McKinley is the oldest high school established for African American students in East Baton Rouge Parish. Its first graduating class was in 1916, and those four students became the first African American high school graduates in Louisiana. McKinley’s long history as a premier educational institution in the Baton Rouge community continues into the 21st century. Academics is the main focus of the educational experience, and students have opportunities to follow curricula for jobs and college preparation. Arts have an important place in the curriculum, too, with courses in music, dance, theater and visual arts.
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