Murray Messenger 11/17/17

Murray Hill Middle School

Murray Messenger 11/17/17

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

It was great to see parents visiting our school this week during American Education Week.  I hope that those who visited obtained some good insight into the instruction that takes place in our classrooms on a daily basis.  Please remember that parents are welcome to visit classrooms outside of American Education Week; we only ask that you contact administration 24-hours prior to your visit, so that the teacher can be informed and approval can be given.

Report cards and fall MAP scores were sent home today with all of our 6th and 7th grade students (8th grade students received their report cards and fall MAP scores yesterday due to the extended day field trip today).  Please take time to review your student’s academic progress.  It is always great to applaud the positive aspects of their progress, and to help students with setting goals for those areas that need improvement.

Please be reminded that Monday and Tuesday of next week are 3-hour early dismissal days.  Students will be dismissed at 12:10 p.m.  Schools will be closed for students Wednesday through Friday, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

I wish everyone good times with family and friends during this Thanksgiving season.  If you are traveling, I wish you safe travels.


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

November 17th

Report Cards Issued

November 20th

3-Hour Early Dismissal (Parent/Teacher Conferences)

November 21st

3-Hour Early Dismissal (Parent/Teacher Conferences)

November 22nd

Schools Closed for Students (Parent/Teacher Conferences)

November 23rd-November 24th

Schools Closed- Thanksgiving Break

November 27th

Fall Pictures Retake Day

November 28th @ 6:30 p.m.

PTA Meeting

November 28th

Chick-fil-A Restaurant Night

November 29th @ 6:00 p.m.

Passport to Success:  College and Career Night

News From The Hill


MHMS Student Device Reminders:  Students are allowed to bring their devices (i.e. cellphones, tablets, etc.) to school, but it is important to remember that students are responsible for the safety of their own devices.  For the protection of their property, students should keep their devices securely on their person, or locked in their lockers.  Lost or damaged phones are not the responsibility of the MHMS staff. 

Also, important to remember is that students are only allowed access to their devices during certain times of the school day.  Students may not utilize their devices during class time, unless it is being used for instructional purposes with permission by the classroom teacher.

Parents, we ask that you assist us by not expecting your students to respond to your text messages or phone calls during class time.  If there is an emergency, or you need to get a message to your student, you are more than welcome to contact the front office, and we will assist with whatever communication needs to take place. 

MHMS Choir Uniforms:  If you have not purchased your student’s MHMS Choir Uniform (Black Polo Shirt w/ Logo), you must do it online by 11:59 tonight.  Please visit the MHMS website at and go to online payments to make your purchase.  Please know that your child may not be able to participate in Choral events if they do not have the mandatory uniform. 

MHMS Winter Bazar:  The Winter Bazaar is back again this year!  The Winter Bazaar is a small “store” filled with donated items that students can purchase using their Gotchas.  We are currently looking for donations- small items such as books, candles, jewelry, games, household items, decorative items, baby items, toys, movies, CDs, etc.  Donations can be dropped off in Ms. Hodder’s classroom (Room 106) or brought in with your student and dropped off starting on November 6th.  We will accept donations through December 1st.  Thank you for your support!

Passport To Success; College and Career Night:  Save the date for November 29, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. for this annual event brought to you by our educational partners, The SEL/H Ladies of the Continental Society, Inc. Prepare to experience a college and career fair, and learn about financial aid and scholarship opportunities, explore career options, learn interviewing tips and tips for course selection for high school, and more. Students who attend will receive a homework pass and snacks will be provided. 


Goucher College Theater Field Trip:  7th grade students received permission slips to attend a field trip to the theater at Goucher College on Monday, December 18th.  This is a great opportunity for your child to see live performances of stories read in English class during the Thrills and Chills Unit.  The cost is $25 and payment can be made with cash, check to MHMS, or online at

All signed permission slips and payment are due by Tuesday, November 21st.  We are also looking for chaperones, so please complete that part of the permission slip if interested.  Chaperones will also need to pay $25 for bus transportation and a theater ticket.  

Please contact Kristin Cullison with any questions at  


MHMS Spirit Wear:  If you placed an order for MHMS Spirit Wear, merchandise was distributed to all 6th and 7th, during lunch shifts today.  8th grade merchandise will be distributed on Monday.  If your 6th or 7th grade student was absent, and did not receive their spirit wear, they can get it from the front office. 

Chick-Fil-A Restaurant Night:  Please support the MHMS PTA by visiting the Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Johns Hopkins Road.  Be sure to mention Murray Hill Middle School, so that we receive a portion of the profit. 

PTA Volunteers Needed:  The MHMS PTA has several committees that are in need of volunteers.  Please see the Committees, along with a brief description and contact, PTA President, Femi Williams, if you are interested in volunteering ( )

  • Art Show/Art Fair Studio (Chair Needed)- This committee will work closely with the art teacher, to put together an art showcase. This will be the 4th Annual Art Show. The Art Show is an opportunity to show-off what our students have been doing in art class. In order to create excitement and have non-art students excited about attending, we are planning on combining the event with “Make & Take Art Stations” or an art vendor sale where students who make their own jewelry or wallets or pens can come and set-up a booth to sell their products. The Band will also display their talents throughout the night. (May 3, 2018)
  • 5K/1k Run/Walk -Spring (Chair Needed)- This committee is a work in progress. We are striving to host our first 5k sometime in March. We are in the process of figuring out how to get a registered 5k track and all the details of planning such an event. If we successfully plan this event, it could be our biggest fundraiser. (March 24, 2018)
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity (Chair Needed)Week of May 2018 – 2nd Annual Event. The vision of this event will be in collaboration with MHMS Social Studies department. We will kick off the event with an activity on May 21 and each day we will have various activities during lunch time for the students. On May 22, 2018, there will be a school wide presentations where the students who wish to participate will have an opportunity to talk about their culture (parents etc.) to their grade level peers. On the evening of May 22, 2018, the parents of the students will then prepare a dish from their culture and the students will also present to the parents. The Cultural Arts activities will be held during lunch; The Murray Hill Band will assist with music from around the world.  More information to follow.


Communication is an essential component of a successful school experience for both students and parents.  There are many ways to stay connected to MHMS and to HCPSS.  Please consider the following ways to stay connected:

  • Visit the MHMS website often at:   
  • Follow TRES on Twitter at:  @hcpss_mhms
  • Visit Canvas often
  • Visit the HCPSS website often at:
  • Download the HCPSS app on your mobile device (search Howard County Public School System)

Community News

For more Community News visit the Community News and Programs page on the HCPSS website for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.



Friday, November 17, 2017 - 6:15pm