McLean School thrives in the understanding that great minds don’t think alike.
We provide a comprehensive K-12 college preparatory program that is joyful and nurturing, while challenging each student to meet her or his full potential.
We accomplish this with expert teachers, in small classes, with an average of fewer than 12 students, allowing us to adapt our approach to meet students' needs. We embrace both traditional learners and ones with mild to moderate learning challenges—including dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, anxiety, and challenges related to executive funtioning. Our students often excel in one or more areas while benefiting from support in others.
Our teachers are innovators. Creating and drawing upon a wide range of classroom approaches, they give students needed tools and support and, in turn, expect them to work hard so that they can succeed.
By emphasizing each student’s strengths and interests—and by believing in each student--we build self-esteem, self advocacy skills, and a solid academic foundation. A fundamental aspect of our approach is to integrate learning support into the classroom wherever possible rather than pulling students out.
In the Upper School our students are challenged through extensive honors, STEM/Robotics and AP offerings, and they have the option of coursework at American University - or through One Schoolhouse's Online Independent School. And in all three divisions students find further expression and growth through extensive curricular and extracurricular offerings in art, music, drama, physical education and athletics.
The results are striking: 87% of parents report that their child’s self-esteem increased when they joined the school. And, our graduates routinely gain acceptance at leading colleges such as Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Brandeis, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Smith, and Tulane. Over the last 3 years, our seniors have received mostly merit-based scholarship offers, totaling over $4 million dollars. From students who begin with McLean in kindergarten to those who join us in Middle School or even Upper School, the experience is transformative, and the results inspiring.
I hope your visit to our website will lead you to visit our school. We look forward to meeting you personally and showing you, firsthand, how we transform lives.
Michael Saxenian
Head of School

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  • Biography of Michael Saxenian

    Michael Saxenian is the sixth Head of McLean School, an independent, co-educational, K-12 day school serving the Washington, DC metropolitan area. McLean has for sixty years been helping students realize their full potential by providing a comprehensive college preparatory program that emphasizes small classes, differentiated instruction, and individualized program enhancement.
    Mike also serves as the Treasurer of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and serves on the Executive Committee of the NAIS Board, as well as on the Board of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA).
    He holds an MBA, an MA in Development Economics and a BA in International Relations, all from Stanford University.
    Prior to joining McLean, Mike served for 12 years as Assistant Head of School and Chief Financial Officer at Sidwell Friends School, a PK-12 co-educational Quaker school with 1120 students in Washington, DC and Bethesda, Maryland. Mike led the master planning, design, zoning, financing and construction of the School’s campus-wide renovations, which included a middle school building that earned the first LEED Platinum rating for a K-12 school, as well a number of other LEED certified buildings and landscapes. Mike also designed and taught the senior elective, Global Perspectives on Economics, and helped the school triple its net assets from $40 million to $120 million.  
    Mike joined Sidwell Friends School from Discovery Communications, where he served as Vice President and General Manager of Discovery Travel Online.  Prior to that he served as Vice President of Conservation Enterprise for Conservation International, and helped start and operate businesses in the fields of education and appropriate technology. He authored the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook, an 800-page resource guide to technologies for rural development with 50,000 copies in print.  

K-12 College Preparatory School Supporting Bright Students’ Individual Strengths and Challenges.

McLean School is an independent, co-educational, K-12 day school serving Maryland, Washington, and Virginia. McLean has for over sixty years been helping students realize their full potential by providing a comprehensive college preparatory program that emphasizes small classes and differentiated instruction. We embrace both traditional learners and ones with mild to moderate learning challenges – dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, and challenges related to anxiety and executive functioning. Many of our students excel in some areas while benefiting from support in others.
8224 Lochinver Lane, Potomac, Maryland 20854  301.299.8277