Upper School

Keystone’s Upper School offers an accelerated college preparatory program with roots in the liberal arts tradition, experiential outdoor learning and a collaborative student culture.

Led by excellent teachers, students hone strong writing and critical thinking skills throughout a rigorous core curriculum and through engagement with the AP program, graduating seniors earn between 12-30 hours of college credit.

These foundations, partnered with student opportunities to increasingly specialize their interests through extensive electives and extracurricular programs, lead to a program where students can explore, engage and excel.

There is no place like Keystone. We take curious, motivated students, provide them valuable academic training, foster their interpersonal talents and inspire a concern for themselves and their world. It is no wonder that when coupled with a thorough and caring college counseling program, our students successfully compete for admission to the nation’s top colleges and universities and thrive while there.

Keystone students learn so much from the traditional academic classroom, but being out in the world to give back and understand their local community is an essential part of Keystone’s mission too. We maintain that students can only serve their full potential for positive impact when they develop as scholars and as well-rounded, caring individuals. Keystone’s Upper School students achieve their remarkable results due to their commitment to maintaining a culture of lifting each other up, respecting differences and honoring free inquiry.

Upper School students serve the community beyond Keystone in several ways:

slideshow49462_3
  • The Foreign Language Club works with local charities against domestic violence and in international efforts with the Heifer Project.
  • National Honor Society works through a variety of initiatives, helping with the Rock and Roll Marathon, MLK March, Habitat for Humanity and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
  • Upper School students devote half a day before Spring Break helping out with organizations such as San Antonio Pets Alive, San Antonio Parks and Recreation, the DoSeum and the San Antonio Food Bank. That day alone, Upper School students volunteered a total of more than 300 hours on Friday, gaining exposure to help understand needs in their greater San Antonio community.

Curriculum

Our extensive advisory and counseling program gives students the information and life skills needed to make wise decisions around human sexuality, their online media presence and harmful substances. Two counselors co-teach a class entitled Self and Community to 9th grade students.

The class is designed to help students develop skills to enhance well-being, and make responsible choices when faced with the pressures and challenges of life.  Topics include stress-relief and relaxation skills, communication, strategies for negotiating and refusing peer pressure, and information about alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Our counselors also sponsor the Wellness Council, in which students help lead discussions and events centered around areas of personal health and wellness.

Throughout the main campus, counselors provide support for students and their families, responsive to the emotional needs that arise as a result of life circumstances or due to issues that come up at school. The goal is to help children develop a “toolbox” of skills that they can use to manage their own emotions, friendships, and relationships. We work closely with all three division heads on issues that arise in the classroom, ensuring that our approach to behavioral issues is coordinated and comprehensive, and that emotional needs are addressed.

Activities and Clubs

Keystone offers an array of activities and clubs for students to explore interests, achieve outside the classroom and demonstrate leadership. Among the organizations:

  • Academic World Quest Competition
  • Astronomy
  • Debate Club
  • Foreign Language Club
  • Junior Statesman
  • The Keynote newspaper
  • Literary Magazine
  • MathCounts
  • Model United Nations
  • National Honor Society
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Science Fair
  • Stone Soul (original music and poetry in a non-competitive environment)
  • Student Council
  • Students for Environmental Action and Service
  • Theater Club
  • Yearbook

Special Events include:

  • Dances, including prom
  • Halloween activities and competitions
  • Service Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Field Day
  • Speaker Series (Advisory Program)

Outdoor Education

Another aspect of the Keystone experience that elevates it is our Outdoor Education program. It begins in Middle School with short visits inside Texas and an 8th grade trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The purpose of these excursions is to introduce students to incredible natural beauty and the joys of the outdoors, and to give students an opportunity to know each other better outside of the classroom. The student/teacher relationships which develop from such experiences are unique to Keystone. Sharing a colorful sunset on a much needed break along a long trail, or sincere sharing around a campfire have formed some of the most meaningful experiences that our students cherish throughout their lives.

9th Grade

The ninth grade travels to the Olympic Park Institute (“OPI”) at the northern edge of the Olympic National Park in mid-September. Olympic National Park contains both mountain terrain and a rainforest. OPI offers a varied selection of programs for our students including:

  • Forest Ecology
  • Watershed Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Elwha River Project

The class is divided into 3 groups for daily instruction and hands-on experience in an outdoor setting by OPI professional staff. One of our 4 trip sponsors accompanies each group.

Lodging and food are provided by OPI. The cabins are comfortable and heated. The OPI web site provides a wealth of supplemental information.

10th Grade

The tenth grade travels to Yosemite National Institute (“YNI”) in Yosemite National Park in mid-November. YNI offers a strong educational program based upon the varied resources of this unique national park. Activities include studying the sequoias, orienteering, navigating in the total darkness of an underground cave, and hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls.

Lodging and food are provided by YNI. The cabins are comfortable and heated. The trip also includes one challenge hike. The YNI web site provides a wealth of supplemental information.

11th Grade

Juniors visit Civil War battle sites, hike in the Shenandoah National Park and spend two days exploring DC museums and the Mall. These visits supplement their studies in American history and American literature.

Among their excursions, students will visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Gallery of Art.

Students will lodge in a cabin camp in Prince William Forest, southeast of the DC area.

12th Grade

Seniors travel to the Tampa, Florida area for wetlands research, marine biology instruction, a break from the intensive college application process and to celebrate the senior year with friends.  Side trips will include canoeing, hiking in Lake Myakka State Park, a visit to Siesta Key and swimming with manatees at Crystal River.

Keystone has historically been the top performing school in local and statewide Science Fair competitions, often sending students to national and international competitions. Our Academic World Quest team has qualified for their national competition for 9 straight years and was the best in the nation in 2016. Our Model UN students regularly win local conference awards and our 3-year-old Upper School Robotics program has already qualified to compete at the state level.

Upper School Curriculum

9th grade10th grade11th grade12th grade
English 9English 10AP English LanguageAP English Literature
World HistoryAP European HistoryAP US HistoryPolitical Science & Civics
Algebra 2AP StatisticsPre-calculusElective 1
BiologyChemistryRequired science electiveElective 2
French 2/Spanish 2French 3/Spanish 3Elective 2Elective 3
Wellness CourseRequired arts elective

Electives offered include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP French
  • AP Physics
  • AP Spanish 4 and 5
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Modern Global Issues: Europe
  • Physics
  • Practical Ethics

Art electives include:

  • 2D design
  • 3D Design
  • Creative Writing
  • Digital Media
  • Drawing
  • Film Studies
  • Modern Acting
  • Rock Band
  • Rock Lab

While Keystone is rightfully known for its academic excellence, our students also shine outside of the classroom, in the arts and on the court, field or gym. Our students can explore visual and theatrical arts as classes and as extracurricular activities.

ARTS

Upper School students can select electives that broaden their creative horizons that include:

  • Theatre Appreciation — Beginning with a reading and analysis of a seminal work of dramatic literature, students learn about the playwright and the history of the play and segue to preparing and performing scenes and monologues and working in groups to create a design concept for the play.
  • Modern Acting — Students learn the basics of acting in the theater by developing the tools needed in every actor’s toolkit: mind, body, voice, and imagination. They will write and perform original monologues and scenes, and works from 20th century dramatists.
  • Film Studies — An in-depth study of great films from the silent era to today,  to enhance students’ appreciation of the art form.
  • Digital Media — Students analyze and assess current and emerging creative technologies, while designing and producing two-dimensional and three-dimensional multimedia projects.

Outside of class, activities include:

  • Theater productions — Upper School stages entirely student-run Fall and Spring productions
  • Litmag — Keystone’s literary magazine regularly wins regional and national awards
  • Stone Soul — Quarterly open mike nights provide opportunities for students to perform their own poetry, music and spoken word in a supportive and non-competitive environment

ATHLETICS

All Upper School students must earn physical education sports credit, which can be earned by participating in a competitive sport at Keystone or through managing a sports team.

Our high school athletic programs strive to develop fundamental skills, and focus on excellence in execution. Players are put in positions to get the most out of their athletic talent, cultivate leadership skills and understand “team-first” responsibility. At the junior varsity level, our goal is to have all players play each game.

Competitively, Keystone is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools and its teams are classified as TAPPS 3A.

Like they excel in the classroom, Keystone students often shine in athletic pursuits. Most recently, Cobras advanced to district playoffs in Volleyball and won an Area Championship in Girls Basketball and advanced to the top 8 in the state tournament of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

Sports include:

  • Varsity & Junior Varsity Volleyball
  • Varsity & Junior Varsity Boys Basketball
  • Varsity Girls Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Boys & Girls Golf
  • Softball
  • Boys & Girls Tennis
  • Boys & Girls Track & Field
Culture & Community

Keystone students learn so much from the traditional academic classroom, but being out in the world to give back and understand their local community is an essential part of Keystone’s mission too. We maintain that students can only serve their full potential for positive impact when they develop as scholars and as well-rounded, caring individuals. Keystone’s Upper School students achieve their remarkable results due to their commitment to maintaining a culture of lifting each other up, respecting differences and honoring free inquiry.

Upper School students serve the community beyond Keystone in several ways:

slideshow49462_3
  • The Foreign Language Club works with local charities against domestic violence and in international efforts with the Heifer Project.
  • National Honor Society works through a variety of initiatives, helping with the Rock and Roll Marathon, MLK March, Habitat for Humanity and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
  • Upper School students devote half a day before Spring Break helping out with organizations such as San Antonio Pets Alive, San Antonio Parks and Recreation, the DoSeum and the San Antonio Food Bank. That day alone, Upper School students volunteered a total of more than 300 hours on Friday, gaining exposure to help understand needs in their greater San Antonio community.

Curriculum

Our extensive advisory and counseling program gives students the information and life skills needed to make wise decisions around human sexuality, their online media presence and harmful substances. Two counselors co-teach a class entitled Self and Community to 9th grade students.

The class is designed to help students develop skills to enhance well-being, and make responsible choices when faced with the pressures and challenges of life.  Topics include stress-relief and relaxation skills, communication, strategies for negotiating and refusing peer pressure, and information about alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Our counselors also sponsor the Wellness Council, in which students help lead discussions and events centered around areas of personal health and wellness.

Throughout the main campus, counselors provide support for students and their families, responsive to the emotional needs that arise as a result of life circumstances or due to issues that come up at school. The goal is to help children develop a “toolbox” of skills that they can use to manage their own emotions, friendships, and relationships. We work closely with all three division heads on issues that arise in the classroom, ensuring that our approach to behavioral issues is coordinated and comprehensive, and that emotional needs are addressed.

Activities and Clubs

Keystone offers an array of activities and clubs for students to explore interests, achieve outside the classroom and demonstrate leadership. Among the organizations:

  • Academic World Quest Competition
  • Astronomy
  • Debate Club
  • Foreign Language Club
  • Junior Statesman
  • The Keynote newspaper
  • Literary Magazine
  • MathCounts
  • Model United Nations
  • National Honor Society
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Science Fair
  • Stone Soul (original music and poetry in a non-competitive environment)
  • Student Council
  • Students for Environmental Action and Service
  • Theater Club
  • Yearbook

Special Events include:

  • Dances, including prom
  • Halloween activities and competitions
  • Service Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Field Day
  • Speaker Series (Advisory Program)

Outdoor Education

Another aspect of the Keystone experience that elevates it is our Outdoor Education program. It begins in Middle School with short visits inside Texas and an 8th grade trip to Yellowstone National Park.

The purpose of these excursions is to introduce students to incredible natural beauty and the joys of the outdoors, and to give students an opportunity to know each other better outside of the classroom. The student/teacher relationships which develop from such experiences are unique to Keystone. Sharing a colorful sunset on a much needed break along a long trail, or sincere sharing around a campfire have formed some of the most meaningful experiences that our students cherish throughout their lives.

9th Grade

The ninth grade travels to the Olympic Park Institute (“OPI”) at the northern edge of the Olympic National Park in mid-September. Olympic National Park contains both mountain terrain and a rainforest. OPI offers a varied selection of programs for our students including:

  • Forest Ecology
  • Watershed Science
  • Earth Sciences
  • Elwha River Project

The class is divided into 3 groups for daily instruction and hands-on experience in an outdoor setting by OPI professional staff. One of our 4 trip sponsors accompanies each group.

Lodging and food are provided by OPI. The cabins are comfortable and heated. The OPI web site provides a wealth of supplemental information.

10th Grade

The tenth grade travels to Yosemite National Institute (“YNI”) in Yosemite National Park in mid-November. YNI offers a strong educational program based upon the varied resources of this unique national park. Activities include studying the sequoias, orienteering, navigating in the total darkness of an underground cave, and hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls.

Lodging and food are provided by YNI. The cabins are comfortable and heated. The trip also includes one challenge hike. The YNI web site provides a wealth of supplemental information.

11th Grade

Juniors visit Civil War battle sites, hike in the Shenandoah National Park and spend two days exploring DC museums and the Mall. These visits supplement their studies in American history and American literature.

Among their excursions, students will visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Gallery of Art.

Students will lodge in a cabin camp in Prince William Forest, southeast of the DC area.

12th Grade

Seniors travel to the Tampa, Florida area for wetlands research, marine biology instruction, a break from the intensive college application process and to celebrate the senior year with friends.  Side trips will include canoeing, hiking in Lake Myakka State Park, a visit to Siesta Key and swimming with manatees at Crystal River.

Academic Excellence

Keystone has historically been the top performing school in local and statewide Science Fair competitions, often sending students to national and international competitions. Our Academic World Quest team has qualified for their national competition for 9 straight years and was the best in the nation in 2016. Our Model UN students regularly win local conference awards and our 3-year-old Upper School Robotics program has already qualified to compete at the state level.

Upper School Curriculum

9th grade10th grade11th grade12th grade
English 9English 10AP English LanguageAP English Literature
World HistoryAP European HistoryAP US HistoryPolitical Science & Civics
Algebra 2AP StatisticsPre-calculusElective 1
BiologyChemistryRequired science electiveElective 2
French 2/Spanish 2French 3/Spanish 3Elective 2Elective 3
Wellness CourseRequired arts elective

Electives offered include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP French
  • AP Physics
  • AP Spanish 4 and 5
  • Economics
  • International Relations
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Modern Global Issues: Europe
  • Physics
  • Practical Ethics

Art electives include:

  • 2D design
  • 3D Design
  • Creative Writing
  • Digital Media
  • Drawing
  • Film Studies
  • Modern Acting
  • Rock Band
  • Rock Lab
Arts & Athletics

While Keystone is rightfully known for its academic excellence, our students also shine outside of the classroom, in the arts and on the court, field or gym. Our students can explore visual and theatrical arts as classes and as extracurricular activities.

ARTS

Upper School students can select electives that broaden their creative horizons that include:

  • Theatre Appreciation — Beginning with a reading and analysis of a seminal work of dramatic literature, students learn about the playwright and the history of the play and segue to preparing and performing scenes and monologues and working in groups to create a design concept for the play.
  • Modern Acting — Students learn the basics of acting in the theater by developing the tools needed in every actor’s toolkit: mind, body, voice, and imagination. They will write and perform original monologues and scenes, and works from 20th century dramatists.
  • Film Studies — An in-depth study of great films from the silent era to today,  to enhance students’ appreciation of the art form.
  • Digital Media — Students analyze and assess current and emerging creative technologies, while designing and producing two-dimensional and three-dimensional multimedia projects.

Outside of class, activities include:

  • Theater productions — Upper School stages entirely student-run Fall and Spring productions
  • Litmag — Keystone’s literary magazine regularly wins regional and national awards
  • Stone Soul — Quarterly open mike nights provide opportunities for students to perform their own poetry, music and spoken word in a supportive and non-competitive environment

ATHLETICS

All Upper School students must earn physical education sports credit, which can be earned by participating in a competitive sport at Keystone or through managing a sports team.

Our high school athletic programs strive to develop fundamental skills, and focus on excellence in execution. Players are put in positions to get the most out of their athletic talent, cultivate leadership skills and understand “team-first” responsibility. At the junior varsity level, our goal is to have all players play each game.

Competitively, Keystone is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools and its teams are classified as TAPPS 3A.

Like they excel in the classroom, Keystone students often shine in athletic pursuits. Most recently, Cobras advanced to district playoffs in Volleyball and won an Area Championship in Girls Basketball and advanced to the top 8 in the state tournament of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

Sports include:

  • Varsity & Junior Varsity Volleyball
  • Varsity & Junior Varsity Boys Basketball
  • Varsity Girls Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Boys & Girls Golf
  • Softball
  • Boys & Girls Tennis
  • Boys & Girls Track & Field