KEYS Academy - Charlottesville

CharlottesvilleKEYS Academy Charlottesville is a Private Day School licensed by the Virginia Department of Education to serve Special Education students in grades K through 12. We are located at 3020 Fontaine Ave Extended, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Our Phone number is 434-995-5810. If you need to reach us by fax, our fax number is 434-995-5768. If you would like to contact us, please click here.


Director's Corner


Carrie Smith

Contact Director

Director’s Corner, December 2022

The first half of the 2022-2023 school year have come to an end. Thank you so much for your support, your communication and your commitment to KEYS Academy-Charlottesville!

We were happy to have the Free Book Bus visit us in September, November, and December! During this time students get to browse books and choose two books to keep! Mrs. Stone works hard to stock the book bus with titles and topics of interest for the students. We can’t wait to have the book bus here again soon!

Students have explored music, art and life skills. In music, students have learned about hip hop and poetry, learned how to count music and write their own beat, and learned about different genres of music. They did an activity where the students were able to share with the class their “go to” song when they are calm or what songs would help them flow back down to a 1 on their I-BAR. They also did an activity where they gave lines from rap songs and lines from Shakespeare and the students had to determine which the song came from. The students really had a blast with it! Once they determined that, they also identified specifically who wrote the song if it was a rap song. In Art, students are working on paper mache pumpkins. They used balloons and covered the balloons with newspaper mixed with glue. Next, the students will be painting them.

In Ms. Taylor’s Elementary School classroom, they are working on the KEY “Focus Forward” and talking a lot about perspectives and how people can perceive things differently. During Social Thinking the elementary school classroom have talked a lot about believing in yourself, and what kinds of things you can say to yourself to keep yourself going. They also did a lot of role plays which all the students enjoy participating in! All the students worked on the KEY “Human Factor” by identifying their strengths and other people’s strengths, as well as how to meet their needs and overcome challenges.

Our lower High School class with Ms. Perkins has explored “Who I Am” in Social Thinking by using magazines to create a collage self-portrait of things that represent themselves. They also painted gratitude rocks to decorate the outside of the school and wrote letters to their future selves to open at the end of the school year. Students have also discussed the KEYS, “Human Factor” and “Can You Hear Where I Am?” Students are making progress with identifying what KEYS are being used by themselves and others around them. Students have been making progress on their reading by participating in Wilson Reading groups.

In Middle School, Mr. Payne’s students talked about the KEY “Who Matters” and outside they drew circles and identified who matters in their life. The class also did a Social Thinking activity called “What Bugs Me” where they colored in a bug and on the legs of the bug they identified things that bothered them. The students really enjoyed it and it helped prepare them for making their BIK (Behavior Intervention Key). They also did an activity called “Mask of Emotions” and the class talked about “I feel” statements. This activity allowed the students to go deeper into their emotions beyond the surface of “I feel happy”, etc. and how to use “I feel” statements when they have a calm well-being or when they need more support. The students also cut out different emotions and identified big and small emotions.

In High School with Mrs. King, the students talked about a fictional character to identify how to use the KEYS to help the character achieve their Big Life goal. The students have enjoyed having conversations about Life Skills such as addressing problems and independence. They’ve done several writing assignments to assist them with thinking about their future.


Carrie Smith, M.A.T.


School News

For the 2022-23 school year, students and staff will be in the building for in-person learning Monday through Friday (5 days a week). Virtual learning is still available for students if needed due to quarantine or other health conditions. Our school day starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m.

Masks are still required to be worn by students, staff, and visitors in our buildings at the start of the 2022-23 school year.. Parents and students will be notified in writing when we are able to ease mask restrictions. Thank you for supporting safety for all of our students and staff.

On December 2017, KEYS Academy-Charlottesville received word that they have been granted accreditation status through VAISEF, Virginia Association of Independent Special Education Facilities. This is a 5 year accreditation period. KEYS Academy-Charlottesville is also licensed through the VDOE. Congratulations, staff, on a job well done!

We follow the Albemarle County Schedule so if they are closed for inclement weather, professional development days, or holidays, KEYS Academy will also be closed.

Important Dates

  • 12/19/22-12/30/22No school for students, Winter Break
  • 1/2/23No school for students, Teacher workday
  • 1/3/23Students return
  • 1/16/23No school for students, holiday
  • 1/23/23No school for students, Teacher workday
  • 2/20/23No school for students, Teacher workday
  • 3/17/23No school for students, All Staff workday