Murray Messenger 10.2.20

Fri, 10/02/2020 - 4:13pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


On Wednesday, October 7th, students will engage in the Reading MAP assessment.  Students will use their Homeroom Google Meet information on Wednesday to engage in the assessment during either our 9:00 a.m. administration or during our 1:00 p.m. administration.  Students will learn more specific information regarding the MAP assessment, during their Homeroom period on Monday, October 5th.  Please remind students to attend their Homeroom session weekly on Monday’s from 10:50-11:20. 


As you know, asynchronous assignments are posted on Monday morning’s and are due on the following Monday.  Teachers have up to three weeks to grade submitted work, although, in many cases, grades are posted sooner than that.  I encourage both students and parents to regularly monitor academic progress through Canvas.  Students who are struggling with concepts or have questions about assignments need to attend the support classes that are offered daily.  The support class schedule is as follows:


Monday’s and Thursday’s:

  • Period 1 Support Class- 8:30-8:50

  • Period 3 Support Class- 2:55-3:15

Tuesday’s and Friday’s 

  • Period 2 Support Class- 8:30-8:50

  • Period 4 Support Class- 2:55-3:15

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:

October 5th @ 12:00 p.m.

BSAP & Me Parent Information Session

October 6th @ 6:00 p.m.

BSAP & Me Parent Information Session

October 7th 

Reading MAP Assessment

October 14th

Math MAP Assessment

October 16th 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

3-Hour Early Dismissal (Schedule)

MHMS News:

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. 


Reporting Absences:  Attendance during Virtual Learning is critical.  Students are expected to attend the entirety of 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:  


MHMS BSAP & Me Parent Session:  Please join your MHMS Black Student Achievement Program (BSAP) Liaison, Ms. Whye, for a BSAP & Me session next week. Unfortunately, we were unable to connect during Back to School Night, so let's get acquainted. During the session, you will be introduced to the program and have the opportunity to provide feedback about how we can best work together in this virtual world. Students are welcome to attend with parents.  Two sessions will be offered, Monday, October 5th at 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday, October 6th at 6:00 p.m.;the same information will be shared at each session. Please contact, if you have any questions.  Please use the following Google Meet information to join:

Google Meet Login: 

Google Meet Dial In:  1-409-422-5203‬  PIN: ‪564 501 947‬#


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


Memory Books:  2019-2020 Memory Books have finally been delivered!!!!  We will facilitate another distribution of yearbooks on Tuesday, October 6th from 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. and on Thursday, October 8th from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 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 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 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, 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.  


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.


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. 


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

Community News:

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


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