News for the Week of 6/4/14

Celebrating the Class of 2014! - It seems impossible, but, Friday, June 6th is Graduation Day here at SMS!  We invite everyone to join us at a special school Mass on Friday at 10am to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and bless them on their way as they venture on to high school.  During the course of this year, we have been proud to watch these fine, young adults emerge as student leaders in our community.  In addition to being good and diligent students, they are daily mentors for our younger students, modeling kindness and respectful demeanor.  We will miss them but we are so proud to send them off on this next step of the journey knowing that they are ready for all its challenges and wonderful ambassadors of our school.  For a full agenda of the Graduation Day activities, click here.

There will be prayer service on our last day of school, Monday, June 16th at 8:45am in the church. All are most welcome to join us as we thank God for a productive, positive school year and pray for a relaxing, safe summer.  Everyone is also welcome to attend the annual student Award Service that will begin at 9:30 in the Parish Center.  Parents of students that will be receiving an award will be notified in advance by homeroom teachers.

Our last day of school is Monday, June 16th and this day is a 12:45pm early dismissal day.  There is no PreKindergarten Enrichment or Aftercare.

Health Office Reminder - If you have prescription medications for your child(ren) in our school's health office, please be sure to come in and pick it up before the end of the school year.  These medications cannot be sent home with students and will be discarded if they are left in the health office at the end of the school year.

Middle School Academic Placements for 2014-15 - Parents of students in this year's grades 5-7 will receive an email later this week from Mrs. Gannatti.  This email will explain the criteria used to determine placement in academic or honors literature and math for the 2014-15 school year.  You will receive the actual notification of your child(ren)'s placement in either academic or honors literature and math with the final report card for this year.  See below.

Final Report Cards for students in grades K-7 will be sent home via U.S. mail the week of June 16th.  A supply list for the next school year will be included.  These supply lists will also be available via a "Back To School" blog tab. Academic and honors placement information will be included for students entering grades 6-8 next year. 

Summer Office Hours will begin on Tuesday, June 17th.  The school office will be routinely staffed Monday - Thursday from 9am-1pm and by appointment.  Voice mail and email will be checked regularly.

Reminder to Smart Tuition Account Holders:  As you begin making payments in June on your 2014-2015 Smart Tuition account, please remember to change the school year in your account number from 13to 14.  Account numbers are broken down as follows:  02300 is the school code; 14 refers to the school year; and the last six digits reflect your individual family’s account.  If you continue making payments using the 13 school year, they will apply to your 2013-14 account, generating an overpayment status.  Your 2014-15 account will then appear delinquent, causing $45 late fees to accrue each month the payments are missing.  If you have any questions about this, please call Smart Tuition’s Parent help center at 1-888-868-8828.

IOWA Test Results - At the end of April and beginning of May, students in grades 3-7 took the IOWA tests.  The test results are now available and teachers are reviewing them at this time.  As you know, our school has a long history of excellent results on these tests. This year, we are pleased to report that student performances were particularly strong this year.  We believe this is due to a couple of factors.  As you know, this year's testing period was moved from early March to the end of April.  This allowed for additional instructional time before testing.  Additionally,a careful analysis of last year's tests results allowed us to focus our instruction on areas of relative weakness.  This has resulted in improved scores for many students in the areas of general math, computation and reading comprehension.  At the end of the week, individual student test results will be sent home to each family via U.S. mail.  When the test results for your child(ren) arrive, please take time to look them over.  These results should be viewed as one measure of your child(ren)'s academic progress this year.  IOWA scores in grades 5, 6 and 7 are one the criteria used to help determine if a student will be placed in honors or academic level literature and math. As you know, other valuable measures of progress are your own observations, the teacher's insights and the Educonnect portal and report card information you receive.  If you wish to discuss the IOWA results in more detail or how they dovetail with the other measures of student performance, please contact your child(ren)'s homeroom teacher(s) directly.

Men & Women of Courage - Students in Mrs. Jehning's first grade class are sharing what they have learned about men and women of courage.  Students have accompanied their presentations with posters, self-authored books and costume props. All of the students are being encouraged to actively engage the audience by being well-prepared for their talk and confident in their demeanor as they speak out "loud and proud".  Clearly, we have some courageous men and women in grade 1!

The Pink Team ruled the day at Middle School's Field Day
Softball Tournament on Monday, 6/1/14.

Field day for grades K-4 will be on June 12th in the north parking lot from 9-11am.  If the weather fails to cooperate, field day will take place indoors.

Students in Mrs. Moffat's Third Grade traveled to the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford.  Prior to the trip, each student learned to sign his/her name in American Sign Language.

Third graders have also been exploring their body systems and have created paper representations of their internal organs.

Instrumental Music - Schedule Change -Advanced Band students will have instrumental music lessons on Thursday, 6/5/14.  Cadet band students have already had their lessons for this week on Monday, 6/2/14. Please be sure your Advanced  Band  student brings his/her instrument and music on the appropriate day during the week of 6/1/14.  Next week, Instrumental Music will follow its normal schedule with the Cadet students having lessons on Monday, 6/9, and the Advanced Band students having lessons on Thursday, 6/12.

Campus Facilities Update The security gate has now been installed at the top of the north (playground) parking lot. The gate is closed and locked each morning after carpool arrivals and remains locked through the full course of our school day.  Carpool arrivals must then begin NO EARLIER THAN 3:10pm.  Cars lined up along Hopmeadow Street waiting for entrance to the school lot is an unacceptable safety hazard and must be avoided.

We are also pleased to share that the Class of '13's gift of a new school sign is expected to be installed this week, depending on the weather.

SMS Students participating with the FMI All-State
Bands relax with lunch outside Lincoln Center in NYC
FMI Band Trip - Congratulations to our student musicians that traveled to New York City on Thursday, 5/29, to play with the FMI All-State Symphonic, Jazz and Concert bands.  Participation in these prestigious All-State Bands is by audition only.  All-State Musicians have distinguished themselves as committed instrumental students who practice regularly and demonstrate not just instrumental proficiency but also leadership qualities.  Our thanks to our school's FMI Instructor, Mrs. Debbie Morse, for another wonderful year of lessons and band.  Mrs. Morse has continued to provide high quality instruction despite the temporary challenges our facilities upgrades have presented.  We thank her for her patience and flexibility and her real commitment to our students.

Home & School Association News

The Saint Mary’s Jump Rope Club has their final performance for the year on Wednesday, June 4th.  It will be held at 7:00 pm rain or shine at River Ridge Home at 101 Bickford Extension in Avon.  All are welcome to come cheer on our amazing jumpers!  Jumpers are asked to be at the show by 6:45pm.

Science Day was a huge success. 

The children in grades K-3 were introduced to the world of entomology in a Life Sciences workshop entitled Bugs!  The children in grades 4-5 took part in a Physical Sciences workshop titled Fun-damental Forces where they will learned what makes the world go ‘round in an introduction to the concepts and basics of forces—gravity, inertia, centrifugal and centripetal forces.  Thank you to Beth Pericat and Mad Science for a wonderful Science Day!

The next HSA meeting will be held next Thursday, June 12th at 6:30 in the grade 8 classroom.  The meeting will be the last before the new school year and will include the proposed budget for the 2014/2015 school year.  The proposed budget will be available on the HSA website by the end of the week.

Box Tops for Education:  Please send your clipped Box Tops to your child’s classroom for the end of the year collection.  All Box Tops will be collected on Friday, June 13th.

Students in Ms. Soucy's Fourth grade  are sharing their writing with the class: Author's Share Chair. Ms. Soucy believes that students should be proud of  their writing and the hard work it takes to create a finished and published piece!  Smartboard technology makes it easy to share a published work with the whole group.

Thanks to everyone who supported our annual Fairway to Heaven Golf Outing last Thursday through sponsorship, tee signs, basket donations &, of course, golf and dinner.  The weather was perfect for a round of golf and the money raised will benefit our school's annual appeal.

Community News

Saint Mary's 35th Annual Spring Carnival Opens Tonight!  Carnival will be held from June 4th - 7th at 34 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury (Field South of Connecticut Light & Power.

Hours of Operation on Wednesday, June 4 - Friday, June 6 are 6-10pm.  On Saturday, June 7, 5-10pm

Ride all night!  Wristbands are available every night: Wednesday & Thursday - $20, Friday & Saturday - $25  Click here for further details.

Northwest Catholic High School's Scholarship Scamper 5k Road Race will take place on Saturday, June 22 at 10:00 am, beginning and ending on the Northwest Catholic campus. With all of the proceeds going to support scholarships for deserving NWC students, this chip-timed event is competitive for serious runners, welcoming for casual runners and walkers, and fun for the whole family. The race/walk will be followed by a picnic and activities for children of all ages until 1:00 pm.

Participant registration is available securely on-line here or printable registration forms are available here. Pre-register by June 10 to guarantee you'll receive a race t-shirt and to take advantage of early bird pricing.  Registration is also available on race day from 8:30 - 9:30 am at NWC. We hope you will consider this opportunity to support NWC while enjoying family fitness and fun! Questions? Contact Patricia Walsh, NWC Dir. of Advancement at

You are Invited to the Second in the Series of:  The Catholic Church in the Public Square.
Save the Date:  June 8, Sunday 1 - 3:00pm at St. Catherine of Siena Church in West Simsbury
 Featured Panelists: Rev. Msgr. John J. McCarthy, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Hartford; Daniel P. O’Connell, Chairman, Saint Francis Care Board of Directors; Jeff Mateer, Esq., General Counsel of The Liberty Institute
The panelists will address the Affordable Care Act and its moral, legal, and health care implications in light of Catholic Teaching and Religious Freedom.

Looking ahead to "Back to School"!  Mr. Cosham wants you to know that he has a few s
pots available for beginning piano students when school re-opens in August.  To reserve a space now, please send him an email at

Partners in Faith - Click here for this month's edition of Partners in Faith.