Murray Messenger 4.24.23

Mon, 04/24/2023 - 9:14am
Murray Hill Middle School 

Murray Messenger 4.24.23


A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

We are excited to be in the fourth quarter of the 2022-2023 school year.  It is always amazing how time flies!  Third quarter report cards were published last week on Tuesday April 18th.  To view your students report card, log in to HCPSS Connect; select “More Options” from the left panel; select “Report Cards” from the middle; select the report card that you wish to access.   

Please note the MCAP testing dates that are listed in the Important Dates section below.  To the best of your ability, please ensure that your student is in school and on time on testing days.  Research shows that students perform better during scheduled testing days as opposed to during make-up test days.  We are looking forward to all of our students focusing on doing their very best on the MCAP tests that are coming up. 

There are three MHMS PTA Executive Board positions open for the 2023-2024 school year.  Please see the information below regarding specifics of the open positions, and use THIS LINK to nominate yourself or another candidate for the open positions.  

Finally, allergy season is upon us!  We are in need of any and all donations of TISSUES.  Boxes/cases of tissues can be dropped off to the front office at anytime during regular school hours.  

Lisa R. Smithson  
Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

April 24th and April 25th


May 2nd @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting

May 5th

Performing Arts Field Trip- Hershey Park

May 8th-May 12th

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 9th-12th

8th Grade MCAP- Social Studies

May 15th and May 16th

MCAP- Math 

May 18th @ 6:00 p.m.

MHMS Family Game Night

May 19th

Schools Closed for Students

May 22nd

Rising 7th Grade Vaccine Clinic

May 23rd @ 7:00 p.m. @ Reservoir HS

MHMS Spring Music Concert

May 25th @ 12:00

MHMS Shakespeare Cafe

May 25th @ 6:00 p.m.

MHMS Enrichment Fair

May 29th

Schools and Offices Closed- Memorial Day

MHMS News:

Indicators of Educational Equity Survey (IEES):  We are asking all of our families to complete the Indicators of Educational Equity Survey (IEES) between now and May 1st.  The purpose of the survey is for all stakeholders (students, staff and families) to provide input on their equity priorities at our school.  We will use the survey results to help guide our school improvement process.  Please use the links below to complete the survey.

News From The Health Room:  Attention rising 7th graders- for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year; the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene requires all 7th grade students, in the state of Maryland, to have one Tdap and one Meningitis (MCV4) vaccine BEFORE entering school. 

Current 6th grade students who haven't received these vaccinations to date will be getting a letter mailed home this week regarding a special MHMS Vaccine Clinic being held on May 22nd by the Howard County Health Department, where your child can receive these mandatory vaccines at school for FREE.

Make sure to have your student's vaccinations up to date before the start of the 2023-2024 school year. Either book a vaccine appointment for the May 22nd MHMS Vaccine Clinic, contact your health care provider for an appointment, or call the Howard County Health Department at 410-313-6300 to schedule an appointment.

Your child may not be able to attend school in the fall until these vaccines are complete and the health room has a copy on file.

SEND PROOF OF VACCINES TO: Murray Hill M.S. Health Room, 9989 Winter Sun Road, Laurel, MD 20723 or Fax them to 301-362-2892. 

2023-2024 MHMS School Supply List:  The MHMS 2023-2024 School Supply List is now available.  Use THIS LINK to review.  

MAP Reports:  Home report PDFs for the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Winter testing are now available in HCPSS Connect. The assessment was given to students in grades 1-8 in reading and mathematics. Reports can be viewed/downloaded by Parents/guardians by taking the following steps: 

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy 

  2. Select More Options from the left panel 

  3. Select Report Cards from the menu 

  4. Near the top of the page, select MAP_2023_Winter 

Note: Students in Algebra I/II or Geometry, and English 8 G/T do not participate in MAP testing. If your child did not participate in the Winter administration, a report may still appear based on the previous administration.  

Additional details on MAP testing and how to interpret the report can be found online

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.  Clothing For Cash.png 

Late Arrivals to School:  We are experiencing a high volume of late arrivals in the mornings.  Please be reminded that doors open to students at 8:15, and students are considered tardy to school at 8:25.  If your student is consistently arriving to school after the 8:25 late bell, they are consistently missing instruction in their period one class.  We monitor student arrival on  a monthly basis, and those who are chronically tardy to school (four or more tardies in the month), will be assigned morning detention.

Early Dismissal From School:  Please note that we will only be able to accommodate early dismissals before 2:55.  This will ensure that any early dismissal students have been properly signed-out and have cleared the property before our 3:10 dismissal begins.  Also, please be reminded that when picking up your student early, you must show ID, and if someone other than a legal parent/guardian is picking up a student, they must be listed as a person who can pick-up on Family File.    

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.  

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. 


2023-2024 MHMS PTA Executive Board Member Nominations:  The MHMS PTA Nominations Committee wants to share that three positions for the MHMS PTA Board are vacant for the 2023-2024 school year.  If you would like to nominate a candidate, or would like to nominate yourself for President, Secretary, or Treasurer, please complete THIS GOOGLE FORM. We also welcome any additional questions concerning the election process or the responsibilities of any of the offices.  The election will take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 during the PTA meeting which will begin at 7:00 pm in the Murray Hill Middle School Media Center.  Pizza and drinks will be served.  Please don't hesitate to contact us.

-With MHMS Mountain Lion Pride,
The 2023 MHMS PTA Nominating Committee
Kristy Castonguay  
Shona Pascarello 


MHMS PTA Read-A-Thon:  The PTA is sponsoring a Read-A-Thon from Monday, April 24 - Monday, May 8th.  

Follow these 3 easy steps to participate.

  1. Create your online account that includes a personalized Read-A-Thon page

  2. Share your page with friends and family, so they can support your child's reading by making a donation

  3. Log reading minutes online between 4/24/23 - 5/8/23 & earn prizes

Register Now:  (Search using your child's DEN teacher)

* NOTE: Do not let your children register using their Chromebook account or student's HCPSS email account.  Students will not be able to send emails to fundraise without a valid email address.  

In addition to Read-A-Thon prizes, Murray Hill PTA will also offer prizes for our readers:

Read-a-thon DEN Donut Party can be earned for the:

  1. First DEN class with all students registered

  2. DEN Class with largest total minutes read

  3. DEN Class with the highest amount of donations raised

Top Readers will earn a $20 Amazon Gift Card

  1. Top Reader - with greatest number of minutes read 

  2. Top Reader - with highest amount of donations collected

Register Now and you can begin logging your reading on April 24th.  .  Reading Logs are available online.  DEN Teachers are not responsible for logging reading time.  You can include a donation when activating your account.  Your donation will apply towards your child's reading rewards.  Additional incentives are included online.  

The PTA appreciates your participation in this program to encourage reading as we finish the school year and enter into summer break.  The donations also make it possible for the PTA to plan and provide activities for our students and support Murray Hill MS activities and field trips.

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. 


“Our Turn To Talk” Viewing and Panel Discussion:  Join us at Centennial High School on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 6:00-8:00 pm for a viewing and panel discussion of Our Turn To Talk, a film that features teens sharing the impact of social media, sexual identity, gender identity, racism, and the pandemic on their mental health. The film is sponsored by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Howard County, the Howard County Public School System, Horizon Foundation, One Voice, Active Minds, and the Howard County Health Department. Families and staff may access the trailer and registration  form for more information.

The event will feature the following panelists:

  • Jennifer Marshall (Executive Producer, Principle Pictures)

  • Peace Williams (WLHS student, Active Minds member)

  • Stephanie Reid (Youth and Family Support Services, Howard County Health Department)

  • Ivan Croft (Instructional Facilitator for Psychological Services, Howard County Public School System)

  • Oliver Song (President, Howard County Association of Student Councils)


HCPSS Rainbow Conference:  The HCPSS Rainbow Conference will be held on Saturday, May 6th from 9am - 5pm.  The conference will be hybrid with opportunities for both virtual and in-person participation.  For more information scan the QR code on the Rainbow Conference Flier or access this link

The Essence of Us Workshop Series:  The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County and the HCPSS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have partnered to present "The Essence of Us: Chronicling the African American Experience," a workshop series geared toward middle and high school students that will provide a better understanding of African American history and how it is written. Workshops will be held both virtually and in-person. Participants will receive an email with details upon registering online.  The final workshop in the series will take place on Saturday May 13th, from 10-11:00 a.m. 

Community News:

HC Drug Free:  HC Drug will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall- Vaporized Youth:  Navigating the Effects of Teen Vaping on May 18th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  Visit THIS LINK for more information.

For more upcoming HC Drug Free Events see this flyer- HC DrugFree Updates 4-10-23.docx 

Grace Community Church Clothing Drive:  Grace Community Church will sponsor a free spring and summer clothing giveaway at Long Reach High School, on Saturday, April 29th.  See the flyer for details- GRACE CLOTHING GIVEAWAY (2).docx 

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