The Mt. Tabor Tribune

Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor Middle School Community

A Message from the Principal

September 11, 2020

Dear Mt. Tabor Middle School Community,

As the smoke continues to fill the evening sky, I write to you hoping you all are well. It is hard to think about much other than the safety of my family and my worries about friends and colleagues who are facing such frightening circumstances. I send out to you and yours my deep love and hope that you remain safe, and that if we can help support each other in the days to come, that we stand ready.

Monday brings us to the start of our instructional schedule, and students will be transitioning from social emotional connections to academic content. The schedule, which you can find below, should provide a solid roadmap to this week and the weeks following. Please note there may be some shifting on Friday afternoon (we are working to make sure that students have adequate time to get up, take a break, and stretch before resuming classes), and we hope to have any schedule revisions to the Friday schedule out by the end of the day on Monday.

This newsletter is much shorter from the ones prior because we have successfully navigated the uncertain waters of the early days of distance learning. It's all smooth sailing from here, right?

In all seriousness, I want to thank you for your patience and support as we navigate these difficult times. I hope that you hug those you love tight and take care of yourselves over the weekend.

All the best,

Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

Instructional Schedules begin September 14

Our Instructional Schedules for all courses will begin on Monday, September 14. You can find a copy of the schedule for students below.

Of important note:

  • Students are required to log in to all scheduled Live sessions (those in blue and yellow on the schedule each day)
  • "On my own" times are more flexible for the student, and courses/assignments can be done outside the times posted to accommodate the needs of individual families (but should still be completed on the assigned day).

If you have access to a printer, we highly encourage families to make copies of this schedule to hang on your fridge, post in your student work area, etc.


The Mt Tabor Middle School Climate Team and Site Council have combined forces this school year, and we are in need of a handful of parents to join us in these frank and real conversations focused on making MTMS a better place for all students. Ideally, we are looking for four parents to join us.

What Does The Team Do?

The Climate Team/Site Council reviews building-wide discipline data to implement and refine strategies for student expectations/behavior. The team is focused on restorative preventative strategies to support all students. The team also assists in developing, implementing, and monitoring the School Continuous Improvement Plan (SCIP), solicits input from the community regarding school programs, reviews and rates school performance, and adjusts approach to meet/support School Improvement Goals.

When Does the Team Meet?

The 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month: 4:15-5:15 pm (via Google Meet)

If you are interested and willing to serve, please email Tonya Arnold to let her know you are interested.

Parents: Connect to Canvas

Parents can get in on the Canvas platform and "observe" their student to allow for both transparency and support. This process was demonstrated during this week's Tabor Talks (you can see the video below), and instructions for how you can get started are also linked here:

Curious About Curriculum? Check out Atlas for Families and the Community

PPS has created a website through which families, students, caregivers, and the community can access the Portland Public Schools (PPS) curriculum. Aligned to adopted Oregon State Standards and developed by teams of teachers and staff within the district, the Portland Public Schools curriculum provides a map of what skills and content students are working on at each grade level.

To browse curriculum:

  1. Visit
  2. Click on the “Browse” tab at the top of this page.
  3. Use the drop-down menus in the Filter box to select the school, grade and or subject you want to view. Note: Currently only District Reviewed courses are available to view.
  4. After you have selected a filter or filters, click on the “Browse” button at the bottom right of the Filter box.
  5. To see a unit calendar, click on the link under the column labeled “Course”.
  6. To see an individual unit, click on the unit names listed to the left of the calendar view.

Developing a district curriculum is an ongoing process. Information available on this site will continue to grow as we develop and refine our courses and units across grade levels and all content areas.

Want to see how it works? Click on this link to view a Screencast that walks you through the process.

Greetings from Your MTMS Math Instructional Specialist

Hello Mt. Tabor Families,

My name is RaeAnn Suckow and I am excited to be joining Mt. Tabor as the Math Coach. In this role I will be working with both teachers and students to support math in the building.

Next week in your student’s math class, the focus will be to build their mathematical community. Through the lessons included in this unit, students will not only focus on a few identified priority standards, but also gain an understanding of their strengths as a mathematician.

Becoming a confident learner and doer of mathematics begins first with believing we are capable, that mistakes are essential to developing depth of understanding, and that most often our highest level work happens through collaboration with others.

I look forward to the year ahead. Please reach out if you have any questions.

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

Attendance and Grades

Some Things To Note About Attendance:

  • Teachers will be taking attendance 1) in live meeting sessions, and 2) with completion of daily assignments
  • Students who have not engaged the day prior will be marked absent from their class.
  • Parents will be receiving automatic "Robo-Calls" when their student is absent.
  • Teachers will be making contact with families once students hit three class absences before making a referral to our Student Attendance and Engagement Team.

Some Things To Note About Grades:

  • Students will no longer be graded on participation, but on their level of completion and mastery of the assignments and learning objectives for units of study.
  • Students and parents should check course grades in Canvas rather than ParentVUE or StudentVUE.

These expectations were shared with students during our introductory assemblies and will be retaught during Homeroom the week of September 14-18, but we would appreciate our parent partners having the conversation at home as well.

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:

Suggested School Supply Lists

The district has been developing school supply lists for families, but given that they have not been released and we are just a week away from easing into content learning, we have decided to publish our own list for families. We have tried to streamline the list as suggested supplies for all grades, optional supplies (which have free online equivalents), and art supplies specific for those taking our quarter 1 Art classes.

We have also included notes about the traditional "community supplies" that students bring to school and our annual ask for funds to support student activities.

Suggested School Supply Lists

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

Nutrition Services for 2020-21

Starting September 2nd, the Nutrition Services department plans to have 36 schools operating with grab and go meal services, and an additional 2 sites, Ockley Green and Lane Middle Schools starting September 14. Each site will serve 3-5pm outside for walk up or drive thru on Mondays and Wednesdays. We hope that minimizing the meal pick up days will be less of a burden for families as opposed to asking them to come every day.

On Monday, we will provide two breakfasts and two lunches for each PPS student. On Wednesday, we will provide three breakfasts and 3 lunches to each student. Each of the 38 sites are eligible for free meals to all students who are enrolled or visit the school. Due to USDA regulations, we are unable to continue meal services for non-PPS enrolled children such as non-school aged siblings.

For families who are not enrolled in one of the 38 schools, or unable to get to the school to pick up food, we will offer meal deliveries to family homes. Deliveries are made possible by the transportation department. Meal delivery schedules are still being determined and will depend on the demand for the service. School meals will be free to those enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, or for students who are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. If a family is not eligible for free meals, each breakfast will cost $1.50 and each lunch will cost $2.90. There is no delivery fee. Payments can be made online - or checks can be mailed to PPS Nutrition Services at 501 N Dixon Street, Portland, Oregon 97227.

To sign up for home meal delivery, please click on the link here:

Families must reapply for meal benefits (free and reduced eligibility) every year. Meal applications are not needed if students attend a CEP school. New this year! Eligibility for free meals has been expanded through the state of Oregon - please check to see if you may be eligible!

Eligibility for free/reduced price school meals may also help families with other fee reductions or waivers such as -

  • Science lab fees
  • College application fees
  • Summer school fees
  • Comcast or other cable/internet services
  • Field trips
  • Supplemental food and nutrition benefits (when available)

Tabor Talk: Recordings and Upcoming Sessions

If you missed this week's Tabor Talk Sessions, you can find a recording of them below.

Tabor Talk Session #4 (AM and PM Edition)

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming Tabor Talk Sessions.Every Tabor Talk session can be reached at This next session of Tabor Talks will feature our school counselors and their comprehensive counseling plan and support for students, even in distance learning. They are truly excited to share with you.

  • AM Edition: Tuesday, September 22 from 8:00-9:00 am
  • PM Edition: Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30-7:30 pm

Your Weekly PTA Update: First General Meeting Sept 15

Mark your calendars for our first PTA general meeting of the year on September 15 at 6:30 pm via Zoom. We will be reviewing the 2020-21 budget and electing officers for vacant positions.

Join the Zoom Meeting at

Meeting ID: 898 7079 6538 Passcode: H7qswE

Join the PTA!

We need you! Our PTA helps to fill needs that our school budget just cannot. We support programming, the purchase of teacher supplies, and a host of other things that truly make a difference for our students. Becoming a member is easy, and your membership dues help support our efforts at MTMS. To join, simply sign up at

Stay Connected & Up to Date with the MTPTA

It's easy to stay up to date with the PTA. We encourage Mt. Tabor families to visit our website at for weekly updates (beginning the next couple of weeks) and following our page on Facebook at

Questions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to volunteer?

Write us at


PTA General Meeting

Tuesday, Sep. 15th, 6pm

This is an online event.

Check the MTMSPTA website at for the Zoom Link.

Tabor Talk #4: AM Edition

Tuesday, Sep. 22nd, 8-9am

This is an online event.

Join us at

Tabor Talk #4: PM Edition

Wednesday, Sep. 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm

This is an online event.

Join us at

Back To School Night

Thursday, Sep. 24th, 6pm

This is an online event.

Stay tuned for digital meeting invites for the evening's events.

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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