Wednesday, September 25, 2013

News for the Week of 9/25/13

Walk-In Wednesdays begin on October 2nd.  Do you know someone wondering if SMS is the place for their child(ren)?  If so, invite them to drop by any Wednesday during the month of October between 9:30 and 11:00am.  Walk-In Wednesdays are a great way to get acquainted with us and experience our school day.

Our October School Mass is scheduled for Friday, 10/4/13, at 9am.  All are welcome to join us at Mass.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Miss Kane's PreKindergarten Blog is now available.  Click here to visit and subscribe.

Aftercare Remind 101 is now available!  Join Mr. G's Aftercare Remind 101 to receive updates regarding the Aftercare program and as needed announcements regarding the classroom for pickup, etc..  To sign up, text this message: @8c9923 to (860) 269-4491.

BoxTops for Education - Start Saving Those BoxTops-  Click here for a welcome message from this year's BoxTops for Education coordinators, Amy Lillis and Scott Sirianni.  BoxTops may be sent in at any time.  Our first contest deadline is 10/18/13.

Annual Notification regarding Asbestos Management -  Please click here.

Paul Cryan Photography will take Grade 8 individual student photos and a group class photo on Friday, 9/27/13.  After school appointments for other students and siblings of students will be available by appointment at Paul Cryan's studio on Monday, 9/30.  Click here for more information.

The St. Mary's Church Youth Choir is for young people in grades 2 through 8. St. Mary's School students are welcome to participate. The choir will rehearse on the following Friday afternoons: September 27th, October 11th, October 25th, November 8th, and November 22 from 3:45 - 4:30. The choir will sing at the 9:30am Mass on October 27 and November 24th. The Choir will continue again in January. Please contact Patty Lepak at for more information!  Important Note:  If your SMS student wishes to participate in this choir you or a designated adult must escort your child from school to the church.  There is no designated SMS staff member to provide this escort and children may not cross the lot unaccompanied.  Please be sure to send a note or email to school indicating that your child will be participating in this choir and who will be escorting him/her to church. Click here to see last year's group singing at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. 

Home & School Association News

The HSA Lyman Orchards Fundraiser will begin on October 1, 2013. Order your “Bake at Home” pies and receive your order during Thanksgiving Week! Talk about a busy mom’s friend! Proceeds will go to cultural enrichment events.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

News for the week of 9-18-12

Last Friday, Kindergarten students were dismayed to find that their teddy bears had disappeared from their classroom.  Accompanied by Mr. Cosham, they searched high and low all through the school to no avail.  Finally, the teddy bears were found waiting outside for their favorite students to join them for a "Teddy Bear Picnic" lunch.  Our School Chaplain, Father Santiago, joined the children and was introduced to all the teddy friends!

Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held in November.  If you have not already done so, please use Sign-Up Genius to sign up for the day/time that will work best for your family.  You may use the "Parent/Teacher Conference Sign Up" tab at the top of this page to access the Sign-Up Geniuses for conferences.

Art Truck/Library Volunteer Sign-up Now Available - Click here to access the Sign Up Genius.

Paul Cryan Photography will take individual student photos and a group class photo of our 8th grade students on Friday, 9/27, in the morning.  Paul Cryan Photo Sessions for other students and siblings of SMS students are available on September 30, 2013 at Paul Cryan's Studio located at 40 Avon Meadow Lane in Avon. Click here for more information or contact Jennifer Pavlonnis at or 860-331-0569 to schedule an appointment.

Room Parent News - Grade 4 is still in need of an assistant room parent.  If  you would like to help, please contact Mrs. Auger.

A reminder about Blog Posts - Please keep in mind that there is always a delay between the time a post is "published" to any of our school blogs and when your email copy of the post is received in your email in-box.  For example, when this blog post is published on Wednesday afternoon, it will immediately be "live" and visible if you visit the school's blog website but most of you will not receive your email of the post until early Thursday morning.  This delay is a function of the FeedBurner subscription service of Google and cannot be changed or deleted by the school.  To be sure you are viewing the most current information when utilizing teacher's blogs to check homework, please visit the blog site rather than waiting for an email post.  All Teacher's Blogs are easily accessible via the main school blog by using the links on the right side of the screen.

A reminder regarding carpool dismissal - Students are dismissed each day after closing prayer at 3:20.  Please do not arrive for pickup earlier than 3:10pm.  Until 3:10, the North (playground) parking lot may be in use for physical education classes and the safety cones will be in place.  Early arrivals may end up exceeding the parking capacity of the top of the driveway and overflow onto Hopmeadow Street causing a significant safety hazard.  Thank you for your cooperation with this important safety concern.

Sunday Morning Adult Enrichment - Having trouble finding the balance between faith and sports?  On Sunday, 9/22, the Adult Enrichment talk is perfect for you.  “Family, Sports, Faith and Your Children” will be given by Steve Rushin, parent, parishioner and writer for Sports Illustrated. As many of you may be aware, 3 of Mr. & Mrs. Rushin's children are now students here at SMS.  Sessions will be  in the Parish Center before and after the 9:30 AM Mass. The first session will be from 8:15—9:30 AM and the second from 10:40—11:45 AM.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Athletic News -   The SMS Athletics Blog is now available.  Click here to view the blog and subscribe to receive all posts.

Students in Grades 6-8 are invited to participate in Friday morning basketball beginning on 10/4/13.  Between 7:50-8:30am, middle school students may come in and play basketball.  Students will be given coaching instruction and will work on fundamentals. There will also be a scrimmage every Friday. Middle School students have P.E. on Fridays, so students should wear P.E. uniform. On Mass days ,students will be given time to change. If you would like your child(ren) to participate, you can sign up per month for $20 or $5 per day.   Click here for sign up form.

If you have a child that participates in any sports or clubs throughout the year and you have not registered for the Athletic Remind 101 that will send you a text alert if there are changes to practices or games,  please do so now. If you registered last year, you do not need to re-register unless your phone number has changed.  To Register: Text: @smsat  To: (301) 710-0506

School Uniform News - From September 18th-22nd, Lands' End is offering "Penny Logos" - Click here for more details.  Logos may be applied to relaxed uniform polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters and sweater vests.

Grade 8 Fundraising - A revised version of the order form for the new Grade 8 spirit wear items has been uploaded to the school's website.  This order form contains sizing information for the new flannel pants and also a place to indicate how you would like your order delivered.  Click here for the updated form.  Please remember that the flannel pants and baseball cap are "spirit wear" items that are not part of our school uniform and should not be worn during the academic portion of the school day (e.g., the flannel pants may be worn beneath a skirt while waiting outside in the morning and outside during recess but must be removed, not rolled up,  during the school day.)

Home & School Association News -  Click here for this week's updates including information about the Lyman Orchards Pie Fundraiser that will begin in October and the current list of non-perishables needed by the Simsbury Food Pantry.

Big Y Educational Express Program - You can continue to earn points for our school until January 1, 2014.  We can redeem these points for free educational supplies including many things that are needed every day like colored paper, pens, post its and USB storage.  If you have not already registered, click here for more information.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

News for the Week of 9-11-13

Reminders & Announcements

The School Board will meet on Wednesday, 9/18/13 at 7pm.  The meeting will be held in the school - exact location to be announced.

Sign-up Genius links for Parent/Teacher Conferences in November will be posted on the Parent Page of the school's website and on a Parent/Teacher Conference blog page.  These conferences will be held from Monday, 11/11/13 through Thursday, 11/14/13.  Appointments begin at 1:30 pm.  All conference days are early dismissal days and no PreK Enrichment or Aftercare is available.  If you do not sign up for a conference before October 1, a conference will be assigned for you.

Lifetouch Photography will take individual student photos for students in Grades PreK, K-7 on Monday, 9/16/13.  Paul Cryan will take individual student photos of grade 8 students and the grade 8 class picture on Friday, 9/27/13.  Thanks to the efforts of a volunteer, appointments will be available for after school Paul Cryan appointments for students in other grades and for siblings that do not attend SMS. Click here for important details about all school picture days and opportunities.

Are  you receiving all your SMS communications?  There are 2 avenues for most SMS communications.  The first is via blog posts.  You will receive an email of any posts to any of our blogs if you "subscribe" to the blog using the subscription box that appears on the blog page. The second communication method is via email groups that have been created by SMS office staff.  Direct emails are sent out when information is time sensitive or applies only to certain groups of families (e.g., all families with students in grades 2 and 3 or only families with students in Prekindergarten). These email groups are not linked to blog subscriptions but are created by entering the Primary family email address you listed on your Family Verification form. If you have any question about whether the email you want used is the one being used, please contact Donna Hatch at  We are happy to update our email groups to help assure everyone receives all the news they need.

Guidelines for Requests for Publication & Setups for Events -  Please keep in mind that all request for information to be published in the school blog must be received NLT Tuesday at dismissal each week in order to guarantee publication on Wednesday.  If you are coordinating an event that is already scheduled on the school calendar and need tables, chairs or other items like display boards, please compile a list of items needed and prepare a setup diagram.  Submit this information to the school office at least 72 hours in advance of your event.  If you are coordinating an event that has not yet been scheduled on the school calendar, please keep in mind that Mrs. Gannatti must approve all school events and that all campus facilities must be reserved by the school office through the Parish Offices before they can be added to the school calendar.  Only then can setup arrangements be made.

Athletic News -

Fall Sports Practice Schedule -
Soccer Practice is 3:45-5pm on Fridays
Cross Country practice is Tuesdays and Thursday 7:50-8:30am
Field Hockey is Monday and Wednesday 3:45-5pm
Basketball Sign-up Form is now available. Students in grades 2-8 are eligible to participate  Click here for more information.  All forms are due NLT September 20, 2013.

Private coaching with Mr. Gangloff is available now through Spring 2014.  Click here for more information.

Home & School Association News

This Friday, 9/13/13, is the annual Fall Festival!  Pack a picnic dinner and join us for family fun!  Please keep in mind that this is a family event and that all children attending need adult supervision. Volunteers, including grade 8 student volunteers, are still needed!  Please contact our Fall Festival Chair Person, Mrs. Jennifer Pavlonnis at to share your time and talent!


CHOICE is looking for a few parent volunteers to sell Choice cards on Wednesday mornings (8:30-9:30am) and Friday afternoons before pick up (2:45- 3:30pm) and on alternating Mondays (8:30-9:30am). Also, if anyone has any leftover choice zippy pouches to please send them into the office as our supply has depleted.  If you have questions about CHOICE or about volunteering to help with the program, please contact Tammy Budnick at

Community News -

Simsbury Arts Academy announces Fall offerings - Exciting classes in the visual, theatrical and creative arts are available to students in elementary and middle school age ranges. Click here for more information.

Are you interested in joining cub scouts? There will be  a Recruitment Night next week, September 12th in the 7th and 8th grade classrooms at St. Mary’s School, from 6:30-8pm. Please stop in to see scouting demonstrations and pick up an application. Find out what scouting is all about! If you can’t make the 12th, then please stop into our Pack meeting on September 20th in the parish center between 6:00 – 7:30. Any questions, please see our website:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

News for the week of 9/5/13

Friday, September 6th - School Mass at 9am in the Church.  All are welcome to join us at Mass.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee prior to Mass in the Parish Center.  Please note that this is an updated location. 

Wednesday, September 11th - Back to School Night for Parents.  This is your opportunity to learn more about your child(ren)'s school day, get acquainted with the teachers and visit in the classrooms.  The evening will begin at 6pm in the Parish Center.  This will be your first opportunity to sign up for our Parent/Teacher Conferences in November.  Important information about the Educonnect Family Portal will be presented to help you understand how you can view your child(ren)'s academic progress and also access school directory information.  Please line up a babysitter and plan to join us!

School Board - The dates for 2013/2014 school board meeting are:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
 All meetings will begin at 7pm and held in the school building unless otherwise noted.  All are welcome to attend.

School Directory - The 2013-2014 School Directory containing family contact information will be available once all family verification forms are received and school databases are updated.  This year the school directory information will be available via the new Educonnect Family Portal.  This feature will be explained at Back to School Night for Parents on Wednesday, September 11th.

Faculty Voice Mail is Now Available at SMS!  We are happy to announce that one of the benefits of our summer renovation has been the addition of voicemail mailboxes for faculty at SMS.  Click here for a list of voice mail extensions.  If you are calling during a normal school day, your call will still be answered by the main office and you can request the faculty extension you would like so that you can leave a message.  If the office staff is busy or away from the desk when you call, you can follow the automated prompts to leave a message on the desired extension.  Faculty will check their voicemail at least daily.

If you are calling with a change for daily dismissal, please do not leave a voice mail for the home room teacher.  Please report all dismissal changes directly to the school office.  Please remember that whenever possible, dismissal changes should be reported prior to noon.  Dismissal notifications that are received late in the afternoon may not be received and can result in students not following the proper procedures.
  Click here for a listing of voice mail extensions.

Grade 8 Fundraising - Each year our 8th grade students conduct a number of fundraisers to help defray costs associated with their field trip to NYC and other expenses related to graduation.  This year, the 8th grade has some terrific new "school spirit" items available for sale.  One of the items is SMS Flannel Pajama Pants!
In addition to flannel pajama pants, items include nylon backed fleece blankets perfect for fall outings, baseball caps, cooler bags for grocery shopping or packing snow clothes, and SMS “fathead” stickers!  Click here for more photos, information and order forms.  PLEASE NOTE:  FLANNEL PAJAMA PANTS AND BASEBALL CAPS ARE NOT PART OF OUR SMS UNIFORM AND ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE DAILY ATTIRE.

Individual Student Pictures -  Lifetouch Photography will be here on Monday, 9/16/13 to take individual student photos of students in Prekindergarten, Kindergarten - 7.  Order forms for portrait packages are being sent home with each student on Friday, 9/6/13.  Completed photo order forms and payments should be brought to school on Picture Day, 9/16/13 - Please do not send order forms in early. Please click here for more information about school photos, including photos for grade 8.

Home & School Association News

2013-2014 H.O.P.E.S. (Help Our Parish Elementary Schools) Volunteers Announced - Congratulations to Tom & Kristin Potter on their selection as the recipients of the H.O.P.E.S. St. John Neumann Award for 2013-2014.  Tom and Kristin have generously donated many hours of time and their many talents in support of our school. In addition to coordinating the Used Uniform Exchange, serving in the lunchroom and helping with homeroom activities, Kristin chaired our enormously important school fundraiser - CHOICE, for 2 years.  Tom has served on our School Board and has also coordinated the annual raffle associated with our parish spring carnival.  Click here to read more about the St. John Neumann Award and about our recipients, Tom and Kristin. We hope many of you will join us at the annual H.O.P.E.S. dinner at the Aqua Turf in Southington on Sunday, September 22nd.  For more information and to reserve seats, please contact Jen Hoffman at

This Friday is the Fall Festival!  Join us for family fun!  Students in 7th & 8th grade are invited to help at this event with face painting and crafts.

CHOICE Program News - The CHOICE program is now being coordinated by Mrs. Tammy Budnick.  If you have questions about CHOICE, please contact Tammy at or at 860-658-8412 between 9am and noon. A revised order form is being developed and will be introduced at "Back to School" Night on 9/11.  Daily CHOICE sales have now resumed.  You may come into the office to purchase cards on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.  At this time, there are no afternoon sales.  Kid mail orders may still be sent in and will be filled on the next CHOICE sale day.
SMS 7th & 8th Grade Students are invited to learn more about EDGE.  EDGE is the middle school Religious Education program at St. Mary's Parish. “It is designed to meet the educational, spiritual, emotional, and social needs of young adolescents.”  The introductory program will be held on Sunday, September 8th in the Parish Center from 6-7pm.

The Office of Catholic Schools is focusing on 20/20 Vision for Catholic Schools.  Click here to read a press release about the Office of Catholic Schools' plans for implementing the strategic plan, 20/20 Vision:  an Eye on Our Future.  Click here to read a press release about their plans.

Again this year, the Archdiocese of Hartford is encouraging participation in "Family Day:  A Day to Eat With Your Children".  The goal of Family Day is to encourage families to make time for dinner together.  Research has shown that the more families sit down for dinner on a regular basis, the less likely it is that children will engage in dangerous activities like smoking or illegal drug use or underage drinking. This year this event is being celebrated on Monday, September 23.  The poster chosen by the Archdiocese was designed by a student from St. Mary-St. Michael School in Derby.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell is encouraging people across the Archdiocese of Hartford to observe a “Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria” as declared by Pope Francis, on Saturday, September 7, 2013.  The Archbishop will celebrate a special Mass for Peace on WCCT (Channel 20) at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 7th. At St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope Francis will host a gathering of prayer asking for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. E.S.T.

Community News

Are you interested in joining cub scouts? There will be  a Recruitment Night next week, September 12th in the 7th and 8th grade classrooms at St. Mary’s School, from 6:30-8pm. Please stop in to see scouting demonstrations and pick up an application. Find out what scouting is all about! If you can’t make the 12th, then please stop into our Pack meeting on September 20th in the parish center between 6:00 – 7:30. Any questions, please see our website: