News for the Week of 11/26/14

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  The faculty, staff and administration of St. Mary's School is grateful for each and every member of our wonderful community.  Thanks to all of you for the time, talent and treasure you share so generously with us and most of all, for the wonderful children you share with us everyday.  

Assuming that the weather allows us to come to school tomorrow, Wednesday, 11/26/14, will be a 12:45pm early dismissal.  There will be NO Prekindergarten Enrichment & NO Aftercare available on Wednesday, 11/26/14. 




Winter Weather Reminder - Please keep in mind that SMS follows the Simsbury Public Schools in regard to delayed openings, early closings, and closures for a snow day.  If you hear that the Simsbury Public Schools are closed, St. Mary's School is closed. 


"It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."  Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

When we come back to school on Monday, December 1, the season of Advent will have begun.  This year, St. Mary's has a special Advent gift to share with everyone.  Click here to visit our very special Advent calendar.  Each day, you will be able to open a new surprise as we wait in patience and joy for the Baby Jesus.  You can also reach the Advent Calendar right from the home page of our school blog by using the Advent Calendar tab at the top of the screen.

On Monday, December 8th, we will attend Mass at 12:15pm with our parish family to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  All are welcome to join us on this Holy Day of Obligation.  Please remember that no PE uniforms should be worn to Mass.



December School Calendar Reminders -

Monday, 12/1 - Formal Uniform begins for 8th grade.






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 and after all Masses on Saturday, December 6th & Sunday, December 7th.

Social Saturday is Coming on December 6th!  
Click here for a ticket reservation form.


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 form 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.



Members of the 2014 SMS Chess Club
with moderator, Mr. Omelan Markiw.
Chess Club - After weeks of chess practice, the St. Mary's Chess Club held its second chess tournament at St. Mary's ending on November 21st, 2014. The tournament was divided into 2 groups of 14 participants: the Younger Group of grades 1st and 2nd, and the Older Group of grades 3rd through 6th.  Click here for tournament results and a message from Chess Club Moderator, Mr. Omelan Markiw.  SMS extends warm thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Markiw for moderating this club for the second year.  This generous donation of time and expertise provides interested students with a great experience.


CHOICE News - Gift cards are a great Christmas gift!  No worries about sizes or colors! Just in time for Christmas giving, American Girl gift cards are available from GL Scrip in
$25 and $100 denominations. Quantities are limited since this a  holiday sale only. Send your order in ASAP.

GL Scrip has gift cards available to many popular shopping destinations.  Please take a moment to review the list of available retailers as you make your Christmas shopping list.  Click here.

The deadline for all CHOICE special orders is Wednesday, December 10th.  Orders placed after 12/10/14 may not arrive in time for Christmas giving.

Home & School Association News



Fundraiser at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley, Canton
Let your Christmas shopping help St. Mary's. We invite you to come to Barnes & Noble, Dish N Dat and Ben & Jerry's in Canton on Thursday, December 4th from 4-9pm. A portion of all sales from each of these establishments will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association. When shopping at Barnes & Noble, you do need to present a voucher in order to assure a portion of your sales benefits the HSA. 
Click here to download and print your vouchers.There will also be musical entertainment performed by our very own SMS students along with a display of student Eric Carle themed artwork. Come join the fun and get some Christmas shopping done at the same time!

Family Fun Night - Thursday, December 11th from 4 - 7pm is family fun night.

Please join us at Blue Fox Rock N Bowl on the Simsbury/Granby town line. Tickets will be sold for $15/person which includes unlimited bowling and laser tag!

Neckers - Another opportunity for Christmas shopping! 


We invite you to come to Neckers Toy Store in Simsbury on Thursday, December 11th. A portion of all sales will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association.


Community News


St. Mary's Parish CHRISTMAS YOUTH CHOIR will rehearse on three Thursdays -12/4, 12/11, and 12/18 - from 5:00 - 5:45pm in the church. All children old enough to learn the words to traditional Christmas carols are invited to participate. The choir sings prior to the 6:00pm Mass on Christmas Eve starting at 5:30pm. Please see Music Director, Gena Sullivan after Mass if you have any questions.





The Edge Religious Education program and The Knights of Columbus will be sponsoring Breakfast with Santa on Saturday December 6th from 8:30 to 10:30 in the St Mary's Parish center. Tickets will be on sale this Sunday in the Church vestibule after 9:30 Mass. Tickets are $10 per person, children under 2 are free. There will be no ticket sales at the door on the day of the event. There will be breakfast, crafts for the kids and a visit from Santa! For more information please contact Stacie Windisch at windischfamily@comcast.net or 8606519424.




Simsbury Public Library Teen Space has some fabulous programs coming up -  The month of December will feature SAT workshops and practice exams, a Hobbit party, an opportunity for art students to work on portfolio development & an showing of that Christmas favorite, Elf.  Click here for all the details.





The Hartford Children's Medical Center was planning to conduct a Mass Casualty Exercise on Tuesday, December 2nd. Student volunteers were being solicited. This exercise has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a date after the busy holiday season.

News for the Week of 11/2014

Calendar Reminders

Friday, 11/21/14 - Last meeting of Chess Club for those signed up to participate.  Our thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Markiv for coordinating this club.

Wednesday, 11/26/14 - 12:45pm Early Dismissal for Thanksgiving holiday.  No PreKindergarten Enrichment or Aftercare.

Thursday, 11/27 & 28 - School is closed for Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 1 - Formal uniform begins for Grade 8.




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



Monday, December 8 - Feast of the Immaculate Conception - We will attend the 12:15pm Parish Mass.  Please remember that no PE uniforms should be worn to Mass.


Used Uniform Exchange - Click here for an updated spreadsheet of available used uniforms.








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.





Yearbook Photos Needed!  The SMS Yearbook is a fabulous keepsake that contains photos of all students and all the year's events.  The Yearbook committee encourages you to share any photos you may have of this year's events.  To submit photos for publication consideration, please email Gina McDonald at ggmcdonald@outlook.com.


Annual Coat Drive - Grades 7 and 8 are hosting a coat drive on behalf of the Hispanic Health Council of Hartford. We are collecting new and gently-used, washed or dry cleaned coats or winter jackets of all sizes. The coat drive is underway and will run through Monday, December 1st. Donations may be sent into your child(ren)'s classrooms. Eighth grade students will collect donations each day. Thanks in advance for supporting this important community service project.


Athletic News


The SMS basketball season is underway! The Girls' Varsity team opened their season with a win against Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  The Boys' Varsity team played a great game but had a tough loss to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  We are all looking forward to an exciting season!



















Home & School News -


Thank you to everyone who sent entries for the Skeleton Scramble Logo Design Contest!  Due to an error on the date listed on the paperwork, we will extend the contest to the end of this week.  If your child would still like to submit an entry, please send completed artwork with the accompanying paperwork to Amy Lillis via Sophie Lillis in Grade 1 by this Friday, November 21st. No entries will be accepted after this date. Click here for contest details and entry form.


Fundraiser at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley, Canton
Let your Christmas shopping help St. Mary's. We invite you to come to Barnes & Noble, Dish N Dat and Ben & Jerry's in Canton on Thursday, December 4th from 4-9pm. A portion of all sales from each of these establishments will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association. There will also be musical entertainment performed by our very own SMS students along with a display of student Eric Carle themed artwork. Come join the fun and get some Christmas shopping done at the same time!





Family Fun Night - Thursday, December 11th from 4 - 7pm is family fun night. Please join us at Blue Fox Rock N Bowl on the Simsbury/Granby town line. Tickets will be sold for $15/person which includes unlimited bowling and laser tag!




Neckers - Another opportunity for Christmas shopping! We invite you to come to Neckers Toy Store in Simsbury on Thursday, December 11th. A portion of all sales will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association.





Social Saturday is Coming Soon!  
Click here for a ticket reservation form.



Community News


St. Mary's Parish CHRISTMAS YOUTH CHOIR will rehearse on three Thursdays -12/4, 12/11, and 12/18 - from 5:00 - 5:45pm in the church. All children old enough to learn the words to traditional Christmas carols are invited to participate. The choir sings prior to the 6:00pm Mass on Christmas Eve starting at 5:30pm. Please see Music Director, Gena Sullivan after Mass if you have any questions.



Simsbury Public Library Teen Space has some fabulous programs coming up -  The month of December will feature SAT workshops and practice exams, a Hobbit party, an opportunity for art students to work on portfolio development & an showing of that Christmas favorite, Elf.  Click here for all the details.





Student Volunteers Needed -


The Hartford Children's Medical Center will be conducting a Mass Casualty Exercise on Tuesday, December 2nd.  Click here for more information.  All volunteers must RSVP to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net NLT Tuesday, 11/25/14.
 


Wreaths Across America will be celebrated for the 6th consecutive year on Saturday, Dec 13th in Simsbury Cemetery on Plank Hill Rd. This ceremony, hosted by the Abigail Phelps Chapter DAR, with participation from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War, will begin promptly at 12 noon followed by cookie reception in the Simsbury Library and all are welcome. For more information or for a form to purchase a wreath, please click here.

End of Week Reminders - Thursday, 11/13/14


Parent/Teacher Conferences have Concluded - Tomorrow - Friday, 11/14, is a regular full day of school with PreKindergarten Enrichment and Aftercare available.

Group Class Photos & Individual Student Retake Photos of students in PreKindergarten through Grade 7 will be taken by Lifetouch Photography on Monday, 11/17.  Students in Kindergarten through Grade 7 should wear their full formal uniform.  If it is a PE day, sneakers may be brought to school but school shoes must be worn with the uniform.  If a student is having an individual retake, a change of clothing may be brought for the photo but can be worn only for the photo.  For more details, click here.



Grade 8 Poinsettia Sale - All orders & payments are due NLT Monday, 11/17/14.  Click here for your order form.





Athletic News - CALLING ALL BASKETBALL JERSEYS!

Mr. Gangloff requests that if your child(ren) still have their basketball jersey from last year that they please be returned NLT Friday, 11/14.  All basketball players will be receiving a different jersey this year appropriate for their size and correct team.




Annual Senior Luncheon Will Be Here Soon!  St. Mary School is hosting our annual Thanksgiving Luncheon for Senior Citizens  on Wednesday, 11/19/14 in the parish center. Again this year, each grade is being asked to contribute specific items to help prepare the meal.  A Sign Up Genius has been setup for each class to make it easy for you to see what is needed and to sign up to help. Click here to access the Sign Up Genius. Non-perishable items should be sent in by Monday, November 17. Please be sure that they are clearly labeled for the Senior Luncheon.  Non-perishable items should be sent in by 9am on Wednesday, 11/19.  Your contributions are  vital to our success.   

Volunteers are needed on Tuesday, 11/18, to help with setup and volunteers are needed on Wednesday, 11/19, to help prepare, serve and clean up.  Even an hour or two of time is greatly appreciated.  Please help us make this a wonderful day for our area senior citizens.

If you know of an area senior citizen that would like to attend our luncheon, please tell them to sign up by calling the Simsbury Senior Center to make their reservation at 860-658-3273.  Seating is limited, please encourage them to call ASAP!


Home & School News -

The next Home & School Association Meeting is Tuesday, 11/18 at 6:30pm in the Grade 8 classroom.  Click here for the agenda.

Social Saturday is Coming Soon!  
Click here for a ticket reservation form.



News for the Week of November 12, 2014

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the organizer, who gave us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."–   Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC


 Our school community gathered on Veterans' Day to remember the service and sacrifice of all veterans.  In prayer and song, we offered our gratitude for all the freedoms our veterans have served to protect.  As Mrs. Gore eloquently observed, "from the cobblestone streets of Concord to the hills of Fallujah, our veterans have served so we can be free."  Our grateful thanks to all veterans and to all who serve in the military today.








Chilly Weather is on our Doorstep - Please keep in mind that unless the temperature drops below 20 degrees or the weather is wet and inclement our students do wait outside at morning arrival and do go outdoors for recess.  Please be sure your students have the appropriate outerwear for the day's conditions.  Please also remind your students that they should wear their outerwear so that it can keep them warm.  Girls are encouraged to wear uniform knee socks or tights beneath their jumpers or skirts.  Girls that choose to wear wind pants, sweatpants or flannel pants beneath their jumpers or skirts while outdoors must remove them during the instructional day.  Thank you all for your cooperation.





Mrs. Jehning's fabulous first graders made owls in Art class with Mrs. Mortillaro and then they wrote something that they have learned so far in first grade. They will be perched on the first grade classroom door. Please be sure to take a peek at them during conferences. They are a "hoot"!








Parent/Teacher Conferences will conclude tomorrow - Thursday, 11/13/14.  This will be the final 12:45pm early dismissal this week.  Again tomorrow there is PreKindergarten Enrichment available but no Aftercare.  Friday, 11/14/14, is a regular full day of school with both PreK Enrichment and aftercare available.







Calling all SMS Yard Signs - Were you nice enough to display a sign on your lawn to publicize our recent Open House?  If so, please return it to the school office at your earliest convenience. We will reuse them in the spring.









Parents of Cadet Band Students are invited! - Our Cadet band open house will be held on Thursday, November 13th from 11:30am-12:15pm in the Music Portable. Parents are invited to come and sit next to their beginner student and see how the band learns to prepare for concerts and how they should be practicing at home.










LAST CHANCE SKI SNOWBOARD CLUB: If you are sitting on the fence or procrastinating now is the time.  Registrations have been re-opened for students and parents to participate in our Ski and Snowboard Club and the late fee will be waived.  

If you already have a season's pass at Ski Sundown you can ride our bus to and from there.

When its dark, cold and snowy what better way to stay active and engaged with our wonderful students than by skiing or snowboarding with them.

We are short on our participation level this year, so this last chance is being offered with the late fee waived.  Its a great time and students and parents alike consider it very worthwhile.  Click here for more information and registration forms.




 Lifetouch Photography will return to SMS on Monday, November 17th to take group class photos of students in Prekindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7.  All students in Kindergarten through grade 7 should be in formal uniform for this photo.  Students may bring sneakers if Monday is  PE day. Lifetouch will also do retakes on this day and take photos of any student(s) that may have been absent on picture day on September 15th.  Click here for more information.



Athletic News 

Just a reminder that fees are now due for basketball.  Please make your checks payable to "SMS Booster Club" with "Basketball" in the memo section.  Fees are as follows:
3rd-8th grades - $150 per athlete.
2nd grade -  $50 per Athlete
Max $275 Per family
Players will not receive a jersey until payment is received!



LET GRADE 8 HELP YOU PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS!The annual Poinsettia Sale to benefit St. Mary’s School 8th grade class is underway and continues through November 17th. Please consider a purchase for your family, a friend or your business. If you care to make a donation, we will be happy to donate your flower purchase to McLean Center or the Governor’s House Care & Rehab Center. These beautiful plants are a wonderful way to bring cheer to others in our community! Poinsettia pick up will be in the Parish Center on THURSDAY, December 4th from 2PM - 4PM and after all Masses on Saturday December 6th and Sunday, December 7th. Thank you for considering a purchase! Click here for your poinsettia order form.



Annual Coat Drive - Grades 7 and 8 are hosting a coat drive on behalf of the Hispanic Health Council of Hartford. We are collecting new and gently-used, washed or dry cleaned coats or winter jackets of all sizes. The coat drive is underway and will run through Monday, December 1st. Donations may be sent into your child(ren)'s classrooms. Eighth grade students will collect donations each day. Thanks in advance for supporting this important community service project.



Annual Senior Luncheon Will Be Here Soon!  St. Mary School is hosting our annual Thanksgiving Luncheon for Senior Citizens  on Wednesday, 11/19/14 in the parish center. Again this year, each grade is being asked to contribute specific items to help prepare the meal.  A Sign Up Genius has been setup for each class to make it easy for you to see what is needed and to sign up to help. Click here to access the Sign Up Genius. Non-perishable items should be sent in by Monday, November 17. Please be sure that they are clearly labeled for the Senior Luncheon.  Non-perishable items should be sent in by 9am on Wednesday, 11/19.  Your contributions are  vital to our success.  If you know of an area senior citizen that would like to attend our luncheon, please tell them to sign up by calling the Simsbury Senior Center to make their reservation at 860-658-3273.  Seating is limited, please encourage them to call ASAP!

PLEASE NOTE - NO STUDENT HOT LUNCH IS SERVED ON SENIOR LUNCHEON DAY.  ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BRING A BROWN BAG LUNCH.  Milk is still available.

It's time to start thinking about Yearbook!  
The 8th Grade Yearbook Committee is looking for your photos for this year's copy of the SMS Yearbook. The SMS Yearbook is a great way to remember all of this year's special highlights and contains photos of every child in the school.  Yearbooks are sold on a pre-order basis and this year, on-line orders are strongly recommended.  Click here to order your yearbook. Deadline for orders is March 15, 2015. To submit photos for publication consideration, please email Gina McDonald at ggmcdonald@outlook.com.


Home & School Association News


Thanks to everyone who sent in Box Tops for Education for the fall contest.  Thanks to your clipping, $406.40 was earned for St. Mary's HSA to benefit our students.  Our second collection contest will be held in February 2015 - start clipping and saving now!




Our next HSA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18th. The meeting will be at 6:30pm in the grade 8 classroom. All are welcome!



Save the Date - Fundraiser at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley, Canton
Let your Christmas shopping help St. Mary's. We invite you to come to Barnes and Noble, Dish N Dat and Ben & Jerry's in Canton on Thursday, December 4th from 4-9pm. A portion of all sales from each of these establishments will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association. Come join the fun and get some Christmas shopping done at the same time!

Mark your Calendars -Thursday, December 11th from 4 - 7pm. is family fun night. Please join us at Blue Fox Rock N Bowl on the Simsbury/Granby town line for some bowling and laser tag fun. More details to follow in the coming weeks.




Mark your Calendars - Fundraiser -Another opportunity for Christmas shopping! We invite you to come to Neckers Toy Store in Simsbury on December 11th. A portion of all sales will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association. More details to follow in the coming weeks.



CALLING ALL ARTISTS! The deadline to submit artwork for the Logo Contest for the school’s new trail race is extended to this Friday, November 14th. All SMS students are eligible. Please send completed artwork with the accompanying paperwork to Amy Lillis via Sophie Lillis in Grade 1. Click here for contest details and entry form.




RUN/WALK GROUP The weather is still nice, the trails are beautiful, and the company can’t be beat. Come join the walkers and runners at McLean Game Refuge (entrance on Rte 10/202 just north of Stop and Shop) at 9:00 on Wednesday mornings for some exercise and conversation.



HSA Nominating Committee  - The HSA is looking for a Nominating Committee to help fill the HSA roles for next school year. The Nominating Committee is responsible for finding nominees for each open position and presenting them at a spring meeting. If you are interested in serving on the committee, please contact Jennifer Pavlonnis at jpavlonnis@yahoo.com or Amy Lillis at amylillis73@gmail.com.

Community News





Annual Turkey Trot Non-Perishable Food Collection - Again this year, our school will be collecting non-perishable food items to benefit the Turkey Trot food drive.  Donations may be sent in beginning on Monday, 11/10 until Tuesday, 11/18.  Please be sure all donations are clearly marked "Turkey Trot" so they do not get confused with Senior Luncheon donations.







Student Volunteers Needed -


The Hartford Children's Medical Center will be conducting a Mass Casualty Exercise on Tuesday, December 2nd.  Click here for more information.  All volunteers must RSVP to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net NLT Tuesday, 11/25/14.








Wreaths Across America will be celebrated for the 6th consecutive year on Saturday, Dec 13th in Simsbury Cemetery on Plank Hill Rd. This ceremony, hosted by the Abigail Phelps Chapter DAR, with participation from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War, will begin promptly at 12 noon followed by cookie reception in the Simsbury Library and all are welcome. For more information or for a form to purchase a wreath, please click here.




Students in Mrs. Jehning's first grade class worked at home with their families to create Cultural Pizza Project. Students created a 6 slice "pizza" that represented all 6 patterns of culture. The 6 patterns are:

1. The ways we act together
2. The ways we worship
3. The ways we speak
4. The ways we earn a living
5. The things we make and use
6. The ways we express ourselves







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