Key School Information for New Families

Welcome to Key! We’re very excited that you have joined our community. Here are some tips to help you navigate your new school. Please also read the School Handbook found on the home page under Important Documents.

  • Communication: 
    • E-Newsletters: Once you have created your account in Key School's Membership Toolkit site you will automatically start receiving two weekly e-newsletters, one from the School (called Principal's Corner) and one from the PTO (called Next Week at Key or NW@K). Next Week at Key is usually emailed on a Sunday night and Principal's Corner is emailed during the week. They are the primary source for learning about school news, upcoming events and ways to get involved at the school.
    • Emails from various members of Key School Staff and the PTO will also be sent via Membership Toolkit (for example, emails from Key Admin (Principal Landeryou and Assistant Principal Green), the PTO Presidents, the School Nurse, as well as e-Newsletters from the Equity Team and Inner Core Teachers.
    • Room Parents can also use the Message Board feature in Membership Toolkit to post messages to parents in their class or grade.

For any emails, e-Newsletters or Message Board posts that are sent via Membership Toolkit you will receive a copy both in your email inbox as well as in your Membership Toolkit Account. Download the App to your mobile and click on Messages to keep track of your important school communications. You can also use the Translate feature in Membership Toolkit (found in the top left hand corner of the home page).

  • Get active in the PTO: Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is an active participant in your student and family’s Key experience.  All Key Community members are by default, members of the PTO.  Although not required for membership, please support the PTO by paying your dues to help us keep all of our programming possible. The PTO meets every other month with the Principal and Assistant Principal and all parents/caregivers are welcome to attend and participate in these open meetings. If you would like to find out more about what is happening in the school, attending PTO meetings is a great way to learn more and is also an opportunity to submit items for discussion and ask questions. More information about PTO meetings can be found here.
  • School Supplies (Bulk Supplies): There is no need to purchase any school supplies for your student. The PTO and the teachers order supplies for every student for the entire school year. Ordering supplies in bulk represents a significant cost saving and ensures all of our students have equal access to everything they need. We ask all families to please pay their bulk supplies fee at the beginning of the school year.


  • DCPS Provided Technology

    During the school year, DCPS provides technology in the form of iPads and Microsoft Surface Tablets.  Students in Grades 3-5 have a student to device ratio of 1:1.  Students in grades K-2, have a student to device ratio of 1:3.  Finally Pre-K students are provided iPads with a student to device ratio of 1:3.  Students in grades 3-5 are given both a DCPS contract and a Key School contract to provide the rules and expectations for device use while at school.  The DCPS devices will always remain at school, unless a teacher has directly contacted you about the students bringing their devices home.  The Key contract is shown below, you can find a link to the full contract on the school website.


    Key School Device Contract

  • School Meals:  Breakfast is free for all DCPS students and is provided daily.  Lunches are available for purchase using a cashless system called My School Bucks. To set up an account for your child, go to account, download the My School Bucks app, or contact DCPS' Food & Nutrition Services directly at or 202-299-2159. Click here if you would like to apply for DCPS' Free and Reduced Price Meals.  Weekly breakfast and lunch menus are published every Sunday evening in the PTO newsletter, NW@K.  Students who do not purchase lunch should bring a packed lunch daily.  Refrigeration is not available.
  • Calendar of Events: The PTO and the school administration work together to create a calendar of events for the year. You can find details each week at the end of NW@K and Principal's Corner or by clicking on the calendar (which includes both the overall DCPS calendar in addition to specific Key School events).
  • School Directory: Membership Toolkit is the software that Key uses for its electronic Family Directory and also for its Staff/Faculty Directory.  Download the Membership Toolkit App on your mobile device once you have registered and you can easily access both the directory of students and families as well as the faculty directory. The Directory can only be viewed by current Key School families and faculty. You can choose which information you would like to be included in the online directory.
  • Car Drop Off: For SY23-24, we will have two entrances. Families whose youngest child is in PreK or K will drop off all their students at the old entrance on Hurst Terrace and enter through the red doors at the top of the stairs. Families whose youngest child is in 1st through 5th will drop off all their students at the main entrance on Eskridge Terrace.  Please follow the suggested driving pattern to help keep our families safe and respect the neighborhood (see Map). During morning drop off, Eskridge Terrace is a ONE-WAY STREET heading from Garfield toward Dana Place to ensure the safety of our children. Please observe the traffic signs and follow the school traffic pattern to assure a necessary one-way flow of traffic clockwise around the school block. Drive north along Hurst Terrace, turn right and head east on Garfield Street, turn right and continue south on Eskridge Terrace to main entrance.
  • Aftercare & Before Care: The Key School Extended Hours Program (KEHP) offers Before Care and After Care. Due to high demand there are a limited number of places available, so if you are interested, please email the KEHP Director, Mrs. Ann Conway, to check availability and add your student(s) name(s) to the waitlist.
  • Other Student Activities: In addition to KEHP, the PTO organizes a variety of opportunities for students to engage in after school and during Professional Development days. These include everything from karate to chess, arts and crafts to foreign languages. The information on how to enroll in these classes will appear in the NW@K e-newsletter, and you can find information under the After School Programs tab on this site. Active Play sponsors an enrichment program called ASEP (After School Enrichment Program). More information about ASEP offerings and registration will be posted in NW@K.
  • Volunteering for Key: There are so many opportunities for our students and families at Key, and we can’t make those happen without your help. Volunteering is a great way to meet other Key families while helping make our community great. There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities to help make your family’s Key experience special—from one-day opportunities (pizza sales! Harvest Fest! clean-up days!) to longer engagements as part of one of our committees. You can find information about volunteer opportunities here or you can contact the PTO committee chairs directly to express interest in helping out.

We look forward to meeting you and hope that these tips help you out. Again, welcome to Key—we’ll see you on the Blacktop (that's the basketball court on the top playground outside the gym)!


Kate Noonan & Courtney Parkinson, PTO Co-Presidents