Murray Messenger 8.28.20

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 5:55pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

I would like to follow up on the statement issued by Dr. Martirano last night, following the press conference by the Governor and State Superintendent. I want to assure you that, as previously announced, Howard County Public Schools will hold a virtual first semester. Careful plans are in place to ensure that every student will have a robust learning experience that is centered on live, teacher-led virtual instruction. 

School staff returned to work on Tuesday, August 25th, and have been taking part in intensive professional learning to prepare to welcome students back on Tuesday, September 8th. Additionally, plans are being finalized to bring some students into school buildings, in small groups, to receive in-person supports; details of those plans will be shared with you as soon as possible. 

On October 22nd, the Superintendent and Board of Education will begin to evaluate plans for the second semester, and that discussion will be informed by our experiences during the initial weeks of school, the status of the pandemic at that time, and further guidance from the state and Howard County Health Department. 

As you know, the conditions related to the pandemic are rapidly evolving, and I realize this can be a confusing time. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to ensure students have a safe and productive learning experience. Please be assured that school system leaders continue to hold the well-being of our children and staff members as the highest priority, and we are all looking forward eagerly to the day when we can welcome our students back to school in person.


Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill MIddle School

Important Dates:

September 1st @ 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Materials Collection and Distribution

September 2nd @ 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Materials Collection and Distribution

September 2nd @ 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Virtual Learning Parent Information Session (see details below)

September 3rd @ 1:00 p.m.

Virtual 6th Grade and New Student Orientation

September 3rd @ 2:15 p.m.

Virtual Learning Parent Information Session (see details below)

September 3rd @ 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Materials Collection and Distribution (@ Laurel Woods Elementary School)

September 8th 

First Day of Virtual Learning

September 17th @ 5:45 p.m.

Virtual G.T. Parent Orientation

September 17th @ 6:30 p.m.

Virtual Back To School Night

September 28th

Schools and Offices Closed

Family File:  Family File is currently open for all HCPSS families to update information about their child/children for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please remember that Family File must be updated every school year.  HCPSS uses Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information.  Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child, and can do so by logging in to  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)

Thank you to the over 200 MHMS families who have already completed their Family File for the 2020-2021 school year.  We are striving for 100% Family File completion by the first day of school on September 8th.  


Virtual Learning Parent Information Sessions:  We recognize that many families may have questions regarding Virtual Learning.  In order to keep our school community informed, we will host two optional Virtual Learning Parent Information Sessions, through Google Meet, on Wednesday, September 2nd at 5:00 p.m. and on Thursday, September 3rd at 2:15 p.m.  Each session will cover the same information.  If you are unable to virtually join us, please know that the information presented will be posted on our website by the end of next week.  Also, families are strongly encouraged to visit the HCPSS Website to learn about our reopening plan and detailed information regarding this upcoming school year.  Google Meet information for our Virtual Learning Parent Information Sessions will be shared on Tuesday, September 1st.       


Middle School Supply List:  The HCPSS Middle School Supply list can be found here as well on the MHMS website.  Please note that the list includes the need for students enrolled in Algebra I or above to obtain the TI-84 Graphing Calculator.  If you need assistance obtaining a graphing calculator, please contact our Math Team Leader, Molly Schaefer at

Student Schedules:  We have received inquiries regarding accessing student schedules.  We have also heard of families finding ways to unofficially access student schedules.  Please know that we are continuing to make changes and revisions to our student schedules, and student schedules are not finalized.  Families will have official access to finalized student schedules sometime during the week of August 31st, as we get closer to September 8th, the first day of school. 

Memory Books:  At this time, we are still waiting for our Memory Books to be delivered.  As a result of COVID, the company that publishes our Memory Books, is experiencing significant delays.  We have been assured that our Memory Books are still being produced and will be delivered to us as soon as possible.  Please know that once we receive the Memory Books, we will set up a time to safely distribute them in the MHMS parking lot. 

Additionally, if you purchased spring pictures, and missed the distribution that we did early in the summer, we will also have those available to distribute, when we distribute Memory Books.  I thank you for your patience, during these unprecedented times.

Updated Address Information Needed:  As we are preparing for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, it is imperative that we have accurate addresses on file for all of our students.  If you have moved, and have not provided us with your updated information, we ask that you email the following documents to our Student Services Secretary, Ms. Ganzermiller, at

  • A completed a change of address form- FILLABLE_Change_of_Address.pdf  

  • A copy of your new lease or deed

  • A copy of a current utility bill with your new address

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me or to Ms. Ganzermiller.


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