Murphy Middle School eNews

December 16, 2015

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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!

Leaving Early During Final Exam Week

Parents, we would really appreciate your help with continuing a rather new tradition here at Murphy Middle School. In the past, students and parents have been under the impression that it is acceptable for students to miss partial days during exam week. This is not the case as these days are required, and students are expected to attend. Students being picked up in large numbers places stress on the front office, stretches our staff and student aides, and can inadvertently weaken our school security.

That being said, students are expected to attend full days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (December 15-17) and from 8:30 – 12:45 on Friday, December 18. Class time missed will be recorded as unexcused unless the absence meets the requirements for being documented as excused.

I truly appreciate your help in this matter because the ultimate decision regarding students leaving campus early on those days is in your hands. If you have individual questions, please direct those to your grade level counselor.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation,

Dr. Perry

Plano ISD Facilities and Technology Study Task Force Seeks Parent and Community Feedback

Dear Parents,

The Facilities and Technology Study Task Force, assembled by the Plano ISD Board of Trustees in August, is hosting a public hearing to gather community input as they evaluate district needs with regard to a possible bond initiative. I encourage our parent community to attend this public forum, as this will be your opportunity to provide feedback or ask questions related to the committee’s work of reviewing enrollment trends and projections, as well as establishing construction, renovation and technology needs. The hearing will be hosted as follows:

Facilities and Technology Study Task Force Public Hearing
Thursday, December 17, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
Plano Senior High School Doyle Dean Performing Arts Center
2200 Independence Pkwy, Plano, TX 75075

Speaker cards will be required from all who wish to speak at the hearing and will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. through the end of the meeting.

Additional opportunities for input are available at the regular school board meetings scheduled for January 12 and February 2, 2016, and via district e-mail at For more information on the work of the Facilities and Technology Study Task Force, please visit the Plano ISD website at:

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Murphy Middle School Events & Information

Secondary Transfer Online Numbering System - Opened Monday, December 14 at 6:30 a.m. Parents must log onto the PISD website at to receive a number. See document attached to eNews email for further information.

Final Exams - Tuesday, December 15 - Friday, December 18

Winter Break for Students - Monday, December 21 through Monday, January 4 (no school for students on Monday, January 4)

Teachers return to work - Monday, January 4

Athletic Events - December & 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, 1/7 vs. Robinson at MMS

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, 1/7 vs. Robinson at Robinson

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)

Wednesday, 1/6 vs. Robinson at MMS

Monday, 1/11 vs. Rice at Rice

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)

Wednesday, 1/6 vs. Robinson at Robinson

Monday, 1/11 vs. Rice at MMS

Tuesday, 1/19 vs. Schimelpfenig at Schimelpfenig

Monday, 1/25 vs. Renner at Renner

Reflections Results – District Level

Congratulations to the following Murphy Students for their awards at the district level of the PTA reflections competition!

Dance Choreography

Riley Wilburn – 6th Grade – Award of Merit

Music Composition

Noah Henson – 8th Grade – Honorable Mention

Film Production

Carole Walker – Grade 6 – Honorable Mention


Hailey Baldwin – Grade 8 – Award of Excellence

Alex Dauenbaugh – Grade 8 – Honorable Mention


Raishma Kazi – Grade 8 – Award of Merit

Elena Hamlin – Grade 8 – Award of Merit

Katherine Creevy – Grade 8 – Honorable Mention

Madelyn Osborne – Grade 8 – Honorable Mention

Visual Arts

Shruti Rajamani – Grade 7 – Award of Excellence

Nitya Lohia – Grade 8 – Award of Excellence

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PISD Education Foundation Grant (written by Karyn Collins) Provides New Titles For 6th Grade ELA Classroom Libraries

Murphy’s 6th grade English Language Arts Department recently won a $1500 grant from the Plano Education Foundation. With this grant, the teachers were able to purchase about 350 new, popular titles for their classroom libraries. What a wonderful chance to foster a life-long love of reading with our students through these exciting and engaging titles! A special thanks goes out to Karyn Collins for writing the grant and making it all possible. The picture here represents the approximate number of books that EACH teacher was able to acquire for their classroom library.

Soccer Club Registration Now Open!

Team and individual player registration is now open!

Use Google Classroom code nxy9sr to view the Club newsfeed and fill out online registration forms (Word docs are available for printing).

All teams and/or players must submit the following by Friday January 8th to Mrs. Isbell (K103) or Mr. Murtaugh (B129):

· Team or individual application (online or paper)

· Permission form signed (paper only)

· Registration fee ($20 team or $2 individual player)

8 v 8 Games on Fridays beginning January 22nd!

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.”

6th grade Science Fair (Student Handbook Attached to eNews email)

Any sixth grader interested in competing in the Science/Engineering Fair will need to ask their Science teacher for a packet. All projects are due on Tuesday, January 12th in the MMS library. Any questions? See Mrs. Pilgrim.

The Student Handbook for the Science Fair is attached to the original eNews email.

Science and Engineering Fair Winners

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PACE Testing

Spring PACE testing referral packets are now available in the front office or through the website,

All referral packets are due by January 13th to Mr. Matisoff in N101. PACE testing at MMS will occur on February 29th for all students. Students should currently be in or plan on taking at least one honor’s class before deciding to test. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Matisoff, Murphy’s PACE Specialist.

Dress For Success!

The right clothes can boost our confidence, and now studies show it may even help us to focus. Knowing the right clothes to wear in professional situations can be make or break. Wednesday January 6 is the next Murphy Dress for Success day. Let's start the new semester off focused on success!

InfoCenter - Managing Communications From Your Child's School & From the District

Plano ISD has implemented InfoCenter, allowing you to better control how you receive communications from your school or district. The following is a guide to help you get started.

What is InfoCenter?: InfoCenter provides access to all the messages and information sent by your organization. Accessible from any internet-enabled device, InfoCenter visually displays and organizes alerts, notifications, and attachments for easy review and reference. InfoCenter also allows you to customize how you receive communications from PISD (campus and district).

How do I sign up for InfoCenter?: Signing up for InfoCenter is easy. Using the email address that you have on file for your district (emergency card), follow these three steps:

1. Download the InfoCenter by SchoolMessenger app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Market. You can also access the InfoCenter web portal at

2. Click the “New User” button, enter your email address, and create a password. An email will be sent to that address with a secure token. Note: If you receive an “already claimed by another user account” error message that means you’ve already created a SchoolMessenger account via another SchoolMessenger product, such as Contact Manager. Simply follow the “Return to login” link and login. Use the “Forgot your password” link if needed.

3. After authenticating via the token sent to your email, return to InfoCenter and sign in using your email and password.

What’s in InfoCenter?:Once you’ve created your account, the records associated with your email address will be linked automatically. You can then:

  • View the records associated with your account.
  • Review the last 30 days worth of messages for all your associated records.
  • View your contact information, and configure how you’d like to receive notifications.

Important Things to Know:

  • Regardless of how you choose to receive notifications, all messages associated with your records will be retained in the InfoCenter inbox for 30 days.
  • You can opt into receiving Device Notifications (Push) under Notification Preferences. When choosing to receive Device Notifications, a badge or alert will appear when you receive new communications from Plano ISD.

Our provider, SchoolMessenger, makes the security and privacy of your data a top priority. As one of over 100 approved signatories to Student Privacy Pledge, you can feel ensured that your student’s information is safe and will never be sold, rented or shared.

So Many Ways To Be Involved - MMS Clubs (Updated List)

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

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PTA News & Updates

Important Dates:

December 17th - Chick-fil-A Spirit Night

January 12th - General PTA Meeting at 6:30 p.m. & Parent’s Program at 7

PTA Parent Program on January 12

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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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