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GreatSchools Rating

Key Elementary School

Public | PK-5 | 388 students

We are best known for World-class education.
 
 

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

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15 reviews of this school


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Posted January 31, 2014

Key is arguably the best public elementary school in DC. The teachers are outstanding and take great care in attending to the needs and education of their students. Plus, it is small compared with other excellent DCPS elementary schools. The parent body is very active and involved, raising money for aids, and playground equipment, expanded library and more. The principal is committed to his team and does an excellent job maintaining an outstanding public school. Our family has spent 8 years collectively at Key with 2 students, and both had an excellent experience. It is truly a "neighborhood" school where people look out for each other's kids, and it is a warm and close-knit community. My older child who has already graduated was well prepared for private middle school afterwards. We love Key!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 5, 2013

Key School is a happy place, and I think that is the best thing you could say about an elementary school. I've had two kids now, go all the way through. 2/3 teachers are excellent, and the rest are fine. The principal is a true leader. Many public schools have the same fault, that they are geared toward moving the middle, rather than the top or the bottom, and I suppose Key has this flaw. If your child goes from Key to a rigorous school, some parents complain that Key did not prepare them. Not only have I been happy with Key School, but I'm jealous of it. I wish I had gone to a school like this for K-5. It's a very good school, and a great community. Your child will love it. I found it to be very welcoming, and they had many opportunities to not welcome me.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 9, 2012

Key School can be a great school for children that do not have learning differences and that fit into "the box". There are some fabulous and very committed teachers here. If your child has moderate learning differences, like both of ours do, it was our expericence that Key School was not equipped to meet their needs. The IEP process was ineffective and did not provide our children with the necessary resources they needed to succeed. When the IEP was written, it is weak and lacking substance. Confidence and self esteem took a huge hit with both of our children. It was challenging to get them back on track and even more difficult to reingnite their love of learning and of school. If your child has learning differences and you choose to place your child at Key School, my advice is to hire a special education consultant who can guide and direct the IEP process with you to make sure that your child is getting as much support as possible.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 2, 2011

This school did not live up to its expectations. This school is completely run by the parents. The principal is very committed to parent involvement but gives the parents whatever they want without being objective to the current situation. This school (parents) is not very welcoming to new parents and has a hard time integrating different cultures into their school community. I am a very involved parent within the classroom and the PTO. The students can be very rude and mean to their peers and the teachers picks their consequences based on the relationship they have with the child and their parent. If you are looking for an objective school were the best interest of your child is a priority then the Key school may not be for you. On a positive note the curriculum seems to be a lacking substance but my child is learning, which makes me happy. I truly like the daily structure of the classes to keep the students in engaged and interested in learning. All in all I just wish the leadership at the school would spend more time protecting the students and less time trying to be best friends with the parents.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 22, 2010

Great school - the principal is incredibly committed and open to parent involvement. Teachers are amazing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

Key School is a phenomenal school for children in the pre-k to 5th grade age. The school nurtures love of learning. The friendships and parent's involvement are one of the strongest I have seen. Their before/after school foreign language program is great. Key school was designated a Blue Ribbon School in 2008 - and is by far one of the top private/public schools in DC.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 15, 2009

Key School is an outstanding Blue Ribbon school with high-quality teachers, good student-teacher ratio (20-1), impeccable facilities, and a positive and enriching learning environment. Sometimes characterized as overambitious (partnership with overseas schools, etc...) but also the reason why it is the best DC Public School and private or public school in the area. It was the only school in the Metropolitan Area (public or private) to receive the U.S. Education Departments Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in 2008, which is a testament to its dedication to teaching and learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 30, 2009

The classes are large and the teachers seem overworked. Very slow paced for the kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2006

Overall, we have really enjoyed Key. The quality of the teachers is relatively high, but varies from average and overly wedded to the curriculum to incredibly creative, enthusiastic and very experienced in challenging a broad range of kids. PTA and Parent commitment is top-notch. The school needs a gifted program and more access to team sports as PE does not include team sports. The kids get art, music and drama through Fillmore and teachers tend to be very dedicated. Because the Fillmore building is being renovated, the teachers come to Key which means less access to necessary resources (e.g., computers for digital arts class). Key classes tend to have 24 or more students in older grades with only one teacher. Good diversity of student body. Excellent science teacher, but she is leaving. Principal has can-do in spirit, but sometime says yes when he shouldn't as he can't follow through as needed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 17, 2006

Key is a great school if you put it in the context of DC schools. It is one of the top 2 public schools and it is comparable to DC best private schools. It has the best facility in DC. However, the teachers could be more challenging and more demanding if Key wants to find itself among the best schools in the country. Some teachers are very solid and very good, but some are average. Too much attrition among teachers recently. More attention should be paid to solid fundamentals in kids education and there should be more extra-curricular activities. But all in all, I think Key is your best choice among DC public schools and one of the best overall in DC.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 31, 2006

I am a parent to a current Key student and I feel that Key is without a doubt one of the top 3 best public schools in DC. Their facility, staff, administration, and academic rigor is comparable to any private school with a lot less of the pomp and circumstance. I would rather have my tax dollars put to good use helping lead the trail for all DC schools to come to Key's standards and save my $25k a year for college. It is worth getting a house (albeit expensive) in this area because if you put your kid in from prek to 5th you will save $175,000 in private school tuition. The staff care and know your kids name and the academics are above the standards. The PTA suppliments the budget with teachers aids and before and after care. It is a great place you want your kids to.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 14, 2006

Key is now over crowded especially the kindergartens. each have 27 kids to one teacher and one aid.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 2, 2005

I attended Key school from pre-k to fifth grade. It was the best school and both of my younger brothers attended as well. One just graduated, the other is in the first grade. Key school is probably the best public school there is. The environment is caring and the whole school family is closly knit even though it has grown considerably because of the new building. Yes, NEW. Key school has brand new facilities and a whole new building. The old building still exists as well but has been completely redone. The teachers are wonderful, i still go back and visit them more than once a week, and the friendships i made their i will hold dear forever. Parent envolvment is the highest i have ever seen. Noone should think twice about sending there child here. The answer is a definite YES!
—Submitted by a former student


Posted March 1, 2005

I am a former student of Key. It is a really great school and all the teachers and staff are very friendly and concerned about their students grades and academics. I gave Key 5 stars for everything except for extracurricular activities. This probably could improve since they don't have as many activities as they possibly could. (Peer mediation is one of the good ones)But besides that it has a lot of important activities, such as PE and science twice a week. Also there is computer lab and library too. This school has some of the STRONGEST parent envolvement I have ever seen in a school. Also the facilities are very nice. There are two wings, one of them renovated about three years ago and the other one built brand new also about three years ago. Please send your kid(s) to this school and you won't regret it!
—Submitted by a former student


Posted June 3, 2004

Key school is a wonderful enviornment for children. Enthusiastic, caring teachers that nuture and motivate children to be well rounded students. The family community at Key school is very involved and supportive of the school's objectives and helps to ensure a consistant standard of excellence.
—Submitted by a parent


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 43% in 2013.

58 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
87%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 44% in 2013.

58 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
89%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
91%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 52% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
91%
Writing

55 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 52% in 2013.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
93%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 54% in 2013.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
90%
Science

28 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
95%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2011.

131 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
90%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 44% in 2011.

131 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
90%
Science

The state average for Science was 35% in 2011.

40 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
95%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

All Students85%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanic94%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students88%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanic94%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

All Students98%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanic100%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students94%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanic100%
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Writing

All Students87%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

All Students85%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students93%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Science

All Students75%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

In 2012-2013, this school was designated "Reward".

About the tests


The DC school classification system includes multiple measures to evaluate performance and student growth. The possible classifications, from highest to lowest, are Reward, Rising, Developing, Focus and Priority. These measures include the DC CAS, annual growth, graduation rates, attendance rates and participation rates. Under the system, required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), each school is given a School Index Score based on the performance of its students. Schools receive different levels of support, resources, flexibility and monitoring based on their classification.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
Above average

Test score rating
Student growth rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the city.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests in the District of Columbia. Test scores are based on 2012-13 DC CAS results.

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City
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10

Student growth rating 20132What's this?

Student growth rating measures whether students at this school are making academic progress over time. Specifically, the rating looks at how much progress individual students have made on reading and math assessments during the past year or more.

Close
This school
City
1
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1 This rating is based on 2012-13 DC CAS results from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

2 This rating is based on 2012-13 Median Growth Percentiles in math and reading from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 63% 1%
Hispanic 11% N/A
Black 10% 1%
Two or more races 10% 57%
Asian 6% N/A
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 9%N/AN/A
Special education 6%N/A13%
English learners 7%N/A7%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Attendance

  This school District averageState average
All Students 100%N/AN/A
Asian/Pacific Islander 100%N/AN/A
Black, not Hispanic 100%N/AN/A
Hispanic 100%N/AN/A
White, not Hispanic 100%N/AN/A
Economically disadvantaged 100%N/AN/A
Students with disabilities 100%N/AN/A
Limited English proficient 100%N/AN/A
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Arabic languages
Dutch
French
German
Spanish
Swahili
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Blue Ribbon School of Excellence - US Department of Education (2008)
  • 2013 Reward School (2013)
  • Fund For Teacher National Grant (2006)

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
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Hearing impairments
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Science
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Recycling club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Jazz band
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Arts and crafts
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Girls on the run

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:45am
School end time
  • 3:15pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:45 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • David Landeryou
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
  • 4 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (202) 282-0188

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Guided Reading
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Science
  • Technology
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
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Hearing impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • 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)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Swahili
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Transportation provided for special education students only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Amerian University
  • George Washington University
  • Lab School
  • Safe Routes to Schools
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Basketball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Jazz band
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Arts and crafts
  • Book/reading club
  • Boy scouts
  • Chess club
  • Cub scouts
  • Foreign language club: Spanish
  • Girl scouts
  • Girls on the run
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Recycling club
  • Safety Patrols
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School colors
  • Red, White, and Blue
School mascot
  • Penguin
More from this school
  • Key School is known for its outstanding enriching environment and Sports Program and state-of-the-art Computer Lab.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


1 out of 10students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.


Students accepted for the 2013-2014 school year
2
Applications received for the 2013-2014 school year
1000

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Hardy Middle School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5001 Dana Pl. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Website: Click here
Phone: (202) 729-3280

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