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New Tumwater Middle School set to open as students return to school in Beaverton

Jill O'Neill, the principal of the new Tumwater Middle School, said she's excited for students to see the state-of-the-art building.

BEAVERTON, Ore. — Thousands of students in the Beaverton School District returned to the classroom for the first day of School on Wednesday morning. Staff at Tumwater Middle School were ready to welcome more than 900 students to the new middle school.

Principal Jill O'Neil said the building was completed in 2016 and housed four other schools and three other programs in its past. O'Neil said she's excited for students to see the state-of-the-art building and she thinks it's really going to make a difference with their learning.

"There's innovative spaces focused on collaborations," O' Neil said. "There's student collaboration areas and staff collaboration areas."

Credit: Bryant Clerkley

The building includes updated math and science labs. It's also a "green school." O'Neil said the building collects rain water from the roof that goes into the gardens. The building also has solar panels on the roof.

O' Neil said there's another option for students who aren't comfortable coming back to the classroom yet. It's called Flex Online and it's available for K-12 students.

Credit: Bryant Clerkley

Language Arts teacher Ally Edwards said she's very excited to be back with her students full time.

"A lot of students haven't been in a school building in over almost a year and a half at this point, so it's going to be really important this year to not only build meaningful relationships and communities, but really see where they are, and meet students where they are when it comes to academics," Edwards said.

O' Neil said the district held focus groups with students to get ideas on Tumwater Middle School.

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