Keith Basics

Keith Country Day School is a fully-accredited, independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school founded in 1916 by Belle Emerson Keith. Keith School serves students from age three through grade 12 from Rockford and throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Keith School is organized into a Lower School (ages 3 to grade 5), a Middle School (grades 6 to 8) and an Upper School (grades 9 to 12). The average instructional class size is 12 students. We have over 50 full and part-time faculty members; 65% of our faculty hold advanced degrees from selective colleges and universities from around the world. As one of the area’s leading independent schools, Keith offers the very best in educational opportunities for students as they prepare for the challenges of collegiate life. Our goal is to enroll a talented, motivated, and diverse student body from every economic, ethnic, and social background. Financial assistance is available for grades 1-12.

To prepare children for lives of meaning and purpose.

To be the finest independent college-preparatory school in the region by:

  • fostering in each child a sense of confidence and independence, an understanding of human relations and the importance of scholarship and leadership;
  • emphasizing academic excellence and individual achievement; challenging students to grow intellectually, artistically, athletically, and personally;
  • preparing students for admission to and success in college;
  • instilling in students standards of integrity which emphasize responsibility for one’s own actions, respect for the rights of others, and acceptance of the importance of work;
  • preparing students for responsible citizenship, volunteerism, leadership, and environmental stewardship;
  • embracing the traditional country day school philosophy;
  • educating students to be lifelong learners and ethical human beings.

Keith will fulfill its vision by:

  • hiring, developing, and retaining an outstanding, energetic, and enthusiastic faculty and staff;
  • admitting and retaining creative, highly motivated, and intellectually curious students;
  • attracting families committed to the vision of the school;
  • recruiting board members supportive of the tenets of independent schools and actively dedicated to furthering the vision of the school;
  • developing the financial resources necessary to support the school’s needs.

8:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. (Monday); 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. (Tuesday through Friday)
Students can be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m.
After school care is available from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m.

The country day schools, grounded in the progressive education movement, began in the 1920s. They are well known for having longer school days and preparing students for the best colleges. They also stress the relationships that students have among themselves and with their teachers. Together they establish traditions that create and express community such as regular morning meetings, service learning, and personalized instruction.

From a global perspective, country day schools believe in responsible care of the environment as well as community service to broaden the students’ view of the world and enhance social responsibility. In addition, student government and an emphasis on democracy are central to a country day school. It is through responsibility and understanding of the democratic process that students learn to value their place in a democratic society. Arts and athletics are also important activities.

Essentially, country day schools are committed to community, democracy, artistic and physical development, and global consciousness, as well as to the highest standards of academic excellence. Thus, the country day school strives to educate the whole child.

Independent schools are non-profit entities who create their own mission. They are typically governed by a Board of Trustees whose primary responsibilities are policy making, fundraising initiatives, and fiduciary management. Day-to-day operations are directed by a Head of School who manages the administration and faculty, influences instructional leadership, and establishes academic standards and goals with the faculty.

Independent school accreditation standards are rigorous and validated by a national commission. The schools focus on educating the whole child and offering experiences that reach beyond core academic areas. They have the freedom to promote creative thinking in hands-on ways and to introduce students to exciting and challenging subjects including art, music, drama, foreign languages, global and environmental studies, and technology. The schools maintain small class sizes so that teachers can know their students well and attend to each student’s individual strengths, skills, and needs.

Independent Schools Association of the Central States
Illinois State Board of Education

The College Board
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)
National Business Officers Association (NBOA)
Educational Records Bureau (ERB)
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History