News for the Week of November 5, 2014

Students in Miss Kane's PreKindergarten are sharing their "treats"!  Dr. Jeanmarie Cosgrove, mother of Jackson, in PreK, offers a program through her dental practice that allows children to share their "extra" candy with U.S. Servicemen and women stationed overseas.  What a generous group!

Tonight - Wednesday, 11/5/14 - is our Open House for Prospective Families.  Even at the last minute, it's not too late to invite someone to attend.  Open House will begin at 6:30pm tonight and it's a great opportunity for a "first look" at our community.  Thanks to everyone who helped publicize our Open House with a yard sign.  Please be sure to return your sign to the school office at your earliest convenience.  We will update the date information and use them again in the spring.

Our November School Mass will be held on Friday, 11/7/14, at 9am in the Church.  All are welcome.  Please remember that no PE uniforms should be worn to Mass.  If Friday is a gym day, please send sneakers to school.

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.

 Please remember that Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday, 11/10-Thursday, 11/13.  We request that a conference be scheduled for every student in the fall regardless of current academic progress. If you did not sign up for a conference by noon on Friday, 10/24, a conference day and time has been assigned for you by the school office.  Please take a moment to check the appropriate sign-up genius for your assigned day and time.  Click here.  You may make adjustments if needed.   As conference days get closer, please be aware that you will receive a reminder of your assigned conference two dates prior to the event from Sign Up Genius.  Please contact Tammy Budnick at the school office with any questions regarding conference sign up.

Please remember that Monday, 11/10 - Thursday, 11/13 are 12:45pm early dismissal days. 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.

Parents of Cadet Band Students are invited! - Our Cadet band open house will be held on Thursday, November 13th from 11:30am-12:15pm in the Music Portable. Parents are invited to come and sit next to their beginner student and see how the band learns to prepare for concerts and how they should be practicing at home.

LET GRADE 8 HELP YOU PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS!The annual Poinsettia Sale to benefit St. Mary’s School 8th grade class is underway and continues through November 17thPlease consider a purchase for your family, a friend or your business. If you care to make a donation, we will be happy to donate your flower purchase to McLean Center or the Governor’s House Care & Rehab Center. These beautiful plants are a wonderful way to bring cheer to others in our community! Poinsettia pick up will be in the Parish Center on THURSDAY, December 4th from 2PM - 4PM and after all Masses on Saturday December 6th and Sunday, December 7th. Thank you for considering a purchase! Click here for your poinsettia order form.

Annual Coat Drive - Grades 7 and 8 are hosting a coat drive on behalf of the Hispanic Health Council of Hartford. We are collecting new and gently-used, washed or dry cleaned coats or winter jackets of all sizes. The coat drive begins today, November 5th and will run through Monday, December 1st. Donations may be sent into your child(ren)'s classrooms. Eighth grade students will collect donations each day. Thanks in advance for supporting this important community service project.

Annual Senior Luncheon Will Be Here Soon!  St. Mary School is hosting our annual Thanksgiving Luncheon for Senior Citizens  on Wednesday, 11/19/14 in the parish center. Again this year, each grade is being asked to contribute specific items to help prepare the meal.  A Sign Up Genius has been setup for each class to make it easy for you to see what is needed and to sign up to help. Click here to access the Sign Up Genius. Non-perishable items should be sent in by Monday, November 17. Please be sure that they are clearly labeled for the Senior Luncheon.  Non-perishable items should be sent in by 9am on Wednesday, 11/19.  Your contributions are  vital to our success.  If you know of an area senior citizen that would like to attend our luncheon, please tell them to sign up by calling the Simsbury Senior Center to make their reservation at 860-658-3273.  Seating is limited, please encourage them to call ASAP!


Home & School Association News

The fall Box Top collection results are official.  Congratulations to Grade 8 with a total of 813.  They will be receiving a check for $25.00.  Click here for more information and news about the next Boxtops contest.

St. Mary’s School HSA will be hosting the first annual 5K Trail Race and Kids’ Fun Run on October 24, 2015. The name of the race will be Skeleton Scramble 5K. We are excited to announce that we are holding a competition with the goal of producing a fantastic logo for the race, and every SMS student can enter! Deadline for entries is Friday, November 14, 2014! Click here for all the details and an official entry form.

The HSA meeting originally scheduled for 11/11/14 has been moved to 11/18/14. The meeting will be at 6:30pm in the grade 8 classroom. All are welcome!

Save the Date - Fundraiser at the Shoppes at Farmington Valley, Canton
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 4-9pm. 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!

Social Saturday - Now Scheduled for Saturday, December 6th!

Mark your Calendars -Thursday, December 11th from 4 - 7 pm. is family fun night. Come join us at Blue Fox Rock N Bowl on the Simsbury/Granby town line for some bowling and laser tag fun. More details to follow in the coming weeks.

Mark your Calendars - Fundraiser -Another opportunity for Christmas shopping! We invite you to come to Neckers Toy Store in Simsbury on December 11th. A portion of all sales will benefit St. Mary's Home and School Association. More details to follow in the coming weeks.Trail Race Logo Contest -Calling All Artists - St. Mary’s School HSA will be hosting the first annual 5K Trail Race and Kids’ Fun Run on October 24, 2015. The name of the race will be Skeleton Scramble 5K. The 5K trail race committee is holding a contest to create a logo design for next years first annual 5K Trail Race and Kids' Fun Run. The contest is open to all SMS students Pre-K through eighth. If your logo is chosen, it will be featured on all runners t-shirts and marketing materials. Deadline for entries is Friday, November 14, 2014!  Click here for all the details and an official entry form. 

The "uniform of the day" took on a new appearance as seventh grade students donned garb representative
of varying social strata during Colonial times.
HSA Nominating Committee
We are looking for a few good people for next year's Home and School Association. If you are interested in being a candidate or helping us find candidates please contact Jennifer Pavlonnis at

Maria Nolan (middle row, far left), Gr. 7 & the State Champion Granby Rovers.
SMS Stars - Our congratulations to Maria Nolan, Gr. 7,  and the Granby Rovers U13 Soccer Team.  This team won the CT Cup on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The Rovers won the final game 3 to 1 against Milford with Maria scoring the second, game winning goal.  The team finished the season undefeated with a record of 22 wins and no losses.  If you have news about an SMS Star, please send it to  We love to share news about our student's successes, accomplishments and acts of service.

Alumni News -  Congratulations to the Northwest Catholic High School Varsity Field Hockey team! 

SMS Alumni enjoying a spectacular fall Varsity Field Hockey Season include -
Back row from L - Kate Jessen, SMS Class of '13, Abby Herron, SMS Class of '12, Sarah Jessen, SMS Class of '13
& Hope Vaughn, SMS Class of 11.  Front row from L - Christina Wilson, SMS Class of '11, Mary Elizabeth Budnick
& Annie O'Meara, SMS Class of '12.
The NWC Varsity Field Hockey team made it to the state Class S playoffs on Tuesday, 11/4/14.  Despite a tough loss to Thomaston, Northwest dominated the field to the end, with Thomaston scoring in the last minutes of the game.   There are several SMS alumni playing at the varsity level.  If you have alumni news to share, please send an email to  We love hearing about and sharing their successes, accomplishments and stories of service.

Community News

Northwest Catholic High School Invites You - Northwest Catholic High School's annual Open House will be held on Sunday, November 9th. Families with students in grades 6-8 are especially encouraged to attend. NWC students will conduct tours; there will be musical performances and classroom demonstrations, as well as opportunities to view department and extracurricular displays. This is the only opportunity families have to speak with athletic coaches at Northwest Catholic. Eighth grade students are reminded that the Entrance Exams are Nov. 15th and Dec. 6th. In order to be registered for the exam, a student must complete the online application for admission. Students who are registered by next week will receive the HSPT practice test as well as the application for tuition assistance (PSAS). If your school uses the PSAS form, families only need to complete the one form and pay one fee for all of the children. The NWC deadline to complete the PSAS form is December 31st. Last year Northwest Catholic awarded 1.6 million in academic scholarships and need based aid.

If you have any questions about Northwest's Open House or Admissions Test or the admissions process at Northwest, please contact - Nancy Scully Bannon, Director of Admissions, Northwest Catholic High School (860) 236-4221, ext. 124

Annual Turkey Trot Non-Perishable Food Collection - Again this year, our school will be collecting non-perishable food items to benefit the Turkey Trot food drive.  Donations may be sent in beginning on Monday, 11/10 until Tuesday, 11/18.  Please be sure all donations are clearly marked "Turkey Trot" so they do not get confused with Senior Luncheon donations.  Click here for more information about this food drive.

Student Volunteers Needed -

The Hartford Children's Medical Center will be conducting a Mass Casualty Exercise on Tuesday, December 2nd.   **Please note this is a rescheduled date - the drill scheduled for the end of October was cancelled.

As the area's premier location for pediatric care, CT Children's holds a full scale mass casualty exercise every fall to help them refine their skills and improve on their systems. They have invited students from SMS to participate as "victims".  Approximately 30 children have participated in past drills and having real kids is tremendously helpful in making the drill more "real".  Being a part of this drill gives students an exposure to medical care and environments without the threat of being sick or being "poked at". 

The children are gathered before the drill, given a "triage tag" to wear on their wrist, which details the simulated injury and other information, and they are transported through the hospital system as if they were real patients. In the last drill, patients were transported to our PICU and the OR and actually placed in rooms and on cardiac monitors. Everyone remains dressed at all times. There will be snacks and beverages for the kids and they will be reunited with their adults in the same room that is used for check-in.

There are no age restrictions, but the medical center has found that under age 8 it can be a little intimidating because students will be placed on stretchers and treated as patients. A reminder that no invasive actions will be taken. They may be listened to and examined, but nothing inappropriate. All will remain dressed. Sometimes they are taken to the receiving unit (can be ICU, OR or a regular floor) and even placed on cardiac monitors. 

Participants should plan to arrive on Tuesday, December 2 at 6pm and check in at the ambulatory entrance (this is where the valet parking is, on Seymour Street across from the public parking garage, next to the emergency entrance). Upon arrival, participants will check in and receive name tags. Parents do not have to stay but are welcome to stay but must also check in.  If you are staying, a couple of chaperones would be most welcome.  

After check in, participants will go to a conference room where they will be prepared for the drill.
The drill should be complete at around 8:00 pm, and participants should be picked up at the same location as drop off. The medical center will validate parking for any parents who decide to stay.

Your RSVP is Requested! We would like to provide the medical center with a list of students that plan to attend that includes the age of the child.  Additionally, if a parent is planning to stay and would be willing to act as a chaperone, we would like to share this information.  If your child is planning to participate, please RSVP to Donna Hatch at or 860-658-9412 NLT Tuesday, 11/25.  Please be sure to include the name of your child(ren), his/her/their age(s) and grade(s) and if you plan to stay and are willing to chaperone.

For further information, please feel free to contact:
Jennifer A. Tabak BSN RN CEN CPEN
Trauma Program Manager
Connecticut Children's Medical Center
(860) 545-9810  office

Small Business Saturday Can Mean Free Books!  Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.  This year, Scholastic and American Express are working together to invite school communities to particpate on November 29th.  Flyers from Scholastic that include a Redemption Card are available, first come, first serve, in the school office.  If you shop at a local small business on 11/29 and submit the completed redemption card to Scholastic, your family will receive up to 2 free books.  For purposes of this promotion, a small business is defined as a retailer, restaurant, or non-professional service provider with annual revenue of less than $100 million and fewer than 99 employees. You are not required to know as a certainty whether a business meets these criteria, but you must make a good faith determination. While supplies last, you will receive one book for each small business, up to two (2), that you list on the Redemption Card. Limit one (1) Redemption Card per household; limit two (2) book per household. All Redemption Cards must be postmarked by 1/31/15.  For more information about this promotion go to 

Halloween Gallery - Please take a moment to enjoy some Halloween memories.  Click here.