We are thrilled to announce the new home of our Lower School, McLean School Falls Road, opening Fall 2023!
Over the last decade, McLean has enriched its program and carefully and gradually grown its student body. As a result, space has become tight, sometimes constraining programmatic opportunities, and complicating scheduling.
Our new Campus is located just a mile down Tuckerman Lane, on a beautiful site shared with the Julia P. Bindeman Suburban Center of the Washington Hebrew Congregation.
The Lower School will benefit from larger classrooms and outdoor space, while the Middle and Upper Schools spread out within the Lochinver Lane Campus enabling us to deliver an even richer and more effective program to our students in all three divisions.
The new Campus will allow us to continue measured and gradual growth of our K-12 program, while maintaining our commitment to small classes where expert faculty teach the way students learn, and see students first for their strengths.
McLean’s warm, nurturing, and close-knit community has been, and will continue to be, a hallmark of our program.
We will share more with you about the Lower School Falls Road Campus in the coming months and look forward to welcoming students when the new school year begins in 2023!
Lower School Falls Road Highlights
A schedule centered around young students
17 large, light-filled classrooms
Extensive outdoor space, including three playgrounds geared to different ages
A Learning Commons Library designed specifically and exclusively for K-4 students
Large All Purpose Room for community-wide events
Easy carpool drop-offs and continued bus transportation between Lochinver Lane and Falls Road
The Right MoveAt the Right Time
Get a glimpse of our Lower School Falls Road Campus and hear from Head of School, Michael Saxenian, and Head of Lower School, Dr. Niesha Keemer, as they share more about this exciting opportunity and what it means for McLean.
Enjoy visiting fourteen virtual 360° photos of rooms/spaces at our new Campus, and imagine the possibilities! To enjoy this interactive experience, after entering a 360° photo, hold your touchpad down, and move up/down/right/left. After you’re ready to move into the next room, simply find the blue dot (on some devices a white circle with a small ‘i’) and click it.
Get a Glimpse of theFalls Road Campus
The beautiful Falls Road Campus is both private and accessible to our community.
We look forward to welcoming Lower School students and parents at drop off and pick up.
The large, light filled reception area where we will greet students and parents.
A Learning Commons Library designed specifically and exclusively for K-4 students.
A large All Purpose Room for lunch, physical education, and for families to join us for events and performances.
Playground Number 1 for our students to make friends, and have fun.
Playground Number 2 for our students to make friends, and have fun.
Playground Number 3 for our students to make friends, and have fun.
A virtual rendering of a warm and creative space for art at the Falls Road Campus.
We can’t wait to have students and teachers filling the hallways in the Fall of 2023.
New classroom space for our students to learn and grow.
One of the 17 large, light filled classrooms.
A virtual rendering of our new Lower School Music Room.
A virtual rendering of the STEM Room at the Falls Road Campus.
Slide left and right to see our gallery
FAQFrequently Asked Questions
Updated December 2022
Where is the Falls Road Campus?
Our new Lower School campus is located on the grounds of the Julia P. Bindeman Suburban Center, at the corner of Falls Road and Tuckerman Lane. This campus is 4 minutes and 1.8 miles from the Lochinver Lane Campus. The address is: 11810 Falls Road, Potomac, MD.
When will students and parents be able to visit the Falls Road Campus?
There will be several opportunities to visit our new Lower School home.
On Sunday, February 5 we look forward to welcoming parents and Lower School students for a get together on the playgrounds of the Falls Road Campus. We will have music, cotton candy, and hot chocolate for all.
Also on Sunday, February 5 please join us at the Falls Road Campus for our Community Service Learning Project. This is being held in cooperation with Washington Hebrew Congregation.
Prior to the start of the new school year we will welcome students into their new classrooms during an extended orientation day program.
Until then, it is important to note there’s a school currently using the facility and we have to respect the integrity of their program. We thus, unfortunately, are not able to visit the classrooms.
When does McLean gain access to the Falls Road Campus?
While we have been planning for months for the opening of the new Falls Road Campus, we will not have access to the classroom area until the end of June 2023. Over the summer we will be preparing the space to welcome our students, faculty, and families with fresh paint, new carpeting, new classroom technology, McLean signage, and minor remodeling. All classrooms will be outfitted with age appropriate, and McLean appropriate furniture, such as flexible seating. We will be moving some furniture from the Lochinver Lane Campus, and purchasing new items to replace older desks and chairs.
How will the School support current Lower School students in making the transition to the Falls Road Campus?
Our teachers know their students well, including both what animates and what concerns them. Based on this understanding, and in an age appropriate manner, they will be speaking with their students about the Falls Road Campus and sharing their excitement about the pending move. We will also create opportunities, starting with the get-together on the playgrounds of the Falls Road Campus on January 16, for students to begin to get comfortable with the new building. As noted above, prior to the start of school we will have an extended orientation program for our students so that they can meet their new teachers and become familiar with the new campus. And, of course, there will be a number of administrators on hand at the start of the school year to help everyone get settled in and comfortable.
Will McLean have its own space?
Yes. The full second floor of the Bindeman Center building–all of the classrooms and offices–will be exclusively dedicated to our Lower School throughout the year. On the ground floor, we will have exclusive use of a generous walled-off area in the social hall, which will serve as the Lower School’s All Purpose Room, except for a few days a year that will be arranged in advance. This space will be used for Lower School performances, all school meetings, lunch, and indoor PE on inclement weather days.
Will the School have any affiliation with Washington Hebrew Congregation?
No. McLean has no religious or programmatic affiliation with the Congregation. We have leased dedicated space for the exclusive use of the Lower School.
Will the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools still follow the same School Calendar?
Yes. McLean continues to be a K-12 school, and the Lower School will follow the same calendar as Middle and Upper School, with all the same holidays.
Will the Lower School schedule change?
The Lower School will enjoy greater scheduling flexibility as it will no longer have to coordinate lunch, recess, and PE with the Middle and Upper Schools. The Lower School leadership, in coordination with Lower School teachers, will be examining the daily schedule later this year and may make some minor changes to further maximize overall program effectiveness.
When will the school day begin and end for the Falls Road and Lochinver Lane Campus?
The Lower School will start a little earlier at 8:00 am, and end at 3:00 pm. The Middle and Upper School schedules will remain unchanged. We have adjusted the Lower School schedule by 15 minutes to enable our buses to first go to the Falls Road Campus, and then proceed to the Lochinver Lane Campus in the morning and afternoon.
If there is a staggered start of the school day, will students be picked up earlier from the bus stops?
Yes. Depending on bus ridership, we expect some pick up times to be approximately 10 minutes earlier so that Lower School students can first be dropped off at the Falls Road Campus before the bus moves on to the Lochinver Lane Campus. A detailed bus schedule will be provided in July.
Will Lower School students be required to use the School’s buses?
No. While Lower School students are welcome to use the School’s busing services, parents may drop off and pick up all Lower School students directly at the Fall Road Campus. Campus Passes will not be required. Students riding the bus will be bussed in the afternoon from the Falls Road Campus to the Lochinver Lane Campus, where we will then help them transition to their appropriate buses.
Where do visitors park at the Falls Road Campus?
We will have a dedicated parking lot of 110 spaces, with McLean School signage. Students, parents, faculty, staff, and visitors will enter through the main building doors where they will be greeted by a McLean receptionist, who will direct them to the Lower School classrooms and offices on the second floor. An elevator is available.
How will McLean foster connectivity between the two campuses?
We are committed to maintaining connection and continuity throughout our K-12 program. We plan to have students in all three divisions participate in school-wide events including Spirit Week activities, Service Learning Projects, Pep Rallies, and cross-grade academic activities. We will regularly hold all-school Faculty and Staff Professional Development Days at the Falls Road Campus to foster greater connectivity.
How much will the student body expand on both campuses?
We plan to have continued, deliberate, and moderate growth, just as we’ve had over the past decade. During that period, we grew at an average rate of 5% per year. We are committed to maintaining the same low student-teacher ratio and small class sizes that set McLean apart from other schools.
Will there be additional staffing to support increased enrollment?
Yes. Additional classroom teachers will be hired as needed to support Lower School enrollment growth and maintain McLean’s low student-to-teacher ratio. The Falls Road Campus will also have its own receptionist, nurse, and librarian. Programs including Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, Strings, along with 3:20 Club (afterschool care) and afterschool activities, will be fully staffed on site.
How will the Middle and Upper Schools use the additional space left by the Lower School’s move?
For the 2023-2024 school year, we will outfit the Lower School classrooms with furniture for older students so that the Middle and Upper Schools can hold classes in those spaces. This spring we will begin a master planning process with the architectural firm that designed our building expansion to determine how best to use the space on the Lochinver Lane Campus. We look forward to soliciting input from a number of different constituencies. This planning will continue through the fall and we expect to begin building modifications in the summer of 2024.
Will members of the Administrative Team, other than the Head and Assistant Head of Lower School, spend time at both campuses?
Yes. There will be a dedicated office on the Falls Road Campus that School administrators will use on a rotating basis to ensure that all members of the Administrative Team stay connected to the Lower School.
What technology will be installed in the new classrooms?
In preparation for our move to the Falls Road Campus, we’ve surveyed other schools and researched the most suitable classroom technology for Lower School students. Each of our Lower School classrooms will be equipped with Interactive Flat Panel TVs. This extremely user-friendly technology will replace our Brightlink projectors and interactive whiteboards, allowing a greater level of flexibility for our teachers and improved (and more fun) interactivity for our students. Our teachers have already begun to experiment with this new technology in our Learning Commons.
Will there be a new Learning Commons Library at the Falls Road Campus?
Yes. There will be a Learning Commons Library designed specifically and exclusively for K-4 students. Existing books and furniture will be moved over this summer and supplemented as needed.
Where will daily PE take place at the Falls Road Campus?
The Lower School will have two dedicated PE teachers working with our students. They will take advantage of the beautiful large outdoor fields and basketball court blacktop for most PE classes. When the weather is inclement, PE will move into the large All Purpose Room. New PE equipment will be purchased to support these classes.
Will Speech Language Pathology (SLP) and Occupational Therapy (OT) services still be available?
Yes. Our occupational therapists and speech language pathologists will operate with dedicated space and equipment.
Will the Lower School continue to offer a Strings Program?
Yes, we have dedicated a classroom for our Strings Program.
How will the Lunch Program operate at the Falls Road Campus?
Lunch will be served in the All Purpose Room. For the 2023-2024 school year, lunch set up and service will be similar to the current program on the Lochinver Lane Campus. During the school year, we will be examining options to determine how best to use the industrial kitchen at the Falls Road Campus to provide an in-house meal service.
Will there be a nurse at the Falls Road Campus?
Yes. We will have a full time nurse and dedicated health room for students.
What security measures will be in place at the Falls Road Campus?
During the school day, the Bindeman Center provides a Montgomery County police officer in front of the building and a private security officer inside the building.
Will there be an Afterschool Program?
Yes. 3:20 Club will continue at the Falls Road Campus, and we are considering adding other after school activities as well.
Will my tuition go up to support the expansion?
No. In fact, the modest growth we are planning for will enable us to moderate tuition increases.
At-a-GlanceGrowth Through the Years
Opening of Euclid Street Nursery School in Washington, DC
Relocation to McLean Gardens & renamed McLean School
Relocation to Lochinver Lane in Potomac, MD as a K-9 school
Opening of Upper School
Expansion and enhancement of Lochinver Lane Campus