The Mt. Tabor Tribune

Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor Middle School Community

A Message from the Principal

February 1, 2021

Dear Mt. Tabor Middle School Families,

It is hard to believe that we have already completed the first half of the school year and on Monday begin Quarter 3. We begin this second half of the school year with just as many unknowns as the first in regard to when schooling may return to normal. But one thing we can be assured of is that life, and schooling, is continuing to change:

Quarter 3 Begins Monday

On Monday, our students launch into their third quarter of instruction in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL). Please remember that elective wheel classes change every quarter and some students who elected to take a zero period class may see a new class on their schedule (zero period classes are indicated on student schedules as Period 10). To make sure students know which classes to attend first thing on Monday morning, make sure they check their StudentVUE accounts. Teachers are doing their best to ensure that their Canvas pages are ready for these new sessions, but there are sometimes things that get forgotten in the change (like Canvas calendar events).

Please know that students will be attending all of their courses as normal this week according to our Instructional Schedule, so even if their calendars are not working normally, use the schedule and expect to attend every class. Just let the teacher know what you are seeing on their calendars so they can work to make corrections.

School Staff Vaccinations

Members of the Mt Tabor staff and educators across the county began receiving vaccination for COVID-19 this week. The district has grouped educational staff in waves to schedule their vaccinations with those who have committed to being on campus working with students having top priority. I am happy to report that this week, our custodial staff and staff members that have volunteered to work with students during Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI) have had the first dose the the vaccine and are scheduled to receive the second before our first cohort of students returns on February 22.

In the weeks that come (the district anticipates that it may take between now and the end of February for all staff to receive their first dose of vaccine), more and more of our staff members will be eligible to register for their vaccinations. These slots open and fill quickly, and as such, teachers may need to be gone from classes unexpectedly. In the event that a teacher will not be able to attend a live session of class due to a vaccination appointment, they will either 1) be communicating with families and students about the change via email or Remind and posting an asynchronous assignment to Canvas, or 2) having a substitute teacher cover their live class session. We appreciate your flexibility.

Limited In Person Instruction (LIPI)

As you may have read in the lengthy communications this week from the district, schools across the district are beginning to open for Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI). If you are not familiar with this term “LIPI”, it is an on-campus model supported by the Oregon Department of Education and designed to meet the needs of specific groups of students based on needed educational, relational, social-emotional, curricular, instructional, and/or assessment supports. Students are prioritized for consideration in a data-driven process. At the middle school level across PPS, LIPI has been limited to 6th grade students.

At MTMS, we have just this week submitted our site's LIPI plan to the district and Oregon Department of Education for approval. The plan includes building and classroom site plans, staff and family engagement protocols, staff training outlines, mandatory walkthroughs following guidelines from OHA and the Centers for Disease Control, custodial plan and much more). School staff will begin making phone calls to families of students identified in our processearly this week.

Mt. Tabor MS is a Phase 2 site that will be starting LIPI with identified 6th grade students beginning February 22. We plan to start small with one cohort of 10 students and will add additional cohorts as needed every two weeks. The size of our cohorts is limited by the capacity of our classrooms on campus, most of which can only hold up to 14 people using the physical distancing guidelines.

We will be sharing the full details of the plan to our entire community in our Feb 9-10 Tabor Talks, and with any luck, our plan will have received full approval by that date.

Return to Hybrid Instruction

In the message to families, the district shared that it hopes to return students to hybrid instruction as early at Quarter 4. There is much work that all of our school sites will be engaged with in the coming months, and as details emerge, you have my commitment that I will keep you updated.

I know that change and uncertainty is extremely difficult. And in these times where things are so unfamiliar, it is easy to watch our own internal compasses spin. And while I cannot promise you that things will return to normal any time soon, and that the coming days will not be without their challenges, I can assure you that all of us at MTMS continue to work diligently and passionately for our students and families. I know that with all of us centering their successes that we can and will navigate these uncertain times together.

I wish you all a peaceful weekend and a lovely start to Quarter 3.

All the best,

Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

Parent Presentation: An Introduction to Restorative Justice for Mt. Tabor MS

Many of our families have heard about Restorative Justice (RJ) in schools, but many have questions about what Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices is and how they are implemented in our schools. As these beliefs and practices are ones that are central to how we work at Mt. Tabor, it is important that our entire school community understands the power of these practices and how they ground our work with students daily.

On Tuesday, February 2, the Mt. Tabor Middle School PTA will be hosting a presentation for our entire school community as part of their regularly-scheduled General Session. Keela Tillery, an RJ Specialist with PPS that serves Mt. Tabor; Diana Collins, a Mutli-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) TOSA that serves Mt. Tabor; and Mt Tabor Principal Tonya Arnold will provide an overview of the foundation of RJ, its importance in schools, and specifics to how it is implemented at MTMS. We will also be conducting a Q & A session at the conclusion of the presentation.

The PTA meeting begins at 6:30 pm for regular PTA business with the presentation on Restorative Justice running from 7:00-8:00 pm. We hope you will join us.

SE Guiding Coalition Update: Mt. Tabor Feeders and Programs to Remain the Same for 2021-22 School Year

On Tuesday, January 26, the school board approved the recommendation for the feeder path for Kellogg MS for the 2021-22 school year. The feeder path changes will not impact the current programs or feeder patterns for Mt Tabor Middle School, and we will continue to offer a comprehensive middle school program for students from the Glencoe and Atkinson neighborhood programs, the Atkinson Spanish DLI program, and the Richmond Japanese DLI program. These feeder paths, programs, and boundaries will be part of the Phase 2 discussion of the Coalition beginning in February.

Volunteers for Phase 2 of the Southeast Guiding Coalition Needed to Represent MTMS

As you are aware our SE Guiding Coalition Phase 2 is quickly approaching, and the district wants to make sure that our schools and programs have adequate representation.

For MTMS, we still need two representatives: one from our Japanese Immersion program and one from our Spanish Immersion program. Ideally, we need families of 6th and 7th grade students as this work will begin shortly and continue through next school year. We are particularly seeking BIPOC parents/guardians who bring a good understanding of the school community and can also be district-wide thinkers and collaborators. We welcome individuals who speak other languages and can provide language access services.

Southeast Guiding Coalition Meetings will be held every other Thursday evening from February 25 through the end of the school year and then resume September-October.

If you are interested in serving for either our Japanese Immersion or Spanish Immersion representative positions, fill out this Google form to helps us understand demographics, age of students, programs they are involved in, and a section for them to express their interest in being a part of our coalition. For the application in other languages, you can find them here: Spanish, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese, Chinese

The district is hoping to identify good candidates in the next few weeks, so if you are interested, please fill out the form as soon as possible.

MAP Reading and Math Assessments Coming February 8 & 11

On February 8 and 11, Mt. Tabor Middle School students will engage in the MAP Reading and Math assessments. You may remember that these tests were pushed back from their normal first administration in the fall.

These tests provide our teachers with clear data about student strengths and areas of growth and will allow us, as a school, to hone our instruction and identify where additional support may be needed. Likewise, data from these tests has been used to identify students for TAG and Compacted Math placement in middle school, thereby adding an additional layer of importance on these exams. Click here to review a parent guide about this assessment.

On Monday, February 8, all students will report to their Period 1 class and take the MAP Reading exam, proctored by their Period 1 teacher. Students will have all morning to take and complete the exam (9:30 am to 12:15 pm). Students will not attend period 2 or 3 on this day.

On Thursday, February 11, all students will report to their Period 4 class and take the MAP Math exam, proctored by their Period 4 teacher. Students will have all morning to take and complete the exam (9:30 am to 12:15 pm). Students will not attend period 5 or 6 on this day.

Students who are absent from the exam or who need additional time to finish the exam(s) will be scheduled for make-up sessions proctored by MTMS staff later in the month during asynchronous learning time.

If you have questions about the MAP Assessment schedule at MTMS, please contact Dave Llewellyn at

Library Book and Art Supply Distribution for Quarter 3

We are doing another book distribution!

When: Wednesday February 3 from 2:15-3:15, OBOB book distribution 3:15-3:45 (will coordinate with coaches regarding this)

Where: Front of the school Ash street entrance (near the library)

What: We will have "themed" bags for checkout as well as random bags. PLEASE RETURN any library materials (textbooks or books) that you have at this time as well. If you took a bag of books on one of our prior distributions please bring these back before taking a new bag.

Remember: Wear your mask and please observe safe social distance while picking up your bags. Thank you!

Closing In On Our Goal: Novels for Semester 2 ELA Instruction

Thank you so much, MTMS Families for your support in our fundraising for novels for all of our MTMS students. We have passed the halfway mark in fund collection, but we still need your help to raise the last $2,00 needed.

As ELA teachers, we know that reading not only supports academic growth; it also helps us build community and expand our understanding of the world. Stories are windows into different cultures and experiences; we selected books that reflect our district-wide goals focusing on social justice education. Stories also teach students about themselves, and offer them mirrors through which they can examine their own experiences. Needless to say, distance learning has made it difficult to get great reading material, especially actual physical books, distributed to students, but we have a plan!

We would like to buy three sets of novels (one for each grade) to analyze and enjoy later this year. In order to do this, however, we need to raise some money. Please consider donating to our MTMS Book Fund to get books into our students’ hands this year.

Our total fundraising goal for this Book Fund to cover the cost of books for ALL MTMS students is $5,500.00. To date, we have raised $3,668!!!

Check out the amazing titles below, and donate at
Contribute to ELA Book Purchase

Contribute here to ensure physical books end up in student hands as part of learning for Quarter 3

Student Verifications

If you haven't yet completed the online Student Verification form for your student, please go to your ParentVue to do so. If you need a ParentVue activation key, please contact Ann Pinzelik at

Tabor Talks February 9-10: Limited In Person Instruction for 6th Grade Students

Join us for Tabor Talks on February 9-10 to learn more about Limited In-Person Instruction plans at Mt. Tabor MS and how will be supporting selective 6th grade students for the program.

Tabor Talk Session #12 (AM and PM Edition)

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming Tabor Talk Sessions. Every Tabor Talk session can be reached at

  • AM Edition: Tuesday, Feb 9 from 8:00-9:00 am
  • PM Edition: Wednesday, Feb 10 from 6:30-7:30 pm

Virtual All-School Field Trip on Feb 9

On Tuesday, February 9, all Mt. Tabor students, as part of their Period 4 class, will be participating in a amazing Virtual Field Trip put on by Nat Geo (National Geographic) Live.

We will be using a special schedule on this day to ensure students will be able to attend their full 45 minute classes AND take part in this amazing opportunity. Details about the week's schedule will be sent in next week's newsletter. Our amazing science department will work to prepare students for this experience and provide debrief as well.

Want to learn more about the upcoming experience? You can read more below.

Nat Geo Live: Scientific Exposure with Anand Varma and Prasenjeet Yadav

Natural history photographers working with National Geographic have often emerged from scientific backgrounds, enabling them to reveal wildlife and our natural world in surprising ways. Molecular biologist- turned-photographer Prasenjeet Yadav combines his experience in research with his photography skills to highlight natural history and science stories in Asia. And Anand Varma has developed innovative techniques to create stunning images of creatures whose details are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Join them for stories and conversation on the intriguing intersection of science and photography.

Families Needing Continued Support

Last month, with the help of our PTA, we were able to help many of our MTMS families who needed financial assistance, but we know this isn't the only time of the year where help might be needed.

If your family is in need of support, we want to know how we can help. Simply fill out the form below, and our team and community partners will work with you to see how we might be able to support.

My Family Needs Support

If your family is in need of financial or other support, click this button to complete the form for assistance.

Art Supply Fundraiser

Immense gratefulness and humbleness to all of our community who donated money to our art supply fundraiser. Our neighborhood family-owned art supply store I’ve Been Framed set up this donation opportunity, and matched all the donations we received in November. So far we have raised over $3000, which has paid for art supplies for over 600 Art students to keep in their homes.

I’ve Been Framed is keeping the donating opportunity open, at this link:

Order your 2020-21 Yearbook

It is a year to remember--so make sure you order your 2020-21 yearbooks today!

High School Corner

No matter where you are heading for high school in Fall 2021, we have the resources here, all in one place. Check out this link to go directly to each high school's forecasting information.

Heading to Franklin HS in 2021-22?

Discover Franklin, traditionally, has been a preview day for 8th graders where they learn about our course offerings, and other school programs, resources, and supports; to assist them with forecasting for their upcoming 9th grade year. This event was typically held in the evening where we invited families and 8th grade students to join us. Due to the complexity of families and 8th graders trying to navigate multiple links in order to attend live presentations from teachers about elective offerings, we are opting to create a Discover Franklin website instead. This site will have pre-recorded videos that students and families can view at their leisure and serve as references as they forecast for classes or just get general information about our school. Teachers and Staff will be sharing their contact information on the webpage as well so families can reach out and ask any questions.

Heading to Cleveland HS in 2021-22?

Cleveland High School has posted information for 8th graders coming to Cleveland next year on its website. Parents of 8th graders who are interested in attending Cleveland next year can access the information., or you can learn more by watching the Bridging the Gap Video linked here.

Your Weekly PTA Update

MTMS has many activities coming in the next several weeks and so does the PTA. Check out the latest PTA newsletter for ALL the details.

REMEMBER this coming Tuesday is the General PTA meeting opened to all families. The meeting is scheduled from 6:30pm-8:00pm on Zoom. Meeting link can be found in this weeks PTA post (linked below), on the PTA website, and at the bottom of this newsletter. We will have two speakers (Keela Tillery, RJ Specialist, and Dianna Collins, MTSS TOSA) and our principal joining the meeting to talk about Restorative Justice beginning at 7:00.

ICE CREAM anyone? Lots of ICE CREAM. We have two events coming in February with Dairy Hill Ice Cream on Hawthorne. February 7th is a Restaurant Partners event (details to come) and February 13th and 14th is a special Valentines Day Fundraiser. Check out this link for the Valentines Day Fundraiser, The treats look amazing! You can order online for the Valentines Day Fundraiser anytime from now up until February 10th and schedule your pick up time for Feb 13th or 14th.

AND, we want you to mark your calendars for our second Restaurant Partners event at the Old Spaghetti Factory, February 16th - 18th (details to come).

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Support the MTMS PTA: Order your Tabor Gear Today!

It is a great time to purchase some cozy sweatshirts and hoodies to keep your students (and you!) warm this fall and winter. A portion of the sales come back to the PTA, which in turn is used to benefit the Mt. Tabor Middle School community. It is a win-win-win. Get some warm gear, raise funds for the PTA, and show some school spirit!

Items are available in youth and adult sizes and include short sleeve t-shirts ($20), crew neck fleece sweatshirts ($30), and hoodies ($35).

Items are ordered on demand from a local company and ordering is available throughout the entire school year. You order online, pay online, and items can be picked up locally in Portland or mailed to your address. You can place your order online at this link:

----------ADDITIONAL RESOURCES----------

Math Resources Now Available

We have been asked by many parents for additional resources to support math learning at home. Our amazing Math Instructional Specialist has created a resource for us on her webpage (located at Linked there are digital copies of math textbooks and answer keys and Khan Academy resources by course and unit (viewable by clicking on the links on the left side of the page).

We sincerely hope these resources will provide students and families with solid reference and reteaching materials as needed at home. Students and families can also expect to see these resources linked in their Canvas pages as well.

Suggested School Supply Lists

To view this year's suggested school supply list for MTMS, click here.

My Child Was Marked Absent: What Do I Do?

Teachers look at three basic factors for determining whether your students is in attendance on any given distance learning day. Those three factors are:

  • Attendance in the Live Class Meeting
  • Submission of assignment for the class in Canvas
  • Direct teacher contact on the day in question (typically via email or discussion board)

Students who engage in one of those ways should be marked as present.

If you believe there was an error in attendance, please use ParentVUE to look up the course the absence was marked in (you can watch this video tutorial to see how you can find this information in ParentVUE).

We are asking all families to contact the teacher of the course if you believe there is an error. where the absence occurred first as they will have the best knowledge of student attendance measures. From there, they can make the change or contact our front office to change attendance if the mark was made in error.

If you know your student will be gone in advance or was sick, please follow the standard protocol of calling into the office to excuse the absence.

Parents: Connect to Canvas

Parents can get in on the Canvas platform and "observe" their student to allow for both transparency and support. For instructions on how you can get started, click here:

Learning Technology Training and Support from PPS

If you or your student is still struggling with any of the aspects of learning technology, we hope you will call the PPS Technology Help Desk, which is open from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on school days. We will answer your questions and share information and helpful tips about anything related to distance learning technology. The Technology Help Desk is available in all PPS-supported languages.

Email or call us:

  • English: 503-916-3375
  • Español: 503-916-3582
  • 中文:503-916-3585
  • Tiếng Việt: 503-916-3584
  • Soomaali: 503-916-3586
  • Русский: 503-916-3583

Computer distribution, exchanges, service, and returns

If you need to exchange a Chromebook or Hotspot, the BESC (district office) can help every day!

  • When: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Where: PPS district office (501 N. Dixon St). Please go to the lower level parking lot, which has an entrance on N. Larrabee Ave.
  • Please bring: Your student’s school ID or ID number. If you are exchanging or returning a device, please bring the device and charger with you.
  • Please be aware: We are asking everyone to use recommended social distancing practices, keeping at least 6 feet of space between groups and wearing a facemask or face covering, if possible.

Please note that if you have a technical issue and are not sure if you should exchange a computer, you can also:


Tabor Talk #11: AM Edition

Tuesday, Jan. 26th, 8am

This is an online event.

Join us at

Tabor Talk #11: PM Edition

Wednesday, Jan. 27th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Join us at

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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