Murray Messenger 11.5.21

Fri, 11/05/2021 - 7:51pm

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


It is amazing that today is the first day of the second quarter of the 2021-2022 school year.  We have had so many successes during the first quarter of the school year, and we are looking forward to continued success as we progress through the school year.  


The start of a quarter is always a great time to be reflective.  I challenge students to think about and families to discuss:

  • What successes did you have during the first quarter?  What are you most proud of?

  • What are habits that you need to work on or improve?  How will you do this?

  • What are your goals to be your personal best during the second quarter?

Reflecting on questions like these will help students to continuously improve as students.  



Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School


mportant Dates:

November 8th 

PTA Cookie Dough Fundraiser Begins

November 9th

PTA Meeting (Google Code: mhms-pta)

November 10th

Report Cards Issued (Electronically)

November 10th 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Panda Express Restaurant Night 

November 19th

MHMS Dental Clinic

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

MHMS News:


MHMS Expectation Tip:  Breakfast is available and FREE for all students for the 2021-2022 school year.  Students who wish to obtain breakfast are expected to go immediately to the cafeteria upon entering the building in the morning.  Breakfast is “grab-and-go” style.  Once students obtain their breakfast, they are expected to exit the cafeteria, visit their lockers if needed, and report to their period 1 class.  Once in their period 1 classroom, students may eat their breakfast.  Students whose period 1 class is in a science laboratory, are expected to remain in the cafeteria to eat their breakfast; once they finish, they are to visit their locker if needed, and report directly to period 1.  

Students who exit the cafeteria after 8:22, are given passes, so that they are not marked tardy for their first period class.  Breakfast closes daily at 8:25 a.m., or once our final bus arrives.   


Accessing Report Cards:  Parents/Guardians will have access to view report cards as of 5:00 p.m. on November 10th.  Report cards can be viewed/downloaded by taking the following steps:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy, using parent/guardian credentials

  2. Select “More Options” from the left panel

  3. Select “Report Cards” from the middle

  4. Select the report card you wish to access


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.    


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 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 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 Cluster Nurse,  


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 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. 


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.  


Restaurant Night Fundraiser:  Grab a meal from Panda Express (15102 Baltimore Ave., Laurel, MD) on Wednesday, November 10th from 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.  MHMS Panda Express Flyer .pdf  MHMS Panda Express Flyer Spanish .pdf 


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:

Bridgeway Community Church Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway:  The event is being held on Friday, November 19 from 3-7 p.m.  Families may pick up from either the Columbia OR Owings Mills/Reisterstown locations. Please Note: this is a First Come, First Served event.  Recipients are NOT required to register before the event.  However, recipients will be asked to provide their Photo I.D., name, and phone number at pick up. BRIDGEWAYChurch Thanksgiving outreach 2021.pdf 

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: