Parent Volunteer Opportunities

There are numerous school trips and other activities which parents are invited to participate in as volunteers.  The Link below will provide you with the information needed to be compliant to be a volunteer such as clearances and background checks.




School Hours

The school day begins at 8:20 AM for all grades.  Dismissal time is 2:59 PM.  Parents are asked to have students in the schoolyard on time. For students in grades 1st-8th, do not walk students to their classrooms.  Say goodbye to them in the schoolyard or at the front desk.


Parent Visitation

Parents are encouraged to visit McKinley.  However, please follow these guidelines before visiting:

1.     Send a note to your child’s teacher requesting an appointment.

2.     Report directly to the school office to receive a visitor’s pass.  Please do not go directly to your child’s classroom.  Come to the office for permission to go anywhere in the building.  This is a safety issue.

3.     Appointments with the Principal must be scheduled after 3:15 PM as it is necessary for the administrative team to focus on instruction and the day-to-day operation of the building.  Emergency appointments will be made accordingly.



Pre-K and Kindergarten parents enter and leave using the doors on Leithgow St.  If picking up or dropping off students in 1st to 8th grades, parents must go outside and around the building to the schoolyard.



On rainy days or very cold days, parents are advised not to send their children to school until a few minutes before the start time of 8:20 AM.  Parents are asked to make sure that children are dressed appropriately for the weather.  Unless it is raining or extremely cold (below 32˚), children will have outdoor recess.


In case of more severe weather conditions that may necessitate the closing of schools, please listen to KYW-1060 AM or TV alerts concerning, “All Philadelphia Public Schools.” In the event of early closing of schools, we must know where your child can go if you are not home.  A form will be sent home early in the school year.  Any child who does not return this form will be sent directly home during an emergency dismissal.


Early Dismissals

Parents may request an early dismissal for an urgent reason.  However, no student will be permitted to leave the school unless accompanied by a parent or adult designee, 18 years of age of older, whose name appears on the student’s file. Parents must come with proper picture identification before a child is excused. This is a firm policy of the School District of Philadelphia.  Changes to the Attendance Policy: If a student leaves before 1 PM without a valid excuse note, the student will be marked as half day unexcused. Two half days will add up to one full day absence. Students will be held accountable for missed work.



Emergency Contact Information

Each year the school distributes a three-part parent location card which requests information where parents can be located in the event of an emergency.  It is very important that these forms be completed legibly and correctly.  All three forms are to be completed exactly alike.  If there is a change in address, phone number, emergency contact or any other information you think the school should know about, please notify either your child’s teacher or the school office immediately.


Emergency Evacuations

In the event of an emergency or emergency drill, students will evacuate the building under the direction of their teacher and line-up for roll call and further instructions.  In the event that students cannot return to the building, students will be relocated to Welsh Elementary School at 4th & York streets.


Fire Drills

Fire drills are held in preparation for an emergency.  Fire drill directions are posted in all rooms.  Students must walk quickly and quietly as directed by their teachers.  Everyone must leave the building for fire drills.



Health and Medical Services

If your child complains of illness at home, please do not send him/her to school.  The nurse is available for limited first aid in emergencies and to see children on an as needed basis.  If an illness or injury warrants an early dismissal, the parent/guardian will be notified.  It is the parent’s responsibility to pick up the child and follow through with medical care at home.  If your child has a medical condition that requires special consideration, please notify the nurse so that those who work with your child will be aware of the situation.  Every student will have a hearing and vision test.  Parents are requested to have the child examined by the family eye doctor if a child does not pass the vision test.  In addition, please complete and update the Student Health Record form that will be sent home early in the year.  If your child’s immunization records are not up to date, it is your responsibility to have them updated.  The nurse will send home notices regarding your child’s immunization records.  Any child who is out of compliance once notices have been sent will be excluded from school. Short-term medications can be administered with a note from the parent and if medication is in a prescription-labeled bottle.  Long-term medications cannot be administered without proper authorization from a physician.  All approved medications will be kept in the nurse’s office.  Students may not possess medications in school.  Please help us to help your child.



Testing of your child’s academic performance is ongoing through the use of teacher-made tests and performance-based assessments aligned to the PA state standards.  Your child will be tested a minimum of three times a year in reading using the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) or Gates-MacGinitie. Math assessments will be given weekly using Pearson assessments for K-8th grades. In addition, your child will be taking mandated assessments by the state and school district such as the PSSA.  Results on these assessments may determine promotion of your child to the next grade.  A testing calendar will be sent home.



Homework is a key part of the educational program at McKinley.  It provides students an opportunity to review material that has been taught, reinforces basic skills, stimulates independent thinking, and develops responsibility and self-direction.  Your child will receive homework at least four times per week in all the major subject areas.  Additional assignments may be given based on individual needs of students. If your child cannot do an assignment, please see the teacher.  Parents are encouraged to take an active interest by providing a suitable place for study, making resource materials available, and checking to make sure assignments are completed. If your child says that he/she has no homework, please check with the classroom teacher.


School Communication

Our only way to contact our parents is through notices sent home with the children. Please impress upon your child the importance of taking all notices home.  Check your child’s belongings for these notices.


After School Activities

Many extracurricular activities and extra academic programs are offered to McKinley students. Permission slips for participation will be sent home in the fall.  No student is permitted to participate in any school program without written consent from the parent or guardian.


Report Cards / Report Card Conferences

Report cards are issued four (4) times a year. The first report card conferences will take place in November.  The second report card conferences are scheduled for February, and the third report card conferences will be in May. The reporting system for pupils provides a 10-minute individual conference with your child’s teacher scheduled during these days.  Students will be dismissed at 11:59 on conference days.  The final report cards in June will be mailed home or handed to students.


Counseling Services

The guidance counselor is a specially trained person who helps all students.  Counselors meet with students on an individual basis about anything that concerns them, whether it is a personal problem, social problem, or a school concern.  The counselor also works with teachers, parents, school personnel, and community agencies to establish a better understanding of young people.  Counselors also meet with groups of students for guidance activities and to discuss high school selection. Our counselor provides guidance and study skill lessons to targeted classes throughout the school year.



The RtII Program has been established to identify and assist children who are in need of academic, social, or behavioral support. Any student experiencing mental health or other serious problems may be referred. The counselor leads the process and is available to meet with parents to discuss the referral process. These students are referred to an appropriate school-based and/or community agency.  Parents who have concerns about a child’s progress can contact the teacher, counselor, or principal.



·      Notebooks, as required by teachers

·      Pencils, pens, rulers, etc

·      All textbooks issued by teachers for use in class and at home. (Students are required to cover textbooks issued by teachers.) Students are required to pay for lost or damaged books.

·      All other materials necessary to complete the day’s assignments.

·      It is recommended that every student have a book bag for carrying textbooks and supplies to school.


Instrumental Music

Instruction in some musical instruments is provided for interested and qualified children.  If you are interested in finding out more about music instruction, please call the school to schedule an appointment.



McKinley is in need of parents who are interested in volunteering in our Home and School Parent Group.  Parental involvement is an important part of a complete education.  If you would like to be a part of this important and much needed effort, please call 215-291-4702 and let us know.  In an effort to get parents involved, we are asking that every teacher identify two parents willing to attend one meeting a month. If you are interested, please tell your child’s teacher.

Photographs & Videos

Photographs and video of students are taken in classes and at special events. Photographs are displayed on bulletin boards, informational brochures, fliers, and student yearbook.  Videos are recorded and replayed during special events.  Parents who DO NOT want their child’s picture/video taken must notify the principal in writing.

Family Center Services

A Family Center operated by the Norris Square Civic Association is open to serve the needs of our children and their families.