Inside Annapolis | Schools 

The Key School

Nestled in the heart of the Annapolis community of Hillsmere Shores on a fifteen-acre campus that was once a gentleman's farm, Key School is an independent day school serving students of diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. The general tone of the campus is egalitarian, informal and caring with an academic focus that is both rigorous and innovative, for the school seeks to develop in its students an interest in learning and a sustaining degree of intellectual curiosity.

Small classes enable the school to meet student needs and promote active learning. Expectations are high and the curriculum is designed to challenge students while promoting individual success. The school has four divisions - pre-school, lower school, middle school, and upper school. Together they comprise a community and share many common experiences.

Key School was founded in 1958 by several tutors from nearby St. John's College. These college professors, convinced that children possess inherent intellectual vitality that schools generally do not reach, agreed to bring discerning teachers and promising students together in small classes. From the outset, Key School worked to forge an identity that coupled experiential and innovative learning with a rigorous and essentially classical curriculum.

Key School is widely recognized for its emphasis on the learning process and for its focus on the importance of critical thinking, careful and analytical reading, problem solving, and discussions that encourage openness to differing ideas and perspectives. Key's culture also promotes student leadership in all arenas. Not only does the School encourage students to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities, it also offers them countless opportunities to become actively involved in the life of the School.

Since its inception, Key School differentiated itself not only in terms of academics, but also in terms of its belief in the individual and its emphasis on respect for human differences. In 1961, the president of the board of trustees said, "The School's job is to help children become able to meet adult responsibilities, not just as wage earners, or as parents, or as citizens of a particular nation...but as members of the human community."

Under the guidance of eight school heads, Key School has seen dramatic change. Ongoing renovations and new construction have allowed the campus to meet the demands of a still-growing student population and an expanding education program. The school continues, however, to look to the past. The program has evolved over the years. but the basic tenets of experiential discovery, serious academic rigor, and delight in learning have remained constant.

Currently the largest nonsectarian independent school in Anne Arundel County, Key School enrolls 720 students and has a faculty/staff roster of 150. Of the 110 faculty members, sixty-one hold advanced degrees, including eight with doctoral degrees. Thirty-four members of the faculty and staff have been at the school for more than 15 years.

Key School has school-wide accreditation from the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges and from the Association of Independent Maryland Schools. Approved by the State of Maryland, Key is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

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 athletic and other school-administered programs.




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