Academic Calendar

Athletic Calendar

Student/Parent Handbook:
Campus Offices & Resources


 

 

 

Outdoor Education Program Activities Statement

Key’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for experiential learning extends far beyond the classroom. Opportunities for outdoor education are integral to the Key experience from First School through grade twelve. All students, beginning in Middle School, participate in overnight trips that range from two to six days and include camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, sailing, moderately challenging kayaking and white water rafting, challenge/ropes course experiences, and rock climbing.

The Outdoor Education Department arranges more than twenty-five trips each year for approximately 400 students and 30% of the Key School faculty and staff. The focus of these trips is building community and making real world connections to the students’ curricular work. While most activities are concentrated in the Chesapeake Bay and Shenandoah mountain regions of Virginia, Key School groups also travel elsewhere in the United States and abroad. Transportation for Key School trips is provided by the School or by independent contractors hired by Key.

The Key School Outdoor Education Department has successfully managed these School-sponsored trips for more than forty years with the following established protocols and procedures in place:

  • At least one staff member on all Key School outdoor trips is trained and certified in First Aid/CPR and, when possible, a Wilderness First Responder to assist in medical emergencies;
  • A set of written protocols guides the decision-making process as related to planning and executing each trip. These guidelines are included in the Outdoor Education Department Manual;
  • Members of Key’s Outdoor Education Department work closely with both the School Nurse and School Counselor to share pertinent information related to the physical and emotional well-being of each student, always respecting the individual’s privacy;
  • A strong relationship with nationally recognized outdoor organizations, including the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), the Independent School Experiential Education Network (ISEEN), the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC), and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), allows Key’s staff to draw on collective expertise and experience concerning prevailing practices in the field of adventure education at a national and international level;
  • Key School contracts with vetted regional outfitters for the more technical outdoor activities (such as rafting and rock climbing), and many of these companies ask parents and students to sign required documentation which may include a waiver of liability, including for negligence.

Inherent risks accompany the activities of Key’s Outdoor Education Program. These risks are integral to the activities, such as rock climbing, and if removed significantly diminish the character and value of the experience for the student. Risks include those ordinarily associated with moderately vigorous outdoor activities, and include, but are not limited to, accidents related to physical activity, failure of gear and equipment, and weather-related events.

The Key School wants all parents to understand both the goals of the program and the potential risks associated with their child’s participation in School-sponsored trips. While all parents sign a release of liability covering School-related activities including those of the Outdoor Education program as part of the enrollment contract, at times additional signatures may be required for certain School-sponsored trips. The Key School program relies on the leadership of faculty and staff who have significant experience in managing the risks of outdoor adventure education activities. Given the dynamic nature of the environments explored and activities undertaken, there are times when staff members need to make judgment calls in the field. While our staff is carefully selected and well-trained, they are not infallible. It takes a collaborative effort, requiring open communication between the School and parents, to successfully manage the risks, inherent and otherwise, of our outdoor program. Faculty and staff value the exchange of information with regard to any concerns or questions parents may have with regard to their child’s participation in Outdoor Education activities.

Details about each School-sponsored trip, including a listing of physical activities, can be found on the Outdoor Education page of Key's website. Should you have questions, please contact the Outdoor Education Department Head.

Health Office

The Key School Health Office, located in the First School Building, is a place where students who become ill or suffer minor injuries at School may briefly rest while a decision is made whether they should remain in School or go home. Lower School students generally are cared for in the Manse Office unless circumstances require that they go to the Health Office.

The Health Office is staffed by a registered nurse from 8:10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The School Nurse is responsible for administering minor first aid to students and contacting medical professionals and/or parents in case of serious illness or injury.

In the event of serious illness or injury, the School Nurse will take appropriate steps to ensure that the child receives professional medical attention. Those steps could include calling an ambulance, the child’s parents/guardian or the designated alternate. In emergencies requiring immediate medical attention, your child will be taken to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Illness, Injury and Other Conditions

From time to time, the School Nurse must determine whether to send a child home. In such cases, the School Nurse will consider the child’s health as well as the risk to the other members of the School community. When it is determined that a child cannot remain in School, the School Nurse will call the parents and request that the child be picked up within one half-hour. If unable to reach the parents, the School Nurse will call the alternate person(s) designated as the emergency contact. For parents and alternates who are unable to meet this requirement, back-up transportation plans are essential. Ill or injured students who drive will be allowed to leave for home only after a parent has been contacted.

Under no circumstances should a child come to School with a fever or other serious symptoms. Children are to be kept home if they are ill and are to remain at home until fever-free (less than 100F) for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Our goal is to keep Key School a healthy and safe place for children and adults. In some cases, the School may request a doctor’s verification that a child may return to School.

When a student is absent or will arrive late, it is the parent’s responsibility to inform the appropriate Division office no later than 8:30 a.m. A parent may leave a message in the School’s main voicemail box as soon as they are aware that the student will not be present for homeroom. Students arriving late must check in with their Division’s administrative assistant.

Key’s Health Office follows the Maryland Department of Health Communicable Diseases Summary for the management of infectious diseases.  If an illness or other condition occurs that requires Key to notify the Maryland State Health Department, the School will follow protocols as suggested by those officials.

Medication Policy

Parents are encouraged to arrange for medication to be administered at home when possible. When it is necessary for a student to receive medication during the school day, safe and proper administration is vital. Therefore, Key School follows the guidelines developed by the Maryland State Department of Education, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Maryland State School Health Council.

If any medication must be taken at school, at school-sponsored events, or on school trips, a Maryland State School Medication Administration Authorization Form must be completed and signed by a medical professional licensed in the State of Maryland. The only exception will be for the non-prescription medications of acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl). These medications can be administered to students in Kindergarten through grade twelve in non-prescription strength if parental permission is given on the online Medical Consent Form. Pre-School and Pre-Kindergarden students will be administered Tylenol in non-prescription strength only if parental permission is given on the online Medical Consent Form. No medications will be administered in the After School Program, with the exception of epinephrine auto-injector or prescribed rescue inhaler.

However, all other non-prescription medications can be administered only if a Maryland State School Administration Medication Authorization Form is completed and signed by a medical professional licensed in the State of Maryland. The form is available in the Health Office or may be downloaded from the Magnus Health page on the Parent Portal of Key’s website.

Any medication to be given at school must be brought to the Health Office in the original container. The medication container should be labeled with the following:

  • Name of student
  • Name of medication
  • Dosage of medication to be given
  • Frequency of administration
  • Route of administration
  • Name of authorized prescriber ordering medication
  • Date of prescription
  • Expiration date

Expired medications cannot be accepted or administered by the Health Office personnel or designate.

Students in grades five through twelve may carry and self-administer inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors, once the School Nurse has received the appropriate medical documentation. The School recommends that parents provide the Health Office with duplicate supplies of special medications such as inhalers or epinephrine auto-injector for emergencies.

Faculty and staff have been trained to recognize the signs/symptoms of allergic reaction and appropriate use of an epinephrine auto-injector for prescribed students. An emergency protocol is in place campus-wide. Further information can be obtained through the Health Office.

All medication should be picked up by the parent/guardian or responsible adult upon appropriate notification of the medication being discontinued or at the end of the school year. If not picked up within one week after the end of the school year, the unused and unclaimed medication will be disposed of properly.

Medication changes must be updated annually at the start of the school year through Magnus Health. Mid-year changes must be communicated to the School Nurse via email, in addition to being updated in Magnus Health through the Parent Portal.

Emergency Contacts and Health Information Forms

Emergency contacts and individual health information must be reviewed and updated annually. For returning students, this is generally done during the month of June through Magnus Health, found on the Parent Portal. For newly enrolled students, this must be done as soon as possible after the receipt of a username and password to gain access to the online forms. Because this is a Maryland State law, NO exceptions will be made regarding the need to provide the School with this essential information. Students will not be allowed to attend school if this process has not been completed. The information collected is essential for the School to be able to contact parents, or a designated alternate, in case of emergency.

If new health issues arise or consents need to be changed after the annual update, please contact the School Nurse.

Some students will require the completion of additional health forms. For students with conditions such as allergies, asthma, seizures, or diabetes, additional forms will be provided for the parents to have completed by the student’s physician. These forms must be updated annually.

Changes in home, work or mobile telephone numbers, mailing address, or email addresses must be communicated promptly to the School. This information can be updated online through Family Center in the Parent Portal throughout the year. If unable to access the Parent Portal, please contact the Communication Office or any Key School Administrative Assistant.

Immunization Records

By state law, proof of immunization must be in the Key School files before the child can enter school. Children whose records are in noncompliance will not be able to attend school. Immunization updates should be sent to the Health Office so that the child’s record is kept current.

All students must be fully immunized according to the Maryland State requirements for school attendance; the School will not accept any religious exemptions.

Health Inventory Form

The School requires evidence of a Health Inventory (physical examination) completed within the nine months preceding the first day of school for all students entering Key School for the first time.

Athletics

Students in grades six through twelve, who participate in interscholastic sports, must complete and submit the Athletics History and Physical Form in order to participate in practices and games. 

Overnight Field Trips

When students go on overnight field trips, parents will be asked to complete a Off-Campus Overnight Trip Form listing all medications that will be used on the trip, including medications usually taken at home. All medications taken on these trips must be checked into the Health Office at least three days PRIOR to the day of the trip. As stated in the Medication Policy Section of this handbook, each prescription, non-prescription, or homeopathic medication must have a Maryland State School Medication Administration Authorization Form on file in the Health Office.

Office of Admission

Key School recognizes that increased access to the broadest possible range of students enhances the School’s ability to attract, enroll and retain those students whose contributions, values and attitudes strengthen the learning environment for teachers and students alike.

Financial Aid

Need-based financial aid grants are funded by the School and do not need to be repaid. Key School awarded more than $2,400,000 in financial aid for the 2022-2023 school year.

Applying for Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid for the 2023-2024 school year, returning families must complete The School and Student Services (SSS) on-line Parent Financial Statement (PFS). The PFS can be accessed via Key School’s website. Key School’s code is 4372.

To be considered, all returning families applying for financial aid must submit the online PFS, along with the required fee, no later than Friday December 17, 2022.

In addition to the online PFS, parents must submit copies of the following documents to the Office of Admission by February 3, 2023:

  • 2021 Federal Income Tax Return (IRS 1040) with all attached schedules (1 for joint; 2 if filed separately)
  • All 2021 and 2021 W2 forms and/or 1099 forms
  • Business/Farm Statement (if applicable)
  • 2022 Tax Returns are due by April 15

Advancement Office

Key depends on charitable gifts to sustain its strong academic curriculum, enhance its teaching facilities, and strengthen its financial resources. Each year, parents, faculty and staff, alumni/ae/x, parents of alumni/ae/x, grandparents, and friends are asked to make a contribution in support of Key.

Community members have the opportunity to provide philanthropic support to an array of important long-term School priorities such as capital projects and Key's endowment, in addition to the Annual Fund which provides funding to the current year's operating budget. The School also accepts support in the form of bequests, planned charitable gifts, gifts of stock, securities, and cash contributions.

Contributions to the Key School are fully tax-deductible. Gifts can be made online at www.keyschool.org/gift or by contacting the Advancement Office directly.

The Advancement Office also coordinates all fundraising activities and events for Key School including the Annapolis Book Festival and the 5K/10K & Family Fun Run. Advancement staff also oversee Key's Parents' Association (PA) and work closely with parent volunteers in support of School initiatives.

Business Office

Questions concerning payment of tuition and other charges should be referred to the Accounts Receivable Manager in the Business Office, extension 1262.

Delinquent Accounts

Tuition and fees must be paid when due. Continuation at Key School and reenrollment for the following year is contingent upon payment in full of all current tuition and fees. Delinquent accounts will be subject to a finance charge of 1.5% per month (18% annual rate) on all unpaid balances. Finance charges accrue ten days after the due date. In addition, delinquent accounts may result in any or all of the following actions:

  1. withholding of student records/parent conferences;
  2. denial of permission to take examinations;
  3. denial of participation in graduation exercises;
  4. cessation of services;
  5. temporary suspension;
  6. dismissal.
Elective Services

The After School Program Registration is available on the Parent Portal. Students must be registered to participate in this program. For parents new to Key, the form is available on the Welcome to Key webpage.

The Orchestral Instrumental Lessons Program form is available to parents through the Parent Portal.

School Property

It is the expectation of Key School that all school property including athletic uniforms, classroom materials and library books be returned to the School at the conclusion of each athletic season and academic year. Failure to return these items will result in a charge to the student’s account for the replacement cost.

National Alert Registry

Key School is registered with the National Alert Registry (NAR) and Key’s Director of Finance and Operations receives automatic notification if a registered sex offender moves within close proximity of campus. Ensuring the safety of the students is the School’s primary focus and internal protocols are in place for addressing notifications received through the NAR. Parents may monitor the Maryland Sex Offender Registry by visiting: http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/onlineservs/socem/default.shtml

Communication Office

The Communication Office is responsible for facilitating school-wide communication, both print and electronic, internal and external. Management of the School’s website, social media outlets, and Parent Portal is also the purview of the Communication staff. In addition, the office oversees the School’s public relations efforts, which entails media and community relations, publications, press relations, advertising, videography, photography, and other printed materials.

Communication Office staff is responsible for ensuring the brand of Key School remains consistent and therefore maintains strict oversight of the School's logo usage.

Email from Key School & Parent Email Addresses

Key uses email for the majority of official School correspondence and sends those emails to all parent email addresses in its database, which is managed by the Communication Office.

Parents may determine which portions of their household record, including email addresses, to publish in the password-protected online Student/Parent directories. This is done through Family Center's 'My Profile' in the Parent Portal. Parent email addresses are used solely for communication from the School and are kept confidential.

At least one adult member of the student’s household must be receiving information from the school and all adult members of a student’s household for whom we have an email address for will receive emergency and enrollment notices.

Website

Key School’s website, www.keyschool.org, is a rich resource for current parents, faculty and staff, Key students, and alumni/ae/x, as well as prospective families.

The homepage offers easy access to news items and the calendar, the Family Portal, and Athletic Schedules. Parents have the option of receiving news alerts and syncing calendar events to their personal calendars.

All Key School parents have access to the secure Family Portal, which can be accessed by clicking on "Login" in the top banner of the homepage. Unique usernames and passwords are provided to all parents by Key’s Communication Office; new-to-Key parents are able to access the Family Portal beginning in mid-July. Once logged in, all parents can reset their school-generated passwords by following the instructions on the “Family Center” page of the Family Portal.

Key’s Family Portal provides the following:

  • Ability to update household contact information (address, email, telephone) real-time through Family Center;
  • Searchable Online Directory and Printable Student Directory (published with real-time updates);
  • Carpool Module;
  • Online conference scheduling and grade reports (Lower, Middle and Upper Schools);
  • Access to online Course Selection Registration for all Upper School families;
  • Ability to update student health information through Magnus Health
  • Access to Haiku, the Osprey's Nest, Extended Day Options, and Parents' Association information.

Athletics Schedules, found at the top of the homepage, contains calendars for practice and game schedules, athletics forms, the @Obezags Instagram feed, team and coaching rosters, lists of athletic achievements, including past championship-winning teams, and all-conference and all-County players, and photo albums through Key Athletics flickr.

Social Media

Key utilizes a number of social media outlets to share information about student achievements, events on campus, news items and emergency alerts.

Key can be found on the following:

Parent Communication

The monthly community electronic bulletin is emailed to parents, faculty/staff and students. A printable, monthly PDF calendar is provided on the Calendar page linked in each month’s newsletter In addition, every week a Thursday Reminder is emailed to parents detailing events coming up in the next 10-14 days.

Key’s Homepage Alert Message feature is activated to communicate with Key families in the event of a weather-related closing, delayed opening or other necessary change in School schedule or normal operating protocol. The RED Alert Message link is displayed in the upper navigation bar, immediately when the homepage is opened.

Counseling Office

The Key School benefits from the services of school counselors who work with Division Heads to provide designated support for students, their families and their teachers. The school counselors work with students of all Divisions who have been referred or who have sought assistance, and with First School through Upper School faculty and administrators in developing Key’s Life Skills program and strategies for promoting individual and collective well-being. The school counselors do not provide private counseling to students.

To ensure the emotional and physical safety of a student, it may be necessary for the school counselors to discuss a student’s situation openly with the Division Head so that a plan to support the student may be crafted and implemented. It is, therefore, important that there be an understanding with students and their families that information disclosed to the school counselors may need to be discussed with another appropriate, caring individual in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the student and family, as well as the School community.

Campus Bookstore & Online Spirit Store

Key School's Campus Bookstore is located behind Smith House and carries an array of Key School gear including mugs, jewelry, Tervis Tumblers, pet accessories and blankets. The Campus Bookstore is open when School is in session from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is closed daily from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. Purchases can be billed as incidental charges to parent accounts or paid for with cash, check or credit card. Lower School students need a note from home to allow them to make purchases.

Key also offers and online Spirit Store that sells branded merchandise including sweatshirts, jackets, blankets, shirts, pants, and more.

Visit keyschool.org/bookstore to see more.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found stations are in the Manse Addition, Barn, First School, Activity Building, and Katharine Hall. Please label clothing, especially sweaters, jackets and coats.

Osprey's Nest

Key's food service program, The Osprey’s Nest, is located in Katharine Hall and is managed by Brock & Company. The menu is overseen by registered dietitians who focus on "food as fuel initiatives" through sustainable culinary practices.

Key's lunch program currently serves students in grades 5-12. Families may choose to pay with cash or through student lunch accounts managed in Family Center on the Family Portal.

Summer Hours - Administrative Offices

Summer hours for administrative offices are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Summer hours begin mid-June and end in mid-August. All administrative offices and summer camp offices are accessible through the voicemail system.

Summer Offerings

Summer at KEY includes Traditional Day Camp, as well as an array of half and full-day camps, for children ages three-and-a-half through high school. Camp begins in mid-June and runs through mid-August.

In addition to its Traditional Day Camp, offerings include sports, cooking, science and gaming camps, Filmsters Academy, Musical Theatre Summer Camp, and summer courses for Middle and Upper School students.

For more information, please see the Summer at KEY webpage www.keyschool.org/summer or contact the Summer Programs office at 443-321-2575.