Friday, December 19, 2014

End of Week Reminders - Friday, 12/19/14

"As we’ve already seen, Advent is a time of waiting. But does this mean that we do nothing? 
That we sit like lumps? No. In fact, there is something very “active” about waiting.

Do you recall how lively and attentive you are when you are eagerly waiting for someone to arrive? When you watch for every car that comes by when you are waiting at the airport? Every sense strains to take in what is happening. Your mind is alive with expectation; your spirit is jumping.

This is what waiting means in the spiritual sense; this is the mood of Advent. We’re invited to actively wait, attuned to the coming Christ, looking for him in the liturgy, the Scriptures, in prayer, and in all those around us who bear his image."  
   
  Fr. Robert Barron



 If you have not already done so, we invite you to share our Advent journey with the very special SMS Advent Calendar. The doors for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are our most special gifts to you.  Click here.





Monday, 12/22 - Christmas Band & Choral Concert.  Dress Rehearsal at 2pm & evening performance at 7pm in the Parish Center.  Everyone is invited to this evening of seasonal instrumental and vocal music.  Directions regarding arrival time and concert attire for band students is available here. Band students are reminded that they should bring their instruments, music and stands to school on Monday, 12/22, for the dress rehearsal. Mrs. Lepak will provide dress guidelines for chorus members.  Snow date is Thursday, January 8, 2015.






Tuesday, 12/23 - 12:45 Early Dismissal for Christmas break.  There will be NO Prekindergarten Enrichment and NO aftercare.

Monday, 1/5/15 - School reopens and our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month begins!





Mrs. Gannatti invites all students to wear casual dress on Tuesday, 12/23/14 - Please help your children make appropriate choices for their apparel.  Pajama pants or lounge pants are not acceptable for school.  Please refer to the Parent/Student Handbook for other guidelines.




Reminders from Mrs. Gannatti as we look forward to 2015:

          Teachers are available to meet with parents before or after school by appointment.   My faculty members tutor, meet with colleagues and/or prepare for the day before the children arrive in the morning.  It has come to my attention that parents are waiting in the halls to speak with teachers without prior notice.  I realize things come up and you may need to speak to a teacher.  I encourage you to send an email to the teacher.  Teachers do check their emails regularly and will respond within 24 hours.  For more urgent concerns, I ask that you come to the main office and my administrative staff will call the teacher to the office.  I appreciate your understanding in this matter.  This procedure is also required at the end of the school day.  Parents waiting in the hallways near classrooms at the end of the day are distracting to the classes in session.

Our school day ends at 3:20pm.  I ask that you try to schedule appointments after school or during school holidays or vacations.  Again, I realize this is not always possible.  Late arrivals and early dismissals impact your child’s learning as well  it is also a disruption to the other children in the class when children arrive late or leave early.   Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Middle School iPads - After thoughtful reflection and discussion, it has been decided that we will not collect the Middle School iPads over the Christmas vacation.  Students are encouraged to use the devices to complete any long term assignments or for study and review.  Please refrain from taking this school owned device on trips to minimize the chances of loss, theft and/or breakage.






Looking for some vacation fun?  Talcott Mountain Science Center is hosting Vacation Science 2014. Programs are available for students in Grades K-3 (Cool Chemistry and LEGO Robotics) and Grades 4-8 (Green Energy and Winter Nature & Geocaching).  Click here for more information and registration.


Selfless Giving - Every day, we are given many opportunities to practice selfless giving.  Sometimes, our actions are very small but even the smallest selfless gesture is important.  Sometimes, we have opportunities that are much larger in scope and have the potential to really test us.  This year, our community was blessed to witness a selfless act of generous giving when Maggie Domashinski, mother of Grace (Gr.8) and Kelly (Gr. 5), donated a kidney to Father Michael Whyte, her pastor at St. Catherine's of Siena in West Simsbury.  You can hear more about this amazing act of generosity and the faith journey of Maggie and Father Whyte  on " Crossroads Magazine" this coming Sunday (December 21)  with Father Gatzak. The show follows the daily Mass and is available via some local cable providers as well as via streaming video.  Click here.  Their story was also featured in the Hartford Courant.  Click here.



"Happy" to share - Take a moment to share the SMS Happy video - click here.  The exuberance of our students is one of our school's greatest gifts.  At this Christmas time, we are so grateful to you for sharing your children with us each day.  They inspire us with their creativity, they invigorate us with their energy, they humble us with their heartfelt and reverent spirituality, their happiness is contagious and they renew our desire to create a learning community worthy of their gifts.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

News for the Week of 12/17/14


Third Week of AdventPhilippians 4:4–7: “May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus”  If you have not already done so, we invite you to share our Advent journey with the very special SMS Advent Calendar.  Click here.


Monday, 12/22 - Christmas Band & Choral Concert.  Dress Rehearsal at 2pm & evening performance at 7pm in the Parish Center.  Everyone is invited to this evening of seasonal instrumental and vocal music.  Directions regarding arrival time and concert attire for band students is available here. Band students are reminded that they should bring their instruments, music and stands to school on Monday, 12/22, for the dress rehearsal. Mrs. Lepak will provide dress guidelines for chorus members.  Snow date is Thursday, January 8, 2015.







Wednesday, 12/23 - 12:45 Early Dismissal for Christmas break.  There will be NO Prekindergarten Enrichment and NO aftercare.

Monday, 1/5/15 - School reopens and our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month begins!




The regular registration period for the Ski and Snowboard Club is now closed.  Late registration will be available until the program starts January 7. Late registration requires a $25 late fee and completion of the required forms - click here.

Room is available on the bus to Ski Sundown for anyone who has a season pass.  Please contact the group leader Jim Shanley at j.shanley@me.com or the school office for additional information.

The program will start on Wednesday January 7, 2015 and runs each Wednesday through 2/4/15. If a cancellation is necessary due to weather conditions or school closure, the program is extended to the following Wednesday.






Season of Giving - This year's 8th grade poinsettia sale was a huge success.  In addition to the funds raised to support our 8th grade's graduation activities, over $400 worth of poinsettias were donated by families, friends and students to the McLean Home and Governor's House.  Our commendation to our 8th grade class for using their fund raising efforts to also spread the joy of the season.

Home & School Association News


Merry Christmas

The Home and School Association would like to wish our wonderful community a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!
Jennifer, Amy, Ellen, Beth, Noreen and Frank


Blue Fox Family fun Night was...... Fun! We had lots of fun bowling and playing Laser Tag!   




Neckers Toy Store
Thank you to all who were able to participate in the Neckers Toy Store Christmas event.  Your generous purchases helped to raise additional funds for the school.


Skeleton Scramble:  Planning for Skeleton Scramble 5K is going strong and we’d like to invite everyone to keep updated.  Our new Facebook page is located at https://www.facebook.com/skeletonscramble5k.  Please visit and like the page to keep up with the latest news.  Don’t forget to share it with your friends!”

Alumni news


The poetry of Aaron Belletsky, SMS Class of '14, has been featured in a new book, A Celebration of Poets (Summer 2014). Inspired by his summer vacation to Maine, Aaron’s poem “The Beach” was judged to be a high merit poem by a panel of teachers and educators and from among other entries submitted by students all across North America. Less than 50 percent of the submissions are accepted for publication.  Click here to read Aaron's poem. Aaron is completing his freshman year at Northwest Catholic High School.  
Katharine Jessen and Sarah Jessen, SMS Class of '13 (Pictured above, front row, first & second from right)have been selected to perform in the Connecticut Music Educators Association's (CMEA) Northern Region Orchestra. Katherine and Sarah are currently completing their Sophomore year of study at Northwest Catholic High School.

If you have alumni news to share, please send it to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.


Community News


The Simsbury Public Library has announced several events for teens over the holiday break.  Events include a Holiday Movie Marathon, an afternoon of board games, a New Year's Eve party with karaoke and more.  Click here for more program details.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

News for the Week of 12/10/14



"Advent is a time of joyful anticipation.  For someone even bigger than Santa Claus is coming to town."
                                                                                                        Marcellino D'Ambrosio, PH.D.



Students in Mrs. Jehning's First Grade have created their own manger scenes as part of their Advent journey.  They are all beautiful and reflect both the spirit of the season and the personality of the artist.

Be part of the SMS Advent journey by sharing our Advent Calendar. "Open" a door every day to share an SMS Advent moment.  Click here.








Hot Lunch Orders for January - March are due NLT Friday, December 12th - The order period for hot lunches for January - March is now open.  Orders and payments must be received NLT Friday, December 12th.  Sign-ups for lunch volunteers is also available.  Click here for your lunch order form. Hot Lunch volunteers are always needed and it's a great way to share in your child's day.  Click hereto sign up to volunteer for lunch duty.

Grade 2 Reconciliation Services -  There will be two Reconciliation services on Saturday, December 13th in the church.  The 9AM service will be for families whose last names being with A through K.  The 11AM service will be for families whose last names begin with L through Z.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Eagen at 860-658-5919.

Tuesday, 12/16 - Lessons & Carols Prayer Service. Dress Rehearsal at 10am & evening service at 7pm, both in the church.  All students in grades Kindergarten through grade 8 participate in this reverent retelling of the Nativity in prayer, reflection and song.  Student attendance is considered mandatory unless a student is absent or a written note has been submitted to Mrs. Gannatti requesting an exception. Look for a blog post from homeroom teachers that will include specific information regarding student arrival time and protocol.  Students in grades 1 -7 wear their full formal uniform. Dress guidelines for Kindergarten and grade 8 students have been provided by home room teachers.  Grade 8 dress guidelines also available here. Snow date is Thursday, 12/18.




Monday, 12/22 - Christmas Band & Choral Concert.  Dress Rehearsal at 2pm & evening performance at 7pm in the Parish Center.  Everyone is invited to this evening of seasonal instrumental and vocal music.  Directions regarding arrival time and concert attire will be provided to musicians and chorus members by Mrs. Morse and Mrs. Lepak.  Snow date is Thursday, January 8, 2015.







Wednesday, 12/23 - 12:45 Early Dismissal for Christmas break.  There will be NO Prekindergarten Enrichment and NO aftercare.

Monday, 1/5/15 - School reopens and our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month begins!




The regular registration period for the Ski and Snowboard Club is now closed.  Late registration will be available until the program starts January 7. Late registration requires a $25 late fee and completion of the required forms - click here.

Room is available on the bus to Ski Sundown for anyone who has a season pass.  Please contact the group leader Jim Shanley at j.shanley@me.com or the school office for additional information.

The program will start on Wednesday January 7, 2015 and runs each Wednesday through 2/4/15. If a cancellation is necessary due to weather conditions or school closure, the program is extended to the following Wednesday.

Home & School Association News





The HSA is pleased to announce that Red, White and Brew, Social Saturday was a funfilled, wonderful success. We would like to extend a special thanks to the people that worked so hard to make it happen; our chairpeople Sarah Mutarelli and Laura Williams, and Michelle Howard for coordinating the creation of beautiful class art projects that raised spirits as well as funds and to our generous local community. 







Please keep in mind and support these local merchants who consistently and graciously support us!
Kane's Market
Valley Fine Wines and Spirits
Attilio's 
West Simsbury Pizza
Over the Moon Kid's
Tastefully Simple consultant, Donna Nolan 
Jamberry Nails consultant, Michelle Howard
The Warmer Theater










Family Fun Night at Blue Fox Rock 'N Bowl  
 Unlimited Laser Tag & Bowling for $15pp from 4-7pm.  All payment is at the door.  Cash or credit- Click here for more information.  St. Mary's will benefit from any Necker's shopping done tomorrow (Thursday, 12/11/14) between 9:30am-7:30pm, just mention St. Mary's when you make your purchases.








Community News

The Teen Space at the Simsbury Public Library is offering a wide variety of programs this December.  Click here for a schedule of events including SAT Preparation, Art Portfolio development, a showing of "Elf", DIY Holiday Crafts and "Hour of Code".





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

News for the Week of 12/3/14



Second Week of Advent -

"Comfort, give comfort to my people,In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!"

Isaiah 40



If you have not already begun sharing our Advent journey, please take a moment each day to visit our SMS Advent Calendar.  Every day you will be able to "open" another door and share an SMS Advent moment.  Click here or use the Advent Calendar tab on the top of the blog post.






December Calendar Reminders - 






Thursday, 12/4 - Thanks to everyone that supported the Grade 8 Poinsettia Sale - Poinsettia pick up will be in the Parish Center on Thursday, December 4th from 2-4pm in the Parish Center and after all Masses on Saturday, December 6th & Sunday, December 7th.  Weekend poinsettia pickup will be in the lower church.


Social Saturday is This Saturday! - December 6th!  
Click here for a ticket reservation form.
TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE AND MAY ALSO BE PURCHASED AT THE DOOR! 



Hot Lunch Orders for January - March are due NLT Friday, December 12th - The order period for hot lunches for January - March is now open.  Orders and payments must be received NLT Friday, December 12th.  Sign-ups for lunch volunteers is also available.  Click here for your lunch order form. Hot Lunch volunteers are always needed and it's a great way to share in your child's day.  Click here to sign up to volunteer for lunch duty.

Grade 2 Reconciliation Services -  There will be two Reconciliation services on Saturday, December 13th in the church.  The 9AM service will be for families whose last names being with A through K.  The 11AM service will be for families whose last names begin with L through Z.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Eagen at 860-658-5919.

Tuesday, 12/16 - Lessons & Carols Prayer Service. Dress Rehearsal at 10am & evening service at 7pm, both in the church.  All students in grades Kindergarten through grade 8 participate in this reverent retelling of the Nativity in prayer, reflection and song.  Student attendance is considered mandatory unless a student is absent or a written note has been submitted to Mrs. Gannatti requesting an exception. Students in grades 1 -7 wear their full formal uniform. Dress guidelines for Kindergarten and grade 8 students will be provided by home room teachers.  Snow date is Thursday, 12/18.




Monday, 12/22 - Christmas Band & Choral Concert.  Dress Rehearsal at 2pm & evening performance at 7pm in the Parish Center.  Everyone is invited to this evening of seasonal instrumental and vocal music.  Directions regarding arrival time and concert attire will be provided to musicians and chorus members by Mrs. Morse and Mrs. Lepak.  Snow date is Thursday, January 8, 2015.







Wednesday, 12/23 - 12:45 Early Dismissal for Christmas break.  There will be NO Prekindergarten Enrichment and NO aftercare.

Monday, 1/5/15 - School reopens and our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month begins!




The regular registration period for the Ski and Snowboard Club is now closed.  Late registration will be available until the program starts January 7. Late registration requires a $25 late fee and completion of the required forms - click here.

Room is available on the bus to Ski Sundown for anyone who has a season pass.  Please contact the group leader Jim Shanley at j.shanley@me.com or the school office for additional information.

The program will start on Wednesday January 7, 2015 and runs each Wednesday through 2/4/15. If a cancellation is necessary due to weather conditions or school closure, the program is extended to the following Wednesday.



LifeTouch Photography - Group Class Photos of PreKindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7 will be sent home Friday, 12/5.  Please be sure to check backpacks.






Magic Moment in Kindergarten -
When the first snowflakes of the season arrived on the day before
Thanksgiving, our Kindergarten students were transfixed by the
winter magic happening right outside.



Home & School Association News

SMS Senior Luncheon – Again this year, the St. Mary’s Home & School Association hosted the Senior Thanksgiving Luncheon on November 19th.  Eighth grades student served as gracious hosts and hostesses and enjoyed visiting with our over 200 guests. In addition to a delicious Thanksgiving meal, area senior citizens enjoyed some entertainment provided by the students in Kindergarten and First Grade.  Among our many blessings, we are grateful for the generosity of our school parents who supported the luncheon with donations of food and time and also for the warmth and congeniality of our area seniors.






Thursday, December 4th -St. Mary's HSA will host a fundraiser at Barnes & Noble. There are vouchers that you will need to present at the time of purchase. Please share these vouchers with your friends and family and just about anyone else who will take them!!  Click here for your vouchers. Here is the wonderful news......... We can use these vouchers at any Barnes & Noble store and ONLINE anytime between December 4th and December 9th!!  While you are in Canton, consider dinner at Dish N Dat and dessert at Ben & Jerry's as they will be supporting St. Mary's too with part of every purchase benefiting SMS H.S.A.!








Family Fun Night at Blue Fox Rock 'N Bowl - Unlimited Laser Tag & Bowling for $15pp.  All payment is at the door.  Cash or credit- Click here for more information.







Skeleton Scramble Logo Contest -  We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Skeleton Scramble Logo Design Contest is Raphael Diaz-Islas, Grade 6!  Thank you to everyone who entered.  We had several wonderful drawings to choose from by very talented artists.





SMS Alumni News

Congratulations to Ethan Meskill, SMS Class of '12, on attaining the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 175.  Ethan's Eagle Scout project was the construction of new, splinter free picnic tables for our north parking lot area. Ethan's attainment of the rank of Eagle demonstrates his commitment to service and leadership in his town, school, scout and parish communities. We are so proud of him for this very notable accomplishment. 


Congratulations to Katheryn Pettibone, SMS Class of '13,  on attaining First Honors at East Catholic High School for this fall's first quarter.

If you have alumni news to share, please send it to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.

Community News


Northwest Catholic High School’s Dramateurs will perform Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman from Friday, 12/5 through Sunday, 12/7. “Metamorphoses” brings Ovid's epic poem of mythology to stunning visual life. Set in and around a large pool of water onstage, “Metamorphoses” juxtaposes the ancient and the contemporary in both language and image to reflect the variety and persistence of narrative in the face of inevitable change. 
The production features several SMS alumni including Avery Hatch, Lauren Mangine & Matthew Sottile, SMS Class of '12 and Ally Voelker, SMS Class of '13. Shows are at 7:30pm on December 5 and December 6. The December 7 show begins at 2:00pm. All shows are in the Alice C. Mortensen Theater at Northwest Catholic. Tickets are $10, and can be reserved by emailing drama@nwcath.org.