Murray Messenger 9.11.20

Sat, 09/12/2020 - 8:34am
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

Congratulations to all for a successful first week.  Although this first week of school has been like no other that we have experienced, I am proud of how the MHMS school community worked together to support one another.  As we all navigate Virtual Learning, let’s remember that patience is paramount and extending grace to one another is essential.  Know that the MHMS staff is here to help each and every one of our students, so if you are experiencing any challenges, please reach out, and we will do all that we can to assist you.  

MHMS Back To School Night will take place virtually on Thursday, September 17th, starting at 6:30 pm.  Please know that in order to access your students' classes, during Back To School Night, you will need to be logged into your student’s HCPSS account.  More detailed information, regarding Back To School Night, will be shared next week.  


Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

September 17th @ 5:45 p.m.

Virtual G.T. Parent Orientation

September 17th @ 6:30 p.m.

Virtual Back To School Night

September 28th

Schools and Offices Closed

MHMS News:

MHMS New Staff:  We would like to introduce you to new staff members who have joined our Murray Hill Middle School Community.  Welcome to:

Denise Adams- School Counselor (6th grade and 7th grade A-L)

Jodi Bahrijczuk- Academic Life Skills Teacher

Anne Cavanaugh- ELA Teacher

Joshua Cortes- Special Education Paraeducator

Peter Crocamo- Social Studies Teacher

Lucero Espinal- World Language Teacher

Maisoon Kupisch- Math Teacher

Christopher McKibben- Technology Education Teacher

Melissa Morrison- Special Education ITL

Michelle Nunn- FACS Teacher

Paul Quinn- General Music Teacher

William String- Band Teacher


Virtual GT Orientation:  On Thursday, September 17th, at 5:45 pm, GT Resource Teacher, Mr. Dunbar, will share information regarding the Middle School Gifted and Talented Program.  All are welcome to attend virtually.  Parents must be logged into their students’ HCPSS account in order to attend the Google Meet session.  More detailed information will be shared next week. 


MHMS Virtual Back To School Night:  MHMS Back To School Night will take place on Thursday, September 17th, starting at 6:30 pm.  Our Virtual Back To School Night will begin with a presentation for all to view, followed by parents virtually attending each of their students’ semester one classes through Google Meets.  Parents must be logged into their students’ HCPSS account in order to access class sessions.  More detailed information will be shared next week.  


Meal Distribution:  Meals are available daily at nearly all HCPSS schools.  Students 18 and under can pick up a grab and go breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday at any meal distribution site.  Food Services Staff have meals available from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.  Both breakfast and lunch can be picked up during either time slot. Several days of meals can even be pre-ordered.  If MHMS is a convenient meal distribution site for your student, you will find our Food Services Staff ready to assist you right inside our main entrance doors.  More detailed information can be found here.  


Family File:  Family File is currently open for all HCPSS families to update information about their child/children for the 2020-2021 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. 

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 our Student Services Secretary, Brenda Ganzermiller, at, as soon as possible)

Thank you to the nearly 400 MHMS families who have already completed their Family File for the 2020-2021 school year.  


Immunization Requirements:  Immunization requirements have NOT been lifted or waived at this time. All 7th grade students in the state of Maryland were to have a single dose of Tdap AND a single dose of Meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) BEFORE the first day of virtual learning. Earlier this summer all parents of students who were missing one or both of the above mentioned vaccines should have received an email or mailed letter identifying which vaccines are missing from your child’s immunization record. Your child may have already received them; however we have not received the documentation confirming. Please check with your student’s physician to obtain an updated vaccine record and either scan it or take a photo of it and email it to me at If your student has not received the 2 vaccines for 7th grade, please make an appointment with their physician to do so and for those who do not have private insurance MPP in collaboration with HCPSS will be offering several Back-to-School Vaccine Clinics in late September see the attached flier VaccineFlier.pdf   VaccineFlierSpanish.pdf . Please note on the flier that all registration is done online; you must make an appointment. Thank you in advance and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me (MHMS School Nurse) at


From the Math Office:  As a result of the 2020-2021 4X4 schedule, not every student is engaging in math this semester. We have heard from many families looking for math engagement during the fall semester in order to prepare for the spring semester. We suggest the Get Ready Courses in Khan Academy. This link takes you directly to these courses. These are excellent resources that combine topics from the last course your student took and the new course your student will take this year.


BSAP News:  The Black Student Achievement Program’s (BSAP) Saturday Math Academy (SMA) Fall 2020 registration has been postponed until September 26, 2020.


Materials Distribution and Collection:  If you have items that need to be returned to MHMS (i.e. textbooks, media center books, instruments), please know that there is a collection bin located inside the first set of doors to our main entrance; items can be dropped off between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Additionally, if you were contacted by a MHMS staff member to receive art supplies, books for Seminar C, spring pictures, or a device, please contact the main office between 7:30 and 3:30 to arrange pick up (410-880-5897).  


Building Access:  MHMS is currently not accessible to parents or students.  If you need to get in contact with MHMS staff, you can email staff directly, or call the main office at 410-880-5897.  Main office staff will be available to assist during school days from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  We ask for your patience, as we will be working with a reduced front office staff. 


Reporting Absences:  Attendance during Virtual Learning is critical.  Students are expected to attend all their period 1, 2, 3, and 4 classes on Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s.  If your student is unable to attend a Google Meet, due to illness, an appointment, etc., a note must be submitted within two days of the student’s return.  To report an absence, please email:  


Memory Books:  At this time, we are still waiting for our Memory Books to be delivered.  As a result of COVID, the company that publishes our Memory Books, is experiencing significant delays.  We have been assured that our Memory Books are still being produced and will be delivered to us as soon as possible.  Please know that once we receive the Memory Books, we will set up a time to safely distribute them in the MHMS parking lot. 


PTA 2020-2021 Membership:  Please visit to obtain your MHMS PTA membership for the 2020-2021 school year.


PTA Board Elections:  The election of 2020-2021 MHMS PTA officers and the budget approval will take place on September 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the Murray Hill Middle School parking lot.  All present must wear masks and remain a minimum of 6 feet apart.  All members can vote.  Please note that if both parents were/are members, each parent can vote.

The following MHMS PTA Board Members are running for re-election for the 2020-2021 school year:

PTA President:  Debra Rhoades

PTA Vice President:  Susan Lee

PTA Secretary:  Kathy Chrzanowski

PTA Treasurer:  Christine Flaker

No additional nominations were received by the nominating committee.  Questions can be directed to any member of the nominating committee.  Email addresses are listed below.

With MHMS Mountain Lion Pride,

The 2020 MHMS PTA Nominating Committee

Kristy Castonguay

Shona Pascarello

Maly Poon


PTA Restaurant Night Fundraiser:  The MHMS PTA will host a restaurant night on Wednesday, September 30th, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Chipotle located on W Market Place.  MHMS PTA only receives proceeds from pick-up orders (no deliveries).  See the attached flier for more information: Chipotle.pdf    ChipotleSpanishVersion.pdf .  If ordering ahead online, for pick-up, use promo code:  T79KANC 


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