Murray Messenger 11.15.19

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 9:34am
Murray Hill Middle School

Murray Messenger 11.15.19

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

We have had a lot of remarkable things going on at MHMS of which we are so proud.  Last week, Cathy Smith, a representative from Grassroots, spoke to our 6th and 7th grade students about the services that Grassroots provides for the Howard County community.  As a part of our service learning initiative at MHMS, our students engage in several activities throughout the school year to directly support Grassroots.  Our first activity included concerts from our Performing Arts groups; at the concerts, we collected over $1100.00 in donations!

On Tuesday evening, many of our MHMS students attended The Council of Elders of Howard County Academic Achievement Ceremony.  Each year The Council of Elders, in collaboration with BSAP recognizes African-American students throughout the county for demonstrating academic excellence.  This year, we are so proud to share that over 80 MHMS students were recognized.

Last night our 7th grade team held an amazing event- our first ever Family Fun Night.  I would like to thank all of the families who came out and enjoyed a meal and played fun games throughout the night.  The feedback was overwhelming positive, and we will look to host other family fun events this year.  Check out pictures from the 7th Grade Family Fun Night on Twitter (@hcpss_mhms).



Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

November 18th – November 22nd

American Education Week

November 20th  

Fall Pictures- Make-Up Day

November 20th @ 5:00 p.m.

Jazz Band Performance at Looney’s

November 21st

Passport to Success

November 22nd

8th Grade Field Trip- Newseum

November 22nd – November 26th  

Scholastic Book Fair

November 25th

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 26th

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 27th

Schools Closed for Students- Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 28th – November 29th

Schools Closed- Thanksgiving Break

December 9th- December 12th

MHMS Winter Bazaar

December 10th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting

December 13th

7th Grade Field Trip- Chamber Theater

News From The Hill

School News

Did You Know???:  Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place November 25th through November 27th.  Parents can schedule conferences online through HCPSS Connect- through Friday, November 22nd at 11:59 p.m.  If you need assistance scheduling, please contact the MHMS front office staff.  Please note that conferences will not be scheduled the week before or the week immediately following the HCPSS parent-teacher conference window. 

Bus Loop Parking Updates:  Please note that new signs have been posted at the entrance to the MHMS/GCES bus loop.  Only buses are allowed in the loop from 8:00-9:30 a.m. and from 3:00-4:00 p.m.  We thank you in advance for your support in keeping our bus loops clear during enrty and dismissal times. 

American Education Week:  American Education Week is next week.  Parents are welcome to visit their student’s classrooms, without receiving approval through the 24-hour notification process.  We are looking forward to our parents coming to see all of the great instruction that occurs in our classrooms on a daily basis.  Please be aware that our front office staff will check identification to ensure that all visitors are listed on student's Family File.     

Fall Picture Make-Up’s:  Pictures were distributed on Thursday to students who purchased picture packages.  If you are not satisfied with the pictures that you purchased, retakes will be done on Wednesday, November 20th.  Please send the original picture package order for retakes to be taken.  

MHMS Passport to Success:  Our Annual Passport To Success Event will take place on Thursday, November 21st from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  This year’s theme is “Preparing Today’s Student for a Dynamic Future.”  We will have guest speakers, college representatives, and many different career exploration opportunities for our families.  This is intended to be a family event, and a parent/guardian must attend with their student.  Please contact Ms. Shavers for more information:  

Winter Bazaar:  The Winter Bazaar is coming back and is in need of your donated items! The Winter Bazaar is a small store filled with items that students can purchase using their Gotcha’s.  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 continue collecting donations through the month of November. Donations can be dropped off in Ms. Hodder’s classroom (Room 106) or brought in with your student and they can drop them off in Ms. Hodder’s classroom.

This event will run during the three lunch shifts each day, December 9th-12th.  We would love to have parent volunteers sign up to help supervise this event.  Our biggest need will be supervision during the event.  You can use the Sign Up Genius linked here ( to sign up for times to supervise.  It is broken down by day and grade level/lunch period.  During the event, there are two main roles.  One person is needed to regulate how many students come into the Bazaar at once and to let another student in when one comes out.  The other volunteers will be needed as cashiers.  Price ranges for items will be displayed but we need support encouraging students to shop quickly and to help them “check out” when they are done shopping.  It’s a lot of fun to watch students shop for their loved ones and to see their excitement each day as they browse the new items placed out!  We appreciate all the help we can get!

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

Lost and Found Items:  We have a tremendous amount of lost and found items.  The items can be found on a table located inside the cafeteria.  During parent-teacher conferences, the items will be laid out on tables in the front hallway.  All lost and found items will be donated after the Thanksgiving Break. 

Yankee Candle Fundraiser:  Thank you to those of you who supported our Yankee Candle Fundraiser through paper orders.  The orders should be delivered before the Thanksgiving Break.  We will send an email to our school community once the merchandise has arrived.  If you missed out on the paper sale IT’S NOT TOO LATE.  ONLINE ORDERS CAN BE MADE THROUGH JANUARY 8, 2020!  Visit, and enter the MHMS Group Number:  990033454.  Thanks for the support. 

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.  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.

6th Grade News

Extra Outdoor Ed Shirts:  The 6th grade team has extra Outdoor Ed shirts. All students who attended the trip have already received one. If anyone would like to purchase one, they are available until we run out of sizes. The cost of the shirt is $10, either cash or check made out to MHMS. Students who would like to purchase a shirt need to come see Ms. Daniller in person in room 101 with their payment.

PTA News

PTA Membership:  Sign up for the PTA while visiting the Murray Hill Middle School PTA website

MHMS Scholastic Book Fair:  The MHMS PTA will be sponsoring a Scholastic Book Fair from November 22nd through November 26th.  Students will have the opportunity to visit the fair during ELA classes on Friday, November 22nd and purchases can be made during that time and during lunch shifts.  The Fair will also be open during parent-teacher conferences.  The PTA is looking for volunteers to help at the Book Fair.  Please use the sign-up genius to sign up for a volunteer slot:

For more information about the Scholastic Book Fair and online shopping options, please visit the following website:

Staff Luncheon:  The MHMS PTA will once again host a staff meal, on Monday, November 25th, the first day of parent-teacher conferences.  Donations of side dishes and drinks are needed to make this event a success.  Please consider signing up and contributing to the meal, using the following sign-up genius link:

PTA Meeting:  Our next PTA meeting will be on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m.


Communication is an essential component of a successful school experience for both students and parents.  There are many ways to stay connected to MHMS and to HCPSS.  Please consider the following ways to stay connected:

  • Visit the MHMS website often at:   
  • Follow MHMS on Twitter at:  @hcpss_mhms
  • Visit Canvas often
  • Visit the HCPSS website often at:
  • Download the HCPSS app on your mobile device (search Howard County Public School System)

Community News

For more Community News visit the Community News and Programs page on the HCPSS website for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.


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