News for the Week of 2/26/14




Who knew compound words could be "SNOW" much fun?


Last week, first grade students made paper snowballs to study compound words. The resulting "snowball fight" was great exercise and everyone learned some new words!


SNOW DAY UPDATE - MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

We have had 6 snow days and our projected last day of school is Monday, June 16th with a 12:45 early dismissal.  On our original school calendar, our projected last day if there were no snow days was Monday, 6/9.  Based on the 6 snow days that currently need to be made up, our school calendar has been adjusted as follows:

Monday, April 21- School will be OPEN with PreK enrichment and aftercare available.  This is a change to our original calendar.

Monday, June 9 - Friday, June 13 - School will be OPEN.  These will all be full days of school with PreK enrichment and aftercare available.

Monday, June 16 is now tentatively scheduled as our last day of school. This is scheduled as a 12:45pm early dismissal with NO PreK enrichment or aftercare. If more snow days are needed, days will be added. 

Graduation is still scheduled for Friday, June 6th.


Our March School Mass will the 12:15pm Parish Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 5, as we begin the holy season of Lent.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Our April School Mass will be on Friday, 4/4/14, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee beginning at 8:30am in the Parish Center.



March Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday, March 17th - Thursday, March 20th.  Each of these days will be a 12:45 early dismissal.  Important Correction: There will be Prekindergarten Enrichment available until 3:20pm on each of the conference days.  There will be no Aftercare available on conference days.  Unlike the Parent/Teacher Conferences held in November, the March appointments are not considered mandatory though they are strongly recommended.  If you do not sign up for a conference none will be scheduled for you.  You will be contacted by your child(ren)'s teacher(s) if you do not sign up for a conference and it is felt that one is needed. Conference sign ups are again being completed using Sign Up Genius.  Click here to access the Sign Up Geniuses for conferences or use the March Conference tab that appears at the top of the blog.

One of life's biggest questions - If you or someone you know is wondering if their child is ready for Kindergarten, please join us on Thursday, March 13th.
Advancement News

Annual Fund Update!  Thank you to everyone who has participated in the 2013-2014 Annual Fund where every gift counts, every child benefits.  We are pleased to announce that we have met this year's goal of $45,000.

We would still like to see 100% participation of our school community.  If you have not had an opportunity to donate, please consider a gift of any size.  A contribution of $10.00 dollars is an investment in St. Mary's School, our children and their Catholic education. We also encourage your gift of prayer for the success of the Annual Fund Campaign.  Donation forms are in the office or can be completed online by clicking here.

 Our Heavenly Day of Golf is coming up in May.  Please mark your calendars for Thursday, May 29th at Hop Meadow Country Club.  We are seeking sponsorship levels starting at just $100 for a tee sign.  Please click here for our sponsorship form. Gather your friends and sign your foursome up for a great day of golf.  Our registration form for foursomes will be available soon.





Walk-In Wednesdays are Back!  For the month of March, every Wednesday is Walk-in Wednesday.  Please encourage your friends to stop in and share some time with our smiling students between 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM and see St. Mary's School in action.  No reservations necessary, interested friends may just drop in on Wednesday mornings!



Used Uniform Exchange - Click here to display an updated inventory of available used uniforms.  The relaxed uniform may be worn beginning on Monday, April 21.  Let's hope the weather is conducive that more informal attire, especially the shorts!







Athletic News -

Congratulations on a great season and best of luck to our JVA Boys Basketball team.  This team will play St. Tim's for the league championship on Saturday, 3/1/14 at 12:15pm at Pope John Paul II School in New Britain. Though they lost in the semi-finals round, our Girls JVA team had a great season and we shout out our congratulations to them!

Home & School Association News -

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Nominating Committee:  The HSA is looking for a nominating committee to recommend members of our community for next year’s HSA executive board.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Maggie Domashinski at mmdodo@cox.net or Jennifer Pavlonnis at jpavlonnis@yahoo.com

Simsbury Food Closet:  Please help fill the Simsbury Food Closet to feed our neighbors in need.  A list of items needed can be found here.


Thanks to everyone that supported the Bertucci's Fundraiser in support the construction of our new playground.  Despite short notice for the first evening and challenging weather on the second, the events raised $175.96.  Our thanks to Mrs. Linda Thompson for arranging for this tasty fundraiser!









Join us for an evening of wine tasting and pleasant company that will help us build our new playground.  Click here for a downloadable copy of this flyer and reservation form.





St. Patrick's Day Annual Dinner - 



Click here for a downloadable flyer regarding the annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner sponsored by St. Mary's Parish and the Knights of Columbus.  The organizers of this dinner are also hoping that there may some Irish Step Dance students that might like to perform at the dinner.  If your child(ren) study Irish Dance and are interested in sharing their talent at the dinner, please contact Rhoda Obemeier at 860-651-4027.















Voices of Imani - the Gospel Choir of Boston College will be performing on Saturday, March 1.  For more information, click here.





Campus Facility Update - Our new portable classrooms arrived on Tuesday.  Contractors are being scheduled to complete all necessary setup activities.  We will keep you posted in regard to progress and will let you know when we will be able to use this new space for vocal and instrumental music, art and library.  Thank you for your continued cooperation with morning arrival.




Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views Puts New England Businesses Right on the Map

Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views Puts New England Businesses Right on the Map



Jump Start Your New England Google Virtual Tour

VisitingNewEngland.com, has formed an alliance with Google’s provider of Google Business Tours. To jump start your Google Virtual Tour, you can sign up on the VisitingNewEngland Google Business View info page, or directly sign up here.  A Google Photographer will call you to discuss the participation details.

Lately, I have been traveling to New England restaurants, hotels, attractions and other New England businesses without ever visiting.

How is this possible?

Enter Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views.

As a consumer and travel writer, I am absolutely blown away by the Google Virtual Tours. An expansion of the popular Google Street View, Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views offers interactive 360 degree Virtual Tours that go inside businesses and provide an incredible life-like "you are there" experience.

Need an immediate visual confirmation? Take a look below at this Google Virtual Tour of the Roost Cafe and Bistro in Ogunquit, Maine. All you have to do to start the tour is place the cursor over the photo and move the arrows around to tour this cozy, little restaurant (please be patient as this and ensuing tours load, thanks!)...


View Larger Map

Amazing isn't it? The concept and final product are brilliant, in my opinion. I believe it's a real game changer for how travelers and customers research their destinations, as well as being a potential boost for online business listings.

The Business Advantage
I was telling my tax preparer about Google Virtual Tours for businesses the other day. She sounded genuinely excited, but paused and asked, "What value does it have to a business?"

In one word, "visibility."

For starters, the tours are placed alongside a businesses' Google Maps listing. To illustrate, let's go back to the Roost Cafe and Bistro to see how its business looks on Google Maps. You can check it out here.

The tours also show up in Google search results. How exciting! As an example, take a look at Google search results for Foster's Downeast Clambake in York Harbor, Maine. The "See inside" image link at the top right of the page will take you there.

Additionally, Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views can be placed on your web site and social media. Think of how visually stunning this kind of virtual tour would look to your customers who visit your site or social media destinations like Google+ or Facebook!

Take a look at the Cape Neddick Inn in Cape Neddick, Maine, to see how they implemented a tour on its web site and the The Inn at Tanglewood in York Harbor, Maine, for a Facebook example.

A Rave Review
Su Wetzel, who owns The Inn at Tanglewood Hall with husband Andy, loves the new Google Business View technology.

We (signed up) for the tour about a year ago and it is great," said Wetzel.  "I especially like the way you can put individual rooms on the web site. There's no better way (online) to get a tour of the rooms. It's amazing, you can really zoom in to get the details."

The Wetzels also had a Virtual Tour of the outside of the Inn -- a great idea as the property features beautiful woodlands, colorful gardens, and fountains.

Su said that future customers that first get introduced to the Inn at Tanglewood Hall through Google Business View become so familiar with the property that they ask where certain rooms are when ultimately staying at the Inn.

"They ask about the rooms," said Wetzel. "We have people come in, for example, and ask where that billiard room is! They really get immersed in it (Google Business View)."

Su also recognizes Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views as a marketing tool.

"I have created each tour as a separate page so I can use Google Analytics to  see how each one is doing," said Wetzel. "I also like how the tour shows up on Google Maps and search results. When you 'Google' the Inn at Tanglewood, the tour shows up in the results.  It's very economical, too!"

The Customer/Traveler Advantage
Remember those 35mm cameras of yesteryear? We took photos on film and had no idea how the photos would look until FotoMat processed the film. It's the same way with restaurant, hotel, travel attractions and retail destinations. How do you truly know what a place looks like without visiting? Singular photos only tell part of the story. Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views solves that challenge.

I know, for me, Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views is also a great way to rekindle travel memories of places we've been. One of our favorite southern Maine restaurants is the seasonal Inn on the Blues in York Beach, Maine. Here in New England, we have long, cold winters and often need warm summer memories to help get us through. Just looking at the Inn on the Blues through the Google inside street view warms my heart -- the attractive dining room where we feast on phenomenal seafood, the front porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, etc.

Take a look at all of Inn on the Blues -- we encourage you to move the arrows to get a view from that beautiful front porch of Short Sands Beach, too...


View Larger Map


Endless Possibilities
Google indoor street views are not just limited to restaurants, hotels, attractions and retail. Other businesses and organizations have signed onto Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views, too, including academia, catering, healthcare, hospitality, services and wedding and event venues.  Here are some more examples (and, as a reminder, move those arrows to get a full Virtual Tour experience)...

York Hospital, York, Maine
View 

Garde Arts Center, New London, Conn.


Gene Langan VW, Glastonbury, Conn.

My business, VisitingNewEngland.com, has formed an alliance with Google’s provider of this new program. I am truly excited about this partnership as my main business vision has always been to help others, including being a huge proponent of small business. I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am about this project as I know how much it will help bring visibility to the next level for New England businesses, organizations, institutions or venues. Bottom line: businesses can leverage the power of Google, and the Virtual Tours are stunningly beautiful.

With that said, I look at Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views as a potential stimulus plan for small businesses, the ultimate informal trip planning guide for travelers, and an invaluable tool for getting to know businesses better. Now, that's doing good business and doing business good!


Editor's note: if you are a businesses owner interested in Google Virtual Tours - Inside Street Views, you can learn more and sign up for more information on the VisitingNewEngland Google Business Virtual Tour page. You can also sign up directly right here to get more information.

News for the Week of 2/19/14




After 2 snow days & a brief winter vacation, it was "sweet" to come back to Kindergarten today and finally celebrate Valentine's Day!




SNOW DAY UPDATE - As of today - Wednesday, 2/19/14 - we have had 6 snow days and our projected last day of school is Monday, June 16th with a 12:45 early dismissal.  On our original school calendar, our projected last day if there were no snow days was Monday, 6/9.  Our schedule for snow day make-ups is as follows -

Monday, April 21- School will be OPEN with PreK enrichment and aftercare available.  This is a change to our original calendar.

Monday, June 9 - Friday, June 13 - School will be OPEN.  These will all be full days of school with PreK enrichment and aftercare available. The first day of Spring is Thursday, March 20th!  We are almost there!

Monday, June 16 is now tentatively scheduled as our last day of school. This is scheduled as a 12:45pm early dismissal with NO PreK enrichment or aftercare. If more snow days are needed, days will be added. 

Graduation is still scheduled for Friday, June 6th.


Our March School Mass will the 12:15pm Parish Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 5, as we begin the holy season of Lent.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Our April School Mass will be on Friday, 4/4/14, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee beginning at 8:30am in the Parish Center.



March Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday, March 17th - Thursday, March 20th.  Each of these days will be a 12:45 early dismissal.  Important Correction: There will be Prekindergarten Enrichment available until 3:20pm on each of the conference days.  There will be no Aftercare available on conference days.  Unlike the Parent/Teacher Conferences held in November, the March appointments are not considered mandatory though they are strongly recommended.  If you do not sign up for a conference none will be scheduled for you.  You will be contacted by your child(ren)'s teacher(s) if you do not sign up for a conference and it is felt that one is needed. Conference sign ups are again being completed using Sign Up Genius.  Click here to access the Sign Up Geniuses for conferences or use the March Conference tab that appears at the top of the blog.

One of life's biggest questions - If you or someone you know is wondering if their child is ready for Kindergarten, please join us on Thursday, March 13th.



It’s time to start thinking about warmer weather. Save the date for the St. Mary’s School Fairway to Heaven golf outing on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at Hopmeadow Country Club. Please note that this a new date.  The event was previously announced for May 22, 2014 but would have conflicted with our annual Spring Band Concert.  We are planning a great day so start getting your foursome together! Look for more information to register to play or sign up for a sponsorship opportunity in the coming weeks!

Home & School Association News


Another Opportunity to Help Build Our Playground & Enjoy an Adult Evening of Wine Tasting -  Click here to download this flyer to print the RSVP &  payment form.


YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Nominating Committee:  The HSA is looking for a nominating committee to recommend members of our community for next year’s HSA executive board.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Maggie Domashinski at mmdodo@cox.net  or Jennifer Pavlonnis at jpavlonnis@yahoo.com.

Simsbury Food Closet:  Please help fill the Simsbury Food Closet to feed our neighbors in need.  A list of items needed can be found here.

Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents announces a new website - Click here to visit this new site.  You can also can now follow the Federation's activities on Twitter @CTFCSP.

News for the Week of 2/12/14





School will be closed on Monday, February 17th & Tuesday, February 18th for our winter break.  Our next vacation is our April break from Monday, 4/14/14 - Friday, 4/18/14.  School will also be closed on Wednesday, 4/2/14, for a teacher in-service.


SNOW DAY UPDATE - As of today - Wednesday, 2/12/14 - we have had 4 snow days and our projected last day of school is Friday, June 13th.  On our original school calendar, our projected last day if there were no snow days was Monday, 6/9.  If we should have another snow day (tomorrow, perhaps?), we will use Easter Monday, April 21, as our makeup day.  If there are snow days after that, they will be added to the school year beginning with Monday, 6/16/14.  The first day of Spring is Thursday, March 20th!  We are almost there!



Our March School Mass will the 12:15pm Parish Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 5, as we begin the holy season of Lent.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Our April School Mass will be on Friday, 4/4/14, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  The Home & School Association will host a coffee beginning at 8:30am in the Parish Center.


March Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday, March 17th - Thursday, March 20th.  Each of these days will be a 12:45 early dismissal.  There will be no Prekindergarten Enrichment or Aftercare.  Unlike the Parent/Teacher Conferences held in November, the March appointments are not considered mandatory though they are strongly recommended.  If you do not sign up for a conference none will be scheduled for you.  You will be contacted by your child(ren)'s teacher(s) if you do not sign up for a conference and it is felt that one is needed. Conference sign ups are again being completed using Sign Up Genius.  Click here to access the Sign Up Geniuses for conferences or use the March Conference tab that appears at the top of the blog.

One of life's biggest questions - If you or someone you know is wondering if their child is ready for Kindergarten, please join us on Thursday, March 13th.





It’s time to start thinking about warmer weather. Save the date for the St. Mary’s School Fairway to Heaven golf outing on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at Hopmeadow Country Club. Please note that this a new date.  The event was previously announced for May 22, 2014 but would have conflicted with our annual Spring Band Concert.  We are planning a great day so start getting your foursome together! Look for more information to register to play or sign up for a sponsorship opportunity in the coming weeks!


Home & School Association News

Auction:  This year’s school auction was a tremendous success!  We had an incredible turnout of over 175 parents, and were able to raise quite a bit of money for the new playground.  Thank you to all of the volunteers who worked to make the auction run smoothly, especially Kimberly Zanini-Bryant, Lynn Mogielnicki, and Auction Chairs Michelle Howard, Anna Winkler, and Lori Rappaport.



Congratulations to our newly appointed Principal's Assistant, Miss Oria Buckley.  

Miss Buckley's parents participated in a good natured round of spirited bidding and emerged as the winners of this coveted position during the live auction portion of A Knight at the Olympics.  When not engaged in administrative matters, Miss Buckley is a student in Miss Kane's Prekindergarten class.  As one of her first official duties, Miss Buckley met with Mr. Cosham to discuss her vision for the 2014-15 Kindergarten.  After their meeting, Mr. Cosham was overheard to remark that Miss Buckley can count on his full cooperation in the coming year.


SMS Gold Medal Moments!  Students at SMS had the once in a lifetime moment to don an Olympic Gold Medal for a photo opportunity on Tuesday.  Our thanks to Mrs. Rebecca Lobo Rushin for sharing her Olympic Gold Medal from the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.  Use the Gold Medal Moments tab above to view additional SMS Gold Medal student photos.  Proceeds from this special photo shoot will be added to the auction proceeds to help us build a fabulous new playground!

Nominating Committee:  The HSA is looking for a nominating committee to recommend members of our community for next year’s HSA executive board.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Maggie Domashinski at mmdodo@cox.net  or Jennifer Pavlonnis at jpavlonnis@yahoo.com.

Simsbury Food Closet:  Please help fill the Simsbury Food Closet to feed our neighbors in need.  A list of items needed can be found here.








Last Friday, 2/7/14, we celebrated the 100th Day of School.  Kindergarten experimented and found that it takes 100 steps to travel from Kindergarten to 8th grade.  There were lots of fabulous collections of 100 items on display.





News for the Week of 2/6/14


Last week, we concluded our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month and celebrated Chinese New Year!

First Grade students celebrated Chinese New Year with Tammy Nguyen, mother of their friend, Will.


Campus Facility Update - Please check your email inbox for an important letter from Mrs. Gannatti regarding the expected arrival of 2 portable classrooms on Monday, 2/10/14.  This letter is also available on our school's website - Click here. The arrival and installation of these units will temporarily impact morning arrival.  There are important new drop off procedures for you to be aware of if you drive your child(ren) to school.

February School Mass will be held on Friday, February 7th at 9am in the Church.  Everyone is welcome to join us in worship.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to school.  The Home & School Association invites you to enjoy a cup of coffee and some friendly conversation in the lower church prior to Mass beginning at 8:30am.

In March, we will attend the 12:15 Parish Mass on Ash Wednesday, March 5, as we begin the holy season of Lent.




Punxsutawney Phil says "6 more weeks of winter!" And this week's weather certainly seems to confirm his prediction.  Please keep in mind that students must have full snow gear, including gloves, boots and snow pants, if they wish to play in the snow at recess.  You may also want to tuck a dry pair of socks into your child(ren)'s backpack(s) - warm, dry feet make any afternoon more comfortable!
School Uniform Reminders - Students have been dressed in their formal attire for several months now.  Please take a moment and check for proper sizing and to be sure all items are in good repair.  Please also help boys remember that a belt is required with uniform trousers.  The Home & School Association's Used Uniform Exchange can be a great option for replacing an item that may be outgrown or in poor condition. Click here for more information about the Used Uniform Exchange.  Our Relaxed Uniform may begin to be worn after April vacation on 4/22.


March Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday, March 17th - Thursday, March 20th.  Each of these days will be a 12:45 early dismissal.  There will be no Prekindergarten Enrichment or Aftercare.  Unlike the Parent/Teacher Conferences held in November, the March appointments are not considered mandatory though they are strongly recommended.  If you do not sign up for a conference none will be scheduled for you.  You will be contacted by your child(ren)'s teacher(s) if you do not sign up for a conference and it is felt that one is needed. Conference sign ups are again being completed using Sign Up Genius.  Click here to access the Sign Up Geniuses for conferences or use the March Conference tab that appears at the top of the blog.

Home & School Association News





It's finally here!  The annual H.S.A. auction, A Knight at the Olympics, will be held this Saturday, February 8th, beginning at 6pm at the Riverview.  Riverview is located at 10 Winslow Place in Simsbury.  Click here to preview some of the wonderful items that are available at the auction this year.




Air Conditioning (last year's HSA Auction project) is Coming to the Middle School!The planning for portable air conditioning unit installations for each of the middle school classrooms is underway! The units will be installed during April break just in time for that warm weather we are all desperately waiting for!








Box Tops for Education: The winter Box Tops collection ends this Friday, February 7th. Please send your clipped Box Tops to your child’s classroom this week.






Simsbury Food Bank: The Simsbury Food Bank is in need of donations including coffee and canned fruit, along with the standard staples. Please consider helping to keep our community fed.

The next HSA meeting will be held on Thursday, March 6th at 6:00 pm in the fourth grade classroom. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The HSA is seeking members for a Nominating Committee for next year’s HSA board. Please contact Maggie Domashinski at mmdomo@cox.net or Jennifer Pavlonnis at jpavlonnis@yahoo.com if you would like to join the committee.


Community News



St. Mary's Parish invites students in grades 4 and above to become altar servers - Training sessions will be held on the following four Saturdays from 1:30 to 2:30 PM in the church: February 22nd, March 1st, 8th, & 15th. Those who wish to be servers must plan on attending all four sessions.







The Master's School welcomes Carolyn Clement on February 17th at 7pm to share and equip parents with information about internet safety and social media. If you missed this workshop last fall when it was hosted by the Simsbury Library, mark your calendars for this repeat opportunity! RSVP is NOT mandatory, but it will help the Master's School plan with regard to space and weather-related issues.  Please RSVP to jmonitto@masterschool.org.








Avon Soccer Club announces its Spring 2014 Recreational SeasonClick here to learn more about the clinic opportunities open to Avon residents.


Kelsey's Award Winnning Drawing
Alumni News - Kelsey Baker, Class of '10 -  SMS Alumna & Northwest Catholic senior Kelsey Baker of Simsbury has received an Honorable Mention in the Discover FAA High School Architectural Drawing Competition, run by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. The contest attracted entries from 25 states and three countries.  To read more about Kelsey's accomplishments and more alumni news, click here.    Adrian Hatch, Class of '09, has been named to the Dean's List at Syracuse University.  Adrian is a freshman majoring in Information Management & Technology.  We are always happy to hear about our alumni's successes, if you have alumni news to share, please send it along to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.




Click here for the February issue of Partners in Faith.



Our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month concluded with our annual Family Pizza Lunch on 1/31/14.  As always, it was so much fun to see families enjoying lunch together.


Kategori