Self Discovery in Middle School
McLean School’s dynamic Middle School Program is a safe, caring, nurturing environment where students in grades 5-8 thrive academically, emotionally, and socially. Students leave our Middle School as accomplished, confident students, who understand themselves and how to self-advocate, ready for our college-preparatory Upper School Program.
Why do students find success in our Middle School?
- We keep things incredibly small to ensure a personalized learning experience for each student. The average class boasts a 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio with some classes as small as 5 students.
- Our unique Abilities ModelTM calls on us to see students first for what they can do, rather than for what they can’t.
- Every child has a Student Learning Profile (SM) providing a customized list of strategies, as well as a checklist that specifies the student’s individual strengths and challenges gleaned from testing and teacher feedback.
- Our faculty is a well-trained team of professionals. Nearly all teachers in grade 5 and 6 have a degree, license, or background in Special Education, which allows them to meet a variety of learning needs within our homeroom model. In our departmentalized grades 7 and 8, we have content experts that understand best practices and pedagogy for working with all learners.
- Our homeroom teachers and advisors meet daily with their students utilizing and expanding on elements of the Responsive Classroom and Development Designs Advisory Guide curriculum. These promote community building.
- We both accelerate and support. We know that just because a student may struggle with written expression doesn’t mean they will encounter the same challenges in math. Students are placed in classes tailored to their strengths and challenges, and we embed support within the classroom. Middle School students have access to Upper School courses when appropriate.
- Executive functioning instruction and support is part of all of our classes.
- We have woven Mindfulness throughout our curriculum because research proves it reduces stress and improves focus and learning.
- We have fun! Our wide sports offerings, STEM and robotics clubs, visual arts and theatrical performances, and our weekly clubs for a variety of groups connect students with others around shared interests in and out of the classroom.
- Our students feel respected and safe. Underlying our entire Middle School program is a program called P.R.I.D.E. (Positive Interaction, Respect/Responsibility, Individual and Community Safety, Decision Making, and Empathy). In a recent survey, 91% of parents indicated that their child’s self-esteem increased after starting school at McLean.