Julia Bindeman Suburban Center Welcomes McLean School

JBSC - overhead exterior shot

The new year begins with some exciting news! Next fall, Washington Hebrew Congregation will welcome a new tenant to the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center – the McLean School.

“We are delighted to share our beautiful building and begin this relationship,” said Senior Rabbi Sue Shankman.

For years, we have shared our space with other educational organizations, and this will not change anything with the Rabbi Joseph Weinberg Early Childhood Center, Religious School, or Washington Hebrew Congregation. In February, McLean School will continue an annual tradition of participating in WHC’s Hunger Project, and for the first time, they will be joining us at JBSC, giving their community a chance to tour the space.

Michael Saxenian, Head of School at McLean School sent this message to their community yesterday:

We write with the wonderful news that next fall McLean is adding a second campus just a mile away at the corner of Falls Road and Tuckerman Lane.

The Falls Road Campus will be home for our Lower School. Located on the grounds of the Julia P. Bindeman Suburban Center of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, the new campus will provide large, light-filled classrooms, extensive outdoor play areas, and additional indoor gathering spaces. The move will also allow the Middle and Upper Schools to spread out within the Lochinver Lane Campus. The result will be even richer and more effective educational programs for our students in all three divisions.

Over the last decade, the transformative nature of our program has enabled us to gradually and thoughtfully grow our enrollment, while maintaining our signature small class sizes and sense of community. That growth has allowed us to strengthen and enrich our curricular and extracurricular programming, solidify school finances, and provide a larger social context in which students can find friends.

In addition to enhancing our program, the new space will enable us to continue our gradual and measured growth. Adding just a few students will allow us to continue to develop our program, maintain small class sizes, and moderate future tuition increases. Our commitment to small class sizes and a rich learning environment is foundational and remains unchanged.

While this announcement comes midway through our school-wide strategic planning process, we have been working for years to find a good solution to future space constraints. This fortuitous opportunity to add the Falls Road Campus was carefully reviewed by the Administration and by the Business Model Sub-Committee of the Strategic Planning Task Force, before it was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees. All three bodies recognize that, just as with our 2019 Envision McLean Upper School expansion and renovation, responsible, measured enhancement of facilities and programs is essential for continuing McLean’s unique excellence.

This is a transformative moment in the life of the school–one which both celebrates our current success, and paves the way for an even stronger McLean in the future. It is a legacy we are very pleased for Mike to leave as he enters his final year as Head of School.

Please visit here for more information about the Falls Road Campus, including a video, a 3D tour, and answers to frequently asked questions. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.