The Mt. Tabor Tribune

A Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor School Community

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A Message from the Principal

4.15.2022


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

The management of QFC and several parents have reached out in the past week to surface concerns regarding behaviors MTMS students are engaging in before and after school.


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!

The last day to order yearbooks for the 2021-22 school year is Sunday, April 24th. They are $20 and can be purchased on SchoolPay, which can be accessed at this link: SchoolPay

Beginning Band Concert on Thursday

We hope you will join us on Thursday night for our beginning band concert at 7:00 pm in the main gym.


We look forward to sharing our students' hard work with all of you!

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

Mt. Tabor Middle School students will be engaging in the Oregon State Assessment of Skills (OSAS) tests beginning in March. Students will take these exams in their regularly schedule ELA, Math, and Science classes during the testing windows noted below:


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 dllewellyn@pps.net. 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)

English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Русский | Soomaali


Science Exemption Request Form (grades 5, 8 & 11)

English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Русский | Soomaali

Mark Your Calendars: 8th Grade Promotion is Friday, June 10

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting an in-person promotion ceremony for our 8th grade students on Friday, June 10 in the Franklin High School Gymnasium from 6:00-7:00 pm. We look forward to celebrating this accomplishment with our students and their families.

5th Grade Open House: Thursday, May 12

We are excited to welcome 6th grade students and their families to campus on the evening of Thursday, May 12 for our 5th Grade Open House. Students and families will have a chance to familiarize themselves with the school, meet some teachers, learn about the classes they will be taking, and ask questions of our administrative team and our 8th grade WEB leaders.


Keep an eye out for details on the event as we get closer to May.

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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 mtmspta@gmail.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.


Restaurant Partners

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.


MTMS Gear

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

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

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Current Quarantine Guidlines

The COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines have changed significantly in the last couple of weeks. Below you will find graphics that explain the timelines for the new guidance.
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Upload your COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Into Parent VUE

Help our school staff keep accurate records of your student's vaccination status by uploading a picture of PDF of their immunization card in ParentVUE. Use the PDF linked below for instructions on how to do it!

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.

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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