Students enrolled 460
School leader Irene Gonzalez
Transportation options None
District Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

2401 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404

School website
(310) 828-5011
(310) 449-1251
Nearby homes for sale
Map of McKinley Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 51 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

June 22, 2014
We've been at McKinley for two years and my daughter absolutely loves going to school each day. Her K and Grade 1 teachers were amazing. Parents are very involved and though we've had a change in administration over the past year, the staff/teachers/PTA/parent volunteers have continued to maintain the high level of life long learning we all come to expect from our schools. She has had science, art, and music throughout both years. My only complaint is how long it takes for the district to "fix" things around the school and that some of the facilities on campus (restrooms, ramps to the bungalows, etc.) seem to be pushed to the back when repairs are needed. Because this is a neighborhood school, many children walk/bike/scoot to school and we see school mates/parents all around our community.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
McKinley is like a little home away from home for the students, faculty, and families of Santa Monica. Family and community involvement is what makes this little gem of a school so special. Everything that McKinley does and achieves is supported and promoted by the families of students. Without such a great community involvement, McKinley wouldn't be as amazing as it is today. With teachers, students learn... but with parents, teachers, and students working together, learning soars.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2013
McKinley is a good school that my child looks forward to attending each morning. All of my child's teachers have had high expectations of the students, and I see most of the children blossoming as one would hope every year. It makes a huge difference when parents get involved on any level they can, even if it means just making sure your child does his or her homework. Overall, my family is very happy with our small, neighborhood school, McKinley.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
My son has an excellent teacher. I appreciate how she has really helped him build a strong foundation. The progress I have seen over the course of the year is more significant than I would have imagined. He came to first grade able to read simple one line sentences and can now fluidly read full paragraphs over multiple pages. My expectations have been exceeded. Thank you!

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
My son had his first school year at Mckinley and It truly is a GEM, He has been to another SM school and this school is so much better. Quality caring staff without the stuffy uptight environment that other schools in the area have.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2013
This is the second year our child has been at McKinley and we couldn't ask for more in a school. The quality of instruction is exceptional, the community welcoming and the leaderpship outstanding. In relation to previous negative comments regarding front office staff, the principal has listened to these concerns and implemented positive change. The school works to build strong character in all of its students. All staff from custodians to the principal recognize students for making good choices and helping others. McKinley offers parents many ways in which to be invovled whether it's through volunteering in the classroom or participating in myriad activities the PTA has to offer. (We would also give the school a greater number of stars however, this website would not allow us to do so)

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2012
My child go there and we think it is a great school!.... fully trust our child to their hands every morning.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2012
We have been so thrilled with our experience thus far. The teachers, staff and principal are well qualified and genuinely care and take pride in their school. The diverse student body is extraordinary making it a true microcosm and wonderflul community. The beautiful campus and smaller student body only adds to everyone's rich experience at this well kept Santa Monica secret.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2012
I don't get nor see the things that are alleged in some of these negative reviews. McKinley is by far, the best school my child has attended! & It's starts from the top. The Principal knows the direction & vision the school needs to go in. McKinley has been named one of the best schools under her watch & there is no disputing that. My child's experience has been great. She loves learning & being challenged by all her teachers. Even when one of her teachers had to take a leave of absence, McKinley did a great job finding an excellent sub. So much so, we even hired the sub as a private tutor during the summer. The lunch program is healthy & has a variety of choices for our kids. McKinley offers some affordable after school programs for parents like myself, who work long days on occasion. Parent involvement is pretty good & there are PLENTY of opportunities to volunteer & get involved with your child's class. The bottom line is you get what YOU put into it. I also used this site to review a good school for my child....I'm sure glad I chose McKinley & you will too.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2012
Great School! We currently have our youngest child attending there and our oldest attended there as well. Recently we had our child experience bullying in the playground. We had two incidents with the same child so we decided that the best thing to do so our child can feel safe and comfortable in school would be taking it to the principal. We are so happy with the way she handled everything. Even our child said she's the best. The staff is even aware of whats going on so it won't happen again. The staff and principal are great and would highly recommend this school. At Mckinley you feel like family.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2012
Hopefully this review will not get taken down like many other LEGITIMATE reviews have: My child has attended McKinley for several years now. Overall, it's a great school. Many of the teachers are wonderful and have been there for many many years. Parent involvement is extremely high which makes this school a pleasure to be a part of as the parents (in AND out of PTA) go above and beyond to make the children have amazing experiences. Bullying has been an issue (on an elementary school level, nothing serious) but the principal seems to be taking more action on it this year which is a great plus - and makes me, as a parent, feel better knowing that more effort is being put into making every child feel safe while in school. The administration and office staff are lacking, in several ways. They, unlike the teachers and parents, do not go above or beyond (find, they don't have to) in their roles. They do the bare minimum that seems to be required of them. They are not friendly, to parents or students and they truly seem like they do not like their job. Overall, this is a great school and was voted #1 on the Westside out of all elementary schools (including Beverly Hills).

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2012
Just received my child's STAR test results in the mail. Last year was our first year at McKinley, so I was interested to see the comparison in my children's scores versus the past years at our previous school where my chilren were receiving a great education. When I opened the results today, I was disappointed to see the scores were basic and on the lower proficient scale. My children have always been exceptional students and have received advanced scores every other year. I had a feeling this might happen as I observed very low standards at McKinley. Unfortunately, I think this may be the state of many of our schools now. And as for the office staff... unfriendly and unhelpful unless prompted, and the Principal with whom I've dealt with on a few occasions seems to be inefficient and in denial of inadequecies in the school- including bullying issues which are quite common there. I'm hoping my review does not get deleted because of my negative opinion.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2012
This will probsbly be deleted as most posts that are negqtive are but I think its only fare to say that the front office, the principal and some of the oldest teachers at this school need help knowing how to deal with bullying and being resoectful of parents concerns and the students well being. To many unpleasants incidents to list. The Principal will retaliate if you bring any concerns to her attention.She sais she will help but won't take calls and makes it so difficult to make an appointment. Try another school if you have the choice.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2012
So far so good. We moved to this school and my child has not made any connections to the other kids here. We never get any birthday invitations or even any interest when we have reached out to others for play dates. It's strange when he was so popular and outgoing with many friends at the last school. The first grade teacher we had was rude and miserable. She seemed upset when she had an addittion to her class. There are a lot of kids per teacher!!! 2nd grade was better with an outgoing positive energy and lots of enthusiasm for the kids. Still no strong connections. The principal was helpful when we encountered a bullying problem but there is no warm and fuzzy from most of the office staff. They don't even look up when someone walks in the door. I hate going into that office. I like the schools tight security and remain hopeful our experience will get better. My child has definitley learned a lot and established good study habits since we arrived. Awesome Halloween carnival which includes the teachers who really get into it!

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2012
This is a great school. The parent involvement is amazing, and I believe our child is learning far more about so many things than children in other districts, like LAUSD. However, our child had a problem with bullying for two years in a row, by the same child. We brought this up to administration several times, nothing was ever accomplished. We had meetings with the principal, and still nothing happened. Although the principal was never directly rude and didn't act like she wanted to ignore the subject, the attitude our child received from her, the rest of the office staff, and our child's teacher almost immediately changed, negatively. So much so that other parents approached me about it, asking questions. With the bullying issue never properly assessed and handled by the principal, we decided to talk with the other family involved directly. Once we did that, the bullying stopped eventually. Thank goodness the other child's parents were understanding and helped us work out the issues so that our child could once again feel comfortable. At no thanks to the school and principal, our child now feels safe at McKinley.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2012
Just finishing up my daughter's 2nd grade year at McKinley, and we are still very happy with all that is happening. The staff & teachers are exceptional, and the parent involvement is small but mighty!

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2012
I appreciate the sense of community and the strive for excellence that McKinley fosters. My child is very happy at McKinley as am I. How sad to read the negative postings, such a disservice to a dedicated group of faculty and parents. Parents searching for a school also have a right to read reviews from parents that are very pleased and highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 23, 2012
McKinley is a terrific school, in an incredible community, with a diverse student body, many wonderful teachers, and an excellent principal and staff. The vast majority of families are thrilled to be at McKinley. We've been at McKinley for four years now, and our children have been well educated and well served. They feel safe and have never had any issues with their peers. Submitted by a parent

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2012
With two children at McKinley, and a happy history of involvement there, I'm most impressed thatthe faculty doesn't rest on its laurels. Scores have risen; grants, awards and Distinguished School status have been earned, and there is cross-training and information-sharing among teachers. Each year brings multiple improvements. Our family has also experienced some difficulty at school, and seen the problem-resolution process first hand. We've benefitted from the bumps in the road, and feel known and attended to in McKinley's small setting. Its gratifying that a great year can follow a challenging one when you stick it out! As big a gift as our kids' education has been the sense of community we've found at our little school. The kids want to stay longer and are eager to participate in extracirricular activities, and the McKinley Moms and Dads roll up their sleeves together to help with everything from fundraising to classroom projects -- and have a great time doing it. It's sad to think about graduating to life at the much larger middle school when the time comes, but for now, this is our village, and we're very glad.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2011
We are new at McKinley. We really like this school. I see diversity in children, and they are open and friendly. My kids smoothly adjusted to the new school. Parents are very much involved with school activities, and they know it is importnt for kids. Teachers and staff work with kids with positive reinforcement. They are always willing to listen and work with us as well. I feel comfortable to talk with them about anything. I get a sense of "It takes a whole village to rise a child.". Everyone is working hard to make better for children, and kids get to experience possitive and nurturing school life. Even my out of State in law noticed how warm and close this community is. And maybe that is why kids also do well in academic.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2011
This is our third year at McKinley and each year proves to be better than the last! We were welcomed right into the school by the enthusiastic families, dedicated teachers, and helpful administration. We love the fact that our school is one of the smaller and more diverse in Santa Monica. When a hiccup presented itself in our first year, our son's kindergarten teacher was receptive and solution oriented, and the next day the principal followed up to see that our concerns had been taken care of. (Which they had!) McKinley is truly a gem of a school!

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2011
When my child started kindergarten at McKinley. I was really taken by how welcoming the teacher, the office staff, the principal, the PTA parents, and the community at large welcomed us and how strong the sense of community is at the school. The families are diverse and I've experienced a down-to-earth warmth consistently which I find refreshing. The kids are just like kids anywhere else in the district: exuberant, intelligent, beautiful, well-behaved for the most part, and needing limits set at times. I find the principal and staff to be caring and responsive to any matter brought to their attention. I'm so grateful my child is in such a supportive, quality school.

- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2011
As a McKinley staff member, I have found that we are a responsive school community (staff, parents and students). With that said, I am saddened to hear that you feel your concerns have not been addressed. Our school s mission statement of McKinley PRIDE is not just a statement, but speaks to who we are and what we value. Our school uses the Cool Tools program and has now adopted the Olweus Bullying prevention program. We are one of eight SMMUSD elementary schools in the first year of implementation. Taking part of this program speaks to our commitment to provide our students with a safe learning environment. Please reach out to our staff so we can have the opportunity to address your concerns.

- submitted by a teacher
April 06, 2011
Lovely community, excellent teachers, dedicated principal. We've won the CA Distinguished School Award, plus we've been given the Title I Academic Achievement Award three times since I've been there. Also, our principal was named Elementary School Principal of the Year for the entire region by the by the Association of California School Administrators. Truly a gem of a school.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2011
This school is great! The campus is beautiful and spacious with a lovely courtyard. The teachers and employees are very nice and seem to really care about the kids. Plus parents seem very involved and volunteering is encouraged. (I love having lunch with my child in the cafeteria) School functions are fun and welcoming. Not to mention my child is doing well in all subjects! I can t wait for my next one to start.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2010
This school was granted one of the highest recognitions from the State of California. Due to an increase in their API scores and the hard united and focused work of the teaching staff, the school is officially listed as one of CALIFORNIA'S DISTINGUISHED SCHOOLS!!!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating May 07, 2010
McKinley is a small, diverse, excellent school. The teachers and staff are highly dedicated to their students and families. They strive to help each and every student reach theIr highest potential.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
no rating October 03, 2009
I used to work at the preschool there. It is such a wonderful program. Very progressive, fully inclusive of children with special needs, very creative teachers and other staff, collaborative, very child centered, and the children learn English by the time they are in kindergarten. The school also has a vegetable garden, and the principal is a fine, dedicated person.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2009
McKinley is an excellent school led by an amazing principal and staff. The entire community, including staff and parents, works together to give ALL students the education they deserve.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2009
We feel very fortunate to have such a wonderful school in our neighborhood. The principal is incredible! She is dynamic and caring. The teachers we have had so far are so much better than those we have had in other private schools we have tried with our older children. This is quite a community and I would encourage anyone to give it a try.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2009
The best little school. Outstanding all around.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2009
It has been so wonderful to be a part of the McKinley community. The principal, the teachers, the office staff, the support staff are all excellent. Things keep getting better. The K-2 vocal music program is fantastic. International Day this year was the best yet - with an awesome Parade of Countries. Exciting field trips. A dedicated and caring staff. A safe environment for kids to learn and grow. We are so thrilled to be at McKinley!

- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 12, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2008
Great school. My so, ethan, has learned so much, and has had a great opportunity in meeting new friends from various cultural backgrounds (parents as well). Ms. Gonzalez and to your staff, awesome!

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2007
I had two children at this school and raved about it in this blog entry: http://www.design-your-life.org/blog.php?id=955 Terrific parent network, innovative programs supported by grant-writing, and a nice physical environment for learning.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2007
McKinley is a healthy community with a great principal, with excellent teachers, caring PTA, and a helpful office staff. Unfortunately, the City had to cancel a few enrichment classes, because of the lack of interest. Also, I feel that the families' involvement is divided. Half of the families at McKinley work hard and make donations for the school.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
McKinley is an amazing school! The parents who are involved, are really invested in the school. The teachers are great, and the Ms.Gonzalez is wonderful with a lot of great ideas. The office staff is fabulous. They are always ready to answer questions with a helpful attitude. Our PTA has done a lot this year to upgrade & beautify our campus. The diversity is truly representative of the world we all live in today, and is celebreated through-out the school year, culminating in our International Day celebration, at the end of the school year. I am a parent of a 4th grader and I am on the PTA. We LOVE this school. We're going to be sad when we have to move on at the end of 5th grade. You would truly be lucky to have your child attend McKinley!

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2007
We live in the Franklin school area, but we ended up at McKinley because we enrolled our child in late summer and there was no room for anymore 1st graders. At first we were upset, but now realize it was the best thing that has ever happened. This is a fantastic school with so much pride and heart. The teachers and staff are excellent and held to a high standard by the principal. The PTA/Parent Involvement plays a vital role to the success of the school and it's students. Academically it is strong and the other additional programs, such as reading enrichment, music, sports, CREST, etc. make it a well-rounded school with much to offer. There are many upgrades this year such as murals, shading and painting. We can't wait until our youngest child starts Kindergarten in 2008! This is the best kept secret in Santa Monica! Great School!

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2006
one of the best kept secrets in santa monica! mckinley keeps getting better... with art & music for all grade levels, after-school enrichment programs, and there are newly painted murals in the bathrooms and on the yard. the best part of this small campus is the diverse community that continues to be high achieving.

- submitted by a staff
October 26, 2006
Wide extremes in teacher quality from the very best to the very worst. Teachers who put in huge amounts of time and energy to provide the very best for their students and others who punch the clock and then spend extra time defending why they do not have to or should not have to do more.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2006
McKinley is hard at work-there are many incredible educators at this school including NBCT's and Ed. PhD's. However there are also unfortunately serious prejudices toward especially reticent learners and students with special needs by the regular education staff. Fortunately, there is a large number of staff members who are working hard to change these biases and practice a more socially just educational framework. This school is working hard at fulfilling its potential.

- submitted by a teacher
August 05, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2005
This school has really good teachers but is very strict when it comes to rules and regulations on campus. If you have a freespritted young one, it will be hard on your child. Music starts at third grade level and extracurricular activities are very diverse but not free. From tennis to art, many classes are offered. Academic programs confused me alot when my daughter attended this school for three years. In the middle of the year, they'd change books and curriculum and the teacher had to figure out a new technique to teach the NOW compulsary content. I saw most of the teachers get very overwhelmed and weary by the end of the fourth month into the school year. The principal expects a high level of involvement from parents. Expect to show up at school at least four times a year.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 28, 2004
We are considering sending our son to McKinley. We live a block from the school and the neighborhood is safe and the school grounds are well kept and secure. That is all I can offer, since I have had no other contact with the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2004
Friendly teaching and admin staff, pleasant atmosphere - community feeing, ethnically diverse, excellent scores especially for demographic mix (50% of children on free lunch) good teachers, some K/1 classes and looping, daily PE for 1st grade and up, attractive buidling with large grassy area, track and playstructures, large garden with plots for classes, excellent library and librarian, hot food and salad bar (as in all SM schools), active PTA, playground access and afterschool classes in sports & arts

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2004
We moved into McKinley's jurisdiction 4 years ago so that our daughter can go to this school. And although we are paying an arm and a leg in rent to live in this neighborhood, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that its money well spent. According to state of California's test results, McKinley may not be among state's top 3 schools, but if one takes into account the school's diverse ethnic student population, with McKinley consistently being on state's list of one of the best schools in California, school's achievement is darn impressive. Excellent staff, dedicated and experienced teachers implementing latest teaching techniques and to top it all of, an exceptionally friendly principal. My daughter is very happy and looks forward to go to school every morning, and we, as parents of an 8 year old, couldn't be more pleased with this school. Hadi

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2004
My daughter loves McKinley because of the great relationships she has had with her teachers, staff, and wonderful new principal! The staff and PTA leadership is superb and there have been ongoing facility improvements over the past 4yrs. My son looks forward to Kindergarten this fall. The socio-economic diversity of this school makes it an excellent school experience for our children.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2003
McKinley Elementary is the little school that could and does provide the opportunity for each and every child to find the very best within themselves and then share and grow their talents with friends as diverse as the United Nations.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2003
Mckinley is an excellent school, it's population is as diverse as the population of Los Angeles

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

McKinley Elementary is a beautiful, mission style public school. Our class sizes are 20 students in K-3rd grade and up to 31 in 4th & 5th grade. In addition to our regular program, there are classes for Special Education, English as a Second Language, Resource, and Speech. Gifted and Talented Education students (GATE) are served within the regular classes with additional support. All students receive instruction in visual arts and general music; with students in 4th & 5th grade also receiving instrumental music instruction. In addition to our teaching staff, our staff includes instructional assistants in every classroom, part-time nurse, school psychologist, speech pathologist, and two physical education assistants.

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McKinley Elementary School
2401 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA  90404
(310) 828-5011
Last modified McKinley Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
McKinley Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 54 reviews. Top