News for Week of 1/28/15





 We had a wonderful visit with Archbishop Leonard Blair last Friday.  The Archbishop, along with Dr. Dale Hoyt, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Hartford and Mrs. Maria Maynard, Assistant Superintendent and past principal of SMS, and Secretary to the Archbishop, Reverend John Lavorgna, visited with students in their classrooms and shared a pizza lunch in the Parish Center.  During lunch, the Archbishop was presented with two special gifts - a Blue Knights jacket personalized with his name and our school logo and an original SMS remembrance that featured a thumb print of each student at SMS.  Click here to enjoy some additional photos from the Archbishop's visit.  Our thanks to Mrs. Anna Winkler for taking photos.


Twix for Heroes - Thanks to everyone who contributed so generously to our collection of Twix bars and notes of thanks and encouragement for heroes on the USS Hampton.  As you can see, the submarine will be fully loaded! Your generosity means that each serviceman can eat several Twix bars! The encouraging, supportive, and thoughtful notes are going to be so important to these brave submariners.  Thank you for supporting them!

Faculty Update - Please join us in welcoming Miss Nicole Cole to SMS as our long term substitute in Kindergarten.  Miss Cole is very excited to join our community and is enjoying getting to know her students this week.  Mrs. Mortillaro is spending her last few days in kindergarten as Miss Cole settles into her new classroom.  You can visit Miss Cole's "Days of Kindergarten" blog by clicking here.  Kindergarten families are strongly encouraged to subscribe to Miss Cole's blog to stay up to date on the activities in Kindergarten.  There will be an opportunity for Kindergarten parents to get better acquainted with Miss Cole on Monday, February 2, 2015 at 6:30 in the Kindergarten classroom.  Miss Cole's email address is NCole@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.





Celebrating Catholic Schools' Month - 
On Saturday January 24, 2015, as part of Catholic Schools' Month and to promote the SMS Open House, the Mikans and the Sautters families attended the Vigil Mass at St. Therese Church in Granby.  Our thanks to these families and to all our family ambassadors that represented our school last weekend.  We also extend our thanks to the area Pastors and parishes that warmly welcomed our student ambassadors and their families.

Reminder Regarding Casual Dress Friday on February 13th - Any SMS student that wore their formal uniform to Mass on Sunday, January 25th, may dress in school appropriate, casual clothes on Friday, February 13th.  A parent should send a note into school by February 11th that the student attended Mass in uniform on Sunday, January 25th in order to participate.



Open House for Prospective Families - Our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month will include an Open House for Prospective Families tomorrow - Thursday, 1/29/15 at 6:30pm in the Parish Center.  If you know a family wondering if SMS is the right place for them, please invite them to come to this event.  Our new Suzuki Violin Program for PreKindergarten & Kindergarten will be introduced! There will also be an opportunity to meet our faculty, learn about our mission, discover how engaging an academic day can be here and begin to experience the important difference Faith in Education can make in a child's life.  Please encourage an RSVP to the school office at 860-658-9412 or by email to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.




Don't Forget! Students may wear a RED shirt with the uniform of the day on all Fridays as we "Remember Everyone Deployed" 


Family Pizza Lunch  - Our annual Family Pizza Lunch is scheduled for Friday, 1/30/15, & we hope many of you will join us for lunch with your favorite student(s).   If you did not order a pizza lunch but would like to join us, please bring your favorite brown bag lunch and join the fun!

For your reference, the schedule of lunch waves will be as follows:

11:00-11:35 - PreK, Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade
11:40-12:15 - 3rd, 4th & 5th grade
12:20-12:50 - 6th, 7th & 8th 

Please note that there is a funeral in the Church at 10am on Friday.  If you are arriving for lunch at 11am, it may be necessary for you to park in the North (playground) parking lot.  The gate will be unlocked!

Help is always needed!  If you can help for a little while before or after the time you are enjoying your lunch, please let Mrs. Budnick know at smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.  Thanks!

February Calendar Reminders




School is closed Monday, 2/16 & Tuesday, 2/17 for a long Winter Weekend.  School reopens on Wednesday, 2/11 for a regular full day and the remainder of that week is a regular school week.

Ash Wednesday, 2/11/15 - We will join with our Parish family and begin the Lenten season at the 12:15pm Parish Mass.  All are welcome and encouraged to join us.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

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Snow Day Calendar Changes -  We have now had 2 snow days.  Our schedule for snow day makeups is as follows:

Monday, April 6, 2015 - School will be OPEN for a regular full day of school with PreKindergarten Enrichment and Aftercare available.  This is Easter Monday and was planned as a day off on our original school calendar .

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - School will be OPEN FOR A REGULAR FULL DAY of school with PreKindergarten Enrichment and Aftercare available.  This was originally tentatively scheduled to be our last day of school with a 12:45pm dismissal.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - This is now our TENTATIVE last day of school and will be a 12:45pm EARLY DISMISSAL WITH NO PREKINDERGARTEN ENRICHMENT OR AFTERCARE.

If we should have additional snow days, they will be added to our days in June and only the last day will be a 12:45pm early dismissal.

Home & School Association News

Box Tops for Education - A new collection contest began on January 26.  The grade level that collects the most Box Tops from January 26 - February 20 will win the contest and their teacher will receive $50 for classroom extras.  Please send Box Tops into homeroom teachers.  Please check the expiration date since expired Box Tops are not accepted.  This contest is open to all grades PreKindergarten - Grade 8.  Questions should be directed to Scott Sirianni at scottmary99@aol.com.

Ladies' "Bunco" Night

Come join the fun and bring a friend!  Friday, February 6th from 7-9 p.m.   Click here to download and print this reservation form.


Lost & Found  We have quite an eclectic collection of "lost & found" items stored in the Parish Center.  Items include a size 10 Lands' End uniform jumper and blouse and 1 black shoe, none of them labelled with a name, all in a plastic bag.  Other items are assorted water bottles, books, hats, mittens and outer wear.  We will be "cleaning house" before the long Winter Weekend in February so students are encouraged to ask to check "lost & found" during lunch and parents are encouraged to stop by at the start or end of the school day if they would like to have a look.  We also strongly encourage that all uniform clothing and all outerwear be clearly labelled with student names.  When items are turned in and we can find a name, we always quickly reunite the item with his/her owner.

Community News

Avon Soccer Club Spring 2015 Recreational Season - The Avon Soccer Club is offering several programs to Avon residents this spring.  Click here for more information or register online at www.avonsoccerclub.org.  Questions -Contact avonsoccerclub@comcast.net


Simsbury High School invites you to Thoroughly Modern Millie featuring SMS Alumna, Emily Bautista, Class of '11 in the role of Millie.  Tickets can be ordered online by going to the Simsbury High School Website and clicking the Thoroughly Modern Millie icon or by clicking here.

Showtimes are as follows: 

January 31 & February 6 & 7 at 7PM

February 1 & 8 at 2PM

Please note that due to the bad weather this week, the Friday, 1/30 performance has been cancelled.  Check with the box office if you have tickets for the 1/30 performance.



Give Kids a Smile Day -





The American Dental Association's Give Kids a Smile Day will be held on Friday, February 6, 2015.  Avon Wellness Center Dental Associates-the office of Dr. Jerry Graham and Associates- will be opening their practice to children in need on this date. Together with their team, they will host a day of  FREE dental care by appointment starting at 8am.  Click here for a list of available services and more information. 

Press Release Announcing Archbishop Blair's Visit to SMS

Please take a moment to read today's Press Release regarding Archbishop Blair's visit to our school tomorrow - Friday, 1/23/15.  We are excited to welcome the Archbishop and happy to have this opportunity to share our community of faith and learning with him.


For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Zone
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Hartford
mzone@aohct.org                 

Archbishop Blair to Celebrate Catholic Schools Month with Students

Hartford, Conn. – (Jan. 22, 2015) Catholic schools across the Archdiocese of Hartford are observing Catholic Schools Month, in conjunction with the national celebration of Catholic Schools Week in the United States.  This national observance in support of Catholic school education has been celebrated since 1974 and is extended to the full month of January in the Archdiocese of Hartford.  In honor of this special time and to show his support for Catholic schools, Archbishop Leonard Blair will spend time visiting with some Catholic school students throughout the coming week.

On Friday, January 23rd, the Archbishop will visit St. Mary School in Simsbury beginning at 10 a.m. when he will visit the classrooms of students in grades pre-k to third grade. At 11 a.m., students in grades fourth through sixth will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer (Q & A) session with the Archbishop, followed by a separate Q & A session for seventh and eighth graders at 11:30. The Archbishop will conclude the morning’s activities by having lunch with third, fourth and fifth graders.

On Sunday, January 25th, the Archbishop will celebrate Mass at St. Augustine Church at 9 a.m. during which students from St. Augustine School will participate as readers, gift bearers, greeters, altar servers, and choir members.  Principal Helen Treacy will serve as Eucharistic Minister, and testimonials regarding St. Augustine School will be offered at the end of Mass by a parent and a student.

The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2015 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” During this time, schools focus on the value Catholic school education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.


Final Reminder - SMS Parent Survey Closes Tomorrow - Friday, 1/23/15

If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes and complete our parent survey.  Please click here to begin the survey.

News for the Week of 1/21/15






CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WELCOME WEEK SUNDAY MASS - On Sunday, January 25th we will be reaching out to some area parishes to invite them to our next Open House on Thursday, January 29th and to tell them a little bit about St. Mary's School.  We have coordinated with the priests of these parishes and have some students lined up to speak at the end of the Mass.  We will also have some items to give to the parishioners as they leave Mass and would like to ask for your help in handing these items out.  We are also asking the students to wear their formal uniform to Mass that day to help represent St. Mary's School.  Any student who does wear their uniform to Mass can participate in a school appropriate, casual dress day on Friday, February 13th.  A parent will need to send a note into school by February 11th stating that you attended Mass in uniform on Sunday, January 25th in order to participate.  The churches that we will be represented at are:
St. Mary's (Simsbury) at 9:30am
            St. Catherine's (West Simsbury) at 11am
            St. Ann's (Avon) at 9:30am
St. Therese (Granby) at 10:30am
            St. Patrick's (Collinsville) at 10am
Immaculate Conception (New Hartford) at 11:30am Mass.
If you have any questions, please contact Sue Zordan at jeneltravel@charter.net or 860-379-3154.  Thank you for helping to spread the word about St. Mary's School.


Farmington Chief of Police - Paul Melanson



Celebrating Catholic Schools' Month -

Please take a moment to enjoy these photos from last week's Career Day presentations.  Our sincere thanks to Mr. Michael Domashinski, Mr. Jeffrey Corriveau and Mr. Paul Melanson!

JetBlue pilot - Michael Domashinski

Cartoonist - Jeffrey Corriveau


Our celebration continued today with Student Appreciation Day.  Students had fun this morning playing board games in cooperative mixed age groups and enjoyed an ice cream treat at lunch.  Our thanks to the HSA for providing the games and ice cream for our fabulous students!

















On Friday, 1/23, we will share our community of faith and learning with Archbishop Blair.  Mrs. Gannatti reminds all students that a red shirt may be worn with the uniform of the day as we Remember Everyone Deployed.  The theme of this year's Catholic Schools' Month celebration is  - Knowledge, Faith & Service.  Our RED
Fridays help us remember to keep those that serve our country in our prayers until they are home from deployment around the world.




Calendar Reminders -  

Tonight - Wednesday, 1/21/15 - School Board Meeting, 7pm, Lower Church.  
                 Click here for agenda.

Friday, 1/23/15 - Report Cards distributed
                            Final Day to participate in SMS Parent Survey - details below.

Friday, 1/30/15 - Family Pizza Lunch - details & link to family order form below.  
                            All orders must be turned in NLT Friday, 1/23/15.


Hot Lunch - Snow Day Makeup -  Due to the snow day on Monday,  January 12th, we would like to serve a makeup hot lunch next week.  We will serve the make up lunch on either Tuesday, 1/27 or Thursday, 1/29 depending on which day volunteers are available to help serve.  If you can help on one of these days, please contact Tammy Budnick NLT Friday, 1/23 at tbudnick@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.  We will announce whether the make up lunch will be Tuesday or Thursday once we know when volunteers are available.  Thank you!




"Snow" much fun in First Grade!  Students in Mrs. Jehning's first grade class read the book, Snowballs by Lois EhlertAs an extension activity, students created a snow person using a multitude of materials Mrs. Jehnings brought in from home. Students really used their imaginations, creativity and "thought outside the box".  Students made an important connection to their Religion lessons as well - God created each one of us unique and special. We are all a part of God's family! 






SMS Parent Survey - Final Days to Participate - Survey closes this Friday, 1/23/15



This is a reminder to participate in the Saint Mary’s School Survey. By now, you should have received an invitation to participate in the survey. As I noted in the previous email invitation, the results from this survey can be a powerful tool to drive our school strategic plan. 

The attached link will lead you into the school survey. There should be only one response per family. You will have the ability to provide feedback either on the per grade level or from an overall basis. The survey should take approximately 10 - 15 minutes to complete. Your responses are anonymousand all information will be analyzed in aggregate (non-individual) form only. The survey will remain open until Friday January 23rd. 

This is an opportunity for you to give feedback on how Saint Mary’s School is doing. Your feedback will help improve our strategic plan for Saint Mary’s. On behalf of the St. Mary's School Board and Administration, thank you for your participation in this important survey.

Please click here to begin the survey.

Family Pizza Lunch  - Our annual Family Pizza Lunch is scheduled for Friday, 1/30/15, & we hope many of you will join us for lunch with your favorite student(s).   You may either order a pizza lunch or bring a brown bag.  Click here for a Guest Order form.  Some families have already ordered a student pizza hot lunch for this day. If you did not order pizza lunch on this date for your student and you would like to, please also use the Guest Order form to order lunch them. 


All lunches must be pre-ordered, so please do return this order to me at the school office prior to January 23rd. 

For your reference, the schedule of lunch waves will be as follows:

11:00-11:35 - PreK, Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grade
11:40-12:15 - 3rd, 4th & 5th grade
12:20-12:50 - 6th, 7th & 8th 

Help is always needed!  If you can help for a little while before or after the time you are enjoying your lunch, please let Mrs. Budnick know at smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.  Thanks!

Home & School Association News -

Next Week - Monday, 1/26 - Friday, 1/30 - the HSA is Hosting Teacher Appreciation Week.  There are a lot of ways you can help make this week special.  A special Sign-Up Genius has been created to make it simple for you to choose how you would like to help and what you would like to contribute.  Click here to access the Sign Up Genius.  Thanks in advance for making this a special week for our teachers and staff!

Ladies' "Bunco" Night

Come join the fun and bring a friend!  Friday, February 6th from 7-9 p.m.   Click here to download and print this reservation form.

Paint Night - This fun filled event has been  moved to the spring.  Watch for more details at a later date.

Community News

Simsbury High School invites you to Thoroughly Modern Millie featuring SMS Alumna, Emily Bautista, Class of '11 in the role of Millie.  Tickets can be ordered online by going to the Simsbury High School Website and clicking the Thoroughly Modern Millie icon or by clicking here.

Showtimes are as follows: 

January 30 & 31 & February 6 & 7 at 7PM

February 1 & 8 at 2PM




Give Kids a Smile Day -



The American Dental Association's Give Kids a Smile Day will be held on Friday, February 6, 2015.  Avon Wellness Center Dental Associates-the office of Dr. Jerry Graham and Associates- will be opening their practice to children in need on this date. Together with their team, they will host a day of  FREE dental care by appointment starting at 8am.  Click here for a list of available services and more information. 







Click here to shop Lands' End with the necessary Promo Code & PIN.

News for the Week of 1-14-15


SMS Calendar Update -  In order to make up our snow day on 1/12/15, school will be OPEN for a regular full day on Monday, 4/6/15 (Easter Monday).  This is a change to the original school calendar.  Please make a note of this.


TWIX FOR HEROES HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL FRIDAY, 1/16/15 - As some of you may know, Mrs. Gannatti's son, Tim, will soon begin his first 6 month deployment on the USS Hampton submarine. There are very limited opportunities for those serving this deployment to be in contact with their families and no opportunities for family visits.

Families of servicemen and women are allowed to prepare a modest sized box of encouragement that is shared with their loved one at the 3 month mark of the deployment.  In conjunction with our RED shirt Fridays, we would like to try and collect at least 166 Twix candy bars (Mrs. Gannatti's son's favorite candy bar!) and notes of encouragement so that every person deployed on the USS Hampton will have something special from SMS.  The wife of the Captain has said that they plan to create a special St. Mary's box containing all our Twix bars and notes of encouragement! Participation is strictly voluntary, not required! If you choose to participate, we request that you send in your Twix bar and/or note no later than Friday, 1/16/15. All donations will be collected in homerooms. Please address your notes of encouragement "Dear Hero," Thanks in advance for your support of this special way to remember those that serve to protect our freedoms!  


Don't Forget! Students may wear a RED shirt with the uniform of the day on all Fridays as we "Remember Everyone Deployed".  Just for clarification, if the formal uniform is correct for Friday, this means that for boys, the red shirt is worn over the white business shirt and tie and for girls over the jumper and/or blouse.


Gentle Reminder - It's so easy to forget when we are all so busy, but please refrain from cell phone use during carpool drop off and pick up.  Our parking lot is a busy place and at drop off and pick up, our most precious possessions are being carefully supervised, but, they are in the parking lot.  A moment's distraction could result in a tragedy.  Please avoid distracted driving when dropping off and picking up.  Thank you for your cooperation.






School Survey - We want to hear from you!
The school survey is an opportunity for you to give feedback on how Saint Mary’s School is doing. Your feedback will help improve our strategic plan for Saint Mary’s. On behalf of the St. Mary's School Board and Administration, thank you for your participation in this important survey.  Click here to access the school survey.


Open House for Prospective Families - Our celebration of Catholic Schools' Month will include an Open House for Prospective Families on Thursday, 1/29/15 at 6:30pm in the Parish Center.  If you know a family wondering if SMS is the right place for them, please invite them to come to this event.  Our new Suzuki Violin Program for PreKindergarten & Kindergarten will be introduced! There will also be an opportunity to meet our faculty, learn about our mission, discover how engaging an academic day can be here and begin to experience the important difference Faith in Education can make in a child's life.  Please encourage an RSVP to the school office at 860-658-9412 or by email to smsoffice@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.


Celebrating Catholic Schools' Month -  Our thanks to Mrs. Jen Pavlonnis for arranging a special Career Day presentation for students in PreKindergarten through 4th grades.  Our guests today were Mr. Michael Domashinski, airline pilot for JetBlue; Mr. Paul Melanson, Chief of Police for the Town of Farmington and Mr. Jeffrey Corriveau, creator of nationally-syndicated comic strip, "DeFlocked." at Hearst Publishing.  Our thanks to these participants for sharing their time and talent with us today.  There will be an additional Career Day presentation for grades 4-8 on Wednesday, January 28th.  Presenters already planned include Mr. Ray Fagnant, scout for the Boston Red Sox and Mr. Steve Rushin, journalist, sportswriter and novelist.  We are excited that there may also be additional speakers invited thanks to the efforts of Miss Kane and Mrs. Mortillaro.  Stay tuned for more details!

Home & School Association News

The next Home & School Association meeting is this Thursday, 1/15/14, at 6:30pm in the grade 8 classroom.  Click here for the agenda.

HSA Nominating Committee 
The HSA is looking for a Nominating Committee to help fill the HSA roles for next school year.  The Nominating Committee is responsible for finding nominees for each open position and presenting them at a spring meeting.  If you are interested in serving on the committee, please contact Jennifer Pavlonnis at jpavlonnis@yahoo.com or Amy Lillis at amylillis73@gmail.com.

Hands On Learning in Grade 5 -
Students in Mrs. Gore's fifth grade have been creating models of a New England town or
southern plantation to accompany an oral presentation.



Alumni News -

Congratulations to 6 SMS Alums from the Class of '12 - Six SMS alumni were among the 78 students inducted to  Northwest Catholic High School's Aquinas Chapter of the National Honor Society on January 8, 2015.  Pictured from left, Matthew Sottile, Abigail Herron, Mary Elizabeth Budnick, Avery Hatch, Ann O'Meara and Samuel Spak.  Our congratulations on this important achievement!  If you have alumni news to share, please send it to dhatch@stmarysimsbury.eduk12.net.

Community News



Looking for some softball fun this spring?  Simsbury Little League offers  Fastpitch Softball for girls aged 4-14.  Click here for more information.






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