Murray Messenger 1.28.21

Fri, 01/28/2022 - 1:36pm
Murray Hill Middle School

A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,


It is amazing how quickly the 2021-2022 school year is moving.  This week, students transitioned into their third quarter related arts classes, and we are looking forward to a productive and successful second semester.  


As cold weather has settled in, I would like to share a few reminders.  This week, we had an increase in the number of students being dropped off by car in the morning, and we have had a significant increase of students arriving late to school. If you are driving your student to school,  please be sure to give yourself ample time to navigate our drop-off line.  Our doors open promptly at 8:15 for students to enter the building, and any student arriving after 8:25 must sign-in at the front office, and will be marked as tardy.  With the onset of colder weather, please also be reminded that we will continue to offer outdoor dining and outdoor recess when possible; please encourage your student to dress appropriately, if they want to spend time outside.  


Finally, I would like to highlight a few special events that have recently occurred.  On Thursday, January 20th, the Howard County Council of Elders, in collaboration with HCPSS BSAP, virtually recognized over 140 of our students for their academic achievement during the 2020-2021 school year.  I am so proud of all of our students who were recognized, and I was happy to see that so many of our families were able to join the recognition ceremony virtually.  I would also like to congratulate all of the students who participated in the MHMS Spelling Bee.  We had over 40 students participate in the semi-finals last week, and today, we had thirteen participants engage in the final round.  Congratulations to our top three finalists- 3rd Place- Rebecca C.; 2nd Place- Nyla W.; 1st Place- Gautami G. 



Lisa R. Smithson  


Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

January 31st 

Report Cards Available (via hcpss connect)

January 31st @ 4:00 p.m.

RHFBLA After School Session (Google Meet Code: MHMS-FBLA-Workshop)

February 1st

No School for Students- Professional Learning Day

February 8th @ 7:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting (Google Meet Code: mhms-pta)

February 16th @ 12:10 p.m..

3-Hour Early Dismissal

MHMS News:


MHMS Expectations and Reminders:  If your student is going to be absent, please continue to send an email to  We will continue to follow HCPSS Policy 9010 to code absences as lawful/excused or unlawful/unexcused.  If you have questions or concerns with attendance, please contact our Attendance Secretary,  We ask for your patience and understanding with potential delayed response time, as Mrs. Speiser is managing a high volume of attendance situations.  Recently there have been many inquiries regarding period attendance being inaccurate.  Please know that the daily attendance is what is utilized as a part of a students official record; if you have concerns regarding daily attendance, please reach out to Mrs. Speiser.  If you have concerns regarding inaccurate period attendance, it would be most appropriate to contact the teacher directly.  


2022-2023 Course Registration:  Course registration for rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students for the 2022-2023 school year is beginning.  Letters have been shared with families with detailed information.  To access the information, please click the appropriate link below:


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, Barnes and Noble, 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.     


GSA Lunch Bunches:  This week we started the opportunity for students to engage in GSA Lunch Bunches.  The GSA Lunch Bunch will be offered on a weekly basis, and is intended to be a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies to socialize and discuss concerns that affect LGBTQIA+ members of our school community. MHMS school staff serve as sponsors and will monitor the lunch bunches.  Like all lunch bunches, student participation is voluntary, and all students are welcome to attend. 


MHMS Volunteers and Chaperones Vaccine Requirements:  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.    


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 Cluster Nurse, 


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. 


2022-2023 Executive Board Member Nominations:  All MHMS Executive Board positions are available for nomination for the 2022-2023 school year.  We are specifically seeking to fill the following positions:  PTA President, PTA Vice President, PTA Secretary, and PTA Treasurer.  Please contact with questions or for more information.  


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. 


February PTA Meeting: The PTA would like to invite you to our next virtual PTA Meeting.  It will be on Tuesday, February 8th at 7 PM.  Use your child's chromebook. The code is MHMS-PTA.   We hope you can make it.


Atholton High School Dance Ensemble Performance:  The Atholton High School Dance Ensemble will be taking the stage for the first time in two years this weekend!  Come out and enjoy wonderful dancing, great music, and a few surprises.  There are three shows 

  • Friday, January 28th @ 7:00 p.m.

  • Saturday, January 29th @ 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online:


Howard County of Association of Student Councils:  HCASC welcomes all middle and high school students to join our next meeting Wednesday February 9th from 7:00pm-8:00pm at the Homewood Center where they can:

  • collaborate with student leaders from across HCPSS

  • discuss current events impacting HCPSS students

  • provide feedback and insight on HCPSS policy

  • share your ideas directly with the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) and other HCPSS leaders

  • learn leadership skills and best practices

  • represent your school at the student-run convention to elect the SMOB

  • explore ways to make a difference in your school and community

  • engage with community leaders

  • have fun!

  • Explore our website for more information or contact

View this brief video for more information:


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