Murray Messenger 9.16.22

Fri, 03/25/2022 - 3:47pm

Murray Messenger 9.16.22


A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

MHMS is excited to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th-October 15th).  We celebrate the traditions, ancestry and experiences of citizens who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  Students will have the opportunity to learn and celebrate through DEN, MHTV, media center displays, and in individual classes.  The MHMS community honors the profound and positive influence that Hispanics have had in our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service.  

I want to highlight the ways in which families can support our school community.  We always welcome donations of school supplies.  Oftentimes these supplies are used to support our PBIS Gotcha Store, which will begin in the upcoming weeks.  Our PBIS committee is also seeking gift card donations to offer as prizes for our 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.  We also encourage our families to support the Clothing to Cash Recycling Program.  The program supports environmental efforts and serves as a fundraiser for our school. MHMS earns a cash payment for every pound of collected items. Please, bring your used clothing, shoes, and other items in plastic bags, and place them in our collection bin at the entrance of our parking lot. Please see the attached Clothing For Cash.png  to learn about all the different items that can be donated.  Finally, we encourage all families to support our PTA by contributing dues for the 2022-2023 school year (LINK HERE) and purchasing MHMS Spiritwear ONLINE HERE.      

Thank you to the 51% of our families who have already completed/updated their Family File for the 2022-2023 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:

September 26th 

Schools and Offices Closed

September 28th and 29th

Fall MAP ELA Testing

September 30th 

Fall MAP Make-Up Testing

October 3rd and 4th 

Fall MAP Mathematics Testing

October 4th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting (Google Meet Code: MHMS-PTA)

October 5th

Schools and Offices Closed

October 6th and 7th

Fall MAP Make-Up Testing 

October 13th @ 6:00 p.m.

MHMS Family Information Night 

October 14th 

MHMS Flu Clinic

October 17th-20th

MHMS Spirit Week 

October 20th @ 6:00-8:00 p.m.

MHMS Fall Fling

October 21st

Schools Closed

October 24th

Schools Closed

MHMS News:

MHMS Fall Fling:  MHMS is hosting a Fall Fling dance on Thursday, October 20th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Permission slips will be distributed through DEN on October 10th. For students to “purchase” a ticket, they will need the following: 

  • A signed permission slip 

  • 20 Gotchas with the student’s name on them and staff signature

  • Updated Family File  

Students will only be able to obtain a ticket if ALL of the above are submitted.  Tickets will be “sold” from October 11th-17th on a first come, first served basis.  No tickets will be sold at the door.  Since this is an evening event, all students must have a ride to and from the event.  Be on the lookout for permission slips coming home on October 10th.  We are looking forward to a great event! 

2022-2023 MHMS Breakfast and Lunch:  Breakfast at MHMS will continue to be FREE for all students during the 2022-2023 school year.  Lunch costs $3.30 for students who do not qualify for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS).  Students may pay daily with cash, or access funds on their account.  Families are strongly encouraged to check their account balances on, and consider putting funds on your students account for the 2022-2023 school year.  Also, if you wish to see if you qualify for FARMS, please visit THIS LINK.  More information regarding HCPSS school meals can be found HERE.

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.

Secondary Student & Parent Handbook:  All families are encouraged to take time to review The Secondary Student & Parent Handbook which includes the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct and other important policies/procedures.  The handbook is posted on the school system website. MHMS reviewed the information listed HERE with all of our students during the first week of school.  

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.

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 2022-2023 Membership:  Please visit THIS LINK to obtain your MHMS PTA membership for the 2022-2023 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 all merchandise will be mailed directly to the address of your choice. 


Attending HCPSS High School Football Games:  Please be reminded of the following regarding middle school students attending HCPSS Football games.  

  • Electronic Tickets only (NO CASH will be accepted at the gate)

  • All Middle School students must be accompanied by an adult at all times.  (No drop-off’s and middle school students showing up alone will not be admitted). 

  • No bikes, backpacks or outside food or drink allowed.

  • No Re-Entry- once you leave you will not be able to re-enter.  

  • No animals allowed.

Community News:

Salvation Army Food Bank- Fresh Produce Distribution (Próxima distributión de alimentos):  Monday, September 26, 2022, Drive-Thru from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm. Please do NOT arrive before 11:45 am. 3267 Pine Orchard Lane, Ellicott City, MD  21042, 443-656-3376

Lunes 26 de septiembre, octubre por determinar Drive-Thru De 12:00 pm a 2:00 pm. Por favor, NO llegue antes de las 11:45 am. Productos frescos.

HC DrugFree:  

Free Parenting Classes for Parents/Guardians/Grandparents Starting Soon! Adults can learn how to help kids avoid risky behaviors, all while learning how to say NO to drugs and alcohol. HC DrugFree is pleased to present another series of Guiding Good Choices, an evidence-based, interactive prevention program that provides families with the skills and knowledge to reduce the risk that their children will use drugs and alcohol or engage in other dangerous behaviors, for Howard County parents, guardians, and grandparents. This program will meet via Zoom for 5 class sessions (September 21, 28 and October 12, 19, 26) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information or to register visit or email

8th – 12th Grade Students: HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council is open to all Howard County students in grades 8 through 12. This is a great opportunity to help prepare younger students for success in high school while allowing older students to develop their leadership and mentoring skills. The registration form is available at . Community service hours available. Email your registration to or mail a hard copy the office. To register for the upcoming meetings on Monday, September 19 or Monday, October 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. click on the TAC Registration links next to each date

Medication and Sharps Collection: Clean out your unwanted and expired medicines and sharps!  The next convenient drive-thru collection will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot (near the Swim Center). Community service hours available. HC DrugFree and the Howard County Police invite families, student/adult groups, scout troops, religious organizations, and sports teams, etc. to volunteer to join us. Medically-trained adult volunteers are needed (nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, chiropractors, etc.) to help safely handle the medication and sharps collected. For more information and to volunteer,  visit , contact  or leave a message at 443-325-0040.

Stay Informed about What’s Happening in Howard County: Sign up for HC DrugFree’s newsletter at to get updates on events as well as information to keep your family safe and informed.