Murray Messenger 2.14.20

Sat, 02/15/2020 - 5:58am
Murray Hill Middle Schoo


A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine’s Day!  I would like to thank the MHMS PTA for sponsoring the Annual Valentine’s Gift Shop this week.  For a nominal cost, students were able to select from a variety of fun merchandise that the PTA had on display during the lunch shifts. Students really enjoyed visiting the “Shop” and making purchases for themselves, their friends and their family members. 

I would also like to thank our PTA for sponsoring our 6th grade author visit that will take place on March 6th.  Ji Li-Jiang, author of the Red Scarf Girl, will speak to our 6th grade students about her experiences.  Please remember that it is not too late to join the MHMS PTA for the 2019-2020 school year.  Your membership provides the funding needed for the PTA to support many of our school events.  Sign up today by visiting the Murray Hill Middle School PTA website       

Please note that the Pre-Assessment Concert that was scheduled for Wednesday, February 19th has been cancelled. 

Finally, check out this quarter’s edition of the MHMS School Counselor Newsletter:  Q3 Counselors Newsletter.pdf


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

February 17th

Schools and Office’s Closed- President’s Day

February 21st @ 6:00 p.m.

Black History Month Program

February 28th @ 7:00 p.m.

Frozen, Jr. Musical Production

February 29th @ 2:00 p.m.

Frozen, Jr. Musical Production

February 29th @ 7:00 p.m.

Frozen, Jr. Musical Production

March 10th @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting

March 19th

Career Day

March 20th

8th Grade Spanish Classes- Field Trip

March 26th

PTA Restaurant Night- Chick-Fil-A

March 27th

6th Grade Field Trip- RHS Little Mermaid Production

April 3rd

3-Hour Early Dismissal- End of Q3

News From The Hill

School News

Did You Know???:  Did you know that we have replacement Agenda Books for sale.  If your student has lost their agenda book- tell them to check the lost and found in the cafeteria and in the front office first!  If they still cannot find it, a replacement Agenda Book can be purchased for a mere $2.50.  Have your student see a front office staff member if they would like to purchase a replacement.     

Black History Month Program:  MHMS will host a Black History Month Program on the evening on February 21st, at 6:00 p.m.  We are looking forward to families coming out and supporting our students in this event.  Students have been working hard to perfect songs, speeches, poems, and native/tribal dances.  If you have questions about the event, please contact BSAP Liaison, Ms. Whye at

Frozen, Jr Musical Production:  This year’s Annual Musical Production, is sure to be a treat for the entire family.  Come out and show your support for our students and our school community.  See the flyer for detailed information: FrozenJr2020.pdf 

MHMS Girls on the Run:  Registration for the MHMS Girls on the Run afterschool program is currently open.  Consider signing up for this fun program that promotes health and well-being.

MHMS Career Day 2020:  In an attempt to help prepare our students for college, career and beyond we are organizing a Career Day for the eighth-grade class. This event will expose students to different careers and jobs for their post-high school lives. We would like a variety of careers and trades represented in an attempt to allow students to explore different opportunities for their future. Career Day is scheduled for April 16th, from 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in speaking to our students about their career, please contact School Counselor, Jodi Svoboda at

Extended Absences:  If your student is engaging in a planned extended absence (3 days or more), please note the following:

  • A local discretionary form should be completed and submitted at least a week prior to the planned absence.
  • You are welcome to contact teachers and ask for work to be provided prior to the planned absence.  While some work may be provided, please know that it is not required that work is provided in advance.
  • Students will have as many days as they were absent to make up the work that they missed (if they were absent for 5 days, they will have 5 days to turn in all missing work, after that, they will receive zero’s on any work not turned in).
  • Teachers have different strategies for managing make-up work; it is the student’s responsibility to communicate the need for missed work with their teachers, and to be responsible for turning it within the established timeframe.

Remember, attendance has a major impact on student success ( ).  It is highly encouraged to plan extended absences in alignment with the HCPSS calendar to decrease absences from school.  Chronic absences may lead to the creation of an attendance plan or an attendance contract for individual students. 

Art Room Donations:  Ms. Robinson is seeking donations for the art room of newspaper, yarn, cereal boxes, masking tape, packing tape and more.  See the attached flyer for details MHMS Art Room Donations.pdf 

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.  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 

A Note From the Nurse:  Flu season is here!  This is a reminder that good hand washing and covering sneezes and coughs with tissues and sleeves are essential steps to preventing the spread of germs.  Also, remember that despite concerns about school attendance, your child’s health (and the health of others around them) is most important of all.  For this reason, we ask you to please:

  • Call the school nurse to let us know if your child is absent with a contagious illness such as strep throat or the flu, etc.Please provide any documentation from your physician about a diagnosis and a release to return to school.(Ear and sinus infections, while often a reason for keeping a child home, are generally not contagious).
  • Keep your child home if he/she has a fever of over 100.0 degrees.A fever indicates that your child has an infection that could be passed to other students or staff members.If you give your child Motrin or Tylenol, the fever will, of course, disappear, but he/she will still be contagious to others.Children must be fever-free for 24 hours (without medication) before returning to school.
  • Have your children wash their hands properly after using the restrooms and prior to eating.
  • If the doctor prescribes medication for your child, please make sure he/she takes it as directed, which means the right amount at the right time, without missing doses.

Thank you very much for helping in keeping our MHMS community healthy. 

8th Grade News

AHS Dance Placement:  Dance Placement Auditions for incoming freshmen, who wish to place out of Dance I for the 2020-2021 school year, will be held on February 24th. 

  • Sign-In- Anytime between 3:00 p.m- 3:40 p.m.
  • Choreography- 3:50-5:30 p.m.
  • Videotaping- 5:30-6:00 p.m.

You will be taught tap, jazz and modern/ballet movement phrases (we have tap shoes if you need them!).  If you cannot attend auditions, contact Mrs. Haffey at AHS PRIOR to the audtion date. 

See the attached document for more information: AHS Audition Info Sheet 9th grade.doc 


BSAP Summer Institute:  If your child is an African-American, Latino or Native American male planning to attend the BSAP Summer Institute, please contact Ms. Whye immediately for information about scholarship funds available to help cover the cost of the program.  

PTA News

PTA Membership:  It is not too late to join the MHMS PTA.  Sign up today by visiting the Murray Hill Middle School PTA website

PTA Meeting:  March 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)


Atholton High School Event:  Next Thursday, February 20 | 6-8:30 p.m. | HOMECOMING!  For Black History Month Atholton's Black Student Union (BSU) and Parents of Black Students Association (PBSA) have collaborated to host an evening of entertainment, education, food, and fellowship.  The BSU assembly this year is HOMECOMING, a celebration of the history and glory of HBCUs featuring keynote speaker: Derrick Plummer. Afterward, come to the cafeteria and enjoy a soul food dinner organized by PBSA.  AHSBSU.jpg   AHSHomecoming.png 

Community News

JOURNEY Program:  Since 2006, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County has partnered with Maryland Leadership Workshops to offer the JOURNEY program, a one-week overnight summer workshop for Howard County middle school girls to develop their leadership skills.  For those of you who have been in this role for a few years, you have received this request from me previously, and we appreciate your support and assistance in sharing this opportunity with your counselors and your community. 

Would you be so kind as to consider putting the information below in your community message?  There are substantial financial support resources available.  Please contact me at any time with any questions, or if we can host an information session for your girls and families.  Thank you!

Journey 2020 for Howard County Middle School Girls (rising 7th, 8th & 9th grade students) will be held July 12-July 18, 2020 at Washington College!  Applications are due May 15, 2020; Journey applications and scholarship application can be found at  Financial assistance is made available by the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County.  

Contact information for Maryland Leadership Workshops: 301-444-8623;

A week at Journey includes: 

  • Workshops on topics such as empowerment and motivation, decision making, communication, self-awareness, goal setting, group dynamics, and conflict resolution
  • Group projects that challenge girls to apply new skills and exceed their own expectations
  • Team-building activities that strengthen interpersonal skills and build lasting memories
  • One-on-one mentoring with members of a dedicated and highly trained staff.

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 |