News for the Week of 4/8/15

Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend our community meeting on Monday, 4/6.  It was exciting to be able to share the results of our parent survey and we are committed to moving forward in a way that best meets the needs of our community.   Look for an email today (4/8) that will include a copy of  VOC Analytics Group's presentation of the survey results. 

Congratulations to the following lucky winners of our Family Enrollment Give-Away:

*   The Zordan Family - Winners of $250 worth of CHOICE cards!
*   The Gaul Family - Winners of a complimentary dinner at our upcoming golf tournament.
*   The Poniatowski Family - Winners of $50 iPad insurance for 15-16.

Of course, we think everyone that promptly returns their 2015-16 Family Enrollment Agreement and Fee are winners!  Your response is requested NLT April 24th.

Our April School Mass will be held on Friday, April 10th at 9am in the church.  Please remember that no Physical Education uniforms should be worn to Mass.  A R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed) Friday shirt may be worn with the formal uniform as on all other Fridays.

School will be closed from Monday, 4/13 - Friday, 4/17 for April Break.  When we return to school on Monday, 4/20, students may wear the Relaxed Uniform.

Relaxed Uniform Reminders - Click here for Relaxed Uniform Guidelines.  Some general reminders include:

*  School uniforms should be purchased from Lands End.  Our school code is:  90001-3215-0

*  The Used Uniform Exchange can be a helpful resource to outfit students that are growing quickly.   Click here for the most current inventory.
*  A black, brown or navy belt must be worn with walking shorts or trousers.

*  School shoes, not sneakers, should be worn with the relaxed uniform.

* R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed) Fridays will continue with the Relaxed Uniform.

Easter is Blooming in Kindergarten!
Students in Ms. Cole's Kindergarten created beautiful flowers
in celebration of the risen Christ.

Application for St. Mary's School Trust Scholarships - The on-line application for the St. Mary's School Trust Scholarships is now available.  Click here.  The deadline for applications is April 30, 2015.  For more information regarding these scholarships and the qualification parameters, click here.   For a helpful guide from the PSAS about completing the on-line application, click here. 

7th Grade Munson’s Chocolates Fundraiser for Mother’s Day! 
This year the money we raise will help subsidize the 7th Grade Class Trip to Boston.  Buy some chocolate for that special Mom, Grandmother, Godmother, Aunt, Like-a-Mother, Special Someone, or yourself and support Saint Mary’s students at the same time!  The cost of the chocolate is the same price as at the local Munson’s retail shop.

Order forms have been sent home -Please be sure to check your students' backpacks?  Please return your order to the school office by Monday, April 20th  Please make checks payable to: “St. Mary’s School” and note “Munson’s” in the memo section of your check.  Your order will be ready for pickup at school during the week before Mother’s Day, May 4th – May 8th, the exact date/time to be announced.  The 7th grade class thanks you in advance for your support!

"Fairway to Heaven" Golf Tournament - Enjoy the beautiful spring weather on Monday, May 18th at the Hopmeadow Country Club in Simsbury.  Golf Tournament Registration is OPEN!  Early Bird tickets are available now. Click here to register. Visit "" and "/" for more information and updates. 

Sneak Peek - Join us for coffee and a “SNEAK PEEK” at the items for teacup and silent auction prior to "Fairway to Heaven" Golf Outing! Come to the parish center after ALL Masses  during the weekend of May 9thand 10th! You can bid on any items of your choice or just get a glimpse of what’s to come!

SMS Annual Fund - Just a friendly reminder….The Annual Fund is still accepting donations!

As stated in the tuition announcement letter last week, the Annual Fund is one of the school's major factors in our financial stability. SMS is grateful for your financial commitment and donations.  We are 70% of the way to our goal! Not to mention, that many corporations will match your donation! Please consider if you have not done so already!Click here to make your donation on-line or click here for a pledge card.

Third grade just finished four weeks of an after school Science Club.  The children enjoyed performing experiments in chemistry, biology, and physics.  Participants learned about what happens when we mix an acid and a base; students got their hearts racing and measured  vital lung capacity; and the grand finale was building catapults.  Our thanks to Mrs. Rayissa Armata and Mrs. Amy Lillis for organizing the club and facilitating these fun experiments!  Both Mrs. Armata and Mrs. Lillis had a great time sharing science with our inquisitive and happy third grade students.

Do you know someone who is wondering if SMS is the right place for their family?  Invite them to our Open House for Prospective Families on Wednesday, April 22nd from 8:30-11:30am.  Visitors will have a chance to see a regular school day and visit with our faculty and students.  An RSVP to the school office is appreciated at or 860~658~9412.

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.

SMS Stars - Congratulations to the students that performed in the FMI 2015 All State Band Concert on Saturday, 3/21/15, at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The FMI All State bands are composed of selected students from 52 Catholic schools from all over the state of Connecticut. Many of these students will also perform outside of Lincoln Center in New York City on April 20th and outside the Old State House in Hartford on May 22nd.

Participation in the All State bands require participation in the Regional Band and an audition and attendance at several Friday night and Saturday morning rehearsals. Depending on their experience, audition performance and musical instrument, students may participate in the Jazz Band, Gala Band, Flute Choir, Concert Band and/or Symphonic Band. We commend these students for their dedication to practice and also their parents for the sacrifices they make so that these students can attend the necessary rehearsals. We also want to take an opportunity to thank our FMI Instructor, Mrs. Debbie Morse, for all her help preparing our students for their auditions and then with the required musical selections. Click here for a list of the All State participants.

CHOICE News -   April Choice Statements were sent home to families with youngest & only children on Tuesday, 4/7.  If you had already received your final statement, you did not receive a statement this time.  If you have not yet met your obligation for this year, you have until April 30th to do so by purchasing CHOICE cards or sending in an "opt-out" check for the amount still owed.  CHOICE purchases made after 4/30/15 will be credited to your family's CHOICE obligation for 15/16.  If you have questions about your family's CHOICE obligation or the CHOICE program, please contact Tammy at the school office at or 860~658~9412.

Home & School Association News -

Mark your calendars for the first annual "Skeleton Scramble
5K and Kids Fun Run".
 It is scheduled for October 24,
2015 at Stratton Brook State Park. You can also follow
us for more information on the following:

Trail Run/Walk Club  Are you ready to come out from hibernation? The Trail Run/Walk Club will restart following April break. We will meet every Wednesday morning at 8:50am at Stratton Brook State Park. Please note the change of venue. All are welcome and encouraged to come for a nice morning of exercise and friendship. We hope to see lots of people there!

                                                                                                              Gardening Club - The St. Mary’s School HSA Gardening Club will meet on Earth Day, Wednesday,
April 22nd at 1:00 pm. All are welcome to help beautify the outside of the school. We will meet outside by the Parish Center. No gardening expertise is necessary.

Community News

Northwest Catholic invites you to an important program - TONIGHT, 4/8/15 - This evening, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. parents of middle and high school aged children in our community are invited to a presentation by Mr. John Halligan titled “Bullying, Technology, and Teen Depression” aimed at educating parents on bullying and cyberbullying.  Mr. Halligan will cover current social media teen issues, depression and suicide statistics, as well as recommendations on monitoring our children in these difficult times.  Mr. Halligan lost his son, Ryan, to suicide on October 7, 2003 at the age of 13. At the time of his death, Ryan was a student at a middle school in Vermont. It was revealed in great detail after Ryan’s death that he was ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line.  In memory of his son and in just a few months after Ryan’s death, Mr. Halligan spearheaded the Vermont Bullying Prevention law in 2004. He also led the passing of a law in 2006 pertaining to suicide prevention education in public schools.  Mr. Halligan has been outspoken about the need for more education and prevention of bullying, cyber bullying and teen suicide throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. 

If you would like more information about Mr. Halligan or his presentation please visit

Thinking about summer? We are! Registration for Vacation Bible School is OPEN! Children entering grades Kindergarten - 5 are invited to join us as we journey to Hometown Nazareth where Jesus lived as a kid. There will be live music, crafts, outdoor games, and stories from His mom, Mary. You won’t want to miss this! Vacation Bible School will run from Monday, June 22 through Thursday, June 25. The program runs from 8:45am-12:15pm at St. 
Mary's School.  Cost is $40pp.  Click here to register. Questions? Contact VBS Coordinator, Kathleen Keating   

The Northwest Catholic Dramateurs will present the musical, Once on this Island, on Friday, April 24th and Saturday, April 25th at 7:30pm and on Sunday, April 26th at 2pm.  Tickets are $12 each - click here. The musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune's life.

The show features several SMS alumni including Lauren Mangine, SMS Class of ’12 as Ti Moune, John Sullivan, SMS class of ’14 as Daniel.  Also appearing in the cast will be Matt Sottile, SMS Class of '12, Avery Hatch, SMS Class of  '12, Ally Voelker, SMS Class of '13, James Sullivan, SMS Class of '14, Mimi Connors, SMS Class of '14.  Lindsay Voelker, currently in our 8th grade, will also appear in the production.

Save the Date! Saturday, May 2nd after 5PM Mass at St. Mary's - Benefit Pizza Dinner

Everyone is invited to a Benefit Pizza Dinner on Saturday, May 2, 6:00 PM in the Parish Center to help raise funds for a St. Mary's parish family.  Melissa Sartori and her daughter, Katie, are both undergoing treatment for cancer. Proceeds from the dinner will assist the Sartori family and support cancer treatment in their honor.

Cost for the dinner is $10.00 per person and $20.00 per family. There will be a silent auction and music by Simsbury High School Choir and Band members. 

Checks for the supper and/or contributions should be sent to St. Mary’s Church. Please make your check payable to “St. Mary’s Church” with “Sartori Family Health Fund,” noted in the memo section of the check.  All contributions are welcome. If paying for the dinner, please note the number of people attending. If you are just sending a donation, please note "Donation only" in the memo section as well.
If you have questions or wish to volunteer contact Meg Keating at 860-651-3993 or email her at

Simsbury Public Library - Additional programs for teens have been added for April.  These include a Teen Coffeehouse featuring Paper Radio - the 2015 winner of the Simsbury High School Battle of the Bands.  Click here to view all the additional programs.

 First Grade has the "Write Stuff" - Students in Mrs. Jehning's first grade are always finding opportunities to embrace the role of author.  Recently, students extended their understanding of a religion lesson about creation by authoring books on their iPads about their favorite gifts of creation.  The class has also authored a book of "Big Words" that shares some of the amazing vocabulary they have developed this year.  First Grade - Write On!