Students must successfully complete 26 Upper School (post grade 8) credit hours in order to qualify for a McLean School diploma.
- English: Three Years.
- Senior English/Humanities: One Year.
- Foreign Language: Two years of one language. A third year is strongly recommended.
- History: Three years, one of which must be United States History. Four years are strongly recommended.
- Literature: Three years.
- Mathematics: Four years including Algebra 2/Trigonometry.
- Physical Education: Four seasons or 160 hours.
- Science: Three years. Four years are strongly recommended.
- Arts: One credit of art or music. More are recommended.
- Service Learning: 40 hours.
A unit of credit is awarded for a course that meets one class period per day for the entire academic year. A partial credit is awarded in the same ratio. Any Upper School courses taken prior to grade 9 will be listed on the individual student’s transcript; grades will be listed and students receive Upper School credit for these courses.
Students in Upper School are required to carry a course load of six year-long academic classes (English, literature, foreign language, history, mathematics, and science). They must take physical education (or an independent physical education contract) for four seasons or 160 hours, and select courses in art, music, graphic art, and other electives to complete graduation requirements. Study halls are offered.
Students are required to receive credit for four athletic team seasons or 160 hours of physical education. Credit can be received in one of three ways; interscholastic team participation, physical education class, or independent physical education contract. Most students elect to complete their requirements during grades nine and ten. Some complete their requirements with participation on a team or class in their junior or senior year. Students are encouraged to participate as often as possible in athletics throughout their Upper School careers.
To receive credit through participation on a school team (1/2 credit per season) a student must be willing to commit fully to the team, adhering to all athletic department and team rules designated by the coach. During the first seven practices, each student will be given an opportunity to experience the demands of practice as well as understand the team demands and rules, after which each team member is expected to finish the season on the team. If a student decides to quit after that time, there will be no credit given for that season.
Physical education classes meet after school. In each season, a weight training/conditioning class will be offered in the school’s weight room. Students accrue hours on an hourly basis for the PE classes that they attend. Hours acrue similary for Independent PE contracts.
The final option, that of contracting to receive credit for an out-of-school athletic activity, requires adherence to the following regulations:
- The student must be under the direction of an instructor/coach.
- The student must be involved in a supervised activity a minimum of three hours per week.
- The Independent physical education contract application must be obtained from the Director or Athletics and Physical Education, completed and signed by the student and parent/guardian.
- The instructor/coach must complete and sign the related coach’s questionnaire prior to the start of the season.
- The student must have shown a previous interest in the activity.
- Changes in the activity or instructor/coach are not permitted without prior permission from the Director of Athletics and Physical Education.
- The activity must not be available through McLean during the season the activity takes place.