Friday, August 31, 2012

Hot Lunch Program will begin Friday, 9/28/12. Orders may be placed until 9/19/12.

The Hot Lunch program will begin with pizza lunch on Friday, September 28th.  Hot lunch is served on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. All lunches must be pre-ordered.
Fitzgerald's Supermarket has worked with our school to provide variety and healthy choices with fresh fruits or veggies. Price of lunch this year is $3.75.

On days hot lunch is served, various a la carte items may be purchased cash & carry. Items available include:

Ala Carte Items

Ice Cream Sandwich 1.00

Ice Cream Bar .75

Strawberry Shortcake .75

Fudgesicle .75

Popsicle .25

Water .50

Chips .50

Hot Lunch Order Instructions:

Again this year we will use the Excel Hot Lunch Order form. The XLS form will automatically calculate the monetary amounts due for lunches. Use of this form combined with email response directly to Peg Mancarella will make processing orders much more efficient. Directions for use of the new form appear below.

Please make every effort to use the excel form (file name ends in ".xls" extension) rather than printing a blank PDF form for hand completion (file name ends in ".pdf" extension). We ask that only people without access to Excel use the PDF handwritten method for submission of lunch orders and thank you in advance for your cooperation.


1. Use the link below to access the Excel Hot Lunch Order Form (this is the ".xls" file extension).If using a MAC computer, be sure to select the version for MAC users.

2. Fill in: family name, child(ren) name, grade(s), and pizza preference(s). Where appropriate select hot dog vs. hamburger.

3. Next select the quantity you desire for each child. (No need to enter dollar amounts!)

4. Save a copy to your computer. Name the file with your last name-currentmonth-year. (e.g., Smith -09-2012)

5. Attach and send your order form via email to Peg Mancarella at

6. Send your payment (checks payable to St. Mary's School - Memo: Lunch) to the office marked Hot Lunch.

Keep a copy of your completed order so you remember when your child(ren) have hot lunch. PLEASE NOTE: Save your color ink and print in gray scale.

All questions regarding the hot lunch menu or the ordering process should be directed to Peg Mancarella 651-8973.

Hot Lunch Volunteers & a volunteer to schedule the volunteers are needed! Please contact Sue Glazier at if you can help.

Click here for a copy of the 2012-2013 daily lunch schedule is available below.

Click here for ".xls" Excel Hot Lunch Order Form.

MAC computer users - Click here for "xls" Excel Hot Lunch Order Form.

Families with NO ACCESS TO EXCEL  - Click here for a "pdf" version of the Hot Lunch Order that can be completed by hand.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday News for the week of August 29, 2012

Welcome back to school!  Our first two days have been busy and productive.  We all got reacquainted and enjoyed getting to know the new students and faculty in our community.  On Wednesday, Middle School students (grades 6,7,8) had an extended morning homeroom that featured "iPad Driver's Ed" to familiarize them with the expectations for iPad use.  We conducted our first mandatory fire drill.  It is so wonderful to hear the sound of children in the building after the quiet of summer. Thank you for the gift of your children!  We love them!

Please check the school calendar frequently for updates.  If you require assistance sharing our SMS Master Calendar with your mobile device, please contact Mrs. Hatch.

A friendly reminder that it is imperative that each family return "The Big 4" so that iPad deployment can take place for all students.  We have had wonderful cooperation but we do have a number of responses still missing.  A reminder sheet is being sent home today (Thursday, 8/30) to families that are missing forms.  Once a class has the majority of forms in, iPad deployment takes place.  Grade 7 received their iPads today!  If less than 5 students are missing paperwork, we will deploy devices and the students that have not had all forms turned in will "look on" with a friend until his/her iPad can be given to him/her.

Please keep in mind that our email domain has been changed.  If you are emailing teachers, please use the updated links on the school's website or remember the new naming convention for email addresses (i.e., first initial, last -   There are a couple of exceptions to this naming convention.  If you wish to email the school office about a general concern (e.g., a change to dismissal for a student), please send your email to If you need to email the health office, please send your email to  A complete listing of email addresses appeared in a recent post.  Scroll down the blog to view this post.

An updated used uniform spreadsheet is available, click here.

Library volunteers are needed. Mrs. Ray, our school librarian, is looking for 2 volunteers each week per class.  She will need them to start next week (the week of 9/3/12). The library volunteer coordinator is Angie Bautista.  Her email is and she will have the details if parents are looking for more information.  Anyone willing to volunteer should contact Angie directly.  Click here for the library schedule.

Do you know a boy entering 1st – 5th grade who loves the outdoors, crafts, games, and learning new things?  Cub Scouts is the family-oriented program of the Boy Scouts of America designed for elementary school aged boys.  Pack 175, Simsbury is holding its annual information and recruiting night on Wednesday, September 5th at 6:00pm at Parish Center of St. Mary’s School, 946 Hopmeadow Street.  Come check us out!  For more information, contact Joan de Grandis at 860-404-0422 or

You are invited to the St. Mary's Parish Picnic  onSunday, Sept.9th from 3-5 PM in the north (playground) parking lot. This year we are honoring Father Metzler for his years of dedicated service to St Mary's Church and School by dedicating the Parish Office on Massaco St. to him with a short program at 4 PM. Click here for more information.


The CHOICE desk is open Monday, Tuesday, & Friday 8:45-9:30am and Friday, 3:00-3:20pm.  Orders sent into school via kid mail will be filled on the next staffed CHOICE day.

Click here for information regarding vendors currently offering special bonus rates.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We look forward to welcoming you back!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 8/29/12, is the first day of school for Prekindergarten - Grade 8.  It will be a full day of school.

Parents are invited to view the powerpoint presentation from Monday night's "Core Knowledge" iPad information session.  Click here to view.  You can also read a copy of the "Parent Homework" from this session.  Click here.  We have had lots of parents return their "Big 4" items that must be sent into school before iPads can be deployed to students.  Thanks to everyone for responding so promptly. If you have not yet returned these four items, please do so as soon as possible.  The Big 4 are:

1.  Applecare+ insurance and forms
2.  iPad Acceptable Use Policy handbook acknowledgement
3.  Parent/Student Handbook acknowledgement
4.  Diocesan required Electronic Use Agreement (one per student)

The link to use to share our new school calendar is:

The Home & School Association reminds you to mark your calendars for the annual Fall Festival.  This fabulous family event will take place on Friday, September 14th, beginning at 5:30pm in the North Parking lot.  Volunteers are needed for this event.  If you can help, please contact Nancy Figulski at  Click here for a flier about this event.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New School Year - New Faculty & Staff Email Addresses

As part of our 1:1 iPad initiative, we are launching our school communication platform to the cloud by using the Google Apps for Education.  Effective immediately, all faculty and staff have new Gmail email addresses.  Please  use these email addresses for all school email correspondence.

SMS Office - use to contact office administrative
Marie Gannatti,
Donna Hatch, Apple Technology Coordinator & Adminstrative Office
Tammy Budnick, Administrative Assistant & Advancement
Mary Ann Henzler,
School Nurse, Health
Roxanne Kane,
Bryan Cosham,
Sheri Jehnings, Grade
Lynne Cartwright, Grade
Ginny Gore, Grade
Mary Auger, Grade
Kasey King, Grade
Marilyn Szilva, Grade
Bill Walsh, Grade
Joanne Gillen, Grade
Middle School Science - Grades 6,7,
Gina Raymond, Honors Math, Grades 7 &
Eileen Montross,
Rich Faucher,
Patty Lepak, Vocal
Debbie Morse, Instrumental
Susan Ray,
Scott Gangloff, Physical Education Teacher - use this email address ONLY for matters regarding students’ progress in Physical
Athletic Director - use this email address for matters regarding after school

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Before Care will be available at St. Mary's School

In support of our school’s mission to work in partnership with parents, St. Mary’s is pleased to offer safe, affordable before and after school care for students in Prekindergarten through eighth grade. These programs are available by monthly reservation at a cost saving rate or as a convenient drop-in.   Both programs will begin on our first day of school, Wednesday, 8/29/12.
Please click here for more information and a reservation calendar.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School Mass Schedule for September - December 2012

An integral part of our school Mission is to live our Catholic faith.  Our regular attendance at Mass as a school community and as part of our Parish community is a key component in our faith lives.  Everyone is always welcome to attend a school Mass.

Father Matera has announced our School Mass schedule for September - December 2012.  Mass dates for the remainder of the school year will be announced later this year.  For now, please mark your calendars for the following dates:

Friday, September 7th at 9:30am

Friday, October 5th at 9:30am

Thursday, November 1st at 12:15pm - This is All Saints Day.  We will join the St. Mary's Parish community in worship.

Friday, December 7th at 9:30am

All of these dates have been added to our school calendar.

Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.  If Mass is scheduled for a day your child(ren) has/have Physical Education, the teacher will advise you if PE clothes or sneakers should be sent to school.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gearing up for school! Important announcements for the week of 8/20/12

The Home & School Association is hosting a second "Summer Playground" playdate on the SMS playground on Wednesday, August 22, from 5:30 until 6:30pm. All children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver. Used Uniform Exchange will be available for all your uniform needs.

Come and play, meet some new friends and ask any questions you may have about the upcoming school year.

Please note that the school office will be closed and that there will be no access to the school building during the playdate.

Click here for an informational flyer.

We are considering the possibility of Before Care at St. Mary's. Mrs. Gore and Mr. Cosham have offered to run a program for before school care each morning.

Drop off for the program would begin at 7:30am. Like our Enrichment and Aftercare programs, this care would be available by reservation or as a drop-in.

The reserved cost would be $10.00 for the hour before school begins for one child. The reserved cost for 2 children would be $15.00 and for 3 children - $20.00. The drop-in cost would be $12.00 for one child, $17.00 for 2 children and $22.00 for 3 children.

The children participating in before care would join the children in the north parking lot at 8:30. Drop off for children not using the before care option would continue to be no earlier than 8:20 in the north parking lot. The before care program would not be available on days school opens late due to weather conditions or any other emergencies. Before care will be available on parent teacher conference days and early dismissal for holidays. If your child is sick, we cannot offer refunds, however special cases may apply. Please see me if that should occur.

In order to run the program we need to have 6 children attending 5 days a week at the full cost or a combination equaling the same income. As of 8/20/12, 5 families have committed to using the program if it is available.

Please email Mrs. Gannatti at if you are interested in participating in the before school program. We will let everyone know as soon as possible if we will move forward with the program.

The school, including the office, will be closed on Thursday, 8/23, and Friday, 8/24. All faculty and administrative staff will be attending 2 days of iPad professional development. Please feel free to leave a voice mail or send an email with any concerns you may have during these two days but please keep in mind that you will not receive a response until Monday, 8/27.

Bus Routes for Simsbury residents have now been posted on the Simsbury Board of Education website. Click here to view the St. Mary's bus routes. If you have any questions about your child(ren)'s bus transportation, please contact Sue Caccamo at the Simsbury Board of Education at or 860-651-3361.

This year, our weekly communications and general and emergency announcements will be posted to our this school blog. Once school begins, we will discontinue use of the "listserv" email blast system used for the past several years. If you have not already done so, subscribe to receive emails of all posts by entering your email in subscription box that appears in the upper right portion of this post. Your back to school mailing included information about this.

There are several important school activities taking place the week of August 27th before our first day of school on Wednesday, August 29th. Please visit the school calendar by clicking the calendar tab at the top left of this post for more details.

Email Communications regarding Physical Education & After School Sports

As most of you know, here at St. Mary's the Physical Education teacher is also the school's athletic director.  Prior to her retirement, Mrs. Liljedahl had expressed that it would be helpful to establish two separate email addresses for these roles.  In this way, there is one email address that can be used to communicate privately with the PE teacher if you have concerns as a parent about your student(s) and a separate email address to handle all communications regarding coaching, practice schedules, games, etc...

We have now established these 2 separate addresses.  Please be sure you use the correct email for your question and or concern.

If you wish to communicate with Mr. Gangloff regarding your student(s) progress or participation in the school's physical education program, send your email to  Only Mr. Gangloff will be checking these email so any concerns you express will be shared only with him.

If you have questions or information regarding after school sports, coaching, practice schedules or games, please send your email to  This email address will be checked regularly by both Mr. Gangloff and Mrs. Roman.  Mrs. Roman provides administrative support for after school sports and can often answer questions in regard to all after school programs.
Both of these email links are available on the school website by using the Teacher & Staff Email Adddresses link on the left navigation bar of the home page.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome to our new Saint Mary's School blog.  This blog will replace our former "email blast" style of weekly and emergency electronic communication.  Once you have subscribed to this blog, you will get an email whenever a new announcement is posted.

Plan on receiving a weekly email as you have in the past that will contain plenty of information about everything that is going on at school.  If and when general announcements or emergency announcements are needed, they will also be posted to the blog and arrive in your email.

The blog will give us a lot more flexibility in regard to the publication of pictures and more frequent communication.  We think it will make communication easier and more prompt.  We hope you will agree and appreciate your willingness to try this new approach.

Here are some "Back to School" dates to keep in mind:

Friday, August 10 - HSA Summer Playground, 10-11:30am at the St. Mary's playground.  Used uniform exchange will also be available.  The school office is closed on this date.  There will be no access to the school building available during the event.

Wednesday, August 15 - Back to School mailing goes to the post come those "back to school" forms!

Monday, August 27 -

Kindergarten Parent Meeting, 6pm, Kindergarten Room

iPad "Core Knowledge" for parents, 7pm, Parish Center - at least one parent from each family, strongly encouraged to attend

Informational Meeting for parents of new band students, 8pm, Parish Center

Tuesday, August 28 -

A Morning in Middle School for students entering grade 6, 9-11:30am

"Meet & Greet" for Prekindergarten students and parent/caregiver, 9:30-10:30, PreK room in lower church

"Meet & Greet" for students entering Kindergarten, Grades 1-3 and Grades 5, 10:30-11:30 in classrooms

Wednesday, August 29 -

First day of school for Prekindergarten, Kindergarten-Grade 8.  Yes, it will be a full day of school!  Prekindergarten enrichment and aftercare are available.