In 1913, the McKinley School District was established when a school building was erected at the corner of Fair and McLaughlin as a result of a split up of a Jackson School located on Story Road. Thus the Franklin–McKinley School District began as two separate entities.
In January of 1948, the merger of the Franklin School District with the McKinley School District finally took place. Due to the impetus, of the state of California seeking unification of small Districts, budget and enrollment problems, the trustees from both Districts got together and agreed to merge. A merger was affected, rather than a unification or unionization because the two schools were less than 3 miles apart. It was decided to combine the two names in order to keep the identity of the two Districts. Eventually everything was moved out of the antiquated McKinley school and the building was sold. It is still standing at the corner of McLaughlin and Fair Avenue and is now known as the Alamo Club. In 1952, a bond election was held to finance a new school, as enrollment was up to 873 students.
In 1958, a second McKinley School was built at 810 Macredes Avenue; however this school was only used for 6 years as the construction of the future Junipero Serra freeway (280) across town would force the demolition of the school which stood directly in its path. This school was replaced by the third McKinley School at 651 Macredes Avenue in 1967.