School Climate

The little things matter in a student’s day—a smile in the hallway, a complimentary remark about an academic insight, a pat on the back when a basketball swishes, or applause for a jazz solo. Many little things come together to provide a school wide climate where students experience physical, emotional, social and academic safety. Through strong student-teacher connectedness, and student centered programming and inclusive activities, students thrive emotionally, socially, and academically at McLean.

I encourage you to explore the many ways we support a positive school climate for our entire community – students, faculty, and parents.  

Frankie Engelking 
Director of Student and Community Wellness

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • Diversity Education and Activities

    McLean School’s commitment to diversity and equity is an extension of our mission to make education accessible, stimulating, and meaningful to a broad range of learners. We embrace the wealth of experience that differences of ethnicity, race, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, color, sexual orientation, or gender contribute to our community. With an expectation of personal integrity and respect for others, our students acquire the skills and sensibilities necessary for living in a world of change and difference. Our teachers and staff incorporate content and materials from the Teaching Tolerance Curriculum to support our students’ development and appreciation for people and cultures different than one’s personal experience. We are proud of our student and family participation in:
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Conference sponsored by AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland Schools)
    • People of Color Conference sponsored by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) 
    • Rainbow Families Conferences (connecting, supporting, and empowering LGBTQ+ Families in the DMV area)
    • National Day of Silence (student-led national event to highlight the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school)
    • Student led Diversity Clubs (ACES – Attitudes Change Everything and Equity Club)
  • Community Building

    As a K-12 school it is important for our students to build community amongst all ages. Blue/White teams, cross division field trips, Service Learning volunteerism, outdoor education and the Bus Buddy program connect students and faculty across divisions and grades.  Our regularly held Community/Town Meetings celebrate and recognize our students individual and group accomplishments in academics, sports, arts, and citizenship.
  • Mindfulness

    As a nationally recognized school in Mindfulness, McLean provides Mindfulness education and practice to its students, faculty, staff and parents. Scientific research supports that a mindful practice reduces stress and aids focus and learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Visit our Mindfulness page for additional information and resources.
  • Service Learning

    Service Learning is an integral part of our school community, and engages students in meaningful service to others through on-campus, off-campus, and international programs. Visit our Service Learning page for specific ways our students engage in Service Learning.
  • Climate Committees and Student Government

    Student participation in the Climate Committees of Lower and Middle School and Student Government and Honor Committees in the Upper School help to support our positive climate. Each committee is comprised of student representatives, who serve as the voice of the student body, and share concerns, opinions, and recommendations with the administration.  Their student-led initiatives are an integral part of the student experience.
  • Honor Code

    Our community thrives when every member respects the boundaries as set forth in our Honor Code.  The Lower School Pledge Program of Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Responsible sets the foundation for our students to respect each other both in and out of the classroom.  The Middle School PRIDE Program (Positive Interaction, Respect/Responsibility, Individual and Community Safety, Decision Making, and Empathy) expands the expectations we have for our code of conduct.  The Upper School Honor Code expects students to show respect for the campus and the people who comprise our school by demonstrating honesty, courtesy, and appropriate behavior.
  • Digital Citizenship

    The digital age requires us to understand the many implications for its use. Our partnership with Common Sense Media provides resources that support faculty, educate parents, and guide students in the safe, effective use of digital technology. We encourage students to think critically, behave safely and respectfully, maintain healthy digital relationships, and participate responsibly in the digital sphere. Digital citizenship includes awareness of digital bullying, cyber security, plagiarism, internet addiction, and digital footprint.
  • Social-Emotional Programming

    As educators, we are committed to providing specific and cross divisional programming that builds a space and community where students have the expectations, language, and skills to be able to navigate ideas of sense of self, friendship, stress, and their overall place in our community and greater world. By recognizing the whole child, we must also support the social emotional domain, and work to prepare them for the challenges of today and the possibilities of tomorrow. Utilizing specific curriculum from Responsive Classroom, elements of Developmental Designs Advisory Guide (the subsequent program to Responsive Classroom), and the Owning Up Curriculum, our homeroom teachers and advisors are the cornerstone to providing age appropriate, targeted, and consistent social-emotional learning activities that integrate with and enhance cross curricular activities already being done.  As part of a multidisciplinary team, the Counselors are also available to all students to assist in helping them be successful in school. Our Counselors contribute to creating a safe and respectful environment where all students can thrive, and coordinate with one another on service delivery and offer their support to students in each division in a developmentally-appropriate manner. Counselors also meet on a regular basis to coordinate social and emotional programming.
  • Faculty And Parent Resources

    In creating a positive and meaningful experience for our entire community, we provide a variety of resources and programs specifically for the social and emotional well-being of our parents and faculty.  
    • Presentations and Workshops on campus by McLean faculty and parents, local and national experts
    • Mindfulness training and practice through regular Mindful Monday sessions
    • Digital Citizenship workshops
    • Fitness and Conditioning Classes
    • Yoga Classes

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