Annual Fund's active phase begins
Dear Keystone Families,

As we start our second rotation of in-person and remote learning, we would like to thank you for all you’re doing to keep our community safe. Whether you’re following our procedures for morning drop-off or afternoon pickup, or keeping your children home in distance mode, every one of you helps support our community.

Another way you can support our community is the Annual Fund. 

When the pandemic hit last spring, we decided from a budgetary standpoint that our two goals were to maintain our community and maintain the excellence of our program. 

Within these two goals are five priority areas:

  1. Maintain enrollment. We have heard about significant enrollment losses in other schools, and we are committed to maintain this diverse and inclusive community. We sought to limit the decline in enrollment and it has dropped by only 1.6%.
  2. Support Families. We wanted to enable any family that wished to remain at Keystone to be able to do so in spite of the economic repercussions from COVID 19. so we increased tuition assistance by 83% and created the COVID 19 Relief Fund. 
  3. Invest in and improve on distance instruction. We expanded technology spending by 71%, and we increased bandwidth on the main campus by 500%.
  4. Ready campus for reopening. Over the summer, we created larger spaces and outdoor spaces for students to gather, as well as sanitation stations so students and faculty could easily and readily wash their hands to reduce the risks of virus spread.
  5. Expand resources to meet the times (infrastructure and headcount). To accomplish our increased cleaning procedures, we have increased custodial hours by 50%. Also, we hired new teachers to facilitate classes where teachers could not be present on campus, and we hired a second nurse to increase our ability to take care of students, faculty, and staff. 

This year has challenged all of us in many different ways. With our expenses up and revenue down, the pandemic is squeezing our budget. This year more than ever, your support makes a crucial difference for the students and families of Keystone. 

You will be receiving encouraging messages from Keystone’s Annual Fund Captains during the active phase of the campaign from October 9th through October 30th. Please remember that your donations are tax deductible and that you can “pledge” an amount during the active phase for class participation and you have until May 31, 2021 to complete your generous gift.  

A special thank you to our Annual Fund Chairs Araminta Romero and Abe Martinez and to all of our Annual Fund Captains for leading the effort this challenging year. Thank YOU in advance for contributing to the Annual Fund.

With hope and admiration,
Billy Handmaker
Head of School

Adriana Villafranca
Director of Development and Alumni Relations
KSAT features story about 9th grader
More attention for ninth-grader Joanna. KSAT ran a story about her that told of how her nationally recognized science fair project began when she wanted to prove her mom wrong.

Fourth graders combine nature field trip with bakery visit
Talk about a sweet field trip. The fourth graders walked over to Extra Fine bakery, where they identified plant species and added sketches to their Nature Journals. They are exploring the natural world through a combination of art, writing, and science.

Students create Chalk It Up on campus
For the past 16 years, Chalk It Up from Artpace has brought young people from throughout the city downtown for a wonderful afternoon of chalk murals and fun.

But this year, Artpace has changed the event so that artists of all ages can participate safely from their homes or schools. On the Keystone campus, Dr. Arnold and Ms Pantoja organized our own Chalk It Up.

New issue of The Keynote out now
The newest issue of The Keynote, the student publication of Keystone, is now available online. Congratulations to co-editors Derek and Shreya and the entire staff for all their work.

Check out the issue at:
Billy's Blog - From our Head of School
“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” 
Lord Byron

As we begin our second rotation with some students physically distancing on campus while others attend school from home, I have to share how heartwarming it is to see students laughing with one another. The other day, I watched a group of high school students enjoy a joke amongst themselves during lunch that had them literally doubled over. Their joy, even through masks, lit up the quad and I couldn’t help but smile; for a brief moment, life felt right and good. Similarly, I’ll sometimes peek into a class in distance learning and see moments of laughter among the students, and find yet another reason to smile.

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

Tues., Oct 13:
Illinois Wesleyan University, 8AM *before school visit
Colgate University (NY), 2nd Period
Case Western Reserve University (OH), 3rd Period
Washington University in St. Louis (MO), 6th Period, please register ahead of time at registration link

Wed., Oct 14:
PSAT & PreACT Testing *Details & testing locations will be shared by email on Tuesday

Harvard College, 6-7PM *This is a unique event for Keystone students. Harvard does not typically host individual high school visits. Please join us online for this evening event that includes an information session and live Q&A with current Harvard students. See Ms. Christiansen for the Zoom link.

Thurs., Oct 15:
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), 1st Period
Sewanee - The University of the South (TN), 3rd Period
St. Mary’s University (TX), 6th Period

Fri., Oct 16:
University of Connecticut, 1st Period
Ohio Wesleyan University (OH), 3rd Period
Johns Hopkins University (MD), 6th Period
Bennington College (VT), 7th 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
College admissions expert shares insights - Oct. 14
Parents -- want to learn more about the college admissions process? Author and higher education expert Jeffrey Selingo discusses his most recent book "Who Gets in and Why" in a Zoom seminar on October 14 at 7pm.

Keystone parents are invited to this event courtesy of Parish Episcopal School in Dallas and others that are fellow members of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.

If you want to get a taste of what he'll discuss, check out the most recent of his podcast, FutureU:

Admission to the seminar is free, but registration is required. To register, click here:

NAIS Parent Education Workshop - Oct. 15

The National Association of Independent Schools -- which includes Keystone as a member -- will present a workshop, "Finding Calm in Chaos: A Mindfulness Workshop for Parents" w/ Daniel Rechtschaffen & James Gallagher. It's scheduled for 3 p.m. Keystone parents have access as a member of our community. Click here to get your free tickets.
PTO General Meeting - Oct. 19

From the Keystone PTO: Parents are invited to attend the PTO General Meeting on Monday, October 19 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom (link will be forthcoming).
The meeting will include an introduction from Head of School, Billy Handmaker, PTO updates, and guest speaker Dr. Erica Shapiro, Keystone Counselor. Dr. Shapiro will present on how to protect parent and child mental health during difficult times. The presentation will be followed by Q&A.
Special invitation for alumni in the Southeast US - Oct. 22 event

Southeast Alumni! Please join us for a virtual townhall on Thursday, October 22nd at 7:30 pm EST. Invited are alumni of all ages living in West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C., Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Click here to reserve your spot today and registering for this event. We hope to see you there!
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
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:
Virtual book fair ends Oct. 16
This year's book fair will be virtual, and offer books appropriate for Lower, Middle and Upper School students.

We will host a Junior Library Guild virtual book fair from October 5-16. Order online and books will be delivered directly to families.

Proceeds from the book sale help fund Keystone's subscription to Junior Library Guild physical books and the book streaming service, jlg Digital.

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:
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