McKinley Elementary School History
At the turn of the century, Burlingame's population hovered around 200. This changed rapidly after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The town's population grew rapidly to 1000 in only a year. At that time, children were schooled through the county at the Burlingame School on Peninsula Avenue and County Road (El Camino). However, as Burlingame grew, the residents wanted a school they could call their own. Therefore, in 1911, Burlingame residents voted to establish a school district and began plans to build a permanent school. Well-known architect William H. Weeks was hired to design the school. During the construction, a temporary 8-room schoolhouse was used which was located on Howard and Primrose called “the little red schoolhouse”. By September 1913 the first permanent school, located on the corner of Oak Grove and Grange (now Paloma Avenue), was ready to open its doors to the children of Burlingame.
Originally named Burlingame Grammar School, McKinley Elementary has always been a vibrant school. In the early 20's there were cookbook sales, Fathers' Club events, plays and other events. Many of these traditions are still carried out today.
Currently, McKinley serves a culturally and linguistically diverse student population reflecting the richness of its community. There are 28 native languages other than English spoken by McKinley students, with Spanish being the most prevalent. Thus, special emphasis is placed upon creating a school environment that encourages students to explore and appreciate our cultural and linguistic diversity.
McKinley is also home to the Burlingame School District Spanish Immersion Program, a full bi-directional learning opportunity that enables students to become fully bi-lingual and bi-literate in English and Spanish.