Mon, 11/19: Conferences, NO SCHOOL
Mon, 11/19: PTA Conference Luncheon for Mt. Tabor staff
Mon, 11/19: Walden Books Fair in Tabor library
Tues, 11/20: Conferences, NO SCHOOL
Tues, 11/20: Walden Books Fair in Tabor library
Wed-Fri, 11/21-11/23: Thanksgiving holiday, NO SCHOOL
Dear Mt. Tabor Families,
I hope you had another great week. If you were at the PTA meeting, you know Elona Landau's presentation on talking to your student about sex and sexuality was practical and informative. For more information, check out elonalandau.com. My key takeaways? Keep the messages short, know what you want to say, use medical terms, and say a little more than you think you should a little sooner than you think you should. As Elona says, we are our child's first teacher. In the age of the internet and social media, we want this kind of information to be accurate and empowering. Thank you to our PTA for bringing another great speaker to our school.
One thing Elona touched upon was consent and harassment. While we do not handle many reports of harassment at Mt. Tabor, it does, occasionally, happen as students begin to explore intimacy with others. This behavior in pre-adolescents is an exploration of self and self-in-society which can, at times, cross lines of comfort and respect. Given the gulf between rates of maturity in pre-adolescent and adolescent boys and girls, there are times when boys think they're being funny and girls are made to feel uncomfortable or disrespected.
In today's #MeToo world, our kids see and feel what social progress looks like, where the dominant paradigm of white patriarchy is slowly dismantled, yielding higher levels or racial equality, gender equity, and more humanistic institutions. Mt. Tabor is one such place, albeit filled with eleven-, twelve-, and thirteen-year-olds. We've seen girls speak out when boys have "body shamed" them. And we've responded to more serious incidents of harassment and initiated district-level protocols: newer, robust protections as a result of enhanced trainings for PPS staff.
While these incidents are still somewhat rare in middle schools, we take each incident seriously, follow protocols, and keep the deep interests of all students at the center of our response, especially when situations are hardly ever black and white but rather filled with nuance--an intersection of gender, identity, culture, puberty, and race.
If your student ever feels uncomfortable at school, we are here to help. Galen and Michael are outstanding counselors. Pam is an administrator who I've seen heal many social wounds. And our teachers are stewards of our mission of Relational Learning, the guiding philosophy of our work. All reporters of harassment remain confidential. Students can even report anonymously through our SafeOregon tip line by texting (844) 472-3367. Earlier this year, I asked all students to add this number to their phones. Students can also visit the SafeOregon website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for talking to your student about safety, health, identity, and respect. You are their first teacher.
Moving on now to next week, I hope you're able to attend conferences. This year you'll have more time to meet with any teacher you'd like. As you also know, each family has a scheduled time with one teacher. And during conferences, Annie Licurse, our librarian, will be hosting a book fair sponsored by local bookseller Walden Books. There should be some high-interest titles, and proceeds directly benefit our library. This event helps keep our own library titles current and engaging to our kids.
Also, our PTA is hosting a lunch on Monday for our staff. It's such a sweet gesture, but they need a little help. Please volunteer just a little time, if you can, to help them put this lunch together. Here's the link to sign up.
Finally, if you haven't yet, you should really get a wreath while you can. There's only a few left, and your wreath will directly benefit our students in our Spanish Immersion program who need just a little support to attend next summer's learning trip to Mexico. Here's the link to help our kids.
Have a nice weekend with your family and a great week off. I am thankful for you.
Mt. Tabor Middle School
Supply List 2018-19
Every 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Student needs:
Note: Do not purchase an assignment book or agenda. We provide one of these for all students. It is used as part of our study skills program and we want all students to have the same one.
6th Grade Students:
7th Grade Students:
8th Grade Students:
Students at Grant High School were invited to attend a flag-raising ceremony during lunch Thursday to recognize Native American Heritage Month, and school officials weren’t sure how many students would go outside on a chilly day. What they saw was a huge throng of students filing through the front door at the Marshall campus (Grant’s temporary home) to watch.
Matthew Bacon-Brenes, a teacher mentor and a leading advocate for dual language immersion in Portland Public Schools, has been awarded a Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence for 2019 from the NEA Foundation and Horace Mann.
6:00 PM District Board Meeting