Murray Messenger 9.4.20

Sat, 09/05/2020 - 11:38am
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

All of the MHMS staff members are so excited about the first day of school!  Starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8th, staff and students will come together for a fully virtual start to the 2020-2021 school year.  Families should have received an email message from period 2 teachers today, as students will begin their day on Tuesday with their period 2 teachers.    

I would like to thank all of the parents who attended our Virtual Learning Parent Information Sessions this week.  We were happy to share so much important information with you.  If you were unable to attend our sessions, you can find both the Virtual Learning Parent Information Session and the 6th Grade Orientation presentations here.  

As a parent who will be supporting your student as we enter virtual learning, there is a lot of information for you to be aware of, so please take the time to review this newsletter carefully.  


Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School


What To Know For This Weekend:  

  • Students will have access to their courses in Canvas on Saturday, September 5th.

  • When students login to Canvas, they must be signed in to their HCPSS account. 

  • If you need resources to help you login, you can use the Forgot Password or Username button on the student landing page to retrieve both your username and password.  Also, Account Self Service directions are posted online.

  • Students will receive a Canvas Announcement from all of their teachers and a Welcome Video from all of their teachers during the day on Saturday.

  • Students will be able to find the Google Codes for their courses in the calendar feature.


What to Know For The First Day of School:

  • Students will attend 6 synchronous class sessions on Tuesday, September 8th.

  • Students will begin their day by joining their Period 2 support class at 8:30 a.m.

  • Students will follow their full schedule throughout the day.  Please see the student schedule below:


What to Know for the Remainder of the First Week of School:

  • Wednesday is an asynchronous work day for students, so they will not engage in any Google Meets on Wednesday.

  • On Thursday and Friday, students will follow their full schedule and will attend 6 synchronous class sessions.


What Else to Know About the 2020-2021 School Year:

  • HCPSS students will engage in Virtual Learning during the first semester, so the student schedule shared above will be followed for the entire first semester.

  • The building 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. 

  • We will follow a 4X4 Schedule this year.  Students have been enrolled in 4 classes for the first semester, and they will be enrolled in 4 different classes during the second semester.  (Related Arts classes will rotate on a quarterly basis, every 9 weeks).

  • Students will attend Homeroom once per week, on Monday’s only.  During this time, students will learn strategies for being successful during virtual learning, as well as other strategies to promote student well-being.

  • Students are expected to attend all four of their classes on a daily basis, and attendance will be recorded for each period of each day.  (Individual teachers will share additional information with students regarding their support class periods, which are scheduled at the beginning and end of each day). 

  • If a student is unable to attend synchronous classes, parents can send an email, and upload any medical documentation or notes to

Important Dates:

September 8th @ 8:30 a.m.

First Day of Virtual Learning

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

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 350 MHMS families who have already completed their Family File for the 2020-2021 school year.  We are striving for 100% Family File completion by the first day of school on September 8th.  


Materials Distribution and Collection:  If you have items (i.e. textbooks, media center books, instruments), please know that there is a collection bin located in the vestibule, and items can be dropped off between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Additionally, if you were supposed to receive art supplies, books for Seminar C, or a device, we will set up another distribution during the first week of school.  A separate message will be sent with details. 


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. 

Additionally, if you purchased spring pictures, and missed the distribution that we did early in the summer, we will also have those available to distribute, when we distribute Memory Books.  I thank you for your patience, during these unprecedented times.


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