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.
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!
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 . . .
McKinley is in a great neighborhood and it's wonderful that it's going thru some construction to make it look better, but it's been our experience the last few years that all they care about is numbers. My child had a horrible teacher last year and despite making complaints it was never addressed and this year almost the same with promises unfulfilled. Meanwhile my child was disciplined for their lack of support.They would rather get rid of a problem or challenge then help or support you. It's great that there is a lot of parent involvement, but that hasn't helped my child or many others who need better teachers. Most of it was to raise money for performing arts. There are a few teachers who seem to care overall, but the rest do as little as possible. I know of at least 10 parents who just this year transferred their children out of this school. I thought the new principal would make a difference, but other than talking a lot and being charming, there has been no change, maybe it has something to do with his kids being there. He's great for the teachers, backing them up even when they fail miserably. Very dissatisfied with this school. We won't be back for 2014/2015.
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.