Welcome to KEYS Academy!

Knowledge Empowers You for Success

Our SchoolsWelcome to our new KEYS Academy Website! We hope that this site will give you a glimpse into our guiding principles of teaching and learning through Safety, Dignity, and Direction, and the commitment that our talented staff makes as they create and maintain environments in which students are available for learning. If there is any information that you cannot locate on our site, please let us know through the Contact Us link.

KEYS Academy schools are private, day, coeducational special education schools licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to serve special education students in grades K-12 who have classifications of Emotional Disability(ED), Autism, Other Health Impairment (OHI), and/or Specific Learning Disability (SLD). KEYS Academy is committed to providing a quality education to students within their home community, and preparing students, when possible and appropriate, to return successfully to their home schools.

KEYS Academy announces it’s 4th school: KEYS Academy-Caroline

Our SchoolsKEYS Academy -Caroline, located in the Ladysmith Professional Building near I-95, will open its doors to students on Monday, August 10, 2020! Like our other KEYS Academy schools, KEYS Academy-Caroline is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education. We welcome students from a variety of school divisions in the central Virginia area. We will offer the same blended learning model, and our unique social -emotional learning curriculum [an integration of the KEYS for a Big Life curriculum with the Social Thinking curriculum] like our other KEYS Academy schools.

We are excited to not only bring the community a new school with highly qualified staff and advanced technology…but also the security of knowing that we keep safety as a number one priority, especially during these challenging times. Our school will be strictly following all COVID procedures to ensure that your student has a safe and secure environment to access the curriculum and focus on their social/emotional well-being.

Important School Reopening Updates

All four of our KEYS Academy schools are excited to welcome back our students and families for the 2021-2022 school year. Our schools are open for in-person learning 5 days a week this year. Virtual and hybrid learning schedules are also available if requested by the parent and approved by the referring public school and IEP team. Our school day will be from 8:30-2:30 for both in person and remote learning.

All KEYS Academy schools will continue to strictly follow all COVID procedures to ensure that your student has a safe and secure environment to access the curriculum and focus on their social/emotional well-being. We will be following all CDC and VDH guidelines, including having all students, staff, and visitors continue to wear masks in our buildings. We also ask each parent to go through the student daily health screening checklists before sending your child to school each morning, and calling the Director immediately if there are any health concerns.

More information regarding our updated/COVID related policies and procedures can be found in the KEYS Academy health mitigation plan.

Our KEYS Academy schools remain committed to providing relevant learning opportunities via our blended instructional model. As always, we will continue supporting our students in effectively maintaining their well-being through our unique KEYS for a Big Life and Social Thinking curriculum.

Please refer to your specific school’s page for more information.

Health Mitigation Plan can be found here
The Student Health Questions Sheet can be found here
Please click on RESOURCES and LINKS for our online curriculum links for your child.

Core Curriculum

  • Blended learning using digital curriculum tiered to meet individual learning needs (APEX, Edgenuity, Hybridge, Reflex Math, Wilson Reading System, Lexia, and Study Island)
  • Whole group, small group, and individual learning settings
  • Social Thinking (developed by Michelle Garcia Winner)
  • KEYS Curriculum (developed by Sally Twentey and Deborah Moore)


  • Optimize learning opportunities
  • Demonstrate self determination
  • Demonstrate understanding of safety, dignity, and direction
  • IEP goal progress
  • BIK goal progress
  • Return to LEAs

Implicit and unique communication instruction allows student and staff relationships to grow in Safety, Dignity, and Direction.


Academic gains through
  • Reading and math level gains
  • Course progress
  • Course credits
  • Passing SOLs
  • Verified credits and LVC
  • Modified Standard Diplomas (historically)
  • Standard diplomas
  • Return to LEAs
  • Transition to work, trade school, or college