The Mt. Tabor Tribune

Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor Middle School Community

A Message from the Principal

February 12, 2021

Dear Mt. Tabor Middle School Families,

Like many of you, I have been watching the weather closely this week because there is no greater spectator sport as a student, teacher, or administrator than anticipating the fall of snow in the Portland area. Snow here, even in the smallest amounts, triggers the unexpected and coveted joy of a snow day and a break from the routine for a brief flicker of time.

I recall when my kids were younger that the anticipation of snow brought about a host of actions that they had learned from their friends at school--things that they could do to encourage the universe to send a snow day their way. They would wear their pajamas inside out, insist that they needed to flush ice cubes down the toilet, and place white crayons on the window ledge. I never had these traditions growing up in a place where winter snow was a given, not something that had to be coaxed from the clouds with such a host of silly actions. But it was hard to not fall into their enthusiasm as the ice cubes swirled their way down the drain.

When I was teaching, I remember staying up late on those nights when snow was expected to watch the news (I'm an early bird by nature, so staying up late not typical--maybe it was my adult way of trying to encourage that snow to come a fluttering down). I'd begrudgingly set my alarm for a time that I thought would be early enough that I could get ready in time in the event that the magical white stuff didn't appear, but not so early that the school delay or closure phone call would come after I was already out of bed and getting ready. Even at that, I would always awaken before the alarm and creep to the window to see if anything had fallen.

As I watched the first flakes begin to fall yesterday afternoon, I was still mesmerized and took some time to just watch them outside my living room window. But I knew that today would feel different than normal--because online learning would continue as it has every day since April 2020. And while I am thankful that we have ways to continue to educate our students--whether sleet or snow or global pandemic--I have to say, I'm grieving the loss of a snow day for all of us. A day to put away the laptops and live lessons and just be in the cold stillness of the snow.

I know that several of our educators adjusted their assignments and lesson plans today to provide asynchronous work instead of live sessions so that you and your children can have some time to enjoy, even in the midst of CDL. And I hope that you all have the opportunity to enjoy the weather in a way that brings you joy: watching it fall with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand, throwing snowballs in the yard, or sledding down the hills in the neighborhood.

Whenever you make your way back from whatever winter activities you have planned, know there is still much happening here at MTMS.

You will find important information below about how:

  • A parent representative from our neighborhood program is needed for SE Guiding Coalition
  • You can provide us important information about your and your child's experience at Mt. Tabor with the Successful Schools Survey
  • Your students can forecast for the 2021-22 classes this month

I wish you all a safe, lovely, and snowy weekend ahead.

All the best,

Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

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Tell Us About Your Experience at Mt Tabor Middle School

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “successful schools?” We believe that successful schools are safe, healthy and welcoming learning spaces that are inclusive for all students. But we want to hear your thoughts.

We are excited to announce the 2021 Successful Schools Family Survey. When you take the survey, you help us understand your experience as a parent or guardian. This important information will guide us as we determine the future of our schools. The survey launches today and will be available for the next four weeks.

Take the survey today! You can complete the survey from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It should only take 15-20 minutes of your time. Select the school your child attends and answer the questions for that school. If you have children at more than one PPS school, please complete one survey for each school your children attend. If you need help taking the survey please contact your teacher or principal.

Thank you for being part of the PPS family!

Forecasting for Classes for the 2021-22 School Year at MTMS

Do you have a current 5th, 6th or 7th grade student who will be attending MTMS for the 2021-22 school year? If so, it is nearly time for your child to indicate their preferences for classes.

Linked below you will see the information for each of the grade levels for 2021-22. It is important for families to review this information with their students prior to the forecasting process happening the week of Feb 22-26 so that you can discuss and agree on course preferences.

Please note: to ensure you are looking at the correct information, click on the sheet that indicates your child's grade level NEXT YEAR, not the grade they are current in.

Current MTMS 6th and 7th grade students will complete the forecasting process in their science classes on Feb 22-23, and current 5th grade students will be receiving more information from their elementary schools regarding how they will be forecasting. We would like all students to have completed their forecasting forms by the end of the day on Friday, February 26.

Volunteers for Phase 2 of the Southeast Guiding Coalition Needed to Represent MTMS

As you are aware our SE Guiding Coalition Phase 2 is quickly approaching, and the district wants to make sure that our schools and programs have adequate representation.

After much clarification, it appears that we need a BIPOC neighborhood representative who has a current 6th or 7th grader at MTMS and who 1) brings a good understanding of the school community 2) thinks about district-wide issues and 3) and works collaboratively. We welcome individuals who speak other languages and can provide language access services.

Southeast Guiding Coalition Meetings will be held every other Thursday evening from February 25 through the end of the school year and then resume September-October.

If you are interested in serving, fill out this Google form to helps us understand demographics, age of students, programs they are involved in, and a section for them to express their interest in being a part of our coalition. For the application in other languages, you can find them here: Spanish, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese, Chinese

The district is hoping to identify good candidates in the next few weeks, so if you are interested, please fill out the form prior to Feb 22.

MAP Make-Up Sessions on Wednesday, February 17

Students who are absent from the exam or who need additional time to finish the exam(s) will be scheduled for make-up sessions on Wednesday, February 17 beginning at 1:00 pm. Students should be receiving an invite to the make up sessions directly to their school email account with the Google Meet link and instructions.

If you have questions about the MAP Assessment schedule at MTMS, please contact Dave Llewellyn at

Missing Quarter 2 Grades? Check ParentVUE

If your student's report card was missing a course due to the technical glitch we encountered last week, do not fret. You and your student can view all of their course grades from the report card on StudentVUE or ParentVUE.

6th Graders to Participate in WEB Virtual Olympics

Our amazing WEB coordinators and Leaders have something fun planned for our 6th grade students in early March--the WEB Virtual Olympics.

The Olympics are coming up this summer and WEB thinks it's time to get that Olympic spirit started early. This March, Mt. Tabor will be hosting the WEB Virtual Olympics where WEB groups will compete in a variety of events. All events can be done at home, and WEB is providing a goodie bag of supplies you'll need.

6th Graders should pick up their supply bag from Mt. Tabor Middle School on Thursday, Feb 18, from 2:15 - 4:00 pm, or Friday, Feb 19, from 4:00 - 5:00 pm. The Thursday time also coincides with the MTMS Library Book Pick-up so you can take care of both at the same time.

In early March WEB groups will be using Homeroom time (1:00 - 1:45 pm) for a couple days to do the events. Results will be compiled and totaled for each WEB Fruit Group (Tangerines, Nectarines, etc.) and the winning group will be announced the week before Spring Break!

Looking forward to seeing you at the goodie bag pick-up on Thursday or Friday, and stay tuned for further information and dates.

Library Book Distribution: Feb 18 2:15-3:15 pm

Calling all Readers (that means everyone!)

The library will be handing out awesome bags of books again

When: Next Thursday Feb 18. 2:15-3:15

Where: The front steps of the school

Please bring back any library materials you have

We will have some genre bags and general bags of fantastic library books.

Wear your masks and remember to stay 6 feet apart please!

High School Corner

Thanks for our amazing 8th Grade Counselor, Mr. Cady Russell, all of the forecasting and high school information you could need is consolidated at this link.

Student Verifications

If you haven't yet completed the online Student Verification form for your student, please go to your ParentVue to do so. If you need a ParentVue activation key, please contact Ann Pinzelik at

Tabor Talks February 23-24: The Power of AVID

Join us for Tabor Talks on February 23-24 to learn more about the AVID program, how we are implementing it at Mt Tabor, and the benefits to students who choose to apply to the program.

Tabor Talk Session #13 (AM and PM Edition)

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming Tabor Talk Sessions. Every Tabor Talk session can be reached at

  • AM Edition: Tuesday, Feb 23 from 8:00-9:00 am
  • PM Edition: Wednesday, Feb 24 from 6:30-7:30 pm

Order your 2020-21 Yearbook

It is a year to remember--so make sure you order your 2020-21 yearbooks today!

Your Weekly PTA Update

Your Weekly PTA Update

Don’t forget Old Spaghetti Factory is our first restaurant partner of this school year. Order online for pickup or delivery from Tuesday, Feb. 16th - Thursday, Feb. 18th. This event is for the Portland site on Bancroft Street. Use code TABOR at check out and 10% of TABOR sales will be donated to the MTMS PTA. Order at seems like a nice, warm Italian meal might be just what we all need after this wintery weekend. Stay safe and warm everyone! Thank you for your continued dedication to and support for our school community.

The weekly PTA post is available on our webpage at

Join the MTMS PTA

We still 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 We are also looking to fill board positions for the next school year. If you have any interest in volunteering please contact us at the email address below.

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 and following our page on Facebook at

Questions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to volunteer?

Write us at

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Support the MTMS PTA: Order your Tabor Gear Today!

It is a great time to purchase some cozy sweatshirts and hoodies to keep your students (and you!) warm this fall and winter. A portion of the sales come back to the PTA, which in turn is used to benefit the Mt. Tabor Middle School community. It is a win-win-win. Get some warm gear, raise funds for the PTA, and show some school spirit!

Items are available in youth and adult sizes and include short sleeve t-shirts ($20), crew neck fleece sweatshirts ($30), and hoodies ($35).

Items are ordered on demand from a local company and ordering is available throughout the entire school year. 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:

----------ADDITIONAL RESOURCES----------

Families Needing Continued Support

Last month, with the help of our PTA, we were able to help many of our MTMS families who needed financial assistance, but we know this isn't the only time of the year where help might be needed.

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.

My Family Needs Support

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

Math Resources Now Available

We have been asked by many parents for additional resources to support math learning at home. Our amazing Math Instructional Specialist has created a resource for us on her webpage (located at Linked there are digital copies of math textbooks and answer keys and Khan Academy resources by course and unit (viewable by clicking on the links on the left side of the page).

We sincerely hope these resources will provide students and families with solid reference and reteaching materials as needed at home. Students and families can also expect to see these resources linked in their Canvas pages as well.

My Child Was Marked Absent: What Do I Do?

If you believe there was an error in attendance, please use ParentVUE to look up the course the absence was marked in (you can watch this video tutorial to see how you can find this information in ParentVUE).

We are asking all families to contact the teacher of the course if you believe there is an error. where the absence occurred first as they will have the best knowledge of student attendance measures. From there, they can make the change or contact our front office to change attendance if the mark was made in error.

If you know your student will be gone in advance or was sick, please follow the standard protocol of calling into the office to excuse the absence.

Parents: Connect to Canvas

Parents can get in on the Canvas platform and "observe" their student to allow for both transparency and support. For instructions on how you can get started, click here:

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

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:


Tabor Talk #12: AM Edition

Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 8am

This is an online event.

Join us at

Tabor Talk #12: PM Edition

Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Join us at

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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

Schedule for the Week of Feb 15-19

Students will not have classes on Monday, February 15 due to Presidents Day. You can see the schedule for the week below, and if you need a printable version of it, you can find it at the link below: