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,

Maybe it is the time of year, or the complete unusualness of the school year in which we find ourselves. Maybe it's the feeling of overwhelm that I know we are all experiencing, or the gratitude that we have for those things in our lives that are blessedly uncomplicated. Whatever the cause, I know that the effect has made for an oddly emotional week for me as both a mom and as a school principal.

I remember writing to you all often last year about the difficulties and successes we faced as a school and community as we navigated the year, and I was able to share my own experiences of being an MTMS parent during distance learning as well. I was so grateful this week to have the chance to reflect back on last year for myself and my child and truly feel grateful for where we are in this moment. It does not mean that our lives are without struggles or that some level of Stepford perfection has been achieved. But I have been able to witness for myself notable successes for all of us. Those successes have buoyed me, and I hope that over the course of the next week--whether it be in parent-teacher conferences, or in moments of family togetherness--that you too find those successes, no matter how small, and let them create those emotional, beautiful reflective spaces for you as well.

I know that our staff are excited to share with you about your children and their successes in this new era of education, and that they are thrilled to continue to partner with you and them in creating even more positive outcomes in the quarters ahead. Please know that our counselors and admin team stand ready to support as well.

I will not have the opportunity to write to you at the conclusion of next week as I plan to enjoy some time away with my own family, but know that I send you all every positive wish for a lovely fall break of your own.

All the best,

Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

Weekly Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing Every Tuesday

Our tests are here!!! Students who had already opted into the OHSU program received their first testing kits on Monday, November 15 along with instructions on how to collect the samples. See the Welcome Letter and Test Collection links and spit collection videos below:

Welcome Letter (English) (Spanish)

Test Collection (English) (Spanish)

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.

If you have completed the form for your student and did not receive testing kits and labels, it may be that OHSU has not yet processed your application. Please feel free to check in with Tania Trujillo in the main office.

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 two forms below and bring them to the main office:

OHA Consent Form

OHSU Authorization Form

How to collect spit for Oregon's K-12 COVID-19 testing program
Cómo recolectar la saliva para el Programa de pruebas de COVID-19 para K-12 en Oregón

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.

8th Grade Families: Important High School Information!

Hello 8th Grade Families,

It's time to start thinking about your student's high school transition! Last week and today, all 8th graders received a lesson through their social studies classes about high school choices and the lottery process in Portland Public Schools. If your student is interested in Benson, Jefferson or Metropolitan Learning Center, they can participate in the PPS lottery, which opens on November 29 and closes on December 17. Keep your eye out for a letter in the mail from PPS, which contains directions for participating in the lottery. Lottery results will be available mid-January.

Whether your student is planning on going to their neighborhood school or a lottery option, here are some more resources around high school choices and preparation:

  • PPS 8th Grade Info website, including information about every neighborhood and lottery high school, which will be updated by 11/29
  • Dates and times for all 8th Grade High School Information Nights (below)
  • Lesson that all MTMS 8th grade students received -- you can review this with your student if you like

In January, your student will begin the process of choosing high school classes for next year (called "forecasting"), and will receive two more high school preparation lessons. If you have any concerns or questions about high school, please contact the MTMS 8th Grade School Counselor, Emory Oeding, at This is an exciting time for 8th graders and their parents, and I am here to help!

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No School November 22-26

There will be no school on November 22-23 to support Parent-Teacher conferences and Fall Break. We look forward to seeing students back in school on Monday, November 29.

Parent- Teacher Conferences are Next Week

Our virtual parent-teacher conferences are being held on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Registration for the sessions are already closed, and the My ConferenceTime website should be sending you reminders about these conferences, which will also include the Google Meet Links. If you you do not remember the time slot you registered for, you can look them up by clicking the link below and entering the email address you registered with:

Please remember that our staff have just 12 minutes of time to share with you, so please take a look at some of the suggestions listed here so that you can be sure to have your questions answered.

SE Guiding Coalition Updates

During last night's SEGC meeting, member off the PPS School Board shared with the coalition their thoughts in regard to the group's work moving forward. There is strong consideration, given the staffing shortages already facing districts this school year, that the timeline of the SEGC would harm the district's ability to understand staffing needs for the fall and hurt its ability to recruit and hire necessary staff members. Conversation was had about sticking to the original timeline for making decisions for the boundary and program changes, but delaying the start of those changes until Fall 2023.

The district is still working to create a third draft proposal, and is moving forward with planned listening/input sessions beginning December 6 (see below). Likewise, they are prepared to host a Phase 2 SEGC Open House on Wednesday, December 8. Links to these sessions will be provided on the SEGC website as we arrive closer to the date.

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Yearbook Cover Art Submissions

The yearbook cover art design contest is now underway. Students can look for posters around the school with formatting and design rules. The deadline for submissions is December 1st! Contact Alex Dawson if you have any questions.

Help Us Provide Support MTMS Families

Dear Mt. Tabor Middle School Community,

Like many communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mt. Tabor Middle School families are experiencing an increased need for help. As we do every year we are inviting families to participate as receivers or givers, creating a community of support through winter break.

This year we are asking families who are able to help to purchase Fred Meyer Gift Cards (Kroeger Co. Stores). As a team, we will work together to distribute raised funds equitably and with anonymity.

Here's how it works:

  • If you're experiencing hardship, or just need a bit of help through the winter break:
    • Please fill out this online form.
    • If you prefer, you can contact your student’s counselor.
    • We handle giving and receiving with discretion and all recipients' names remain confidential.
    • Please complete the form as soon as possible so we can work as a team to provide the support you need.
  • If you're able to help:
    • Please drop off Fred Meyer (Kroger) gift card donations at the main office at Mt. Tabor Middle School.
    • OR Use these links below to mail a physical or electronic gift card to our school.
      • eGift: If you choose an electronic gift card the e-mail address for e-Gift Cards is
      • Physical: Mail physical gift cards to Mt. Tabor Middle School - 5800 SE Ash Street, Portland, OR 97215

Thank you for everything you do to help our students and for allowing us to participate in their learning.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Mt. Tabor Middle School

Your Weekly PTA Update

The MTMS PTA Board met this week to discuss the many activities and fundraisers that are happening and coming up in the next few months. You can review the meeting minutes at the following link: 10.19.21 MTMS General PTA Meeting Minutes. There is an update on the Winter Jacket Drive. We previously discussed this happening in November; however, we have decided to move this to December. It will take place during Spirit Week, the week of December 6th-10th. Thursday, December 9th - Thermal Thursday - the PTA will be working with MTMS to collect new or gently used winter jackets in adult sizes (jackets that fit middle schoolers). The MTMS counselors will keep a supply of winter jackets to assist MTMS students that might need some extra warmth this winter.

Dairy Hill Thanksgiving Fundraiser

Need some vanilla ice cream to go with your holiday dessert? How about an ice cream pie to add to your holiday celebration? Maybe you want to stock up your freezer with a treat for those dark winter evenings. You can place an order online RIGHT NOW through Sunday, November 21st. Item pick-up is Tuesday 11/23 or Wednesday 11/24. You can order pints, quarts, sundae kits, ice cream sandwiches, or how about 'Pumpkin Pie Ala Mode Ice Cream Pie' or 'Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie’. Check it all out at this link Don’t forget to choose Mt Tabor Middle School in the drop down box when you order.

Trailblazers Game

MTMS’s night out at the Portland Trailblazers game is January 25, 2022. We will have Early Entry reserved for the night, so families can arrive early to watch the team warm-ups. Tickets start at $24.00. The Trailblazers are playing the Timberwolves. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, December 24th. Order through the following link and use promo code ‘MTMS’ - This is a great holiday gift for your MTMS student(s). Give the gift of a fun experience with fellow students and families.


Have you seen our new community design for Mt Tabor Middle School gear? Check it out 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:

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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

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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