An Essential Foundation
Here begins the work of learning how to learn! Kindergarten through Grade 4 are formative years, a time when attitudes about school and self begin to take shape. We value a balanced approach to support the integrity of our curriculum while fostering a play-based learning environment. McLean’s program incorporates daily PE, gardening, and clubs, and our innovative approach ensures academic achievement while building a strong understanding of self-advocacy. We create a Student Learning Profile℠ for each child, and tailor teaching strategies for various subject areas.
McLean’s educational experts—teachers, coordinator of learning services, speech-language pathologist, math specialist, reading specialist, occupational therapists, and counselor—work together seamlessly, focusing on each individual child to identify strengths and challenges while providing guidance to help students achieve their goals. At McLean, we are committed to maintaining an inclusive, respectful, and caring school environment whereby all children feel welcomed, safe, and supported.
Lower School Highlights
Co-teaching teams collaborate to cultivate confident learners by scaffolding a progression of conceptual knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Teachers and specialists strategically facilitate small groups with similar learning strengths and needs in reading, language arts, word study, and math, which allows children to make progress.
Interactive and engaging activities inspire exploration, innovation, and creativity.
Instructional research-based programs, including: Orton-Gillingham (multisensory approach to reading), Marilyn Burns’s Do the Math (flexible instruction for building numerical reasoning and confidence), John Mighton’s JUMP Math (developing number sense and strong conceptual basis), The Writing Process and Being a Writer (research-based workshop model and direct instruction related to written expression), Handwriting Without Tears (innovative, hands-on approach to creating legibility and fluency).
A character curriculum that celebrates acts of kindness, effort, and responsibility on a daily basis.
“I believe deeply in the mission of McLean. This is a wonder-filled place where children are kind to their peers, where everyone is motivated intrinsically to work hard, and where each individual’s gifts are recognized and celebrated. It’s an honor to be part of a child’s educational experiences during this period of self-discovery, and I take the responsibility seriously while making sure that learning itself is fun and playful.” - Dr. Mary Dickerson, Head of Lower School