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 hope you are enjoying this amazingly beautiful winter weather--and by that I mean the blue skies, mild temps, and gorgeous sunshine. It's hard to believe that it was this time just a year ago when our campus trees were snapping under the weight of so much ice. What a difference a year makes. I for one am grateful for these conditions and the ability to keep our students enjoying lunch and recess outside!

While things are busy here with forecasting and staffing for next fall, we took some time out this week to have a bit of fun reteaching some of our school-wide expectations. Mr. Dave Llewellyn, our amazing School Climate Specialist, dusted off his best acting skills and donned middle school attire as he transformed into Devious Dave, the star of our very own mini-move, "A Day in the Life of Dave." Mr. "Rowdy" Roger Groom and our favorite crossing guard/assistant principal, Ms. Jill Liddle, rounded out this start-studded cast.

It was amazing to hear our students laughing, applauding, and booing as we circulated during Homeroom on Monday, and it was good for all of our souls to have a creative and fun outlet to talk about some of the frequently occurring behaviors we are seeing on campus. I even got to dust off my limited iMovie skills in post production--a definite treat for me. I've attached this sure-to-be Emmy nominated cinematic masterpiece below if you need a chuckle or want to review expectations with your own student.

In other news, the Southeast Guiding Coalition is drawing closer to a decision regarding school enrollment and program placement for the 2023-24 school year. Of note in the newest set of proposals (Scenario F), Atkinson neighborhood students would feed to Harrison Park for Middle School and Atkinson Spanish DLI students would feed to Kellogg. The changes leave Mt. Tabor with Glencoe and Richmond as feeder schools with a significantly reduced population to leave room for potential new feeders when the North/Northeast Guiding Coalition work begins. For more details and meeting videos, visit

With that, I wish you all a lovely weekend.

All the best,

Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

A Day in the Life of Dave

6th and 7th Grade Forecasting Slated for Next Week!

This week, students received information in their social studies classes about course offering for next year. This information contains information about the required courses they must take (whether they are a "neighborhood" students or a DLI student), and gives families and chance to choose courses together. There are two pre-forecasting sheets for each grade level, so please be sure to use the one specific to your student (neighborhood or DLI). There are changes to the options for DLI students electing to take zero period, so it is important to read these documents carefully.

Below you will find links to these documents for your reference....or in case your student loses them between school and home. Current 5th grade students and families should receive this information from their current 5th grade teacher in the next several weeks as well.

For Current 6th Grade Students/Families

For Current 7th Grade Students/Families

Zero-Period Questions: Why the Changes?

Students in Grade 6 and 7 received their forecasting information this week in their social studies classes. We have had many questions from our families about zero period and the changes that students are seeing in the forecasting documents.

When zero period classes originally began at Mt. Tabor MS, their intent was to provide access to band courses for our students in immersion programs. When the school was required to change from a 7-period day to a six-period day in the fall of 2018, immersion students were unable to participate in any choice elective due to all six periods needing to be occupied by required courses. This change devastated our band program in particular.

In Fall 2019, zero period was introduced to provide students in immersion classes the opportunity to take Band and Spanish 1-2, but no other electives. The change was enough to bolster our band program and help it to continue with its current staffing level. Zero period classes were appropriate sized, and things worked effectively. Classes were small enough at that time to allow a small number of neighborhood students to take zero-period as well.

During the current 2021-22 school year, our team at MTMS decided to open up the ability for zero period only DLI, ELD, and SPED students to take any elective courses they choose. We did not anticipate the large response (nor having to turn families away when the courses became large). Our zero period classes quickly reached a point where enrollment made learning difficult. Below you will find the number of students per grade level who are attending zero-period classes this year:

  • 6th Grade: 65
  • 7th Grade: 47
  • 8th Grade: 40

The overloaded zero period classes had another impact: increasing the need for electives throughout the rest of the schedule. Most traditional "seat" courses (like art, social studies, and science) we try to keep below 35 students. But our performance based classes, like band and PE, can actually absorb additional enrollment more easily, sometimes in excess of 50 students. The rates of students taking band did not adversely impact those classes, but they did create more need for other electives to be offered, and many students did not get the electives they forecasted for due to a lack of room.

Going into this year--where all indications from across the state indicate that enrollment will be down--our team here at Mt. Tabor made the difficult decision to limit our zero period enrollment at this time just to students interested in taking band. As we go through the master scheduling process, we will keep our eyes on the enrollment in zero period and other non-band electives and, should there be space in these programs, we will conduct a lottery for DLI students who are interested in those classes where space still exists.

We recognize that the zero period itself is an equity issue, as is the inability for all of our middle school students to access academic support courses and engaging electives at the heart of a robust middle school experience. While our staff continues to raise these issues in advocating for a different schedule and staffing level, we will not be able to make the most important changes until these shifts come to pass.

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these uncertain times and face difficult decisions.

New Water Fountains Being Installed: Please Send Students with Reusable Water Bottles

After a year and a half of delays, we are excited to announce that our new water fountains, complete with improved filtration and water filling stations, are in the process of being installed in the building. While we wait for the plumbing to be completed, the district has provided us with bottled water stations that are placed in the main hall.

Families, please be sure to send your student to school each day with a reusable water bottle. We are going through cups and cones for water at a high rate, and these open containers lead to spills in classrooms....and on Chromebooks. We appreciate any support you can give to us reducing our ecological footprint as well as saving us from the daily spillage.

Students Issued Chromebook Cases this Week

All MTMS students should have be issued a case for their PPS Chromebook during their homeroom class this week. These were the cases that were supposed to be delivered with the Chromebooks this fall, but due to supply chain issues, were just delivered to buildings this week.

We recognize that these cases may be best used to provide extra protection for devices while being transported to and from school in backpacks, and that they may be less useful for students transporting devices between classes.

If your student would rather not keep their case, they can return it to the main office and the district will send someone to remove them. However, it does seem that the cases may be useful as ground covering for students to sit on for less-than-dry lunches outside.

No School on Monday, February 21

All PPS schools will be closed on Monday, February 21 in observance of Presidents' Day.

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

While we cannot see the future, we are making plans for the possibility of a "normal" promotion sequence here at Mt. Tabor Middle School. We have booked our reservation for our field trip to Oaks Park to celebrate our 8th grade students for Thursday, June 9, and have reservations at Franklin High School for our Promotion celebration on Friday, June 10. We will continue to monitor COVID-restrictions and will communicate more specific plans as we get closer to the promotion date.

Your Weekly PTA Update

Your Weekly PTA Update

The PTA is still working to raise funds for alternative seating options in MTMS classrooms. We will keep you up-to-date on our progress. We have a slowly increasing fund and thanks to those who were already able to donate. If you are able, we would greatly appreciate any contribution…no amount is too small or too big. Our GOAL is to purchase 100 wobble seats!!!! Donations are being accepted through SchoolPay. The link to donate to this fundraiser is

Restaurant Partners

We have had great success with our first two Restaurant Partners this year. Fire on the Mountain was a delicious treat this week and we are so thankful for their generous partnership. We continue to add locations, so continue to mark your calendars!

  • March 20th - Leikum Brewing
  • April 12th - Tabor Tavern
  • April (date to be determined) - Oly’s Pizza

Alpenrose and MTMS Partnership

They have more than just milk!!! Alpenrose is partnering with MTMS to offer a great deal for you and for the PTA. New customers will receive $30.00 off their first order and free home delivery of groceries. All your future orders over $15.00 will also receive free delivery. For each new customer that signs up, using the MTMSPTA code, Alpenrose will donate $50.00 to MTMS PTA! This is huge! This will contribute to funds that we greatly 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.


The sun is out… spring is on the way. It’s a great time to for a new t-shirt or hoodie. The new design is really cute. Check out the Mt Tabor Middle School spirit wear at the following link. T-shirts and hoodies are available in two different designs. 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:

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.
Big picture
Big picture

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!

Sign Ups Still Available for Asymptomatic Testing Program through OHSU

With the new variant surge, we have been asked by many families about whether they can still sign up for the weekly testing program through OHSU. Families are still able to sign up. Information about the program can be found at the links below:

Welcome Letter (English) (Spanish)

Test Collection (English) (Spanish)

If you have not yet had an opportunity to sign your student up for this free testing service, you can still do so. Simply complete the BOTH of the forms below and have your student bring them to the main office:

OHA Consent Form

OHSU Authorization Form

Our schedule here at Mt. Tabor will be for students to return tests every TUESDAY to the cooler outside the main office when they arrive on campus. Tests are collected in the morning by the OHSU courier.

If you have completed the form for your student and has not received testing kits and labels, it may be that OHSU has not yet processed your application--there seem to be significant delays. Please feel free to check in with Tania Trujillo in the main office to make sure that we have received your paperwork and requested your labels.

We appreciate your patience and participation.

Ongoing Family Immunization Clinics

The Multnomah County Health Department is offering twice-weekly Immunization Clinics for families and children to obtain COVID-19 and school-required vaccines. Clinics will be held on Wednesdays from 11 am - 2 pm & 3 pm - 6 pm at the Gateway WIC Building, 131 NE 102nd Ave., Portland; and on Saturdays from 9 am - 12 pm & 1 pm - at the NE Health Clinic, 5329 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. #322, Portland.

Appointments are required for children aged 5 - 11. No appointment is required for family members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shots.

Call 503-988-8939 to make an appointment. More info is available at:

Impacted by COVID-19?

Has your family been impacted by a positive COVID-19 case, quarantine, or COVID-related issue? Our social worker has compiled a list of resources that may be helpful, from rental and utility assistance to food resources. You can find details below, or reach out to the MTMS Social Worker, Maureen Brennan, for more information.

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

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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

Franklin Youth Baseball/Softball

Anyone interested in playing baseball and softball this spring, please see the attached flier below on how and where to sign up your child for the Spring 2022!!