News for the Week of 3/12/14

Snow Day Makeup Reminder -  Our school calendar has been adjusted to accommodate make up of snow days.  Please be sure you have made note of these changes:

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.  

Monday, April 21- School will be OPEN with PreK enrichment and aftercare available.  

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.  

Campus Facility Update -
Work on our new modular units continues.  Today, Assistant Principal, Miss Oria Buckley toured the construction area to get an update on the status of the work.  Miss Buckley feels that the addition of this space will facilitate our art, library and music programs.  We will continue to provide regular updates in regard to the installation and when we can expect to begin use of the modular classrooms.

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. Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Observing the Holy Season of Lent - 

One Prayer a Day - Faculty, staff, administration and students have been invited by Mrs. Gannatti to share in a series of daily Lenten reflections.  The prayer for Wednesday. 3/12 was:

Dear Lord,
I know you receive what is in my heart.
Let me be inspired by your words
and by the actions of your son, Jesus.
Guide me to make sacrifices this Lent
in the spirit of self-denial
and with greater attention to you
and to those around me.
Help me to believe that you will grant me this
because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. 

Click here if you would like an opportunity to share in these daily reflections.

Reconciliation - Again this year, throughout Lent the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at St. Mary's Church on each Monday evening from 6-7pm.  Students in grades 4-8 will also have the opportunity to receive this sacrament at school during this Lenten season.  Our thanks to our school chaplain, Father Santiago, for coordinating this.

Living Stations of the Cross - One of Lent's most beautiful traditions is the Stations of the Cross.  St. Mary's Parish presents the Stations of the Cross on each Friday in Lent at 7pm in the church. Our 8th grade students would also like to invite you to our annual "Living Stations of the Cross".  This year, the Living Stations will be presented on Friday, April 11th at 2pm for the school community and at 7pm for the parish.  You are most welcome to attend either presentation.  The 7pm presentation will be preceded by a simple soup and bread dinner coordinated by the 8th grade.  The dinner begins at 5:30pm in the Parish Center.

Jelly Bean Prayer - Students in Mrs. Jehning's first grade have been introduced to the Jelly Bean Prayer.  First grade would be happy if others joined them in this Lenten activity. Choose a clear plastic cup or glass jar. There is a behavior to go along with each jellybean color. Each day every family member can earn a jellybean of any color by completing one of the designated behaviors. Keep filling the cup or jar with jelly beans throughout the season of Lent. Be sure not to eat any until Easter! The only color that  cannot be earned is white. This color represents the Grace of Christ, which is a gift not earned ourselves. On Easter morning, you can trade the colored jellybeans for white ones to symbolize God's gift of grace and salvation.

Here are the colors....

Red is for a sacrifice.

Green is for good deeds.

Yellow is for showing kindness.

Orange is for bedtime prayer or Bible story.

Black is for going to bed good.

Purple is for saying, "I'm sorry".

Pink is for saying, "I forgive you".

White is for the Grace of Christ.

Student Directory Update - Please join us in welcoming Lexie Chin to our Kindergarten.  Lexie and her parents, Thomas and Claudia, reside in Simsbury.  Please keep in mind that updated contact information is always available to you via the Educonnect Parent Portal.

Hot Lunch News 

Orders Now Due!  The ordering period for hot lunches that will be served from April through the end of school is now open.  Orders and payments will be accepted until Friday, 3/14/14.  No late orders can be accepted, so please take a moment to complete your order now.  Click here for an order form.

There will be a Make-Up Hot Lunch Day on Tuesday, March 18th.  This day will be a pizza lunch making up for the snow day on Friday, February 14th.  Any student that had hot lunch ordered for Friday, February 14th should plan on a hot lunch on 3/18.

The next School Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, 3/19/14, at 7pm in the 8th grade classroom.  All are welcome to attend.  Click here for an agenda.

March Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held next week 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 tomorrow -  Thursday, March 13th.

Do you have a new face for St. Mary’s School?  If you have a younger child that is not yet attending St. Mary's and you will be sending him or her to St. Mary’s for prekindergarten or kindergarten in the 2014-2015 school year but have not yet completed an application, please let us know.   NOTE - Students enrolled in our PreKindergarten that are moving up to Kindergarten DO NOT need to reapply. Please call the school office at 860-658-9412 or send us an email at   We will mail you an application for your student and we look forward to welcoming them!

Do you know someone wondering if St. Mary's might be the right place for their child(ren)?  Please invite them to come by on any Wednesday during the month of March.  Our "Walk-In Wednesdays", will take place on every Wednesday in March from 9 - 11:30am.  No appointment is necessary.  We will also have an Open House for Prospective Families on Wednesday, April 9th from 9 until 11:30.

Used Uniform ExchangeClick here for an updated inventory of items available.  Students in Kindergarten - Grade 8 may begin to wear the relaxed uniform on Monday, April 21.  Now is a good time to see if last autumn's shorts and skorts are in good repair and of acceptable length.  It's also a great idea to check on the condition of the white polos that have been worn all this year both as part of the relaxed uniform in the fall and as a PE shirt. 

The Sparkle Egg is a new Easter story beautifully illustrated by SMS alumna, Christine Kornacki.  Christine was on hand for last Sunday's Religious Education program to sign copies of this book.  There are still copies of the book available for sale.  If you would like to purchase a copy, stop by the Parish Offices at 3 Massaco Street or stop in at Sunday's Religious Education program on 3/16 between 8:30am and noon.  Price is $16.99.  You may pay in cash or by check with your check made payable to St. Mary's Religious Education.

CT Federation of Catholic School Parents - Action Alert!  Your email testimony is requested in support of amending section 9 of Governor's Bill 29 to allow Catholic schools access to the security grant funding available to Connecticut public schools. As you know, we have already begun taking steps to better secure our campus.  Additional work is still planned.  Successful amendment of this bill would provide us with a means to access grant funding to complete this important work.  Please take action on this important issue that concerns the safety of your child(ren) and all those in Connecticut schools.
   For more information, including "talking points" for email testimony, click here.

Yearbook News 

It's time to order your 2013-14 SMS Yearbook!  The yearbook is a great keepsake because it features photos of every student and all the important events in our school year.  All yearbooks must be preordered.  The price per book is $28 and your check should be made payable to St. Mary's School with "Yearbook" noted in the memo section. For an order form, click here.  All orders and payments must be received NLT 3/31/14.

The yearbook is great because you all share your photos with us - so, calling all yearbook photographers!  We need your photos of the following to help complete this year’s yearbook:
Fall festival
Senior Luncheon
Family Pizza Lunch
Pumpkin Bingo
Varsity Girls Basketball
Varsity Boys Basketball
Junior Varsity Boys Basketball
Varsity Girls Basketball
Field Hockey
Jump Rope Club
Altar Serving
Chess Club
Band - Beginners, Advanced, Jazz and FMI Regional and All-State groups
If you have any photos, please send to Donna Nolan at

Simsbury Food Closet Needs Your Help - The Simsbury Food Closet helps assure that people in our own town have the staples they need to prepare healthy meals.  During the month of March, the following items are especially needed:

Coffee (instant,ground,regular and decaf)
Decaf tea
Maple syrup

Juices (small/large bottles and packages)
Can fruit (pineapple and oranges)
Pancake mix
Oatmeal (canister and packages)

Items may be sent into homeroom classrooms.  Each week, Mrs. Mortillaro and the 8th grade students who are volunteering at Eno will transport our donations to the Food Closet.  Our thanks to Mrs. Mortillaro for coordinating the transportation of our donations and thanks to all of you for being the hands of Christ.

Alumni News 

Kate (left) and Sarah (right) Jessen, Class of'13
Our congratulations to Katharine & Sarah Jessen, Class of '13.  Kate and Sarah are freshman at Northwest Catholic High School and will be performing as members of the Connecticut Music Educators Association’s All-State ensembles. Kate will perform in the Concert Band on her clarinet and Sarah will perform in the Orchestra on trumpet.
Director of Instrumental Music at Northwest Catholic High School,  Daniel Luddy, is excited about the students’ achievements. “This is the first time that Northwest Catholic has sent students to each of the three all-state instrumental groups,” he said. “I’m very proud of these musicians; it takes countless hours of practice to play at such an advanced level.”  The CMEA All-State Festival will take place at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT on April 5, 2014 at 3pm.  Kate and Sarah studied with Mrs. Morse, our school's FMI instructor and participated in both our school bands and the FMI Regional and All-State bands while attending SMS.

We love to hear about our alumni's successes and significant life events.  If you have alumni news to share, please email