Murray Messenger 10.22.21

Sat, 10/23/2021 - 9:03am
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


We are still in need of 35% of our families completing/updating 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. 


If you are in need of assistance in completing Family File for the 2021-2022 school year, please contact our Front Office Staff ASAP at 410-880-5897.  


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 26th 

Field Trip- 6th Grade (Ms. Hodder’s Science Classes)- Howard County Conservancy

October 27th

Field Trip- 6th Grade (Ms. Parrish’s Classes)- Howard County Conservancy

October 28th @ 7:00 p.m.

“I Want To Be A Superhero” Production

October 29th @6:00 p.m.

MHMS Movie Night (pre-registration required)

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

November 18th @ 6:30 p.m.

Winter Band Concert 1 (7th/8th Grade Symphonic Band; Wind Ensemble; Jazz Band

November 19th

MHMS Dental Clinic

November 22nd 

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 23rd

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 24th

Schools Closed Students- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 25th-26th

Schools Closed- Thanksgiving Break

MHMS News:


MHMS Expectation Tip:  HCPSS middle school students are not permitted to access their personal technology devices (cell phones, etc.) during the school day.  HCPSS Policy 8080, states that all HCPSS middle school students will not use personal technology devices during non-instructional time, to include but not limited to transitions between classes, during lunch, during recess, or in bathrooms.  MHMS expectations include that personal technology is also not permitted in classrooms, as all students have access to technology for instructional purposes with their HCPSS chromebooks.  


Students are asked to leave their personal technology devices at home, store them in their assigned locker during the school day, or store them in their backpacks.  Personal technology devices that are brought to school should not only be stored out of sight, but should also be turned off during school hours.  If a parent/guardian needs to contact their student during school hours, we ask that you call the school, at 410-880-5897, and our front office staff will assist.   


MHMS Spirit Week:  During the week of October 25th, we will have a Spirit Week!  We look forward to our students participating in the following Spirit Days (all clothing must be school appropriate and adhere to the HCPSS Dress Code Policy).  

Monday, October 25th- Pajama Day

Tuesday, October 26th- Look-A-Like Day

Wednesday, October 27th- Wacky-Tacky Day

Thursday, October 28th- Team Color Day 

(6th Grade- Green; 7th Grade- Blue; 8th Grade- Red)

Friday, October 29th- Pink Out Day (Breast Cancer Awareness Month)


“I Want To Be A Superhero” Production:  October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  Our very own Mrs. Hersey has written and directed a production titled “I Want To Be A Superhero,” which is a production that highlights anti-bullying.  Our students and staff have been working hard to prepare for this amazing production; there is even a special appearance from a MHMS staff member!  6th grade students will have the opportunity to view the production live, during the week of October 25th.  7th and 8th grade students will view a recorded version of the production.  We invite our school community to join us on Thursday, October 28th, at 7:00 p.m. to enjoy an evening showing of “I Want to Be A Superhero.”  Please be reminded that appropriate facial coverings will be required for this event.   


HCPSS has several policies related to bullying.  MHMS encourages all students, parents, and staff members to report suspected incidents of bullying immediately.  Students, parents and staff members can report suspected incidents of bullying, harassment, or intimidation by directly  contacting the MHMS administration, via phone call at 410-880-5897 or email (,, or or complete a form online that will be directly routed to MHMS administration.  


MHMS Family Movie Night:  We are looking forward to our Family Movie Night, which is scheduled for Friday, October 29th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Families will be able to enjoy a showing of the movie “Coco,” in our cafeteria.  Pre-registration and submission of Gocha’s is required for entrance into the event.  This is not a “drop-off” event.  Families are welcome, but a parent/guardian must attend the full event with their MHMS student.  Please be reminded that appropriate facial coverings will be required during the duration of the event, and food will not be permitted.  If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Behrens at


MHMS Volunteers and Chaperones Vaccine Requirements:  Effective Monday, October 25, all volunteers and chaperones who interact with students, and parents/guardians who are conducting classroom observations will be required to use the PinPoint platform to show proof of full vaccination at least five school days in advance. Learn how to access and use the PinPoint VaccineCheck platform.  Parents entering the school for short periods of time (i.e. to sign-out a student for early dismissal, to drop something off for a student) do not need to follow this procedure at this time.  


Parent Drop-Up and Pick-Off Etiquette:  We ask that families that drop off or pick up their students before and/or after school, exercise patience and respectfully follow the directions of the staff members who are in the carloop to assist.  Do not pass vehicles that are waiting in line to drop their students off; this creates an unsafe environment.  Specifically, do not pass a car on the passenger side of their vehicle, as this could potentially result in a serious injury to a student or staff member in our community.  Also, consider allowing your student to ride the bus, if they are assigned to one, or allowing your student to walk, if they are in the walk-zone.  Thank you for your consideration of the safety of all of students and staff.    


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.  We are excited to share that during the month of September, MHMS collected over 1,600 lbs of clothing and shoes, and we received a bonus for collecting the second most in the county!!!  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 


Weis 4 School:  MHMS has recently registered with the Weis 4 School program.  By participating in the program, you can help us earn money for our school.  See the attached flyer for details and information, and be sure to share with your family and friends! Weis4School (2).pdf 


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. 


November PTA Meeting: The PTA would like to invite you to our next virtual PTA Meeting.  It will be on Tuesday, November 9th 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

Community News:

Food Distribution Event: Salvation Army is sponsoring a food distribution on October 25, 2021 in the Ellicott City Community. FoodDisruptionFlyer.docx 


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: