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Montclair Elementary School

The technology lab at Montclair Elementary School is bustling with activity. It's a student favorite – Lego Robotics. Third grade students are talking, laughing and working together to build their Lego robots.

Technology Instructional Assistant Joann Vazquez brought the program to Montclair last year, with support from the Beaverton Education Foundation and eventually, the Parent Teacher Organization. The program is getting a great response from students. "It's really teaching the 21st century skills of collaboration and innovation, all the things that they need to move ahead," says Vazquez.

Principal Sean Leverty says parent volunteerism is strong at Montclair. "It shows through from our Arts Literacy and Music Appreciation programs and our primary literacy support, to all of the student-centered events and activities that enrich our students," he says.

Montclair ES opened in 1970, using the open-space concept with 12 classrooms. The furnace didn't work on the first day of school so staff and students had to bundle up. Over the years, the open-space concept has been modified and a dedicated library was added in 1999.

The school mascot is the red-tailed hawk. With nearby wetlands, students and staff would frequently see red-tailed hawks flying around the school. Says Leverty, "It made sense to incorporate the hawk into our community." Teachers have taken advantage of those wetlands, embedding nature and ecology into their core curriculum.