The Mt. Tabor Tribune

A Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor School Community

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A Message from the Principal


Good afternoon, MTMS Families,

Routines are real. When we have them, life becomes more predictable, less uncertain, and easier to navigate. We don't have to think about what happens next in quite the same intentional way--our bodies and minds just tend to move through our activities and days with more ease and comfort. But when we get out of our routines, new things can feel like one more thing. We have to be so mindful of our thoughts and actions, and that level of thinking and navigation drain us. We can become more tired, more emotional, more cranky.

It's a pattern I've noted with my own children at the beginning of every school year. After the more carefree days of summer, it can be hard to get back into a sleeping, eating, and studying pattern again. Those early weeks are exhilarating...and exhausting. I've noticed it in my own home, with my own kids, and with my own self, especially this year. I have no doubt that we will head home this evening and crash on the couch. If we can do that without losing our cool with each other, I think it will be a total win--or at least a realistic goal.

I'm sure your students may be experiencing these feelings as well. It has, after all, been 18 months since they have been in "normal" middle school, if they have ever been to "normal" middle school at all. They may be struggling with typical middle school things like learning how to manage their binders and school supplies, how to open their locker, how to feel less uncomfortable changing for PE, and how to take the bus (and how to cope when the bus is late or does not show up at all).

I think it's also important to recognize that this return to in-person learning has disrupted the routine of online learning that our students have become accustomed to over the last 18 months. The reality is that all of us--students, families, and staff--are relearning what in-person, five day a week school feels like.

I want to assure you all, however, that while routines may take time to develop, they don't take forever. Every day I see fewer and fewer students who need reminders about how to get to their classes, what way each hallway goes, or what direction they need to turn the combination lock first. Before we know it, they will settle into the new routines, and life will start to feel less anxious and more normal. Today is day 7 of our return to this rhythm: by the end of the month, our students will have these new routines down. And I know I am hopeful from what I am seeing in the building: a first two weeks that have felt fun and joyous and connected. In that regard, we are off to a terrific start!

In this week's newsletter we have information about:

  • School Pictures
  • Back to School Packets
  • Student Chromebooks
  • WEB Lunch Schedules
  • Lunch: In Case of Rain
  • Back to School Night.....and more!

I wish you all a restful weekend away from the weekly routine!

All the best,

Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

School Pictures on Friday!

School Pictures are will be taken this Friday, September 17. Your student should already have brought home a packet, but more are available in the main office.

We are looking for three parent volunteers (who have gone through the PPS background check process and are fully vaccinated) to help from 9:00 am -3:30 pm. There are free picture vouchers available to thank you for your help and support. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Ann Pinzelik in the main office at to let us know.

Digital Back-to-School Packets

You should have received a Remind and email on Wednesday, September 8 with a copy of the 2021-22 Back to School Packet. Please be sure to review the information contained, fill in the form, and consider joining the PTA.

For a direct link to the packet, click here:

Student Chromebooks

Our amazing office staff was able to get Chromebooks delivered to most of our students who needed them. We have a couple of homeroom classes to go on Monday. If your student still needs a Chromebook and did not indicate they needed one with their homeroom teacher, please have them stop by the office beginning on Tuesday.

Students should plan to bring their fully charged Chromebooks to class every day beginning on Monday.

WEB Lunch this Wednesday

Our 8th grade students will be connecting with their WEB leaders during lunch on Wednesday, September 15. All groups will be dining outside, and WEB leaders will have a chance to connect with their groups about how the first two weeks of school have been.

There are multiple WEB lunches scheduled during quarter 1. They include:

Wednesday, 9/15

Wednesday, 9/29

Wednesday, 10/20

Wednesday, 11/10

Lunch: In Case of Rain

While we plan on students being able to eat lunch outdoors through at least Friday, October 8, there may be instances (due to weather, safety concerns, etc) that students may have to eat their lunch indoors. The forecast for the end of the week next week currently has rain on Friday, and we will continue to monitor the changing weather conditions.

When we move students indoors, they will be cohorted at tables with other members of their homeroom class as such measures are required with contact tracing. Next week, our Homeroom sessions will ask students to share information with their homeroom teachers about whom they would prefer to sit with so that we can work on making appropriate seating charts for the cafeteria.

For more details about our indoor lunch plans, please see the Mt Tabor MS Meal Safety Plan link below.

Mt Tabor MS Meal Safety Plan

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

SAVE THE DATE: Virtual Back-to-School Night on Wednesday, September 29

We will be hosting a virtual back to school night for all families on Wednesday, September 29 from 6:00-8:00 pm. We will have an all school livestream for all families, the opportunity for families to drop in to sessions with their student's teachers, and parent night sessions for TAG and ELD services.

Look for additional information in the coming weeks.

Hygiene and School Supplies

If students are in need of hygiene or school supplies, our counseling team can help. Students can check in with their grade level counselor to get connected to these resources.

Families In Need of Support

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.

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

Your Weekly PTA Update

The MTMS PTA has much to share with the community as the school year starts, but we are going to focus on just two important items right now – microphones/amplifiers for teachers and PTA membership.

The MTMS community has contributed $1,005 dollars for voice amplifiers for teachers!!! Thank you. We are getting closer. There are 44 teachers at MTMS. Each voice amplifier is about $35.99. We need to raise at least $1583.56 dollars total. This means we have $578.56 more to raise. If you are able, please consider making a donation to this fund. Teacher voices get tired projecting through a mask all day and these voice amplifiers are helpful and can take some of the strain off. The PTA would like to get the devices ordered and to teachers as soon as possible. (If more money is raised in this fund then is needed for amplifiers, the PTA will add it to the general fund. This will go to support teacher and student needs throughout the year.)

We have a goal of 100 PTA members this year. So, far we have 25 people that have joined the MTMS PTA. Can you help us reach our goal? Membership dues are $15.00 annually, per person. Membership dues help the PTA support the needs of teachers and students at MTMS. Sign up at School Pay, at this link 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 MTMS 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 for updates and following our page on Facebook at

This week’s post can be found at

Questions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to volunteer?

Write us at

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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

Regular Bell Schedules

Includes schedules for Outdoor Lunch, Indoor Lunch, and Late Start

Parent and Student Handbook

This document contains information about policies and procedures at MTMS.

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)

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.

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.

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 If you have questions or need help accessing your route information after that date, please contact Tania Trujillo Morales in the office at or at 503-916-5646.

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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