Murphy Middle School eNews

February 18, 2016

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2016 Bond Election

On May 7, 2016, Plano ISD voters will decide on a $481 million bond proposal to fund initiatives recommended by the Plano ISD Facilities and Technology Task Force. Appointed in August, 2015 by the Plano ISD Board of Trustees, the task force included citizens, business leaders, teachers, principals and parents. The task force reviewed enrollment trends and projections, established construction and renovation needs, validated costs and sought input from fellow community members. After five months of study, debate and public input, the task force made final recommendations to school trustees which are included in this bond proposal. If approved, the bond initiative will provide funding toward eight major project areas with no increase to the tax rate and will impact all Plano ISD campuses through district-wide security updates, renovations and facility upgrades, as well as technology improvements. Find out more, including specific project allocations, at You may send questions to

Online Resources:

· Bond Election (main page):

· Bond Overview Flyer:

· Press Release:

· Press Release (Spanish):

· Frequently Asked Questions (English):

· Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish):

· Project List (English):

· Project List (Spanish):

Please join us in supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Student Series campaign. Your support will help fund the therapies and treatments that help save the lives of blood cancer patients today.

We have set our school goal at $2016.00. Please click on the title above to make a donation!

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Murphy Middle School Events & Information

8th Graders Interested in McMillen Cheerleading - Tryout packets now available in McMillen's front office.

NEHS Induction Ceremony - Monday, February 22 from 6:00 - 7:00 in the MMS Gym

NJHS Induction Ceremony - Monday, February 22 from 7:30 - 8:30 in the MMS Gym

Spring Book Fair - February 25 - March 3 in the Library.

Spring Open House - Monday, February 29 (The book fair will be open!)

One Act Play Performance by the MMS Theatre Group - Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 in the MMS Cafeteria

Informational Parent Meeting If Interested In McMillen Cheerleading Next Year - Thursday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the McMillen Cafeteria. Questions - contact Lisa Lambert at

SPRING BREAK - Monday, March 7 through Friday, March 11

Athletic Events - February


It’s tournament time!!!! This past weekend the Murphy basketball teams brought home some hardware from the B team tournaments. Congratulations to the 8th grade boys on finishing in 3rd place and the 8th grade girls on finishing in 2nd place. The 7th grade girls earned another banner for the school as they won the championship game. We had some great teams competing and working hard all season long. Your coaches are extremely proud of the work you have put in.

Come on out and support our basketball teams this weekend. The boys will be playing at PSA 2 Saturday morning, and the girls will be playing at PSA Murphy. Their first game will be at 8:00. If one of the 8th grade teams makes it to the championship game it will be held at Plano Sr. High. The girls will play at 6:00 and the boys will play right after that.

Track season starts next week. Make sure you have your physicals turned in. If you have not picked up a practice schedule please make sure you see one of the coaches.

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

Thursday, 2/18, Friday, 2/19, Saturday, 2/20 - "A" Team Tournament - Time & Location TBD

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

Thursday, 2/18, Friday, 2/19, Saturday, 2/20 - "A" Team Tournament - Time & Location TBD

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

Thursday, 2/18, Friday, 2/19, Saturday, 2/20 - "A" Team Tournament - Time & Location TBD

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

Thursday, 2/18, Friday, 2/19, Saturday, 2/20 - "A" Team Tournament - Time & Location TBD

MMS Whiz Quiz Wins District Finals!

Congratulations to the 7th grade Whiz Quiz team. They won against Rice Middle School with a score of 175 to 45.

Our team consists of captain Jacob Roy, Anish Dave, Venu Poruri, Sneha Mittal, Madeline Polimerou, Nazeeha Muhammed, and Sanjana Pemmaraju.

Amazing job!!!!

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Plano District Science and Engineering Fair Results

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Choir Pre-UIL Performances

In preparation for the University Interscholastic League Concert & Sight-reading competition, the A Cappella Women, Select Women, and Tenor-Bass Choirs will perform on Tuesday, February 23rd at Williams High School (1717 17th Street, Plano) along with Otto, Bowman, and Armstrong Middle Schools. All are welcome to attend the performances!

5:30 PM – A cappella Tenor-Bass Choir
6:30 PM – Select Treble Choir
7:15 PM – A cappella Women’s Choir

Cheerleading at MMS


7th graders! Yeah, 7th graders…..Does your 7th grader have tons of spirit? Does your 7th grader want to be part of an award winning team? We want to build the BIGGEST and BEST CHEER SQUAD in Plano! To be a cheerleader at Murphy, you do not have to try out and EVERYONE is welcome! You just have to be willing to want to work hard and have fun! All 7th grade students are invited bring and a few friends to Ms. Crawford’s room next Tuesday, February 23th at 3:30. Come learn all about being a Murphy Cheerleader. Come learn about being part of the BEST squad in PISD! An information packet will be handed out at the meeting outlining our program and expectations. Please email Lori Crawford or Dena McCutcheon with questions.


PACE Testing

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 large number of students testing, it is very important that students be present the day of their test. Additional information was sent home with your child last week.

Students may only bring the following to the DLR (NO BACKPACKS!):

1.) two sharpened #2 pencils with erasers

2.) a healthy snack to eat during our morning break

4.) bottled water

5.) possibly a sweater or jacket in case it is cold

6.) a sack lunch

7.) a good night’s sleep the evening before.

8.) a well-balanced breakfast the morning of testing

Book Fair!

The Spring Book Fair will be held February 25-March 3.

Please go to the MMS PTA website to volunteer to work a shift and help us put on a great Book Fair for our Murphy Mavericks! All proceeds from the book fair benefit the MMS Library.

To sign-up, go to and click on the red

“Click Here to Get Started” and then select the “Spring Book Fair” form.

Environmental Club Meets Tomorrow!

Environmental Club will be meeting this Friday in Mrs. Pilgrim’s room E113 from 3:30-4:40. Make sure to dress for working outside—all students are welcome. Also, continue to recycle old clothes, shoes, toys, belts, caps and pots and pans in the World Wear blue bin in the parking lot. Save the date: the City of Murphy’s Clean and Green recycling event will be Saturday, April 9th and the MMS Environmental Club will be helping with the recycling

Plano ISD - Parental Engagement Survey - Takes Less Than 5 Minutes To Complete

There are many ways in which parents may be involved in the education of their child. Extensive research has shown that activities such as reading and communicating with the child and setting expectations have the largest effect on student achievement. Other forms of parental involvement, such as attendance and participation in school functions, also contribute positively to achievement in school.

This Parental Engagement Survey will help us understand some of the ways in which parents are engaged in the education of their child. This information will guide us in providing support to the parents in our community.

With the 2015-2016 school year in mind, please take a moment to answer this brief survey.

Here are the links to the online survey:



Thank you for your participation.

8th Graders Interested In Trying Out For McMillen Cheerleader

Any 8th grader interested in trying out for McMillen Cheerleader can pick up a tryout packet in the front office beginning Thursday February 11th. There will be an informational parent meeting on Thursday March 3rd at 7:00PM in the McMillen High School cafeteria. Tryouts will be held April 4-8th. Please direct any questions to Lisa Lambert at

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!

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.”

Substance Abuse Prevention

In an attempt to put relevant, current, and important information concerning drugs and alcohol prevention directly in front of our parents, the Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists from PISD will be sharing information with principals that can then be shared with parents via eNews.

Here is the second edition:

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Information: “Did You Know”

Increasing Overdoses From Synthetic Cannabinoids (“Spice,” "K2,” etc.) in Several States.” Follow this link to learn more!

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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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Middle School Survey

The Plano Council of PTAs is asking for your feedback! Click below to complete a survey of middle school families in PISD. The Plano PTA would like to know how you feel about the quality of Plano schools, the richness of the curriculum and of extra-curricular activities, and your child's learning opportunities. Please help us understand your thoughts and ideas so we can direct our advocacy efforts in the right direction. The survey also has opportunities for open suggestions.

The survey will be active until March 31 - please complete it as soon as possible. Thank you!

PTA News & Updates

Important Dates:

February 19th - First Box Top Deadline of 2016

February 25th - Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night

February 29th - PTA Meeting 6:00 pm to elect the board for next year

February 29th - Murphy Middle School Open House and Raffle 6:30-8:00 pm

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Open House is February 29! Awesome Raffle Prizes Available!

Hope to see you February 29th at Open House. Please stop by and purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win amazing prizes. All proceeds will be used to bolster the Murphy Middle School Campus Enrichment Fund for teacher and student development. Raffle tickets can be purchased here:

PTA Earns President's List Award!

Murphy Middle School's PTA earned the distinguished 2015 President’s List Award from the Texas PTA for enrolling more members in our PTA than we had last year! This award is also to recognize that all of our MMS PTA members belong to the largest child advocacy organization in Texas and we also belong to one of the most successful local PTAs in the state! Congratulations MMS PTA!

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Book Fair!

Spring Book Fair is right around the corner, February 25th - March 3rd! Please sign-up to work a shift in the daytime or the evening of Open House and help us put on a great Book Fair for our Murphy Mavericks! All proceeds from the Book Fair benefit the MMS library.

To sign-up, go to and click on the red 'Click Here to Get Started' and then select the 'Spring Book Fair' form.

Thank you for your participation!

MMS PTA Library Coordinators

2016-2017 Officer Nomination Consideration Request

If you are interested in serving on the MMS PTA Board in any of the following positions, please contact Tanya Hartley, Chair of the MMS Nominating Committee, by Monday, February 15th. You can email or text 214-673-9198.

The Nominating Committee will post their proposed ballot on Monday, February 22nd. Voting will take place at the next General PTA Meeting on Monday, February 29th. Please take time to reflect and consider whether you would like to serve on the executive board. Should you have questions regarding these positions or if you would like to inquire about other chair or committee positions opening up that don’t require the vote of the general membership, please feel free to contact Tanya.

MMS Officer Positions


1st VP Programs

2nd VP Membership

3rd VP Ways and Means

4th VP Volunteer



Thank you!

—MMS Nominating Committee

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Hello, parents! Our school receives two checks from the Box Tops for Education™ program each school year. If you turn in your Box Tops before February 19th, 2016 you can help boost the amount of the second check we receive in March . Our school’s Box Tops have to be submitted by March 1, 2016 to be included in our next check. Hurry, clip your Box Tops and turn them in before the deadline. Just have your kids drop them off in the office. Thanks for your help!

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The Hospitality Committee is the volunteer of the month. The Hospitality members include Mindy Parker, Ann Mortel, Shannon Sadler and Amanda Conner.

Please thank them for the awesome job they are doing this year!

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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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