Murray Messenger: Back To School Edition

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 6:12pm

Dear MHMS Families,

I hope that all of you are experiencing a fun, safe, rejuvenating summer filled with time spent with family and friends.  It is amazing to think that school will start for students in less than one week!  I wanted to reach out to all of our new and returning families to make sure you are aware of some important bits of information.  As we enter into this school year, please know that HCPSS items that have been printed for families in the past, will not be printed this year.  I encourage you to visit to review the 2019-2020 HCPSS School Calendar and the HCPSS Parent Handbook.  Additionally, if you need information regarding your student’s bus schedule, you can visit  To access your specific bus stop information, use this link, and enter your address.  We ask for patience during the first weeks of school, as bus driver’s work towards navigating their routes efficiently.  Please remember that the bus times are approximations, and it is always recommended to arrive at your stop earlier than the designated time.  Enjoy these last days of summer, and we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday. 


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

August 29th @ 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

GT Testing (for new students)

August 29th @ 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

6th Grade and New Student Orientation

August 29th @ 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

MHMS Open House

September 10th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting (in the Media Center)

September 12th @ 5:45 p.m.

G.T. Parent Orientation

September 12th @ 6:30 p.m.

MHMS Back To School Night

September 17th

ODE Fundraiser @ Coal Fire

September 26th @ 6:30 p.m.

6th Grade Outdoor Education Parent Information Session

September 30th

Schools and Offices Closed

News From The Hill 


Family File:  Family File is currently open for all HCPSS families to update information about their child/children for the 2019-2020 school year.  Please remember that Family File must be updated every school year.  HCPSS uses Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information.  Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child, and can do so by logging in to  Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the View instructions on resetting passwords link on the sign in page.  If you need additional assistance, please fill out this “Connect Help Form”

Parents who are new to the Howard County Public School System will receive a welcome email with instructions to activate an account. 

(Please note- change of address may not be made through Family File.  If you have recently moved, please contact the school at 410-880-5897, as soon as possible)

Thank you to the 205 MHMS families who have already completed their Family File for the 2019-2020 school year.  We are striving for 100% Family File completion by the first day of school on September 4th.  Any student who has their Family File completed by the first day of school will be entered in drawing to win a gift card to a Target. 

6th Grade and New Student Orientation:  MHMS will host orientation for all 6th grade and new students on Thursday, August 29th from 1:00 -2:30 p.m.  Doors will open starting at 12:45 p.m.  Students and parents are encouraged to attend.  All incoming 6th grade students will be directed to their DEN (homeroom) classrooms and will spend the majority of their time meeting their teachers.   All incoming 6th grade parents, should report to the cafeteria for a parent presentation.  All new 7th and 8th grade students and parents should report to our Media Center for a presentation.  The Kona Ice vendor will be in our parking lot for anyone who would like to purchase a sweet treat as they leave orientation; profits from the Kona Ice sales will support our 6th grade Outdoor Education field trip.

MHMS Open House:  MHMS families are invited to attend our Open House, on Thursday, August 29th, from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.  Food trucks will be onsite, so bring your folding chairs and plan to spend time with our MHMS school community.  Schedules will be distributed to students who attend, and students and families will have the opportunity to practice locating their classrooms, in preparation for the first day of school.    

First Day of School:  The first day of school is Tuesday, September 3rd.  Our doors open to students at 8:15 (students obtaining breakfast may enter at 8:10).  Students will report directly to their DEN classes on the first day of school.  DEN teachers will send an email to their students prior to the first day of school so that students know where to report.  Student schedules will be distributed/redistributed to all students on the first day of school.  Students arriving after 8:25, will be marked as tardy to school.   

Back To School Night:  Back to School Night is scheduled for Thursday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m. This evening is intended for parents only, and will give parents the opportunity to meet teachers and visit classrooms.  More information will be shared at a later time.  

New to MHMS:  HCPSS has expanded their partnership with the Howard County Police Department (HCPD), and additional School Resource Officers (SRO) will be assigned to some of our middle schools.  As a result of this partnership, MHMS has been assigned an SRO.  Officer Kelly Markley will join the MHMS School community, and he is excited to meet our students and build positive relationships.  His role in the building is focused on building relationships, serving as a mentor, and working in a collaborative manner with our staff.  He is scheduled to be in our building on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and every other Friday. 


PTA Board:  The following PTA Board Members were approved for offices for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • PTA President:Debra Rhoades
  • PTA Vice President:Susan Lee
  • PTA Secretary:Katharine Chrzanowski
  • PTA Treasurer:Christine Flaker

We are looking forward to a great year, and we hope that you will become a member of the MHMS PTA and volunteer for the different events and activities.  The PTA will hold membership drives and conduct spirit wear sales during 6th Grade and New Student Orientation, the MHMS Open House, and Back to School Night.     


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)

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