Murray Messenger 4.16.21

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 12:00pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


This week we were excited to welcome 7th and 8th grade hybrid students back into the building.  All of our students who have returned to the building have done an amazing job of following our new processes and protocols, and we are looking forward to supporting both our in-person and our fully virtual students for the remainder of this school year.


Quarter 4 started on Thursday.  I encourage all of our students to take time to establish their academic goals for this quarter, so that they finish the year strong.  I also encourage virtual students to use their class time effectively, by using the asynchronous portion of the period, to remain in the Google Meet to work on their assignments for the class, and have access to the teacher in real time if they have questions, or need help.  


MHMS will offer the opportunity for students to take Spring Pictures next week.  Please see the information below with specific details.  


Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

April 14th- April 20th

MHMS PTA- BrickNFire Pizza Fundraiser

April 20th

Spring Pictures for In-Person Students

April 21st @ 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Spring Pictures for Virtual Students

April 22nd 

Spring Pictures for In-Person Students

May 3rd-May 7th

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 11th @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting (Google Meet Code: mhms-pta)

May 13th 

Schools Closed

May 31st

Schools and Offices Closed- Memorial Day

June 1st @ 7:00 p.m.

MHMS PTA Meeting (Google Meet Code: mhms-pta)

June 15th 

Last Day of School

MHMS News:


MHMS Spring Picture Day:  Spring Pictures will take place next week.  All in-person students will have their picture taken either on Tuesday or Thursday, and students who are fully virtual will have the opportunity to come to the building to have their pictures taken on Wednesday.  Families also have the option to participate in a Snap At Home option, if they choose.  

In-Person Students:

Virtual Students:

  • Lifetouch photographers will be available to take pictures of students who are fully Virtual, between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21st.

  • Families may pre-order pictures, or order pictures after they are taken, by visiting and entering our Picture Day ID- EVTH9D8X4 

  • Any virtual student who wishes to have their picture taken must sign up using the SIGN-UP GENIUS.  

  • Students who sign up using the SIGN-UP GENIUS, will enter the building through the front doors, and have their picture taken in the cafeteria.  Only students will be allowed in the building (parents/guardians are asked to remain in their vehicles). 

  • See the attachments for additional information: PictureFlyer.pdf  PicturePackages.pdf 

Snap At Home Option:

  • For this year only, Lifetouch, through the convenience of the Shutterfly app, has an option for families to capture a picture while at home, and add your favorite Lifetouch background, and order a picture package.  Families can order the basic package, or upgrade to the Premium package.  Here’s how it works:

    • Download the Shutterfly app HERE

    • Select a picture package

    • Smile! Snap a quick pic

    • Customize your image with your favorite background

    • Order your picture package

    • Frame it! 


Chromebooks Care- A Message from Ms. Gwyneth Jones.

  • Every Night: Plug in your Chromebook for overnight charging. The plug and charge on the RIGHT SIDE - charges faster & better. The progress light will still go on the left: Blue is good (fully charged) - Orange is OK (charging) - Red or blinking is Bad. (dead)

  • Every Week: Clear cache & cookies - Here's a handy YouTube Video with the how-to: But do NOT clear your passwords - Logout, Shut down, wait 2 min, & RESTART. Suggest doing this either Friday afternoon or Monday morning.

  • Something Not Working? Restart Smart!: Remove any external devices like headphones, microphones, and external mice, logout, shut down, wait two minutes, and RESTART.

  • Say YES to Updates: Whenever possible, use an updated Chrome browser and Chromebook. If your device prompts you to update - Do it! Restart. 

  • NO FEEDING Your Chromebook or You Will Pay: Don't feed your Chromebook anything but electricity. KEEP ALL FOOD & DRINK far away from your device. We are finding that drinks, snacks, & crumbs are ruining Chromebooks. Food causes sticking keys, trackpad errors, and causes laptops to die. Snack far away from your laptop!  You ARE responsible to pay for damages due to food, drink, neglect, loss, & breakage. Details:

  • Chrome Extensions of Destruction: Some Chrome extensions are built into your Chromebook and are good. Some Chrome extensions are recommended and are helpful. But some extensions cause major problems. The gaming ones are the worst with causing Google Meet and device crashes. When things go wrong, remove extra Chrome Extensions- especially the gaming ones. How? Look for the puzzle piece on top right Extensions > Manage > Remove > Restart

  • Chrome Browser Tune-Up: Here are some HCPSS suggested things to try to improve your device experience & performance

  • Resources: Please check out our Tech Help for Students & Families on our MHMS webpage.  Also, be sure to review the HCPSS Chromebook Care resource.


MCAP Updates:  The Math and ELA MCAP assessments, formerly known as PARCC, that were scheduled for Spring 2021, are now scheduled to be taken in the Fall of 2021. The tests will be used as diagnostic tests to assess the learning received during the 2020-2021 school year. MCAP assessments that are planned for the 2021-2022 school year are currently still planned to take place in the Spring of 2022.


For students who took Algebra I or Geometry this school year: a passing grade must be earned to move to the next course. Students will take the MCAP assessment in the Fall, but there will not be a required passing grade needed for high school graduation. 


For additional questions, please contact our Instructional Team Leaders:




PTA BrickNFire Pizza Fundraiser:  Support the MHMS PTA by purchasing frozen pizza from BricknFire Pizza Company.  Orders can be placed through Tuesday, April 20th.  Visit  Merchandise will be delivered directly to your home. Be sure to enter #MHMSPIZZA, in the Order Notes when you checkout.  See the flyer for more details:  MHMS BrickNFireFlyer.pdf 


PTA 2020-2021 Membership:  Please visit to obtain your MHMS PTA membership for the 2020-2021 school year.


MHMS SPIRITWEAR:  MHMS Spiritwear is now available to order online!  Support our MHMS PTA and show your MHMS pride by purchasing today!  Spiritwear can be customized and features both glitter and non-glitter options.  All merchandise will be mailed directly to the address of your choice.  This month’s Spiritwear Coupon is 10% off of rainbow hoodies ( Code:  APR21W.

Community News:

COVID-19 Mobile Testing Sites:  The Howard County Government is introducing Mobile COVID-19 Testing Sites, starting Monday, March 29th.  See the attached flyer for specific details with dates, times and locations- Mobile_Testing_Site_.jpg    


Pantry On The Go:  Glen Mar Church in collaboration with The Maryland Food Bank will be distributing over 6,000 pounds of produce, today, Friday, April 16th from 4:00-6:00 pm.  See the attached flyer for more information- Food Giveaway April 16th GlenMar UMC English.pdf  Food Giveaway April 16th GlenMar UMC Spanish.pdf 


Food Giveaway at Howard Community College:  HCC will sponsor a free food giveaway on Friday, April 30th, from 11:00-2:00.  Please see the attached flyer for more information- Food Giveaway at HCC April 1st and 30th.pdf 


Howard County Health Department Community Sharing Session:  On April 21st, join the Community Sharing Session:  What Helps Me- A Discussion of Coping and Connection.  See the attached flyer for more information- What Helps Me Event Flyer.pdf 


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