LifeReady - Academics - McDonogh School


What is LifeREady?

LifeReady, McDonogh’s Academic Strategic Plan, prepares students to thrive in a rapidly changing world. It guides how we teach and what we teach—inside and outside the classroom. At its core, LifeReady empowers students to be self-reliant, critical thinkers who can form, test, and revise their ideas—for themselves, and in the service of others.

Teaching students how to think—not what to think—is the best protector of justice in a healthy democracy. LifeReady honors strong pedagogical practices that have always been productive for student learning: deep discussion, projects, field work, writing, presentations, and lab investigations. 

The Plan, developed by faculty and administrators in the months following McDonogh’s accreditation by the Association of Independent Maryland Schools in 2012, speaks to our commitment to providing students with an exceptional and rigorous education that prepares them to meet the challenges of a complex, uncertain, and volatile world.

When the kids are engaged and get their hands dirty, they relate to that experience and learn so much better. The kids are collaborating, being creative, and they have ownership. This is LifeReady.

—Gregg Kleiman, Middle School Faculty



McDonogh School promises to maintain the very best of what has made us so successful for nearly 150 years: powerful relationships, expert teachers, and appropriate resources. But McDonogh also promises to continue to develop—now and long into the future—new modes of research-based learning that respond to current and future imperatives. 

These imperatives demand students who think deeply and well, leverage the richness of working in diverse communities, keep the greater good primary in their thoughts and actions, and understand that to serve is at the heart of one’s purpose in life.