News for the Week of 3/11/15

Please Join Father Matera & Mrs. Gannatti for an evening of conversation and celebration as the results of our recent school survey are shared.  Mark your calendars for Monday, April 6th at 7pm in the Parish Center.  This will also be your opportunity to pick up your 2015-2016 Family Enrollment Packet. 

 Just for fun, families who complete their Family Enrollment Form and submit their $250 Family Enrollment Fee before leaving the meeting will be entered in our drawing to win one of 3 great prizes:

First Prize - $250 worth of CHOICE cards of your "choice"!
Second Prize - A delicious dinner at our annual Golf Outing at the Hopmeadow Country Club on Monday, 5/18/15 - a $65 value!
Third Prize - $50 iPad Insurance Fee for 15-16 paid for your favorite SMS student!

Walk-In Wednesdays continue each Wednesday in March.  If you know someone who has been wondering if SMS is the right place for their family, please encourage them to drop by for a walk in visit.  Hours are 9:30-11:30, no appointment is required but if they call ahead, we'll be sure to have an information packet all prepared for them to take home after their visit.

Students in grades 7 and 8 invite you to attend the performance that is the culmination of their Shakesperience residency.  This year's performance will feature scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream.  The performance will be held on Friday, March 13 from 2-3pm in the Parish Center.

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day & St. Joseph's Day - Mrs. Gannatti invites all student to wear a green shirt on St. Patrick's Day - 3/17/15 & a red shirt on St. Joseph's Day - 3/19/15 with the uniform of the day if they bring in a non-perishable food item anytime between 3/17 & 3/19.  Our non-perishable food collection will be donated to the Simsbury Food Pantry in honor of St. Joseph who lovingly cared and provided for the Holy Family.  As members of God's family, this is one way we can help take care of all those God loves.  Just a reminder, students may also wear a red shirt on every Friday as we Remember Everyone Deployed!

As part of a grade 1 Social Studies lesson, two 6th grade students were invited by Mrs. Jehnings to give a presentation about our country's flag.  Audrey and Luke did a great job . Luke began the presentation with some wonderful facts about the flag. He demonstrated how to hold the flag. Then he and Audrey showed the students how to fold the flag and treat it with respect. It was an informative lesson which the children enjoyed! A special thank you to Audrey and Luke for a job well done!

The School Board will meet on Wednesday, 3/18/15, at 7pm in the lower church.  All are welcome to attend this meeting.

March Parent/Teacher Conferences are next week!  March Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Monday, 3/16 - Thursday, 3/19.  Each of these days will be a 12:45pm Early Dismissal and there will be NO PREKINDERGARTEN ENRICHMENT OR AFTERCARE. Friday, 3/20 , is a regular full day of school.

Click here to sign up for conferences.  A conference is strongly encouraged for all students but unlike the Fall conferences, no appointments will be scheduled for you if you do not sign up on your own.  If you do not sign up for a conference and your child's teacher feels one is necessary, you will be contacted by the teacher.

School will be closed on Tuesday, 3/24/15, for a Teacher In-Service.  Please be sure to mark your calendars!

Living Stations of the Cross - 

Again this year, our 8th grade students will present the Living Stations of the Cross. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this beautiful Lenten prayer service. The Living Stations will be presented on Friday, March 27 at 2 and 7pm in the church.

A simple soup and bread supper will be available from 5:30 to 6:30 pm in the Parish Center prior to the 7pm presentation of the Living Stations.  There is no charge for the dinner but free-will donations will be accepted. There will be at least one gluten-free soup option.

Grade 8 Parents please note - There will be a Sign-Up Genius to coordinate volunteers to provide soup, bowls, cups, napkins, etc. and act as the volunteer clean-up crew (parents-only since the students will be getting dressed for the Living Stations.) You will receive an invitation to this Sign-Up Genius once it is created.

Looking Ahead to 2015-16!  Do you have a child who is eligible for Kindergarten in 2015-16 that is currently attending a Preschool other than St. Mary's?  If so, please let us know and we will send you an application form so that this child is included when you receive your Family Enrollment Packet early in April.  Please note - Students attending SMS PreK DO NOT NEED TO REAPPLY.  SMS PreK students are automatically "promoted" to Kindergarten unless we have received other instructions from your family.

Yearbook 2015 - Your photos are needed!  The SMS Yearbook is a very special keepsake.  It features photos of every student at SMS and many candid shots from the year's activities, athletic events and clubs.  If you have photos from this year's activities, please upload them now!  Photos may be uploaded at  The password/access code for our school is - WXBRRX (Please note, this is case sensitive.  Use all capital letters.)  Please note that up to 5 images may be uploaded at a time.  Your photos will be accepted until the end of March.  Please be sure that photos are identified by activity and/or grade and include teacher and or student names.

Used Uniform Exchange -  Click here for an updated inventory of items available from the Used Uniform Exchange.  Students may begin to wear the relaxed uniform when we return from April break on Monday, April 20th.

CHOICE NEWS - CHOICE statements will be coming home in kid mail on Friday, 3/13/15, so please be sure to check the backpack of your youngest or only child.  Your family's CHOICE commitment must be fulfilled by April 30th.  If you have questions about your family's CHOICE obligation or the program, please contact Tammy Budnick at the school office or

Home & School Association News -

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend  the Home & School Association meeting on Thursday, 3/19/15 at 6:30pm in the 8th grade classroom.  Please note that this a date change.  This meeting was originally scheduled for 3/12/15.

Winter Box Tops for Education Contest Results - 

The HSA Nominating Committee is still looking for people to fill positions on the HSA Board. If you are interested but feel that you cannot fulfill a leadership position alone, then ask a friend to lead with you! Leadership positions can be shared among a couple of people to lighten the load and to broaden the scope of participation. Together, the team coordinates events that strengthen the relationship between the Parish and the School communities. The Board also conducts monthly meetings with members of the school administration and School Board, along with interested parents from the School. Please consider being part of an organization that does so much for our community.
 If you are interested, please contact Noreen Kuziak, Nominating Chair, at 860-416-7662 or  OR Deb Poniatowski at 860-916-1335 or

Community News 

Click here for a special preview!  This year, the Northwest Catholic Dramateurs will present Once on This Island as their spring musical.  The cast features several SMS alumni in prominent roles including Lauren Mangine& Matt Sottile, Class of '12 and James & John Sullivan, Class of '14.  Also featured are Avery Hatch, Class of '12, Ally Voelker, Class of '13 and Mimi Conners, Class of '14.  A special cameo appearance will be made by Lindsey Voelker, currently in 8th grade here at SMS.  Performance dates, time and ticket sale information appear at the end of the video clip.

SMS Alumni, from left:  Kate Jessen, Class of '13;
Avery Hatch, Class of '12 & Sarah Jessen, Class of  '13.
Northwest Catholic High School hosted a jazz jam session on Sunday, March 8 at Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford for the school’s Trumpets Not Guns fundraising effort. Northwest Catholic music students, including several SMS alumni, performed a wide variety of jazz classics.
Northwest Catholic High School is working in cooperation with Trumpets Not Guns to collect instruments and raise money for children of New Orleans. The organization works to help New Orleans-area schools and other music foundations provide instruments for children in the hopes of keeping them away from violence. Northwest Catholic music students will be traveling to New Orleans at the end of March and will have the opportunity to present the instruments to the students of the Ellis Marsalis Center. The school has collected over 50 instruments so far.
SMS Alumni, Sam Spak - Class of '12 &
Aaron Belletsky, Class of '14
If you have a gently used instrument that you would be willing to donate to this cause, it can be dropped off at the Northwest Catholic Admissions Office or music room by March 23, 2015. All instruments must be in good, playable condition. Please label each instrument with your name, address, phone number, and email address, as well as the approximate value of the instrument (if known). Monetary donations are also being accepted. Click here for more information or contact Andrew Selig ( or Daniel Luddy (dluddy@nwcath.orgif you have any questions regarding donations.

Mathnasium of Avon is offering a free tutorial session for students in grades K-12.  To learn more about Mathnasium, click here.  This information is being shared as a courtesy, St. Mary's School does not necessarily recommend or endorse the tutorial services provided by Mathnasium.