The Mt. Tabor Tribune

Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor Middle School Community

IMPORTANT: A Message from the Principal

February 19, 2021

Dear Mt. Tabor Middle School Community,

I had planned on writing my typical message to you this evening, but something important was brought to my attention at the end of the school day today that needed my attention, and now yours as well.

I am writing to let you know about curriculum materials that were shared during 6th grade Science classes. During the lesson, students were shown an image of a person with exaggerated facial features to explain neurological processing in different areas of the body. The image used could be interpreted as a racist caricature of a Black man and, as such, is not appropriate.

We know images like this can cause trauma, especially given their deployment by racists throughout our country and our community’s history. The administrative team at Mt. Tabor has personally reached out to the black and indigenous families of our 6th grade students who saw this image as part of the science lesson last month. We will be joining these students during their next science class on Monday or Tuesday of next week to share the intent of the curriculum and acknowledge and discuss its impact. We have worked with members of our MTMS science team to remove the image from curriculum materials and will continue to partner with them as they refine their practices for selecting curriculum materials.

We want to reaffirm our school-wide commitment to ensuring that all students are treated with respect at Mt. Tabor Middle School and experience a safe, supportive and positive learning environment. Hate is not tolerated nor accepted in our community. This incident is an affront to our core values of Racial Equity and Social Justice, Respect, Honesty and Integrity. We value and respect everyone in our school community and understand that our diversity makes us stronger. We believe that Black lives matter at Mt. Tabor Middle School, and our staff is committed to continuing to examine our practices, our curriculum, and our role as anti-racists.

Thank you for continuing to have conversations with your child about racial justice and joining us in standing against hate in our community. We hope that you will consider joining us on March 9-10 for our family workshop that will focus on furthering these conversations about race with our children. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns relating to this or any other matter.


Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

LIPI Parent Meeting

If your student was identified for Limited In-Person Instruction (LIPI) at Mt. Tabor MS and you were unable to attend the family information session on Wednesday night, we recorded the meeting and have uploaded it to our YouTube Channel (these resources are also linked below).

We are asking that LIPI students and their families review the video and slides prior to their first day on campus. If you still have questions about transportation, please reach out to Tonya Arnold or Jill Liddle via email.

- YouTube

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 February 24-25

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 24 and Thursday, February 25 at 2:00 pm.

Students will 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

Yearbook Photos

This year's yearbook will be unlike any other in MTMS history. To put together this unique book, each student is being asked respond to several questions and to submit three photos:

  1. A selfie portrait

  2. A COVID selfie

  3. A picture of them in their distance learning work space

Students will have dedicated time on Friday, February 26 in their Social Studies class to submit their entries, but it would be great if families worked with students ahead of time to take these amazing photos. Details about how to take these images can be found in the slide deck below.

Order your 2020-21 Yearbook

This year, yearbooks will need to be purchased by each family. Yearbooks may be purchased using Schoolpay for $15. We will not be able to provide a free yearbook to each student as we have in the past. Thank you in advance for understanding.

If your family needs financial assistance purchasing a yearbook, please reach out to your child's counselor.

6th - @Hilary Smith

7th - @Emory Oeding

8th - @Michael Cady Russell

WEB Lunch: Feb 24

Calling all 6th grade students! Your WEB Leaders are excited to see you for your WEB Lunch on Wednesday, February 24. Students should be sure to check their PPS Gmail for their invite.

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 the following dates:

  • Thursday, Feb 25, from 2:15 - 4:00 pm, or
  • Friday, Feb 26, from 4:00 - 5:00 pm.

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 25 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 25. 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!

Mid-Term Progress Reports

It's hard to believe, but we are approaching the-midway point on Quarter 3. Teachers will be inputting grades for progress reports next week, so now is a good time to check in with your students regarding their academic progress on Canvas. Progress report grades should be available to view in ParentVUE by Wednesday, March 3.

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

Your Weekly PTA Update

The PTA hopes that everyone is safe and warm and thawing out after all the snow and ice. We appreciate everyone who was able to participate in the Dairy Hill Ice Cream Valentine’s Day Fundraiser. The pick up was a bit complicated by the weather, so we hope you were still able to enjoy the treats. This week was the Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurant Partner event. Thank you to those families that were able to order and pick up meals this week.

Our next Restaurant Partner event is with Por Que No? Taqueria on Wednesday, March 10th. No code needed, 10% of all sales from the day will be donated to the MTMS PTA. Tell all your family, friends, and neighbors that March 10th is a great day to order from Por Que No?

A heads up, Dream Dinners is offering a fundraiser on March 18th, 6:30-7:00pm pick up and March 20th, 12:00-12:30pm pick up. Our website has an events listing with details of all our upcoming events. Get a head start reviewing the meal options at the links below. You can order anytime for the Dream Dinners events.

The weekly PTA post is available at

Por Que No? Taqueria

Dream Dinners March 18th link

Dream Dinners March 20th link

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

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 #13: AM Edition

Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, 8am

This is an online event.

Join us at

Tabor Talk #13: PM Edition

Wednesday, Feb. 24th, 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