News for the Week of 3/26/14

Kindergarten students spent last week thinking about Spring!  Students used a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and ideas.  They discussed what they see in Spring, what they hear in Spring, what they play in the Spring, and what they like to do in the Spring.  They then used the graphic organizer to create a video using the Educreations app on their iPad.  They wrote their sentences and then illustrated.  Once they were done they recorded themselves reading their story!

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.  
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.

Assistant Principal, Miss Oria Buckley, is not letting the
pending installation of an access ramp keep her from
carefully monitoring the progress in our modular units. 

Campus Facility Updates - We are excited to share a progress report in regard to our new modular classrooms. This week, we expect construction of the access ramp to begin.  Once construction is complete, the town's building inspector will be able to complete final inspection and issue a Certificate of Occupancy.  Our Parish Business Manager, Mr. Heiden, is hopeful that our formal "opening" of the units will be able to happen during the first week of April.  The units have received brand new furniture.  Our thanks to Mr. Ralph Chappano for helping make this furniture available at a very reasonable cost.

Miss Buckley provided PreK teacher, Miss Roxanne Kane, with
a tour of the new modular units.  Miss Buckley is very pleased with
the quality of the new furniture in the library but does have some
concern regarding the number of chairs available in the Music classroom.
She has assurance from her administrative team that adequate seating will
be available when the units open for use!
There are other significant changes coming to our campus soon.  Mr. Heiden has advised us that a new gate will be installed at the entrance of the carpool lot.  This installation is expected to occur as early as this week. This gate will effectively "close" our parking lot during our school day, better assuring student safety and improving campus security.

Mr. Heiden, in conjunction with our Home & School Association, is preparing the request to the Archbishop to obtain the necessary approval to proceed with construction of our new playground. We are all looking forward to this new recreation area for our students and we continue to anticipate that it will be ready for use when school opens on August 27th - just think of the smiles during that first recess of a brand new school year!  Our continued thanks to Mrs. Thompson for chairing our Playground Committee and to all of you for your generous support of this project at this year's auction and associated fund raising activities.

Finally, Mr. Heiden has advised us that air conditioning will be installed during our Spring Break in grades 5-8. Our thanks to all that supported the 2013 HSA Auction that generated the funding for this project and to Mrs. Pavlonnis for her work with Mr. Heiden to schedule this installation.

DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING! Reserve a copy of this year's Yearbook!  All orders must be in by Monday, 3/31.  They make great gifts for the graduate, end of year class gifts to your class' teacher and a reward for your favorite student(s) for completing a successful school year.  The children love to see themselves and their friends pictured  throughout the 2013-2014 school year.  Books are $28 each.  Click here for your order form.  A maximum of 151 books are ordered so be sure to reserve yours now.

Do you know a family interested in St. Mary’s School?  Please encourage them to stop by for our St. Mary’s School Morning Open House on Wednesday, April 9th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, we invite interested parents and students to stop in for a cup of coffee and a look at our school. St. Mary’s offers traditional academics, 1:1 iPad technology, differentiated instruction and daily faith. We welcome interested families to stop by! Any questions, please call the school office at 860-658-9412.

Calling all golfers!  Please join us on Thursday, May 29th at Hop Meadow Country Club for a day of golf, fellowship and fun.  The cost of $175 includes lunch, a golf shirt, happy hour and dinner.  You are welcome to register a foursome or an individual and we will be happy to pair you up with another golfer.  Please click here to download a registration form or click here to visit the Golf Tournament website.

We are also looking for sponsorships.  Sponsorships start at tee signs for $100 to lunch sponsors  at $1,000 to golf cart sponsors at $2,000.  Show your support for St. Mary's School and catholic education by sponsoring this year's tournament.  Click here for Sponsorship form.

Athletic News -

Blue Knight Night will be held on April 9th, 2014 from 6-8:30pm.
All basketball players from JVA and Varsity teams should attend wearing their game jerseys and shorts. Parents of these players will have the opportunity to play basketball against their children.
Coaches will be summarizing the team's season as well as handing out team awards.
Pizza and drinks will be provided at 6:00pm

Home & School Association News

Many thanks to the individuals who have accepted nominations to serve as HSA Board Officers for 2014-15. Elections for 2014-15 HSA Board Officers will be held on April 3rd.  Ballots will be available all day in the school office, and elections will be held at the April Home & School Meeting in the grade 8 classroom beginning at 6:00 pm. Nominees include:

President - Jennifer Pavlonnis
Co-Vice President - Ellen Bompane
Co-Vice President - Amy Lillis
Treasurer - Frank Conde
Recording Secretary - Noreen Kuziak
Corresponding Secretary - Beth Scully

To learn more about this year's nominees, click here.

Thank you to everyone who attended the "Uncorked"  Wine Tasting event last Friday, 3/21/14.  A special thanks to Sarah Mutarelli and Laura Williams for organizing the event, and to Pi Patel of Avon Wine and Liquors for donating the tasting wines and glassware, as well as organizing the raffle.  It was a lovely evening and a great way to raise some money for our new playground!

CHOICE Program News

All families with students enrolled in grades Kindergarten - Grade 8 are required to participate in the CHOICE program as part of their tuition obligation. We are nearing the end of our 2013-2014 earning period. April 30 is the deadline to make purchases towards this year's obligation or make your "opt-out" payment.  If you have any questions about your family's CHOICE obligation or the CHOICE program, please contact Tammy Budnick at the school office or at

Community News -

Parental Resource - There's an App for that!  Parents are often at a loss as to how to determine if an app, a game or other form of media like a movie is appropriate for their child(ren).  There is a free app available for iPads and iPhones called "Kids Media" from Common Sense Media.  This app allows you to search media by name and get reviews as to whether the product is age appropriate and the type of content it includes.  The reviews are detailed and specifically outline the type of content you can expect.  Common Sense Media also has a web site that is full of helpful resources for parents -

Spring Clean-Up at St. Mary's - Mark your calendars for the morning of April 5th. The St. Mary's Men's Prayer Group invites SMS dads and their families to join them after 8am Mass.  There will be coffee and donuts for all the volunteers who help clean up the church and school grounds in preparation for Easter.  More info to come, a fun service event for the whole family.

Northwest Catholic High School Invites You!  The Northwest Catholic Dramateurs will present Barnum from Friday, April 4th - Sunday, April 6th.  Featured performers include SMS alumi, Matthew Sottile, Class of '12 as Ringmaster.  Also performing in the cast are Avery Hatch, Class of '12 and Ally Voelker, Class of '13.  For more information and tickets, click here.

April Vacation Fun - Join the Spring Fling at the Community Farm of SimsburySpring Fling at the farm is a two day mini-­‐camp for students 3 years old through 6th grade.  Click here for a downloadable version of the registration.

First Grade Gets a Very Special Delivery! This week the mail carrier delivered a very important envelope for the first grade class at St. Mary's School. It was a letter from the president of the United States! How exciting! President Obama thanked the students for their insightful letters. As Mrs. Jehnings stresses to her students ....writing is powerful! You never know where it may take may even reach the White House!