I was an international student, who lived in many countries before arriving at McLean HS. This school was probably the worst school i've even attended.
1)Kids are not friendly to new students. It's a very tight knit community that's not very open minded. I found myself making friends with international/military family students mostly. There is a huge Korean/Asian community which would be helpful if you are new and from that culture. But very few hispanic/african american students.
2)It's very hard to make the sports teams. Most McLean students are athletic and competitive, so chances are your kid will not make the team if he/she is average. I was able to make the swim team, but it again very clicky atmosphere.
3)The teachers are just average. History and english teachers specially! They lacked creativity and repeated verbatim the assigned textbooks/books. We watched "Ghostbusters" episodes in physics class every day because the teacher was too lazy to teach a full class.
4) DRUGS. Avoid walking home by the forrest that's behind McLean High School (near by Westmoreland) there would always be a huge group of students smoking weed and drinking alcohol after school. It would also be super normal for kids to attend class high. I have heard that the problem was even worse in Langley HS, so it might be a problem of the area in general.
If your kid is an international student i would advice you to go to Marshall HS. It's more diverse and you can get an IB diploma..so academically it's superior. I took a few electives there and loved it. Good luck!
This site appears to rate schools based on reviews only, which gives a false impression. For example McLean and Langley High schools are both rated as an 8 (a barely passing grade). But both schools are ranked in the top 200 (out of 21,000 nationwide) McLean is ranked #2 and Langley #6 in the state of VA by USA today's rankings. While personal opinion has it's place, statistics tell a clearer story. However for those that like anecdotes, my 3 children when to McLean and although average students, they were encouraged to do their best and were given a sound foundation for college. Finally, although the received average grades they were accepted at very good schools, one school openly admitting they were taking a flyer based on McLean's reputation for strong college prep (that one is currently a Junior running a 3.89) No High school is perfect and I'm sorry to hear some of the kids reviewing the school had a tough time of it, but fundamentally, high school is there to prepare you for college and McLean (and Langley) do that very well indeed.
I go there now & I have to say, it's okay. I haven't seen any bullying, people are always really nice to special ed kids, the classes range in difficulty based on reg., HNRS, and AP, and while I know some kids who are drinking & doing drugs, few are. My only complaints are the large class sizes and the short time periods between classes.
Many students are immoral and have illegal habits. There is a fellowship of Christian athletes group so that is a place for moral students to find friendships. The teachers were good and educate the students well. It's not easy to join a team even if you are very talented because there are so many students trying out for sports. We took our child out of this school.
McLean is a well-run school with great academics and extra-curricular opportunities for students. The pride that administrators, students and parents take in the school is obvious, and the new principal seems to have developed a good relationship with the community. The school also gets great support from the business community in downtown McLean as well.
I am an Asian-American currently at Mclean High School. Contrary to what most are saying, it is the best! It's WAY better than Langley and we have top scores. Plus, our school teams are not that bad in some areas like football and track. Asians arent discriminated against. The only reason somebody may be unpopular is because they are either annoying or a bully themselves! Don't put some random stereotype on us that we allow bullying and that sort of nonsense. We don't. Once again, this is an amazing school.
As a parent of a former MHS student, this school doesn't not deserve ANY stars. The teachers and the assistant principals mistreat kids who are not popular. And, bullying is tolerated. I worked on various volunteer programs and parent participation was dismal at best. If you are moving to the DC area DO NOT move to Fairfax County for the schools-- not worth it. Across the river in Montgomery county are the best schools in the nation: Winston Churchill HS, Wooten, BCC, Whitman, and Walter Johnson are the best. Bullying is not tolerated and the teacher are there to serve the students and parents, and not the other way around as is the case with McLean. Even people who can well afford to send their kids to private school don't because the quality of education is superior. I did have a teacher at MHS tell me that the parents were snobby and it was tough to break in to any group. I agree with the one student reviewer that MHS was the worst experience of their life. My child agrees. I took my child out. My only regret is that they spent ANY time at MHS.
I was a former student at this school. It was the most miserable experience of my life. If you are a transfer student or come from a military family do not go here!!! They are not accommodating at all. You'll be forced to take standardized tests from classes you had already completed without helping you review. The teachers like to berate students and brag to other faculty about how many students they fail. I received no help from anyone and ended up slipping between the cracks.
I'd just like to address the two one star reviews of the school- in my experience as a student, the counseling staff is well organized and has continued to improve my experience. I am very pleased with all of my teachers, and can do well in my classes with an appropriate amount of effort. As for drugs and alcohol, that is up to the student. The problem is not nearly as bad as some other schools in the immediate area, and there is a strong program about anti-drug and alcohol education. I don't think the reviewers have noticed just how amazing this school really is for a student serious about his or her education, and that this school is easily one of the best in the country by a large margin.