Key School Mission

Overcoming learning differences to create individualized educational success.

Key School Vision

Our students are equipped with the skills and strategies necessary to address their learning differences and to achieve their own level of academic confidence and future success.


Key School lifts academic and social performance by:

1. Conducting a comprehensive initial evaluation that provides historical educational insight

2. Placing students in classes based on ability

3. Providing personalized instruction and continuous academic monitoring

4. Equipping our specialized educators with the latest research-supported best practices and professional development in the field of learning differences

Learning Differences

Key School provides a learning environment that caters to children diagnosed with learning differences. Despite their diagnoses, we find many of these students are above grade level in some areas. Our flexible scheduling accommodates the unique requirements of each student and plays a large role in finding academic success.

These learning differences may include:

  • Dyslexia, dygraphia, dyscalculia
  • Auditory processing disorders
  • Attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Processing and memory deficits
  • Anxiety
  • Communications disorders

Quick facts


Student/Teacher Ratio

19 0
1 +
Students Enrolled

About Key School

Key School has served Tarrant County since 1966 as one of the pioneer schools in the state for children with learning differences. The school’s beginnings with Dr. John Richardson and Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital established a reputation of excellence and innovation in the community while connecting with many local schools. As a result, many students with learning differences have been referred to the Key Summer Program. Now Key School provides services to many of the special needs and pediatric medical communities in Dallas/Fort Worth through effectively addressing learning difficulties.

The supporting educational environment at Key School caters to the unique identity of each student and focuses on them as an individual rather than just their learning differences.

Key School equips students with all resources and tools they will need to succeed academically, emotionally, and socially. Educators, therapists, and administrators for all ages and grade levels work to build self-esteem and teach skills to live a life of success. The highly qualified staff of Key School have completed advanced training and received certifications to provide the highest level of support. With no more than four students per teach, every student can receive the individualized attention, support, and mentorship that is one of the school’s greatest strengths.

Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, the Early Childhood Program will offer classes for 3- and 4-year old children, which will focus on kindergarten readiness and lay the foundation for future academic success. The vision for these early childhood classes will prepare young children for their academic career, promote healthy social and primary learning skills, and early reading intervention with an Academic Language Therapist.  Born out of the Key School’s Kindergarten Academic Readiness Summer Program that has been offered since the school’s inception, this concept has been expanded to a Nine-Month Program. Through it Key School will be able to provide its comprehensive early education curriculum and an improved likelihood of academic success to students in Forth Worth and surrounding areas.

School Design with a Purpose

About the new Key School building coming 2019

Key School will be designed with a purpose-built environment and a multisensory approach to learning. Student brains overloaded with stimuli that is not conducive to learning provides additional challenges that prevent educational success. The learning needs of the student will be the driving force behind every decision made in the design and building process of Key School.

  • Flex-spaced classrooms designed for both cooperative learning and small group instruction
  • Flex seating to allow for movement during instruction
  • Indirect and soft overhead lighting with light controls to adjust the intensity of light 
  • Clerestory Windows (windows above eye level) for natural light, and to reduce outside distractions
  • Warm, calming color palette
  • Classrooms equipped with individual technology outlet drops, for access to assisted technology learning
  • Classrooms acoustically sound to avoid distractions
  • Academic Language Therapy classrooms equipped with student learning observation windows and one way mirrors
  • Sensory controlled calming areas to promote positive social and emotional health
  • Outdoor classrooms
  • Student recreation area
  • Open locker spaces for enhanced organization
  • Wooded trails to create a relaxing environment
  • Entryway with a fireplace to create a home environment
  • Enlarged storage spaces for Orton-Gillingham reading materials

The Key To Our History


The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital’s Pediatric Neurology Division initiated a cutting edge language therapy program designed to teach dyslexic students how to read. The program, utilizing the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading and spelling, focused on one-to-one student/teacher interaction. Among the program’s first graduates was Mary Ann Key, who was encouraged to attend by pediatrician John Richardson, M.D.


Mrs. Key and fellow teacher, Mildred Gardner opened Key School’s doors for the first time.


As word spread of this new, specialized way of teaching, demand for the school exceeded what was offered in the Summer Program. To meet this need, a Nine Month Program was added.


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools evaluated the standards and programs of Key School and awarded accreditation which continues today.


At first, the school was held in many temporary locations, including churches and even Mrs. Key’s own house, but in 1996 Key School moved into its current location.


The First Key School graduating class celebrated their graduation. Since that time, over 170 students have graduated from Key School. Our graduation ceremonies are unique in that each student gives a speech and recognizes family and faculty who helped them to get to this point.


A new charitable and educational 501C(3) organization, The New Key School, was formed to acquire and transition Key School into a non-profit status. Key School began offering tuition assistance to low-income students.


Key School began their annual dinner and auction in order to raise funds for financial aid and other needed programs.


A Development Department with a part-time development staff member to raise money for financial aid and other program support was added to the growing needs of the school.


Kerri Benson became the Director of Key School following the retirement of Founder, Mary Ann Key.


Key School celebrated their 50th Anniversary Gala with a unique Academic Decathlon event.


The school expanded in 2018 to become The Key Center for Learning Differences and added the Key School Academic Language Training Program. Leslie Vasquez became the Director of Key School.


Dr. Melanie Royal became the Executive Director and the Key Center for Learning Differences moved to its newest location at 7950 John T. White.

Make A Difference.

Donate today, and change the life of a student.

Key School Summer Program 


Registration NOW OPEN


June 12 – June 30, 2023