News for the Week of 9/30/15

Apples of our Eye!
Students in Miss Bedard's Kindergarten created apple tree collages
this week.  They also learned about Johnny Appleseed!

Virtus® Training - Anyone who wishes to volunteer at school or at after school events attended by students must complete Virtus® training and have a background check completed.  There will be a Virtus® Training session on Monday, October 5th, in the 6th grade classroom.  If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to  If you need to attend Virtus® Training and cannot come to the session on October 5th, click here and then click on Registration to find other training sessions in our area.

School Board Meeting - The School Board will meet tonight, September 30th, at 7pm in the lower church. 

October School Mass - Our October School Mass will be held on Friday, October 2, 9am.  All are welcome to join us.  Please remember that no physical education uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Authors in Residence!
Ryan G. & Laney E. shared a book they authored with
classmates in Mrs. Lugo's third grade.

Do you know someone wondering if SMS is the right place for their family? 

Spread the Word!   

Walk in Wednesdays are back! 

Starting October 7th and continuing through the month of October, SMS will be welcoming guests interested in learning more about our community from 9-11:30am. If you know someone that may be considering a Catholic education for their children, this is a great opportunity to invite them to come and observe our students and teachers in action and learn more about the school. Please call or email Toni Chagnon for more information -  860-658-9412 or  We will also be hosting an Open House for Prospective Families on Wednesday, 10/28, beginning at 6:30pm in the Parish Center.  An RSVP to Mrs. Chagnon would be appreciated for Open House -

Students in 6th grade science explored the microscopic world and took a look at plankton as part of this week's study.

Ski & Snowboard Club Preparations are underway for the 2016 season at Ski Sundown in New Hartford. New information and registration forms have been posted to the school website under the Athletics section.  Click here.

These forms can be completed and submitted beginning now.  The deadline for submission without a late fee is MONDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2015 Note that Ski Sundown has changed their policy with regard to parents being counted towards the minimum group size. This will make it more challenging for our school to participate as our group last year was right at the 20-person minimum with 4 parents participating.  For this reason you are encouraged to REGISTER EARLY if possible.

All students who are age 8 or older on 1/6/16 can participate.  First timers are more than welcome.

Transportation to and from Ski Sundown will be available.  Season pass holders can utilize the Club’s bus transportation.  Please see the FAQ for cost information.

Chaperones are also needed and can ski for free.  A Sign-Up Genius site has been established.  Click here.

Please consider this activity for your child(ren).  We have a great time and it would be a shame if we are not able to continue this year.

Individual Student Photo Packages from Lifetouch were sent home with students in PreKindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7 at the end of last week.  A date for group class photos and individual photo retakes and makeups has now been scheduled.

Lifetouch Photography will take group class photos for students in grades PreKindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7 on Monday, 11/2/15. All studnents in Kindergarten - Grade 7 must be full formal uniform for the group class picture.

Lifetouch will also take individual student photos on 11/2/15 for the following students -

* If not satisfied with original portrait - Return your complete package to the photographer on retake day.

* If absent on the original day whether you are purchasing a package or not. A photo is required for our school yearbook.

* If a package was not purchased on the original day and you would now like to purchase a package. Order forms are available in the school office approximately one week prior to retake day.

If a student is having an individual photo taken for retake or due to absence on picture day, business casual clothing appropriate for school may be brought in with the student. Student may change into this clothing for the individual photo but must wear formal uniform for the rest of the day.

Any questions, please call Lifetouch at 203-735-5933.

Students in 8th grade had their individual photos and group class photo taken by Paul Cryan Photography on Friday, 9/18. 

Piano Lessons with Mrs. Lepak - We are happy to announce that Mrs. Lepak, our vocal music instructor, will be offering a 7 week series of piano lessons.  These lessons are available to students in Grades 2-8.  Lessons will be held on Thursdays for a 7 week session: October 15, 22, 29, November 5,19, December 3,10,17. Make up lessons will be on December 17th.

Lesson times will be 11:40 - 12:10, 12:15 - 12:45. 12:50 - 1:20, 1:25 - 1:55, 2:00 - 2:30 on a rotating schedule in the school library.

Lesson fee will be $30 per half hour for a total of $210 for the 7 week program. To sign up, please contact Mrs. Lepak via email at  Checks should be made payable to St. Mary's School with "piano lessons" in the memo section and should be sent in to school to the attention of Mrs. Lepak.

Grade 8 Fundraising - Car Wash on Saturday, 10/10/15 from 9:30am-1:30pm

CHOICE Program News - Please note that Big Y cards are currently out of stock.  The inventory will be replenished after October 1 when the profit percentage increases to 6%.

CHOICE order fulfillment reminder - CHOICE orders are often sent to the office via "kid mail" with the request that the completed order be sent home with a student.  If the cards ordered are "in stock" items like Stop & Shop, Target, Lands End, etc..., the order is usually sent home the same day.  If you do not receive your completed CHOICE order in a timely way (e.g., the same or next day), please contact Mrs. Budnick immediately at 860-658-9412 or   Please note that "special orders" (e.g., gas cards, iTunes cards and other cards not routinely stocked in the CHOICE box) may require a week or more to fill.

SMS Stars -  Our congratulations to the many of our band students who auditioned for the Connecticut Future Musicians Regional Band last weekend.  Thanks to their dedicated practice and the wonderful instruction provided by our FMI Instructor, Mrs. Debbie Morse, many of our students placed very well in this large regional group.  Students that have been named top or solo chairs include Hanna C., Grade 7 - Flute 1, Lily P., Grade 7 - Clarinet 1, Shayna G., Grade 8 - Alto 1 and Maddy Z., Grade 7 - Percussion 1.  Great job, everyone!

Rain or Shine!  SMS Harvest Festival is this Friday evening - October 2! 
Hope to see you there for an evening of family fun!

Be sure to watch for a Remind Text if the weather is questionable.  In the event of wet weather, this event will be held in the Parish Center but will begin at 6pm instead of 5pm.  If event begins at 6pm, all volunteer shifts are also moved ahead (e.g., if you were signed up to help from 5-6pm, your shift is now 6-7pm).

Harvest Festival Help is needed! Can you help?
Click here to volunteer.

The Fall Bookfair is coming in October!  
Volunteer Help is Needed!

The Scholastic Book Fair will be held from October 5 - 11. We need volunteers to help with sales for morning, mid-day, and afternoon shifts, as well as assistance with the children during their scheduled classroom visits. When dates and classroom visit times have been determined, we’ll provide the details. As always, this is a great opportunity to be with your children and help foster a love of reading with them.  Please keep in mind all volunteers must have completed Virtus training. A Virtus training session will be held here on Monday, October 5th, in the 6th grade classroom.  See information at the top of this blog post.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact either: Bridget Shanley (860) 738-8965( or Karen McKenna (

Classroom Visit Schedule for Bookfair

Kindergarten: Monday, Oct. 5th @1:20-2pm

Grade 1: Thursday, Oct.8th @1:45-2:30pm

Grade 2: Thursday, Oct. 8th @ 2:40-3:15pm

Grade 3: Wednesday, Oct. 7th @9:30-10:15am

Grade 4: Wednesday, Oct. 7th @10:20-10:50am

Grade 5: Thursday, Oct. 8th @10-10:25am

Grade 6: Wednesday, Oct. 7th @ 1:15-1:45pm

Grade 7: Wednesday, Oct. 7th @11:44am-12:20pm

Grade 8: Wednesday, Oct. 7th @2-2:30pm

Athletic News - PE Club & Basketball Club continue!  PE Club is now open to second grade students on Fridays.  Students in grade 5 may now choose either Thursday (with grades 6-8) or Friday (with grades 2-4) to participate.  New PE Club participants, click here for a registration form.  New Basketball Club participants, click here for a registration form.  Continuing PE and Basketball Club participants, send reservation request to Mr. Gangloff in an email ( and send in your payment.  To stay up to date about all after school athletics, be sure to subscribe to Mr. G's blog - Click here.

Show Your School Spirit! SMS car magnets are available in the school office for $5 each. Stop by and see Toni Chagnon to purchase your magnets! Please bring exact change or a check made payable to St. Mary's School.

Community News

Looking ahead to High School - Northwest Catholic High School has announced 2 Information Sessions that are open to families with students in grades 6 -8.  These sessions are designed to provide families with an informal way to become acquainted with Northwest Catholic.  Click here for more information about these sessions and other upcoming Open Houses and Admissions Tests at area Catholic and private high schools.

Simsbury Public Library will be offering lots of great programs for tweens and teens in October. One of the programs is "an arm knitting session for grades 6 & up and their families (any family and friends that want to come!) - they will get to make one scarf for themselves and one for charity. Yarn will be provided! The library is also hosting a family friendly '80's Dance Party.

Click here to download a copy of the October event flyer.