Murray Messenger 11.19.21

Fri, 11/19/2021 - 7:57pm

Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,
During this season in which many reflect on the things that they are thankful for, I would like to take a moment to share how thankful I am to be the Principal of Murray Hill Middle School. It is an honor and a privilege to work with so many amazing and supportive families. I enjoy our students daily, and I especially cherish watching their growth and development. I am also grateful for the amazing MHMS staff, their dedication to our school community is invaluable. I wish all of our families and staff members a safe enjoyable Thanksgiving Break.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place next week. The scheduling window is currently closed. If you did not have the opportunity to schedule a conference, but would like to connect with any of your students' teachers, please feel free to reach out to them directly or reach out to your students counselor. Please know that conferences may not be able to be scheduled during the HCPSS conference window, but teachers will do their best to schedule a time to connect virtually or by phone during the month of December. If you did schedule a conference, please be reminded that conferences are virtual, so ensure that you are aware of the Google Meet joining information.


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

November 19th

PTA Cookie Dough Fundraiser- Orders DUE

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

November 30th

Fall Picture Retake Day

December 1st

Parent Information Night

MHMS News:

MHMS Expectation Tip: Lunch/recess is a total of 30-minutes. At lunch time, students are expected to enter the cafeteria in an orderly fashion and sit at their self-selected assigned table. Backpacks and chromebooks should be stored in lockers or in classrooms prior to entering the cafeteria. Daily, students are called by rows and invited to line up for lunch service, or go outside for outdoor dining, if they choose. School lunch is FREE for all students during the 2021-2022 school year. Outdoor dining is available daily, provided there is enough staff to monitor, and weather conditions are conducive. We rotate which rows are called first so that all students have equal opportunity to be first to line up and/or first to go outside for outdoor dining, if they choose. Students also have the option to remain indoors to eat their lunch. When indoors, students are expected to wear their masks properly, unless they are actively eating or drinking. Students have the opportunity to transition to recess after the first 15-minutes of the lunch period. Students are responsible for cleaning their own trash and are also responsible for returning recess equipment to the equipment bin at the end of recess.

LOST AND FOUND: We have a large collection of lost and found items- jackets, hoodies, lunch bags, water bottles, etc.. The items are located in the cafeteria. Please encourage your student to check the lost and found table to see if they have any belongings there. We will donate all items to our Clothing to Cash recycling program during Thanksgiving Break.

Parent Information Night: On December 1st at 6:30 p.m., MHMS will host a Parent Information Night. This event is intended for current MHMS parents/guardians. A variety of sessions will be offered. Information and strategies will be shared on how parents can support their middle school student academically and social-emotionally. Some topics include stress management, navigating Canvas, enrichment through art, and mental health

At the end of the event, we will do a drawing for exciting prizes! You won’t want to miss this event! RSVPs are appreciated but not required. To RSVP please click the link below and complete the Google form. This event is for parents only; students should plan to stay at home.

Fall Picture Make-Up’s: All students who were not photographed during our first Fall Picture Day will be photographed on November 30th. Any student who purchased a picture, and would like to retake them, must return their originally purchased picture packet, in order to have their picture retaken. All families still have the opportunity to purchase their fall pictures by visiting and entering our Picture Day ID: EVTXRD6KX.

PBIS Gift Card Donations: We are looking for gift card donations to offer as prizes for students who exhibit our expectations of being RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, and READY. Please consider donating gift cards in denominations between $10.00 and $25.00. Gift cards can be from any location that a middle school student may enjoy! Some businesses to consider are 5-Below, Target, Chick-Fil-A, SweetFrog, Amazon, McDonald’s, Apple, Playstation, X-Box, Barnes and Noble, etc. Gift cards can be placed in an envelope, labeled PBIS, and delivered to the MHMS Front Office. This is an ongoing initiative, so we will receive gift cards throughout the entire school year.

MHMS Winter Bazaar: It’s time to bring in your Winter Bazaar donations! The Winter Bazaar is a small store filled with items that students can purchase using their Gotchas. Items can 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. We will begin collecting items on November 8th and will accept donations through the month of November. Donations can be dropped off in the front office. Thank you for your support of our Winter Bazaar!

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Behrens (

RTA Bus Passes: RTA Bus Passes are here! RTA Student Bus Passes are free, and are valid until September 12, 2022. To obtain a FREE Student Bus Pass, students must agree to:

Maintain possession of the pass

Not transfer or share the pass with others

Abide by HCPSS rules while on-board

Only one replacement pass will be provided to each student

Please contact Mrs. Couch at or stop by the MHMS Front Office to receive a pass.

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.

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 health room staff.

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

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! FLYER

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 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.

Lunch for Staff: On Monday, November 22nd, ​​we are providing MHMS staff a Grab&Go lunch from Jason’s Deli. If you would like to buy a staff member lunch, please use the following link:

Panda Express Restaurant Night- THANK YOU: Thank you to everyone who went to the Panda Express Restaurant Night. We needed $100.00 in pre-tax sales in order to receive 20% profit. We reached our goal!

Cookie Dough Fundraiser: MHMS PTA is facilitating a Cookie Dough Fundraiser. Fundraiser packets will be sent home on Monday, November 8th. Orders are due by Friday, November 19th. Items will be available for pick-up on December 16th. Thank you in advance for your participation in our fundraiser.

December PTA Meeting: The PTA would like to invite you to our next virtual PTA Meeting. It will be on Tuesday, December 14th at 7 PM. Use your child's chromebook. The code is MHMS-PTA. We hope you can make it.

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:

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:

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