Admission Events


First & Lower Schools
(Key-Wee - Grade 4)
Saturday, October 24
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
RSVP now

Middle & Upper Schools
(Grades 5- 12)
Saturday, November 7
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
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Contact the Admission Office

For information or to schedule a campus visit, contact:
Director of Enrollment and Outreach

(410) 263-9231, ext. 1226
or click here to complete online inquiry form


Enabling Key to serve a younger population than ever before, the Key-Wee class was inaugurated in fall 2014.  Appropriate for two-year-olds who are turning three throughout the fall months (September through December), the curriculum is designed to engage these young children as it prepares them for school life and instills excitement for learning.

Applicants must be two years and eight months old by September 1.  If you are interested in this program, please contact Tom Rossini in Key’s Admission Office.

Key at a Glance

We appreciate your interest in The Key School and welcome the opportunity to further introduce you to our vibrant community.  The School’s distinctive features—from its innovative curriculum to its superb faculty, and from the intellectual curiosity of its students to the remarkable accomplishments of its graduates—are a source of pride among countless members of our diverse community, who also stand ready to answer questions and share perspectives. In anticipation of your interest, we share the following basic facts about The Key School.

Campus Tour

Families are encouraged to visit Key School any time throughout the year and may schedule an individual appointment to tour the campus and see classes in session.

See the campus map to view images and descriptions of each of Key’s 16 buildings.


Opening Day Assembly

Alumni Perspecitves

In Their Own Words

A Musical Evening


The Key School is an independent, non-sectarian, coeducational day school located five miles from downtown Annapolis on the South River at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Founded in 1958 by tutors at St. John’s College, the School seeks to develop in its students an interest in learning and a sustaining degree of intellectual curiosity.

Student Body

700 students, 2 years, 8 months old through grade twelve,
34% minority students

The School has four divisions:
First School – Key-Wee, Pre-School, Pre-K, & K
Lower School – Grades 1- 4
Middle School – Grades 5-8
Upper School – Grades 9-12

The divisions, each administered by its own division head, comprise a community and share many common experiences.

Class Size

Average class size 15 with a 7:1 student-teacher ratio


Key-Wee, Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten – half-day 8:30 to 12:00; full day option 8:30 to 3:00

Kindergarten – 8:30 to 3:00

Lower School – 8:25 to 3:15

Middle School – 8:20 to 3:15

Upper School – 8:20 to 3:20


From Key-Wee through fourth grade, students bring lunch and enjoy mealtime in their homeroom with their classmates and teachers. Middle and Upper School students may bring lunch or buy from the campus canteen, with fifth grade students eating in their homeroom with their teacher and sixth through eighth grade students eating together, cafeteria style, in Katharine Hall. Upper School students choose among several campus locations, including outdoor spaces, to enjoy lunch.

After School Program

The After School Program is available for students in Key-Wee through Grade 8 from 3:15 until 5:30. For this portion of the day, the students are consolidated by their Division: First School, Lower School and Middle School. Age appropriate activities, projects and games are offered daily as are snacks and organized outdoor play. Dedicated homework time is an option for older students.

Activities including chess, robotics and theater are also available.


113 faculty members, 57 with advanced degrees including 7 with doctoral degrees; 49 faculty and staff have worked at Key for more than 15 years, including 31 who have been at the School for more than 20 years.


Key School is located four miles from downtown Annapolis. It occupies fifteen acres of land that was originally a “gentleman’s” farm. Of the School’s sixteen buildings, six date from the original estate and have been remodeled for school purposes. Key’s Beach Fields are on the South River, two blocks from the main campus.


Available from surrounding areas including Severna Park, Bowie, Crofton, Crownsville, and southern Anne Arundel County


Key School does not subscribe to a formal dress code. As with all their behavior choices, students are expected to make decisions that are consistent with the School values of respect, civility and responsibility so that an appropriate and important balance may be achieved between individual choices and the needs of the school learning community.

Marking Periods and Progress Reports

The academic year in the First, Lower, and Middle Schools is divided into trimesters; in the Upper School there are four quarters (two semesters).

Progress reports are provided for parents at the conclusion of each marking period. Parent teacher conferences are also scheduled at the conclusion of each marking period.

School Culture

The standards and expectations of The Key School are designed to nourish ethical growth and to build a community characterized by respect and concern for others. In learning to balance his own requirements with those of the school community, the student develops responsible habits and attitudes that encourage good citizenship. In this way, the foundation for a constructive role in a free society is established.


The School's objective is not simply to teach children to be good students; it also bears the responsibility to encourage them to be good citizens and, over time, to internalize the core values of respect, responsibility and honesty.

Key School does not rely primarily on the enforcement of rules to teach students these values. Instead, it uses a method of instruction that may best be described as discursive: students learn to respect and uphold the School's values through discussion with teachers and other adult members of the community. Experience shows that, in most cases, the most powerful lessons about how to behave are learned through rational discourse with respected adults. Students also learn values at Key School from their peers and from behaviors they observe being modeled by adults. Through this process, children understand for themselves the importance of the School's values and feel invested in the welfare of the School community.

Academic Highlights

The rigorous academic program, distinguished by its emphasis on experiential learning, interdisciplinary studies, and a world view, has been a hallmark of the School since its founding in 1958.

Student engagement in exploratory work and the shared process of discovery, stimulates questioning, analytical thinking, and intrinsic motivation for further learning.

Classroom discussions that encourage participation by all, promote independent thinking, confidence, and respect for multiple points of view.

Foreign language instruction begins in the first grade with French; continues in Middle School with Spanish and French; and culminates in the Upper School with the options of French, Spanish, Latin, and Arabic, continuing through advanced placement language and literature.

The Orff Schulwerk music curriculum, incorporating the study of drama, performance, creative movement, improvisation, reading music, writing music, playing instruments, and basic music theory, is the most comprehensive music education program in the country.

The nationally renowned Outdoor and Environmental Education program, integrated with the academic program and involving all students, develops responsibility, leadership, cooperative work, and stewardship.

Academic Support

In addition to the commitment to differentiated instruction within the classroom, members of Key’s Learning Department work at each division level to provide individual support, as needed. These learning specialists are a resource in interpreting data, identifying learning needs, meeting with parents, and assisting classroom teachers.


Mascot: Obezags

More than 30 interscholastic sports teams compete at the Varsity, JV, and Middle School levels. Seventy-five percent of Key's students in grades six through twelve play interscholastic sports.

The School values team competition and believes every student should have the opportunity to participate. All students are encouraged to play competitive interscholastic sports and there are no ‘cuts.’ Any student willing to make the commitment may play on an interscholastic team.

Sports for girls: field hockey, soccer, indoor soccer, lacrosse, and basketball; for boys: soccer, basketball, baseball, and lacrosse; coed: tennis, golf, cross-country, sailing, indoor track and field, and equestrian teams.

Extracurricular Activities

Key encourages participation in extracurricular activities and sponsors a wide array of activities including: Amnesty International, chess, chorus, the classical ensemble, the jazz ensemble, the Renaissance Consort, Model Congress, SADD, Students for Cultural Awareness, Students for Social Change, Key Theater, and yearbook.

The students also produce Zenith, a literary magazine and Spark, the student newspaper.

College Preparation

The School is well known and highly respected, and most college representatives look upon Key as a breeding ground for academic excellence and excitement, and they want to share in the result.

Key’s emphasis on the intellectual process as well as course content, its focus on the importance of critical thinking, careful and analytical reading, classroom discussions that invite multiple perspectives and encourage tolerance, and for writing that is clear, persuasive, and imaginative, build a strong bridge to the college classroom.

Graduates consistently report superior preparation for the demands of college life, most frequently citing strengths in critical thinking, verbal and written expression, problem solving, time management, collaborative skills, classroom participation, and campus leadership.

Click here to see the list of college acceptances to date for the Class of 2015.

Standardized Testing

Administered at all grade levels, standardized testing is an invaluable tool for assessing and tracking student achievement as well as programmatic strength in relation to national standards. However, Key teachers do not teach to the test, nor is the curriculum designed to do so.

Lower School: Stanford Early School Achievement Test, Stanford Achievement Test, Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test, Morrison-McCall Spelling Scale, and Educational Records Bureau Test

Middle School: Educational Records Bureau Test

Upper School: Educational Records Bureau Test, PSAT, SAT I, SAT II Subject Tests, ACT, and Advanced Placement Tests


Key students consistently score more than 400 points above the national average on SAT I testing.

SAT Scores for classes of 2008 through 2012:

* Middle 50% Range indicates that 25% of Key students scored higher than the top number, with 25% scoring lower than the bottom number

Advanced Placement Tests

Unlike most schools, Key is a school for which there are virtually no barriers for taking Advanced Placement tests. AP test-taking options are available to any student with the desire to take them.

The average number of seniors who take at least one Advanced Placement “AP” test is 95%, with more than 80% (over a 10 year period) scoring 3 or higher (a qualifier for exemption from a college requirement)

All students enrolled in Advanced courses are required to take the AP examination in those subjects. These courses include: Advanced Biology, Advanced Calculus (AB and BC), Advanced Chemistry, Advanced Latin (Vergil), and Advanced Spanish Literature. In addition, students have the option to take the AP examination in the following courses: U.S. History, English Literature and Composition, French V (French Language), Physics, Statistics, and Studio Art.

Key Graduates

Virtually all Key graduates go on to higher education after their senior year.

85% attend colleges ranked “most” to “very” competitive.

Key graduates attend a wide variety of colleges and universities including large universities, single-sex schools, schools of engineering, small liberal arts schools, art institutions, military academies, and universities abroad.

The concentrations of career choices among Key alumni are in law, engineering, education, medicine, finance, science, technology, the arts, architecture, and marketing.

Click here to see where recent Key graduates have matriculated.

Accreditation and Memberships

Approved by the State of Maryland and accredited by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools.

the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST), the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP), the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), the Independent School Experiential Education Network (ISEEN), the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), the Independent Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM), and American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers (ASSIST)

Non-discriminatory Statement

Key School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, color, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.