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The Keystone School Reviews

The Keystone School is an online high school and middle school offering flexible and engaging school programs open for enrollment year round. Keystone offers over 120 online high school and middle school courses all supported by certified teachers. Students can enroll full-time to earn an accredited online high school diploma or part-time to supplement a traditional school or homeschool curriculum.

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(4 Reviews)


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  1. The Keystone School Review by Tara Mildenberger
    Pros: None
    Cons: Everything

    Grades Used: 8th and 9th

    We have homeshooled for quite a while and before that, I was a classroom teacher and I can honestly say that I have never seen a more ridiculous excuse for a curriculum than the Keystone School.

    My 8th grader was confused on day one of trying to get acclimated to their material. I assumed it was him and tried to help by going over it with him. After many hours in front of the computer, I was just as confused. I sent an email to his “teacher.” After 4 days of hearing nothing, I called. The representative made the assumption that I just hadn’t read or understood things clearly; after about 45 minutes with her, she realized that I was correct and it didn’t make sense. I was put in touch with the person in charge of that subject. She told me that the teacher had made her aware of my email (but nobody bothered to respond to me) and they were unsure what to do, as this particular class was new and they were still, “trying to imagine what the assignments for the class might look like.” So, in short, they sold my an incomplete, unwritten curriculum for $400!

    To top all of this off, we withdrew immediately and 30+ days have passed and I still don’t have a refund. Of course, I had to purchase more curriculum in the meantime. The whole experience has cost me many hours of frustration and money that I don’t know if I’ll ever get back, even though I have complied with all of their policies and procedures.

    I don’t know a time that I have been more displeased with a purchase.

  2. The Keystone School Review by Russella
    Pros: Self-paced, virtual, good intentions
    Cons: Parents must teach / no instruction or teachers, takes too long, expensive

    Grades Used: 7-10

    My daughter has completed grades 7-9 of the curriculum and is in danger of failing to complete grade 10. The curriculum takes MUCH longer to complete through Keystone due to the lack of instruction and the fact that each course includes several more chapters and units of work than found in a physical school, whether public or private. This is a self-taught, self-paced program. Keystone utilizes a standard core high school curriculum. The first year was a nightmare due to the amount of work (I’d say it was too much for a middle-schooler), but we trudged on, and she got straight As. In order to accomplish this, she sat working at her computer for 9-16 hours a day for years. Consequently, she developed kyphosis (hunched back), and her lifetime 20/20 vision deteriorated due to excessive near vision usage and underused distance vision (yes, our lifestyles dramatically affect our vision as well as every other bodily system — something I learned from her ophthalmologist). As a stay-at-home mother dedicated to education, I have spent an average of four hours a day teaching her, assisting her in deciphering poorly written or insensible assignment rubrics, doing research on the higher-level chemistry and math topics to instruct her, and making prolific use of KHAN ACADEMY instructional videos. The course material, as well as the too-frequent quizzes and exams, are laden with errors that render a correct answer impossible without first calling or emailing the school to verify the existence of the error and then what the exam question was supposed to say. Highly intelligent, attentive, and articulate, my daughter has succeeded due to her own academic rigors and my daily assistance. She has significantly expanded her knowledge and educational skills, HOWEVER, the price — financially, economically, and physically — has not been worth it or a good trade-off. The curriculum is taught by Blackboard text with animated avatars. Keystone “teachers” should be called “graders”. They rarely offered genuine instruction when she was stuck on a concept. Feedback consisted of variations of “good job” from all teachers except for two. Some are dedicated, responding to email questions and requests for help within 24 hours, but others are not because they take a week or more to reply if at all. I began to suspect many of them were not actual teachers due to their poor grammar, misspellings, and facile communication styles. The Guidance Center, despite employing friendly, courteous, and professional people, is a complete waste of time: we reached out frequently during the beginning and received only basic, rote advice on student motivation, such as keeping your work area clean, making it “fun” with highlighters, using their basic online scheduler, and trying to minimize distractions. Even though the course material is sound, it is not prudent to pay $3,000 a year to a school that has me do all the teaching. I am searching for educational alternatives for her.

  3. The Keystone School Review by LAbraham
    Pros: Cheap, flexible schedule
    Cons: No refunds, no support, unorganized/uninteresting curriculum

    Grades Used: 10th-11th

    Keystone was a bad experience. I should have paid attention to the reviews. My daughter signed up for 6 courses over 2 years but the schoolwork was too easy and uninteresting. It’s a money-making machine with no support for students or parents.

    I requested assistance from the Keystone “Learning Coach” but she knew less about the program and motivational skills than I did. She showed no concern and had no advice on how to handle the online experience.

    I was able to cancel 2 courses and receive a partial refund. But the second time around, NO REFUND because my daughter had not submitted any assignments within 30 days. Keystone will warn you if the student is going too slowly through the course, but will not warn you that there is NO REFUND if there is NO ACTIVITY.

    We had a decent experience with George Washington University Online High School, part of the K-12 company. The advisor and administrators were attentive and acted like they cared.

  4. The Keystone School Review by Jake
    Pros: The first month was ok
    Cons: Extremely vague instructions for assignments, nobody helps you with anything

    Grades Used: 11th

    Without a doubt the laziest scam anybody has ever attempted to pass off as an online schooling program. It started out alright, they managed to make it easy enough to get through without help for the first month or so but as you progress you’ll notice the curriculum and the teachers just get lazier and lazier. For example, every “lab” project in my Biology class (except one which is so vague I didn’t know what to do and the teacher just gave me a 0 with no explanation) had THE EXACT SAME INSTRUCTIONS WITH DIFFERENT SUBJECTS PLUGGED IN. Ever single one had an incredibly vague (and according to the teacher when she finally replied, incorrect) explanation of what to do. Long story short, it’s a lazy curriculum overseen by lazy teachers who take at LEAST 3 days to respond to your questions.

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