The Mt. Tabor Tribune
A Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor School Community
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A Message from the Principal
Good evening, MTMS,
I have to beg forgiveness for not getting a newsletter out to you all the last couple of weeks. It feels like life in middle school is truly back to pre-COVID normal in terms of student behavior, and our admin team has been on its toes.
It's also been a busy couple of weeks in terms of on-campus events and the planning of such events. This Thursday and last we hosted our first band concerts for Intermediate and Advanced band, the first of these types of events in two years. It was such a sincere joy to see families coming into the building to watch their students perform, and to hear and see our student work showcased for our community. It has been that sense of school community that has been missing for so long, and my heart was overfull to see our remarkable families that have weathered the pandemic education filling our cafeteria with their applause and smiles.
We are currently in the process of planning our first school dance in partnership with our student Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) group and our MTMS Parent Teacher Association (PTA). While we have not officially begun campus-wide advertising for the event, word has gotten out--it's scheduled for Friday, May 20th from 4-5:30 pm.
Our REAP program is hosting a bake sale next Friday after school with many delightful, commercially baked goods for sale after school, and our WEB group is slated to reinstate Popcorn sales in the coming weeks as well.
And this week, students began their Quarter 4 classes.
Doesn't this sound delightful? And normal? And like we are doing all the things?
Yeah, I thought so too.
All the best,
Ms. Tonya Arnold
Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School
Student Issues at QFC: We Need Your Partnership
QFC management has alerted us to wide-spread shoplifting that is happening in a regular basis. We have heard reports of students tucking merchandise into backpacks without paying, only purchasing some items, or dashing from doors without going through checkout. Additionally, there is a large amount of trash (wrappers and food remnants) being left in the shopping area and reports of student vaping.
These are highly concerning behaviors that can lead to major legal consequences for our students if they are caught shoplifting, littering, or using illegal substances. These are highly concerning behaviors, and we are engaged in conversation with QFC about how to best support in these efforts. Clearly, it poses a difficult situation as it removes staffing resources from necessary building supports and puts them in a difficult position off campus on non-school property.
We will be directly addressing these concerning behaviors with students during homeroom next week, but we know that partnering with families to have these conversations at home is essential if we are to ensure that students are making appropriate and legal choices.
We appreciate your support in addressing these issues with your children at home.
PPS Summer Programming
Summer is coming and PPS will be offering a number of summer programming opportunities for students!
Summer Acceleration Academy (SAA): SAA is a joyful learning opportunity to support development in key literacy and math skills, as well as STEAM learning and projects! Students are selected based on academic needs for this is a free, four week program. Invitations will be sent by email from PPS Summer Acceleration - be sure to check your email!
Summer Enrichment and Extended Learning: A wide variety of exciting summer enrichment and extended learning opportunities will be offered throughout the summer in partnership with community organizations and Portland Public Schools’ Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Department. Keep an eye out for program information and registration coming in mid-May!
Last call to order Yearbooks!
Southeast Guiding Coalition: Update from PPS
Dear PPS Community,
Two weeks ago, the Southeast Guiding Coalition (SEGC)—a group of parent, community member volunteers and principals commissioned by the PPS Board of Education–held their final meeting to select a proposal for opening Harrison Park MS and improving enrollment across several SE schools. They voted to recommend the program location and boundary changes described in more detail below. Their proposal will now go to Deputy Superintendent Claire Hertz, who will make a recommendation to the PPS Board of Education by April 29th. The Board will discuss her recommendation on May 10th, and will vote on May 24th. All changes approved by the Board will begin in Fall 2023.
WHAT COULD CHANGE?
Harrison Park K-8 would convert to a middle school, and its current K-5 students would attend a new elementary school at the Clark building (the current home of Creative Science School). In addition to these neighborhood students, Harrison Park MS would be made up of neighborhood students from Vestal and Atkinson attendance areas, and Chinese Immersion students from the Harrison Park and Woodstock programs.
Creative Science School would relocate to Bridger K-5 and merge with the existing neighborhood program there.
The Spanish Immersion program at Bridger would relocate to Lent K-5, which would become a whole-Immersion school with guaranteed admission for the current Lent neighborhood. Students in the Lent neighborhood who do not attend the Spanish program would attend Marysville K-5, instead.
While there are no perfect enrollment numbers to ensure that students have access to a range of electives and support services, the SEGC was asked to find ways to have elementary school enrollment above 270 students and middle school enrollment above 500 students, particularly at schools that serve many students of color. The proposed plan would shift the Woodstock neighborhood and a portion of the Sellwood neighborhood to the Lane attendance area, strengthening enrollment at the smallest middle school in the region. Additional boundary changes involving Woodstock, Lewis, Arleta, Marysville and Glencoe elementary schools would increase enrollment at Creston, Vestal, Whitman and Woodmere elementary schools..
Kellogg Middle School, which just opened this year, would also see changes from the proposal. The blocks closest to Kellogg would now be part of its attendance area, and the Spanish Immersion program at Mt. Tabor MS would relocate to Kellogg, consolidating all Spanish Immersion in the region at a single middle school. Kellogg would be too large with these additions, so the proposal also moves the Creston neighborhood out of Kellogg and into the Hosford attendance area. Kellogg would likely still have the highest middle school enrollment in the region, which was a serious concern for the SEGC.
HOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSAL
You can find proposal details by viewing this overview map and assignment graphic, as well as detailed maps for each elementary and middle school impacted by potential change. A chart shows the estimated enrollment at each school if the changes were fully in effect this year, and in the 2025-26 school year, as well as the impacts for key racial and ethnic groups. These estimates are for reference only, as the Board will decide whether to allow students to finish at their current schools or accelerate the boundary and program changes. You can view all materials on our website.
Once the Board decides on the changes, planning will begin to ensure future transportation, staffing and community support and other implementation needs are in place by the start of the 2023-24 school year.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
The Deputy Superintendent and School Board continue to gather input from stakeholders who may be affected by the changes. The SEGC noted that there is still room for improving the plan. Please use this survey to give your input on the proposal.
THE SEGC PROCESS
This proposal comes at the tail end of a great amount of work from the dedicated PPS community. The SEGC met over the two years to develop a plan for enrollment and program balancing in Southeast Portland. The process was disrupted due to the pandemic and required virtual meetings throughout. The work was divided into two parts, with Phase One providing an initial feeder pattern for Kellogg Middle School. For Phase Two, the Board asked the SEGC to develop a plan to balance enrollment, optimize use of facilities, and support equitable access to programs and services, including:
Attendance area and special program assignments for Harrison Park Middle School
A plan to relocate K-5 students and programs currently served at Harrison Park
A plan to increase enrollment at Lane Middle School
The coalition was advised to work within a specific set of schools, and given guidelines for focus option and language immersion programs. During the course of its work, the SEGC weighed extensive feedback PPS gathered from community members, advice from PPS academic and enrollment experts, and data on the projected impact of different solutions. In all, the SEGC considered 17 proposals and evaluated each through a racial equity lens—focusing especially on Black and Native students.
PPS is very grateful for the contributions of the Southeast Guiding Coalition and all community members who participated in this challenging process to help build strong schools for all our students.
Notice of Upcoming State Testing
English Language Arts: Finishing the week of April 18-22
Math: April 25-29
Math Make-Up: May 2-6
8th Grade Science: May 9-13
Families wishing to opt their students out of state testing should submit any testing opt out forms prior to the start of testing. Fill out, print, and bring completed forms to the main office or send them digitally directly to our Testing Coordinator, Dave Llewellyn at firstname.lastname@example.org. These forms can be accessed at the links below. Please note that there is one form for ELA and Math, and a separate form for 8th grade science.
30-Day Notice and ELA/Math Opt-out Form (grades 3-8 & 11) (30-day notice and opt-out form will be available around October)
Science Exemption Request Form (grades 5, 8 & 11)
Mark Your Calendars: 8th Grade Promotion is Friday, June 10
5th Grade Open House: Thursday, May 12
Keep an eye out for details on the event as we get closer to May.
Your Weekly PTA Update
Your Weekly PTA Update
The PTA hopes that everyone had an enjoyable Spring Break and a little break from the routine. We are well into April now! The PTA is beginning to prepare for Staff Appreciation Week which occurs at the beginning of May. We would love to have some volunteers to help with the planning and logistics of the week as the community supports and shows our great appreciation of MTMS staff. If you are interested in volunteering, however big or small, please email the PTA at email@example.com.
Classrooms in Motion
The PTA continues to raise funds for wobble seats in MTMS classrooms. We would love to supply MTMS classrooms with wobble seats before the end of the school year, but we need your help. Any amount you are able to donate is helpful in reaching our goal of $7,500 for 100 wobble seats. A $75.00 donation to the Classrooms in Motion fundraiser will purchase one wobble seat for a MTMS classroom. Donations are being accepted through SchoolPay. We are currently at $1707, just about a quarter of our goal. https://www.schoolpay.com/pay/for/Classrooms-in-Motion/SCiuLo.
Our next restaurant partner is Tabor Tavern on Tuesday, April 12th - just a week and a half away! Check out the menu at https://tabortavern.com/. It is important to know that they do not seat minors after 7:00pm.
- April 20th and 21st - Oly’s Pizza
- May 16th, 17th, 18th - Old Spaghetti Factory
Alpenrose and MTMS Partnership
Signing up for Alpenrose is still available. For each new customer that signs up, using the MTMSPTA code, Alpenrose will donate $50.00 to MTMS PTA! This will contribute to funds that we need to meet the needs of teachers and students at MTMS. The flyer below contains more information and a QR code to the ordering website. Use code MTMSPTA when checking out to receive your discounts and free delivery.
People are still ordering MTMS t-shirts and sweatshirts. Get yours ordered. Items are ordered on demand from the local company, Big Frog. 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: https://mttabormiddleschool.itemorder.com/shop/sale
Current Quarantine Guidlines
Upload your COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Into Parent VUE
My Child Is Out Sick
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.