Murray Messenger 3/8/19

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 4:34pm
Murray Hill Middle School 

Murray Messenger 3/8/19

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

It is unbelievable that we are already halfway through the 3rd quarter of the 2018-2019 school year.  I am proud of our students and the work that they are doing to grow and develop as learners at MHMS.  I look forward to our student body finishing off the year strong. 

Mrs. Couch and I are looking forward to our musical production of Mary Poppins Jr. this weekend; we hope that the MHMS community comes out to support our students at one of the three showings that will be held.  Those who are in the production, both cast and crew, and staff and parent volunteers, have worked very hard to produce an amazing show. I know that the production will certainly be a treat for your whole family. 

I would like to officially welcome substitute Assistant Principal, Pamela West.  Ms. West’s first day with us was on Monday.  Ms. West’s background is in special education, and she served as an Assistant Principal at Hammond High School, Howard High School, and eventually retired as the Assistant Principal at Centennial High School.  Ms. West is excited to get to our know our students and staff during her weeks at MHMS. 


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

March 1st @ 7:00 p.m.

Mary Poppins Jr. Production MaryPoppinsJrFlyer.pdf 

March 2nd @ 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Mary Poppins Jr. Production MaryPoppinsJrFlyer.pdf 

March 12th @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting

March 13th

6th Grade Assembly- Author of Red Scarf Girl

March 14th

Spring Pictures

March 21st

Chick-Fil-A Restaurant Spirit Day

March 29th

6th Grade Field Trip- Newsies Production at RHS

April 5th

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Professional Work Day


News From The Hill

School News

Cell Phone Use:  Please know that the MHMS Leadership Team is in the process of discussing and potentially making changes to the access and usage of cell phones during the school day for MHMS students.  We have found that the full-time access that students currently have to their devices during the school day is proving to be a distraction often times.  Please know that we will be sure to communicate any and all changes with our school community as soon as we finalize the details. 

In the meantime, we ask that parents and family members assist us with decreasing cell phone distractions for our students, by not reaching out to them during the school day on their personal devices.  If there is an emergency, please call our front office, and we will facilitate getting a message to your student or allowing them to speak with you on our front office phone.  Alternatively, contacting your student during their lunch time, would be an appropriate way to connect with your student during the school day.  Thanks in advance for your support.  

Home School Connection:  Communication between school staff and parent/guardians is an essential component of the success of students.  Our teachers value ongoing communication in order to support all students in every way possible.  Please be reminded, though, that in alignment with HCPSS guidelines, staff members are encouraged to respond to parent-initiated contact within 48-hour time period.  Please also recognize, that the 48-hour response time falls within contractual workdays.  Teachers are not required to check their email after school hours or during the weekend, so, for example, if an email is sent on a Friday after school hours, the 48-hour response time would technically begin on the next school day, which most likely would be a Monday.  If there is any need for further clarification, please feel free to reach out to MHMS administration.   

Congratulations:  MHMS would like to CONGRATULATE former Murray Hill Middle School, Josh Wasilewski for recently being named HCPSS Principal of the Year!!!  Mr. Wasilewski served as Principal at MHMS from 2013 through 2016, and is currently the Principal at Long Reach High School.

Health Room Reminders:  Please see the attached document regarding flu season: FluDoc.docx 

Please remind your students that if they are feeling ill during the school day, that they should report to the Health Room, so that our Health Room staff can contact home if needed, rather than texting a message home without a staff member knowing of the contact.

MHMS Attendance:  Please be reminded that if your student is absent for any reason, that it is important to provide written documentation of their absence.  Documentation should include student name, the date(s) of absence, and the reason for the absence.  Parents also have the choice to inform us of a student absence by sending an email to the following address:

A Reminder to Walkers:  Walkers may not return home in the morning, once on school property.  If they have forgotten an item (hw, lunch, materials), they will be directed to the front office to call a parent to determine a solution that both the parent and school staff are aware of.

Yearbook Sales:  MHMS Memory Books are on sale now!  Flyers were sent home with students, so that you can secure your copy of the 2018-2019 school year!  Orders can also be submitted online through using Yearbook ID Code 13198619.  

8th Grade News

AHS Fall Sports:  Tryouts for all fall sports at Atholton High School will begin on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Fall sports include cheerleading, girls/boys cross country, football, girls/boys golf, girls/boys soccer, girls volleyball, and girls field hockey. Tryouts last 3 consecutive days, with practices beginning immediately after teams are selected.  Please plan vacations accordingly.  Due to the number of student athletes trying out for our programs, tryouts are mandatory and we cannot make special exceptions for individuals who cannot make the tryout dates.  In June, Atholton HS will host a parent meeting for any incoming 9th grader who would like to tryout for a sport. Dates and times will be sent soon.  It is highly recommended to sign up for the Atholton High School SchoolMessenger to receive important information about Atholton High School.   If you have any immediate questions and/or concerns, please feel free to contact Atholton’s Athletics and Activities Manager, Mike Senisi at


HCPSS Gifted and Talented Summer Institute:  Enrollment is now open for the HCPSS Gifted and Talented Summer Institutes located at Wilde Lake Middle School. The G/T Summer Institutes provide interested students with advanced-level instruction and enrichment experiences not regularly available during the academic school year. Advanced-level classes are offered in mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, technology, and fine arts. The curriculum is focused on talent development and provides academically and artistically rigorous activities. The program runs for two separate sessions; the first from July 1st- July 12th and the second from July 15th- July 26th. More information can be found at

Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC):  All Middle and High School Students are Welcome to attend the HCASC Meeting 3/13 7:00-8:30 at the Homewood School 10914 Clarksville Pike Ellicott City, MD 21042.  We invite students to:
*Participate in the 2019-20 Student Member of the Board of Education Candidate Forum where finalists Allison Alston of Reservoir High School and Hannah Whitkin of Long Reach High School will encourage students to ask them questions and learn more about how to share their voices with BOE members and HCPSS leaders; *Practice civic engagement and serve as an informed voter in the general election 4/24Gain Leadership Skills: *Practice Community Service; *Work with student leaders from across HCPSS.
We welcome all interested students to attend Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) meetings throughout the year on the second Wednesday evening of each month.
Next Meeting Wednesday 3/13 7-8:30 at the Homewood School 
For more information please contact


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 MHMS 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.


Murray Hill Middle School | 9989 Winter Sun Road, Laurel, MD 20723 | 410-880-5897 |