Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Keystone School (2021)
Keystone School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Malik, Dr. Yachtman had to say about the school.
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Malik — alum
Malik is a recent graduate from Keystone International School. During his time there, he enjoyed the care and support of his teachers, whom he considered to be his second family. He also enjoyed meeting new friends from all over the world in the school's inclusive international community.
- “I just remember [Keystone International School] as being amazing. I appreciate the overall environment of the school. It was so friendly, safe, and helpful. I really saw it as a second home for me, and now that I have some distance from the school, I really do miss it.”
- “I would say the size of the school is what makes it different from other schools. Keystone International School is a relatively small school, and that's actually a really good thing. … Because a smaller school means that the teachers have more time to spend on the students. No one's going to get left behind with work because the teachers will always check up on you. The teachers [at Keystone International School] will have stronger relationships with [students], because they have fewer students, so they can focus more on each student individually, and know their strengths and weaknesses overall.”
- “Myself and many of the students at Keystone [International School] don't just see our teachers as teachers, we really see them as a family. Every teacher cares about you. ... They will save your life one day, so you should always strongly respect them. You might need extra credit, or help with your SATS, and your teachers are always there to help you.”
- “My best friend from Keystone International School is from Africa. ... And it was a very strange meeting for the first time, because I've never met someone from there. Overall, he's just a really cool person. It's very cool to have someone from there become a friend. I also met friends [at Keystone International Academy] from all over Arabia, people from North America, South America, from Brazil. … So many people from around the world.”
- “Keystone [International School] is not only for learning, but it can help you outside of school. For example, your teachers can help you with your SATs, as well as your overall mental health, and your physical health. The teachers care about you. And that's what's special about Keystone International School, is that everyone cares about you there.”
Dr. Yachtman — current parent
Dr. Yachtman has one daughter who currently attends Keystone International School. She believes that the school’s values align with her family's values, and that it has helped her daughter become a global citizen, who thinks outside of the box. She appreciates the high level of academics at Keystone International School as well as the focus on creativity.
- “I wanted to find a school for [my daughter] that taught formal education, academic excellence, creativity and also creating critical thinking skills. When you're looking for this kind of school, the universe starts to bend around you. So this is how we found Keystone International School in Toronto, and I'm very happy that she gained all those skills”
- “[My daughter] has developed academic excellence skills, and also she has a lot of life learning skills like critical thinking, analytical thinking, and creativity. I think creativity is for the most part what distinguishes Keystone International School Toronto from other schools and was the biggest impact on my daughter.”
- “Before starting this interview, I checked with [my daughter] and asked the question, ‘What do you feel about Keystone International School?’ [My daughter] says that this school develops a lot within her. She understands her place in the world. She knows what she wants to do in her future career. [Keystone International School] helps her to culminate her interests. ... Supports her in many other aspects of her social life, and develops her into a global citizen. … This combination is the perfect match for her.”
- “I'm proud to say that out of 9000 applications, only 400 were accepted to the Harvard Summer School, and [my daughter] was one of them. When we received the acceptance letter, she couldn't imagine that… But then we thought about her academic development [at Keystone International School] and her social skills, and we understood that it was predictable. She was nominated because she wrote so authentic essays. She developed so many interesting skills, and those skills were appreciated by the Harvard selection committee. She was nominated in astrophysics.”
- “[My daughter] had two weeks of the course with the [Harvard] College curriculum, and she passed that course. … She was doing a lot of physics, and she enjoyed it immensely. It's needless to say that we're very grateful for [Keystone International School], which helped her to develop those skills. She was very active in the classroom. ... So we are very proud of her achievements.”
- “Keystone International School exactly matches our values. The values which the school shares with us are environmentalism, kindness, thoughtfulness. These all are important values for our family.”
- “I would like to mention that [my daughter] has grown up very much academically [at Keystone International School]. She writes compositions. When I read them, I'm amazed with the quality, with the content, with the depth, with everything. Second thing that I want to tell you about her is that she's interested in so many genuine topics. For example, she wants to blend astrophysics with philosophy, with materialism. So there are a lot of things going on in her brain.”
- “I think [my daughter] is developing academic skills, developing social skills, developing interests in the general subjects, intersectional interests, and also, the most important thing, is that she is developing critical thinking [at Keystone International School]. She is thinking out of the box. ... This shows to me that she is already involved in the creativity of academic thinking. She tries to find her own way, and she tries to question things which are not in the form of education.”
- “The most important thing is, for sure, academic excellence. Keystone International School is very much a way [for students] to develop those skills. The second most important thing for me ... is creativity. There are a lot of formal schools around which can offer a good education, and you graduate, and you get good marks, and get accepted in university, but this genuine feeling of creativity is very rare for schools to offer.”
- “I'm very much happy that [my daughter] is growing up worrying about what's going on, in the community, in the world. With the recent racist actions in the United States, she was actively engaging in the discussions, and she was thinking how to improve it. … She had friends in the United States, and was communicating with them. This is very important for me, that [my daughter] grows up not only thinking about herself and the small world around her, but she is developing wings, and she's flying around the world, and seeing what is going on.”
- “[My daughter] is trying to bend the universe around her, so she's finding her own way and she is scrolling through to the final destination to her goals. So this is also a very important skill for the young personality. We developed those skills in the middle ages, and I'm happy that as a teenager, at 15 years old, [my daughter] knows her way. I think this is because of Keystone International School”.
- “If you want to develop certain skills in your child, like creativity, open-mindedness, environmentalism, thinking out of the box, critical thinking, and divergent thinking, these are important skills, and very few schools are offering them. So when you step into the Keystone International School, you will feel it.”