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School History

Nestled in the shadow of the rugged yet majestic San Gabriel Mountains lies the historic San Gabriel Valley. At the heart of the valley is the city of San Gabriel, a close-knit community founded in 1868. Less than a mile from the historic San Gabriel Mission is William T. McKinley Elementary School. The graceful arches and red tile roofs of our traditional Spanish-style buildings are reminiscent of our rich cultural heritage. McKinley Elementary belongs to the San Gabriel Unified School District, one of the oldest Districts in the state. The excitement of learning taking place in each classroom is evidenced by the positive energy permeating every corner of our campus.


Since its establishment in 1925, McKinley School has experienced tremendous demographic changes, resulting in a huge increase in the cultural diversity of our student population, now numbering 767. Currently seventeen language groups are represented, with the two largest groups being Asian (71%) and Hispanic (23%). Sixty-nine percent (69%) of our total population is considered “socio-economically disadvantaged,” receiving free or reduced lunch and 63% are English Language Learners (ELL).


Despite these perceived obstacles to student success, McKinley students are beating the odds. We view our rich diversity as our strength and seek to maximize the contribution it makes to all students’ academic experiences. In addition to being a Title I Achieving School, McKinley was selected as one of only twelve schools in the state of California to be recognized as a High-Performing, High-Poverty (HP2) school, participating in the first HP2 Symposium in Sacramento. McKinley School consistently exceeds API, AYP, and local growth targets for the school as a whole and for all significant subgroups, outperforming their counterparts in similar school settings as indicated by the following table.


Our students’ success cannot be attributed to one factor alone, but to the combined efforts of our “McKinley Family” which includes our students, staff, community, and parents. Our goals and dreams for our students form a common bond for us to enact our vision statement: to“provide a full rich educational experience for all children.”


Our staff members work together to provide learning experiences that build knowledge and strengthen students’ understanding of the world around them. Our teachers exhibit strong professionalism through team teaching, collaboration, and discussion of pedagogical issues and best practices. The comprehensive use of our exemplary assessment system, including Multiple Measures Assessments, allows us to create and individualize instruction to meet the needs of our incredibly diverse population. Our teachers can easily articulate and discuss ways to move students toward standards and share information, making a seamless transition from pre-kindergarten through elementary and into middle school. McKinley serves 513 (63%) English Language Learners with a comprehensive simultaneous academic and English Language Development program. Our standards-based curriculum is expanded through after school enrichment activities and innovative programs for at-risk students.

We appreciate our close ties with our community. Students have access to resources such as the public library, police department, fire department, the San Gabriel Mission and Civic Auditorium, San Gabriel Educational Foundation, and local businesses that provide students with needed services and community understanding.

Of vital importance to our success is the active role taken by McKinley parents. Without the fantastic involvement and support through PTA and school-wide activities that draw in families of varied backgrounds and languages, we could not do what we do to educate the children of McKinley School. Together, we know that as we “empower our students for future success,” our vision to see them reach their full potential will be fulfilled.