Murray Messenger 10.1.21

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 3:38pm

Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,
We are at the approximate halfway point of the first quarter! This is a great time to review grades in Canvas and maintain or establish a plan of action to meet your personal goals. I am looking forward to recognizing students at the end of the quarter with Honor Roll certificates.

We still need 36% of our families to complete/update their Family File for the 2021-2022 school year. Please remember that Family File must be updated every school year for each child in HCPSS. Parents/guardians can log into 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).


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

October 11th

Fall Pictures

October 12th

PTA Meeting (Google Code: mhms-pta)

October 13th

MHMS Flu Clinic

October 15th

Schools Closed For Students- Professional Work Day

November 3rd

End of Quarter 1

November 4th

Schools Closed For Students- Professional Learning/Work Day

November 9th

PTA Meeting (Google Code: mhms-pta)

November 10th

Report Cards Issued

MHMS News:

MHMS Fall Pictures: Fall pictures will be taken on Monday, October 11th. All MHMS students will be photographed, and these photos will be used in our 2021-2022 Memory Book. Families have the opportunity to purchase pictures if they choose (all proceeds directly benefit MHMS!). Pictures can be pre-ordered online by visiting and entering our picture ID: EVTGWVS6C. Please see the attached flyer for information, regarding fall picture packages, and consider supporting this MHMS fundraiser. Paper copies of flyers will be distributed on Friday, October 8th. FallPicturePackages.pdf

MHMS Flu Clinic: All MHMS students will have the opportunity to get their flu vaccination at school on Wednesday, October 13th. If you are interested in having your child participate in our Flu Clinic, please see the attachments, which include an online link to register for the clinic. Families must register by Thursday, October 7th (paper consent forms can also be completed). If you have questions, please contact our Cluster Nurse, Ms. Castiglia at 2021 MHMS Flu Clinic Consent Form (2).pdf 2021 MHMS Flu Clinic Consent Form. Spanish (1).pdf

MHMS Bus Reminders Please be reminded that students are required to wear masks, properly, while riding the school bus. If your student forgets their mask, the bus drivers should have a supply of disposable masks. Please remind your student of this expectation.

Absences To School: If your student is going to be absent, please send a message to The message will go directly to Ms. Speiser, who manages our daily attendance. Please take time to review HCPSS’s Attendance Policy 9010.

Quarantining Students: If your student is required to quarantine as a result of established COVID procedures, please be aware of the following:

Absences will be coded as excused.

Families will continue to receive a daily, automatically generated, email stating that your student is absent.

Students can do the following to stay up to date academically:

Access assignments through Canvas for each course.

Log in to individual teachers Google Meet Support Sessions, specifically established to assist students who are quarantining. Information can be found on Canvas Homepages.

Contact teachers via email with questions about assignments.

Engage in academic support through HCPSS Evening School (for more information contact our MHMS Point of Contact-

Also, be reminded that if your student has a medical condition that presents like COVID-like symptoms, a doctor’s note can be provided stating the details of the condition; this could prevent possible repetitive quarantining. If you have questions or would like more detailed information about this, please contact our Cluster Nurse,

MHMS Winter Bazaar: The Winter Bazaar is coming back to MHMS! The Winter Bazaar is a small store filled with donated items that students can purchase using their Gotchas (our school incentive tickets). Items may include books, candles, jewelry, games, household items, decorative items, baby items, toys, movies, CDs, etc. Anything you can donate would be appreciated! Students really enjoy being able to purchase these items for their friends and family. The Winter Bazaar will run in December, but we wanted to let the community know so that items can be saved and collected for this exciting event for our students. As we get closer to the event, look for more information about where and when items can be dropped off. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Behrens (

Clothing To Cash Recycling Program: MHMS is a part of the Clothing To Cash Recycling Program. The program not only supports environmental efforts, it also serves as a fundraiser for our school. MHMS earns a cash payment for every pound of collected items. So please, bring your used clothing, shoes and other items in plastic bags, and place them in our collection bin located at the entrance of our parking lot. Please see the attached flyer to learn about all of the different items that can be donated. MHMSClothingToCash.jpg

Stay Connected: Please stay connected to our Murray Hill Middle School Community by visiting our website frequently- MHMS Website. You can also follow our school community on Twitter- @hcpss_mhms. Also stay connected with all HCPSS news and information by visiting the HCPSS website and following @HCPSS on Twitter.


PTA 2021-2022 Membership: Please visit to obtain your MHMS PTA membership for the 2021-2022 school year.

MHMS Spiritwear: MHMS Spiritwear is now available to order online! Support our MHMS PTA and show your MHMS pride by purchasing today! Spiritwear can be customized and features both glitter and non-glitter options. All merchandise will be mailed directly to the address of your choice.

October PTA Meeting: The PTA would like to invite you to our next virtual PTA Meeting. It will be on Tuesday, October 12th at 7 PM. Use your child's chromebook. The code is MHMS-PTA. We hope you can make it.

Volunteer Needed: The MHMS PTA is in search of a volunteer to serve as our PTA Council of Howard County representative (PTACHC). Our representative would attend the PTACHC meetings, and then share information at our MHMS PTA monthly meetings (which are held virtually on the second Tuesday of each month). PTACHC meetings occur at 7:30 p.m., on the first Monday of each month; at this time, meeting locations are to be determined. If you are interested in serving in this role, contact PTA President Debbie Rhoades at

Schedule Restaurant Nights: We are looking for someone to help schedule restaurant nights. This person would contact restaurants about hosting a fundraiser for the PTA. Share the information with the PTA and school, so we can get it on the school's calendar. We are open to trying some familiar ones like Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, and new ones.

Please contact Debbie Rhoades at

Local Clothing Drive: Howard County Cold Weather Gear Collection: They are collecting for all ages until October 5th. MultiService Center 9900 Whiskey Bottom Road, Suite 1, Laurel 20723 and at The Hill 8185 Hicks Road, Jessup, MD 20794. Contact Valerie Mathis at or Denika Lovett at


Proof of Vaccination/Testing Requirements for Visitors and Staff: The COVID staff testing program is scheduled to launch the week of October 4th. Visitors and volunteers will not be asked to show proof of vaccination or testing until the staff testing program is in effect. At that time, proof of vaccination status or a negative weekly COVID test will be required for all parents/guardians and other visitors who enter HCPSS schools to interact with or support students, visit classrooms or conduct observations. Volunteers must also comply with this requirement, which goes into effect simultaneously with the launch of the COVID staff testing program. Parents/visitors who are entering the school briefly, to pick up or drop off their child or for other reasons, will not be required to show proof of vaccination or testing.

BSAP Saturday Math Academy: The HCPSS Black Student Achievement Program Saturday Math Academy Fall Session is approaching! This year, the BSAP Saturday Math Academy will offer a virtual enrichment program for Howard County Public School System students in all levels of math for grades 3-12. Registration will take place online September 25 from 9:00 a.m.- until capacity is reached. Class space is limited. Families can register by accessing the HCPSS Connect Website. For more information, please visit:

BSAP SMA Fall 2021 Flyer (English)

BSAP SMA Fall 2021 Flyer (Spanish)

Community News:

Howard County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission: Middle and High School Essay Contest: The essay contest is Intended for all interested middle and high school students.

Essay Theme: “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Essay Question: What can be done to foster an inclusive culture in your school, community, or organization? Give an example of what you have done or experienced that illustrates this. Essays must be submitted via email by 5:00 PM EST on October 15, 2021 to For more information on contest rules, please see the flyer linked here.

Caring For Young Minds Black College Tour: This tour was established with a vision to expose students to historically black colleges and universities. Students in middle school and high school have the opportunity to visit and experience different colleges and universities during the week of Spring Break to decide where they want to further their studies and gain the knowledge to select a major. For more information, please visit their website: