Wednesday, July 29, 2020

News for the Week of 7/29/20





Getting Ready for a New School Year - 

IMPORTANT CALENDAR CHANGES!

The first day of school is now set for Monday, August 31 and that whole week will be full days of school complete with Early Drop off and After Care. The last day of school with the required planning for 5 snow days is June 15. If we have zero snow days then it is June 8.

Meet and Greet for students entering PK3, PreK, K-5 along with Morning in Middle School for rising 6th graders and students new to our 7th and 8th grades will be held on Friday, August 28.  Look for specific details regarding these events coming soon.

All families are strongly encouraged to regularly check the school's Google calendar for updates!

*  Be sure to check in on our school's Back to School Page on a regular basis for all the news you need about our new school year. 

*  Our school website now includes a COVID-19 Page.  Head over to this page to read our school's latest updates about COVID-19 planning.

Back to School email packets will be on their way to all families that have completed enrollment.  We anticipate that these email packets will be sent out mid-August and will contain all the usual "Back to School" forms along with your credentials for the Educonnect Parent Portal.  If you have not yet returned your Family Enrollment Form & Fee, please do so at your earliest convenience to assure receipt of this email packet.  If COVID-19 is impacting your family's ability to complete enrollment, please contact Mrs. Williamson.

School Supply Lists are available on the "Back to School" Page, including newly posted lists for Grades 6, 7, & 8 and PreK and PK3's.  
 Click here to visit the "Back to School" Page. 

PreKindergarten Uniforms Now Available!  We are excited to announce that this year, our 5 day PreK program will join the rest of our students and look sharp and smart in a Lands End uniform.  Click here for the uniform guidelines.  Please note that students enrolled in our Tuesday/Thursday PreK3 program do not have to purchase uniforms.  PreK3 students should wear comfortable, easy to manage play clothes that are appropriate for school. 

New Relaxed Uniform Option for Girls in K- 4!  Girls in Kindergarten through grade 4 may now wear the Lands End School Short Sleeve Mesh Polo Dress in Blue or Classic Navy. This is Lands End ITEM #473151BP1 is available in sizes 2T or 3T & Youth 4-6X. Please note this is an "option" not a required uniform item. Girls in these grades may also still choose the navy walking shorts or skort with white polo.


Lands End Uniform Sale! Through August 28th, Lands End is offering a 20% discount on all uniforms, with backpacks 50% (Use CODE:  BACKPACK and PIN:  7420).  Please be sure to use our school code when shopping for uniforms to assure the proper styles are selected.  Our school code is 900132150.  Don't forget to get your CHOICE cards before you shop to help reach your family's CHOICE commitment.



Please take a few minutes to complete our survey.  Click here.




2019-20 Yearbooks are Available for Pick Up!  
This year's yearbooks were delayed at Lifetouch due to the pandemic but have now arrived at school.  You may pick up yearbooks during summer office hours:  Tues-Thurs from 9am-1pm.  Please come to the school's main entrance, ring the bell and identify yourself.  We will bring your yearbook(s) to you.  Forget to order a yearbook?  A limited number of extra yearbooks are available first come/first serve.  Please contact the school office to reserve a yearbook.  The price is $35 and checks should be made payable to St. Mary's School with Yearbook in the memo section.







Wednesday, July 1, 2020

News for the Week of 7/1/20





Congratulations & All God's Blessings to the SMS Class of '20!



Congratulations to our students and the children of St. Mary's Parish who have received their First Holy Communion.




Summer Office Hours - We are happy to share that the school office is open for summer office hours. The office is staffed Tuesday - Thursday each week from 9am - 1pm (or by appointment).  Please plan to come to the main school office door behind the Magowan Center and ring the bell. We will meet you at the door if you are coming to drop something off or to pick up something.  Other visitors will be admitted to the office.  If possible, please call the office or send an email prior to your visit so we are expecting you and can minimize the need for contact. All visitors do need to wear a mask.

CHOICE cards will be available during school office hours.  When possible, please call ahead or send an email to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net so that we can prepare your order in advance and hand it to you at the door.



Looking ahead to a new school year!  At this time, our plan is for school to resume on Wednesday, August 26th.  We are hopeful that it will be a regular full day of school with both early drop off and aftercare available.  Obviously, our plans will be adjusted if we need to comply with health and safety instructions from the state or federal government, Simsbury town officials or the Office of Education, Evangelization & Catechesis.  We encourage you to regularly read the school blog and also to check the blog's Back to School page.  The Back to School page includes links to supply lists and any summer assignments as well as calendar updates and other important information regarding our new school year.



Final report cards are available on the Educonnect Parent Portal.  Please keep in mind that no paper report card is mailed home and that the report cards will only be available through Friday, July 3.  After that date, Educonnect will be "promoted" for the coming school year and this year's report cards will not be available for you to display.





#uKnighted & Growing!  We are accepting applications for admission for the 2020-21 school year.  If you know a family that is searching for a warm, safe, faith based community that will provide an excellent education, please tell them about us and then, take advantage of our Family Referral Program. Prospective families can call to make an appointment for a campus tour or take a virtual tour.  If a family is ready to apply, our application form is ready for them on-line! 



Community News


This weekend, July 4-5, St. Mary's will begin to celebrate Sunday Masses following the regular schedule: Saturday at 5pm; Sunday at 8am, 9:30am and 11am.   For initial Sunday Masses, please use the sign up genius as attendance is limited to 90. The purpose of signing up is to let you see how many people are attending Mass and to assure adequate seating with recommended social distancing. 

As of 6/29/20, regular morning Mass at 8am has resumed.  There is no need to sign up for daily Mass, and you may attend as often as you wish. Please enter the church by the Magowan Center. There will be no further evening Masses.

 For more information, including required safety precautions and how to sign up to attend Mass, click here.

For additional Parish resources related to Covid-19, click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

News for the Week of 6/24/20





Summer Office Hours - We are happy to share that the school office is open for summer office hours. The office is staffed Tuesday - Thursday each week from 9am - 1pm (or by appointment).  Please plan to come to the main school office door behind the Magowan Center and ring the bell. We will meet you at the door if you are coming to drop something off or to pick up something.  Other visitors will be admitted to the office.  If possible, please call the office or send an email prior to your visit so we are expecting you and can minimize the need for contact. All visitors do need to wear a mask.

CHOICE cards will be available during school office hours.  When possible, please call ahead or send an email to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net so that we can prepare your order in advance and hand it to you at the door.




Looking ahead to a new school year!  At this time, our plan is for school to resume on Wednesday, August 26th.  We are hopeful that it will be a regular full day of school with both early drop off and aftercare available.  Obviously, our plans will be adjusted if we need to comply with health and safety instructions from the state or federal government, Simsbury town officials or the Office of Education, Evangelization & Catechesis.  We encourage you to regularly read the school blog and also to check the blog's Back to School page.  The Back to School page includes links to supply lists and any summer assignments as well as calendar updates and other important information regarding our new school year.


Final report cards are available on the Educonnect Parent Portal.  Please keep in mind that no paper report card is mailed home and that the report cards are only available until the end of June.  At the end of June, Educonnect will be "promoted" for the coming school year and this year's report cards will not be available for you to display.

Summer Book Club -
Mrs. Mortillaro is launching an online book club this summer for our intermediate and middle school students. Her plans are for 1 book group for students entering 4th, 5th or 6th grade and 1 book group for students entering 7th and 8th grade.  Each group will meet through a Zoom meeting one morning a week for 45 minutes, intermediate 9:30-10:15, middle school 10:30-11:15 once a week on Wednesdays. If this schedule doesn't work well, she will adjust times to suit the majority of participants. Students are expected to keep up with the reading throughout the week, so that we may discuss covered chapters on our Zoom meetings. We will try to get through books in a few weeks, so there will be approximately 100 pages a week in independent reading, maybe more.

The plan is to begin with the current Nutmeg nominees, she will send you the title of the first book to be read once you have shown interest. The first week will be a Zoom read aloud to get us started and to give everyone a chance to get their books. If you would like to participate, please send an email to Mrs. Mortillaro at mmortillaro@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.  This is meant to be a fun thing to do together, and keep us all reading. Don’t worry if you will be on vacation, the club can catch you up, if you will be around some weeks, maybe you do one book, and skip the next book. You can commit book by book.

Community News


Next weekend, July 4-5, St. Mary's will begin to celebrate Sunday Masses following the regular schedule: Saturday at 5pm; Sunday at 8am, 9:30am and 11am.
This coming Monday, June 29th , regular morning Mass at 8am will resume.

There is no need to sign up for daily Mass, and you may attend as often as you wish. Please enter the church by the Magowan Center. There will be no further evening Masses.

For initial Sunday Masses, please use the sign up genius as attendance is limited to 90. The purpose of signing up is to let you see how many people are attending Mass and to assure adequate seating with recommended social distancing.  For more information, including required safety precautions and how to sign up to attend Mass, click here.

For additional Parish resources related to Covid-19, click here.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

News for the Week of 6/17/20




Summer is finally here!  We hope your first week of summer has been relaxing.  We are so grateful for all you did since the middle of March to facilitate distance learning in your homes.  As we begin planning for our new school year, please know that your partnership with us and trust in us are greatly valued.  #uKnighted

Thanks to all who helped our Turn In Saturday go so smoothly last Saturday.  If you were unable to bring back your school iPad cord & charger and textbooks and other items including sports uniforms, please contact the school office and let us know when you will be bringing these items and picking up your "left at school" items.

Final report cards will be available on the Educonnect Parent Portal by the end of this week.  Please keep in mind that no paper report card will be mailed home and that the report cards are only available until the end of June.  At the end of June, Educonnect will be "promoted" for the coming school year and this year's report cards will not be available for you to display.






Summer Office Hours - We are happy to share that the school office is open for summer office hours. The office is staffed Tuesday - Thursday each week from 9am - 1pm (or by appointment).  Please plan to come to the main school office door behind the Magowan Center and ring the bell. We will meet you at the door if you are coming to drop something off or to pick up something.  Other visitors will be admitted to the office.  If possible, please call the office or send an email prior to your visit so we are expecting you and can minimize the need for contact. All visitors do need to wear a mask.

CHOICE cards will be available during school office hours.  When possible, please call ahead or send an email to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net so that we can prepare your order in advance and hand it to you at the door.




Looking ahead to a new school year!  At this time, our plan is for school to resume on Wednesday, August 26th.  We are hopeful that it will be a regular full day of school with both early drop off and aftercare available.  Obviously, our plans will be adjusted if we need to comply with health and safety instructions from the state or federal government, Simsbury town officials or the Office of Education, Evangelization & Catechesis.  We encourage you to regularly read the school blog and also to check the blog's Back to School page.  The Back to School page includes links to supply lists and any summer assignments as well as calendar updates and other important information regarding our new school year.




Alumni News - Shayna Glazier, SMS Class of  '16, received her diploma from Simsbury High School on Friday with the National Honor Society Seal and the Connecticut State Seal of Biliteracy.  She wore Honor Cords representing National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.

She will be attending Quinnipiac University in the fall, majoring in Psychology.  She was accepted into the Accelerated 3+2 Dual Degree program to earn her Bachelor's degree in 3 years and her Masters of Social Work in 2 years.

Community News


Sunday Mass will begin next week (July 4 & 5) at St. Mary's Church.

Next weekend, July 4-5, St. Mary's will begin to celebrate Sunday Masses following the regular schedule: Saturday at 5pm; Sunday at 8am, 9:30am and 11am.

This Monday, June 29th , regular morning Mass at 8am will resume.

There is no need to sign up for daily Mass, and you may attend as often as you wish. Please enter the church by the Magowan Center. There will be no further evening Masses.

For initial Sunday Masses, please use the sign up genius as attendance is limited to  90. The
purpose of signing up is to let you see how many people are attending Mass and to assure adequate seating with recommended social distancing.  For more information, including required safety precautions and how to sign up to attend Mass, click here.

For additional Parish resources related to Covid-19, click here.





GoodKNIGHT Stories are available on SCTV in June! You can now enjoy our GoodKNIGHT stories on SCTV as well as on our public Facebook page (Facebook stories are at 7pm every Monday - Friday night until our last day of school on June 11).  You can check the SCTV schedule here.   For quick reference, 7pm on channel 95 (Educational channel) and 8pm channel 5 public channel.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

News for the Week of 6/10/20




Click here for the full text of Archbishop Blair's statement.  Click here to view
a video featuring Simsbury clergy speaking out against racism.

Prayer to Overcome the Evil of Racism

Mary, friend and mother to all,
through your Son, God has found a way
to unite himself to every human being,
called to be one people,
sisters and brothers to each other.
We ask for your help in calling on your Son,
seeking forgiveness for the times when
we have failed to love and respect one another.
We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son
the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism
and to build a just society.
We ask for your help in following your Son,
so that prejudice and animosity
will no longer infect our minds or hearts
but will be replaced with a love that respects
the dignity of each person.
Mother of the Church,
the Spirit of your Son Jesus
warms our hearts:
pray for us.
citation:
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops

The Office of Education, Evangelization & Catechesis has shared some helpful resources for talking with children about the sin of racism and the importance of recognizing the dignity of each person.   We hope you will find these resources helpful.

"The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer has the nation recognizing that racial injustices still exist in our country and need to be addressed. The Catholic Church stands in solidarity against all forms of injustice. Children easily become aware of what is happening in our world and can become confused, frightened and upset." OEEC Newsletter 6/3/20
Click on the links below to access resources:



SMS Turn in/Pick-up Day - On Saturday, June 13, we will be collecting school iPads, iPad chargers & cords, sports uniforms and all non-consumable textbooks, SMS library books and SMS owned classroom supplies that may have been sent home for distance learning (e.g., dry erase boards, geoboards, classroom library books).  Eighth grade students will receive their caps and gowns!  

We will also be distributing student items that may have been left at school, including medications left with our school nurse, to all families.  The rain date for this activity is Sunday, June 14. IF the rain date is needed, there will be a Remind Text and a family email sent as soon as the decision is made.

Homeroom teachers will be providing a list of non-consumables and classroom items(e.g., hard cover text books, classroom library books) that should be returned.  Please take the time to review this list and as you prepare for Turn in/Drop off, please keep the following requests in mind:

*  Please be sure all items being returned are clearly identified with a student's full name & grade.  

*  iPad chargers and cords should be returned in a ziplock bag that contains the full name and grade of the student.  

*  Textbooks should have the student's name written in the appropriate area of the inside front cover.  

Please note that replacement costs will be charged for any and all missing items and unmarked items may result in us having to assume an item was not returned by a student.  If you know that a designated item is missing or mislaid, please send an email to the homeroom teacher with a copy to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net so that we are aware that you are looking for an item and that it may still be returned to us.

 We will use the same traffic pattern and the same alphabetical groups that were used for the Reverse Parade though the timing will be different. 

10am -12noon families with last names beginning with A-H & all PreK & PK3 families WITHOUT older siblings (families with students in Prek, PK3 and other grades should come in the appropriate alphabetical grouping)

12 noon - 2pm  families with last names beginning with I-N

 2-4pm  families with last names beginning with O-Z

This will be a drive up activity with minimal contact.  All faculty and staff will wear masks since they will approach your cars to receive or distribute items. All participants must remain in their cars. 

All cars should enter via the rectory entrance from either Hopmeadow St. or Iron Horse Blvd. (as is done for afternoon carpool pickup).  There will be two stations  outside the school's main entrance behind the Magowan Center:

Station 1 - All items being returned to school EXCEPT iPads and chargers/cords will be collected at this station.  Additionally, Mrs. Work will distribute caps & gowns to our graduates at this station!

Station 2 - iPads and chargers/cords will be collected here. 

All cars will then proceed to the north parking lot.  There will be a "pick up" stop in the north (playground) parking lot where a faculty or staff member will load your vehicle with a bag for each of your students.  The "pick up" stop will be located outside the grades one and three classrooms along the sidewalk.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation with this event.  We know that this is one more "unusual request" but it is our hope that we can take care of this as efficiently as possible to minimize disruption to your family's weekend schedule while avoiding interference with work days.


Report Cards will be available for view on the Educonnect Parent Portal during the week of June 15.  There will be an email and Remind text to alert you when the report cards become available.  Please remember that no paper copy of the report card will be sent home.

Reminder to Smart Tuition Account Holders who make payments via invoice:  as you begin making payments in June on your 2020-2021 Smart Tuition account, please remember to change the school year in your account number from 19 to 20.  Account numbers are broken down as follows:  02300 is the school code; 20 refers to the school year; and the last six digits reflect your individual family’s account.  If you continue making payments using the 19 school year, they will apply to your 2019-20 account, generating an overpayment status.  Your 2020-21 account will then appear delinquent, causing $50 late fees to accrue each month the payments are missing.  If you have any questions about this, please call Smart Tuition’s Parent contact center at 1-888-868-8828.

Note that this change occurs automatically for families who have Smart Tuition draw their payments from checking, savings, or credit card accounts





It was a great evening for a parade!  We were finally re#uKnighted and it felt so good!  Thanks to all who participated in our Reverse Parade last Thursday.













Summer Office Hours - We are happy to share that the school office will be open for summer office hours beginning Tuesday,  June 16th.  At this time, our plan is for the office to be staffed Tuesday - Thursday each week from 9am - 1pm (or by appointment).  Please plan to come to the main school office door behind the Magowan Center and ring the bell. We will meet you at the door if you are coming to drop something off or to pick up something.  Other visitors will be admitted to the office.  If possible, please call the office or send an email prior to your visit so we are expecting you and can minimize the need for contact. All visitors do need to wear a mask.

CHOICE cards will be available during school office hours.  When possible, please call ahead or send an email to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net so that we can prepare your order in advance and hand it to you at the door.


Looking ahead to a new school year!  At this time, our plan is for school to resume on Wednesday, August 26th.  We are hopeful that it will be a regular full day of school with both early drop off and aftercare available.  Obviously, our plans will be adjusted if we need to comply with health and safety instructions from the state or federal government, Simsbury town officials or the Office of Education, Evangelization & Catechesis.  We encourage you to regularly read the school blog and also to check the blog's Back to School page.  The Back to School page will be posted soon and will include links to supply lists and any summer assignments as well as calendar updates and other important information regarding our new school year.


Sharing the Caring - This week we received a thank you note from Gifts of Love for the grocery donation coordinated by the Stich family.  Thanks to all who participated.  In her thank you note, Interim Director, Mary Jane Lund shared:  "Gifts of Love depends on donors like you to continue operating critical programs for our community.  Every donation that comes in is deeply appreciated and gives opportunity and hope to hardworking families who need a helping hand."



Congratulations to Rebecca Rienow, SMS Class of '12!  Rebecca graduated Magna Cum Laude from Geneva College with an Elementary and Special Education degree with a Minor in Reading. On May 30th she married Elijah Watkins  and they now live in Beaver Falls, PA.  We wish the happy couple all God's blessings as they begin their life journey together!





Supporting SMS
We are pleased to share that thanks to your participation, our school has earned $629.34 from the Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards Program.  We will continue to participate in this program again next year.  Those that have already registered, do not need to do so again.  If you have not participated in the past, click here to sign up!






A mighty thank you to all of our Super Donors! Your Marvelous support helped raise over $5,000 for our SMS Superhero Challenge! 
 
Can’t wait for spring 2021 for our 3rd Annual Superhero Challenge when we can all attend in person! See you there! 



News from  OEEC - Archbishop Leonard P. Blair has announced that effective June 15, 2020, Fr. Michael Whyte will serve as Vicar for Education, Evangelization, and Catechesis of the Archdiocese of
Hartford. Fr. Whyte will be temporarily filling the role in the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC) previously held by Sister Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, who will be assuming her next role as president of Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, Missouri.
In addition to his responsibilities as Vicar, Fr. Whyte will continue his duties as Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in West Simsbury, where he has ministered since August of 2008. He
will also continue his duties as a member of the Archdiocesan College of Consultors, Archdiocesan Director of Continuing Faith Formation for Priests, Assistant Chaplain of the Hartford Knights of Malta, and Trustee of St. Thomas Seminary.  We look forward to working with Father Whyte in his new role as Vicar for Education, Evangelization & Catechesis in addition to as the pastor at St. Catherine's.  We wish Sister Mary Grace well as she begins her new responsibilities and thank her for all her help and guidance during her tenure here.

Community News



The Archdiocese of Hartford has issued guidelines for opening churches for public worship. According to these guidelines, St. Mary's Parish is now able to celebrate Mass during the week for congregations of 100 people or fewer.  Weekday Masses are on Monday - Thursday at 6pm.  There will be no 8am Masses at this time and Sunday Masses have not resumed at this time.  For more information, including required safety precautions and how to sign up to attend Mass, click here.

For additional Parish resources related to Covid-19, click here.






GoodKNIGHT Stories are available on SCTV in June! You can now enjoy our GoodKNIGHT stories on SCTV as well as on our public Facebook page (Facebook stories are at 7pm every Monday - Friday night until our last day of school on June 11).  You can check the SCTV schedule here.   For quick reference, 7pm on channel 95 (Educational channel) and 8pm channel 5 public channel.