What Makes MESI Unique | Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools

What Makes MESI Unique


  • Montrose was named a Reward School in 2015 and 2016 by the Minnesota Department of Education for its top 15% performance in proficiency, growth, and achievement gap reduction achievements.
  • Challenge-based learning gives students a set of materials and a problem, and asks them to work together to find a solution.
  • Students start each day with Maker Mornings, a time set aside for teacher guided challenges and self-selected projects.
  • Once a week, during "Innovate" time, students engage in one of six core areas: Genius Hour, Makerspace, coding, digital media production/creation, digital citizenship or Google applications.
  • Students work in small, flexible groups, allowing them to advance at their own pace.
  • Montrose offers a 2:1 students-to-device ratio that ensures easy access to technology.
  • Music and physical education are offered for all grades, and a Bravo strings orchestra program with whole group and individualized instruction begins in grade 1.
  • A K-5 specialist teaches 3D graphic design, global connections, video game creation, Google applications, coding/programming, robotics, positive use of social media and more.
  • All students get 45 minutes per day, four days per week to support reading and math learning based upon individualized needs.
students working together

Magnet School

MESI is a magnet school–a public school with a specialized curriculum. There is no fee to attend and transportation is provided. Students living in the MESI neighborhood boundary are automatically enrolled in the school. In addition, anyone within the district (and from a member district within the Northwest Suburban Integration School District–NWSISD) can apply for one of the open seats available at each grade level. Those families who open enroll apply through a lottery process with NWSISD. 

girls programming robots

Technology Infused Learning Environment

Technology enhances the learning experience at MESI. All classrooms have a 2:1 student/device ratio. In addition, our Innovation Center offers a student broadcasting studio and editing center, 3D graphic design and printing station with computer-aided design software, Robotic Kits, coding and programming tools, and 1:1 Mac computers, Chromebooks and iPads. All teachers provide meaningful, engaging and relevant experiences for all students in grades K-5. Teaching staff also regularly utilize social media and other resources to share student learning with our families. 

teacher working with students

Challenge-Based Learning

Challenge-based learning (CBL) is a framework for learning while solving real-world challenges. Collaborative and hands-on, CBL asks students to identify big ideas, ask students to identify big ideas, ask good questions, discover and solve challenges, gain in-depth subject area knowledge, develop 21st century skills and share their thoughts with the world. At MESI, we intentionally provide students opportunities to participate in CBL through our Innovation Programming. 

Orchestra students playing cellos

Performing Arts

Students will have the opportunity to engage in vocal, instrumental and theatrical experiences as part of our performing arts programming. They will interact with piano, world drums, ukuleles and more. Students will have additional opportunities to participate in whole group and individual lessons for cello, violin and viola through our Bravo Strings Program. Theatrical performances such as plays and musicals will also compliment the student learning experience. 

boys playing with technology

Project Lead the Way

Project Lead the Way empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them. As students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge. 

Strong Parent Involvement

MESI's parents support the school by planning family events, volunteering in classrooms, arranging conference meals for teachers and much more. 

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