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,

Since the beginning of my time as principal here at Mt. Tabor Middle School, it has been clear that this school and the community that supports it--here within these brick walls and beyond--is remarkable. And it was at about this same time last year that I was struck with the outpouring of generosity that this community could generate to support their neighbors in the midst of an unprecedented time.

Last year, with the organizational help of our Mt. Tabor MS PTA, we were able to raise and distribute over $16,000 in Fred Meyer gift cards to our families here in our school community. These funds went toward feeding our neighbors, clothing their children, and supporting so many of the daily needs that the pandemic had made difficult or impossible. Our counseling staff and our entire leadership and front office team worked tirelessly to identify families and deliver these donations directly to their hands just prior to winter break.

As I drove all over SE Portland--and even to Clackamas and Gresham-- delivering these cards, I remember feeling humbled, grateful, and awed. This was a school community that didn't just talk about being a family--it was one.

As I write to you today, we are still in the midst of this pandemic. Many of our families continue to need support as resources, more plentiful and accessible in the early days of the pandemic, begin to wane. Gas prices, grocery prices, and utility costs continue to climb, and the needs of our community are still here. There are reasons why we have worked in coordination with our school social worker, our WEB leadership class, and our PTA to continue to identify ways that we can fill those needs--we collected more than 500 pairs of socks in October and are hoping to collect 200 warm coats for students who need them. But we also know that families are still in need of the financial assistance that we were able to offer them just one short year ago. Our help still matters.

We put out the call for support just prior to fall break, and to date, we have had just $50 in gift card donations. We are grateful for those donations, and we know we have a long way to go between now and December 13 to ensure that we can help meet our community's needs. If you have the ability to purchase Fred Meyer gift cards (online or in person in $20 denominations) to donate to the school, we would be incredibly grateful. The timeline is short, but I know that our community's generosity is deep, and I have faith that we will be able to show up for our neighbors once more. For more details on how you can donate, please see the article directly below this letter.

I am, as always, continually grateful for this remarkable community. As you head into your weekend, I wish you all the best.


Ms. Tonya Arnold

Principal, Mt. Tabor Middle School

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. Last year, our MTMS community contributed over $16,000 to support the needs of MTMS families.

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 Counseling Team

December 6-10: Spirit Week 3.0

Next week is our final spirit week for 2021. We have a lot of fun days planned for students, and a special donation day to support our local families.

  • December 6: Winter PJ Day
  • December 7: Twinkle Tuesday (dress up fancy or sparkly to get ready for New Years)
  • December 8: Wacky Sweater Wednesday
  • December 9: Thermal Thursday (dress warm and donate a new or used jacket/coat--sizes for middle school students)
  • December 10: Snow Day (wear white or light colored clothing)

We know that we have families in need or warm coats for the winter. If you can donate a warm winter coat (new or gently used) that would fit a middle school student, our counseling and social work team will make sure it goes to a local middle school student who could use it. WEB Leaders will be taking donations at each of the three building entrances on Thursday, December 9. They have set a lofty goal to collect 200 coats! Please consider helping out if you can.

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!

If your student is interested in Benson Polytechnic High School, Jefferson Middle College or Metropolitan Learning Center, they can participate in the PPS lottery, which opened on November 29 and closes on December 17. You should have received a letter in the mail from PPS with your child's current forecasted high school, as well as information and directions about the lottery. You can visit to apply. 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
  • Dates and times for all 8th Grade High School Information Nights (see below)
  • Lesson that all MTMS 8th grade students received before Fall Break -- 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!

8th Grade Information Night for Franklin & Grant High Schools

8th Grade families with students who will be attending Grant and Franklin High Schools should consider attending school information nights on Thursday, December 9 at 6:30 pm. Additional resources are at the High School Information website.

Franklin High School

Grant High School

SE Guiding Coalition Updates from 12.2.21 Meeting

During last night's SEGC meeting, it was announced that any changes to programs, feeder paths, etc for the Phase 2 SEGC work would be delayed to the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. The SEGC will continue to meet and make decisions regarding that plan over the next couple of months.

In addition, the district released a third draft proposal (Proposal C) for conversation and consideration. This draft, unlike the first two, focused on keeping K-5 DLI programs co-located in buildings and eliminating, where possible, single strands of DLI or neighborhood in those schools. In this version of the proposal, the entirety of the Atkinson feeder path (for both DLI and neighborhood) would transfer to Kellogg). In the short term, this proposal, like Proposal B, would reduce the number of students at Mt. Tabor MS to below the 500 student minimum threshold the district had set as a goal for school enrollment.

This coming week, the district will be hosting a series of listening sessions where the public can learn about the proposals and provide feedback, Links to these listening sessions AND to the Phase 2 SEGC Open House on Wednesday, December 8 will be provided on the SEGC website as we arrive closer to the date. For a listing of these sessions, see the photo below.

Big picture

Your Weekly PTA Update

Your Weekly PTA Update

Thank you to those that participated in the Dairy Hill Thanksgiving Fundraiser. I know my family enjoyed being together and eating those ice cream pies over the holiday. Dairy Hill is doing a stocking stuffer fundraiser in December. Ice cream stocking stuffer?!?! This involves gift certificates. Gift certificates purchased through the fundraiser will result in 15% sales being donated back to the MTMS PTA. Perhaps a nice gift for a co-worker, a neighbor, a family friend, or those middle schoolers seeking that independence - they can go out to ice cream with their friends. We will supply more details and links to the site as they become available.

The PTA has had several requests from MTMS staff so far this year. The communities participation in PTA fundraising activities, is vital for the PTA’s ability to support MTMS staff and students. We appreciate the communities continued involvement. There are lots of options to participate - ordering MTMS Spirit Wear, going to the Trailblazers game, donating jackets, and so much more. There are aways to give to the PTA on a regular basis. It is easy to sign up and once you do, you don’t have to think about it again. Sign up for Fred Meyer Community Rewards and AmazonSmile. This is a great time to participate in these community giving programs before your finish all your holiday shopping. Visit the PTA website for details on these programs, and link and instructions for signing up

Thursday, December 9th - Winter Jacket Drive

Don’t forget next week is the Winter Jacket Drive at MTMS. The PTA is working with MTMS to collect new or gently used winter jackets in adult sizes (jackets that fit middle schoolers). Jackets will be used to meet the needs of MTMS students and will be distributed as needed through the school counselors. WEB Leaders will be collecting jackets on Thursday morning as student enter the building. Each grade level entrance will have a collection bag or box. Don’t worry if your student is out on Thursday, jackets can be dropped off in the collection box throughout the week; however we hope to collect the majority on Thursday when we have the fantastic WEB Leaders to assist.

Trailblazers Game

Join MTMS community at the Trailblazers game on January 25, 2022. There are still some tickets available. We will have Early Entry reserved for the night, so families can arrive early to watch the team warm-ups. The Trailblazers are playing the Timberwolves. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, December 24th. Order through the following link and use promo code ‘MTMS’ - I have seen some coordinating between families and students to get seats together. Don’t miss out, secure your tickets ASAP! As of this Friday morning there are still options for groups to get seats together.

Section 224 ($42.00 per seat) - 4 seats left

Section 304 ($25.00 per seat) - 6 seats left together

Section 309 ($20.00 per seat) - 16 seats left together


Check out the Mt Table Middle School spirit wear 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. This is a nice holiday gift for your student(s) or yourself! You can place your order online at this link:

Big picture


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