McKinley is going through an amazing change. The leadership of Dr. Heaton and his team is outstanding. They truly believe that all children should be taught to become leaders, to honor themselves, first and foremost, to honor their relationships with their peers, their teacher and the staff. You can see it the way the teachers and the staff have rallied as a uniform unit, they continue to develop daily.
We researched many schools in the LA area and are very pleased that McKinley is the gem that it is.
I felt that I needed to post an update to our great experience at McKinley. My son is now in 7th grade and loving it. The new principal, Dr. Heaton is amazing! His dedication, his efforts at making McKinley the best, are all you could hope for. When our son was having problems, Dr. Heaton stepped right in and, although he has about 1300 students, Dr. Heaton makes each child feel special. Music is playing in the morning as the middle-schoolers enter; the atmosphere is wonderful and collaborative. Construction is complete and all the new buildings, and grounds are beautiful. I highly recommend that you consider McKinley as your K-8 school.
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!