A Note about Keystone's Accreditation

From Mr. Handmaker:

Dear Friends, 

On Sunday afternoon, we will welcome a visiting team of educators from independent schools across the Southwest as an element of our Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) accreditation. This team will immerse themselves in the Keystone community for three days as they evaluate our school according to the self-study document we developed last year and generally accepted criteria for independent schools. The self study, which included participation by students, teachers, staff members, alumni, parents, and trustees, enabled us to engage in critical reflection and identify plans and priorities for advancing the school.  

As I told the students in grades K-12 this week, this accreditation process allows us to celebrate what we do well and identify areas where we can improve. The visiting team will sit in on classes, and meet with students, members of the PTO, teachers, staff, and trustees. They will observe life on our campuses from early in the morning until late in the afternoon, and then return to their hotel to work on the report they will submit to ISAS for approval. This report will guide our improvement efforts for the next ten years, which is the duration of accreditation. We look forward to spending time with the visiting team and learning from them.  
On Campus
Mrs. Holden named Science Teacher of the Year
The soon-to-open  Sea Life  aquarium has named Mrs. Holden as its first Science Teacher of the Year.

Keystone students earn honors in Scholastic Writing Awards
Congratulations to the 12 students who earned 18 awards in the Southwest Region-at-Large Program of the 2020 Scholastic Writing Awards.

Random acts of kindness
At the Lower School, students want to make February the kindest month and are trying to bring lessons out of the classroom, throughout the school, and beyond.

Keystone swimmer advances to state meet
Congratulations to the sole member of Keystone's swim team, 9th grader Sarah.

Homecoming court announced
At Keystone, students choose the Homecoming Court based on who showed the most spirit in their costumes that week and throughout the year.

New issue of student newspaper coming Feb. 14

Keystone's online student-run newspaper, The Keynote, is releasing its first issue of the school year on Feb. 14.

Editors-in-Chief Derek and Katie oversee a publication with four main sections: Student Life/Culture, Debate, The World Today and Sports.

Check it out at: https://keystonekeynote.com
Sip Snack Give Back
Sponsorships Available
This year Keystone is putting on an exciting new spring fundraiser: Sip, Snack, Give Back, a food and drink festival that will take place on  Friday, April 3, 2020 .

Instead of assigned tables and a set program of a traditional gala, this is a more casual experience where the Keystone community and friends can gather over beverages from local wineries, breweries, and distilleries; enjoy tastes from local culinary artisans including Empty Stomach Restaurants Barbaro, Hot Joy and Chisme (the menu lives on after the restaurant closes); and support the school that unites us.

The funds raised through Sip, Snack, Give Back will support Keystone’s general operating budget that provides vital funding for our students, faculty, and campus.

Please consider becoming a sponsor or donating to our Silent Auction. Individual tickets will go on sale March 1.


Valentine's Day is almost here!
If you haven't purchased your Valentine grams, get them before time runs out. The deadline is Feb. 10.

This is the biggest fundraiser for the Junior Class's efforts to throw an amazing Upper School Prom, and you can help by purchasing special grams (like balloons, pizza, stuffed animals and more!) for teachers and classmates.

For those who may be new to Keystone, Valentine's Day celebrates fun and friendship, and has been a huge day on campus for almost 50 years.

Packets were distributed to all students and faculty on Tuesday, January 21st, but in case you have misplaced yours or are looking to purchase more of a certain gram, here's a link to the packet .

Go Cobras and Happy Valentine's Day!
Keystone fanwear available
Good news – Keystone apparel is now for sale in TWO locations!

On campus: we have an apparel closet located in the Development Office, on the second floor of Founders Hall. We have adult and youth t-shirts and full-zip sweatshirts, in addition to dri-fit hats. We also have Keystone Yetis and Hydroflasks available for purchase.

Vivroux Sports : Adidas merchandise is available for purchase at Vivroux Sports, located at 2222 Breezewood Blvd in Alamo Heights. They carry additional tshirts, sweatshirts, shorts, drawstring backpacks, and more! 

If you have any questions, contact Lynda Ciment .
Billy's Blog: From the Head of School
“Thaw with her gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer. The one melts, the other breaks into pieces.”
–Henry David Thoreau

Parents often tell me their children love to argue. While this tendency among youth may at times feel exhausting, it’s an important component of maturation and we should applaud their growing up. As children learn to differentiate themselves from the adults in their lives, they formulate opinions and identify themselves with and sometimes against others. We should capitalize on this tendency, and help children learn how to advocate for themselves and the causes in which they believe.

Meet the Faculty
Meet the Faculty: Upper School Athletic Director Roxann Calderon
Position:  Upper School Athletic Director/Varsity Volleyball Coach/Middle School PE Teacher

Education:  Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology at UTSA

Why do you like working here:  Keystone is one of the rare places where you are gifted the opportunity to see children grow, from kindergarten to becoming young adults.

Important Events and Notes
Foreign Language Club breakfast sale
Support the members of Keystone's Foreign Language Club at the next breakfast sale on Tuesday, Feb. 11 before school begins, next to Nurse Penny's office.

On the menu: breakfast tacos, donuts and hot chocolate.
Foreign Language Club bake sale
Foreign Language Club members are putting on a bake sale on Thursday, Feb. 13 during Middle and Upper School lunch periods.

Come snag some sweet goodies and support the Foreign Language Club.
Parent Substance Education Workshop - Feb. 19

From Keystone Counselor Mrs. Raymer: On Wednesday, February 19th from 5:30-7pm there will be a parent workshop to offer support and guidance in helping your children enjoy a drug-free adolescence.


This event will take place in the theater and is open to parents of students grade 7-12. Some of the topics to be addressed include: 

  • Effective ways to communicate with your child about drugs and drug use
  • Up-to-date facts about current drug use and trends
  • What to say about your own experiences with alcohol and/or drug experimentation
  • How to spot early warning signs of trouble and effective ways to respond. 

Keystone's Substance Education Specialist, Eduardo Torres from FCD, will be leading this informative event. 
Alumni News
Science magazine spotlights bee research of Sean Leonard ’02
The Jan. 30 issue of  Science magazine  features research from Sean Leonard '02 on bees.

Online lunch payments

If your family buys hot lunch here at Keystone, please remember that all payments must be made online with our food contractor, Cafeteria Services.

Go to the parent portal ( parents.keystoneschool.org ) and click on "lunch."

Support Keystone while you shop on Amazon
When you shop on Amazon, please use AmazonSmile and designate Keystone as the beneficiary. This way, your savings can help your school.
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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