Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summer Blog Post #3 - 8/16/17




It's almost here!  Our brand new school year!  
If you have not already done so, please take a moment to review the information on the blog's "Back to School" page.  This is your "go to" location for supply lists and summer assignments.



"Back to School" Packets have been emailed - "Back to School" electronic packets were emailed to all families on Monday, 8/14/17.  The packets were sent to the family email address we have on file for your family.  These packets contain many important "back to school" forms that must be downloaded, printed, completed and returned no later than the first day of school.  The packet also contains an attachment that provides you with your user name and password for the Educonnect Parent Portal.  This information is necessary to access the portal to use our electronic student directory, view progress reports and report cards and order hot lunches.  Please retain this information for use throughout the school year.  If you have not received your "Back to School" email, please contact the school office.

Monday, 8/21/17 -Hot Lunch Order Period for September Opens.  All orders must be placed via the Educonnect Parent Portal -Click here. User names and passwords were included in your family's "Back to School" email packet.   Prior to placing your hot lunch order, please carefully review the ordering procedures that are on our school's website - Click here .  Lunches may ONLY be ordered during the "open order" period.  If you miss an "open order" period, you will have to wait until the next order period to participate in hot lunch.  Throughout the school year, "Open order" periods will be announced via an email and via the school blog. Last day to place orders and submit payment to office is Thursday, 8/31/17.  No late orders can be accepted.  Your hot lunch order is not considered complete until your payment is received.  Hot Lunch will begin on Friday, September 8.  Until hot lunch begins, all students should bring a brown bag lunch each day.  

The Sign Up Genius for Hot Lunch Volunteers is available - Click here.  Our hot lunch program is possible because of the dedicated volunteers who come in to serve the lunches and clean up.  Serving hot lunch is a great way to share in your child(ren)'s school day.  The only requirement to serve hot lunch is that you have completed Virtus training - we will even provide you with an apron!  If you need to complete Virtus training, there will be a training session here on September 12.  More information is available further down in this post.

Tuesday, 8/22/17 from 6:30-7:30pm - PreKindergarten Summer Playground Playdate- Families with students entering our PreKindergarten are invited to a summer playground to get acquainted and to meet our PreK teacher, Miss Kane and her assistants:  Mrs. Rienow, Mrs. Kornacki and Mrs. Hughes.  Please RSVP to Toni Chagnon at tchagnon@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.


Summer Playground on Sunday, 8/27 - Meet new friends and catch up on all your summer news with old friends!  All new and returning families are invited to join us on Sunday, August 27th at 5pm in our north (playground) parking lot.  Families are invited to bring a picnic supper to this event.  Please keep in mind that this is not a "drop off event" but rather an opportunity for families to come together before the start of our new year. 

Tuesday, 8/29/17 - "Meet & Greet" for younger students and "Morning in Middle School" for incoming 6th graders and students new to our middle school.  Times are as follows:

PreKindergarten "Meet & Greet" - 9:30-10:30
Kindergarten - Grade 4 - 10:30-11:30
Morning in Middle School for incoming 6th grade students - 10-11:30am
Morning in Middle School for students new to our 7th or 8th grades - 10-11am




Wednesday, 8/30/17 - First Day of School - This will be a regular full day of school with both PreK Enrichment & Aftercare available.








Monday, 9/4/17 - School Closed - Labor Day

Book your babysitter!  Wednesday, September 6th is "Back to School Knight for Parents".  
This adult evening has two events this year.  The evening will begin with a meeting for parents with students beginning instrumental music and band lessons for the first time this year.  If you have a student entering grades 4-8 that is interested in beginning instrumental music and band with our Future Musician's instructor, Mrs. Debbie Morse, please plan to meet in the music/art portable at 6pm. NOTE - This meeting is NOT required for parents of students that have previously participated in band.

"Back to School Knight for Parents" will begin at 6:30pm in the Parish Center.  Mrs. Williamson will have opening remarks and news about our newly revitalized Home & School Association. This will also be your opportunity to visit your child(ren)'s homeroom classrooms, meet teachers and learn more about the school day and this year's expectations for a great school year.





Monday, 9/11/17 - Individual Student Photos of students in PreK, K-7 will be taken by Lifetouch Photography.  Information about ordering photo packages will be provided prior to picture day.  Even if no pictures are being ordered, a photo will be taken of each student for our school yearbook.  Students may wear casual dress appropriate for school for picture day.  Eighth grade individual student photos will be taken on another date.  Eighth grade students should wear the uniform of the day on 9/11/17. 



Cadet & Advanced Band and Instrumental Lessons will begin on Monday, September 11.  


Tuesday, 9/12/17- School Mass at 9am. All are welcome to join us in worship.  Please remember that no PE uniforms should be worn to Mass.  There will be a Virtus Training Session at 6:30pm in the Grade 5 classroom.  If you have not been Virtus trained and wish to volunteer here at school in any capacity, this is a great opportunity to get this training done at a convenient location.  Other Virtus training sessions are available throughout the Archdiocese.  Click here for more information.

Simsbury Residents - Bus Transportation Information
Bus routes will be published by the town of Simsbury approximately 2 weeks before the start of school.  Click here to access information about bus routes.  Once available, the routes are passkey protected.  An email will be sent out with this passkey once the routes are available for view.  Please remember that both the school office and the town's transportation coordinator (Sue Caccamo - scaccamo@simsbury.k12.ct.us) must be notified annually if your child(ren) will be regularly picked up or dropped off at an address other than your home address (e.g., a child care facility, a babysitter's house).  If you are Simsbury residents but do not plan to utilize bus transportation (i.e., you will be a carpool family), please notify both the school office and the town's transportation coordinator.  Other important reminders - Only Simsbury residents, grades K-8, may ride the bus.  A written note to school or email to the school office and teacher is required if a student needs to ride a different bus or exit the bus at a stop other than the usual daily stop (e.g., being dropped off at a friend's house).



Staying Up to Date - The best way to stay "up to date" in regard to school events and other important information is to subscribe to the school blog, your child(ren)'s teacher's blog(s) and to join our Remind text group.  Click here for more information.








Important Uniform Change for Students in Grades 6-8 -  Effective this school year, the plain, navy hooded sweatshirt that is available from Lands End (Item #393708-BQ2 for Boys and Item#393704-BQ4 for Girlswill only be permitted as a uniform item for grades 7 and 8.  While the hooded sweatshirt that was sold via the Spirit Shop last year remains permitted in grades 7 and 8, please note that the preferred item is the marbled, 1/4 zip fleece that is available from the Spirit Shop.

Students in grade 6 may continue to wear the Lands End crew neck sweatshirt or the Spirit Wear crew neck sweatshirt but are strongly encouraged to consider the marbled, 1/4 zip fleece that is available from the Spirit Shop as an alternative to the no longer allowed hooded sweatshirt.

The marbled 1/4 zip fleece, and other spirit wear apparel, will be available for order at "Back to School Knight for Parents" on September 6th.


Used Uniform Exchange - Our used uniform exchange is a free service coordinated by a dedicated volunteer.  The exchange accepts clean, gently used school uniform items that can then be used by another family.  Click here for an updated inventory of used uniform items available.  Click here for more information about how to donate to the exchange or how to coordinate the pickup of desired items.  When donating to the exchange, please keep in mind that only clean, gently used items that are part of our uniform code should be donated.  We are no longer accepting donations of any hooded sweatshirts.



iPad Use - Student iPad use for grades K-8 will begin once the majority of each class has returned the necessary "Big 4" Forms.  Most families have already completed their iPad Coverage Form and submitted the $50 fee. If we have not received this form and fee, a copy of the form was included in your Back to School email packet.  The remaining 3 forms were included in your Back to School email packet and include:
*  Parent/Student Handbook Acknowledgement
*  iPad Acceptable Use Agreement Acknowledgement
*  Use Agreement for Electronic Information Resources

Please note that all students will now be issued a school owned iPad case along with their iPad.  This is the case that must be used to protect the device.  Students are still responsible for providing their own earbuds.  A bluetooth keyboard may be used if desired. Some teachers do request that a stylus be provided.  Please check supply lists on the "Back to School" page of the blog.




Dot & Dash are Joining our Student Body - We invite you to read a fabulous article that has been published on the Catholic Transcript's website.  Our thanks to Dave Carter for his authorship, to Toni Chagnon and Michelle Howard for their assistance and, of course, to Max and Cece M., grades 5 and 3, for getting to know Dot and Dash.  Click here to read the article.




Home & School Association News

Calling All Party Planners!  Our school will celebrate its 60th anniversary at the 5pm Mass on Saturday,
September 23rd.  Our expectation is that all families will want to attend this Mass.  Students in Kindergarten - grade 8 are requested to wear their relaxed uniforms.

Mass will be followed by a celebratory reception in the Parish Center.  Please contact Mrs. Williamson if you are interested in planning this celebration.






Box Tops for Education -  Have you been clipping this summer?  Our school will continue to participate in the Box Tops for Education program.  Box Tops may be sent into school at any time.  All homeroom classrooms have a collection box.  Our thanks to Doreen Mikan for agreeing to coordinate the Box Tops programs this year.

Community News


St. Mary's Parish invites all school families to the St. Mary's Parish Picnic on Sunday, September 17th from 3-5pm!  Enjoy great food, music, and games while you reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.  Sign up begins on August 26th at church and on the parish website.  A link to the sign up will be available in the next blog post.  Please RSVP by September 13th.  Celebrate our parish family at the best picnic ever!




Have you always wanted to drive a Corvette?  There's still time to purchase tickets in the school office!


Summer Fun

The Cerreta family has welcomed a new someone to love this summer!  Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SMS Summer Blog Post #2 - 8/2/17







Summer Office Hours - The school office is currently on "summer hours". The office will be routinely staffed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm and by appointment as needed. Both email and phone messages will be checked regularly.

Summer CHOICE Sales - CHOICE cards will be available for sale on Wednesdays in the school office between 9am-1pm.




Summer is flying by & it's almost time to think "Back to School".  Please be on the look out for your electronic "Back To School" packet.  These packets will be sent out via email during the week of 8/14/17.  We will be sending the packet to the family email address we have on record for your family.  If you are not sure what email address we have on file or if you want to add or change an email address, please contact the school office.  As in the past, this packet will contain lots of information about our new school year and many forms to download, print, complete and return to school.

Mark your calendars!  The start of the school year is always a really busy time.  Here are some important dates to remember.  We also encourage you to check the school's Google calendar frequently for updates and changes.  A calendar tab appears on the top of the blog.

Monday, 8/21/17 -Hot Lunch Order Period for September Opens.  All orders must be placed via the Educonnect Parent Portal.  Click here to access the Educonnect Parent Portal or use the link at the top of the blog. User names and passwords will be included in your "Back to School" email packet.  Last day to place orders and submit payment to office is Thursday, 8/31/17.  No late orders can be accepted.  Hot Lunch will begin on Friday, September 8.

Tuesday, 8/22/17 from 6:30-7:30pm - PreKindergarten Summer Playground Playdate- Families with students entering our PreKindergarten are invited to a summer playground to get acquainted and to meet our PreK teacher, Miss Kane and her assistants:  Mrs. Rienow, Mrs. Kornacki and Mrs. Hughes.  Please RSVP to Toni Chagnon at tchagnon@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.

Sunday, 8/27/17 at 5pm -Summer Playground for New & Returning Families -  Come and share some summer fun, reconnect with old friends and meet some new friends.  All are invited to bring a picnic dinner to our north (playground) parking lot.

Tuesday, 8/29/17 - "Meet & Greet" for younger students and "Morning in Middle School" for incoming 6th graders and students new to our middle school.  Times are as follows:

PreKindergarten "Meet & Greet" - 9:30-10:30
Kindergarten - Grade 4 - 10:30-11:30
Morning in Middle School for incoming 6th grade students - 10-11:30am
Morning in Middle School for students new to our 7th or 8th grades - 10-11am

Wednesday, 8/30/17 - First Day of School - This will be a regular full day of school with both PreK Enrichment & Aftercare available.

Monday, 9/4/17 - School Closed - Labor Day

Wednesday, 9/6/17 at 6:30pm- Book Your Babysitter for Back to School Night for Parents - All parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to attend "Back to School" night.  This is your opportunity to meet your child(ren)'s new teacher(s) and learn about the daily classroom routine. The evening will begin with a brief meeting in the Parish Center.  At 6pm, there will be a meeting for parents with students in grades 4 and up interested in beginning instrumental music this year.  This meeting will be in the art/music portable classroom.  Parents of students already participating in band DO NOT need to attend this meeting.

Monday, 9/11/17 - Individual Student Photos of students in PreK, K-7 will be taken by Lifetouch Photography.  Information about ordering photo packages will be provided prior to picture day.  Even if no pictures are being ordered, a photo will be taken of each student for our school yearbook.  Students may wear casual dress appropriate for school for picture day.  Eighth grade individual student photos will be taken on another date.  Eighth grade students should wear the uniform of the day on 9/11/17.  Cadet & Advanced Band will begin on Monday, 9/11/17.

Tuesday, 9/12/17- School Mass at 9am. All are welcome to join us in worship.  Please remember that no PE uniforms should be worn to Mass.  There will be a Virtus Training Session at 6:30pm in the Grade 5 classroom.  If you have not been Virtus trained and wish to volunteer here at school in any capacity, this is a great opportunity to get this training done at a convenient location.  Other Virtus training sessions are available throughout the Archdiocese.  Click here for more information.

Staying Up to Date - The best way to stay "up to date" in regard to school events and other important information is to subscribe to the school blog, your child(ren)'s teacher's blog(s) and to join our Remind text group.  Click here for more information.








Shopping for School Uniforms?  
Visit our school website for more information about our school uniform code.  Please note that the logo is always optional and is only available on selected items.

To begin your shopping, visit landsend.com and click on "School". Choose "Find Your School" and put in our uniform code - 900132150.  This will limit you to the items our school has approved. It will ask you to put in the gender and age/grade of your student and that will further limit your selections. There is a small tab on the lower right that says "Show Checklist" - if you click this, you will get a drop down that will allow you to see all of the uniform options for your child(ren) by type of garment.  Keep in mind that CHOICE cards are available for Lands End.  By purchasing gift cards via the CHOICE program, Lands End gives our school 17% and you earn profit toward your family's annual CHOICE commitment that is part of your tuition obligation.

On the school website page, there is also information about our used uniform exchange. This is a free service that allows family to donate gently used, clean uniforms that children have outgrown so that other families can get some use out of them. This can be a great way to pick up a couple of "spare items" and we encourage everyone to make use of this service if it works for them.

Shopping for school supplies?  Supply lists for students are available on the blog's "Back to School" page. 



iPad Use - Student iPad use for grades K-8 will begin once the majority of each class has returned the necessary "Big 4" Forms.  Most families have already completed their iPad Coverage Form and submitted the $50 fee. If we have not received this form and fee, it will be included in your Back to School email packet.  The remaining 3 forms will be included in your Back to School email packet and include:
*  Parent/Student Handbook Acknowledgement
*  iPad Acceptable Use Agreement Acknowledgement
*  Use Agreement for Electronic Information Resources

Please note that all students will now be issued a school owned iPad case along with their iPad.  This is the case that must be used to protect the device.  Students are still responsible for providing their own earbuds.  A bluetooth keyboard may be used if desired. Some teachers do request that a stylus be provided.  Please check supply lists on the "Back to School" page of the blog.



Alumni News - Our congratulations to Jennifer Kornacki & Avery Hatch, SMS Class of '13. Jennifer achieved the Dean's List for Spring Semester at Stonehill College and has been accepted to the Honors Program for the upcoming fall semester.  Avery has been named to the Dean's List for the Spring Semester at Elon University and will continue in the College Fellows program in the fall.

We also extend congratulations to the SMS alumni that were named to the Simsbury High School honor roll for the final semester:

Griffin Myslow, SMS Class of '13 - High Honors
Nicole Gomez-Nieto & Allison Mancarella, SMS Class of '13 - General Honors
Domenico Cirielli, SMS Class of '14 - High Honors
Parker Myslow & Robert Tomasello, SMS Class of '14 - General Honors
Mark Bedson & Patrick Sheridan, SMS Class of '15 - High Honors
Kurt Bedson & Justin Donnolly, SMS Class of '15 - General Honors



Sharing Summer's Fun


Mrs. Powell is sharing her summer with a new friend.
Toby is 9 weeks old & super fluffy!

Friday, June 23, 2017

SMS Summer Blog Post #1 - 6/23/17



SMS Comings and Goings

We would like to thank Caitlin and Lauren Henzler for their dedication to the After Care program. Congratulations to both of them as they move on to new chapters in their lives.

Welcome to our new Office Staff member! Michelle Howard has taken over the recently vacated administrative support position and we are delighted to have such a knowledgeable person take over so quickly. Mrs. Howard will handle the daily tasks that Mrs. Budnick oversaw with a few additions. 


Now Hiring! - SMS Aftercare is looking for a few people to supervise the program on most school days from 3:30 to 6 pm.  Are you interested? Do you know someone who would be a good fit? Please share the information or have the person contact Mrs. Williamson.

IOWA Test Results & Middle School Placement Letters - Families with students entering grades 4-8 next year will receive IOWA Test Results via U.S. Mail.  If your child(ren) are entering grades 6-8 in the the fall, this mailing will also contain class placement information.  Please note that if you have not returned your Family Enrollment Agreement and Fee, no placement information will be included in the mailing.  This mailing was sent out on Thursday, 6/22/17.  If you do not receive your mailing or have questions, please contact the school office.

Getting Off to a Good Start - Our "Back to School" page is now available on the school blog.  Just use the tab at the top of the blog's navigation bar or click here.


Home & School Association

A calendar of major events is being finalized so watch for your opportunity to help with a variety of activities that make SMS so great! As you are planning your fall family time, please try to include our 60th Anniversary Mass celebration on Saturday, September 23 at the 5pm Mass. This is the exact date that SMS opened.  HSA will need people to help promote the event and also to plan a reception/supper afterwards. Remember how much fun the pizza supper was last winter? We had over 150 people and it was a great time to connect with people and enjoy a meal with friends. A sign-up genius for organizing this event will be available in August.



Sweet Treat!  Sophie G., rising Gr. 7, shows
off her Cake Gypsy cupcakes.  Cake Gypsy
has offered a free dozen cupcakes to any
student with proof of perfect attendance.




Used Uniform Exchange - Click here for our current inventory of available used uniforms.






This painted turtle stopped by to say hello.
If you are out and about, we hope you'll
stop by to say hello, too!


Are we having fun yet?  Again this year, you are invited to share your summer fun with our school family.  If you have some fun vacation, day trip or family photos to share, please send them along to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

News for the Week of 6/14/17







TOMORROW - 6/15/17 IS OUR LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! This will be a 12:45pm early dismissal with NO PreK Enrichment or Aftercare available.  ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BRING A BROWN BAG LUNCH.  Students that participate in the milk program will receive milk as ususal.

There will be an Award ceremony for students beginning at 9:30am tomorrow in the Parish Center.  Students should wear the relaxed uniform to school.  All are welcome to attend.  Parents of students receiving an award have been notified by home room teachers.

Kindergarten is looking forward to next year!





A reminder from the health office:
Thank you for a wonderful school year! 
Please remember to pick up any medications that have been kept in the health office this year. Our school nurse will be in 8:30-1:30 on the last day of school, please stop in to pick up your student's medications. Medications cannot be sent home with students.



PreKindergarten enjoyed a trip to the fire station last week.


Summer Office Hours - Beginning the week of 6/19/17,  the school office will be on "summer hours".  The office will be routinely staffed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm and by appointment as needed.  Both email and phone messages will be checked regularly.

Summer CHOICE Sales - CHOICE cards will be available for sale on Wednesdays in the school office between 9am-1pm.

School will reopen on Wednesday, August 30.  This will be a full day of school with both PreK Enrichment and Aftercare available.  "Meet & Greet" for younger students and "Morning in Middle School" for grade 6 and students new to grades 7 and 8 will be on Tuesday, August 29th.  Additional details will be published as soon as times are finalized.

Final Report Cards for students in Kindergarten - Grade 8 will be available via the Educonnect Parent Portal.  An email will be sent when the report cards are available for viewing.

IOWA test scores for students in grades 3-7 will be sent out via U.S. mail during the week of June 19th.  This same mailing will contain class placement announcements for math and literature for students entering grades 6-8.

Supply lists, summer assignments and suggestions for summer reading will be available on both the teacher blogs and the School Blog "Back to School" page.  Look for this information beginning the week of 6/19.



Getting Ready for a New School Year - Again this summer, the school blog will have a "Back to School" page.  This page should be available the week of 6/19/17.  There will be Summer blog posts as needed but the "Back to School" page  is always available from the top menu bar of the school blog. 

Be sure to be on the look out for your "Back to School Mailing" in August. Again this year, this "mailing" will be sent to you electronically at the email you have designated as your primary family email address. If you are not sure that the email address we currently have on file for your family is the "best one to use", please send the email you want used to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net. Put "Back to School Mailing email"in your subject line and we will be sure to update our school database(s).



Home & School News - We are excited to announce that our renewed & re-energized Home & School Association is on it's way for the new school year.  All we need is your talent & energy.  Click here to learn more about the proposed activities Home & School will be working on next year. There will be a meeting on Tuesday, June 20th at 7pm in the Library Portable.  If you are interested in serving as an HSA officer, chairing an event or working on a committee, please join us.  An RSVP to Mrs. Williamson is appreciated.





A reminder from the health office:

Thank you for a wonderful school year!

Please remember to pick up any medications that have been kept in the health office this year. Our school nurse will be in 8:30-1:30 on the last day of school, please stop in to pick up your student's medications. Medications cannot be sent home with students.

Reminder to Smart Tuition Account Holders:  as you begin making payments in June on your 2017-2018 Smart Tuition account, please remember to change the school year in your account number from 16 to 17.  Account numbers are broken down as follows:  02300 is the school code; 17 refers to the school year; and the last six digits reflect your individual family’s account.  If you continue making payments using the 16 school year, they will apply to your 2016-17 account, generating an overpayment status.  Your 2017-18 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 help center at 1-888-868-8828.



Yearbooks have been distributed to those that ordered - There are a very limited number of yearbooks available "first come, first served" in the school office. These yearbooks may be purchased for $28. Checks should be made payable to St. Mary's School. The SMS Yearbook is a great momento that features a photo of every student, club photos and candids from all our school year activities.

SMS Stars




Jackson C., Gr. 2,  and his team, the Mariners, are the 2017 Avon Little League Machine Pitch Champions! When receiving his trophy, his coach announced him as Action Jackson, the guy who was always baseball ready and who always had his teammates backs!  Congratulations, Jackson!













Maggie S., Gr. 6, recently played in a basketball game with a "really tough" ref - our own Mr. Stokes!



- 

Northwest Catholic High School's 53rd Commencement Exercises were held on 6/7/17.  We are proud to share that a number of SMS Class of '13 alums graduated with Highest Honors and other accolades.  Our special congratulations to Katharine Jessen, this year's NWC Valedictorian.  In addition to graduating with Highest Honors as Valedictorian, Katharine was also named a Summa Scholar.  Also graduating as Summa Scholars with Highest Honors were Sarah Jessen and Allyson Voelker.  Graduating with Highest Honors were Regina Chappano, Gabriela Doskos, and Christopher Poniatowski. Congratulations to all of those SMS alums that will celebrate high school graduations this spring!

Our congratulations to Tim Nolan, SMS Class of '14.  Tim received a Meritorious Achievement award for Grade 11 English and the St. Michael's College Book Award for Academic Achievement with a Social Conscience.  Tim is completing his junior year at Granby High School.

Community News


Cake Gypsy News!  We are happy to share the following announcement from Cake Gypsy -

  "Attention Students with Perfect Attendance! After reading a Facebook post that students are no longer given any awards or recognition for perfect attendance, we at Cake Gypsy believe it is a MAJOR accomplishment and you should be rewarded. To help you celebrate we are offering every student in the Farmington Valley with perfect attendance this past year a dozen cupcakes to help you celebrate. Kindly bring in proof of perfect attendance and choose 12 cupcakes of your choice! (Feel free to share this post with your friends, it is open to everyone not just our Facebook friends) Congrats again students!"
*Valid at both locations: 35 East Main Street in Avon and 220 Albany Turnpike in Canton.