The Mt. Tabor Tribune

A Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor School Community

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A Message from the Principal


Good afternoon, MTMS Families,

I write to you this week in the midst of much hustle and bustle here at MTMS. I've spent the last two days working alongside our amazing staff--looking at data, talking about where we want to go as a school and focusing on the supportive, connected communities we want to create when students arrive back on campus. And this morning, I spent over three hours with many students and families working to beautify our campus as part of Project Community Care. And while I am mentally and physically tired, I am in awe of our community and our staff and the lengths they go to in order to support our children and students. I am so incredibly grateful.

There is still much for for all of us in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead to truly transform MTMS into a middle school we have dreamed of. It's going to take more effort and sweat. But I can say with such conviction that we are firmly down the road toward making positive, long term changes.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the start to school on Wednesday, I just want to say a huge thank you to all that joined in on our first Tabor Talk of the year. If you missed it, you can find the link to the recording below. And a huge thank you as well to the volunteers who donated their time today cleaning up our campus and tackling some much overdue yard work.

There are lots of details in the space below, and like last week, some of it will be repeated given that I want to be sure that all families have all the info they need before students are back on Wednesday. Immediately following this message are links to some of the documents you might need or want to review prior to the first day. They are all printer friendly, and you are welcome to provide them to your students if that helps to ease their anxiety (or yours).

I wish you a lovely weekend, and I hope to see many more of you in the days to come. Much love and health to you all.

All the best,

Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

Project Community Care in Pictures

Back to School Resources At a Glance

There are a lot of documents to view when heading back to school. For your convenience, I have created a list of the most frequently needed docs below for your reference.
Regular Bell Schedules

Includes schedules for Outdoor Lunch, Indoor Lunch, and Late Start

Routes To and From School

Please take these routes if biking, walking, or driving to and from campus.

Parent and Student Handbook

This document contains information about policies and procedures at MTMS.

Did you miss Wednesday's Tabor Talk? We've Got You Covered!

We were thrilled to have over 150 families on for our Wednesday night Tabor Talk. If you missed it, you can access it anytime at the link below, or on our school's YouTube Channel Or your can click through the presentation at the link below.
Tabor Talk 8 25 2021

First Day of School: Wednesday, September 1

Unlike in year's past, ALL STUDENTS will begin back with us at Mt. Tabor MS on Wednesday, September 1.


Regardless of their grade, students need only to bring:

  • their lunch (if they would like to bring one from home)
  • a filled water bottle
  • a spare mask (just in case)
  • a writing utensil

Backpacks and individual school supplies can wait until Thursday, September 2 with Chromebooks coming the following week.


  • 6th grade students and first-time students to MTMS will begin their middle school careers beginning at 9:15 am. Students will be able to enter the building at the NE doors beginning at 9:00 am prior to the start of our orientation at 9:15 am.. During our programming, students will work with 8th grade WEB leaders to build community and comfort at MTMS in a brief outdoor (socially distanced and masked) assembly and in small group activities. Students will receive printed copies of their schedules as well.

  • 7th and 8th grade students will begin their school day at 11:15 am. Students will be able to pick up a printed copy of their schedules at their designated grade level entrances before they enter the building. They will meet their Period 4/Homeroom teacher who will escort their classes in beginning at 11:10 am.

  • During the afternoon, all students will have time in homeroom, take a campus tour, eat lunch in their assigned lunch period, and run through an abbreviated schedule where they will learn to navigate to their classes, meet their teachers, begin to build their learning communities, and build knowledge about some of our school expectations & safety protocols.


You can find all the day's scheduled activities by grade level by clicking the big blue button below (these schedules are printable as well).

UPDATED: Let's Talk Lunch

We have revised the lunch plans once again to be in compliance with additional best practices and requirements from PPS. As you have probably read, we will be having outdoor lunch for the first six weeks of school (weather or other events permitting).

You will find the finalized plan for INDOOR and Outdoor breakfast/lunch plans at the link below. We believe these plans will provide the maximum amount of space for students in the lunchroom, ensure small and stable lunch cohorts to minimize exposure and maximize safety when eating indoors, and provide for the least amount of disruption to our academic schedule.

We have also worked with our spaces in the building to try to create more space for 6th grade lunches when they must be indoors as many of our 6th grade students, at this time, do not have access to vaccinations. We are utilizing additional spaces on campus to create 6 feet of space for these students. The updated lunch cohort information can be found here.

Mt Tabor MS Meal Safety Plan

Click here to review the official meal plan for both indoor and outdoor lunch for MTMS.

Free School Breakfast and Lunch FOR ALL

All students are eligible for one breakfast and one lunch per school day at no cost. Therefore, a meal application for free or reduced lunch does not need to be submitted this school year.

However, if eligible families would like other benefits, like a fee reduction or waiver for school related fees, child care discount and low cost internet, they can submit a meal application. If approved, the approval letter is proof of free or reduced eligibility. For more information about how to apply, please see the nutrition services webpage.

WEB Leaders Ready to Welcome 6th Grade Students

Here at Mt. Tabor, we take welcoming our incoming students seriously. Our WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) Leaders are super excited to welcome the 6th graders to Mt. Tabor to show them what an awesome place it can be. 6th graders will be treated to an awesome outdoor assembly (following strict distancing and mask guidelines), small group community building in groups of 12, and lunch with their WEB Leaders outdoors on the first day. These WEB Leaders will continue to provide ongoing mentorship and activities with their "webbies" over the course of the school year.

From the MTMS Counseling Team

Our school counselors are back in the building and are busy planning a comprehensive counseling program for MTMS that will serve and support all students. We will hear more from them throughout the year, but for now, below please find their names and email addresses. You can reach them by phone through our main office number, 503.916.5646.

Please note that our counselors are remaining with their grade-level cohorts from last year! That means that Emory will work with 8th grade, Hilary will work with 7th grade, and Michael will welcome our new 6th grade class.

Michael Cady-Russel, 6th grade counselor,

Hilary Smith, 7th grade counselor,

Emory Oeding, 8th grade counselor,

School Pictures: Friday, September 17

School Pictures are will be taken on Friday, September 17. Your student should be coming home with a picture packet during the first week of school.


Before and After School Programming with SUN School

We have had many inquires from parents regarding our capacity at MTMS to offer before-school programming in addition to our after-school offerings. We have been working with our SUN School Director at Mt. Tabor, Jeff Percell, to see if the before school program, which had at one time been funded by our now inactive Foundation, could fall under the umbrella of services and programs offered at Mt. Tabor.

Mr. Percell is currently in conversation with the larger SUN School program and working to identify/hire staff that would be able to help us get this program up and running. We know that should we be able to offer the program, it would most likely not open until October with the rest of the Mt. Tabor SUN after-school programming and would be fee-based to cover program expenses. We promise to keep our community updated about SUN progress toward these goals.


SUN Community Schools offer opportunities that support healthy child and youth development and family stability.

At SUN Community Schools, the collective efforts of youth, parents, businesses, faith communities, libraries, and community organizations create a network of supports that ensure youth academic success and that communities thrive.

SUN Community Schools have:

  • After school programs
  • Quality instruction, enrichment, and extra-curricular activities
  • Links to food, shelter, and help with energy bills.
  • Many sites have on-site food pantries or Harvest Share
  • Connection to health and mental health services
  • Some sites have on-site school-based health clinics
  • Adult education and recreation such as English classes, computer skills, and Zumba
  • Parent and family activities and events

Pick up and Drop Off Routes at MTMS

Last year, our building partnered with Safe Routes to School, a program with the City of Portland, to examine our school arrival and departure routes and processes as we returned to campus for hybrid instruction. The goal of our transportation plan was to help ease congestion around the school and create safe, predictable routes to school for all students, whether they were arriving by foot, bike, by car, public transportation, or school bus. We deployed staff members to arrival points to ensure students could cross neighborhood streets safely and directed traffic to take the newly designed routes.

We were so appreciative of the support we received from our parent community and the response to the changes from the homeowners in our neighborhood. And given that we always want to provide safe and appropriate routes to school that ensure the safety of all an alleviate congestion, we will be implementing the same transportation plan for the 2021-22 school year as we had during hybrid.

Staff will continue to be out before and after school to assist students and direct traffic, and we sincerely hope that all will politely work with them as we continue to implement this approved arrival and departure plan.

Below you will find an image of our transportation routes to help you in planning for the start of the school year.

Big picture
Big picture

A Message from Safe Routes to School

Preparing for your trip to school

Have you thought about how you are traveling to school? Let's continue taking care of each other and our kids as we start the new school year. If your family is getting to school by car, remember to drive carefully on your way to and from school and look out for kids crossing.

Help reduce traffic around the school by walking, biking, taking transit, or carpooling whenever you can. No matter how your family gets to school, be sure to obey all traffic laws and road signs. Be aware of your surroundings and take it slow as you travel to school. For more information on how to walk, bike, or take transit, visit

Back to School Text & Win Campaign

Let’s Go Back to School Stronger in 2021! Back to school will look different this fall. Due to hybrid and remote learning, many students have not traveled regularly to campus in over a year. Thinking ahead can help make our first days back less stressful.

Let us share some simple ideas for a fresh start to your 2021 school year, like packing bags the night before or making sure your bike tires have air! Signing up enters you into a raffle for grocery gift cards and other fun prizes.

  • (Grades PK-5) Parents and caregivers: text SCHOOL to 888-520-0526
  • (Grades 6-12) Students or caregivers: text BACKPACK to 888-520-0526

Expect one text a day as we prepare and jump into the school year, and you can opt out at any time.

Safe Routes to School is a City of Portland program working to support students and families in traveling safely to school. See website for more program details.

Spanish translation: Regresemos a clases Más Fuertes en este 2021
Simplified Chinese translation: 让我们在 2021 年更坚强地回到学校
Russian translation: в 2021 году давайте вернемся в школу лучше подготовленными!
Vietnamese translation: Hãy Trở lại Trường Mạnh mẽ Hơn trong năm 2021

One-to-One Technology Coming to MTMS this Fall

With voter approval for the 2020 School Bond last fall, PPS will continue the vital work of improving the health and safety of our aging school buildings with new roofs and mechanical systems, seismic retrofits, plus accessibility and security upgrades. Additionally, this Bond provides our students and staff with new textbooks, curriculum materials and new technology to support classroom and distance learning, while updating classroom and district technology devices.

As a result, PPS will be a 1:1 Chromebook district in the fall. Students in grades 3-12 will be provided and assigned a Chromebook to use for both in-school and at-home work. Students in grades K-2 will have devices in the classroom at a ratio of one device to every two students. This will leverage co-use instructional strategies in K-2 and the devices will remain in the classroom.\

Currently, MTMS is slated for student distribution on October 20, 2021. This date may change depending on the supply chain.

Until device distribution happens, students are asked to bring their current PPS Chromebooks with them, fully, charged, to campus each day beginning Tuesday, September 8. If your student does not have a PPS device but has a personal device you are comfortable sending them to school with, please do so. Those students without a device will have a older PPS Chromebook assigned to them from the supplies left in our building from hybrid. Students will return their old PPS Chromebooks on distribution day.


Student Schedules Available in ParentVUE and StudentVUE

Student schedules are now viewable in StudentVUE and ParentVUE for 2021-22 classes. Students can access their StudentVUE accounts using their PPS login and password information. Parents with previous activated ParentVUE accounts should also be able to view their student's schedule. If you do not have your ParentVUE access key and need to activate your account, please reach out to our main office beginning on August 9 so that we can assist you. You can log in to both of these resources at

We also want to remind families about current PPS middle school policy surrounding class change requests. We are not able to make changes to student schedules except in case of an error (duplicate class, wrong grade level class, student doesn’t have prerequisites for class). If you believe an error of this nature has been made, please contact Assistant Principal, Jill Liddle at

We suggest that families review their student schedules in the coming week and reach out as soon as possible if you discover an error so that we can work to make adjustments.

School Supply Lists for 2021-22

You can find updated school supply lists below for the 2021-22 school year. A few things to note:

  1. There is a general list of school supplies for all students in all grades for families to purchase.
  2. There are grade-level specific supplies for each grade level.
  3. Instead of having families drop off community supplies, we are asking for families to contribute $15 via SchoolPay to cover the central purchase of needed supplies for the school year. The SchoolPay link for Community Supplies payments will be open the week of August 9.

School Supply List 2021-2022 (English)

Lista de suministros escolares para 2021-2022 (Spanish)

学用品リスト 2021-2022 (Japanese)

学校耗材清单 2021-2022 (Chinese)

Danh Sách Dụng Cụ Học Tập 2021-2022 (Vietnamese)

Complete Your Student Verification Form!

Each year parents and/or guardians are asked to review and update the information on file for their children (students). This information can be reviewed, edited and submitted online via PPS ParentVUE.

Benefits of verifying online via ParentVUE:

  • Complete yearly verification of your student's information
  • You can update your communication and language preferences
  • Ensures your school has the most up to date information
  • Saves paper and time

Still Need to Pick Up Your 2020-21 Yearbook?

If you ordered and have not yet had a chance to pick up your yearbook from last year, you are welcome to come by the building to pick it up beginning Monday, August 16. Simply buzz in at the main entry, and someone in the office will answer to help you out.

Bus Route Information Now Available

The bus routes and times for the 2021-22 school year will be posted on 8/24 and available at If you have questions or need help accessing your route information after that date, please contact Tania Trujillo Morales in the office at or at 503-916-5646.

Mt. Tabor Middle School

Home of the Eagles. Be sure to follow us on Instagram at mttabormiddleschool