Upper School Student Life

At Keith, high school student life offers a wide range of opportunities in and out of the classroom. While academics are of the utmost importance, we also want our students to have the freedom to further develop their given abilities, discover hidden talents and stretch their personal growth.

Participating in a sport you never thought you would play, stepping into the stage spotlight, debating a difficult international topic during a Model UN weekend, sitting at a pottery wheel or becoming an environmental activist are just some of the wide array of clubs, activities, and opportunities available to our students outside of the classroom.

We offer more than 30 clubs, sports and activities for Upper School students, many of which involve volunteering at non-profit organizations. Our graduating classes of 20-35 students dedicate on average between 3,5000-4,500 hours of service each year including, giving back to the community by lending a hand with lower school student programs, raising money for cancer research, helping feed the homeless, and many other needy populations in the Rockford region, the state of Illinois and beyond.

After-School Study Hall

Our Middle and Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in study hall after school until 5:30 p.m. All students are supervised by a faculty proctor who is available for homework help. Students can also use the time to connect directly with their teachers if they need extra help.

Advisory Program

Each student from 5th – 12th grade is assigned an advisor who meets with the advisory group each morning during the homeroom time slot and with individual students and their families as the need arises. The advisor acts as a home-to-school liaison to review grades, plan the academic program and encourage co-curricular involvement and leadership.

Rotating Schedule

At Keith, we understand that a traditional five-day, six- or seven-period schedule limits students’ educational opportunities. It is for that reason that many years ago, our school established a unique, rotating schedule to support new and existing programming and provide choices for coursework. Students are presented courses on rotating days and times and have the opportunity to take more electives in their areas of interest. The system has proven successful in helping students and faculty to be at their best while promoting time management skills.

Foreign Language

8 Semesters (in one language)
“The Limits of my Language are the Limits of my World,” reads a poster in one of the foreign language rooms at Keith. This quote serves as an underlying creed of the foreign language department. Keith’s Upper School offers Spanish, Latin, Greek, and French. Using the newest technologies and traditional teaching methods, the department’s goals are to help students build their vocabularies, develop reading and writing skills, enhance their ability to speak accurately and to pronounce confidently, to become familiar with the history and culture of other places and times, to develop insights into the English language and to experience a variety of literary genres.

For graduation, Keith students are required to take four years of high school level courses of the same foreign language. However, many students take on multiple languages, some even selecting high school level courses starting in Middle School.

Student Interest Clubs

Clubs and activities vary from year to year depending upon our students’ interests. Click on the links below to gain insight on some of the examples of current and past clubs and activities.

  • National Honor Society

    The Keith Country Day School National Honor Society Chapter was established in 1998. The National Honor Society is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. Four main purposes guide the Keith chapter: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership; and to develop character in our students. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection.
  • Ambassadors Club

    The Ambassadors Club promotes friendship, service, and school spirit as the “face of Keith” in the school community. Members volunteer at various admission functions throughout the school year, conduct shadow visits, and act as hosts at school events. The Ambassadors Club is open to Middle and Upper School students.
  • Amnesty International

    Amnesty International works to increase awareness of human rights abuses worldwide and act against those abuses. Club members meet regularly to discuss issues and to put in motion appropriate actions, such as letter-writing campaigns, petitions and fundraisers.
  • All Spice

    A co-ed, student-led a cappella group which features members of the advanced vocal ensembles perform at a variety of school events including all-school assemblies, music night and the Fine Arts Festival. The group also performs in the community. All Spice organize its own rehearsals after school.
  • Ceramics Club

    Ceramics Club gives current and aspiring potters an opportunity to practice their art under the guidance of renown Raku artist Robert Sunday and artist/print-maker Mary McNamara-Bernsten and also work on various campus beautification projects.
  • Chess Club

    The Chess Club meets weekly to learn the game of chess and challenge each other to improve skills and strategy. You will often times find a student playing against a teacher during Chess Club meetings. While the competition can become fierce, the Chess Club appreciates new members who who want to play a game that is easy to learn, but difficult to master.
  • Energy Net

    The Energy Net club works all year to help Keith continue its conservation efforts on campus. Whether installing solar panels in the Rhea building, conducting campus energy efficiency audits, or selling t-shirts to promote Earth Day, Energy Net helps save our planet and make Keith become a “greener” campus.
  • French Club

    French Club is open to any Keith Middle or Upper School student who is currently enrolled in a French class, or would like to learn more about France and other Francophone countries. Meetings are held on Fridays after school, and students share French food and watch French-speaking videos and films.
  • GSA Club

    Gender and Sexualities Awareness (formerly Gay-Straight Alliance) is for LGBTQ+ students and their allies. Students meet weekly to discuss various issues important to LGBTQ+ youth and their allies,such as ensuring safe and inclusive learning environments, health and emotional well-being, anti-bullying, issues surrounding coming out, etc. The meeting space is deemed a safe space and students are assured a non-threatening and non-judgmental environment for discussion.
  • Game Club

    Keith School’s board game club brings students together to play modern board/card games. The games played emphasize strategy, cooperation, and many other skills that are notably absent from most traditional board games.
  • Honor Council

    The Honor Council is a group of students responsible for enforcing the ideals expressed in the school’s honor code. Students are elected by faculty and class vote at the beginning of the school year. The representatives in this group are expected to set the example for upholding these ideals themselves. The structure of the honor council includes three representatives from the senior class (one non-voting chair), two representatives from each of the other high school classes,  a vice chair (senior) and two secretaries (one a senior or junior, the other a junior or sophomore).
  • Interact Club

    Interact Clubs are sponsored by Rotary Clubs as a program of Rotary International. The name was created by combining the words “international” and “action.” It fosters leadership and responsible citizenship and promotes international understanding and peace. Rotary Clubs provide guidance and inspiration, but the Interact Clubs are self-governing and self-supporting.
  • Model United Nations

    Designed to be a United Nations simulation, Model UN is an opportunity for students to spend three days in Chicago serving as delegates from foreign nations. The goal of the program is for the students to represent their assigned country’s position on revolving issues and work toward a global solution. More than 2,000 students attend this event annually.
  • Ping Pong Club

    The Ping Pong Club is a fun Friday activity for students to hang out after school and play ping pong on the third floor of the middle and upper school building. This activity is open to all students.
  • Rowing (Crew)

    The Rowing Club practices with the Rockford YMCA. This club competes in the Head of the Rock River Regatta every October, an event that draws over 2000 rowers from across the nation to the Rockford area.