I am a parent of 3 kids at Keystone and totally happy about the school. My kids all entered during the middle school years and learned the skills of acquiring knowledge and organizing their study independently. They are well prepared at high school and are ready for colleges. The teachers are helpful, the fellow students are stimulating, and the the Head Master who started a couple of years ago is a strong leader. Keystone is not for everyone, especially not for the students from a weaker school in the middle of high school years. It would be way too hard for them. But for the right fit, it is an excellent choice. This year, 12.5% of the graduating students were accepted by ivy universities, 25% were National Merit Finalists. As a parent, I am so proud!
As the parent of a child at Keystone, you should be aware that the AP Biology course is a self-taught course at this school. You will receive little to no help from the teacher and material that you are tested on is not reviewed during the class period. The course material is very difficult, often medical school level material (not really a complaint) but you will have to learn the information on your own. In medical school, you will learn this material through lecture, but not at Keystone. Our daughter had to access online medical journals to find out the answer to many of these questions. Additionally, many of the questions were above the education of the teacher and were asked incorrectly. There should be a disclaimer on this class and any others that are self taught. Discussions with those at the school had no effect on how the class was taught.
I am a grandparent with three grandchildren, in lower school. I am also a retired teacher, who has taught from pre-school through 12th grade. I am currently a college professor. My oldest grandchild attended three schools, before she found her niche at Keystone in second grade; she is now in 4th grade. My second grandchild started in Kindergarten and gleefully attends school every morning with the anticipation of learning something new. The youngest, my grandson, displays much energy that needed to be molded in the right directions. He started in kindergarten at Keystone, with a label of best behaved in pre-school. I disagreed with this evaluation and so did the teachers at Keystone. Within six weeks, Keystone faculty, with parental help, had shaped-up my grandson, to be a real leader and scholar. In first grade, he has learned to respect adults and to respectfully play with his peers. The Keystone School is quaint in setting and gives students responsibility with individual attention to help them to develop their personal skills and talents.
I would not recommend you sending your child here unless the only aspect of education that you care about is the grades themselves.
I am currently a senior at Keystone. I left public school halfway through my senior year to attend Keystone. I am very unhappy with it overall. They are very disorganized, very unhelpful, and it's taking me way too long because the course load is too much to handle. However, Keystone's excuse for the unbearable course load is that I am an underachiever and that I need to challenge myself. This is not the case at all. I was in all AP college level classes for two years before joining this program. I have felt like I am being judged by the teacher's and by the other students. I usually have A's and now I'm dropping down. An English test I was required to take made me feel the worst about myself. I answered one of the essay questions correctly and in full length. The teacher however stated, "Before continuing with this class, please make sure you understand what a well-developed paragraph is, as well as an essay." I am a senior in high school with very high academic achievements. I am not a first grader learning what a paragraph is. Obviously, I am perfectly capable of writing a well constructed paragraph. Also, the operators are very unhelpful. I just do not recommend this school.
My son is happy to go to school again! This school is one of the strongest K-12 academic institutions in the southwest, without doubt. I have seen the light come back into his eyes with regards to learning. He comes home happy and I am amazed daily by what he has learned that day. The environment is one of small classes and high standards. Couple that with professional educators and motivated students and it cannot be beat.
I would think carefully before enrolling your child in Keystone. I have often been given innacurate or incomplete information from the 'representatives' who answer the phones. The misinformation I was given was detrimental to my child's education. Sometimes the staff also has a dismissive and condescending attitude toward the parents. My son is a straight A student and a pilot in training so my issue has nothing to do with with his ability to succeed. I've also noticed some online cliqueness. Personally, I would rather my son spend his time away from his studies on activities that require face to face interaction so this part is not an issue for us. I have heard from other students that it is a problem for them.
I am currently am an 8th grader at Keystone, I am have made awesome friends(: Keystone is an AMAZING school but extremely challenging! For example two nights ago I have 4 and a half hours of homework! Yes Keystone is an amazing school but very hard!!!!!! If you want your child to go here make you sure you let them know it is hard for new kids to make friends and that they need to be prepared for many pop quizzes haha(: Please take it into serious consideration before sending your child to Keystone, it is like geek school THERE ARE NO NERDS BECAUSE WE ARE ALL NERDS!!!
I am currently a 7th grader at Keystone School. Though this school has many great aspects, the fact of popularity does still run throughout each grade level, though not as much as other schools. Each child is certainly happy and receives good academic lessons. In every school there are people that look down on others, including Keystone. Look, the point that I'm trying to make is that Keystone could be better by having a stronger academic goal to shape the students, eliminating all of the bad factors of Keystone. Overall, my experience at Keystone has been well...the teachers are nice and understanding, and they really know what each child needs.
At Keystone, the students all want to be there, are motivated and bright, and have families that value education. Keystone provides an environment that is supportive, diverse (racially, culturally and economically) and most importantly values academic excellence (not popularity, who drives the flashiest car or carries the newest designer purse, family prominence, football or cheerleading). The focus is clearly academic acheivement and ethical growth. The Head of School is young, smart, and dynamic and his children attend meaning he's got personal buy-in. His administration goes to great lengths to minimize the distractions for the teachers, allowing them to focus on educating the students. The instuctor to student ratio is among the best in the city. All KS grads go to college, including the best in the country. I have two daughters there and this school enables them to excel, enjoy school, and feel proud of being smart, not derided for being the geeky nerd, or the smart girl. This is the school to be where it is cool to be smart.
The academics are the best in the city if not the state. I love the fact that many of the faculty have advanced degrees. The Head of School is second to none. The parents are unpretencious and care about their children and the Keystone community.
I am currently a 7th grader at Keystone School. My school has always been known for it's acodemics, but our athletics are starting to catch upas we have a weight training program and lots of free time during the school day to play sports.
Hi, I'm currently a sophomore at Keystone, and I think the school is excellent. I've been going here since kindergarden and have loved every moment of it. Sometimes the atmosphere can seem a little small, but most of the time it is the best. The curriculum may push you to your limits sometimes, but it really is worth it. The friends that you make at Keystone you will most probably keep for the rest of your life. Yes, there may be some minor dents in the beauty of Keystone, like there not being much support for athletics, but as being an athelete myself, it definately sustains one's want to be in a sport. Just don't expect to get a scholarship or anything like that for athletics.
This is our second year at Keystone. We have found the school very responsive to our child's needs. They have a wonderful curriculum, very attentive teachers and staff. It is a warm, wonderful environment.
This is our second year at this school, and we love it. What a breath of fresh air - the diversity is great and the program is demanding but is a wonderful preperation for college. They are choosey on who gets in and it is not for everyone, but if you can get in, and you enjoy a unique atmosphere with a challenging program, this is SA's hidden treasure!
I am currently a freshman at Keystone School. I have been attending the school since 4th grade. When I first came I realized the school was excellent, with many unique ways, and great students and teachers. It is academically advanced and has taught me wonders. Upon entering high school I've realized it is not anything like what it used to be, and has a poor social enviornment. The sports teams are not so great and there aren't many outstanding social clubs. So if you want your child to have good people skills and experience a good social life, then Keystone is probably not for you.
I am a student @ Keystone, and i think that Keystone is a very good school academically, but socially it is not as strong for the school has a mere average of 36 kids in every grade. I have been going to this school since kinder, and now i am in 9th grade. One other downside may be the expense of the school, but as long as you have the money, and make sure your child does activities outside of school to help their social abilities Keystone is right for you!
I went to this school, K-12 as did both of my older brothers and to be honest, it ain't what it used to be. A child no longer has to be gifted to be accepted; as long as his parents are willing to pay, anybody can get in. I can't rate the lower or middle school teachers since most of the teachers that taught me have left, but I can say that most of the high school teachers are very, very good. Keystone used to be awesome because it was so laid-back and unique and it still it is, kinda. The current administration has been pushing to make it more mainstream which I feel is ruining the unique atmosphere that makes Keystone great.
Have been a parent at this school for over 10 years with experience in lower, middle and upper. School recently has undergone some major revisions, which have upset and alienated some, but stasis and stagnation invite sub-par performance. The teaching staff are gifted, the curriculum is strong. The weakest link right now is the middle school, which has very little flexibility for the extraordinarily gifted student. Overall, one of the strongest schools in the entire country for college prep. Currently also NOT a school for the wealthy, encouraging matriculation for students who are capable and not just with big bankrolls.
I am current parent at Keystone (2008) and I am more than pleased with this school. Other reviews of teacher turnover and headmaster issues are off base. For the 2007 school year all teachers that were offered a contract accepted, same with 2008 except for an upper school teacher who decided to retired. The headmaster had to make some difficult choices and the current teaching staff is gifted. The new head of lower school is from Vermont, and she has brought good ideas to the school. There are 14 kids in our class and he loves to go to school everyday. My daughter is at Saint Mary's Hall and I prefer Keystone in all aspects except performing arts.
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