Keys at a Glance


At Keys, we believe the best preparation for an ever-changing world is a strong foundation that gives your child the skills to overcome challenges and create opportunities. We honor our students for all they are today, and all they hope to become tomorrow.

Grade Levels

Kindergarten – Grade 8


Palo Alto, CA


320 students

Class Size

Approximately 18 students in a class
Student to teacher ratio of 7:1


California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)

School Hours

Grades K–1: 8:30am–3:00pm
Grades 2–4: 8:30am–3:10pm
Grades 5–8: 8:40am–3:20pm

Extended Day Hours

Grades K-4: 7:30am-8:30am
Grades 5-8: 7:30am-8:40am

Grades K-4: 3:00pm-6:00pm
Grades 5-8: 3:30pm-6:00pm

An Enriched Program

Art, music, science, theatre arts, athletics, technology, invention, social and emotional learning, library, world language, health and wellness, robotics, outdoor education, design thinking…


Harkening from across the globe and up and down The Peninsula, Keys families are connected by a shared purpose. We are truly here for each other and our children. Administrators, teachers and families work in partnership, maintaining open channels of communication as we strive toward the common goal – to see each student thriving as a student and a person.

Community Engagement

Our diverse, inviting, and down-to-earth community is one of our greatest strengths. Focused around family and fun, community events both within and across grade levels form the foundation of lifelong friendships, for students and families alike. Our active and inclusive family/guardian association (Keys School Association) organizes a wide-range of community events including both casual playdates in the park for each grade to all-school events such as Skate Night, Fall and Spring Picnics, and our all-school Halloween Parade. We welcome not only parents, but grandparents and special friends to share in our students’ special moments, including musical concerts, class plays, publishing parties, and other special celebrations.


Volunteerism is key in building a strong school community, and we encourage all parents to participate throughout their time at Keys. From bringing snacks to a class party to serving as a Room Parent or Trustee, there are many opportunities to get involved both on and off campus. We encourage you to contribute in a way that best fits your style and schedule.

After School Care

After-School care is available for students Monday-Friday from 3:30-6:00 p.m and includes a healthy snack. After school care at Lower School allows time for homework, community outreach, cooperative games, science projects, and more. After school care at Middle School offers a quiet space for homework/study hall.

Care for Vacation Days

We offer care for students in all grades, K-8, on conference days, professional development days, and during the weeks of Winter Break in February and Spring Break in April. Students participate in activities and local field trips.

Summer Camp

Keys Summer Camp is available for a portion of the summer for returning Keys students in grades K-7 and is designed to help students expand their social circles, develop friendships with students of different ages, and enhance individual and team skills in a fun environment.


Free transportation shuttles are provided for travel between the Caltrain station and both school campuses in the morning and after school dismissal and again after sports/activities.


2023–2024 School Year
K–4: $39,900
5–8: $43,800

Our comprehensive tuition includes all overnight and day field trips, outdoor education trips, most school supplies, team sports and equipment, and before school care.

Financial Assistance

An important part of our mission at Keys is to maintain a diverse student body. One way we can do that is by providing financial assistance. In recent years, Keys School has budgeted over $1,100,000 in financial assistance.


Keys was founded in 1973 by Betsey Danon and Inge Zumwalt, two Palo Alto school teachers who had a vision of creating an independent school that focused on the development of the “whole child.” With only seventeen students, these teachers built a home-like place where curious students could become thoughtful, responsible, and caring individuals. From these simple beginnings, Keys School has matured, without losing sight of our core values and mission. Today, a school of more than three hundred students on two campuses, Keys provides an unique educational experience, preparing students to be confident problem solvers, exceptional communicators, and self-aware individuals who are ready for whatever their futures hold.

"I want my students to be curious about the world, always challenge why things are the way they are, and find ways to come up with new solutions." Ben, Technology Integration Specialist