Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete 26 Upper School (post grade 8) credit hours in order to qualify for a McLean School diploma.
  • English: Three Years.
  • Senior English/Humanities: One Year.
  • Foreign Language: Two years of one language. A third year is strongly recommended.
  • History: Three years, one of which must be United States History. Four years are strongly recommended.
  • Literature: Three years.
  • Mathematics: Four years including Algebra 2/Trigonometry.
  • Physical Education: Two years.
  • Science: Three years. Four years are strongly recommended.
  • Arts: One credit of art, music, drama, and/or computers. More are recommended.
  • Community Service: 40 hours.
Credit Definition
A unit of credit is awarded for a course that meets one class period per day for the entire academic year. A partial credit is awarded in the same ratio. Any Upper School courses taken prior to grade 9 will be listed on the individual student’s transcript; grades will not be listed nor will students receive Upper School credit for these courses.
Course Load
Students in Upper School are required to carry a course load of six year-long academic classes (English, literature, foreign language, history, mathematics, and science). They must take physical education (or an independent physical education contract) for 2 years, and select courses in art, music, computer, and other electives to complete graduation requirements. Study halls are offered.
Physical Education/Sports
Students are required to receive credit for two years (six athletic team seasons) of physical education. Credit can be received in one of three ways; interscholastic team participation, physical education class, or independent physical education contract. Most students elect to complete their requirements during grades nine and ten. Some complete their requirements with participation on a team or class in their junior or senior year.
To receive credit through participation on a school team (1/3 credit per season) a student must be willing to commit fully to the team, adhering to all athletic department and team rules designated by the coach. During the first seven practices, each student will be given an opportunity to experience the demands of practice as well as understand the team demands and rules, after which each team member is expected to finish the season on the team. If a student decides to quit after that time, there will be no credit given for that season. That student will not be permitted to participate in a physical education class or contract for that season in order to make up the lost credit.
Physical education classes meet after school. In each season, a weight training/conditioning class will be offered in the school’s weight room. [A more traditional class in team sports such as street hockey, basketball, or volleyball will be offered also. With sufficient interest, on or off campus classes may be offered in activities such as yoga, self-defense, bowling, or aerobics. A modest fee may be required to participate in these classes.] To receive credit for P.E. classes, a student must participate in a minimum of 75% of the classes.
The final option, that of contracting to receive credit for an out-of-school activity, requires adherence to the following regulations:
  • The student must be under the direction of an instructor/coach.
  • The student must be involved in a supervised activity a minimum of three hours per week.
  • The Independent Physical Education contract application must be obtained from the Athletic Director, completed and signed by the student and parent/guardian.
  • The supervisor/instructor must complete and sign the related coach’s questionnaire prior to the start of the season.
  • The student must have shown a previous interest in the activity.
  • Changes in the activity or supervisor are not permitted without prior permission from the Athletic Director.
  • The activity must not be available through the school.

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