Essential Foundation in Elementary School
Amid the lively activity in our Lower School, a vital process begins—the work of learning how to learn. The critical years of kindergarten through grade four shape attitudes that produce self-confidence and a love of learning. Our educational experts
—teachers, learning specialist, speech-language pathologist, math specialist, reading specialist, writing specialist, occupational therapists, and counselor—come together to focus on each child, helping identify challenges and strengths while providing the structure children need to achieve goals.
The Lower School provides the foundation for success in our Middle and Upper Schools. Within the full-day academic program, daily PE, gardening and clubs, we use innovative strategies to ensure academic achievement, including a strong understanding of self-advocacy. We create a Student Learning Profile™ for each child and identify teaching strategies that work best in various subject areas.
We cultivate confident learners by scaffolding a progression of conceptual knowledge and skills, including executive functioning. Teachers lead small groups of children with similar learning strengths and needs in reading, language arts, word study, and math, allowing children to progress at their appropriate pace. Learning software and hands-on activities that inspire exploration.
McLean School teachers operate from a firm understanding of Best Practices, such as Orton-Gillingham for direct, multi-sensory instruction in phonics, Text-Talk read-alouds to promote interaction with text and word-consciousness, and Marilyn Burns' Do the Math to develop number sense and a strong conceptual basis for math.This common understanding allows teachers to use their individual creativity and problem-solving skills to design innovative and motivating activities to maximize individual student learning while also providing students with consistent instruction.
Children feel welcome and comfortable in their school home. Students and teachers are committed to maintaining a safe and supportive school environment, and acts of kindness, effort, and citizenship are rewarded with Golden Awards.