The Mt. Tabor Tribune

Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor Middle School Community

December 18, 2020 Newsletter Greeting

Funds for Mt. Tabor Families: A Giving Update

The MTMS counseling team and the Mt. Tabor Parent Teacher Association want to thank everyone who donated to support MTMS families this month. Click the video below to hear from them about the need and what we, thanks to your generous donations, were able to accomplish.
Winter Fund Drive Update 12 18 2020

Support Novels for Semester 2 Instruction in ELA Instruction

Mt Tabor Language Arts teachers are determined to get books into the hands of our students in the 2020-21 school year, and we need your help to do so.

As ELA teachers, we know that reading not only supports academic growth; it also helps us build community and expand our understanding of the world. Stories are windows into different cultures and experiences; we selected books that reflect our district-wide goals focusing on social justice education. Stories also teach students about themselves, and offer them mirrors through which they can examine their own experiences.

Needless to say, distance learning has made it difficult to get great reading material, especially actual physical books, distributed to students, but we have a plan!

We would like to buy three sets of novels (one for each grade) to analyze and enjoy later this year. In order to do this, however, we need to raise some money.

In this season of giving and keeping in mind those families who might be unable to contribute, please consider donating to our MTMS Book Fund to get books into our students’ hands this year. Our total fundraising goal for this Book Fund is $5,500.00

Check out the amazing titles below, and donate at

6th Grade Novel: Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (cost per copy $6.44)

Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation unleashed on his family and community in the wake of his death. As a ghost boy, the only living person Jerome can interact with is Sarah, the daughter of the police officer responsible for his death, who is grappling with her father’s actions. Jerome also meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process his experience, recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. The redemptive message at the heart of this story is that only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better.

7th Grade Novel: Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (cost per copy $7.14)

Mimi Yoshiko Oliver, a half-black, half-Japanese seventh grader, longs to pursue her dream of becoming an astronaut. Will the realities of living in small town Vermont during the late 1960’s derail her confidence in herself?

Winner of the 2015-2016 APALA Literature Award for Children

8th Grade Novel: This Side of Home by Renee Watson (cost per copy $8.69)

Identical Twins Maya and Nikki along with their best friend Essence have their senior year of high school planned out, but the rapid gentrification of their Northeast Portland neighborhood ensures nothing goes as planned. This powerful coming-of-age story grapples with tough topics such as gentrification, class inequality, racism, black history, and developing your values. As Maya struggles to hold on to her black heritage, she begins to wonder with whom--or where--she belongs. Does growing up have to mean growing apart?

Art Supply Fundraiser

Immense gratefulness and humbleness to all of our community who donated money to our art supply fundraiser. Our neighborhood family-owned art supply store I’ve Been Framed set up this donation opportunity, and matched all the donations we received in November. So far we have raised over $3000, which has paid for art supplies for over 600 Art students to keep in their homes.

I’ve Been Framed is keeping the donating opportunity open, at this link:

Order your 2020-21 Yearbook

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

Schedule Adjustment for Period 0 Classes

After talking with students about the difficulty of having afternoon classes, the Health and PE Period 0 classes are adjusting their scheduled class times beginning on Monday, January 4.

Classes will be meeting on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 8:30-9:15 am.

For the full MTMS Instructional Schedule, click here.

Tabor Talks January 12-13: MTMS Parent Ed & Conversation Night

We sincerely hope that our families put this date on their calendar and join us for this incredibly special Tabor Talk in January. Our counselors have coordinated with our amazing partners at Trillium Family Services and Eastern Education Resources Collaborative to develop an host a parent education and conversation night.

The focus: embracing the idea of being good enough as parents and students during a pandemic. Not only will parents get some valuable, they will also be able to discuss, parent-to-parent, in breakout rooms. Please save the date!

Tabor Talk Session #10 (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, January 12 from 8:00-9:00 am
  • PM Edition: Wednesday, January 13 from 6:30-7:30 pm

SE Guiding Coalition Update from 12.10.2020 Meeting

Last night the coalition finalized a recommendation to determine the enrollment structure of Kellogg Middle School as it opens in the Fall of 2021. Deputy Superintendent Hertz will present this recommendation to the School Board on January 12, 2021.

The recommendation has the following schools and programs feeding to the new Kellogg Middle School:

  • Arleta neighborhood program converts from K-8 to K-5 elementary. Grade 6-8 students transfer to Kellogg Middle School starting in the 2021-22 school year. The K-5 program feeds to Kellogg Middle School.

  • Marysville neighborhood program converts from K-8 to K-5 elementary. Grade 6-8 students transfer to Kellogg Middle School starting in the 2021-22 school year. The K-5 program feeds to Kellogg Middle School.

  • Lent neighborhood program converts from K-8 to K-5 elementary. Grade 6-8 students transfer to Kellogg Middle School starting in the 2021-22 school year. The K-5 program feeds to Kellogg Middle School.

  • Lent Spanish dual language immersion program converts from K-8 to K-5 elementary. Grade 6-8 students transfer to Kellogg Middle School starting in the 2021-22 school year. The K-5 program feeds to Kellogg Middle School.

  • Bridger Spanish dual language immersion program converts from K-8 to K-5 elementary. Grade 6-8 students transfer to Kellogg Middle School starting in the 2021-22 school year. The K-5 program feeds to Kellogg Middle School.

  • Atkinson Elementary/Mt. Tabor Middle School Spanish dual language immersion program transfers to Kellogg Middle School in the 2021-22 school year.

Of particular importance to the coalition was the Creston community. In their recommendation, Creston remains a K-8 school in 2021-22, with its MS/HS feeder path to be confirmed in Phase 2 of the SEGC work. It will convert to a K-5 school in Fall 2022. The Coalition added to the recommendation that the district must make a special effort to ensure Creston’s middle school program would receive extra support and offerings to have a robust middle school experience until its middle school is established in 2022.

The coalition also stated that moving Bridger’s Spanish 6-8 DLI program to Kellogg in Fall 2021 would require temporary relocation of the neighborhood program—the single strand neighborhood enrollment is too small to exist by itself. Coalition members suggested Harrison Park K-8 and Kellogg as possibilities. They asked that PPS engage with Bridger middle school families to find a solution, with the understanding that the long-term feeder path for Bridger’s neighborhood program won’t be decided until Phase 2 of the coalition’s work.

The coalition also confirmed what would not change with this new feeder pattern:

  • Creston remains a K-8 school in 2021-22, with its MS/HS feeder path to be confirmed in Phase 2 of the SEGC work. It will convert to a K-5 school in Fall 2022.

  • Harrison Park remains a K-8 school in 2021-22, to be converted to a middle school in Fall 2022 as previously scheduled (with its feeder schools to be decided in Phase 2 of the guiding coalition’s work).

  • Atkinson neighborhood program remains assigned to Mt. Tabor MS for the 2021-22 school year. The guiding coalition will consider Atkinson’s long-term feeder path during Phase 2 of its work.

  • All K-5 DLI program locations and configurations remain unchanged for 2021-22. The SEGC will consider any changes to these programs in Phase 2 of its work

  • All K-5 attendance boundaries remain unchanged for 2021-22. The SEGC will consider boundary changes during Phase 2 of its work.

Below are the next steps of the Phase 1 process:

  • January 12 - Board meeting to discuss SEGC Recommendation for Phase 1 including criteria Coalition used to pick the best option

  • January 14 - SEGC meets as needed to respond to Board requests (as needed)

  • January 26 - Board meeting to approve SEGC Recommendation for Phase 1

Phase 2 of the process will begin mid to late February 2021. The Project area will expand to include southeast schools and some schools on the northeast border. The coalition has prioritized boosting BIPOC representation on the coalition and increasing student voice.

The community can continue to share feedback with the coalition here:

What to Expect from Quarter 2 Grades

Some of you have asked questions of admin and counselors about what marks you could expect from grades. This week, the district announced the following changes to the grades that will be issued during Quarter 2.

The only grades allowable for middle school are letter grades A-F or proficiency grading (HP/PR/CP/DP). NG (no grade), which was given during Quarter 1 when teachers did not have enough work completion/evidence to issue a grade, will no longer be an option for Q2-Q4, except for quarter-based elective courses and Health/PE.

High School Corner

Heading to Franklin HS in 2021-22?

Discover Franklin: webpage Launch January 7th

Discover Franklin, traditionally, has been a preview day for 8th graders where they learn about our course offerings, and other school programs, resources, and supports; to assist them with forecasting for their upcoming 9th grade year. This event was typically held in the evening where we invited families and 8th grade students to join us. Due to the complexity of families and 8th graders trying to navigate multiple links in order to attend live presentations from teachers about elective offerings, we are opting to create a Discover Franklin website instead. This site will have pre-recorded videos that students and families can view at their leisure and serve as references as they forecast for classes or just get general information about our school. Teachers and Staff will be sharing their contact information on the webpage as well so families can reach out and ask any questions.

Heading to Cleveland HS in 2021-22?

Cleveland High School has posted information for 8th graders coming to Cleveland next year on its website. Parents of 8th graders who are interested in attending Cleveland next year can access the information., or you can learn more by watching the Bridging the Gap Video linked here.

Your Weekly PTA Update

The PTA has had a busy few weeks heading into Winter Break. Please check out all the happenings on the MTMS PTA website. The latest post includes details about the very successful Winter Break Families in Need Drive and the Dream Dinner Curbside Fundraiser. Menus are posted on the site for those families that enjoyed the dinners and want to order again. Placing an order online within a week of the fundraiser will allow Dream Dinners to donate an additional $20.00 back to the MTMS PTA. The pick up date can be any available time in December 2020 or January 2021. Thank you to everyone for all the support and happy holidays!

Join the MTMSPTA

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 (beginning the next couple of weeks) 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----------

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.

Teen Activities through PCC Community Ed

Are you looking for some engaging extra-curricular activities for your student? Check out the Teen Program offerings from PCC Community Ed on the flyer below.
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Suggested School Supply Lists

To view this year's suggested school supply list for MTMS, click here.

My Child Was Marked Absent: What Do I Do?

Teachers look at three basic factors for determining whether your students is in attendance on any given distance learning day. Those three factors are:

  • Attendance in the Live Class Meeting
  • Submission of assignment for the class in Canvas
  • Direct teacher contact on the day in question (typically via email or discussion board)

Students who engage in one of those ways should be marked as present.

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 #10: AM Edition

Tuesday, Jan. 12th 2021 at 8am

This is an online event.

Join us at

Tabor Talk #10: PM Edition

Wednesday, Jan. 13th 2021 at 6:30pm

This is an online event.

Join us at

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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