“Keith Country Day School is a very special place that I will always hold in my heart. I attended Keith from 3rd Grade through 12th grade and gained so much more than a High School Diploma. The teachers taught me how to think for myself, and how to manage my time. They did more than just teach me Math, Science, or French. They taught me how to interact with professionals & how to present myself. They helped me grow as a person, and listened to me. They didn’t just grade my papers, but they helped mold me into a better person. I was never told that I couldn’t do something, and they were always there for me when I needed an extra push or a hug. Keith School is more than just an educational institution, it’s a family.” Sarah Ikenberry, Class of 2010
At Keith our students have the opportunity to become involved in a myriad of opportunities. While academics are of the upmost importance, we also want our students to have the freedom to further develop their given abilities, discover hidden talents, and to stretch their personal growth.
Participating in a sport you never thought you would play, stepping up to the spotlight, presenting a case during a Model UN weekend, sitting at a pottery wheel or becoming an environmental activist are just some of the wide array of clubs and activities our students explore outside the classroom.
During any school year, we offer more than 30 clubs, sports and activities for high school students, many of which involve helping non-profit organizations. Last year, our senior class of 18 students, volunteered over 3,921 hours on more than 50 community service projects, 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.
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Each student in grades 6-12 is assigned an advisor who will meet with the advisory group each morning during the homeroom time slot. Advisors will also meet with students and their families as the need arises. The advisor acts as a home-school liaison to review grades and to plan the academic program.
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 events such as the BEK Scholarship Exam, Information Fair, and new student orientation. The Ambassadors Club is open to middle and upper school students.
Amnesty International works to increase awareness of human rights abuses worldwide and to take action to stop those abuses. Club members meet regularly to discuss issues and to put in motion appropriate actions, such as letter-writing campaigns, petitions and fundraisers. The Amnesty International club is primarily for upper school students.
Basil and Rosemary
Basil (all boys) and Rosemary (all girls) are student-led a cappella groups. Members of these advanced ensembles perform music at a variety of school events including all-school assemblies, music night and the Fine Arts Festival. The groups also perform in the community. Basil and Rosemary organize their own rehearsals after school. Both groups are primarily for upper school students only.
Ceramics Club gives current potters an opportunity to practice their art under the guidance of renown Raku artist, Robert Sunday. The club is also open to students interested in learning pottery. In addition to pottery, the club also works on sculptures and other ways to work with clay as an art form.
The Energy Net club works all year to help Keith Country Day School continue with its conservation efforts on campus. Whether its installing solar panels in the Rhea building to conducting campus energy efficiency audits to selling t-shirts to promote Earth Day, Energy Net works throughout the year to help save our planet and help Keith become a “greener” campus. Energy Net is open to upper school students only.
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 is as follows:
* three representatives from the senior class (one non-voting chair)
* two representatives from each of the other high school classes
* a vice chair (senior)
* two secretaries (one a senior or junior, the other a junior or sophomore)
Interact is an international organization of service and social clubs for young people of secondary school age that fosters leadership and responsible citizenship and promotes international understanding and peace. The name was created by combining the words “international” and “action.” Interact Clubs are sponsored by Rotary Clubs as a program of Rotary International. Rotary Clubs provide guidance and inspiration, but the Interact Clubs are self-governing and self-supporting. Clubs take a variety of forms, both single-gender and mixed as well as large and small. The membership base of a club can be drawn from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools from the same community.
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. Model UN is open to upper school students only.
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.
Student Activities Board
The Student Activities Board (SAB) is composed of four seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshman. All students in SAB are elected by class vote. SAB raises money for local charities, supports local food drives, provides leadership opportunities, and sponsors student activities such as Homecoming and Prom.
Each year the art department organizes a team of students to represent Keith Country Day School in the annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition. Challenged by the weather and a high level of competition, students are not permitted to use power tools or any pre-fabricated molds to create their sculptures. Only hand tools are permitted. The snow sculpting competition is open to high school students only.
Tri-M Music Society
Tri-M is an upper and middle school music honor society. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities and to inspire other students to excel at music and leadership. The Keith chapter, run by the students but supervised by an advisor, is one of 4,500 participating in several countries.
Inspired by the book High Noon, 20 Global Problems: 20 Years to Solve Them by JF Richard, the 20/20 Challenge is a National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) initiative where schools from different countries work together on a global problem. Each year Keith students, working via the internet, collaborate with international students to find a solution to a global problem. At the end of the process the two schools submit a writing report of their findings. The 20/20 program is open to upper school students only.
Upper Scholastic Bowl
Scholastic Bowl is an academic competition with a quiz-bowl format designed to encourage and promote academic excellence. Teams consists of five players who are asked questions that demand quick recall of facts from all academic areas, as well as general knowledge, current events, sports and the arts. Keith competes in at least three scholastic bowl invitationals a year and also participates in the Illinois High School Association competitions, which start with the regionals and go to the state finals in April. Since the programs’ inception in 2010, the school has won four regional titles, two sectional titles, and in 2011, 2012, and 2013 finished third in the state finals.
Designed as an academic challenge the World Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) competitions are a series of tests created for the brightest high school students in Illinois and Missouri. The events begin with regional action and conclude with a state championship in April. Test material is drawn from senior high school and freshman level college curricula and written by teams of college and university faculty. Subjects for the events include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics, and physics. Each test production team produces three tests of increasing levels of difficulty, regional, sectional and state finals. Students compete as individuals and as part of a team where they have 40 minutes to complete multiple-choice tests that range in length from 30 questions (computer science) to 100 questions (English).
Keith Country Day School has won more than 15 WYSE regional titles and in 2007 won the state championship. It was the first time a school in the Stateline area won the state title. WYSE competitions are open only to upper school students.
Upper school students compete in at least one math invitational a year and also in the Illinois Council of Teachers Mathematics (ICTM) competitions. ICTM competitions begin regionally and conclude with a state championship in April. Students compete as both individuals and in team events. The subject areas include Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II and pre-Calculus. Keith’s math team has advanced to the state championships for six consecutive years finishing in the top 10 each year.
Certamen is an oral team competition with a format which is a cross between that of College Bowl and that of Jeopardy. It requires a broad-based knowledge of the classics. Questions cover the Latin language (vocabulary, grammar, derivatives), as well as classical mythology, history, and culture. Teams of four students compete in four levels: Junior High, Latin I, Latin II, and Advanced (Latin III-V). Keith has been a member of the Illinois Certamen League for several decades, competing annually in three meets with schools in the Northwestern Illinois Regionals.
Each upper school student must fulfill 90 hours of community service as a requirement for graduation. This service requirement follows the group-based service learning program in the middle school. Goals of Keith’s community service program are:
1) to develop character by providing services to those in need.
2) to appreciate the diversity of the global community and to accept responsibility for the development of that community.
3) to foster the spirit of volunteerism as an integral part of the American way of life.
4) to share one’s resources and talents while acquiring new skills as a volunteer.