Array of career programs and business partnerships
Many students struggle academically
The only Career and Technical Education (CTE) school on Staten Island, Ralph R. McKee High School, located on a hill overlooking the harbor, is intended for students who do not intend to go to college as well as those who do.
The website urges students to consider McKee “whether your dream is to someday design the most iconic building on Staten Island, to start your own business, to join Local 20, or to become the very first member of your family to graduate from college.” Longtime principal Sharon Henry has said described the school as being for “the great middle.”
Every student at the school enrolls in one of seven career oriented programs: architectural drafting, automotive technology, carpentry and construction, electrical engineering, graphic design, software engineering and a business program called Virtual Enterprise. To graduate, students must take a full academic program as well as 12 semesters of CTE classes. A number of Staten Island businesses offer paid internships to students.
In the school’s Quality Review students reported that math, English and social students classes were the strongest subjects at the school. McKee offers few Advanced Placement classes and students may also take College Now classes for College credit.
AVID, a growing national college preparatory program, plays a key role in the effort to boost academics at McKee. AVID students take classes together and receive extra support in problem-solving, note-taking and other academic skills.
An educator who visited the school highlighted McKee’ positive learning environment, praising the school for providing students with a variety of paths for forming relationships within the building. The review was less enthusiastic about the quality of some classes, pointing up instances where students didn’t have materials, became confused or lost interest. In a survey, students highlighted similar problems, giving their classmates lower than average marks for classroom behavior and attentiveness.
McKee offers a large number of interscholastic sports teams including cricket, double Dutch, fencing, gulf and rugby as well as the more common athletics.
After experiencing a drop in enrollment in the early teens, the student population at McKee has rebounded. It has far more boys than girls.
The school traces its beginning to the start of what was then called vocational education on Staten Island’s North Shore around 1920. McKee moved into its current building and acquired its current name in 1935.
Special Education: As many as a third of McKee students have special needs. About half of those students spend much of their school day in team teaching classes with a mix of general education and special education students. McKee also has some self-contained special education classes. Special education students may enroll in all of McKee’s career programs and are eligible for internships, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan
Admissions: When applying to McKee, students must select the program that interests them and may apply to one or more. Most of the programs choose students using the educational option method that admits students with a range of academic backgrounds, however a couple screen students based on their middle school records. Programs generally have some unfilled seats and accept a small number of incoming 10th graders. Set aside seats for students with disabilities do fill up in some programs. The school is open to any New York City student. (Gail Robinson, from DOE material, September 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Electrical Engineering and Installation Program
This course proceeds from the wiring of simple and low voltage circuits including signal systems security alarms, computer-controlled motors operations & robotics to residential electrical systems installation, circuit design & installation of various wiring methods: armored cable & electrical metallic tubing in the residential sector culminating in commercial wiring, motor control circuit design/installation, & solar energy. Students are prepared for college and industry based positions.
Software Engineering (SEP) gives students training and experience in coding. The core topics are Python, Scratch, HTML, CSS, processing & JAVA. Additional programming electronics and robotics skills are learned with Arduino, & LEGO robotics. Within robotics, students learn LEGO Mindstorms, EV3, & digital fabrication. Within 3-D printing using Makerbot, students learn Flash, Animation, and Action Script. Students are prepared for college and industry based positions.
Virtual Enterprise offers students a competitive edge through project based collaborative learning and the development of 21st century skills in entrepreneurship and digital marketing strategies. Students engage in an in-school, live, global business simulation sharpening skill-sets and knowledge base in problem solving, communication, personal finance, and technology. Students will be certified in Social Media Marketing. Students are prepared for college and industry based positions.
Graphic Design prepares students for art and media design careers using digital technology. Students will use the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Premiere Pro) and Web Design. Students will have the opportunity to take multiple certifications given by the design industry leading software provider. Students participate in internships, advanced study, and work in the field of graphic design. Students are prepared for college and industry based positions.
In Architectural Drafting students advance from technical drawing to visualizing in 3 dimensions, to expanding their technical imagination, & the language of industry. Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), board drafting, and 3D solid modeling are integral in understanding engineering, construction & manufacturing processes. Students use the latest industrial software (AutoCad and Revit). Students receive a technical endorsement and are prepared for college and industry based positions.
NYS & NATEF approved Automotive Technology program uses the NATEF General Service Technician Program curriculum. NATEF sets national standards for instruction, tasks, tools, equipment, hours & instructor qualifications. Topics include electronic systems ABS (braking), air bag, fuel injection and sensor theory plus analysis and testing of related on-board computer functions, steering/suspension, and brake systems. The instructors for the program are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified.
Carpentry & Building Trades
Carpentry and Building Trades leads to an industry recognized endorsement in construction and OSHA certification. Students are immersed in residential and commercial building designs. Students develop their capacity with all tools used in the construction industry and computer aided inputs such as the Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine. Eligible students enter a pre-apprenticeship New York Labor union program during senior year, which may lead to a full time apprenticeship after graduation.
Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical Education High D75 Inclusion Program
Ralph R. Mckee Career and Technical Education High School ACES 15:1 Program
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP English Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP United States History, AP Computer Science Principles
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams
Contact & Location
290 St. Marks Place
Staten Island NY 10301
Trains: SIR to St. George
Buses: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98
This school is in its own building.