News for the Week of 3/18/15

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!

In science, the 6th grade has been learning about laboratory safety during their first week of Chemistry. They made oobleck to demonstrate their skills with a triple beam balance, graduated cylinder, and an Erlenmeyer flask. 

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

Celebrating  St. Joseph's Day - Mrs. Gannatti invites all student to wear a red shirt on St. Joseph's Day - 3/19/15 with the uniform of the day if  they have brought  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 (with the uniform of the day) on every Friday as we RememberEveryone Deployed! 

Our Final Walk-In Wednesday will be on 3/25/15.  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.

With Walk-In Wednesdays behind us, we will begin to look forward to our Open House for Prospective Families on Wednesday, April 22nd from 8:30-11:30am.

It's an All Star First Grade!

Students in Mrs. Jehning's first grade class cut pictures out of magazines to create a star that represented themselves. Results of the project showed that our first grade really shines!

March Parent/Teacher Conferences conclude tomorrow, Thursday, 3/19/15 -  Tomorrow is our last day for March Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Tomorrow is  a 12:45pm Early Dismissal and there will be NO PREKINDERGARTEN ENRICHMENT OR AFTERCARE. Friday, 3/20 , is a regular full day of school.

Even at this time, it's not too late to sign up for a conference!  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.

Devin reacts to the SMS leprechaun's mischief!

The SMS leprechaun celebrated St. Patrick's Day with his typical, funny mischief this week. First grade arrived to find their legos spilled out and their popcorn jar tipped over.  The first grade students had created some really clever traps but again this year, that frisky leprechaun eluded his captors.  While on the loose, the leprechaun also caused some mischief in Kindergarten and left them a surprise in his pot.

After cleaning up the leprechaun's mischief, Kindergarten students
followed Miss Cole's lead and learned an Irish jig.  Thanks for sharing
your Irish Step Dance expertise, Miss Cole!

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

2015 Talent Show "Check Point" - On Wednesday, March 25th, during the school day Mr. Gangloff will be viewing the planned performances of all students that have signed up for this year's talent show on 4/22.  If you have signed up to participate, please being any props, costumes, etc. that are needed for your performance to school on Wednesday, 3/25. Questions regarding the Talent Show should be directed to Mr. Gangloff at  This year's Talent Show is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22nd at 6:30pm in the Parish Center.

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.

Not Quite Ready for Kindergarten in the Fall?  St. Mary's PreKindergarten program has openings for the 15-16 school year.  Our PreKindergarten is a 5 day per week program designed for an older 4 or young 5.  Students in PreKindergarten follow normal morning arrival with drop off anywhere between 8:20 and 8:40am.  The program ends at 1:00pm and includes participation in specials like PE, vocal music, Spanish and library.  PreKindergarten Enrichment is available until 3:20pm and PreKindergarten students may also participate in Aftercare until 6pm.  Students that participate in our PreKindergarten program do not need to reapply for Kindergarten in the following year.

Students in Mrs. Gore's fifth grade Religion class are learning about the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Their study includes learning what it means to "examine our conscience" and "to forgive as Jesus did."   To extend their class discussions, students worked in groups to create " Word Walls" about the word forgive that will be shared with their classmates.

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 April 1.    The following photos are particularly needed:

*Lessons and Carols
*any photos corresponding to spiritual life and volunteerism
*Music and arts concerts, band, chorus
*any candid sports pictures
*any candid shots from favorite adventures with the school or student body activities

Sponsorships are also being accepted.   This is a great way to give a shout out to our 8th grade class or to a special graduate.  Sponsors with pictures are $50.  Sponsors with words only are $30. There is a 50 word maximum and 1 picture limit for sponsorships.  Checks should be made payable to St. Mary's School with "yearbook sponsor" in the memo section. Sponsorship deadline is April 1.  Please contact Gina McDonald at with any questions.

It's time to order yearbooks!  This year's full color yearbook can be ordered online.  Order deadline is April 1st.  Our yearbook code is 9415315 and your order is payable with all major credit cards.  Click here to order your yearbook online.  All yearbooks must be preordered.  During parent/teacher conferences, you may pick up a brochure so that you may pay by check if you would prefer to do so.  Yearbooks will be distributed to students after the yearbook dedication is announced by 8th grade in June.  Yearbooks will be distributed in the classrooms as has been done in previous years.

A Gentle Reminder About Dismissal Changes - Everyone has "one of those days" once in awhile.  The day a note is left at home or a doctor visit needs to be scheduled unexpectedly or plans change at the very last minute and, of course, we understand that this happens.  Whenever possible,however, please send in all routine dismissal changes in a note to school with your child or via a morning email to the homeroom teacher with copy to the school office.  Dismissal changes that are called in late in the day can be difficult to effectively communicate.  Please be especially sure that any dismissal changes that are being communicated after noon are called into the school office.  Teachers are not always able to check email in the afternoon.  Dismissal changes that are called in at 3pm or later can be extremely challenging to communicate. It helps assure that your needs are met when we are given adequate time to notify teachers and students.  Thank you.

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.  Click here to view the agenda for this meeting.

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

Alumni News

Alumni Kate Jessen, far left & Sarah Jessen, third from left, pictured with
other CMEA All-State Musicians from NWC.
Our congratulations to two SMS Alumni who will be performing as members of the Connecticut Music Educators Association’s All-State ensembles.  Kate Jessen will perform in the Concert Band and Sarah Jessen will perform in the Orchestra.  Both Kate & Sarah are SMS Class of '13 alumni and are currently Sophomores at Northwest Catholic High School.  Director of Instrumental Music Daniel Luddy is excited about the students’ achievements. “I’m proud of these students; they have worked very hard for this accomplishment,” he said. “The All-State program is an excellent opportunity to study and perform with some of Connecticut’s best high school musicians, and the conductors are top-notch.” The CMEA All-State Festival will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT on May 2, 2015 at 2pm.  

We love to hear about our alumni's accomplishments, if you have alumni news to share, please send it to Donna Hatch at

Community News

Girl Scouts of Connecticut invites you to a Recruitment Night - Adults are needed to support girls on their scouting journey by helping to form new troops and guide existing troops.  Girls are always welcome to join existing troops or form a new troop with adult leadership.  Learn more at Eno Hall in the Youth Room on the lower level, 754 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury on Thursday, March 26th from 6-7:30pm and/or contact Loretta Lincoln at

 Simsbury Junior Women’s Club is presenting the Ladybug Bash on Saturday, March 21st from 10am to 12 noon at the Henry James Middle School, 155 Firetown Road in Simsbury. This is great fun for the kids, geared to ages 1-8 years. There will be face painting, hair braiding, twirlers, scooter races, dancing, games, crafts, and a magician.  For snacks there will be lots of cupcakes, popcorn, and coffee and muffins for adults.  The cost is $5per person for kids and adults (children under 1 are free) at the door. The proceeds benefit the Simsbury community.  For more information, click here.

"Listening is where love begins...."  Mr. Rogers
Mrs. Budnick shares a moment with Danylo as he
reads his reflections for the Second Station of the Cross.

Faces of SMS  - When she's not busy answering the phone, greeting visitors with a smile, selling CHOICE cards, ordering lunches for students and supplies for teachers, updating Sign Up Geniuses and databases or otherwise keeping the SMS office in apple pie order, you can also find Mrs. Budnick lending an ear to student authors and offering her own special praise and encouragement.  Thanks, Mrs. Budnick, for all you do to make SMS run smoothly and for opening your loving heart to our wonderful students!