Both my kids are here. McKinley has been a very good school for them. It's not perfect but they do great things with the limitations of being in an under-resourced system. It is a safe school with minimal drama among smart, engaged kids.
We have sent our children here for both middle school and high school. We have high expectations when it comes to academics and McKinley is definitely challenging. Their core curriculum is sound and some of the less effective teachers have been weeded out since some of these posts were last written. I wish they had more course electives and more extra curriculars. It would be great if they added Spanish as a language choice. (Only French is available right now). Also wish they could do more field trips but these, like expanded course choices, cost money that the district doesn't have. Even free events in town aren't free if you have to pay $300 per bus to get there! Kids have gone on to ivy schools from here and to excellent state and private colleges and universities, but I wish McKinley would encourage more of their brightest students to be more aspirational in their college selection. Too many are going on to marginally accredited colleges and tech schools. If a student's parents don't know how to conduct a college search, the student may end up in a less than optimal college situation. But if you're an involved parent, your student will do very well here.
My daughter is an 8th grader at McKinley CJA. She is new this year to the school and it has been a challenge for her academically. Though she has been in the gifted program since 1st grade, her previous middle school didn't challenge her nor was it "cool" try hard and excel in academics. Finding McKinley has been an amazing change in our daughter's life. She is taking all high school level courses, even Spanish 3 (!) as an 8th grader, and though it is really hard for her academically, she loves getting up for school everyday. She said to me, "Mom the kids at McKinley are different than my old school. I can't get bad grades and be cool here!" She even gets up at 4 am every morning to get ready for the 30 minute drive to school. The smaller school is great as well. Everyone has accepted and welcomed her. The teachers and administration are are willing participants in her success. We have signed up to continue with McKinley through High School as well.
Despite living in the county( suburbs) i went to this school because my parents heard great things about how many oppurtunties there are. This school is very open to anyone who comes in to this school ( minus a few rather bad indiviuals). They really give you decent work and education you just have to use the oppurtunties they give you to succeed. The social life here is laid back and you can make friends with anyone here. Overall a 5/5 for me
I am a student at MCLA in 8th grade. I have seen so many teachers in my time here, but i am very disappointed from the teachers this year in particular. I have noticed the decrease of teacher involvement and that has affected ALL students. I am now considering not going to a public school in the city. I recommend checking with teachers BEFORE you decide that this is a fit school. I regret ever going to this school. I suggest going to a Charter school, i was there all the way up to 5th grade and the teachers are ALL 5 STARS! Please tour both schools before making your next move!!!
My child started at McKiney in 6th grade and is now in the 8th grade. During the last few years, I have seen a decline in several areas. For example, the school has hired a few new teachers. These teachers lack basic skills required to adequately teach this population of children. The teachers do not allow the children to ask questions and do a poor job of providing feedback. In addition, if there are children that require more time or additoinal examples in order to understand a concept, this is not provided. The teachers simply move on to the next topic with little to no regard for class understanding and comprehension. In addition, when these concerns are presented to the Principal the issues are not addressed. I wish I enrolled my child in one of the county schools upon leaving Kennard. I sincerly regret the decision to continue in this district and my child has suffered the consequences of that decision. If you are a current Kennard parent, please talk to the Mckinley parents before you make your final middle school selection. What you hear may surprise you.
I am a high school student and have been attending McKinley for 3 years. Honestly Mckinley CLA isn't the 'best' choice for a teen to attend high school. Sure the gifted program is great and there is a great family environment, but there are absolutely no programs or classes to help us suceed or make it to college. There is a very negative aura with the high schoolers there because 95% of them honestly don't even want to be there. I am one of them. I'd rather attend a school with more oppurtunity and where the students have more say in their education. Overall Mckinley is just about the basic academics that you need to graduate and not about the life skills and support you need to make it in life. It's a cozy place to be, but i definantly wouldn't recommend it if your looking for success in life.
I am a student at McKinley (a 7th grader) and I think the school has a great gifted program. There are issues like short passing times and locker times. Also, some of the teachers seem to give a lot of 'busy work' and we students don't interact with the lesson much. The school could improve but is overall a great school.