News for the Week of 10/22/14

Students in Mrs. Gore's fifth grade had a special guest last week. Mrs. Gillen, our middle school language arts teacher, came in to do a lesson about citing sources for research papers.  This lesson was a timely one, since fifth grade will be writing a research paper about explorers . Mrs. Gillen gave students some wonderful information to use as they begin their research.
In addition to explaining the correct MLA method to cite  sources, fifth grade students also learned how to use the website, to cite sources.

October is the month of the Holy Rosary - There will be a Rosary Prayer Service on Monday, 10/27, at 9:30am in the Church.  All are welcome to attend.  No physical education uniforms should be worn for this prayer service.  Sneakers may be brought to school if it is a P.E. day.

Our next school Mass will be on Friday, 11/7, at 9am in the Church.

Our first marking period closes on Friday, 10/31/14.  Report Cards will be distributed to students in grades 1-8  on Friday, 11/7.  Students in Kindergarten will receive their first report cards in January.

If you have not already done so, please take a moment to sign up for your Fall Parent/Teacher Conference.  Click here to access the appropriate Sign-up Genius.  Please remember that conferences will be held from Monday, 11/10-Thursday, 11/13.  Each of these days will be a 12:45pm early dismissal.  There will be PreKindergarten Enrichment available on these days  but there is NO aftercare available.  Friday, 11/14, will be a regular, full day of school.  Please note that if you have not signed up for a conference by noon on Friday, 10/24, a conference day and time will be assigned for you by the school office.  You will receive a reminder of your assigned conference two dates prior to the event from Sign Up Genius, you may then make an adjustment if desired.  Please be aware that the Sign Up Geniuses for conference sign-up will be temporarily unavailable for view from noon on 10/24 until 10/31 so office staff can assign conferences to families that have not signed up on their own.  Please contact Tammy Budnick at the school office with any questions regarding conference sign up.

VIRTUS Training Session available at SMS this week.  Virtus traning will be held at SMS in the 7th grade science classroom on Thursday, October 23 at 6pm.  To attend the training session at SMS, please RSVP to Mrs. Budnick via email at or 860-658-9412.  

Formal Uniform Begins on Monday, 11/3, for students in Kindergarten - Grade 7.
  Students in the 8th grade are given the privilege of wearing the relaxed uniform until December 1st.  Just in time for this uniform transition, Lands' End is offering 25% off all purchases and free shipping.  Our school's code is 9001-3215-0.  Please keep in mind that you can help complete your family's CHOICE commitment if you make your uniform purchases from Lands' End using gift cards purchased from CHOICE.  There are plenty of Lands' End cards in stock right now!

It is time for St. Mary’s School Fall Open House.  Open House is on Wednesday, November 5th at  6:30 PM in the Parish Center.   We need your help promoting this event to your friends, family and neighbors.   Please stop by the school office and pick up a yard sign to place in front of your house or business.  Please feel free to take 2!  Also, our families are our best school ambassadors.  If you know a family interested in St. Mary’s School, please invite them personally to attend the Open House.  It is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our amazing school.

Please support the St. Mary’s School Annual Fund for 2014-2015.  Did you know the Annual Fund is the best way possible to help make a financial difference in the future of St. Mary’s School.  It helps keep tuition affordable.  The Annual Fund enhances programs and services offered to students and faculty.  Every gift counts, every child benefits with the Annual Fund.
Employee matching gift programs are a great way to support St. Mary’s
School..  Many employers offer their employees the opportunity to make charitable contributions through payroll deduction.  These corporations, large and small, either match contributions dollar-for-dollar or a set percentage of your paid gift. 

St. Mary’s School is also an eligible charity in the United Way Campaign.  If your corporation participates in the United Way Campaign, please consider selecting St. Mary’s School to benefit from your donation.

Donations can be made online - Click here.  Thank you for your support!


Winter and snow fun are coming soon and its time to sign-up for the Ski and Snowboard Club!  This is always a great time for students and parents.  Students need to be at least 8 years old on January 7, 2015.  The Club has a 5-session program from 3-8pm on Wednesdays at Ski Sundown in New Hartford that starts on January 7, 2015.  Roundtrip bus transportation from SMS, lessons and rental equipment are also available.  Please see the 2015 forms and FAQ on the school website - Click here.  As in past years, the Club will need chaperones and snack helpers.  Click here to use the Sign-Up Genius to select a time slot.  All registration forms and payment are due November 1st, 2014.

Pumpkin Bingo is This Friday, 10/24/14! - Please join us for our annual pumpkin bingo on Friday, October 24th from 6-8:30pm in the Parish Center  It's great fun for the whole family.  Come in costume and participate in our costume parade.  As always, we will be selling pizza by the slice from Little City.  Bingo cards will be sold $1 per card.  Please keep in mind that this is a family fun event - all children must have adult supervision.

Rain Date for St Mary's Gardening Club
Do you have a green thumb? Come help make St. Mary's as colorful on the outside as it is inside!  Due to inclement weather, our first meeting has been changed to Monday, October 27th from 9am-noon.  We will be doing a clean up, planting bulbs and sharing our friendship.  Contact Jennifer Pavlonnis at if you are interested in being involved!

Trunk or Treat!!!!
Grades PreK - 3rd will be attending Trunk or Treat on Friday, October 31st from 2-2:45pm.  We are in need  of people to volunteer to decorate their cars for this event.  Any parent in these grades who wish to participate in this volunteer event, please contact Jennifer Pavlonnis at  Please click here for more information.

The Social Saturday event originally scheduled for November 8th has been postponed.  Look for details regarding a new date coming soon!

Save the Date - Fundraiser - 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 5-9pm.  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!

Box Tops For Education - Fall Contest Ends  this Friday, October 24th.  The grade level that collects the most Box Tops from October 1st through October 24th will win the first contest, and their teacher will receive $25 for the classroom.  The second collection contest will be in February with the winning grade level teacher receiving $50 for their classroom.  The last collection contest will be in May/June.  The October, February and May/June totals will be added together for a final overall total.  The winning grade level teacher will receive $75 for their classroom.

Please send in the Box Tops to your homeroom teacher, but please do not send in any expired Box Tops as they will not be accepted.  The contest is for all grades PreK through 8.

To learn more about the program, please visit

Last year, we collected over $1,000 for our school, so let’s work together to beat that this year.

Don't forget to continue saving  Box Tops for our second contest in February!

Any questions, please email Scott Sirianni at  Thanks for your support!

40 Days for Life Campaign - Archbishop Blair invites all of us to participate in the national 40 Days for Life Campaign which began September 24th and continues through November 2.  St. Mary's Parish will actively participate in the campaign on October 29 and November 1.  The campaign has 3 major components:  prayer and fasting,  vigil at an abortion clinic and support for community education.  St. Mary's Parish will hold Eucharistic Adoration on October 29th.  There will be Eucharistic Adoration following the 8:00 AM Mass until 5:00 PM. There will be a peaceful, prayerful abortion clinic vigil at the Hartford GYN at 1 Main Street in Hartford on November 1.  This clinic is located across from St. Gerard's Center for Life.  To participate in either Eucharistic Adoration or the vigil, please use the sign up sheets located in the vestibule of St. Mary's Church.  A minimum hour commitment is suggested, but, any amount of time is welcome.  If you have questions, please contact Louise Carrroll at or 860-653-4088 or Maria O'Donnell at 860-651-5733.

Jumpin' for Joy! SMS Named as One of the Top 10 Schools In Connecticut!

Community News

The Simsbury Public Library's Teen Space invites you to drop in for a Teen Halloween Movie Marathon and to Duct Tape Crafts! - 

Annual "Turkey Trot" Non-Perishable Food Collection is coming soon - Again this year, our school will participate in the annual Thanksgiving food drive called "Turkey Trot".  Non-perishable food items may be brought to school beginning Monday, 11/10.  They will be stored in the classrooms until pickup on Wednesday, 11/19.  Please clearly label your donation "Turkey Trot" so it is not confused with food being donated for our annual Senior Luncheon.  The flyer below also provides information about how you can contribute a turkey or make a monetary donation in support of this cause.

Consider Making November 1 a Family "Fall Day of Giving" - The Farmington Valley YMCA is coordinating community volunteers to help other families in the Farmington Valley. Volunteers of all ages are welcome but all children do need an adult chaperone and all volunteers must provide their own transportation from the YMCA in Granby to the designated service locations. Volunteers can do either or both shifts and  lunch will be provided at the Farmington Valley YMCA in between shifts. The raindate is November 8.