Thursday, April 24, 2014

Message from the Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents & a New Blog Link


We are pleased to share that Fourth Grade has a new blog.  To view Ms. Soucy's new "Fabulous Fourth Grade" blog, click here.  Once the fourth grade blog is displayed, you may subscribe to receive all future posts to this blog via email by entering your email address in the subscription box that appears on the right side of the 4th grade blog. You may also view Ms. Soucy's 4th grade blog by using the Fabulous Fourth Grade link that appears under SMS Teacher Blogs on the right side navigation bar of our school blog.


With 10 days left in this Connecticut  Legislative Session, the Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents had advised us that  it is MORE IMPORTANT than ever to make sure our collective Catholic School voice is heard. The Federation requests your support, please call your legislator TODAY! 

Below, the Federation outlines their current position on 2 important pieces of legislation.

We are grateful that SB 29, An Act Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State for Capital Improvements, Transportation and Other Purposes now includes language to allow non-public schools access to the school security funding.

Click here to view this bill.

• We respectfully request our Legislators support SB 29 because all students in Connecticut, regardless of where they go to school should be entitled to a safe learning environment.

Additionally, SB 46, An Act Concerning Pesticides on School Grounds, seeks to expand the ban on the use of lawn care pesticides in schools to include schools with students in grades nine to twelve, inclusive.
Click here to view this bill.

• We respectfully request our Legislators oppose SB 46 because expanding the ban on pesticides to our high schools would increase the risk of student injury due to a
deterioration of the fields, add an additional fiscal burden to pay for alternative pest management treatments and result in a costly conversion to turf.

Click here to help you locate your State Legislators. Please be sure to keep your message positive. Parents, grandparents, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to call or email their Legislators TODAY!

http://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

Thank you for your continued support of Connecticut's Catholic Schools. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Mary Roberts
Director

860-541-6310

mroberts@ctfederation.org



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

News for the Week of 4/ 23/14




Great results for a Great Cause - This year, SMS raised $5,762 for Jump Rope for Heart! Our congratulations to Ava Canning, Grade 1 for raising $325 for Jump Rope for Heart this year. Every single contribution to this great cause is important and we appreciate the efforts of every single participant but extra kudos to Ava for this amazing effort!








Our next school Mass will be the Feast of the Ascension on Thursday, May 29th.  We will worship with our Parish family at the 12:15 Mass.  Everyone is welcome to join us.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.  Please note that there will NOT be a school Mass on Friday, May16th.  This is a change to our school calendar.


Please join us in welcoming Ms. Brittany Soucy to our staff.  We are pleased to share that Ms. Soucy has been hired as our long-term substitute in fourth grade.  Ms. Soucy has worked in both public and magnet school settings and is excited to bring her experience and enthusiasm to our fourth grade.  We are confident that she will provide our grade 4 students with a challenging, joy filled, productive last quarter.  This week, Ms. Soucy will get acquainted with her new class in company with our current substitute teachers, Mrs. Mortillaro, Mrs. Mead and classroom assistant, Mrs. Hughes.   Her first official day as our fourth grade teacher will be Monday, April 28th.  Ms. Soucy may be reached via email at bsoucy@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.  She is excited to begin her assignment here at SMS and has her Teacher's Blog almost ready for launch. A quick link will be provided once the blog has been published.  Our thanks to Mrs. Mortillaro, Mrs. McNally and Mrs. Mead for all their help as substitute teachers during the last few weeks.  We would also like to extend special thanks to Mrs. Hughes for her invaluable assistance keeping important classroom routines running smoothly. 

Campus Facility Update -
We are excited to share that today was the first day our new portable classrooms were used by students. Fourth grade was the first class to use our new library.  In other facility related news, installation of the air conditioning in the Middle School classrooms is still pending but expected to begin shortly so that work is accomplished before summer heat arrives.  Installation of the new security gate at the entrance of the north (playground) parking lot is still pending as well.  We will advise when an installation date has been scheduled.

Used Uniform Exchange -  Just in time for our transition to the relaxed uniform, an updated Used Uniform Spreadsheet is available.  Click here.

Relaxed Uniform Reminders - Please keep in mind that while the Relaxed Uniform is more casual, a belt is required with walking shorts or slacks.  Additionally, school shoes, not sneakers, must be worn with the relaxed uniform.

IOWA testing begins Monday, 4/28 and continues through Monday, 5/5 for students in Grades 3 -7.  Tuesday, 5/6 and Wednesday, 5/7 are reserved for "make-ups" due to illness. While these tests are one important indicator of a student's academic progress, we do strongly encourage you to help your child(ren) approach these tests with a positive outlook of relaxed confidence.  Unlike many regular assessments, these tests cannot be "studied" for and the best preparation for them is a good night's rest and a healthy breakfast.  Students that may feel anxious should be reminded that these tests are just one measure of progress. Please also keep in mind that it is very important for students to arrive at school PROMPTLY by 8:40AM on IOWA testing days.  Late arrivals will not be permitted into a classroom if the testing has begun until there is a break.  Additionally, we ask that you try to avoid scheduling doctor and dentist visits during the testing period.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

IOWA Testing Snacks - Brain Food Needed!  Students in Grades 3-7 will take the IOWA tests from Monday, 4/28 - Monday, 5/5.  If you would like to contribute a healthy snack for students to enjoy during their break between test sessions, click here to sign up.

Grandparents' & Special Person's Day & May Crowning will be held on Friday, May 9th.  Guests are invited to worship at the 8am Parish Mass if desired and come across to the school by 8:40 to join us for community prayer and refreshments in the Parish Center.  After some student entertainment, guests will be welcome to visit in classrooms with their favorite students from 9:15 to 10:15.  At 10:15, all guests are invited to join us in the Church for our annual May Crowning prayer service.  The May Crowning will conclude our day's special activities at about 11am.  We hope many grandparents and special people can join us - no RSVP required! 



Calling all golfers!  Please join us on Thursday, May 29th at Hop Meadow Country Club for a day of golf, fellowship and fun.  The cost of $175 includes lunch, a golf shirt, happy hour and dinner.  You are welcome to register a foursome or an individual and we will be happy to pair you up with another golfer.  Please click here to download a registration form or click here to visit the Golf Tournament website.

We are also looking for sponsorships.  Sponsorships start at tee signs for $100 to lunch sponsors  at $1,000 to golf cart sponsors at $2,000.  Show your support for St. Mary's School and catholic education by sponsoring this year's tournament.  Click here for Sponsorship form.

CHOICE Program Update -  The 2013-14 CHOICE Program will end on Wednesday, April 30th.  Any purchases of CHOICE cards made until this date will be applied to this year's mandatory CHOICE contribution.  CHOICE statements highlighting whether your family has met its CHOICE obligation or has a balance due were sent out earlier this month.  If a balance remains after 4/30/14, you will receive a written statement letting you know the amount due to complete your obligation.  Purchases of CHOICE cards made after 4/30/14, will be applied to the the CHOICE obligation for the 2014-15 school year.

New CHOICE Vendor - We are pleased to share that $25 certificates to Maple Tree Café/Attilio's are now available for purchase at a 5% profit rate.
 Vacation Bible Camp is back! Save the dates of Monday through Thursday, June 23rd to June 26th.

Information will be available on the parish website and via quick link in this blog in the coming weeks. Registration begins in early May. If you are interested in helping or have questions, email Kerri Work at kwork@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.
Congratulations to the seven SMS Alumni that are currently studying Latin at Northwest Catholic High School who earned ratings of cum laude, magna cum laude, maxima cum laude or summa cum laude on the 2014 National Latin Exam. More than 150,000 students took the exam this year.

In Latin I, Brett Baker, Class of ’13, and Allyson Voelker, Class of ’13 earned summa cum laude status. Gabriela Doskos, Class of ’13, and Christopher Poniatowski, Class of ’13 earned maxima cum laude status.

In Latin II, Avery Hatch, Class of ’12 and Abby Herron, Class of ’12 earned magna cum laude status.

In Latin III-IV, David Kalamarides, Class of '11 earned maxima cum laude status.



Tyler D., grade 4, is officially one of 4 poster children as the face of the Jimmy Fund Brain Tumor Clinic. At this time, 2 events are underway to help raise funds for important brain cancer research

The first is the Stop and Shop Triple Winner game. Stop & Shop customers may purchase a scratch tickets ($1.00 Each) at check out. These tickets will always be a winner for the purchaser in that they will either give a valuable coupon, or as much as $5,000.00. ALL of these proceeds go to benefit Dana Farber, Stop and Shop Brain Tumor Clinic.

The second is our annual Geared up for Kids Ride 2014, which raises money for children affected with Brain Tumors in support of the PLGA Foundation. The funds raised are specifically targeted to directly affect and further groundbreaking research and clinical trials to find cures for affected children. Riders, Volunteers, and donors are all needed for this event. Click here to join "Team Tyler". All of the ride information is available at this link as well. This site makes donations, and sign ups a breeze. However, should you wish to donate via a check please make your check payable to the PLGA Foundation. Check donations may be sent to the Dalene family via kidmail so that the Dalenes may bring them to the event , or they can be mailed in support of “Team Tyler” to the foundation mailing address:

A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure Foundation
98 Random Farms Drive, Chappaqua, NY 10514
Phone: 914-762-3494

  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some End of Week Reminders - 4/10/14

 
 
 
 
 
 
A few reminders as we finish up the week of 4/9/14 -
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tomorrow, Friday, 4/10, our 8th grade students will present the Living Stations of the Cross at 2pm in the church for the student body.  Everyone is most welcome to attend.  Students in grades Kindergarten - 7 are requested to wear their formal uniform for this solemn prayer service.  Eighth grade students should follow the dress directions provided to them by Mrs. Gillen. 
 
The  Living Stations will also be presented at 7pm and there will be a  Soup and Bread Dinner sponsored by grade 8 in the Parish Center beginning at 5:30pm.  We hope many of you will be able to attend this very moving prayer service as a wonderful way to begin the spiritual reflection that is so important as we prepare for Holy Week.
 
 
 
All student iPads will remain at school over the spring break.  Any student that is beginning break early should turn his/her iPad in to the homeroom teacher before leaving today.
 
A final calendar reminder - Please keep in mind that Spring Vacation is from Monday, 4/14 - Friday, 4/18. School will be OPEN on Monday, 4/21.  The relaxed uniform can be worn beginning on Monday, 4/21.  Please be sure that a belt is worn with walking shorts and that school shoes (and socks) are worn with the relaxed uniform.  Sneakers are permissible only on PE days.
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

News for the week of 4/9/14


Today was Open House at St. Mary's & Assistant Principal, Miss Oria Buckley,
was on hand to welcome prospective families to our school and make them feel at home.
Calendar Reminders - 

School is closed for Spring vacation from Monday, April 14 - Friday, April 18.


School will be OPEN Monday, 4/21/14 & relaxed uniforms may be worn beginning on this date.

IOWA testing of students in grades 3 - 7 begins on Monday, 4/28 and continues through Monday, 5/5, with Tuesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 7 reserved for "makeups" due to illness.

Grandparents' & Special Person's Day & our annual May Crowning will be held on Friday, May 9th.  Look for more details coming after vacation.

Our May School Mass will be held on Friday, May 16th at 9am.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.





Living Stations of the Cross - One of Lent's most beautiful traditions is the Stations of the Cross.  St. Mary's Parish presents the Stations of the Cross on each Friday in Lent at 7pm in the church. Our 8th grade students would also like to invite you to our annual "Living Stations of the Cross".  This year, the Living Stations will be presented on Friday, April 11th at 2pm for the school community and at 7pm for the parish.  You are most welcome to attend either presentation.  The 7pm presentation will be preceded by a simple soup and bread dinner coordinated by the 8th grade.  The dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Parish Center.



 




This year, our spring vacation falls during Holy Week.  We would like to remind everyone that the Chrism Mass will be held at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hartford on Tuesday, 4/15/14 at 11am.  Everyone is welcome to attend this beautiful liturgy.  As noted in the Catholic Transcript on 4/21/11 - " The Chrism Mass manifests the fullness of the bishop's priesthood and signifies the close unity of the priests with him.  During the liturgy, the sacred oils that are used in sacraments are consecrated."  We hope many of you will prayerfully consider attending the Chrism Mass as a special way to prepare for the Easter Triduum.

Holy Week at St. Mary's Parish - We hope many of you will join in the beautiful traditions and liturgies of Holy Week.  Click here for the St. Mary's Parish schedule for Holy Week Services.

School Board Announces New Tuition & CHOICE Program Payment Policy -Ninety percent of the funding for St. Mary’s School comes from tuition and fundraising activities. Effective immediately, St. Mary’s community will put in place a policy regarding delinquent tuition and the Choice school fundraising effort. It is prudent for any institution to have clear policies so that they are clearly understood and can govern those few instances where issues may arise. While these kinds of instances are the exception at our school it is nonetheless important to have appropriate policies in place should they arise. Please click here to read the school board's announcement of this policy and the policy itself.

Grade 7 Munson's Fundraiser - Munson's Chocolates were ready for pick up on Friday, April 4th. If you were unable to pick up your order, it is being held in the school office. Please stop by to pick it up before Friday, 4/11/14 or contact Michele Sherbacow at 860-675-7545 or aemsherbacow@comcast.net to make other arrangements.  Please keep in mind that school office is sorely tempted by the presence of these goodies and cannot be held responsible for snacking. Thanks to everyone who supported this 7th grade fundraiser.




Spring Piano Lessons - Mr. Cosham has a couple of spots open for beginning piano students.  If you have someone interested in beginning the study of piano, please contact Mr. Cosham at bcosham@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.

Lost & Found - So sad.....a bag of snow clothes has been abandoned here at school.  The bag has a "London" print and contains a pair of black size 10 "grow along" Lands' End snowpants, a pair of purple boots, a multicolored scarf and a pair of hot pink gloves.  Even though it is unlikely the owner will needs these things again soon, we hope they will find their way back home.  Please stop by the office if these belong to your child.  They will be donated to charity if not claimed before April break.


Houston, Grade 5 is Ready for Take-Off.  Last week, Mr. Chris Doskos, father of Luke, Gr. 5, visited to enrich and enhance  science studies.  Mr. Doskos brought in a  prototype of a space suit. Mr. Doskos talked  about the evolution of the spacesuit and how and why it changed over the years. He also explained how a space suit is constructed. All of the students tried on a space glove.  Our thanks to Mr. Doskos for sharing his time and experience with our students.





Thursday, April 3, 2014

News for the Week of 4/3/14









Our April School Mass will be on Friday, 4/4/14, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee beginning at 8:30am in the Parish Center. Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.







Calendar Reminders

Report cards will be sent home Friday, 4/4/14.
School is closed for Spring vacation from Monday, April 14 - Friday, April 18.
School will be OPEN Monday, 4/21/14 & relaxed uniforms may be worn beginning on this date.
IOWA testing of students in grades 3 - 7 begins on Monday, 4/28 and continues through Monday, 5/5, with Tuesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 7 reserved for "makeups" due to illness.


Just in time for our Relaxed Uniform, Lands' End has announced a Penny Sale on logos from April 9-11.  Our School Logo is NOT REQUIRED but is permissible on the following uniform items:  polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, vests, and wind pants.  

When thinking about the Relaxed Uniform, please keep the following uniform guidelines in mind:  A belt must be worn with walking shorts and slacks.  School shoes should be worn with both the relaxed uniform and the formal uniform.  Sneakers are only acceptable on physical education days.  Socks are required with all foot ware. 

The Relaxed Uniform may be worn beginning Monday, 4/21/14.


Grade 7 Fundraising - Munson's Chocolate Pick Up - If you ordered Munson's Chocolates, they will be available for pick up on Friday, April 4th from 2:30pm - dismissal in the Parish Center kitchen.  If you will not be able to come in and pick up your order at that time or if you would like your order sent home with your student that rides the bus, please contact Michele Sherbacow at 860-675-7545 or aemsherbacow@comcast.net to make arrangements.  Thanks to all that supported this grade 7 fundraiser.



Observing the Holy Season of Lent - 

One Prayer a Day - Faculty, staff, administration and students have been invited by Mrs. Gannatti to share in a series of daily Lenten reflections.  
Click here if you would like an opportunity to share in these daily reflections.

Reconciliation - Again this year, throughout Lent the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at St. Mary's Church on each Monday evening from 6-7pm.  Students in grades 4-8 will also have the opportunity to receive this sacrament at school during this Lenten season.  Our thanks to our school chaplain, Father Santiago, for coordinating this.







Living Stations of the Cross - One of Lent's most beautiful traditions is the Stations of the Cross.  St. Mary's Parish presents the Stations of the Cross on each Friday in Lent at 7pm in the church. Our 8th grade students would also like to invite you to our annual "Living Stations of the Cross".  This year, the Living Stations will be presented on Friday, April 11th at 2pm for the school community and at 7pm for the parish.  You are most welcome to attend either presentation.  The 7pm presentation will be preceded by a simple soup and bread dinner coordinated by the 8th grade.  The dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Parish Center.











Do you know a family interested in St. Mary’s School?  Please encourage them to stop by for our St. Mary’s School Morning Open House on Wednesday, April 9th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, we invite interested parents and students to stop in for a cup of coffee and a look at our school. St. Mary’s offers traditional academics, 1:1 iPad technology, differentiated instruction and daily faith. We welcome interested families to stop by! Any questions, please call the school office at 860-658-9412.

Making Connections in Our Community - We are excited to share that we have partnered with the CT1 Media and the Hartford Courant to increase our media exposure in our area.  We have a brand new "landing page" on CT360 designed to spotlight our school when people search specific key words and geographic locations in Connecticut. Since the Hartford Courant is a frequent Google search, this partnership immediately increases  Click here to visit this landing page. 




St. Mary’s School Heavenly Day of Golf Tee Sponsors.  Help show your love of St. Mary’s School by signing up to be a tee sponsor for our tournament.  Sponsorships cost $100 and are a great way for parents, grandparents and friends to show their support for St. Mary’s School.  Please click here to register online or click here to download a sponsorship form.



Athletic News -

Blue Knight Night will be held on April 9th, 2014 from 6-8:30pm.

All basketball players from JVA and Varsity teams should attend wearing their game jerseys and shorts. Parents of these players will have the opportunity to play basketball against their children.

Coaches will be summarizing the team's season as well as handing out team awards.

Pizza and drinks will be provided at 6:00pm

Campus Facilities Update

Last week, we reported that construction of the access ramp for the modular units was expected to begin.  The weather last week resulted in a delayed start.  Construction of the ramp is now underway and we are all excited to get to the finish line soon!

From left, Emily, Audrey & Sophie - Grade 5 - proudly represented
SMS in the FMI All-State Gala Band.
St. Mary's Stars - Congratulations to the Instrumental Music students that recently participated in FMI's All-State Band Concert at Central Connecticut State University!  Again this year, St. Mary's was well represented at this prestigious all-state level with several of our musicians earning the distinction of first chair.  Over 310 instrumental music students from the state of Connecticut participated in this year's concert representing 51 Catholic schools. Our special congratulations to students who earned the distinction of being first "chair"for their instrumental section.  These include:  Joanna Kuziak, Grade 7.  Joanna was first chair Trombone in the prestigious FMI All-State Jazz Band.  Lindsey Voelker was first chair Flute in the All- State Symphonic Band.  Shayna Glazier, Grade 6, was first chair Alto Saxophone in the All-State Symphonic Band. Students that played in the Concert, Symphonic and Jazz Bands will now also play on the grounds of Lincoln Center in New York City at the end of May.  Our thanks to our school's FMI Instructor, Mrs. Debbie Morse, for all her hard work and dedication in helping our students prepare for this important event.  We would also like to applaud all those parents that supported their all-state musicians and made time for weekend and evening rehearsals that include driving to Manchester to make the concert possible.  To see a complete list of FMI All-State musicians from SMS, click here.




Spring Piano Lessons - Mr. Cosham has a couple of spots open for beginning piano students.  If you have someone interested in beginning the study of piano, please contact Mr. Cosham at bcosham@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.



Home & School Association News

Home & School Association News - Many thanks to the individuals who have accepted nominations to serve as HSA Board Officers for 2014-15. Elections for 2014-15 HSA Board Officers will be held on April 3rd   at the Home & School Meeting in the grade 8 classroom beginning at 6:00 pmNominees include:

President - Jennifer Pavlonnis
Co-Vice President - Ellen Bompane
Co-Vice President - Amy Lillis
Treasurer - Frank Conde
Recording Secretary - Noreen Kuziak
Corresponding Secretary - Beth Scully

To learn more about this year's nominees, click here.




Box Tops for Education – Have you been clipping your Box Tops?  Don’t forget that you can send them into your child’s classroom at any time!








Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents - The Federation is pleased to report that the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee voted yesterday in support of amending Section 9 of SB 29 and they have added an additional $12,000,000 to the program.

Over the next several weeks they are asking that you contact your Legislator to thank them for their support of HB 5564 and the amendment to Section 9 of SB 29- allowing non-public schools access to the School Security grant funding available to public schools.  Click here for more information.
Community News




Talcott Mountain Science Center invites you to an evening in their On the Shoulders of Giants series.  

Kerri L. Cahoy, PHD is an atmospheric scientist and Boeing Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.  Dr. Cahoy is also an alumna of the Talcott Mountain Science Academy.  Join the Academy on Thursday, April 10th at 7pm in welcoming her back and learning about her journey in science and her work on advances in her scientific field. 

 Click here for more information.








Partners in Faith - Click here for the April edition of Partners in Faith.



Spring Clean-Up at St. Mary's - Mark your calendars for the morning of April 5th. The St. Mary's Men's Prayer Group invites SMS dads and their families to join them after 8am Mass.  There will be coffee and donuts for all the volunteers who help clean up the church and school grounds in preparation for Easter.  More info to come, a fun service event for the whole family.



Northwest Catholic High School Invites You!  Bring the family for Circus fun! The Northwest Catholic Dramateurs will present Barnum from Friday, April 4th - Sunday, April 6th.    Each show will be preceded by a "carnival" an hour prior to performance time. Featured performers include SMS alumi, Matthew Sottile, Class of '12 as Ringmaster.  Also performing in the cast are Avery Hatch, Class of '12 and Ally Voelker, Class of '13.  Sarah Jessen, Class of '13, has contributed her artistic style to the show's creative and visually spectacular set. Gabriela Doskos, Class of '13, will be performing in the pit band. You won't want to miss Jumbo the Elephant's appearance! For more information and tickets, click here.




It's "elemental"
Have you ever heard of the molecule "caboron" or "bornitrodilithcar"?  The students in grade 5 have. In fact, they have invented these new molecules. During the study of atoms and molecules, the students constructed their own atoms based on the Periodic Table of Elements using marshmallows and pipe cleaners. After the construction of the atoms, students put these atoms together to develop the new molecules.  As they progress through the middle school science curriculum, they will come to understand why some creative combinations do not actually exist.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Reminders for the week of March 31




As we say good-bye to March, we are looking forward to a busy week ahead.  Please keep the following reminders in mind -





School will be closed on Wednesday, April 2, for a faculty in-service.

Mrs. Gannatti will be out of the office on Monday and Tuesday.  Mrs. Gore is the acting administrator in her absence.  Mrs. Gannatti is participating in an NEAS&C accreditation visit at All Saints School in Norwalk.  Mrs. Gannatti, Mrs. Gillen and Mrs. Gore have all completed the training necessary to participate in these visits.  This is very valuable for our school community since work on a visiting team affords an inside view of the operation of other schools and sometimes results in some great ideas for our school.  These visits also help us to prepare for our re-accreditation by highlighting areas that are of importance when evaluators visit.  Our next re-accreditation will be in 2018.  Mrs. Gannatti will be checking in regularly and will be promptly returning emails and phone calls when she returns to school on Thursday, 4/3.



All Yearbook Orders are due Monday, 3/31/14 - Click here for an order form.  The yearbook is a fabulous keepsake that features a photo of every student enrolled at St. Mary's and that showcases all the year's important events.  Students are always so excited when the yearbooks arrive and enjoy having all their friends and teachers sign their books.  Be sure your child(ren) don't miss out on this fun!







Our April School Mass will be on Friday, 4/4/14, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee beginning at 8:30am in the Parish Center. Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.







Hot Lunch Volunteer Sign Up Genius (for April 7--June 13) is now available for parents to sign up.
To sign up, click here.



Grade 7 Fundraising - Munson's Chocolate Pick Up - If you ordered Munson's Chocolates, they will be available for pick up on Friday, April 4th from 2:30pm - dismissal in the Parish Center kitchen.  If you will not be able to come in and pick up your order at that time or if you would like your order sent home with your student that rides the bus, please contact Michele Sherbacow at 860-675-7545 or aemsherbacow@comcast.net to make arrangements.  Thanks to all that supported this grade 7 fundraiser.

Home & School Association News - Many thanks to the individuals who have accepted nominations to serve as HSA Board Officers for 2014-15. Elections for 2014-15 HSA Board Officers will be held on April 3rd.  Ballots will be available all day in the school office, and elections will be held at the April Home & School Meeting in the grade 8 classroom beginning at 6:00 pm. Nominees include:

President - Jennifer Pavlonnis
Co-Vice President - Ellen Bompane
Co-Vice President - Amy Lillis
Treasurer - Frank Conde
Recording Secretary - Noreen Kuziak
Corresponding Secretary - Beth Scully

To learn more about this year's nominees, click here.



CHOICE Program News - The GL Scrip Center will be closed for vacation. Please be sure to get any special orders (Scrip orders) turned into the office NLT Tuesday, April 1st Any orders placed by April 1st will arrive the following week.  Ordered placed after 4/1/14 will not be placed until GL Scrip reopens on 4/14/14.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

News for the Week of 3/26/14







Kindergarten students spent last week thinking about Spring!  Students used a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and ideas.  They discussed what they see in Spring, what they hear in Spring, what they play in the Spring, and what they like to do in the Spring.  They then used the graphic organizer to create a video using the Educreations app on their iPad.  They wrote their sentences and then illustrated.  Once they were done they recorded themselves reading their story!








Our April School Mass will be on Friday, 4/4/14, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee beginning at 8:30am in the Parish Center. Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.


Observing the Holy Season of Lent - 

One Prayer a Day - Faculty, staff, administration and students have been invited by Mrs. Gannatti to share in a series of daily Lenten reflections.  
Click here if you would like an opportunity to share in these daily reflections.

Reconciliation - Again this year, throughout Lent the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at St. Mary's Church on each Monday evening from 6-7pm.  Students in grades 4-8 will also have the opportunity to receive this sacrament at school during this Lenten season.  Our thanks to our school chaplain, Father Santiago, for coordinating this.







Living Stations of the Cross - One of Lent's most beautiful traditions is the Stations of the Cross.  St. Mary's Parish presents the Stations of the Cross on each Friday in Lent at 7pm in the church. Our 8th grade students would also like to invite you to our annual "Living Stations of the Cross".  This year, the Living Stations will be presented on Friday, April 11th at 2pm for the school community and at 7pm for the parish.  You are most welcome to attend either presentation.  The 7pm presentation will be preceded by a simple soup and bread dinner coordinated by the 8th grade.  The dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Parish Center.



Assistant Principal, Miss Oria Buckley, is not letting the
pending installation of an access ramp keep her from
carefully monitoring the progress in our modular units. 







Campus Facility Updates - We are excited to share a progress report in regard to our new modular classrooms. This week, we expect construction of the access ramp to begin.  Once construction is complete, the town's building inspector will be able to complete final inspection and issue a Certificate of Occupancy.  Our Parish Business Manager, Mr. Heiden, is hopeful that our formal "opening" of the units will be able to happen during the first week of April.  The units have received brand new furniture.  Our thanks to Mr. Ralph Chappano for helping make this furniture available at a very reasonable cost.

Miss Buckley provided PreK teacher, Miss Roxanne Kane, with
a tour of the new modular units.  Miss Buckley is very pleased with
the quality of the new furniture in the library but does have some
concern regarding the number of chairs available in the Music classroom.
She has assurance from her administrative team that adequate seating will
be available when the units open for use!
There are other significant changes coming to our campus soon.  Mr. Heiden has advised us that a new gate will be installed at the entrance of the carpool lot.  This installation is expected to occur as early as this week. This gate will effectively "close" our parking lot during our school day, better assuring student safety and improving campus security.

Mr. Heiden, in conjunction with our Home & School Association, is preparing the request to the Archbishop to obtain the necessary approval to proceed with construction of our new playground. We are all looking forward to this new recreation area for our students and we continue to anticipate that it will be ready for use when school opens on August 27th - just think of the smiles during that first recess of a brand new school year!  Our continued thanks to Mrs. Thompson for chairing our Playground Committee and to all of you for your generous support of this project at this year's auction and associated fund raising activities.

Finally, Mr. Heiden has advised us that air conditioning will be installed during our Spring Break in grades 5-8. Our thanks to all that supported the 2013 HSA Auction that generated the funding for this project and to Mrs. Pavlonnis for her work with Mr. Heiden to schedule this installation.



DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING! Reserve a copy of this year's Yearbook!  All orders must be in by Monday, 3/31.  They make great gifts for the graduate, end of year class gifts to your class' teacher and a reward for your favorite student(s) for completing a successful school year.  The children love to see themselves and their friends pictured  throughout the 2013-2014 school year.  Books are $28 each.  Click here for your order form.  A maximum of 151 books are ordered so be sure to reserve yours now.




Do you know a family interested in St. Mary’s School?  Please encourage them to stop by for our St. Mary’s School Morning Open House on Wednesday, April 9th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, we invite interested parents and students to stop in for a cup of coffee and a look at our school. St. Mary’s offers traditional academics, 1:1 iPad technology, differentiated instruction and daily faith. We welcome interested families to stop by! Any questions, please call the school office at 860-658-9412.



Calling all golfers!  Please join us on Thursday, May 29th at Hop Meadow Country Club for a day of golf, fellowship and fun.  The cost of $175 includes lunch, a golf shirt, happy hour and dinner.  You are welcome to register a foursome or an individual and we will be happy to pair you up with another golfer.  Please click here to download a registration form or click here to visit the Golf Tournament website.

We are also looking for sponsorships.  Sponsorships start at tee signs for $100 to lunch sponsors  at $1,000 to golf cart sponsors at $2,000.  Show your support for St. Mary's School and catholic education by sponsoring this year's tournament.  Click here for Sponsorship form.


Athletic News -

Blue Knight Night will be held on April 9th, 2014 from 6-8:30pm.
All basketball players from JVA and Varsity teams should attend wearing their game jerseys and shorts. Parents of these players will have the opportunity to play basketball against their children.
Coaches will be summarizing the team's season as well as handing out team awards.
Pizza and drinks will be provided at 6:00pm


Home & School Association News

Many thanks to the individuals who have accepted nominations to serve as HSA Board Officers for 2014-15. Elections for 2014-15 HSA Board Officers will be held on April 3rd.  Ballots will be available all day in the school office, and elections will be held at the April Home & School Meeting in the grade 8 classroom beginning at 6:00 pm. Nominees include:

President - Jennifer Pavlonnis
Co-Vice President - Ellen Bompane
Co-Vice President - Amy Lillis
Treasurer - Frank Conde
Recording Secretary - Noreen Kuziak
Corresponding Secretary - Beth Scully

To learn more about this year's nominees, click here.


Thank you to everyone who attended the "Uncorked"  Wine Tasting event last Friday, 3/21/14.  A special thanks to Sarah Mutarelli and Laura Williams for organizing the event, and to Pi Patel of Avon Wine and Liquors for donating the tasting wines and glassware, as well as organizing the raffle.  It was a lovely evening and a great way to raise some money for our new playground!


CHOICE Program News

All families with students enrolled in grades Kindergarten - Grade 8 are required to participate in the CHOICE program as part of their tuition obligation. We are nearing the end of our 2013-2014 earning period. April 30 is the deadline to make purchases towards this year's obligation or make your "opt-out" payment.  If you have any questions about your family's CHOICE obligation or the CHOICE program, please contact Tammy Budnick at the school office or at tbudnick@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.


Community News -


Parental Resource - There's an App for that!  Parents are often at a loss as to how to determine if an app, a game or other form of media like a movie is appropriate for their child(ren).  There is a free app available for iPads and iPhones called "Kids Media" from Common Sense Media.  This app allows you to search media by name and get reviews as to whether the product is age appropriate and the type of content it includes.  The reviews are detailed and specifically outline the type of content you can expect.  Common Sense Media also has a web site that is full of helpful resources for parents - www.commonsensemedia.org.


Spring Clean-Up at St. Mary's - Mark your calendars for the morning of April 5th. The St. Mary's Men's Prayer Group invites SMS dads and their families to join them after 8am Mass.  There will be coffee and donuts for all the volunteers who help clean up the church and school grounds in preparation for Easter.  More info to come, a fun service event for the whole family.




Northwest Catholic High School Invites You!  The Northwest Catholic Dramateurs will present Barnum from Friday, April 4th - Sunday, April 6th.  Featured performers include SMS alumi, Matthew Sottile, Class of '12 as Ringmaster.  Also performing in the cast are Avery Hatch, Class of '12 and Ally Voelker, Class of '13.  For more information and tickets, click here.

April Vacation Fun - Join the Spring Fling at the Community Farm of SimsburySpring Fling at the farm is a two day mini-­‐camp for students 3 years old through 6th grade.  Click here for a downloadable version of the registration.



First Grade Gets a Very Special Delivery! This week the mail carrier delivered a very important envelope for the first grade class at St. Mary's School. It was a letter from the president of the United States! How exciting! President Obama thanked the students for their insightful letters. As Mrs. Jehnings stresses to her students ....writing is powerful! You never know where it may take you.....it may even reach the White House!