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K-8
Public
Pasadena, CA
Students enrolled: 1,242
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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325 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101

School website
(626) 396-5630
(626) 432-1829
Nearby homes for sale
Map of McKinley School address.

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November 16, 2014
My son just started in middle school at McKinley School in September after spending 6 years in private schools. Amazingly, he is happiest here. The teachers are wonderful and caring, the student body diverse, and, in spite of the increased class size (from private school to public), my son is thriving. The homework load, unlike his past private schools with hours and hours of homework, is certainly fine. McKinley also has an "arts" focus. My son is in the music and arts track and loves being able to have music class EVERY day (great teacher--a former conductor and musician herself). The school is in the process of building a science building, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, and a new kindergarten play area which will greatly expand the school. In addition, there is funding for the restoration of the beautiful (and now, a bit neglected) 1920's building. In spite of what you may have heard about public schools, I strongly suggest you schedule a tour and see for yourself. It is the only K-8 school in Pasadena.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2014
McKinely is gem in the rough, it's teachers are invested so much they have their own kids at this school. My son has THRIVED at the school despite my initial trepidation because of the run down exterior (note, they are currently going to a major upgrade and the school is going to be beautiful!). My son, with the help of his teachers and us at home has surpassed all expectations of his grade level. What is a shame is that Pasadena's resources (I mean major tax revenue), the school does not receive much in funding. With that said, the PTA does an excellent job in keeping programs alive at McKinley: Arts, Science, Phsical Education - they are to be commended for their hard work. Also, parent involvement is evident at every event and that has a great impact on the childrens school pride. I would recommend McKinely to anyone looking for a school that lives in the Old Town/Business District part of Pasadena. In addition to the school, the Y offers a fantastic before/after school program I would strongly recommend to anyone in need of care. GO TIGERS!

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2014
My son is in transitional kindergarten at McKinley. We have been very impressed with his teacher and with the school so far. My son's class is very diverse, both ethnically and socioeconomically. They've taken some really great field trips (Huntington Gardens; Vroman's Bookstore). They place a lot of emphasis on making healthy choices (no candy allowed at school for the kindergartners). All of the other parents with whom I've spoken are also very impressed with the school and the teachers, but unfortunately, because of the poor reputation of Pasadena public schools, all of those parents are planning to either (1) switch to private school; (2) open enroll to other schools with higher ratings; or (3) move to South Pasadena. This is part of the problem with Pasadena public schools. If you like the school and are impressed with the teachers, keep your child there! The school needs the funding, for one thing. The ratings and reviews will never get better if people keep pulling their kids out based on an outdated reputation, and the cycle will just continue. And the private schools will just keep getting richer and richer . . .

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2013
We have been there last year, the food at school is nasty. My kids had been happy with school lunch before we move here but then we have to cook for them. Few day ago I see it look better, maybe the new principle come so he made a new development, I hope so. Will see if new principle can make progress.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2013
I have never in my previous years attending school as a student and at my daughter's previous school, observed sooo many PARENTS present and accompanying their kids to and school every day!!! The PARENT participation at McKinley is off the charts and it makes such a difference for the kids, their learning and their teachers. I have volunteered with so many awesome hard -working parents who give their time and sweat endlessly without complaint for the love of the children....MY CHILD HAS SOARED WITHIN THIS ENVIRONMENT!!!! Thank you McKinley Parents!!

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2013
Best of pasadena, Teachers are the best ...not just as teachers but also as perentas friends... Also they love to stay in touch with parents...Through out...phone calls ...Through out E-mails...Through out...School letters...and notes...they involve parents in all possible School activities...etc...They help the kids that are...behind in grades...to improve them...in all ways possible...they invite parents to School meetings...They have a new principal...he is very nice...with everybody...( Dr. Albert ). They are very Charismatic...Having my kids go to Mckinley it is been a great experience...and it it is for my kids...the best years of they lives. and I have three of my kids there...ages ( 6, 9, and 11 )...1st Grader / 4th Grader and 7th Grader...Thank you ..very much.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2013
McKinley is an amazing place to learn...yes we are in the middle of construction...yes it is very large...and yes you can find a million other problems with it and any other school if that is what you want to focus on. The teachers are the best teachers I have met and I was a teacher. They truly care about the students and their academic achievement and they are invested in the success of the school. Art lines the walls and dramatic plays are always in production, something that is too quickly slipping from our curriculums. When the renovations are complete, McKinley will truly hit the next level in their success story and I will be even more thrilled to tell the world that YES...YOU CAN SEND YOUR CHILD TO PUBLIC SCHOOL IN PASADENA and YES...MCKINLEY IS THE BEST CHOICE!

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2013
McKinley is rocking my previously private schooled kid's world. Great neighborhood feel. The teachers are amazing. The renovations on the inside are incredible and the outside 30 Million dollar project is coming along. The parents are incredible and if you're looking for warmth with strong academics, this is the place.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2013
McKinley Elementary is a fantastic school! My children have been attending for four years. It is not our home school so I have to drive 25 minutes to get my kids to school each day. I have to say I wouldn't have it any other way. Great teachers, great programing. They have a new Art Teacher named Seda Sevada who's introduced my son to art and he has found himself a haven because of her. I don't know how to find her to thank her but if Ms. Sevada sees these posts I would like to thank you for all you've done for our students. And thank you to McKinley for supporting these great teachers.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2013
Having moved to Pasadena from out of state, I was ill-prepared for the number of schools from which to choose for our incoming kindergartner. I was introduced to McKinley School by chance, one of the kindergarten classes was on a field trip at our Local Book Store, and I was pleased to find out that McKinley was our neighborhood school! I love the diversity McKinley offers, not just ethnically but socioeconomically, I love the arts emphasis and I love how the school really embraces parental involvement. As far as the previous poster's comment on the campus: yes, there are clothes strewn about and more trash than I'd like to see, and that's where parental input is needed! McKinley is a wonderful school, located smack-dab in thr middle of DT Pasadena, close to Lake Avenue, and it is just going to get better and better because of our fantastic parents.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2013
My son has been attending McKinley for 5 years and loves it. Every year he forms a bond with his teacher and they've all seem to genuinely care about his learning. The only con is the front office staff, they are rude and unwelcoming. I've had to check-out my son early a few times and all I had to give was his name/teacher/grade; staff NEVER asked to see my ID, check if i was authorized to check him out or even asked for my name!!!! Again, this reflects the bad administrative staff they have in front office NOT the quality of teachers! PTA is very active raising money for school and ART/MUSIC program is great!

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2012
This my daughter's second year attending Mckinley and she absolutely loves this school and her teacher. It's a great school all around with a great principal. They also have great after school programs on the campus. The campus has a small family like atmosphere. Love the arts and extracurricular programs. One of the best public schools in Pasadena.

- submitted by a parent
December 27, 2011
McKinley is a wonderful school!!! I transferred my children to McKinley from private schools and am pleasantly surprised at how well the change has gone. McKinley has higher academic standards and much better teachers than the private schools my children attended. The music and arts programs are fantastic. The school is safe and nuturing, while also exposing my children to a wide variety of extracurricular activities. The principal, Ms. Sarian, is the best principal I've ever met. I wasted thousands and thousands of dollars on private school tuition for inferior level educations for my children in recent years. I wish I had enrolled them in McKinley years ago. My children are now flourishing. I highly recommend McKinley for all families.

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2010
Strong parent community with many professional artists has helped make this one of the most sought-after schools in Pasadena. A new $30-million campus expansion is coming, too.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
I am so impressed with the academic achievements of the McKinley students! The teachers go above and beyond for these kids. The arts are all over the school and the hallways are filled with self expressive art! I love how the school values art and it's reflective in the parents involvement as well. This is a REALLY great school.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2010
My daughters (who are French) have attended McKinley school last year where they have lerarned English and made a lot of friends. The school teachers were very supportive and the parents very friendly.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 18, 2010
The walls are alive with art and words, learning self-expressed from the children. A creative environment prevails which will serve the children well in decision making as adults. I am not a parent but a volunteer who lives in the neighborhood. I read to the 2nd graders once a week and love it!

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 17, 2010
i love this school because it full of art from art work to music , dance and you can see in the children hoe much they enjoy it their spirit are free

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2010
With continuously decreasing education budgets, McKinley still provides art and music education. There's great parental involvement, the staff and administration are great.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2010
I like Mckinley because it has full of opportunities for the kids with art work and also strong relationship with the parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2010
The teachers and students alike have a genuine love and dedication to strengthening the arts in the schools and sharing that gift with the community. McKinley does a great job of making sure it stays connected and involved with the parents. Bravo!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2010
The McKinley community is very supportive. My child feels very safe and welcome each day at school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2010
McKinley scholl has many wonderful teachers that go above and beyond what is expected of them. They incorporate many fun and creative projects into the curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2010
McKinley is a school filled with families and teachers who care. Teachers teach out of the box and go above and beyond the call of duty. It is a great place for students who want a well rounded experience in school.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2010
This school feels like family to me. Great community feeling!

- submitted by a teacher
May 16, 2010
McKinley is a great school, with wonderful caring Teachers and Staff! They work really hard to make our great kids even better. I am amazed by the parent involvement at this school. I have never seen anything like it anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2010
The staff at McKinley is excellent! My 5th and 7th graders have been at McKinley since Kindergarten and have had wonderful teachers all the way! There is good parent involvement. There are art and music programs for all levels. We have been extremely happy at McKinley.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
Great Teachers, great kids and parent participation is excellent

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
McKinley fosters creativity, community and individuality amongst the students. It focuses on the fundamentals for young learners and at the same time, instills a love of learning. Not passing measure CC is is just another reflection of how some of the best resources for our children and community are slowly being taken away. Schools like McKinley should be national models and principals, like Ms. Sarian honored for their commitment to education excellence.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
McKinley has been great for my 4th and 7th grader for academics and the arts. Wonderful teachers and staff and parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
McKinley is a diverse and wonderful school filled with caring staff and amazing parents. We are so fortunate to have met so many awesome people here.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
I am amazed at and thankful for such hardworking, dedicated, and caring teaching/leadership staff members who continue to go above and beyond to help students to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
I spent many years working in different school systems and I must say that McKinley teachers are among the most dedicated teachers I have ever met. They are caring, creative and have very high expectations for their students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
I love it's emphasis on the arts and the many loving and hard working teachers and staff!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
Lots of great teachers and staff. Creative & Artsy - the way kids learn is by doing a variety of things to bring the point home. The teachers think this way, so the kids learn through doing the Arts.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
McKinley has a wonderful, diverse student body, strong parent involvement and a fantastic staff and administration. I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
I love the teachers, the families, the kids, the community. I love the theater and the music opportunities. I love the high expectations for all kids. I love the diversity.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2010
Great teachers, the most diverse community, caring and committed parents!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
The teachers care. My daughter was at a private school for 2 years and didn't learn to read. Within 4 months at McKinley, she could read! The principal is present at every event. The arts and music at the school are the best. Diversity is great. Parents are very involved.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
Fabulous teachers, administrators,and families! McKinely is more than a school, it is a family,it is a community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
The teachers at Mckinley work together as a team, creating a bridge between each grade level. The school is very diverse. Excellent teachers and a great principal. Great teamwork amoung parents. I know that my child is safe and in a learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
A great school that does a great job at balancing academics with performing arts, giving the children a very well rounded education. The staff and faculty are just wonderful! I have enjoyed being a member of the McKinley Family and look forward to continuing there with my daughter and my son who will be entering kindergarten this year. I highly recommend McKinley.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
The Principal and teachers are very dedicated at McKinley. They work really hard so that the kids can reach their full potential. The atmosphere there is acedemics first and art/music is also included, which is quite wonderful. The school really does a good job at developing the whole child and a great job at involving the parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
McKinley school has the most amazing faulty and staff that fosters a family environment and a school culture that that promotes academic excellence. With its diverse student population, McKinley exemplifies the best that our future generation has to offer as the children exhibit their multiple talents and their exuberance for their school and their community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
McKinley has the best teachers and a very caring staff.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2010
Diversity abounds in both students and teachers at McKinley. Our community strives to provide a well-rounded education for every child and a sense of belonging for every family. Talents in arts, academics, and athletics are all celebrated. Stop by at 9AM on the first Wednesday of each month and have a look for yourself!

- submitted by a teacher
April 10, 2010
My child is attending McKinley and he teachers are so wonderful. Very skilled and encouraging of the children's work. Ms.Le, especially is so exceptional - Very organized and keeps parents informed and involved at all times.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 23, 2009
My daughter was in Mrs. Griego's Kindergarten class this year and loved it. She allowed the parents to share in morning book time with their children and with other kids. She made me feel like a friend not just some over-protective parent. Without some of the wonderful teachers there I don't think the school would stand a chance. The principal is average. Maybe a little cold and not easy to approach. She seems a little intimidating at times. They are talking about increasing class sizes from 20 to 25 and possibly giving pink slips to at least 4+ teachers. Mrs. Griego would be at risk. If this happens I definately will not be back at this school. The teachers have all they can handle at this point and with test scores not being all that great I think this decision would be devistating to the school.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2008
As a parent who is active with the PTA, I can tell you that McKinley offers the best of what is available in public education in California . The teachers are dedicated, the staff works very hard to make the learning experience its best for all students, and our diverse community of parents supporters are fully committed to giving our school the tools it needs to drive student achievement and student success. Ours is an imperfect school in an imperfect world. The lack of funding for public education and the rules set by 'No Child Left Behind' have put restrictions on what can be taught and what needs to be taught. Instruction in all classrooms is not yet equal. The campus needs a major renovation. But what McKinley has become, in just six years, is a very special place, and I recommend it most highly!

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 27, 2008
My son attended McKinley for several years...The school academic programs are not geared toward children that are beyond the GATE program. Mrs. Q was a great principal and they replaced her with one that could care less about the kids...the school really went down hill after Ms. Q left. We also left the school. There are some really good teachers at McKinley but the present principal doesn't support them like she should.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2008
I have been a student at McKinley for one year,starting my second.I am pleased with how the teachers are so helpful and understanding.The kids are great and I have a lot of friends.Me and my friends would very much recommend Mckinley.

- submitted by a student
August 14, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 02, 2008
My child has been a student of McKinley for 5 years. In the beginning, I was pleased with the school. However, it is my impression that if your child does not test into the 'Gate' program, then they tend to be ignored. I have also discovered that the system has more politics than the government. Overall, I would not recommend McKinley.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2007
Although we chose to leave this year with one child promoting to high school and the other transferring to Catholic school, overall our experience at McKinley was a good one. We were there for five years. From it's reopening the energy and involvement of parents played a major role in it's success. I think the biggest challenge for the school stems from district-wide problems, specifically the lack of consistency in administration (we went through 3 principals and 5 vice principals)and yearly increase in student population due to PUSD school closures. Also the requirement for Open Court takes time away from potentially more academic enrichment, though I hear it is effective in teaching reading to those children needing more help. In particular the middle school was not engaging the students. Some, but not all, teachers were excellent. I understand that energy is now being focused there and believe it will improve. Go McKinley!

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2007
I've been a student At Mckinley for 3 1/2 years now and it has truely been great the staff is dedicated and help students in all their needs social and academic my only problem is the principal and vice principle change. Last year our principle Mrs.Q had left the school and the new principle has been neglecting the middle school children and changing the schools art programs into sports , I have nothing against sports but this is an arts school and with only one production this whole entire year ( which was truely a disaster) it seems like the tight nit student comunity with no bullying has changed into the typical middle school. The teachers are trying there best to prevent this but I'm not sure they can. I'm promoting this year and I'm glad that I went here it was truely the best school experience before Mrs.Q left.

- submitted by a student
June 16, 2006
Mckinley is a great school! I should know, I am a student there! The Principal, Ms. Q., is great, and supportive, and dedicated. The teachers and the students are all great, unique, and awesome! -Kathy

- submitted by a student
April 14, 2006
Good school from academics to student and parent body. My children enjoy the offering of art and drama along with the traditional reading, writing and arithmatic.

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2006
Wonderful, dedicated teaching staff. Supportive and involved families. Diverse student body. All of these things have worked together to quickly bring this new school to one of the top in the district. Very pleased with our child's educational opportunities and the school's potential for continued growth and improvement.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2005
My child's school has great teachers and parents. The teachers work hard and the parents are involved. My only problem lies with the school leadership. There have been too many staff who have left or have been fired because the principal can't seem to get along with them. As a parent, I have heard of too many complaints. I would give the school better marks if they would replace her.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2005
Quality of academic programs are good. Music and Art activities are available but could not find sports. Level of parent involvement was good.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2005
We have had truly excellent teachers who have introduced our child to many challenging concepts. The level of commitment and the excitement they bring to the classroom each day continues to amaze and delight our family. While we wish the public schools had more money for special programs, we have seen a remarkable ability to accomplish much with what is available. Our child has been instructed in keyboard music, choral music, percussion and movement. The principal loves to produce school wide shows using students from all grade levels in musical and dance numbers. Teachers also do a fantastic job putting together performances by their classes. The level of parent involvement is inspiring. We've seen parents who volunteer every week bringing enrichment into the classrooms- storytelling, sign language, jazz history, folk tales. There are parents on campus every day assisting in a wide varieties of ways. It's not mandatory, just fun!

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2005
I have been a McKinley parent since the opening three years ago. I'm quite disappointed in the direction of the performing arts as there is little to no actual instruction in the arts taking place. With the exception of a few stable teams, K-2, 5th and 6th grade GATE, much of the staff ethier transfer, are non re-elected, or are reassigned to a different grade level the next year...becoming again a 'First Year Teacher'.

- submitted by a parent
June 28, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2005
I would highly recommend McKinley. There is a real sense of community among the parents, students and staff. It is a new school, but each year more has been added to the arts program, and children intereested in the arts can really find their niche. I find the curriculum challenging for the students. I love this school and so does my daughter and her friends. A good mix of all socio economic groups and races.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2005
My child is in the 1st grade at McKinley. He likes his teacher and principals very much. He loves being involved in the performing arts put on throughout the year - it seems to be a very good motivator for him to do his school work. The teachers and staff are accessible and parental input is valued. Also McKinley is successful in stimulating parental involvement and they tend to engender a community spirit.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
March 08, 2005
McKinley has evolved into a wonderful school in the three years since its opening, and there is definitely upward momentum happening. My daughter will graduate from 8th grade this year, and has blossomed academically, and in the performing arts programs. There are many good teachers who demand the best from their students, and the honors classes have been challenging. The principal, Ms. Quinones is remarkable. The kids adore her and hang out in her office. She produces, directs, and choreographs 4 musicals a year. The kids participate in all disciplines involved in theatre. The Pasadena Playhouse has adopted McKinley, and offers the students many benefits. The students are well behaved, there is a uniform code, and the parent group is active and friendly. I would recommend this school wholeheartedly! Join other private school parents pulling out and joining the McKInley family.

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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McKinley School
325 South Oak Knoll Avenue, Pasadena, CA  91101
(626) 396-5630
Last modified McKinley School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
McKinley School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 72 reviews. Top