Message for parents before holiday breaks
Dear Families,

As the school year heads toward the Thanksgiving break and Winter holidays, we’d like to thank you for all you’re doing to keep the Keystone community safe.

You have learned new procedures for morning dropoff and afternoon pickup, you taught your children the importance of wearing masks and practicing good hygiene, and you worked to ensure your children maintain their focus on learning while in distance mode.

Now we have another set of challenges facing us, and this one will take a concerted effort by all of us. These challenges stem from the upcoming holiday breaks, and the increased possibilities of catching and transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you’re traveling, please let us know where you’re headed. If you’re hosting visitors,
please take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as wearing masks and frequent handwashing or hand sanitizing. If they’re coming from an area that is witnessing a surge, please let us know. Either way, please consider self-quarantining for 10 days when you return or when your visitors leave.

Why are we so cautious? Lately, we have seen an increase in the number of cases in Europe and in the United States, and people traveling during these holiday breaks gives cause for concern.

We very much hope to resume classes after the holidays with in-person and concurrent learning. If we are able to navigate the coming weeks safely, we can do so. If, however, we let down our guard and start seeing an influx of COVID cases, then, like other schools, Keystone may be forced to return to distance learning for a time.

Please stay safe over the holidays and help us decrease the risks of the coronavirus as much as possible. Thank you for your help and cooperation. Together, we can do this.

With hope,

Billy

William B. Handmaker
Head of School
Two second-graders are top ice skaters
Congratulations to Nicole (left) and Peter, two second-graders who placed first in respective events last week at the Fall Fest Figure Skating Competition at Ice Center at Northwoods.

Nicole took home two gold medals.

Way to go!
Soccer celebrates Senior Night
Congratulations to our senior soccer players. They received their well-earned recognition on Senior Night at their game against First Baptist Academy.

Even better, Keystone won!
Exciting new opportunity for Mr. Nutt
We're saying congratulations and farewell to Mr. Nutt, Keystone's head of security on Oct. 30.

He's applying his skills and knowledge to help grow his brother-in-law’s successful transportation company.

Best of luck and we'll miss you, Mr. Nutt!
Catch up on Dr. Shapiro's presentation
If you missed the presentation on mental health from Keystone Counselor Dr. Erica Shapiro, please take a moment to click on the picture above or on this link. She delivered her talk earlier in the week at the PTO General Fall Session.

Her presentation, Protecting Child and Parent Mental Health During Difficult Times, included some early data on the mental health impact of the pandemic as well as strategies for promoting mental and emotional well-being for young children, adolescents, and their parents. The discussion also included mental health red flags and important resources.

Please view the presentation at your convenience. If you have any questions or concerns, feel to contact Dr. Shapiro at eshapiro@keystoneschool.org or 210-735-4022 ext. 323. 
Unexpected visitor
Seems like everybody on campus has been clucking over this hen for the past week. It took up residence in some bushes outside North Hall, facing Woodlawn Avenue.

It must have flown the coop from a house in the neighborhood. A Keystone administrator first spotted it on the porch of a house on the north side of Woodlawn before it settled on our campus.

Now why did the chicken cross the road? We all know that answer.
Annual Fund Update
A note from Mrs. Villafranca:

We are only ONE week away from wrapping up Keystone’s Annual Fund parent drive. Congratulations to the Terrific Turtles at the Little School for reaching 100% participation! 

During these difficult times, parent participation matters most because it helps bring our community together and sustains Keystone’s academic excellence. Please help make a difference at Keystone with a donation or pledge at https://www.keystoneschool.org/donate/ A gift in any amount will count towards participation. Keep in mind, you have until May 31st to complete your pledge. 
 
The Annual Fund helps offer financial and emotional support to our families during the pandemic as well as the necessary resources not covered by tuition alone for our faculty and staff. 
 
Your gift this year helps support the following areas: 
  • Operations: Including maintenance, facilities and ongoing operations of the school including the new outdoor learning spaces, classroom reconfigurations and the hiring of additional cleaning crew members, substitute teachers, facilitators, and a second nurse. 
  • Technology: Including wireless screens in each classroom and quintupling the amount of bandwidth throughout the campus.
  • Teacher Support: Helping our teachers improve their virtual teaching skills, and improving their already strong skills with online professional development sessions and training opportunities.
  • Tuition Assistance: Supporting our families throughout the year and providing additional support through the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Annual Fund, and Go Cobras!

Adriana Villafranca
Director of Development
Billy's Blog - From our Head of School
“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”
--Horace


... So after almost two months of school in this new reality, what do we know? We know that schooling in a pandemic is hard work for all involved. These conditions strain children, educators, and families in myriad ways. This situation asks us to live with uncertainty which can be very hard for those of us who like predictability and certitude. As computer engineer and venture capitalist Bill Joy once said, “Well, limbo is not a good place to be.” And yet, that’s exactly where we are for the foreseeable future.

At Keystone, we have attempted to base our decision-making process on science and data. Consequently, we have avoided making decisions too far out into the future so we can be informed by what the latest trends tell us. We know that some people find this frustrating, and we understand. Nevertheless, we want our planning process to be agile and responsive to the most current information and science.

We also know that this is an impressively resilient community...

College Visits
Due to the pandemic, college representatives are visiting Keystone virtually. Here are the visits for this week:

Tues., Oct 27:
The University of Alabama, 6th Period

Wed., Oct 28:
Kansas City Art Institute, 6th Period
 
Thurs., Oct 29:
Pomona College (CA), 6th Period

College visits to Keystone are intended for students only. Links for the visits are accessible through Naviance 15 minutes prior to the visit. Please see Ms. Christiansen for assistance.
Important events and notes
Lower and Middle School Distribution Day

Distribution Day for families in distance mode during Rotation 3 is happening Thursday from 4-5:30 p.m. Here's the procedure by grades:

  • Kinder families pick up bags on Thursday afternoon
  • 1st Grade families pick up bags on Thursday afternoon
  • 2nd Grade families pick up bags on Thursday afternoon
  • 3rd Grade - families pick up bags on Thursday afternoon
  • 4th Grade families don't have to come on campus. Teachers are mailing students' supplies.
  • Middle School will announce its procedure early next week. Check for a message from Dr. Wivagg.
Distance learners: Send us your Halloween photos!

If your children are in distance learning mode, please join the Halloween fun next Friday and send photos of your children in costume. Send them to etijerina@keystoneschool.org early and we can include them in the slideshow from the day.
Texas Book Festival - Oct. 31- Nov. 14

Keystone families will want to attend the Texas Book Festival, which runs from Oct. 31-14. Usually it's in Austin, but this year it's virtual - and it's free.

The sessions for kids' books runs Nov. 2-6. Download a Virtual Pass for the kids' portion here.

Message for Keystone alumni, parents and grandparents
 
Would you like to create a legacy at Keystone School? How about honoring a friend or family member for years to come? Join us for an information session on Wednesday, October 28 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CST to learn how you can benefit through creative, flexible estate and planned giving options. 

When you make a charitable gift through your estate, you are often able to make a bigger impact than you ever thought possible. Presenters include Keystone’s Head of School Mr. Billy Handmaker, Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy John Benage, and Legacy Circle Member Class of ’67 Carolyn Brown Langenkamp. Please register for the Zoom meeting at avillafranca@keystoneschool.org
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.
Follow Keystone on social media