The Mt. Tabor Tribune

A Weekly Newsletter for the Mt. Tabor School Community

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A Message from the Principal

April 2, 2021

Good evening, Mt Tabor MS Families,

Change is coming. In just two short weeks, our middle school students, regardless of their decision to stay in Comprehensive Distance Learning or join us on campus as part of our Hybrid Cohorts, will undergo yet another transition to end the 2020-21 school year. The staff at MTMS has been working hard developing our plan, examining our safety protocols, determining our classroom capacities, readying our spaces, and cohorting our students. It has been a tremendous amount of work, to be sure, but with our plan submitted and awaiting district approval and our cohorts designed, we are feeling more and more confident that what we have to offer students and families this 4th quarter will be positive, supportive, and safe.

I know that many of you have questions about what all of this is going to look like, and we are hoping that this newsletter, next week's Tabor Talks, and the upcoming mailings about cohorts, transportation plans, etc. will alleviate some of those outstanding questions. I am going to try in this letter to outline several key points and address some of the questions that I have been asked over the last several weeks.

Schedule for April:

  • Tuesday, April 6: Tabor Talk at 8:00 am on All Things 4th Quarter (English)
  • Wednesday, April 7: Tabor Talk at 6:30 pm on All Things 4th Quarter (English)
  • Friday, April 9: No School (Teacher Grading Day)
  • Friday, April 9: Cohort Information for MTMS students released

  • Monday, April 12: Start of the 4th Quarter (check ParentVue for 4th Quarter Elective and Zero Period class changes).
  • Monday, April 12: Tabor Talk at 6:30 pm on All Things 4th Quarter (Spanish)
  • Tuesday, April
  • Wednesday, April 14-16: Asynchronous Learning Only for All MTMS Students

  • Monday, April 19: All Students start on new Instructional Schedule (see information below)
  • Monday, April 19: Hybrid Cohort A begins on campus
  • Thursday, April 22: Hybrid Cohort B begins on campus

Returning to Campus vs. CDL

  • Many thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the parent survey or MTMS staff regarding your child's learning preferences.
  • 74% of the MTMS student body will be returning to campus for hybrid instruction; 26% will be staying with the CDL model

Cohorting and Hybrid:

  • Because of our returning numbers, careful analysis of our classroom capacities, and a whole lot of delicate schedule balancing, we will be able to run two cohorts in our hybrid schedule
  • Students have been scheduled for Hybrid cohorts A and B. We will communicate placements to parents later next week (via digital communication and paper mail)
  • Cohort A will attend on campus on Monday and Tuesday afternoons from 1:30-4:00 pm.
  • Cohort B will attend on campus on Thursday and Friday afternoons from 1:30-4:00 pm
  • During their time on campus, students will attend a daily homeroom session and see their current teachers. On Mondays/Thursdays they will attend periods 1-3, and on Tuesdays/Fridays, they will attend periods 4-6. See the schedule below.
  • All zero period classes will remain virtual only.
  • We have scheduled siblings to attend the same cohort to minimize the impact on these families.
  • We cannot accommodate any changes to the cohorts students have been assigned. If it is not possible for your student to attend their assigned cohort, please contact us and we can switch them back to a CDL placement.
  • Students cannot switch from CDL to the hybrid model. Families that need to return to CDL after beginning hybrid will be able to make that transition.

Changes to the Student Instructional Day (beginning April 19)

  • All students, whether in CDL or Hybrid, will attend live online class sessions.
  • Periods 0, 1-3 will be held on Monday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 am-12:10 pm.
  • Periods 4-6 will be held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 am-12:10 pm.
  • Wednesdays will be reserved for all students to complete asynchronous work and for small group or office hour times in the morning.
  • Students can expect to attend two live virtual sessions (40 min/class) and complete two asynchronous assignments (each assignment should last no more than 30 minutes) each week.
  • For more details, please see the attached schedule below.
  • Students will not be changing instructors or courses for Quarter 4 (except for regular quarterly elective changes).

Transportation for Hybrid:

  • Parents are strongly encouraged to transport their students to campus using private transportation or to have them walk or bike if they live close enough so as to free up room on district school buses for students who cannot arrive on campus through alternate means.
  • We will be providing parents with a clear transportation map that outlines the drop off and pick up traffic pattern and procedures for hybrid learning. It is essential that families follow the traffic pattern to alleviate congestion and ensure that students are safe arriving on and departing from campus.

As I type this, I know this is a lot to digest. Like not just a lot, but A LOT!!!! And believe it or not, there is so much more that we are in the process of developing for you too: supply lists, information regarding compliance with safety measures, first day expectations, etc. We don't expect any of you to be hybrid or CDL experts--and we are happy to talk you through these items and more during next week's Tabor Talks. I truly do encourage all of our families to make the time to attend one of our sessions so that you can hear the information and ask questions. We will be recording and uploading these sessions to our YouTube channel as well as linking them in next week's newsletter in the case that you are unable to attend.

I know that these changes are asking a lot of all of us. They are asking our students to adapt to new ways to being students on our campus, because no matter how hard we try, things are not going to feel or be exactly the way they used to be. They are asking our families to juggle schedules and child care and transportation yet again. They are asking our teachers to shift their instructional practices to support both online and in-person learning in meaningful ways while addressing the social emotional needs of students. They are asking out custodial staff to engage in even more thorough cleaning and disinfecting practices on already tight timelines.

But I will continue to say this: I am so incredibly grateful for the community that we continue to build here at Mt. Tabor. And I know that we will continue to adapt to these changes in ways that allow us to be there for our students and for each other. I am certain that the last quarter of the school year will be a memorable one.

I wish you all a lovely weekend and look forward to talking with you this coming week.

All the best,

Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

Quarter 4 Instructional Schedule for Students

Below you will find the new instructional schedule that will begin for all students on Monday, April 19. The image is below, and there is a larger and printable pdf file linked just below as well.
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Tabor Talk: 4th Quarter Learning

We know that families have MANY questions about what to expect from both Hybrid and CDL learning during Quarter 4. Now that our plans are close to approved and our cohorting is complete, we have so much to share with you. We will be hosting three Tabor Talks over the next several weeks to ensure that families have an opportunity to hear about this information first-hand and ask questions (in both English and Spanish).

Please consider joining us live during one of the following sessions:

  • Tuesday, April 6 @ 8:00-9:00 am (English)
  • Wednesday, April 7 @ 6:30-7:30 pm (English)
  • Monday, April 12 @ 6:30-7:30 pm (Spanish)

Joining is easy. Simply visit

New Open Community Meal Distribution Sites

For the remainder of the year, grab-and-go meals will be available between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. on school days for all children in the community (PPS students and children not enrolled at PPS) ages 1-18.

The sites for curbside distribution:

  • Beaumont Middle School, 4043 NE Fremont St.

  • Franklin High School, 5405 SE Woodward St.

  • George Middle School, 10000 N Burr Ave.

  • Harriet Tubman Middle School, 2231 N Flint Ave.

  • Hosford Middle School, 2303 SE 28th Pl.

  • Ida B. Wells High School, 1151 SW Vermont St.

  • Jackson Middle School, 10625 SW 35th Ave.

Help Us Understanding Your Nutrition and Transportation Plans

As we plan for the 4th Quarter, please take this brief survey to tell us about how your family will access school-based nutrition (meals) and transportation.

Counselor Corner for 4/2/21

Hello from the counseling team at Mt. Tabor Middle School! We hope you are all well and continuing to keep the focus on your own and your student’s wellness during this period of stress, uncertainty and change.

For us as for you, this has been a year like no other. We want to give you an idea of what we have been working on as a team during 2020-21. We are lucky to be able to work, serve and collaborate in a lot of ways at MTMS, but the following list has been our focus so far during this school year:

  • We have worked hard to improve our systems of identifying students needing extra help with engagement, attendance and/or academics, and have delivered needed supports to students -- including 1:1 teacher check-ins, 1:1 counselor check-ins, individualized workload plans, parent/caregiver communication and support, Check In/Check Out, outdoor home visits, and more.

  • Due to the intense economic, health and mental health impacts of the pandemic, we have been working to connect many families to needed community resources.

  • We continue to plan community circles and counseling lessons, which are delivered by teachers during Homeroom.

  • Together with our admin team, we have offered two special Tabor Talks that feature a guest speaker and small breakout rooms to talk with other families about the content. The two topics were “Parenting During a Pandemic” and “Talking About Race in Your Family”, and a third is being planned for May around the topic of racial identity development.

  • We offer continued support to the Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) program for 6th grade students and their 8th grade mentors. In addition, weekly drop-in social time is available to our 6th graders.

  • As we plan for Hybrid/some in-person instruction, we are working closely with our admin team to welcome students back in ways that are sensitive to their unique pandemic-time needs and continue to support our distance-learning-only students.

Please reach out to us if we can support you or your child during this time of transition. We are here to help!

Michael, Hilary and Emory


Are you or someone you know looking for childcare during hybrid instruction? Check out the PPS Child Care website for a list of schools hosting child care programs during hybrid instruction. The website includes directions for translating the information. In addition, 211info offers child care referrals for all types of programs (including Boys and Girls Club and community centers) throughout Multnomah County. Parents can text, call or search for programs online. We are exploring bus transportation from schools to a small number of external programs but are still working though bus capacity challenges and will share updates when transportation is confirmed.


To receive a customized referral to emergency child care programs:

Option 1: Call 211

  • Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, # for all other languages

  • Enter your 5 digit zip code

  • Press 3 for child care

  • Press 2 to access a child care provider for your family.

Option 2: Text the keyword “children” or “niños” to 898211 (TXT211).

Spring Dreambox Challenge for Students

Your students this year have completed 26,525 lessons in DreamBox. DreamBox is the math program we use to help individualize student learning. We are seeing tremendous math growth in students as they work through lessons each week.

From March 22nd to May 2nd your student has a chance to win prizes simply for continuing to utilize this program during…


Who: Any student who completes AT LEAST 5 Lessons per week is entered in the drawing

When: For 6 weeks (March 22nd to May 2nd)

Please see the flyer below for more information:

Spring Math Challenge (English)

Spring Math Challenge (Spanish)

Questions about the challenge or about DreamBox in general? Talk to your math teacher or email our Math Instructional Coach, Ms. Suckow at

Your Weekly PTA Update

Your Weekly PTA Update

Tuesday, April 6th is the last general PTA meeting of this school year and will focus on Title IX. The meeting starts at 6:30pm, the first 30 minutes of the meeting is reserved for PTA business. This will be followed by a presentation and discussion on Title IX, a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination and harassment in the basis of sex in education programs and activities. The meeting will take place via Zoom, the link can be found near the bottom of this newsletter. This meeting is opened to all Mt. Tabor Middle School families. You are welcome to join anytime during the meeting. The Title IX discussion is estimated to start about 7:00pm

To Join the Zoom Meeting, go to:

Do you have something to contribute to the MTMS community?

The PTA is still recruiting board members for the next school year. We have the volunteers required to operate the PTA (President, Secretary, and Treasurer), but we still need YOUR help. We would love to have some volunteers to fill the remaining roles, so we can have a strong PTA next year. It is helpful to fill positions before the end of the school year, so we are prepared, but there is no work over the summer. We plan our first meeting in August just before school starts. We have the following open positions for the 2021/2022 school year:

Vice President/Fundraising Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinator

Student Store and Bottle Drop Coordinator

Hard of Hearing Program Representative

Japanese Language Program Representative

Spanish Language Program Representative

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

This week’s post can be found at

It’s never too late to join the PTA as a member. 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

Questions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to volunteer?

Write us at

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Support the MTMS PTA: Order your Tabor Gear Today!

It feels like Spring is upon us and summer right around the corner. It is a great time to purchase a Mt. Tabor Middle School t-shirt for your students and family members. 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 a new t-shirt, 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:

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----------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.

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

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:

Mt. Tabor Middle School

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