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.
Website: The Keystone School (may contain affiliate links)
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The Keystone School Review by ElizabethAugust 6, 2022Pros: Flexibility, self paced learning
Grades Used: 6,7,8
Not sure what all the negative comments are about..I have two sons who have been Keystone students for three years now..the middle school program is the only one I can speak for, but we really like it! I see people saying prices are too high but what you are paying for is the convenience of the flexibility and self-pacing. Not every kid learns the same way so self pacing is extremely important for some. I see some saying they have taken four years to complete one year worth of schoolwork but that is on the student. You can work or not work each day and if you do not work on a schedule of some kind, you will take as long as it takes. Both of my boys have used a 12 month year to finish their grades , but that's the whole point, it is SELF PACED!! Also, I see a lot of comments about the teachers responding to emails and grading assignments and we have had no problem with either so I don't know what is happening with these other people. Both boys enjoyed their history classes and learned a lot. Anyway as far as I'm concerned, if you can afford it, Keystone is a great online school.
The Keystone School Review by Ms. AmyAugust 3, 2022
Worst online school!
Do not send your kids here, they deserve better. These people do not care education, only about money. And watch out- if your kid forgets to cite a source on a research paper, they will dis enroll you in a heartbeat claiming plagiarism, no questions asked. When speaking with the school about this type of issue, the woman was cold and unforgiving. Do not recommend.
The Keystone School Review by Leslie TreffMay 6, 2022Pros: Rigorous curriculum; low price; fast grading
Cons: Uneven course quality
Grades Used: 8th
I was shocked at the strength of the negative reviews here. First, I want to say that, after taking one course to make up for some 6th grade math that he had not mastered two summers ago, my previously public schooled son is now enrolled in 8th grade at Keystone online full time. It is pretty much a home school, not a regular school with synchronous learning. If you want synchronous learning, K12 has other schools that would be better suited for you and your child. I find the curriculum generally to be excellent. He is taking Spanish and Algebra, both high school courses, which is excellent. His 8th grade Language Arts class is outstanding--so much better than in public school. On the other hand, the online science class is absolutely awful, and the US history course is only somewhat better. What we do is use Khan Academy to augment those courses. When I say we, it means that I sit with him for quite a bit of the time he is in school. I am not sure if it is my son's special need or if that is what is required for all students, but I do not think that I could leave my child to do these classes on his own. Not that I do his assignments or help with the tests, but these courses require an adult or tutor's assistance with the learning portion of them. This is especially true if your child has had some issues with education previously. I do not know why that surprises anyone. The price of this school is extremely low--what are you actually expecting from the teachers? My son's interactions with the teachers have strictly been for the purposes of grading assignments--and that has been quick and fair. In any case, the school is not perfect (the quality of the online courses are uneven), and not for everyone, but I would recommend it for parents who have the time and disposition to sit with their children and assist with the learning.
The Keystone School Review by RichieApril 12, 2022Pros: Flexible schedule, set to your own pace
Cons: Long writing assignments, difficult to learn on your own,
Grades Used: 9th-12th(current)
I started keystone about 3 and a half years ago after being stupid and getting myself kicked out of high school. The assignments are long and excessive 3-5 pages for every other assignment in english with the occasional 5-7, 7-9 page ones where in a "real" school that would be a once a month or every other month thing that I would be expected to spend weeks on. Math is horrendous to learn on your own and I had to resort to YouTube videos from actual professors to understand it, math never was too hard for me but learning it by myself made it impossible. Most of the time I feel like the teachers purposely wait until last minute to grade your assignments because they will wait until 30 minutes to 72 hours to grade it. A lot of the information is useless filler and the few non essay like assignments have all the answers practically given to you in bold as you scroll through which is partially why I havent learned much at this school. It has made me become a social hermit and I rarely leave my house more than a few times a month. I do like that I can do my school work whenever I want and if I have something going on I can just do it and not have to worry about my school getting in the way.
The Keystone School Review by Lisa yoderMarch 31, 2022Pros: None
Cons: The entire program
Grades Used: 11th
Absolutely awful, i did the first quarter of my classes and couldn’t do it anymore because the accessive workload no help from teachers and not learning a single thing. They didnt give me a report card or any transcript that showed i did the first quarter then made us finish the payments when we signed no agreement to pay after quitting. Over a grand down the drain and they wont even pull forward my credit for the amount i managed to complete. This program should not still be up and running.
The Keystone School Review by SharonMarch 31, 2022Pros: None
Cons: Just want your money. Your child won’t learn anything
This is the most horrible school ever. The teachers never grade the work. My daughter is always behind. Customer service is horrible. My daughter was kidnapped and she just turned 18. Now I’m can’t even see if any work is being done at all. I paid all that money for her to attend this school and bam I’m kicked out. No phone call email or nothing. Runnnnnn stay away from this school.
The Keystone School Review by StarMarch 22, 2022Pros: Literally nothing
Cons: Absolutely everything
Grades Used: 11th U.S. History
I did the U.S. History course and I went in to check my grade and it still said I had 7 assignment that weren't submitted. I submitted the assignments and the teacher refused to grade them. It's been four months and my course finally expired and the teacher still did not go in and grade those assignments. The transcript was sent to my school as 'withdrawn'. I have called them 7 times to get those assignments graded or at least to be given some help as how to do them, and when I called them again about my transcript they did not even answer the phone. The writing assignments are absolutely impossible and some of the assignments are just straight up ridiculous I will NEVER be using this company for myself or recommending it to anyone else again.
The Keystone School Review by WendyJanuary 6, 2022Pros: Academic rigor, pacing, and flexibility
Cons: Excessive writing assignments
Grades Used: High School
I am an educator and have been for approximately 30 years, and decided to choose The Keystone High School for my son who learns best at his own pace. He struggled in the traditional “brick and mortar “ school setting, and since he’s been a student with Keystone, he has thrived! He is now more confident and loves doing the assignments although he has a very heavy course load.
As an educator, I MUST say that I feel that there are too many essay assessments or what Keystone calls “Graded Assignments” of which causes my son some stress, but he manages to get through them.
Overall, I would recommend this school for learners who work best on their own pace. Just to mention, my colleague recommended this school to me because she too has her son in Keystone as well.
The Keystone School Review by Nicole MillinerNovember 17, 2021Pros: None
Cons: Too many to count
Grades Used: 11th
DO NOT CONSIDER THIS SCHOOL. It will literally kill your child's academic record. My daughter attempted to attend her Junior year of high school, and we had to scramble for her to graduate once she returned to an in-person unified district school. The only way she's graduation is because her current school is moving hell and earth to put her in makeup classes and create work-arounds for my child to be able to walk in the spring. Basically, Keystone takes your money, sends your child college-level, independent study packets to figure out on their own, and teachers who grade purely on the academic work. There is no zoom, in-class credit or interaction. Furthermore, their grading practices are incredibly shady! They don't give partial credit for work turned in. Maybe that's okay for some kids, but not for most children navigating through pandemic and post-pandemic times.
The Keystone School Review by MuruNovember 1, 2021Pros: None
Cons: Everything about it
Grades Used: 11th
i personally went through 11th grade, still trying to finish actually. Its made my anxiety and productivity 10x worse. The online parts are the same stuff over and over again, the teachers barely reply, and when they do its just a vague reply with no help. The print courses are even WORSE. They require 4 essays that are 5 paragraphs each and a GIANT test for each unit and even then, the questions are so vague and hard to understand. Even my teacher for my 2d animation class focuses on a MLA format for answering the same set of questions over and over rather than the art itself.
The Keystone School Review by KhushiSeptember 29, 2021Pros: None
Grades Used: 12th
The school has been a very bad support to me and my graduation requirements in general. Was told to finish off two support courses in order to get all my credits but they didn’t even send the right things to my school and neither do they reply to my mails. I wrote negative feedbacks towards them and was immediately contacted to “resolve the issues” so i can take down my comments how ever that didn’t do anything as well. I have been led on for more than a month by them and they keep delaying everything they promise me which is ultimately ruining my entire year and my career itself. I don’t understand how this institution is still running with all these bad reviews and i would never recommend or even mention this institute ever again.
The Keystone School Review by DestinyAugust 26, 2021Pros: All
Cons: Not enough live sessions. But still great that they are offered!
Grades Used: 1st
I'm using this to homeschool my 1st grader and I love it. The courses are all planned out, there is a daily schedule so you don't get behind, you can long the attendance at the end of a lesson rather then logging in and adding it separately. Also, they have live class sessions often so she is able to join a class with other kids and have fun. All the materials were sent in a reasonable time and there is SO MUCH! The price compared to other places I checked out is relatively lower also. Overall I'm very happy with this school for my daughter. And as far as high-school goes I did this program myself the last 2 years of school and had no trouble except contacting the teachers. You have to be very self motivated to do this and put in the effort. As long as you don't slack off and think a teacher will be walking you through every step you'll do just fine!
The Keystone School Review by C.O.August 17, 2021Pros: Nothing
Grades Used: 12
You will jump through endless rings and struggle the whole way. Enrollment was a huge issue, none of the employees seemed to know what courses I needed so they gave their personal opinion. Fast forward to now, I'm supposed to be graduating. Turns out I needed a fine arts course that nobody told me about, and I had been calling the school throughout the year to make sure I was still on course to graduate. This school is only concerned with how much they can get out of your wallet. The quality of the courses is a joke, ALL of the print coursework is filled with mis-prints and errors. It is very difficult to find teacher information and contact teachers. If I had the chance to redo my senior year, I would've stayed in public school.
The Keystone School Review by Gabi RayJuly 16, 2021Pros: none
Grades Used: 12th
I think this online school is awful. They ask you to do over the top project that is just busy work for students. Going from be taught in school to this homeschool program was an awful experience for me. I felt like i was drowned in school work all the time and most of the time the work was no where related to the class. During the entire year i was going through this program i was having to look up help on the craziest websites that I wouldn’t of ever used i during in person high school.
The Keystone School Review by CeceMay 22, 2021Pros: Independence
Cons: Crap courses
Grades Used: 12
All of the print courses are misspelled and graded incorrectly. There is no teacher support and no feedback on assignments, how am I supposed to know what’s wrong if I am not told what I’m doing wrong?? English is by far the most difficult, the teacher requires every assignment prior to the current submission to also be re-submitted at the time of the current one. Not to mention ALL of the work given, English is packed wayyyyy too full of endless essays and endless readings.
The Keystone School Review by Jane StageMay 19, 2021Pros: Flexibility, ability to move at own pace
Cons: Social Isolation; Occasionally had trouble getting email back from a teacher, but more often not.
Grades Used: 8th-12th
Wow, I am amazed by all the negative reviews. We opted for Keystone when our 7th grader was bored in a local private school. She had already skipped two grades there and we were afraid the boredom would lead to behavior issues. She was also being bullied because she was younger than many of her classmates. With Keystone, she was challenged and definitely interested in what she was learning. She went at her own pace, choosing to take classes year round. She graduated when she was 15, had decent SAT scores, and started at the University of Texas-Arlington at 15. She has had all A's and one B so far. She is now 18 and starts her senior year next fall. She has never felt that she missed out on learning by going to Keystone and when the pandemic came and classes went online, she had a huge advantage over others because of doing her high school at Keystone. She made friends through Keystone with other kids all over the world and they were starting at that time to try to bring people together in person in regions. They have clubs, chats, and interactions in some classes. Overall, we had a great experience with Keystone and would choose it again. Every school and homeschool situation has its challenges. Keystone was easy to work with overall. Overall, the teachers were responsive, took time to get to know her personally and we made her call each teacher at the beginning of the class so she was more than just a screen name to them. They are required to respond to students emails in a certain amount of time. If they don't, then report them just like most parents would in a regular school if the teacher there wouldn't help their kid.
The Keystone School Review by JosieMay 18, 2021Pros: Flexibility
Cons: Curriculum standard is set so high that gives my children anxiety
Grades Used: 7th and 12th
I have my two children enrolled at Keystone. I was glad to find an online school with flexible school hours and can be done at their own phase. Since we are in the military, it is the only option because we often move in different country. However, it puts too much anxiety to my children and me as it has loads of school work!
Essay here, essay there. Even if I set up a school schedule for my children so they won’t fall behind, they still are! I also have to sit down with my 7th grade students to help him with his essay as it is ridiculously stressful. The load work and essay standard is to high that mostly used higschool.
They expect a child coming from gradeschool to write a minimum of 5 paragraph essay!! Not only that, there are some class that requires 2 homework essay in one unit!! I feel so bad for my children as they spent most of their day doing school work and are so drain by the end of the day! To the point that they were having anxiety every single day and my 8th grader cries often! This should not be the case as children should enjoy learning and to have a flexibility to have fun! In this case, I might look for another school that doesn’t put my children’s physical mental and health at risk!
The Keystone School Review by LeighAnne YeltonMay 12, 2021Pros: I thought it would keep away the bullies but it just assed more issues.
Cons: All of it.
I am shocked and so disappointed. I enrolled my niece and we are only 3 weeks in and have NO help. This is going to put her behind. I guess we will have to ride this out. But she is going to be 15/16 in the 8th grade! I am devastated.
The Keystone School Review by saadoooooooooMarch 3, 2021Pros: not a single speck
Cons: every single thing
Grades Used: 8th (withdrew and Im at my old school where I wanted to be before and im doing very good now)
im not gonna state everything thats wrong with keystone since it's infinite. Though basically like all these reviews say, SO much work, not enough explanation, bad support, and mental fatigue. There was a time while I was still in the keystone prison where I would cry daily and everyday my motivation would go down. DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL, SPARE YOURSELVES PLEASE!
The Keystone School Review by SPJanuary 22, 2021Pros: Absolutely Nothing
Grades Used: 8th
Worst school ever. Truly a waste of money and you and your child’s time. They don’t help with any of the work and if you have questions good luck getting up with them. There is so much work in one course that it is so stressful and makes me have anxiety through the roof. I’ve never been so stressed out about school until I joined this one. I always had great grades and now i’m stuck having to finish out 8th grade due to this school LOSING some of my assignments and not making it right. I will never come back to this school and I truly mean that. They are terrible.
The Keystone School Review by PaytonJanuary 21, 2021Pros: nothing
Grades Used: 8
This is a terrible school, In supposed to be a freshman but this school lost a lot of my work I completed and have not fixed it. It’s unfair and makes me have so much anxiety because I’m still failing and not even close to being finished with this school. There is so much work which makes it even more impossible to get done on time. I don’t recommend this program at all. I’ve never been so upset in my life over school as I am with this one. They are overpriced as well and haven’t helped figure out why some of my assignments have been deleted.
The Keystone School Review by C.M.August 26, 2020Pros: I cannot think of a single positive thing to say about this school
Cons: Awful, Impossibly applying objective answers to subjective questions, do not teach well overall
Grades Used: 9
[They (edited to remove profanity)] are trying to bring objectivity into an objectively subjective field. They are assigning right and wrong answers TO POETRY. The entire point of poetry is to be subjective. Your child failing this school means NOTHING. My son spent multiple hours trying to answer Unit 7. He put an indefensible amount of time to get 1/6 and 0/9 on the tests. DO NOT REGISTER FOR THIS SCHOOL. ANY OTHER SCHOOL IS BETTER. I REPEAT, DO NOT REGISTER.
The Keystone School Review by AlianaAugust 12, 2020Pros: Absolutely nothing
Grades Used: 8th
HORRIBLE ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE! I'm stuck here. I feel trapped even.
I struggle from anxiety and social anxiety so this year I decided to switch from public school to online. I was desperate so I didn't look much into the school, I just jumped right in. HUGE MISTAKE. I joined about 5 courses for a "full school year". BIGGEST MISTAKE. It was super expensive. I'm talking $1,000+????? The work they gave... its SO MUCH. ONE COURSE worth of work they gave could be an ENTIRE school year. I'm failing immensely but I know its not my fault. Its this school. I should be a freshmen NEXT WEEK but instead I'm still in 8th grade and barely finished. The worst part is, you have to finish ALL of the work for you to pass. I don't even know which assignments I've done or skipped anymore. You can't withdraw from a course either. When I asked, I was denied. Coming here was probably the worst mistake I've made in my life so far. No exaggerations. I will be withdrawing and finding a new school soon. I just hope everything works out after this...
The Keystone School Review by Annie SagerAugust 11, 2020Pros: Nothing
Grades Used: 9th (4 years)
Where do I even begin with this school? I started 9th grade in 2016. Four years later? I just finished ninth grade. In the time that I should have graduated high school, I finished one year worth of classes. I know it might seem like it’s my fault, because I was lazy or didn’t get the work done, but in reality this school sets you up for failure.
I’ll talk about my Biology and English classes, since they are the ones I had the most trouble with. I’ll start with English first, since it was the least bad out of the two. The English course is full of misspelled words and unfinished sentences. Now, normally I wouldn’t be very annoyed by this, but they always say that they don’t accept bad grammar. Why would they teach us something that they don’t do themselves? It’s an English class, they should have correct grammar. Until my last month of school I didn’t know who my teacher was. There is a team of teachers, but it’s unclear who the actual teacher is, since they don’t list it anymore. The only reason I figured out who my teacher was is because they corrected a paper that I turned in where I didn’t list their name. I noticed that when I was peer reviewing a paper, the other student didn’t list the teachers name either. However, because it is a team of teachers, I have no idea how to tell who their teacher was. The information in the English class is from 2006, so they are teaching outdated English that will not help us in the future.
The biggest issue in this school by far, was the Biology course. In the first section, they state the lab materials that people would need to use. The wording of this page makes it look like they are giving you a list of what to buy. This is proven because they say that you need to put a solution in a tube. However, when we got to that point, the lab was all online. We were unaware that this would be online, because they didn’t say that it would be online. We ended up buying $300 worth of science equipment because they didn’t clearly state that the labs didn’t need any equipment. The directions for the labs were also very unclear. My grandma is a biochem major who went to John Hopkins university, and she couldn’t even follow the directions. One time, they said that in order to answer a question on the lab we needed to pull up the “digestion system study guide.” However, there was nothing called the digestion system study guide. We looked at the lab, and it didn’t have any answers to the questions that they asked. I emailed them and they asked where I had gotten the term “Digestion system study guide” from and I told them it was from the course. They then told me that it was talking about the lab, which once again, didn’t answer the question at all. I even pressed command F for the terms, and I couldn’t find anything. I ended up looking up the answers because I was so frustrated.
Keystone often says that their students have a lot of interactions with each other outside of their schoolwork. However, this isn’t true. Students can only talk on the social discussion board ten times a day. If they talk more than that, they get punished. At the end of each post you have to write “Post #___” so they know how much you write on there. You also aren’t allowed to give out your social information to your peers, so there’s no way you can connect with them outside of a school zone.
Today, we discovered that keystone may not be accredited in my state. I am in the middle of transferring to a different school, and my parents called them to ask a question. The person on the phone told them that they are not accredited in Virginia because they are from Pennsylvania. When I first started going to Keystone, my parents received a list of schools that were accredited by my county, and Keystone was one of those schools. I don’t know if the person on the phone didn’t know what they were talking about, or if Keystone wasn’t accredited this entire time and they didn’t tell us.
In conclusion, Keystone is a mess. If you are a parent looking to homeschool your kid, don’t choose this school. It’s a mess. Your kid will most likely be stressed beyond belief, I know I was. They expect you to digest 15 pages worth of information at once, and then write an essay about what you just read and then turn in a lab and a quiz about it afterwards. If you’re a kid who wants to convince your parents to homeschool you, don’t look at Keystone. Don’t fall for the fake promises of the people who graduated and are now in Ivy League schools. Trust me, I was in denial about this school for four years. Keystone is filled with nothing but liars. Out of the four years I was here, they contacted me twice to know why I was taking so long. Don’t trust them.
The Keystone School Review by TroyJune 4, 2020Pros: None
Grades Used: 10th
This service is terrible! It is very pricey, $300 for a 3 week credit. The assignments are mostly busywork, the teachers take DAYS to respond to CRUCIAL emails. This company only cares about the money! The would rather you fail highschool then pass.
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