Murray Messenger 11.11.22

Mon, 11/21/2022 - 9:32am
Murray Hill Middle School

Murray Messenger 11.11.22


A Note From The Principal

Dear MHMS Families,

There are lots of great things happening in the coming weeks at MHMS.  Next week is American Education Week.  Parents/guardians are welcome to come and visit any classes of their choice, without prior notification.  Parents will be asked to sign-in before entering the building; please be sure to bring your driver’s license with you.  If you plan to visit, please be reminded that this is not intended to be a time to engage in conversation with staff regarding your student, but it will give you the opportunity to see all the great instruction that takes place in our classrooms on a daily basis.  

Next week, on Wednesday, November 16th, we are also looking forward to recognizing our Education Support Staff.  Our ESP staff include all of our front office and student services administrative assistants, as well as all of our paraeducators, student assistants, health assistant and our daily substitute teachers.  We are always appreciative of the hard-work and dedication of these individuals as they are a true asset to our MHMS community.  

The MHMS PTA has plans for next week too!  Starting on September 17th, the PTA will open the Scholastic Book Fair.  Students will be able to visit the Book Fair at designated times during the school day to purchase books and other items for the Book Fair.  The Book Fair will also be open during in-person parent/teacher conferences on Monday, November 21st.  Families can preview Book Fair items and set up an eWallet account by visiting  See the attached flyer for more information.  BookFairFlyer.pdf 

The MHMS PTA is also hosting a Skate Night for our MHMS students, at the Laurel Roller Skating Center on Friday, November 18th, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  All MHMS students are welcome to attend this FREE event.  Be sure to bring your crew socks and a mask.  See the attached flyer for more information.  Murray Hill Middle Skate night.png 


Lisa R. Smithson  
Murray Hill Middle School

Important Dates:

November 14th-18th

American Education Week

November 14th

6th Grade Field Trip- Howard County Conservancy

November 15th

Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day

November 15th

Fall Pictures 

November 21st

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent/Teacher Conferences (In-person only)

November 22nd

3-Hour Early Dismissal- Parent/Teacher Conferences (virtual only)

November 23rd

Schools Closed for Students- Parent/Teacher Conferences (virtual only- a limited number of conferences will be available)

November 24th and 25th 

Schools and Offices Closed- Thanksgiving Break

MHMS News:

Parent/Teacher Conferences:  Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Monday, November 21st through Wednesday, November 22nd.  Please note that all conferences held on Monday, November 21st will be in-person conferences, and all conferences scheduled for Tuesday the 22nd or Wednesday, the 23rd will be virtual, via Google Meet.  Please also note that only a limited number of conferences will be available on Wednesday, November 23rd.  

The window to schedule parent/teacher conferences will close on Thursday, November 17th at 4:00 p.m.  Parent/Guardians can schedule conferences through HCPSS Connect.  Once logged on, click on the “Conference” tab in the left navigation panel, and then click “Parent Conferences.”  Select the conference time you want for each class listed.  For resources on scheduling conferences, please visit HCPSS Connect Guides

Fall Pictures:  Fall pictures are scheduled for Tuesday, November 15th.  All students will be photographed.  Fall pictures will be used in our 2022-2023 Memory Book.  School pictures also serve as a fundraiser for our school, so families are encouraged to purchase a package of their choice.  Orders can be placed online, in advance, by visiting, and entering our Picture Day ID:  EVT26CZKM.  

MHMS Winter Bazaar:  The Winter Bazaar is coming back and is in need of your donated items!   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 accept donations through the month of November.  Donations can be dropped off in the front office.  More information about volunteering to help with this event is forthcoming.   If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Behrens ( 

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.  Clothing For Cash.png 

Late Arrivals to School:  We are experiencing a high volume of late arrivals in the mornings.  Please be reminded that doors open to students at 8:15, and students are considered tardy to school at 8:25.  If your student is consistently arriving to school after the 8:25 late bell, they are consistently missing instruction in their period one class.  Starting in November, we will monitor student arrival, and those who are chronically tardy to school (four or more tardies in the month), will be assigned morning detention.

Early Dismissal From School:  Please note that we will only be able to accommodate early dismissals before 2:55.  This will ensure that any early dismissal students have been properly signed-out and have cleared the property before our 3:10 dismissal begins.  Also, please be reminded that when picking up your student early, you must show ID, and if someone other than a legal parent/guardian is picking up a student, they must be listed as a person who can pick-up on Family File.    

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR THOSE WITH MEDICAL ASSISTANCE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical assistance has been automatically renewed since March, 2020. However, automatic renewals will stop on November 30th, so please call the Health Dept Insurance Line at (410) 313-5845.  They will set up an appointment for you to renew over the phone.  Spanish speaking nurses are available in the afternoon.

After November 30th, you will have to go in person to re-apply for medical assistance.

2022-2023 MHMS Breakfast and Lunch:  Breakfast at MHMS will continue to be FREE for all students during the 2022-2023 school year.  Lunch costs $3.30 for students who do not qualify for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS).  Students may pay daily with cash, or access funds on their account.  Families are strongly encouraged to check their account balances on, and consider putting funds on your students account for the 2022-2023 school year.  Also, if you wish to see if you qualify for FARMS, please visit THIS LINK.  More information regarding HCPSS school meals can be found HERE.

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.

Secondary Student & Parent Handbook:  All families are encouraged to take time to review The Secondary Student & Parent Handbook which includes the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct and other important policies/procedures.  The handbook is posted on the school system website. MHMS reviewed the information listed HERE with all of our students during the first week of school.  

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 2022-2023 Membership:  Please visit THIS LINK to obtain your MHMS PTA membership for the 2022-2023 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 all merchandise will be mailed directly to the address of your choice. 


Howard County Association of Student Councils:  ALL middle and high school students are welcome to monthly, student-led meetings intended to:

  • Grow and practice the habits of heart and mind that it takes to serve as engaged and informed citizens

  • Collaborate with student and community leaders from across HCPSS

  • Discuss current events impacting HCPSS students

  • Share knowledge based, actionable feedback and ideas directly with the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) and other HCPSS leaders

  • Pair students with actionable steps they can take to achieve their goals, such as:

    • Collaborate with their school-based administrators

    • Provide testimony to elected officials

    • Connect to HCPSS staff,  community organizations, or an elected official, 

    • Join one of our committees where they can work to bring their ideas to life in Howard County

This year, the Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC) will pilot a new meeting structure bringing HCASC to each of our school communities through both monthly HCASC meetings and Quarterly Listen and Learn Sessions where students can share actionable and knowledge-based feedback with HCPSS. 

Our next meeting Wednesday 11/16 at 7:00pm will be held in person at Homewood School with a Google Meet option for students who cannot attend in person and wish to participate Google Meet Code: HCASC-GA. Students will need to use their HCPSS emails to join the meeting online.

More information on the HCASC website

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