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J.H.S. 259 William Mckinley

Grades: 6-8
7305 Ft Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn NY 11228
Phone: 718-833-1000

Our Insights

What’s Special

Arts and technology programs

The Downside


With almost 2,000 students, JHS 259 William McKinley is one of the largest middle schools in the city. But despite the size and crowding, this Bay Ridge school is also one of the city’s most sought-after middle schools and by almost all accounts an orderly and successful place.

The school has a district-wide honors program and two of its own selective programs for children who live in the school attendance zone. Applicants for the VE (for virtual enterprise) program are selected in 7th grade and, in addition to advanced classes, create their own mock business to produce and market a product.  Students in Independent Investigative Method classes focus on research. Students in all advanced programs take three Regents exams.

The hundreds of other McKinleyites are in classes with a wide range of students. “We’ve found that works best,” says assistant principal Anthony A. DeBenedetto, who adds that teachers are skilled at providing help for some students and enrichment for others.

Principal Janice Geary has headed the school since 2002. In a Department of Education survey, students gave good marks to the school’s academics; teachers praised the quality of class discussions and said the school is a good place to be a student or a teacher.

Historically very tight on space, McKinley has a fairly new wing with elevators and a new cafeteria. Even so, the school’s popularity and rezoning boosted enrollment by more than 400 students in the past five years. This has created overcrowding, but the school says it has been able to avoid increases in class size.  

Hallways are covered with colorful student murals in a myriad of styles that have won recognition from a number of city news outlets. In addition to visual arts, McKinley offers theater, dance and music, with special rooms for each one. It recently added a course in textile and design.  

Technology is another focus. Students in a STEM class tackle real-world problems and the school has “code squads” of students with strong technical skills who assist classmates in need of technical help.

Owing partly to its size, McKinley can offer many extracurricular and afterschool activities in disciplines from sports to arts to technology to self-improvement and community service. The afterschool program is free.

McKinley is part of the city’s "community school" program in which schools work with community groups to offer special programs, such as Creative Connections NYC, aimed at helping students figure out what their aspirations are and then developing skills to fulfill those hopes. At the same time, the school is stepping up anti-bullying efforts, including holding workshops for parents.

The school has a substantial number of students learning English, mostly from Arabic or Chinese speaking countries, and has a transitional bilingual program in Arabic.

Special education: McKinley is partially wheelchair accessible and offers self-contained classes for students with disabilities in all grades as well as Integrated Co-Teaching.

Admission: Zoned, except for the Superintendent's Program, which admits students from throughout District 20 based on their 4th grade standardized test scores, report cards, punctuality and attendance. The program is highly selective. (Gail Robinson, phone interview and web reports, March 2019)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
58% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
39% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Dyker Heights (District 20)
Buses: B16, B4, B63, B64, B70, X12, X14, X15, X17, X17A, X19, X3, X31, X4, X42, X5, X8, X9


Janice Geary
Parent Coordinator
Diane Castignani

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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