Murray Messenger 9.18.20

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 8:47pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

Thank you to those of you who joined our Virtual GT Parent Orientation and Virtual Back To School Night, yesterday evening.  It was great to see so many families engage.  If you were not able to attend, please know that you can always reach out to your child’s teacher, if you have specific questions about their class.  Please know that you can also visit our Back To School website, and view the recorded administrative presentation, and also click the link for additional resources.  

During the opening weeks of school, we have reviewed many policies and procedures with your students, including expectations for attending Google Meets.  I wanted to take a moment to also highlight, HCPSS’s Google Meet Guidelines for Parents and Guardians.  We thank you for honoring these important guidelines.

To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during distance learning, all parents/guardians are asked to follow the following privacy guidelines.

  • Google Meet virtual instruction is designed for students. To prevent disruptions to the learning environment, parents/guardians should not actively participate in check-in sessions, although parents/guardians may assist their child with technology and/or remain nearby.

  • Do not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of a Google Meet, including not posting on any social media platform.

  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during Google Meets should not be collected, discussed or shared.

  • Parents/guardians should not engage with students during Google Meets. If you need to speak with your child during a check-in session, first mute your child’s microphone.

  • If a parent/guardian has a question, please email your child’s teacher.

Parents/guardians should email your child’s principal with any questions or concerns regarding privacy or virtual classroom expectations.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring that distance learning is a positive, productive and enjoyable experience for all participants.

Families I hope that you have a safe and enjoyable weekend, and if you have not already completed your Family File, please make time to complete it this weekend. 


Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

September 22nd @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting- in the MHMS Parking Lot (physical distancing and facial coverings required)

September 30th @ 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Chipotle Restaurant Night

September 28th

Schools and Offices Closed


MHMS News:

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 410 MHMS families who have already completed their Family File for the 2020-2021 school year. 


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.  


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- VaccineClinicsFlier.pdf   VaccineClinicSpanish.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 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 |