Murphy Middle School eNews

January 14, 2016

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If you are viewing this newsletter through a link from Twitter or Facebook, please know that there are several important links included in the email that was sent. To view those documents, you will need to access the original email. Thanks!

Current 8th Grade Students - McMillen High School Expo TONIGHT!

Dear 8th Grade Parents:

In preparing for transition to high school, McMillen High School would like to invite you and your student to our High School Expo TONIGHT, Thursday, January 14th from 6:30-7:45. You and your student will have an opportunity to meet with students and staff to ask questions about student life, honors, Pre-Advance Placement courses, band, cheerleading, dance and athletics. We will have a panel of our student ambassadors on hand to answer any question about McMillen from a student’s perspective. Festivities will also include:

1. Building tours

2. Spirit-wear shopping

3. Performances by the McMillen Band, Choir, Cheerleaders and Dazzlers

4. A chance to tour the building some teachers, counselors and staff

5. A great venue for fellowshipping with our McMillen families

We hope that you and your family enjoyed your holiday break and we look forward to seeing you TONIGHT.


Brian Lyons, Principal

Murphy Middle School Events & Information

AVID's College Week - Begins on Monday, January 11. See information below regarding DRESS-UP DAYS!!!!

McMillen's High School Expo - Thursday, January 14 from 6:30 - 7:45 at McMillen High School

Athletics Applications for Current 6th Grade Girls Due - Friday, January 15 - turn application in to one of the coaches

Making Our Mark - Plano ISD's tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Thursday, January 21st at the Williams High School Auditorium. Pre-show at 6:30 with program beginning at 7:00.

Last Day To Order a 2015-2016 MMS Yearbook - Friday, January 29 at 9:00 a.m.

Athletic Events - January

Admission cost for athletic events is $2 for students and $4 for adults. Please help out our ticket takers by bringing small bills.

7th Grade Girls Basketball (6:00 & 7:00 unless otherwise noted)

Thursday, 1/14 vs. Rice at Rice

Thursday, January 21 vs. Schimelpfenig at MMS

Thursday, 1/28 vs. Renner at MMS

7th Grade Boys Basketball (6:00 & 7:00 unless otherwise noted)

Thursday, 1/14 vs. Rice at MMS

Thursday, January 21 vs. Schimelpfenig at Schimelpfenig

Thursday, 1/28 vs. Renner at Renner

8th Grade Girls Basketball (6:00 & 7:00 unless otherwise noted)

Tuesday, 1/19 vs. Schimelpfenig at MMS

Monday, 1/25 vs. Renner at MMS

8th Grade Boys Basketball (6:00 & 7:00 unless otherwise noted)

Tuesday, 1/19 vs. Schimelpfenig at Schimelpfenig

Monday, 1/25 vs. Renner at Renner

Deadline For Ordering Yearbook Approaching Quickly! (Order form attached to eNews email)

The last day to order a 2015-2016 Murphy MS yearbook is Friday, January 29 at 9:00 a.m. We are calling our publisher at 9:00 a.m. that day to report how many books we are going to order. We WILL NOT be ordering any extra copies for May delivery!

There are 3 ways to pay. You can purchase online at or return the form attached to the orignial eNews email with cash or check (made payable to Murphy MS) to the front office attention Kayleigh Abtahi. If paying by check, please make sure you put your DL# on the check. You can also call toll-free and order a book over the phone at 1-877-767-5217.


Athletics Information for NEXT School Year


If your 6th grade daughter is interested in starting out the year in athletics next year, she must complete the 3 day workout that will be offered during PE time on Monday, January 11 through Wednesday, January 13th. She mus also complete the application and have it turned back in to the coaching staff by Friday, January 15th. Starting the season in the athletic program does not guarantee a spot on one of our teams; they are simply signing up for a more vigorous workout to get them quicker, stronger and ready for the upcoming sports that are offered at Murphy. Students do not have to be in athletic class to try out for the volleyball, basketball, track or cross country teams. If a student does make the volleyball or basketball team and they are not in the athletic class then they will receive a schedule change.

Any 7th grade girl who would like to sign up for athletics can as long as they were on the volleyball or basketball team. This does not guarantee anyone a spot on the team. It does give them the opportunity to have a more vigorous workout.


Any 7th or 8th grade student who would like to sign up for football can check athletics on their schedule form for next year. If they are not interested in signing up for football then your student will not check the athletic box on the sign up form. If your students is interested in playing basketball, they will try out for basketball next November. If they make the basketball team, their schedules will be changed into athletics. If they are interested in running track or cross country, they do not have to be in the athletic class. They will have the opportunity to practice before school in March and April next year.

PE Clothes

If you would like to order more PE clothes, you can order them through our website at All orders must be in by January 15th. After January 15th, you will not be able to order uniforms through the website.

If you have any questions you can e-mail Coach Ragsdale at

If You Missed The Parent Meeting Last Week...Presentations Attached to eNews Email

Last Wednesday, we held our grade level transition meetings in the cafeteria. Counselors met with our current 6th and 7th grade parents and then with our incoming parents who currently have children in 5th grade.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, please take a moment to view the grade appropriate presentation that is attached to the eNews email. This information could help clarify any questions that may pop up as your child begins the process of choosing classes for next year.

Please contact your child's counselor with questions or concerns.

FCA Information

FCA will be headed to weekend of champions on February 26th – February 29th. You can find more information at Any Murphy Middle School student is welcome to come. Please see Coach Ragsdale for more information.

Practice Test to Help Prepare for SAT or ACT - Registration form attached to eNews email

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Current 6th Grade Students - Immunizations Needed For 7th Grade Entry

Dear 6th Grade Parent,

I want to make you aware of some additional immunizations that will be required in the 2016-2017 school year for 7th grade entry.

The changes will amend 25 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 97, Subchapter B, §§97.61; 97.63-97.72. Following are the immunizations that will be affected:

· Meningococcal Vaccine (One dose required)

· Varicella Vaccine (Two doses required (or verification of disease)

· Tdap Vaccine (Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis) Booster dose required (within last 5 years)

Proof of these immunizations will be required to begin school for the 2016-2017 school year. Please check your child’s immunization records now and provide your school nurse proof of immunization as soon as the vaccine is received as this will provide faster service for your student’s schedule release. To view a copy of your child’s immunization record as currently on file with the school, please go to

If you have questions or concerns, I recommend discussing these with your physician. The school nurse at your campus will be able to provide you with a list of locations where you can receive these immunizations.

For further assistance, please contact the school nurse at your campus or visit for more information.

Thank you,

Megan Schuler RN, BSN

Director for District Health

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Color Run T-Shirt Design Contest

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NEHS & NJHS Selection Letters

Sixth and seventh grade students and parents be on the look out for NEHS and NJHS selection letters. These will be delivered to students' English classes by January 15th.

For many students, selection as a member of NEHS and NJHS is the pinnacle of their achievement in school. This honor, recognized throughout the nation, is both the public recognition of accomplishment and the private commitment to continued excellence on the part of the new member. Because of the importance placed upon this aspect of secondary school life local chapter are charged with creating a selection process that conforms to national guidelines, is applied fairly and consistently to all candidates, and provides a meaningful recognition of deserving students.

Selection to NEHS and NJHS is a privilege, not a right. Students do not apply for membership in NEHS and NJHS; instead, they provide information to be used by the local selection committee to support their candidacy for membership. NEHS and NJHS are more than just an honor roll and membership in both is attained through the successful demonstration of responsibility, respect, service, and leadership. Membership is granted only to those students selected by the Faculty Council. This is not an election, nor is membership automatically conveyed simply because a student has achieved a specified level of academic performance.

Selection guidelines: 95 or higher cumulative GPA for NEHS (1st semester 6th grade). 92 or higher cumulative GPA for NJHS (6th grade + 1st semester 7th grade).

The MMS Faculty Council considers teacher recommendations, citizenship, character, responsibility, leadership, and community service when granting membership to candidates.

PACE Testing

All PACE referral packets were due to Mr. Matisoff, Murphy’s PACE Specialist, by January 13th. If your child turned in their packet, testing will take place during school for ALL students on February 29th in the DLR. Due to the high number of students testing, it is very important that students be present the day of their test. Additional details will be sent home with your child in the coming weeks.

Important test taking strategies include:

Receiving plenty of rest the night before.

Having a well-balanced breakfast the morning of the test.

Your child should bring two #2 pencils and a sack lunch to the testing room.

Jason Matisoff

PACE/Gifted Education Specialist

8th Grade Team Leader

Mock Trial Sponsor

Murphy Middle School


Homework Hot Spot

Murphy’s Homework Hot Spot is here to serve your student. We created this area because we want students to have a teacher supervised area where they have teacher assistance, peer assistance (provided by Murphy NJHS students), or simply a quiet place to finish up homework before their day begins.

The Homework Hot Spot (HHS) is available every Tuesday and Wednesday morning from 7:50 – 8:20 in Mrs. Feil’s room D 111. We will be limiting the number of students coming in for assistance, so come early. See you there!

American Mathematics Competition

Do you have a strong math student that needs to be challenged? If so, consider the AMC 10! The American Mathematics Competition is a 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice examination in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with algebraic and geometric concepts, so NO calculators are needed. The test will be proctored during 6th and 7th periods on Wednesday, February 17.

If your student is interested in sitting for this test, contracts are available in the counseling office. Hurry, contracts require parent signatures and are due by Friday, January 15, 2016!

Plano East Golden Girls Dance Clinic 2016

Plano East Golden Girls Dance Clinic 2016 is being held on Saturday, January 23rd 1:30p.m.-4:00p.m.

In the Plano East Senior High Gym for ages Kindergarten through 11th grade

Cost for the event is $30.00 Per Child

Price includes: Clinic T-Shirt, Snack & Bottled Water, Learn 1 Pop Dance, performance opportunity at the end of the Clinic!!!!

Forms are outside Mrs. Pierce’s room F101 in the 6th grade hall. Mrs. Pierce can answer any questions you have and you can also turn your forms into her.

Grit and the Power of YET!

In order to demonstrate to students the Power of Yet, to encourage them to try again when they struggle, and to develop their grit, teachers will start adding the phrase “Power of Yet Tutorial (with the date and time of the tutorial)” on graded assignments when students are able to make another attempt at mastery. Teachers will also explain this change in grading communication so that students understand the meaning and purpose of “Power of Yet Tutorials.”

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Club List - Updated January 2016

Here at Murphy Middle School, we have so many ways for students to be involved! At the beginning of each semester, students have the opportunity to start their own club. All students have to do is find a few kids with the same interest, find a teacher to serve as the "custodian" for the club, and fill

out some simple forms.

Here are the clubs that are formed so far - along with the name and email information of the teacher serving as custodian. Meeting times/dates are set by the teacher, so please direct your questions to him/her.

Book Club with Ms. Pearson in the Library (

Nintendo Club with Ms. McCutcheon & Ms. Hargrove in B120 ( or

Star Wars Club with Mr. Murtaugh in B129 (

Environmental Club with Ms. Pilgrim in E113 (

Soccer Club with Mr. Murtaugh in B129 (

Baseball Club with Mr. Lagattuta in E112 (

Joy Club with Ms. Perry in J105 (

Reading Rain Club with Ms. Byrd in E101 (

Mavs Steep Steppers with Ms. Holt in H102 (

Basketball Club with Mr. Henson in D101 (

Tennis Club with Ms. Hachtel in E111 (

French Club with Ms. Nee in K104 (

Singing & Dancing Club with Mr. Lagattuta in E112 (

Chef's Club with Ms. Thompson in D112 (

Poetry Club with Ms. Edenkrans in F103 (

Harry Potter Club with Mr. Lagattuta in E112 (

Student Council with Ms. Collins & Ms. McAnderson in F104 ( or

Maverick Gazette with Mr. Matisoff in N101 (

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Volunteers Needed for PISD's S.K.I. Plano Event

Volunteers are needed for S.K.I. Plano, benefitting the Plano ISD Education Foundation, on Saturday, January 30. The event is at the Marriott Legacy Town Center at the Shops at Legacy. Set-up will be from 9am to 3pm. We also need volunteers to work at the event as cashiers, packet runners to assist the cashiers, raffle assistants, touchpad roamers, big board helpers, head & tails runners, silent auction area and tear down. Start time is as early as 5pm.

Please email Tamra Sadafsaz at if you have any questions or to sign up to volunteer.

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PTA News & Updates

Important Dates:

January 14th - Chick Fil-A Spirit Night

January 18th - Mogio's Spirit Night

January 25th - PDQ Spirit Night

February 6th - SAGE Summer Expo

February 12th - Color Run T-Shirt Design Contest Deadline

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Murphy parents,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break and has settled into the second semester.

I would like to thank those who donated Walmart and Target gift cards last week to our Tornado Relief effort for Pearson Elementary School in Rowlett. Many of the families in that school lost everything in the December tornado outbreak. Thanks to the generosity of our Murphy families, gift cards totaling $1,950 have been delivered to the school counselor at Pearson for those families in need. The Murphy community is so amazing when it comes to reaching out to those in need. Thank you!!! If you did not get a chance to donate last week and you would still like to, please contact Susan Rice, VP Programs, at

Best regards,

Angela Hughes

President Murphy Middle School PTA

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2016 Plano ISD Parent Workshops - Presented by Family Education and Guidance Services

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Questions About Parent Programs?

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Murphy Middle School PTA Community Partners 2015-2016

Please remember our generous sponsors when shopping for services or supplies!!

Platinum Level Sponsor

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Gold Level Sponsors

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Silver Level Sponsors

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Bronze Level Sponsors

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