Murray Messenger 9.25.20

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 11:38am
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


As we move into week four of virtually learning there are number of items that we want to highlight and remind families of to ensure student engagement and a safe environment:

    • Homeroom is scheduled for Monday’s, from 10:50-11:20.  Students are expected to attend the homeroom session on a weekly basis.

    • Students are expected to attend the Google Meets for each of their classes for the full 45 minute time slot.  Students who are late, will be marked as tardy, and students who enter the Google Meet 20 minutes after the start time, will be marked as absent for that period.  If your student is having technical difficulties, please be sure to communicate with the teacher. 

    • Students can attend support sessions daily, but should certainly attend support class sessions if they are in need of assistance with a concept or with asynchronous work.  Students should also attend if they have been specifically invited by their teacher to attend. 

    • All weekly assignments are posted on Monday morning’s, and are due the following Monday.  Students will be assigned 3-4 hours of asynchronous work, per class, per week.  Students should plan to use their mid-day break and Wednesday’s (their asynchronous work day) to work towards completing their weekly assignments.  Pacing is essential.  

    • Teacher work hours are Monday through Friday, from 7:40 a.m.- 3:15 p.m.  If students choose to wait for the weekend to complete the asynchronous assignments that are due on Monday, and they need assistance, they may not get a response from teachers during the weekend.  For this reason, we encourage students to work on all asynchronous assignments during the week, and utilize the support sessions for help as needed.  

    • It is important to note that most assignments will not be accessible to students after the designated due dates, so students should work on them during the week that they are assigned.  

    • While students have the option to turn their cameras on or off, we have found that students attend to the lessons and are more engaged when their cameras are on.  

    • Please be sure to review the HCPSS Google Meet Expectations for Students and Parents/Guardians, posted on the HCPSS website.  

Families I hope that you have a safe and enjoyable weekend.  Please remember that HCPSS schools and offices are closed on Monday, September 28th, 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 30th @ 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Chipotle Restaurant Night

September 28th

Schools and Offices Closed

October 1st @ 1:30-3:00

Memory Book Distribution

October 2nd @ 10:00-12:00

Memory Book Distribution

October 7th 

Reading MAP Assessment

October 14th

Math MAP Assessment

October 16th

3-Hour Early Dismissal (a schedule will be shared soon)

MHMS News:

Family File:  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 425 MHMS families who have already completed their Family File for the 2020-2021 school year.


MAP Assessment:  On Wednesday October 7th and 14th, MHMS students will take the Measured Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The data from the MAP assessment will help schools and teachers measure where your child is starting the year academically. The HCPSS intends to also give the assessment in winter and spring to measure how your child’s learning is progressing throughout the year. The MAP test does not affect grades and the difficulty adjusts depending on how your child responds. It is normal for students to only answer about half the questions correctly.  To learn more about the MAP assessment, please visit: 

The Reading MAP assessment will be offered on Wednesday, October 7th at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm (students enrolled in 8th grade GT ELA are exempt from the Reading MAP assessment).  The Math assessment will be offered on Wednesday, October 14th at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm (students enrolled in 7th grade Algebra I, 8th grade Algebra I, and Geometry are exempt from the Math MAP assessment).  Students may choose to attend either the morning or afternoon session. If your child is unable to attend, makeup testing will be offered during asynchronous learning times. Teachers will share Google Meet information and your student’s testing group as we get closer to the Oct 7th date.  Please contact, if you have any questions. 


Memory Books:  2019-2020 Memory Books have finally been delivered!!!!  We will distribute yearbooks on Thursday, October 1st from 1:30-3:00 p.m. and on Friday, October 2nd from 10:00-12:00.  When you arrive in the front of the school, please call the main office (410-880-5897), and a staff member will bring your Memory Book to your vehicle.  If you did not order a Memory Book, but would like one, we have additional copies for sale.  Hard copies will be sold for $25.00 and soft covers will be sold for $20.00.  Only cash or checks made payable to MHMS will be accepted.  


School Supplies:  A number of school supplies have recently been donated to MHMS.  Reusable bags include a binder, loose-leaf paper, folders, post-it notes, spiral notebooks, index cards, pencils, erasers and earbuds.  If your student is in need of school supplies, please come to the school any day next week (Tuesday through Friday) between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  When you arrive in the front of the school, please call the main office (410-880-5897), and a staff member will bring the school supplies to your vehicle.


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:  


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


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 Chipotle.pdf  ChipotleSpanishVersion.pdf  for more information.  If ordering ahead online, for pick-up, use promo code:  T79KANC 

Community News:

The Council of Elders Community Academy:  See the attached TCOE Flyer.png  for information regarding The Council of Elders Parent Workshop Series. 


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