Murray Messenger 12.6.21

Mon, 12/06/2021 - 2:52pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


I just want to remind all families that according to HCPSS Policy, middle school students are not permitted to use their personal devices (i.e. cell phones) during non-instructional time, which is to include, but not limited to, transitions in the hallways, at lunchtime, at recess, and in bathrooms.  Additionally, students do not have a need for their personal devices during classroom instruction, as all students have access to technology for instructional purposes.  


Please help reiterate this expectation with your student, and encourage them to leave their cell phone at home, or turn it off and store it out of sight while in school.  Also, if you have a need to get in contact with your student during the school day, please contact our front office staff, and they will assist you.


Please note that if your student is in violation of the expectations that their personal device may be confiscated and a parent/guardian will have to pick it up from the front office, during regular school hours.  If you have any questions or concerns, regarding the expectations with personal devices, please feel free to contact an administrator.  



Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

December 1st @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Band Concert 1

December 13th-17th 

MHMS Spirit Week 


Mon, Dec 13 - Character Day (dress as your favorite superhero, villain, or 

                                      book/movie character)

Tues, Dec 14 - Jersey Day

Wed, Dec 15 - Ugly Sweater/Crazy Sock Day

Thurs, Dec 16 - Throwback Thursday (bring back a style from a past decade)

Fri, Dec 17 - Comfy Cozy Day

December 13th-16th 

MHMS Winter Bazaar (during lunch shifts)

December 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting (Google Code: mhms-pta)

December 15th 

3-Hour Early Dismissal 

December 16h @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Orchestra Concert

December 23rd-January 2nd 

Winter Break

MHMS News:

MHMS Expectation Tip:  Food delivery services (i.e. Door Dash, Uber Eats, etc.) are not allowed.  If a student has forgotten to bring their lunch to school, they may obtain a school lunch for free. If a parent would like to bring their child’s lunch to the school, we ask that you do so at the beginning of or prior to the start of your child’s lunch shift.  Parents will need to leave the lunch with our front office staff.  The daily schedule, with lunch times, can be found on the MHMS Website.  


Winter Bazaar:  Winter Bazaar will run during the three lunch shifts each day from December 13th-16th.  We would love to have parent volunteers sign up to help supervise the event.  Volunteers will be needed to work as “cashiers” for the Bazaar and to help regulate the number of students allowed in at a time.  The link to the Sign Up Genius is below.  Please be reminded that if you wish to volunteer during the school day, you must complete the appropriate steps to verify your vaccination status prior to coming into the building-  Learn how to access and use the PinPoint VaccineCheck platform.  

Sign Up Genius Link: 

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Behrens ( Thank you for your support! 


Impact Aid Forms:  Parents/guardians who work on a federal property in Maryland and/or are a member of a uniformed service can qualify to receive additional federal funding by completing an Impact Aid form by Dec. 31. Impact Aid supplements the HCPSS operating budget to enhance the teaching and learning that takes place in Howard County classrooms.


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.    


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:  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! 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. 


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


Howard County of Association of Student Councils:  HCASC welcomes all middle and high school students to join our next meeting Wednesday December 8 from 7:00pm-8:00pm at the Homewood Center where they can:

  • collaborate with student leaders from across HCPSS

  • discuss current events impacting HCPSS students

  • provide feedback and insight on HCPSS policy

  • share your ideas directly with the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) and other HCPSS leaders

  • learn leadership skills and best practices

  • represent your school at the student-run convention to elect the SMOB

  • explore ways to make a difference in your school and community

  • engage with community leaders

  • have fun!

  • Explore our website for more information or contact

View this brief video for more information: 


HCASC Listen and Learn Sessions for Quarter 2:  All middle and high school students welcome to join Community Superintendents, administrators, and HCPSS Leaders who want to hear directly from students about their experiences in HCPSS. 

All meetings are virtual and students will receive a link once they RSVP. 

Area 1 Thursday 12/9 7:00pm-8:00pm RSVP

Area 2 Tuesday 12/13 7:00pm-8:00pm RSVP

Area 3 Wednesday 12/14 7:00pm-8:00pm RSVP