We are proud to share this guest post by Rose Parham, who is raising two girls who are students at the Keystone School, offering her parent perspective about how the school challenges and nourishes students.
Our girls are Katelyn (age 9) and Madelyn (age 7). They love school and are active in sports. Both girls attend the Keystone School, a private school in San Antonio.
What do I like about Keystone? The kindness and thoughtfulness of the community, and the nurturing environment from the teachers, faculty, and staff. My children are challenged academically and excited to go to school.
Keystone Challenges and Nourishes Students
Keystone embodies hard work, high expectations, and joyful learning. The culture at Keystone challenges and nourishes students; that combination brings out the best in each child. Keystone wants their students to be good people, and they apply what they learn in the classroom to the greater world.
What makes Keystone unique is that the teachers guide students in their passions outside of school—in local, regional, national, and international concerns. A few weeks ago at the San Antonio Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Student Visionaries Dinner, three upperclassmen at Keystone were recognized for their advocacy on behalf of patients and families. Two of them were leaders of a team that won the Research Award and were runners-up for Student Visionaries of the Year, having raised $73,687 in seven weeks. Another Keystone student led a team that raised over $50,000 and won the Advocacy Award.
Keystone Students Develop Leadership Skills
One of the ways that Keystone demonstrates innovation and flexibility is through the leadership class that students take in fourth grade. In that class, parents representing a variety of fields make presentations to the students. There were talks on how to make companies successful, how to create and build a business, how to create a life to service others, and so on. Parents play a vital role in supporting the Keystone community.
The faculty at Keystone are remarkable. Forty-one percent of faculty hold advanced degrees, and they average 20 years of professional experience in education. The accelerated curriculum begins in kindergarten, where teachers nurture their natural inquisitiveness. That continues through the Lower and Middle School. In Upper School, students are taught how to frame questions, find answers and think broadly.
School Traditions at Keystone
Keystone has many traditions, and one of the biggest is Valentine’s Day. There are classroom and grade-level parties. Also, juniors distribute gifts such as candies, balloons, stuffed animals and flowers to raise money for the Junior Prom and for a nonprofit organization that the juniors chose.
Another tradition at Keystone is that the sixth graders read out loud to Little School students.
School Search Advice
We learned about Keystone by searching online after we moved from Dallas to the San Antonio area. We were looking for a school with good academics; once I visited the campus and met the students, I decided on Keystone. I was impressed with their leadership and the kindness of the Upper School students.
My advice for families who are doing their own school searches is to visit the campus and meet the students.
School choice is important because every family and child is different. You want to find a community that is the right fit for your child. You want your child to thrive and look forward to going to school. We found that for our girls at Keystone School.
Charter Moms Chats
Rose Parham is a self-taught baker at The Kneaded Cupboard LLC, specializing in cakes for special occasions and weddings. She has a Pharm. D. from Texas Tech University. She is raising Katelyn, age 9, and Madelyn, age 7, who are students at the Keystone School.
Andrea Banks is the Director of Enrollment Management at the Keystone School.
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