Murray Messenger 11.16.21

Tue, 11/16/2021 - 6:04pm

Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

Last Wednesday, we took a pause from curriculum instruction and spent the day reviewing expectations, procedures, policies, and engaging in activities focused on respect and building community. Students had the opportunity to review, discuss and share their thoughts around improving our school culture. Students also recorded their own commitments to support our school community and to strive to be their personal best. Take time to ask your student what they learned during their day on Wednesday.

We encourage all families to support the MHMS PTA fundraiser that started this week. Cookie Dough fundraiser packets were sent home with students on Monday. If you are in need of another packet, they can be found in the front office.

School pictures have been distributed. If you have not yet ordered your fall school pictures, it is not too late! Visit the Lifetouch website and order today; free shipping is available by using code: SHIPFREEF21.

LOST AND FOUND!!!! We have a large collection of lost and found items- jackets, hoodies, lunch bags, water bottles, etc.. The items are located in the cafeteria. Please encourage your student to check the lost and found table to see if they have any belongings there. We will donate all items to our Clothing to Cash recycling program during Thanksgiving Break.


Lisa R. Smithson


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

November 19th

MHMS Dental Clinic

November 19th

PTA Cookie Dough Fundraiser- Orders DUE

November 22nd

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 23rd

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 24th

Schools Closed Students- Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 25th-26th

Schools Closed- Thanksgiving Break

December 1st

Parent Information Night

MHMS News:

MHMS Expectation Tip: When students are absent, they are expected to make-up missed assignments. Students who have an excused absence will have the same number of days that they were absent to make-up missed work (i.e.- If a student is absent for two days, upon return, they have two days to make-up work). Students should connect with their individual teachers and familiarize themselves with their specific procedures for making up work. Absences due to quarantine, are considered excused. If able, quarantining students should use the academic supports that are available to them (see details further below).

Save The Date: On December 1st at 6:30 p.m., MHMS will host a Parent Information Night. This event is intended for current MHMS parents/guardians. A variety of sessions will be offered. Information and strategies will be shared on how parents can support their middle school student academically and social-emotionally. Some topics include stress management, navigating Canvas, enrichment through art, and mental health

At the end of the event, we will do a drawing for exciting prizes! You won’t want to miss this event! RSVPs are appreciated but not required. To RSVP please click the link below and complete the Google form. This event is for parents only; students should plan to stay at home.

PBIS Gift Card Donations: We are looking for gift card donations to offer as prizes for students who exhibit our expectations of being RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, and READY. Please consider donating gift cards in denominations between $10.00 and $25.00. Gift cards can be from any location that a middle school student may enjoy! Some businesses to consider are 5-Below, Target, Chick-Fil-A, SweetFrog, Amazon, McDonald’s, Apple, Playstation, X-Box etc. Gift cards can be placed in an envelope, labeled PBIS, and delivered to the MHMS Front Office. This is an ongoing initiative, so we will receive gift cards throughout the entire school year.

MHMS Winter Bazaar: It’s time to bring in your Winter Bazaar donations! The Winter Bazaar is a small store filled with items that students can purchase using their Gotchas. 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 begin collecting items on November 8th and will accept donations through the month of November. Donations can be dropped off in the front office. Thank you for your support of our Winter Bazaar!

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

Accessing Report Cards: Report cards were made accessible for parents/guardians on November 10th. Report cards can be viewed/downloaded by taking the following steps:

Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy, using parent/guardian credentials

Select “More Options” from the left panel

Select “Report Cards” from the middle

Select the report card you wish to access

RTA Bus Passes: RTA Bus Passes are here! RTA Student Bus Passes are free, and are valid until September 12, 2022. To obtain a FREE Student Bus Pass, students must agree to:

Maintain possession of the pass

Not transfer or share the pass with others

Abide by HCPSS rules while on-board

Only one replacement pass will be provided to each student

Please contact Mrs. Couch at or stop by the MHMS Front Office to receive a pass.

MHMS Volunteers and Chaperones Vaccine Requirements: Effective Monday, October 25, all volunteers and chaperones who interact with students, and parents/guardians who are conducting classroom observations will be required to use the PinPoint platform to show proof of full vaccination at least five school days in advance. Learn how to access and use the PinPoint VaccineCheck platform. Parents entering the school for short periods of time (i.e. to sign-out a student for early dismissal, to drop something off for a student) do not need to follow this procedure at this time.

American Education Week: ​​To limit interaction with students in the school building, visitors are not permitted to attend events that occur indoors or outdoors during the school day, such as spelling bees, assemblies, activities associated with American Education Week, and field days. This went into effect on Monday, October 11.

Absences To School: If your student is going to be absent, please send a message to The message will go directly to Ms. Speiser, who manages our daily attendance. Please take time to review HCPSS’s Attendance Policy 9010.

Quarantining Students: If your student is required to quarantine as a result of established COVID procedures, please be aware of the following:

Absences will be coded as excused.

Families will continue to receive a daily, automatically generated, email stating that your student is absent.

Students can do the following to stay up to date academically:

Access assignments through Canvas for each course.

Log in to individual teachers Google Meet Support Sessions, specifically established to assist students who are quarantining. Information can be found on Canvas Homepages.

Contact teachers via email with questions about assignments.

Engage in academic support through HCPSS Evening School (for more information contact our MHMS Point of Contact-

Also, be reminded that if your student has a medical condition that presents like COVID-like symptoms, a doctor’s note can be provided stating the details of the condition; this could prevent possible repetitive quarantining. If you have questions or would like more detailed information about this, please contact our Health Room staff.

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. So 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. MHMSClothingToCash.jpg

Weis 4 School: MHMS has recently registered with the Weis 4 School program. By participating in the program, you can help us earn money for our school. See the attached flyer for details and information, and be sure to share with your family and friends! Weis4School (2).pdf

Stay Connected: Please stay connected to our Murray Hill Middle School Community by visiting our website frequently- MHMS Website. You can also follow our school community on Twitter- @hcpss_mhms. Also stay connected with all HCPSS news and information by visiting the HCPSS website and following @HCPSS on Twitter.


PTA 2021-2022 Membership: Please visit to obtain your MHMS PTA membership for the 2021-2022 school year.

MHMS Spiritwear: MHMS Spiritwear is 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.

Cookie Dough Fundraiser: MHMS PTA is facilitating a Cookie Dough Fundraiser. Fundraiser packets will be sent home on Monday, November 8th. Orders are due by Friday, November 19th. Items will be available for pick-up on December 16th. Thank you in advance for your participation in our fundraiser.

November PTA Meeting: The PTA would like to invite you to our next virtual PTA Meeting. It will be on Tuesday, December 14th at 7 PM. Use your child's chromebook. The code is MHMS-PTA. We hope you can make it.

Schedule Restaurant Nights: We are looking for someone to help schedule restaurant nights. This person would contact restaurants about hosting a fundraiser for the PTA. Share the information with the PTA and school, so we can get it on the school's calendar. We are open to trying some familiar ones like Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, and new ones.

Please contact Debbie Rhoades at

Community News:

Bridgeway Community Church Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway: The event is being held on Friday, November 19 from 3-7 p.m. Families may pick up from either the Columbia OR Owings Mills/Reisterstown locations.

Please Note: this is a First Come, First Served event. Recipients are NOT required to register before the event. However, recipients will be asked to provide their Photo I.D., name, and phone number at pick up.

Caring For Young Minds Black College Tour: This tour was established with a vision to expose students to historically black colleges and universities. Students in middle school and high school have the opportunity to visit and experience different colleges and universities during the week of Spring Break to decide where they want to further their studies and gain the knowledge to select a major. For more information, please visit their website:

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