In 1851, James McKay and his father left Indiana and made the overland trip to Oregon. Very soon after, McKay obtained a donation land claim of 160 acres, located on a wooded area near Progress. Other prominent settlers working claims nearby were Thomas Denney and Augustus Fanno.
During the 1880s, as the population grew, a school and a community hall were constructed on the McKay property facing Scholls Ferry Road. The school was called the Progress School. It was a large, one room, one teacher grammar school encompassing grades one through eight.
In 1929, the school and the community hall were replaced with a brick structure consisting of two classrooms, one with a stage (present music room) over a full basement. The new school was known as McKay School, School District #18. A series of additions in 1946, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1967 plus remodeling in 1971, 1990, and 1999, resulted in a building structure as we see it today. In the late fifties, McKay School had grown to the point where it had its own non-teaching superintendent/principal.
The District also found it necessary in 1960 to build a primary school, locating it nearby on Denney Road. The students named the new school Vose. In 1962, Beaverton School District #48 reorganized into a much larger district. McKay and Vose (School District #18) became a part of the new organization. Shortly after, Whitford Intermediate School was completed and housed grades seven and eight. In 1994 sixth grade was moved to the middle schools making McKay a K-5 school.