Murray Messenger 12.6.19

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 11:12am
Murray Hill Middle School

Murray Messenger 12.6.19

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

This school year, MHMS has embraced the motto of Believe, Belong, Become, during DEN this week, students viewed a video, created by the MHMS staff, showing how much we believe in them.  Staff members took time to tell our students things that they wanted them to know.  Their messages ranged from statements about how hard middle school was for them, to how their students help them get through hard times in their own lives, to how much they enjoying learning and growing with students.  DEN ended with students identifying staff members in the building who they personally connect with.  We were able to also identify students who do not feel connected to any adult in the building.  As a staff, we are committed to continuing to strengthen the relationships that have already been established, and to develop relationships with those students who could not yet identify a staff member to whom they connect with.  It is a priority that every student in our school community knows that we believe of them and that they feel a sense of belonging, so that they can become anything that they want to become.  I want to thank Ms. Torres, Ms. Raymond, and Ms. Svoboda for facilitating this meaningful initiative.  


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

December 9th- December 12th

MHMS Winter Bazaar

December 9th @ 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Joe Corbi’s Fundraiser Pick-Up

December 10th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting

December 13th

7th Grade Field Trip- Chamber Theater

December 17th @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Band Concert 1- Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band

December 19th @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Orchestra/Choir Concert

December 23rd – January 1st

Schools Closed- Winter Break

January 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting

January 15th @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Band Concert 2- Concert Band, Beginning Band, Big Band

January 16th @ 6:00 p.m.

MHMS Spelling Bee

January 20th

Schools Closed- Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 23rd

MHMS PTA Restaurant Night- Chick-Fil-A

January 24th

End of Quarter 2

January 27th

No School For Students- Professional Work Day

News From The Hill

School News

Did You Know???:  Did you know that students have the opportunity to go outside for recess nearly every day?  We recognize that it is important for middle school students to engage in physical activity on a daily basis, so weather permitting, we offer students the option to go outside for recess.  With the weather getting colder, please encourage your student to dress appropriately so that they can enjoy their recess, if they choose to go outside. 

HCPSS Redistricting Information:  Some MHMS families have been redistricted to Hammond Middle School as a result of the decision made at the November 21st HCPSS Board Meeting.  Please reference the following HCPSS links for information, and feel free to contact our front office staff if you have any questions.

HCPSS Calendar Change:  A change has been made to the 2019-2020 HCPSS School Calendar.  Schools and offices will now be closed on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, due to the special election to fill the 7th congressional district seat vacated following the passing Representative Elijah Cummings.

Winter Intramurals Extended:  As a courtesy extended to our families, the MHMS intramural program has been extended! The new end date for winter intramurals is December 19th. Unfortunately, at this time, the step intramural and gaming club will not run during this extended time.  Just as a reminder, pick-up time is 4:30 p.m. It is getting much colder and much darker earlier in the day and we do not want our staff and students waiting uncomfortably. Thank you for being on time to ensure safe pick-up and dismissal from the intramural program.

MHMS RISE Program:  In partnership with Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Horizon Foundation, we are pleased to offer a new after-school sports program called RISE.  Registration and payment are due by January 27th.  Please see the attached documents for detailed information:  RISE _flier_Murray Hill MS_19.pdf 

Read Across America Day- Bookmark Contest:  In celebration of Read Across America Day, The MHMS Reading and Media departments are sponsoring a bookmark contest.  Prizes will be awarded for the top three bookmarks.  A copy of the winning bookmark will be professionally produced for the entire student body.  Entries can be submitted through December 20th and will be on display for judging through the month of January.  See the attached documents for detailed information:  bookmarkcontestguidelines.pdf   bookmarkcontestposter.pdf 

If you are interested in making a donation, you can do so by check or online payment.  Checks should be made out to MHMS and include “bookmark contest” on the note.  Online donations can be made through OSP ( ). Donations will go toward publishing fees and prizes.  Please encourage your student(s) to participate.  Contact Deb Burkey at with any questions.

Winter Bazaar:  The Winter Bazaar is next week!!!  This event will run during the three lunch shifts each day during December 9th – 12th.  We still are accepting parent volunteers to help supervise this event.  You can use the Sign Up Genius linked here ( to sign up for times to supervise.  It is broken down by day and grade level lunch period.  During the event, there are two main roles.  One person is needed to regulate how many students come into the Bazaar at once and to let another student in when one comes out.  The other volunteers will be needed as cashiers.  Price ranges for items will be displayed but we need support encouraging students to shop quickly and to help them “check out” when they are done shopping.  It’s a lot of fun to watch students shop for their loved ones and to see their excitement each day as they browse the new items placed out!  We appreciate all the help we can get!  If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Behrens ( 

Yankee Candle Fundraiser:  Thank you to those of you who supported our Yankee Candle Fundraiser through paper orders.  Fundraising items have been delivered, and can be picked up during school hours in the front office.  If you missed out on the paper sale IT’S NOT TOO LATE.  ONLINE ORDERS CAN BE MADE THROUGH JANUARY 8, 2020!  Visit, and enter the MHMS Group Number:  990033454.  Thanks for the support. 

Clothing To Cash Recycling Program:  MHMS is a part of the Clothing To Cash Recycling Program.  The program not only supports environmental efforts, it also serves as a fundraiser for our school.  MHMS earns a cash payment for every pound of collected items; for the month of November, MHMS earned nearly $100.00!  Please, bring your used clothing, shoes and other items in plastic bags, and place them in our collection bin located at the entrance of our parking lot.  Please see the attached flyer to learn about all of the different items that can be donated.  MHMSClothingToCash.jpg 

8th Grade News

There are a lot of exciting things happening to help prepare your 8th graders for high school. Last month, an overview of high school requirements and course selection process was shared with all 8th grade students.

On Monday, December 9th, representatives from Atholton High School and Reservoir High School will be visit all 8th graders at MHMS. They will reiterate the same information regarding high school requirements and the course selection process, as well as tell students more about opportunities in 9th grade. Students will be divided based on their current districted high school for next year; even if they will not be attending one of those schools, they will still attend the presentation.

Below are some important dates to be aware of:




December 2nd - January 3rd  

Open date for parents to call schools with JROTC programs to request an interview, if desired.

Scheduled interview time

December 9th

Atholton and Reservoir High Schools will visit MHMS 8th grade students

1st Period @ MHMS

December 10th

Career Academy Information Night

7:00-9:00 pm ARL

January 8th-17th

Course Selection OPENS!


January 9th & 10th  

MHMS School Counselor will discuss high school registration

Through ELA Classes @ MHMS

January 8th


High School Night

Assistance with High School Schedules


January 9th

Reservoir High School Parent Orientation

Snow Date: TBD 


January 14th

Atholton High School Parent Orientation

Snow Date: TBD


January 17th

All Course Selections 

due in Canvas

8:00 a.m.


June 3rd

8th graders visit High Schools



If you have questions or concerns related to the high school process please reach out to me, Jodi Svoboda @

PTA News

Joe Corbi’s Fundraiser Pick-Up:  If you ordered items from the Joe Corbi’s fundraiser, please make arrangements to pick up your items on Monday, December 9th, between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  Please note that there is not a way to keep products frozen or refrigerated after the pick-up window.

PTA Membership:  Sign up for the PTA while visiting the Murray Hill Middle School PTA website

PTA Meeting:  Our next PTA meeting will be on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m.


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)


Career and Technology Education Information Night:  A Career and Technology Education Information Night will be held at Applications and Research Laboratory (10920 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City) on December 10, 2019, from 7:00 pm-9:00pm.  Learn how Career and Technology Education (CTE) Career Academies provide high school students with opportunities to earn college credit, scholarships, and industry certifications, participate in worksite and mentorship experiences, and become creative problem solvers by participating in hands-on project based learning. To see more about the available CTE options through HCPSS, visit:

Community News

RISE Program Job Opportunity:  Are you interested in part-time after school employment? Do you have coaching or recreation experience and enjoy working with middle-school students? Apply to work with the RISE (Recreation-Inspired Sports for Everyone) program at Murray Hill Middle School.  This is a shared initiative between the Howard County Public School System, Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Horizon Foundation for students to participate after school two days a week for two separate 6-week sessions of coed mixed sports and recreation at a reduced fee.  If you have no coaching experience, but have played a sport in the past - we can train you to coach!   For full job descriptions and application instructions, please see attached flyer! This is an excellent opportunity for at home college students or fresh out of college students looking to get their foot in the door.  RISE Job Description.pdf 

Howard County Parks and Recs Basketball:  See attached flyer for details HCPRBasketball.pdf 

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 |