphasis on discussion and writing, we believe, will be invaluable in college. What drew us to Key many years ago was the fact that it went from Pre-School through 12th grade, that foreign languages were taught beginning at the elementary school level, and that it had an extensive outdoor education program. We have not been disappointed. If you're looking for a school for your child, come visit. It's a beautiful campus!
Key School is amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone who really wants their child to learn the value of independent thinking. My daughter has learned to push herself out of her comfort zone and try new things because she has been in a safe environment that encourages kids to speak up, share their thoughts, work together and appreciate differences. She has strong opinions, but she also understands the importance of listening to what others have to say. She likes school, she likes her teachers, and she loves her friends--thank you Key School!
An engaging curriculum and faculty who inspire! Our two daughters have been at Key for over a decade each. And, while we have considered other schools, our own daughters have been the ones to analyze the differences among schools and highlight what really defines Key - the classroom and the faculty. The curriculum at Key is rich with content, discussion and collaborative projects that challenge our girls to be analytical, thoughtful, and even confident enough to assert an opinion that may be divergent. It's a supportive and respectful classroom environment in which questions are encouraged and ideas are shared. The energy of the classroom and the excitement of learning don t end at dismissal. As Pre/Lower School students, our girls were always sharing details of the fun and curious explorations of the day. Now, as Middle/Upper School students, they are bringing to the dinner table conversations of scientific inquiry, ancient history, global issues, as well as political, social and moral debate. Their ideas are BIG! The impact of such an engaging curriculum would not be felt, however, without teachers who inspire learning and truly care for their students. Thank you, Key!
No security!!!! No locks used when kids are in school! Serious lack of concern for safety of the children. No crossing guards or police present in the morning when every child's parent is driving them into school. They have only two buses, so everyone drives in to drop off their child!!! A complete cluster at drop off in the morning! No exterior lights outside. I came in to pick my daughter from aftercare and they were playing in the dark outside! Horrible to think what would happen if someone were to take a child! Horrible unsafe school. For all that money you spend, you wonder where it is going?
We are so pleased and happy with Key school. This is a school that goes beyond everything else, excellent teachers, excellent curriculum, excellent administration and excellent parents. My son is so happy and we can see that he learns something new everyday. Not conviced? compare the Key curriculum to any other school and you will see why they are the best school in Annapolis.
I'm about to start my junior year, and I've been here since second grade. Sometimes at sleepovers my friends and I just burst into discussions about morality. I'm not even joking, that happens, and not just when there's a paper due, either. The overall approach is not to teach to the test, but to get students to learn; there is no tracking, anyone with a good enough grade in the right class can take an advanced class in high school, and every advanced class is AP optional. The highlight of the high school program, in my opinion, would have to be the humanities department: literature, history and philosophy are all taught with the students and teacher sitting around a table discussing a reading and the principles behind it. The science and math programs are excellent too. The mandatory biology course is incredibly intense, and the year finishes with a multiple-day biology field trip. Key offers college-level calculus as well as advanced courses in statistics, biology, physics, and chemistry. The student body is incredible; we wrote, produced and directed a musical revue this year with about fifty dollars, on the idea of one student. Key is well-balanced and very challenging.
I have been a parent at Key for 10 years, and have had experience in each of the 4 divisions (pre-school through upper school). I am continually impressed by the academic standards and rigor, the strong sense of community among students, faculty and parents, and the overall love of learning that has been instilled in my two very different children. My oldest is currently visiting top-rated colleges and where she plans to major in the sciences. She is active in sports, theater and music as well. This is typical at Key, which has a long history of nurturing well-rounded students who have the ability to participate in a wide array of activities.
I have been a parent of Key School kids for years and am thrilled with the school, it's program, the culture, and the way my kids are learning, developing and thriving there. The program is rigorous, and the academics are strong across the board. The faculty knows every student and their learning styles, and can modulate the curriculum in ways to support kids when they're struggling and challenge kids with enrichment when they're advanced. The amount of individual attention and mutual respect between students and their teachers is incredible. The students are active in their education and develop lifelong skills that take them beyond just "making the grade" but really help them know how to dig deeper, persevere, overcome obstacles and enjoy the process of learning. It's a community that fosters appreciation of different points of view and backgrounds, and encourages kids to take risks, try new things, and push themselves beyond where they may have thought they could go. My kids are challenged, but seem to enjoy the challenge. It's cool to be smart here, and each student raises the bar for their peers. The enthusiastic attitude my kids have for school is invaluable.
Tomorrow my son will graduate from The Key School after 15 outstanding years. I can't say enough about his experience. He honestly could not wait to get to school every single day. From debating in the classroom to giving his all with his team mates on the sports field he has grown into an amazing young man. I am so grateful the the Key School for all the wonderful opportunities he has had and the excellent program they offer. Thank you Key!
I don't normally write reviews, although often read them and generally take on board whatever comments were posted. In this case I'm moved to write because I know how valuable parent feedback is when trying to find the right school, especially if you are making sacrifices to cover the costs of a private education. We have one child in the pre-school at Key, and based on our experience with the staff and wider parent community (and, contrary to the standard perception of private school Key families come from all cultures and walks of life) I cannot recommend it more fully. It's tough to summarize, but in a nutshell the teaching is rigorous, dynamic, creative, inspiring and caring. Courtesy, respect, tolerance and friendliness are considered key values and go hand in hand with with literacy, science and math skills. Ultimately it's such a personal choice for every family as to what they feel their priorities amount to, but for what it's worth our own experience has surpassed all expectation. If I had to point to a criticism, I honestly can't. I'm sure we'll have some as the years go by, but right now our pre-schooler loves going to school and we could not be more excited for her.
My child is a pre-K4 student at Key. My rating is based on our experience as a first year family at Key. Our experience has been wonderful here. Our child already had a strong background and has been given even more of a foundation. She cannot wait to attend school and is so excited to learn. The information she is coming up with astounds me at times. The administration has been great. We have no complaints. Yes, the school is pricey, but we really feel like it is the best place for our child.
We left the Key School and are so glad we did. Our only regret is that we didn't leave sooner. What a waste of money. To be fair, the music program is excellent, but the rest of the academics are just average. But the biggest reason we left is that the kids have no structure and are undisciplined. The kids have all the control and they know it. In the lower grades, the kids are called "friends" buy their teachers- just to give you an idea of who is in charge! Some kids are really wild and out of control. In the upper grades, this gives the kids have a ridiculous sense of entitlement and an unrealistic sense of self worth. No wonder local businesses are hesitant to hire these kids. They have been so mislead- the kids really don;t think its "fair" to have to work on a friday or saturday night. And don't even get me started on some of the tramp outfits the girls are allowed to wear to school (I was told kids are encouraged to express themselves. So no dress code- even when ridiculous amounts of skin are showing). Its too bad, the school really could be great, but as it stands, it is really overpriced (unless of course you want a spoiled, entitled kid with no real world exp)
This school does an excellent job marketing itself in all areas. In reality, it is way too expensive for what it does offer. The best thing about it is that the the buildings and grounds are attractive. However, it does not have strong academics in either lower, middle or high school, with the middle school being the weakest.
The Key School has its ups and downs. The lower and upper schools are very strong, while the middle school and pre-school grades are quite lacking in comparison. The middle school lacks focus and is not very rigorous compared to a good public school - it certainly isn't worth the money. The upper school is extremely academical invigorating, and prepares students well for college. In general the Key school community is small, tight knit and very liberal. I would not recommend sending your child here if you are a conservative on any issue. At the same time, the focus on personal development and environmental awareness is admirable. The music and arts programs are unusual, but generally effective. The Orf Program is used in the lower and middle schools - it works for the younger kids, but pretending to be trees and playing recorders in middle school tends to look ridiculous. The upper school is very involved in vocal groups and musical theater. Sports are certainly not a strong suit, but poor teams allow for more kids to participate. My overall recommendation is that the upper school is the only division that is worth the money - but just barely.
Key School is excellent! I transferred my child from a highly rated NW DC school and feel Key is as good if not better (for his learning style). My child currently in K has grown so much in the last couple of months. His reading has skyrocketed and he loves going every day. I do not agree with some of the reviews because they do have a schedule (structure) and he is learning tons. Coming from a house of educators HOMEWORK does not equal LEARNING. (Although Key has assignments that come home almost daily, they just don't need to be turned in...) Most schools that have "homework" which I use loosely for very young children, the parents are doing it. It is a "hippie / green / granola" type of school, which I love. I'm not necessarily like that but it fosters creativity. Children are taught how to think (out the box), to explore and have questions. I pay for my child to go to this school not to socialize as a parent, and not to just learn ABCs, any school can do that. I believe this school promotes and encourages the very best of children, CREATIVITY, INDEPENDENT/CRITICAL THINKING, COMMUNITY & A LOVE FOR LEARNING. That combo is very special and does not come around often!
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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.
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