About Key School

A School within a School 




A Unique Educational 
Solution

Key School was established in 1997 to provide a high-quality, innovative education for bright children with language-based learning differences. As a division of Carolina Day School, Key operates as a “school within a school.” We serve the needs of students from our other divisions as well as students from other independent and public schools throughout western North Carolina and beyond.

Transformation through Research-based Learning Approach

We use the multisensory Orton-Gillingham approach, which is based on more than 60 years of research and practice. 

Developing New Pathways for Learning: Raising Achievement to Match Potential

Our unique curriculum is highly individualized and cognitive. Our lessons are anchored in multisensory language instruction that stimulates and builds auditory, visual, and tactile/kinesthetic pathways to learning. We teach the structure of language and the tools that improve reading, writing, spelling, and math. By creating an educational environment that removes major obstacles to learning, Key School’s intensive program helps close the gap between students’ achievement and potential, enabling most students to transition after two to three years.

Our Secret to Success: Exceptionally Trained Teachers and Small Class Sizes

In core areas such as reading, writing, and spelling, Key students benefit from a low student/teacher ratio of 3:1. Every teacher at Key School fosters and exemplifies continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of competency with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are likewise trained in the multisensory math principles and approach.

Key School provides its own internationally accredited teacher training program to all faculty under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham trained; two-thirds of the faculty have achieved national certification in multisensory language teaching and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.

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