Murray Messenger 11.26.19

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 9:06am
Murray Hill Middle School

Murray Messenger 11.26.19

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

I would like to wish everyone in our school community a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that you have the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and/or friends. I wish all who are traveling during this holiday safe travels.  And, we look forward to starting off the month of December after the Thanksgiving Break!


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

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

December 17th @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Band Concert 1- Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band

December 19th @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Orchestra/Choir Concert

December 23rd – January 1st

Schools Closed- Winter Break

January 14th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting

January 15th @ 7:00 p.m.

Winter Band Concert 2- Concert Band, Beginning Band, Big Band

January 16th @ 6:00 p.m.

MHMS Spelling Bee

January 20th

Schools Closed- Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 23rd

MHMS PTA Restaurant Night- Chick-Fil-A

January 24th

End of Quarter 2

January 27th

No School For Students- Professional Work Day

News From The Hill

School News

Did You Know???:  Did you know that we will collect donations for our Annual Winter Bazaar through Wednesday, December 4th.  Our Annual Winter Bazaar allows our students to “purchase” new and gently used donated items using their “Gotcha’s.”  Thanksgiving Break is a great time to clean out your closets and drawers and make a donation to the MHMS Winter Bazaar.

HCPSS Calendar Change:  A change has been made to the 2019-2020 HCPSS School Calendar.  Schools and offices will now be closed on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, due to the special election to fill the 7th congressional district seat vacated following the passing Representative Elijah Cummings.

Winter Intramurals Extended:  As a courtesy extended to our families, the MHMS intramural program has been extended! The new end date for winter intramurals is December 19th. Unfortunately, at this time, the step intramural and gaming club will not run during this extended time.  Just as a reminder, pick-up time is 4:30 p.m. It is getting much colder and much darker earlier in the day and we do not want our staff and students waiting uncomfortably. Thank you for being on time to ensure safe pick-up and dismissal from the intramural program.

MHMS RISE Program:  In partnership with Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Horizon Foundation, we are pleased to offer a new after-school sports program called RISE.  Registration and payment are due by January 27th.  Please see the attached documents for detailed information RISE _flier_Murray Hill MS_19.pdf 

Read Across America Day- Bookmark Contest:  In celebration of Read Across America Day, The MHMS Reading and Media departments are sponsoring a bookmark contest.  Prizes will be awarded for the top three bookmarks.  A copy of the winning bookmark will be professionally produced for the entire student body.  Entries can be submitted through December 20th and will be on display for judging through the month of January.  See the attached documents for detailed information:  bookmarkcontestposter.pdf   bookmarkcontestguidelines.pdf 

If you are interested in making a donation, you can do so by check or online payment.  Checks should be made out to MHMS and include “bookmark contest” on the note.  Online donations can be made through OSP (OSP Link). Donations will go toward publishing fees and prizes.  Please encourage your student(s) to participate.  Contact Deb Burkey at with any questions.

Winter Bazaar:  The Winter Bazaar is coming back and is in need of your donated items!  This is our last call for donations.  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 be collecting items through December 4th.  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 during 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.  Fundraising items have been delivered, and can be picked up during school hours in the front office.  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.

PTA News

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

MHMS Scholastic Book Fair:  We are excited about all of the purchases that have been made at our Scholastic Book Fair.  Please be reminded that the Book Fair will remain opened through 8:00 p.m., this evening, Tuesday, November 26th.  Additionally, online purchases can be made through November 27th.  For more information about the Scholastic Book Fair and online shopping options, please visit the following website:

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

RISE Program Job Opportunity:  Are you interested in part-time after school employment? Do you have coaching or recreation experience and enjoy working with middle-school students? Apply to work with the RISE (Recreation-Inspired Sports for Everyone) program at Murray Hill Middle School.  This is a shared initiative between the Howard County Public School System, Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Horizon Foundation for students to participate after school two days a week for two separate 6-week sessions of coed mixed sports and recreation at a reduced fee.  If you have no coaching experience, but have played a sport in the past - we can train you to coach!   For full job descriptions and application instructions, please see attached flyer! This is an excellent opportunity for at home college students or fresh out of college students looking to get their foot in the door.  RISE Job Description.pdf 

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 |