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,

People have told me that, at some point in my life, I need to write a book. The stories that I share about the day-in and day-out work of a middle school administrator are wide and varied. Some things just make me smile, and sometimes I smile in spite of myself with the ridiculousness of it all.

I'm not sure I have the time to write a book. Or start my own Instagram page where I outline the hilarious and lovely things that happen day in and day out at middle school. Oh, the stories I would tell.

Take this week for example. In fact, just take the last three days during the two-hour lunch block. During that time, I have had to rescue the incredibly thirsty students of the building from possible dehydration, broken up a re-creation of Ancient-Aztecs-meet-Lord-of-the-Flies creative play at recess, and been coerced into playing four-square.

It's a hard job, let me tell you.

But your students make it easier. When I'm hauling 30 gallons of water out of the back of my van because the delivery is late (again) and we are completely out heading into the lunch hour, the 7th grade students in Ms. Gordon's 4th period class cheer for me out the window and come outside to help bring the jugs inside. Then, a small group 6th grade students starts a conga-line the day after the "sacrifice" circle experience and tell you, "Ms. Arnold, we promise. This is just a peaceful conga line." And then, our 8th grade students feel compelled to tell their teachers that I'm fierce on the four-square court.

Yeah, those moments make the rest of it all so much easier.

We have one beautiful week to go until spring break is upon us, and I know that it will be a fabulous one--spirits are high going into yet another spirit week, at least as long as the water holds out.

I wish you all a lovely weekend!

All the best,

Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

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Masking is Optional Starting Monday, March 14

As many of you know, masking for all students and staff while indoors is optional as of Monday, March 14. Students this week engaged in a conversation about optional masking and how we can respect each person's individual decisions regarding their choice to wear a mask at school.

Please be sure to have conversations with your students regarding your family's thoughts and feelings about mask wearing and your expectations for your children. Teachers and staff will still work to maintain physical distancing where possible and abide by district standard operating procedures.

If concerns arise, please feel free to reach out to our administrative team here at MTMS.

Student Club Pictures on Thursday, March 17

Students involved in clubs will be having their pictures taken on Thursday, March 17 on the stage in the cafeteria. Students will be excused from their classes for 10-20 minutes to have the group photos taken and then return to class.

Send Students with Filled Water Bottles

As we wait for the installation of our new bubblers and water filling stations to be completed on campus, we are relying on water coolers around the building.

We have found ourselves twice in the last two weeks out of water and needing to wait for the next delivery. Also, students are often out of class to get water now that there are no classroom fountains available, leading to the disruption of class and loss of class time.

Please encourage your students to come to school with filled, reusable water bottles (as was noted in the school supply list) so that they can 1) take their water with them to class and 2) help us reduce the draw on our bottled resources.

Spring 2022 SUN After School Program Registration Opens on Monday, March 14

The SUN School program at Mt. Tabor is currently accepting applications for our spring offerings. Classes are offered every day, Monday-Thursday from 3:45-5:00 pm.

Students can sign up for Homework Club, Ping Pong, Basketball, Soccer, Chess Club, Knitting Club, Debate Club, TWILA Environmental Action Club, and Garden Club.

Registration forms are available in the main office, and families can also register by going to See course codes and dates in the photo below.

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Traffic Flow on Ash Street

We wanted to remind families that Ash Street in front of the school building should be treated as a one-way street during pick up and drop off times. Traffic should flow east-bound on Ash toward 60th Ave. We want to encourage families to pick up students along the side streets of Ash, Oak, and Pine to alleviate the congestion immediately surrounding the school during these high-volume times to ensure that buses have space to pick up students.

Last of all, please be mindful of our amazing neighbors; make sure that your vehicles do not block access to their driveways. We really appreciate your help in making the start and end of our day smooth here at Mt. Tabor.

Forecasting Updates

Counselors worked with our 6th and 7th grade social studies teachers this week to had students forecast for their classes. If your student was gone and did not have a chance to forecast, please have them bring their completed forecasting form to the office as soon as possible so we can get their selections entered into the system. If you need copies of the forecasting documents, you cal find all that you need below:

Course Descriptions

For Current 5th Grade Students

For Current 6th Grade Students

For Current 7th Grade Students

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Today is the last day for the Successful Schools Survey!

We have heard from 141 of you, and we don't want to miss a single voice. PPS extended the deadline to provide feedback on the Successful Schools Survey, but today (March 11) is the last day that you can take the survey! 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.

Focus Group about Promoting Resiliency and Equitable Mental Well-Being in Schools

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

You and/or your child are invited to participate in a focus group to support an important new initiative being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). CDC-DASH has funded The Promoting Resiliency and Equitable Mental Well-Being in Schools (PREMS) program which aims to create a culturally competent school mental health (SMH) technical package informed by real-world experience and rigorous science. More precisely, its goal is to build a toolkit that describes different strategies (programs, policies, and practices) that schools can implement to support the mental health and well-being of students and families. The toolkit will include explicit recommendations for how schools can ensure that these strategies are culturally and developmentally appropriate.

Your voice in the focus groups will provide important real-world expertise on how schools can support students and families. We are seeking input from parents and caregivers as well as students in middle and high school. If you and/or your child are interested in participating, please visit to learn more. The attached documents also provide more information.

Thank you for your consideration.

Chromebook Chargers: Be on the Lookout!

We have had many students come to the office requesting chargers for their Chromebooks; unfortunately, the replacement chargers furnished by the district are now in short supply, and the school will soon have to pay for additional chargers.

Please check in with your student to see if they have additional school device chargers at home and have them return any extras to the main office.

ELPA Testing Next Week

Students who are currently being served in or monitored as part of our our English Language Development (ELD) program will be taking the ELPA test this week (on Monday and Tuesday to assess their proficiency in English. Students took practice tests this week to help them prepare. If you have questions about the ELPA, please reach out to our ELD teacher, Ms. Shannon Andrews.

Southeast Guiding Coalition Update 3.10.2022

Dear PPS Community,

On Thursday, March 10, The Southeast Guiding coalition held a meeting to evaluate new proposals G1/G2. The group reviewed metrics, shared community comments, heard from SEGC members, and discussed potential drawbacks and benefits of each proposal.

The Southeast Guiding Coalition and Flo analytics reviewed the key difference between G1& G2 including program placements for middle schools Chinese and Spanish Immersion, middle school assignments for Atkinson and Lent students and boundary changes that could impact 4 elementary schools and three middle schools.

Find a summary of feedback and racial equity impacts in the presentation.

SEGC members were asked to vote one of the following ways at the end of the meeting: G1, G2, no preference, or abstain. Of the 36 members who voted, 5 voted G1, 15 voted G2, 9 voted no preference, and 7 chose to abstain.

The SEGC will meet again on March 31 to review suggested refinements to the F3 and G2 proposals and vote on the SE Guiding Coalition’s final recommended proposal. . The final recommendation from the SE Guiding Coalition will be submitted to Deputy Superintendent Hertz for her review, and she will submit her final recommendation to the board on April 15th.

The SEGC is extremely grateful for the work the community has dedicated to creating a more equitable and accessible school system in PPS, particularly for underserved communities. This work was not easy, but it is so important. Proposals, schedule updates, and community input details are posted on the Enrollment and Program Balancing webpage.

DUE TODAY: Math Placement Survey for Current 6th Grade Students

Dear 6th Grade MTMS Families,

Below you will find some information about placement for middle school Common Core State Standards (CCSS) mathematics courses in Portland Public Schools.

The Compacted Mathematics courses are different than any advanced math course that PPS has offered in the past. In these courses, students are expected to complete 3 years of math over 2 years. This means that these courses are fast paced. Students are expected to master a topic with minimal practice before moving on to the next topic. 6th grade students must have highly mastered the 6th grade topics and skills when given ample practice time in order to show readiness for this kind of pace. Students who earn a grade of ‘C’ or better in Compacted Mathematics Year 1 and Compacted Mathematics Year 2 will earn high school Algebra credit.

Process for CY1 Placement for rising 7th graders:

  1. Student(s) and Guardian(s) complete the FAMILY survey at Please complete the survey by no later than Friday, March 11, 2022.

  2. School team completes the SCHOOL survey* (recommend or not)

  3. If there is a discrepancy between family survey and school survey that would change the placement, schools will meet with the families to determine placement for the student.

If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher, your school principal, or the PPS Middle Grades Mathematics & Science department.


The PPS Middle Grades Mathematics & Science Team

In-Person Band Concerts Coming in April

It's been over two years since we have had in-person band concerts here at Mt. Tabor Middle School, and we are excited that these amazing community events will be resuming in April. Mr. Soto and his ensembles have three different nights set aside for each of our levels. All concerts will begin at 7:00 pm in the MTMS Gymnasium.

Thursday, April 7: Advanced Band Concert

Thursday, April 14: Intermediate Band Concert

Thursday, April 21: Beginning Band Concert

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

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.

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

We need 90 more people to donate a wobble seat for MTMS classrooms!!! A $75.00 donation to the Classrooms in Motion fundraiser will purchase one wobble seat. We have raised $780.00 and are committed to meeting this need at the school. Our goal is to raise funds ($7,500) for 100 wobble seats. Donations are being accepted through SchoolPay. The link to donate to this fundraiser is

Restaurant Partners

Come on over to Leikum Brewing on Sunday, March 20th for a beer and support MTMS PTA. Leikum Brewing will donate $1.00 to the MTMS PTA for every pint of beer sold on March 20th. There is an El Salvadoran food truck onsite if you need some food to go with your beer. Indoor and outdoor seating is typically available with a fire pit outdoors to keep you warm.

  • March 20th - Leikum Brewing**
  • April 12th - Tabor Tavern
  • April 20th and 21st - Oly’s Pizza
  • May 16th, 17th, 18th - Spaghetti Factory

PTA General Meeting, Tuesday, March 15th

The next General PTA Meeting will be held Tuesday, March 15th online via Zoom. We are lucky to have Principal Tonya Arnold joining the meeting to share some information on MTMS’s change to a 7 period day. The meeting is 6:30-8:00pm. Everyone is welcome to the General PTA meetings, where we provide information, education, and discussion for the whole MTMS community. You can join the meeting at

Alpenrose and MTMS Partnership

When you sign up for Alpenrose grocery delivery as a new customers, you will receive $30.00 off your 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.


T-shirts and hoodies are available in two different designs - a community design that shows MTMS nestled in the community and a school mascot design. Adult (men’s and women’s) and youth sizes are available in a few different color options. 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:

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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!

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