Letter to Parents
Dear Parents,

You may have seen the recommendations from Metro Health that students move into distance learning in response to the rapidly rising case numbers and positivity rate. This recommendation was geared toward parents rather than suggesting that schools cease in-person learning.  

Based on a Safety Committee meeting with members of the Medical Advisory Committee, we will proceed with our current course of action until Winter Break begins next Friday, December 18. 

A key reason why we are making this decision are findings that schools generally are not superspreader locations. For example, a Brown University economist analyzed in-school infection data from 47 states over the last two weeks of September and found an infection rate of 0.13% among students and 0.24% among staff. Here’s an article from the American Association of Medical Colleges written for a non-medical audience that explains more. In addition, we continue to see a significant difference in infection rates between children under 10 years old and those above 10.  

For our purposes, this means:

  • Students at the Little School, K, 2 and 3 will still be able to come to campus for classes. 
  • Due to a positive COVID-19 test in 1st Grade, students in that grade will remain in distance mode as we had decided earlier.
  • Students in Grades 4 and above will remain in distance mode through Dec. 18. 

If the new recommendations from Metro Health give you cause for concern and you want to switch your child from in-person to distance learning, please let your child’s teacher know immediately.

Thank you for your continued vigilance in helping to keep our community safe.

With hope,

Billy Handmaker
Head of School

Penny Moyer, LVN
Monica Gutierrez, RN
School Nurses
Alumni in tech share stories of coding with Lower School
To kick off Keystone’s celebration of the Hour of Code, two alumni visited with Lower School students about how they use their coding skills.

Keynote publishes a new issue
The latest issue of The Keynote, the school's student-produced news publication is now available.

The new issue went live on Friday afternoon. There's also a survey that editors Derek and Shreya would like students to complete.

11 varsity soccer players earn district, state honors
Eleven of Keystone’s varsity soccer players recently took honors for athletics and academic performances:
First Team All-District
Andy – senior
Marshall – senior
Max – senior
Aidan – senior
Hashim – senior

2nd Team All-District
Nicolas – junior
Avril – junior
Sophie – junior

Honorable Mention All-District
Saaraim – sophomore
Aruj – sophomore
Anneliese – sophomore
1st Team: Aidan
2nd Team: Andy

Honorable Mention All-State

Academic All–State 
Must be a Junior or Senior who makes 1st or 2nd Team All-District and has a cumulative GPA of 90 or higher.
One more award: The United Soccer Coaches High School bestowed the Team Academic Award to the 2019-2020 team. It's only one of 300 high school programs in the nation to receive the honor.

3rd graders present mini movies
Students in Third Grade -- with the always creative help of Ms. Gypsy -- created a series of mini-movies instead of a stage production.

The screening took place earlier this week. Big congratulations to the students and Ms. G.

Fifth grader to begin STEM program for girls
Congratulations to fifth-grader Nirmal, because she's about to start on a cool project.

She was recently accepted into the 2021 Artemis Academy for Girls. It's an all-female club for students currently in the 5th, 6th or 7th grades that aims to inspire girls to persist and excel in their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics interests.

Fourth grader recognized for her holiday project
A special shoutout to fourth-grader Pia for her seasonal spirit.

She made and mailed out holiday cards for nursing home residents as part of the Be a Shamash project from the Book Meshuggenahs.

Lower Schoolers score soccer success
Congratulations to first-graders Katelyn, Harper, and Lucy on their soccer success.

Although they play on a Under-8 team, they competed in the Classic Elite Winter Blast tournament with older girls and got second place.

Looking forward to when they can play for Keystone.
Billy's Blog - From our Head of School
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”
–Scandinavian saying

In a week, students, faculty, and staff will leave for a well-deserved vacation. Everyone has worked hard, and the time away will allow children and adults to rest and rejuvenate for the new year and second semester.

Although it’s tempting to let our children spend their time off texting and FaceTimeing with their friends or playing the latest games, how do we encourage them to get some exercise and fresh air, which is even more important during the pandemic?

Important events and notes
Lower School Early Dismissal - Dec. 18

Students on both campuses will dismiss early on Friday, Dec. 18.

Little School: The carpool line will begin at 11:45 a.m.
Lower School: Students will dismiss at noon. There will be no aftercare that day.

Please plan accordingly.
Alumni Game & Social Cancelled

From Mrs. Villafranca::

Due to COVID conditions, the Alumni Game and Social originally scheduled for Friday, December 18 has been cancelled. Please stay safe everyone.  

Victoria Shum Bush ‘00
Alumni Council President

Adriana Villafranca
Director of Development and Alumni Relations
Navigating Standardized Tests - Jan. 27

From Ms. Christiansen:

Dear 9th-11th Grade Families,
I’m happy to announce that we'll be hosting a presentation by Compass Education Group on standardized tests and COVID-19’s impact on the current testing landscape for Keystone families. This virtual session is geared toward parents of 9-11 graders.
Navigating College Admission Tests with Compass Education
Date & Time: Wed., Jan 27 at 6pm CST
Registration is required to receive Zoom details and is available online at https://www.compassprep.com/schools/keystone/
Keystone gear available at Vivroux Sports
Stock up on Keystone gear in time for the holidays with a quick visit to Vivroux Sports.

On their retail floor, they have:

  • White and Black Adidas hats
  • White Comfort Color t-shirts in all sizes adult and youth
  • Adidas grey and white t-shirts some youth and adult sizes
  • Cardinal and black full and 1/4 zip Adidas jackets in select adult sizes
  • And a few Adidas black polos

Vivroux Sports is open 10am-5pm Monday-Friday, at 2222 Breezewood, just off New Braunfels Ave. north of the McNay Museum.
Hot lunches now available
Cafeteria procedures may have changed, but hot lunch is still available.

Now it's packaged in to-go containers and students eat either in their classrooms or outside.

For more information, including how to load your account go to:
Support Keystone while you shop
If you're getting school supplies or adding to your home office from either Office Max or Office Depot, please mention Keystone. As part of the Give Back to Schools program, the stores give 5% of the purchase price of qualifying school supplies in credits to Keystone for office supplies. Be sure to include the school's ID number when you make your purchase. Keystone's school number is: 70100727.
If you're purchasing items from Amazon, please consider supporting Keystone with your purchases and use AmazonSmile. Just designate Keystone as the beneficiary and a portion of your purchases will go to the school.

Make sure to install the Smilematic browser extension. It works with Firefox, Chrome and Safari and automatically redirects users to AmazonSmile when they visit Amazon. Here's the tool: https://couponfollow.com/smilematic.
We want to hear from you!
If you have news to share about the students, alumni, faculty or staff at Keystone School, please send it to: etijerina@keystoneschool.org.
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