Murray Messenger 3.8.20

Sun, 03/08/2020 - 7:10pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

I would like to invite our entire MHMS school community to be informed regarding the information that our Superintendent, Dr. Martirano has shared regarding Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-2019).  HCPSS is taking all of the necessary precautions to monitor and stay informed of updates regarding COVID-2019.  Please be sure to review all of the messages that Dr. Martirano has sent (, and read all future messages from Dr. Martirano.

Remember that the following are strongly recommended by both the Howard County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash (or cough/sneeze into your sleeve or elbow)
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces

The MHMS custodial staff is regularly monitoring the soap supplies in all of our bathrooms, and we have two hand sanitizing stations in the cafeteria for student use.  Additionally, our custodial staff are being extra vigilant with properly cleaning all touch points (i.e. door knobs, railings, etc.). 

Finally, while we do have an adequate supply of tissues and hand sanitizer, we always welcome donations of both of these items. 


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

March 10th @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting

March 12th

Spring Picture 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

April 6th- 13th

Schools Closed- Spring Break

April 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting

April 16th

8th Grade Career Day

News From The Hill

School News

Did You Know???:  Did you know that our buses leave MHMS at 3:15?  Our dismissal bell rings at 3:10, and students have five minutes to get onto their buses.  Lately, we have had students missing their buses for a variety of reasons.  Unfortunately, we are unable to hold buses past 3:15, unless there is an emergency, because doing so well make them late for their elementary bus runs.  Thanks for reminding your student to move quickly at dismissal time, to ensure that they are able to be transported home by their bus.

Spring Pictures:  Spring Pictures will be held on Thursday, March 12th.  Order forms were sent home with students on Friday.  Only students who purchase a picture package online prior to Thursday, or have an order form and payment with them on Thursday, will be photographed.  Thank you for supporting this school fundraiser. 

Service Learning Project- Support Grassroots:  Our 6th and 7th grade students engage in a year-long service learning project to support Grassroots.  At the beginning of the year, both grades attended an assembly to learn more about how Grassroots services individuals and families in need throughout Howard County.  Next week, all students have the opportunity to participate in our Change Matters collection drive.  Students are encouraged to donate their spare change (both coins and bills will be accepted), at their lunch shift during the week of March 9th.  Please encourage your student to participate. 

MHMS 2019-2020 Memory Book Sales:  It’s time to order your 2019-2020 MHMS Memory Book!  Students have been working hard to create a great keepsake from this school year.  A variety of events, field trips, and activities have been included!  The online ordering system is open and you can place your order now to reserve your copy of our Memory Book. The cost of our Memory Book is $21.00.  Memory Book sales will close in early April.  To ensure you get a copy, purchase it now!  When you order online you have the option to upgrade to a hard cover book, personalize the book with your student’s name, and other optional add-ons for an additional cost. 

Directions for ordering online:

1.Go to

2. Enter our Yearbook ID Code: 13198620

3. Enter your student’s name and complete the payment

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:  It is still flu season.  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. 

7th Grade News

7th Grade Medieval Times Field Trip:  We are pleased to announce that our seventh grade team will be taking a field trip to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament at Arundel Mills Mall on May 1st!  The cost for this trip is $50.00 and is payable by check (made out to Murray Hill Middle School), cash, or preferably online via our OSP system (  As always, scholarships for funding individual students for this trip are available.  Permission forms have already been sent home with your students and must be turned in with payment (check or cash if not using OSP) to Ms. Behrens in Room 214, by March 20th.  Please make sure that you have selected a meal option on this form, as all students will receive a four-course medieval style meal! Failure to select an option will result in the standard meal option. Chaperones will also be more than welcome to attend this trip; however they must also pay the $50.00 fee to attend. Permission forms and payment will not be accepted any later than March 20, 2020 as we need to let Medieval Times know how many tickets we need to purchase. Please contact Ms. Behrens ( if you have any questions. 

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)

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.

HC DrugFree Updates: Drive-Thru Medication and Sharps (Needles, Syringes & EpiPens) Collection - HC DrugFree's next drive-thru medication and sharps (needles, syringes and EpiPens) collection will be held on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot. Bring all unwanted and expired over-the-counter and prescription medication. Free. Open to the public. No need to get out of your vehicle. Student and adult volunteers welcome. Community service hours available. Medication guarded and transported by the Howard County Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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 |