The Mt. Tabor Tribune

A Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor School Community

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A Message from the Principal

9/3/2021


Good afternoon, MTMS Families,


I write to you this afternoon, the sound of Mr. Ackerman-Harvie's Spanish 2 class just outside my office window. I can see them working away, papers and pencils in hand, the low murmur of conversation filling the courtyard (see the image below). It was exactly what my heart needed at the end of this busy day--to hear the normal sounds of learning and laugher filling our school spaces. I hope just knowing that this joy exists in the midst of the pandemic brings you some calm and ease as well.


By all accounts, it has been a lovely start to the school year here at MTMS, despite some hiccups in transportation and unfrozen Otter Pops. Our children are in good spirits and doing the things that middle schoolers do best--chatting with their friends, fighting with their lockers, and bringing the energy that we have been missing for so many months.


I know there has been a lot of information coming your way over the last several newsletters. Thankfully, I have less to share with you this evening, though what I do have to share is important. I hope that you take the time to read through and explore the information below about:


  • Traffic Routes and Safe Routes to School
  • Calling In Sick
  • Outside Lunch
  • Chromebooks
  • School Pictures


We also have an update from our fabulous PTA with some important fundraising information to support our teachers.


I hope you have a fantastic three-day weekend, and we look forward to doing this all again on Tuesday! Look forward to a separate message on Tuesday that contains our digital Back to School Packet.


All the best,


Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

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URGENT: Trafffic Safety

In the last two newsletters, we shared with students the traffic flow pattern for MTMS pick up and drop off, developed in coordination with Safe Routes to School. We certainly appreciate all those families who are following this pattern; however, we still have cars going against the flow and making it difficult for buses, walkers, and biker riders to navigate to and from school safely.


We ask that families use 55th to approach the school and turn down Pine, Oak, or Ash Street to drop off their students, then turn left of 57th to head north, exiting on Burnside.


It is essential that traffic does not turn down 57th from Stark or Burnside, and that traffic use Ash Street in front of the school (between 57th and 60th). Please abide by staff member directions and slow down when you are around campus to ensure that we protect pedestrians and bicyclists.


For visuals of the route map, please see below.

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My Child Is Out Sick

If your child is feeling under the weather and is missing school, please be sure to call the MTMS Attendance Line. If you leave us a message, please give us a list of your student's symptoms as we are tracking these as part of our health and safety protocol. A member of the office or admin team may call you back regarding the symptoms you report.


It is also essential that you notify the school if your student has a positive COVID test or is a close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. Please call the school office, and they will connect you with our School Health Assistant, Julia Mudgett; our school nurse, Catrina Luna; or Principal Tonya Arnold to follow up with you on these protocols. If you need to reach someone after hours, please email tarnold3@pps.net.

Outdoor Lunch: Things to Know

Students began their outdoor lunch sessions this week. Students are seated on the blacktop in the back of the building (by the recess fields/courts) and are able to self select whom they would like to sit with. They have been doing a great job of distancing themselves in their lunch groups, and have been super respectful in cleaning up their trash and wearing masks when not actively eating.


As we look toward the extended forecast, it appears that we may once again see temperatures rise into the 90s. On these hot days, we will allow students to seat themselves on the field to avoid hot temps on the blacktop. On all other days, we are asking them to sit on a specific section of the blacktop to ensure that field and courts are available for recess play.


If your student would like to bring a towel to sit on during lunch/recess, they are welcome to bring one to school. They can keep their towel in their lockers and take them to their 4th period/homeroom classes so that they can take them with them to lunch.

Mt Tabor MS Meal Safety Plan

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

Chromebooks are back next week

If your student has a PPS Chromebook or a personal Chromebook they intend on using for school until our new devices arrive in October, they should begin bringing their fully charged devices to school beginning on Tuesday. We will be working with homeroom classes to distribute Chromebooks to students who do not have one for school use when we return next week.

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

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)

Parent and Student Handbook

This document contains information about policies and procedures at 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.

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.

Your Weekly PTA Update

Your Weekly PTA Update

Welcome to new Mt Tabor Middle School families and welcome back to returning families! The PTA is very excited about the upcoming school year and eager to support teachers, students, and staff. While the last school year was anything but traditional or typical, the PTA was still able to accomplish some important things. You can see a listing of last years PTA activities on our webpage https://mtmspta.com/2021/09/02/welcome/.


This year we are not quite back to our “normal” activities due to the continued pandemic, but we are determined to accomplish all the things we did last year and more. We started this school year off partnering with Ms. Arnold for Community Care Day to help clean up the school grounds. (That inspired us and we aspire to procure some flowers for the internal courtyard to further beautify the space for our students.)


As the next order of business, we are currently working to purchase microphones or voice amplifiers for all teachers, as soon as possible. We hear that speaking and projecting through a mask to a classroom of students has its challenges. We have 44 teachers to supply with voice amplifiers. We are looking at options for about $35.99 each. Our goal is to raise at least $1583.56, so we can ensure all teachers have this useful tool to teach our students. Donations for this effort can be paid through SchoolPay at the following link https://www.schoolpay.com/link/MTMSamplifier.


More details about activities the PTA is planning to engage in this year can be found on our webpage. We have long-term, short-term, and project specific volunteer opportunities and love for anyone to share their expertise and ideas with us. The MTMS PTA met before the start of the school year and set a goal to have 100 members this year. Membership dues are $15.00 annually, per person. Membership dues help the PTA support the needs of teachers and students at MTMS. It is easy to sign up and pay the annual dues at SchoolPay using the following link https://www.schoolpay.com/pay/for/PTA-Membership-Fee/SbGfd2v. There is a $1.00 convenience fee to use this method. You can also send a check made out to MTMS PTA to the school office. If you use this method, please fill out the PTA Membership Form from the digital back to school packet and send it with the check or email it to the MTMA PTA so we can sign officially sign you up as a PTA member.


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 mtmspta.com for updates and following our page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MTMSPTA/.


This week’s post can be found at https://mtmspta.com/2021/09/02/welcome/


Questions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to volunteer?

Write us at mtmspta@gmail.com

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.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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 https://www.pps.net/bus. If you have questions or need help accessing your route information after that date, please contact Tania Trujillo Morales in the office at ttrujillomorale@pps.net or at 503-916-5646.

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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