Parent FAQ

How do I get in touch with my child’s teacher?

Your child’s teacher will let you know the best way to communicate with him or her. Typically, the teacher will give you this information at Back to School Night. For many teachers, e-mail is the best means of communication. Each teacher’s e-mail address has the following format:

If you are unsure what the best method is for contacting the teacher, you may call the main phone number at Key School (703) 228-4210 and ask to leave a message in the teacher’s box asking him or her to call you back. If you have not heard back from the teacher within two business days, it will usually mean that the teacher simply hasn’t received your message. Please then send an e-mail to Dr. Myers – – or call her using the telephone number above. If your matter is urgent and you cannot reach the teacher, please contact Dr. Myers or Mrs. Maldonado.

Where should I take my child if I drop him/her off in the morning?

For 2017-18, morning drop off on the first day of school will be in the gym. All children should go to the gymnasium and line up with their class by 8:40 for PrK-1st grade and 8:45 for 2nd -5th. Teachers or assistants will bring the children to the classroom at 8:50 am. If it is after 8:50 am and the class has already left, your child will go directly to his or her class.

All other days, students will have morning outdoor recess and should be dropped off on Key Blvd at the “kiss and ride” at the gate on the basketball court between 8:35 and 8:45 am Teachers will be stationed at the Key Blvd. entrance to guide students. You must drop your child off on the Key School side of the street, not on the other side. If you are on Veitch St. going toward Lee highway, go past Key Blvd to Lee Hwy, turn left onto Lee and at the light make a left onto Adams and then a left onto Key Blvd. If you are coming down Lee Hwy, turn right on Adams and left onto Key Blvd. Do not let your children out on Adams St.

Important: The school parking lot is only for staff. We cannot have buses and cars in our parking lot at the same time. Therefore, we do not have visitor or parent parking at Key. Street parking is available on Veitch street and in various parking decks in the neighborhood.

If my child’s bus arrives late to school in the morning, what should my child do?

In the first weeks, your child may feel lost momentarily, but there are teachers and aides in the gym until well after 9:00. Your child will be escorted to his classroom and they will not be marked “Tardy”. If the bus is very late (after 9am), an announcement is made that “Bus xoxo has just arrived.” Note: To avoid a trip to the office, make sure your child knows the name of his or her homeroom teacher.

If I have to notify my teacher that my child has “non-default” after-school plans on a particular day what should I do?

Your child will have a default after-school plan (i.e. go home on the X bus, be picked up with the walkers, go to extended day, etc.) Please keep in mind that it is extremely disruptive every time you change the regular dismissal plan for your child. If s/he is a bus rider, please wait for your child to get home and then do after school activities. Please only do this on an emergency basis.

If your child is attending an official Key School After-School Enrichment Activity, his or her teacher will be aware of it and will get your child to the proper place. If your child is doing something unusual, you must send a note in to let the teacher know. Check with the teachers to see whether they prefer a written note or an e-mail. If you forget to send a note, call Mary Ann Adcock in the front office (but do not call at the last minute). She will make an effort to locate and notify the teacher for you. Make sure to give the name of the switch (dismissal) teacher. Tip: Never park in any part of the school parking lot during dismissal! YOU WILL GET STUCK. The buses pull in and you can not move your car until they have all left the parking lot (about 4:15 p.m.).

What do I do if my child does not get off the bus in the afternoon?

We recommend programming Transportation’s number – 703-228-6640 – into a cell phone if you have one, and bringing the phone to the bus stop. If you missed picking up your child, if s/he is a 4 or 5 year old s/he will be driven back to Key School. If you call the school, they will call dispatch for you, but if you have Transportation’s #, you can speak to someone immediately. Make sure you know your child’s route number. Please also notify Key School so that we know there is a problem and let us know when the child has been located. If your child is able to remember your cell phone number, that is also helpful and if available, the bus driver could call you. A good idea is to have an index card in your child’s backpack with your name, cell #, bus route and bus stop.

Do I have the option to either send lunch OR have my child buy lunch?

Yes. If you wish to send lunch with your child, please keep the following things in mind.

  1. The children have only 20 minutes to eat (and many of them spend a lot of this time talking), so we recommend not packing anything that is too complicated to eat.
  2. Although there will be adults in the lunch area, you should not expect that you child will regularly be able to get assistance quickly with things like opening packages, spreading jellies or cream cheeses,. Please make certain to pack a lunch your child can handle on his or her own.
  3. There are no facilities for your child to [re]heat food.
  4. There are no restrictions on what food your child can bring to school (e.g. peanut butter restrictions). For children with peanut allergies,there are “no nut” sections of the cafeteria.
  5. Your child is welcome to bring some lunch and buy some lunch (for example, a drink, or fruit), but keep in mind that there is not a lot of time to eat, and the purchasing process takes valuable time.
  6. The menus showing what is available topurchase in the cafeteria each day will be sent home monthly in backpackmail, and is also available on-line on the APS website:

How do I put money into my child’s lunch account?

  • Note: Your child will be issued an account number which will be used to access his/her account. In the beginning, food service staff and cafeteria assistants will assist children in entering their account numbers. If your child’s account is depleted, they will still be served lunch and Food Service will notify you. Payment can be made at any time and any credit will be carried over into the next year.
  • You may use my School Bucks where money can be placed into the account electronically at
  • You may send $20.00 cash in an envelope;include both child’s and homeroom teacher’s name on the envelope.
  • Make a check payable to ACPS and make sure to put your child’s name and grade in the Memo line. Deliver the check to Mary Ann Adcock in the front office.

Is there someone in the cafeteria to assist my child in opening packaged items/containers?

While there are two, paid employees who work in the cafeteria, there are still so many children to attend to it is risky to count on getting help. If you send something difficult to open, have your child try to open it at home first. Or, cut a small slit in the packaging of a new item.

Can I visit my child during school hours?

The best time is during lunch. In fact, we have been encouraged to assist during lunch. There are only two aides assisting in the cafeteria. Any and all assistance is appreciated. It is also a great way to become acquainted with your child’s friends. Don’t forget to sign in and obtain a Visitor’s Pass. NOTE: Most teachers prefer if you do not visit during instructional time starting at 9:00a.m. unless you are volunteering in the classroom at the request of your child’s teacher. Visiting without an appointment disrupts instruction and distracts the children. However, if you would like to volunteer in the classroom please check with your child’s teacher to find out whether she/he needs parent volunteers in the classroom Parents volunteer with field trips, fixing Friday folders or helping with bulletin boards. Parents cannot work as “assistants” with small groups in their child’s classroom. If you would like to work as an instructional volunteer please meet with Mrs. Fernandez to set up something with other classrooms and other groups of children. Kindergarten parents should wait until October before coming in. It is best that the children have gotten comfortable with the routines and used to being at school all day before you come in.

Where can I park?

During school hours, there is no parent parking permitted in the Key parking lot, even in the spots marked “Visitor”.

Generally, if you need to park during school hours (or for pick-up right after school) you should park on Veitch St., which is metered. Please do not park in numbered spots in the Key School lot. They are assigned and quite possibly, a teacher could be arriving late or returning from lunch when you’ve taken their spot. Please be careful about parking in the neighborhood, as almost all of the adjacent streets are zoned for neighborhood parking and you could be ticketed. After school hours there is usually space in the Key School lot. Please keep in mind that the parking lot at Key School is ONE-WAY. You must go around the block to re-enter the lot.

When will I receive the school directory?

Ideally, the Directory should be out sometime in October. Please look for a directory information sheet in your child’s first week Friday Folder and submit the form as soon as possible. The directory will also be delivered electronically.

Will my child have to sit out of PE if he/she does not have sneakers?

This is somewhat true. If your child does not have sneakers/shoes that the PE teacher deems appropriate, he/she will have to sit out. Just remember that your kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade child will have PE every other day. Third and fifth graders have a slightly different schedule. You will receive a schedule which lists those days on which your child will have PE.

How do I sign my child up for After School Enrichment Programs?

During the second week of school, Activities Night is held from 6:30 – 8:00pm on Thursday, September 13th. In the cafeteria, there will be representatives from each program available to answer questions about various after-school programs. They will have flyers/brochures and registration forms. Children are welcome. If you are not able to make Activities Night, flyers will go home via backpack mail the following Friday. Programs are offered at different times throughout the year and are for all kinds of activities, including: Art Classes, Global Odyssey, Flamenco Dance, Mad Science, Ballet, Spanish Chorus, Drama, Creative Play, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Chess Club, Tae Kwon Do, various sports, or yoga.

How will my child get to an Enrichment Program if s/he is in Extended Day?

If the program begins immediately after dismissal, the teacher will escort your child to Extended Day. The person running the Enrichment Program will stop by Extended Day and sign out all children enrolled in the program. You should include in a note to your teacher: “Activity Name”, “Time” and “Beginning and Ending Dates”. Your child will be taken to Extended Day afterwards. If the Enrichment activity begins at another time (for example: soccer begins at 5pm), you should provide a permission slip or signed form permitting your child to be released from Extended Day to the coordinator of the activity for which he/she is attending. A coordinator/teacher/parent from the Enrichment Program will be tasked with escorting the children to their program.

When are the PTA Meetings held and is there childcare?

PTA meetings are held in the library, 3rd floor, generally on the third Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8:00pm. Though, the first meeting of the 2017-18 school year will be held on Tuesday, September 19th at the Activities Fair. Please check the PTA section of the Key School website for the dates of the PTA meetings. The PTA provides childcare. The PTA meetings provide extremely valuable information. You will hear about volunteer opportunities, upcoming events, monthly reports from the principal and committee chairs (fundraising, communications, events, etc.). Speakers are often invited throughout the year to discuss countywide programs (Cyber Crime, Bullying, text book selection, curriculum changes etc.) This is a wonderful way to stay connected with Key School and what’s going in your child’s life.

New for 2017-18:

  • We will alternate having a guest speaker and an open Q&A session with the principal and/ Assistant Principal. If you would like to submit a question for the Q&A session, send an email to
  • Can’t make it to an in-person meeting? We will be streaming meetings live online this year! Stay tuned to the PTA distribution list for details and instructions.

How will I receive information about what is happening at Key School?

Most important information about what is happening at school will get to you via one of the following methods:

(1) Friday Folders (Backpack mail). On Fridays, generally, your child will bring home a folder with information on a variety of topics, including things like permission slips for field trips, information about upcoming events, flyers for various activities and events, etc. You should send the folder back with your child on Monday, and include in it things you want returned to school (such as signed permission slips, orders for things like pictures, yearbooks, etc.)

(2) E-mail. You child’s teacher(s) and/or room parents may periodically send out e-mails with information/requests. In addition, there are two e-mail listserves. The first is the KEY PTA listserve, which is limited to “official” school and PTA announcements. One member of each family automatically will be signed up to the KEY PTA list serv. The PADRES CHARLAN listserve is more of an open forum for Key parents on various issues, including school related ones and more general ones (for example, “can anyone recommend a good dentist who takes XX insurance?”) You can sign up for the listserves at the following links:

(3) THIS WEEK AT KEY. At the beginning of the week, an e-mail entitled THIS WEEK AT KEY (TW@K) will be sent out to the Key PTA listserve. TW@K will have important announcements for the upcoming week, and lists dates for upcoming events. We strongly recommend that you subscribe to the PTA list serve and read TW@K.