Murray Messenger 5.15.20

Sat, 05/16/2020 - 4:08pm

Dear MHMS Families,

I want to thank all of you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to adjust to our Continuity of Learning plan.  I realize that there is a lot of communication, from many different sources being sent to you on nearly a daily basis, and I understand that at times it may be overwhelming.  I want to remind you that the MHMS staff is here to help and support your student and your family in any way that we can.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to administration, school counselors, case managers, and teachers, if you need help in navigating this shift to Continuity of Learning. 

With that in mind, please take a moment to carefully read this week’s newsletter, as the intention is to help our families gain a better understanding of some of the components of the Continuity of Learning plan, and offer ways to engage in order to be successful for the remainder of the fourth quarter.

Weekly Assignments:

  • Weekly assignments are posted on Canvas for each class at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning’s.Assignments are due by 10:00 a.m. on Friday’s.
  • Students can find their assignments for the week, by logging onto Canvas.For most classes, they can click on “Modules,” and they can navigate through the different components of the work.In some cases, students will find their assignments in the “Assignments” tab.
  • Students should expect to spend up to 2-hours, per class, on their weekly assignments.If you find that your student is taking longer than 2-hours per class, I encourage you to communicate with the teacher.
  • Laptops/computers are most effective for completing and submitting online assignments.

Google Meets:

  • Students have the opportunity to attend a 45-minute Google Meet Check-In, with each class, once per week.Teachers have informed their students of their designated check-in times, and meeting codes are shared either through a Canvas Announcement or through their Canvas Calendar.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to attend all of their Google Check-In’s, and should know they can engage in the check-in, even with their camera function off.
  • Google Check-In’s offer a time for students to gain understanding on how to access the assignments for the week, practice the concepts for the week’s assignments, and ask any questions that they may have.
  • Most devices (i.e. cell phones, iPads, laptops and computers) are typically effective for engaging in Google Check-In’s.

Quarter 4 Grading:

  • Teachers are utilizing two grading categories in Canvas during Continuity of Learning.
    • Continuity of Learning Category
      • This category is worth 0% and is intended as a place where feedback on the weekly assignments can be provided.
      • Numerical marks are being assigned to each assignment, so that students and parents have an overall sense of how students performed on an assignment.
      • Often times, written feedback is also available.
    • Summative Assignments Category
      • All teachers have a second category that calculates each student’s overall 4th quarter grade.
      • The points in this category are earned based on the work completed and submitted for the week.If students submit their work, with good effort, they will earn one point for completion of the work for the week.If a student does not turn in any work, or submits less than 50% of the assigned work, they will earn a zero, for incomplete work.
      • At the end of fourth quarter, a student must have a minimum of 50% to earn a “P,” passing grade for the course.If they have less than a 50% for the work submitted, they will earn an “I,” incomplete for their fourth quarter grade.


  • Students must earn a minimum of 7 out of 14 attendance points per week, to be marked as present for the week. Students can earn 1 point for each Google Check-In that they attend and 1 point for each assignment completion point that they earn for online assignments.
  • Ms. Robinson will enter attendance on Tuesday’s for the previous week.

Misc. Information

  • Teacher Office Hours- Starting next week teachers have been given the option to facilitate “Office Hours,” if they choose to do so.  If offered, “Office Hours,” will be an additional opportunity for students to connect with their teachers for academic support.  Individual teachers, who choose to facilitate “Office Hours,” will communicate with their students regarding the specific information for their “Office Hour” plans.



  • Read Write Instructional Tool- Read Write is an instructional tool that is accessible to all HCPSS students.  It helps student with reading, writing and taking notes.  It can even translate words to another language.  To learn more, please click the link to view a brief video:  



Read Write is a Chrome add-on.  If your child is logged into Chrome, you should see the symbol in the upper right-hand corner.  It is very small and looks like a purple puzzle piece.  If the tools are not appearing and you have the purple puzzle piece, click on the puzzle piece.If you have a school-issued computer, Read Write should already be accessible.  If not, you will probably have to download it.  Here are the directions.  Make sure you are in the browser Chrome.Click on this site to download the application, and the directions should be self-explanatory  If Read Write still is not appearing, make sure that Chrome sync is turned on if you are on a home computer.  That is found in the preferences of Chrome.  You can search for sync and make sure that it is turned on. Once that is turned on then the extensions should come over.


The MHMS staff is here to help and support our school community, please do not hesitate to reach out to administration, school counselors, teachers and support staff if you are in need of any assistance.



Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School


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