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Students enrolled: 504

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1030 N McKinley Rd
Arlington, VA 22205

(703) 228-5280
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Map of McKinley Elementary School address.

January 09, 2014
McKinley is a top-notch school, on par with the best private schools in the region. I studied the preschool and elementary options available to us across the region (Northern Virginia & DC) extensively, including private programs. My eldest attended Arlington Traditional School, which we found to be excellent, but our youngest did not make the cut in the ATS lottery and is attending McKinley. So far, I have been very pleased with the principal, and exceptionally pleased with the teachers and Extended Day program. I do not consider the art program at McKinley to be fluff - this art program legitimately enhances the curriculum. It is also important to note that art and music studies are not just about learning new skills or being creative (though I find creativity to be an essential workforce skill) - these studies stimulate and enhance additional parts of our children's brains. Some of the artwork produced at McKinley is truly outstanding. Nightly homework consists of the core subjects - math, reading, writing, and science - and is generally both purposeful and reasonable. If you are a prospective parent, contact a PTA member for more insight. They'd be happy to chat.

- submitted by a parent

November 21, 2013
My two kids go to McKinley and we couldn't be happier with the school. *** Awesome STAFF, TEACHERS, PRINCIPAL and PTAl!!*** Foremost, as a parent, we value the safety of our kids. Given that it is located smack dab in the middle of a great neighborhood, it feels safe and most parents know each other s kids. Furthermore, we value education (math, science, reading, writing, arts, language, etc. but I must say there is a little emphasis on math and it is not the fault of the teachers or the school, but the County APS-curriculum) and the school has done a very good job with our kids. Both our kids became voracious readers after few months in school. Our younger child -who had just turned 5 when he entered kindergarten and could hardly read a sentence - began reading Level 3 books in two months with complex WOW WORDS! Majority of the kids I meet are really down to earth smart. Thanks to great PTA - plenty of extracurricular activities to keep both parents and students busy. So in our barometer (safety and education) McKinley gets whooping 5 out of 5 in ratings.

- submitted by a parent

November 12, 2013
A great school for an all round student with no special educational needs. For those with special needs you are not always made to feel very welcome and the principal would seem to want to have special education children elsewhere. Like most APS schools test scores seem to be more important than creating a love of learning. Great teachers and PTA.

- submitted by a parent

September 24, 2013
McKinley Elementary is a great school with ample emphasis on various educational areas. As a former math and science major with international background, would I like to have more math and science in a public school? Yes, but that goes for American public schools in general, and is not specific to McKinley. If you think that any school lacks in a specific area or that your child's education is suffering, spend time teaching that subject to your child at home in addition to the time they spend at school abd you will see the results. Go to Amazon and purchase workbooks etc. for a very decent price. If you don't make that investment of time and a few extra bucks, please don't complain by berating what is essentially a great school.

- submitted by a parent

September 01, 2013
Our girls love this school and we do too. Would I prefer it had a greater focus on math and science, yes. However, the teachers are great, and the community is great too. We couldn't be happier! The girls will get more than enough time to focus on math and science later. Additionally, there are ample opportunities to get additional math, science, English, etc. through the gifted services program. The art focus is embraced by the majority of parents and kids. Our kids love it, and we think it will benefit them in the long run.

- submitted by a parent

December 26, 2012
As a parent and an educational professional (non-county), I couldn't be happier with McKinley. Two of my children have attended McKinley and excelled in Middle School. We have been affected by the use of the relocatable classrooms, and I have found them to actually be a positive: temperature is better controlled in the portables, there is easy access to restrooms, fewer distractions from the hallway noise of the main building, and a special "McQuad" comaraderie. The necessity of these buildings (as well as the real estate market in the feeding community - houses sell very quickly!) should point out the popularity of and satisfaction with this school. Many North Arlingtonians don't realize that almost all of our county schools typically perform in the top 15% of schools nationwide, with a property tax rate that is lower than most cities in the US (Check census facts) with no rate hike in 2012. Many school districts ask for hundreds of dollars per family to fund libraries, music programs, even textbooks! We are blessed to have such a wonderful neighborhood school as well as several county choice schools (ATS, H-B, Science Focus, Key..) for no additional fees!

- submitted by a parent

December 04, 2012
We have loved McKinley and have felt that it has struck a fine balance between rigorous instruction in the basics and an enriching program in the arts, music, and drama. The school, under Mr. Brown's excellent leadership, is a warm and well-organized place. We have been especially impressed by the effectiveness of the communication on the part of the teachers and Mr. Brown. The PTA is also extremely active. There are always opportunities for students to get involved in enrichment activities, such as the partnership the school has with the Educational Theater Company. The one weakness has been Spanish, we feel, because of a weak teacher, but even that seems to be improving. Overall, it is a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent

September 03, 2012
I have 2 children at McKinley Elementary. Our McKinley teachers have all been absolutely wonderful. The school's Principal and staff all do a truly excellent job as well. Parents are very involved & supportive. Ensuring every child succeeds is a top priority at McKinley. Academically, McKinley has consistently remained at the very top in terms of standardized test results (And not just simply passing SOL tests... Frequently 70% to 90% of McKinley score as "advanced / top quartile" in Math/Reading SOL test results). McKinley's academic results are comparable to the very best public and private schools in the United States. The Arts program is very high quality and the optional after-school plays and classes are truly phenomenal. Hundreds of families and kids choose to sign up for these after-school classes and events. The Arts program does not detract from academics. The school's Spanish program is a good one which is offered to all kids 3 times per week. Kids really do become semi-proficient in Spanish prior to starting Middle School ! Of course, McKinley is not perfect. But our family loves this school and we are extremely grateful our kids attend McKinley Elementary.

- submitted by a parent

June 05, 2012
We read some of the comments listed and decided to post as well. We have no choice but to send our children to McKinley. We like arts but they won't be leading to our children's wider educational goals. The teachers are terrific but the education is lacking. My 4th grade child should be able to write with proper grammar and punctuation. This isn't taught sufficiently. My other child is now in middle school and has learned far more there than at McKinley. I agree with the poster regarding the abundance of non-educational programs. If you're competing with first graders you can excel. When you get to high school or take college exams and realize there are many things you haven't learned, it's too late. We are also displeased with McKinley.

- submitted by a parent

March 27, 2012
We feel very blessed to have our child attend McKinley. Principal Colin Brown is in his second year at the school and is a sharp, thoughtful leader who is a pleasure to work with. I absolutely love that my child had access to full day kindergarten, not to mention the FLES program (3 days a week of Spanish (40 minute classes), art, music, AND PE. In a time of budget cuts, it is such a relief to know my child gets such a well-rounded education. Contrary to the review below, the reading, math, science, and social studies instruction do not suffer at all. My first grader is learning topics I myself didn't see until third grade. The school is bursting at the seams, capacity-wise, and I wish the district didn't have to resort to "relocatables" as they call trailers nowadays, but I think the excellent staff are doing an outstanding job despite that minor challenge. The teachers and staff pay attention to the needs of every child, and are constantly working to improve. And the PTA is fantastic and supportive, including helping to put interactive whiteboards in every classroom and supporting ongoing teacher professional development.

- submitted by a parent

January 20, 2012
I have one child at McKinley and one who just promoted to middle school. We love the education, teachers, warmth and excellent education they are receiving at McK - I have to say I'm surprised at the one review, but there are unhappy and dissatisfied folks at every school, perhaps the poster didn't realize the McK is an art-focused school. Bottom line, my middle schooler is leaps and bounds ahead of fellow Arlington students socially and academically b/c of the well-rounded education she received.

- submitted by a parent

December 15, 2011
We have three kids who've attended or are attending McKinley. We think the education is very, very over-rated. Considering the workforce and overall competition for universities and jobs, there should be more than 1 hour of math, 1 of science and 1 of English (huge lack of education there)....and those are on the days they don't cut them for an assembly or some sort of counselor talk. BIG waste of educational time. There is too much focus on what is fluff - music, art, Spanish, and chorus. We are very disappointed in the "education" the kids are getting, the high taxes we pay for it, and the school and school board not taking advantage of the possibilities that exist for a great education in such a wealthy community. Even my children are disappointed with all the extraneous stuff.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
November 25, 2007
McKinley is an amazing school! We specifically purchased a house in McKinley's neighborhood because of the school. The curriculum is aggressive enough but allows for the 'down' time. A great school in a wonderful neighborhood. While I hear good things about all K teachers, consider yourself blessed if you get Mrs. Bates!

- submitted by a parent

June 01, 2007
As a parent of two students, I can't say enough good things about McKinley Elementary School. Located in a family-oriented neighborhood, McKinley is blessed with a professional and caring staff and wonderful teachers. We relocated to the area two years ago as my son entered First Grade, and he integrated very quickly. My daughter has just finished Kindergarten and has had a wonderful experience. Principal Anderson continues to be the foundation of this exceptional elementary school in one of the best sidewalk neighborhoods in Arlington. A military relocation is forcing us to leave this area, but given the opportunity to return to Arlington, McKinley will be our first choice of schools.

- submitted by a parent

April 22, 2004
McKinley is a wonderful school in a close knit community which values friendship and citizenship. Principal Anderson is an outstanding principal who genuinely has each of the 390 students best interest in mind. Ms. Anderson's goal of reaching each child's potential--in the way best suited for that particular child--is echoed from the teachers. Parent involvement is unbelieveably positive. Parents work with teachers to make sure each child feels valued and gets personal attention. McKinley's very active PTA continues the theme of building community with many programs for McKinley students and the surrounding commuinity.

- submitted by a parent
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McKinley Elementary School
1030 N McKinley Rd, Arlington, VA  22205
(703) 228-5280
Last modified McKinley Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
McKinley Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 17 reviews. Top