Self Discovery in Middle School

McLean’s Middle School is uniquely tailored to the complexity of adolescence and the often confusing years of self-discovery. Our highly qualified teachers understand students' individual learning strengths and challenges and appreciate this important period of growth and change. Our learning specialist, reading specialist, math specialist, and speech-language pathologist provide expertise and problem-solving techniques in meeting the students’ academic needs. Counselors promote character development while encouraging self-advocacy and self-confidence. All of our teachers, counselors, specialists, and advisors serve as role models and mentors.
Middle School is critical in preparing students for academic success in Upper School and beyond, and we offer a strong, competitive curriculum. In grades five through eight, English and literature are separate courses, producing exceptional writers and enthusiastic readers. Fifth graders use a multisensory approach to American history; sixth graders explore ancient civilizations; seventh graders focus on geography; eighth graders examine various perspectives on United States history.
Math students in grades five through eight work in small groups based on skill level; eighth-grade math lays the groundwork for Upper School algebra and geometry. Science students are introduced to the scientific method and develop skills in hypothesizing and scientific reporting. Courses in Spanish, Latin—and American Sign Language in grades seven and eight—provide exposure to other languages and cultures. Students engage daily in physical education classes, in addition to PE classes students can participate in soccer, lacrosse, basketball, volleyball, softball, basketball, track and field, cross country, and wrestling. The 2014, 2015, and 2016 Girls 7 & 8 Basketball team was the unbeaten PVAC champions. Girls 7 & 8 Softball and Volleyball teams also won the PVAC Championships for 2016. Seventh and eighth graders may choose electives in art, drama, band, strings, chorus, and technology.
Weekly Community Meetings strengthen our connections through discussion groups, poetry readings, musical performances, and guest presentations. At McLean, students feel accepted and supported, and they emerge with a stronger sense of self and the wider world.

Middle School Support Q & A

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • What kind of support can McLean offer my child?

    In Middle School, students benefit from an individualized Student Learning Profile™, while simultaneously learning to take increased ownership of their learning, as is developmentally appropriate. Teachers implement the individualized strategies and accommodations recommended for each student, in their regular classroom setting. The Middle School Support Team includes a learning specialist, reading specialist, Math Specialist, speech-language pathologist, instructional coach and two counselors.
  • What support can the Math Specialist provide for my child?

    The Math Specialist  collaborates with teachers to integrate McLean’s best practices for math instruction into the classroom. She also observes students and makes recommendations for individualized strategies to assist students’ math learning. The MS Math Specialist keeps abreast of best practices in mathematics instruction, as well as cutting edge approaches to maximize math achievement for students at, above, or below grade level.

  • What support can the Learning Specialist provide for my child?

    The Learning Specialist collaborates with teachers to formulate strategies to further assess student difficulties and challenges, and to foster student success. 
    The Learning Specialist provides consultation and training, both inside and outside of the classroom, to grade level and department groups, as well as to individual teachers. The Learning Specialist also takes part in Community Education sessions, through individual consultations and whole-group presentations, on how best to partner with teachers and support staff to become a member of their child’s educational team during their adolescent years.

  • What support can the Counselor provide for my child?

    The counselor works with students, parents, and outside therapists (if appropriate) to provide support to help students with social-emotional growth. 
  • What support can the Reading Specialist provide for my child?

    The Reading Specialist works with teachers and individual students to improve
    outcomes. The Reading Specialist works individually and with small groups of students to
    provide instruction in areas of phonemic awareness, decoding, vocabulary, spelling, and
  • What support can the Speech-Language Pathologist provide for my child?

    The Speech-Language Pathologist, in addition to providing fee-for-service on an individual basis to students needing individual intervention, also provides school-wide support to teachers in meeting students’ speech and language needs in the classroom.

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