Guidance Department


Our guidance counselors work closely with teachers and parents to make our students' school experience the best it can be. We strive to create a warm, trusting relationship with every one of our students and to create a space where they can express themselves freely, knowing they will be accepted and supported. We also welcome parents coming to us with concerns or questions.

Our counselors hold weekly guidance classes to encourage the students' social and emotional growth and to help them discover their unique strengths and potential. We aid our students in developing a growing "toolbox" of skills to help them navigate life's many challenges, now and in the future. These include learning to understand and express their emotions; learning coping skills to manage stress; and learning essential social skills, such as cooperation, effective communication, respect and empathy for others. Our ultimate goal is to help our students develop resilience, confidence, and an optimistic attitude toward the complex world around them.

Finally, we work to create in our students an other-centered outlook, one that reflects our interconnectedness as humans, and the importance of developing an identity that includes kindness and compassion for others. We encourage our students to take an active attitude in bringing the change they want to see into the world around them.  We foster this through many major ongoing projects throughout the year. 

Some examples include our students' participation in global projects like Kids For Peace, The Great Kindness Challenge and other worldwide initiatives like those designed to put an end to bullying.  These month-long projects present tremendous learning opportunities for our students and allow them to connect with other students around the world in pursuit of a common, positive goal.

Additionally, at Keystone we consider service to others to be an integral part of educating our students, so throughout the year students participate in a variety of service projects, some school-wide, but many created by the students in individual classes. In past years these projects have included collecting food and clothing for refugees; participating in a children's drive to build a school in Kenya; using the funds from a bake sale to bring water to a  village in Africa; and carrying out smaller local projects like collecting dog and cat food for shelters;  books and craft materials for local orphanages; and raising awareness of deforestation in Istanbul by connecting people with organizations which enable them to plant trees.

We believe that children have a natural instinct for empathy and a desire to help others, so we provide continuous opportunities for our students to express this drive and realize they have the ability to imagine and achieve goals. We believe a mindset of generosity and gratitude comes naturally to young people, and our mission is to help nurture these seeds for a balanced, joyful and productive life. 

A lifelong skills program is carried out together with the guidance and drama teacher. The lifelong skills program enables students to become psychologically empowered within the group and provides awareness of the behavior that the students should develop. 

During the lifelong skills program, students begin to recognize their own characteristics and potential. They also begin to express themselves better within the group and their communication skills become stronger.