News for the Week of 9/9/15

Calendar Reminders - 

Thursday, 9/10 – Cadet (Beginner) Band begins.

Sunday, 9/13 – Back to School Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford at 2pm.  All are welcome.

Friday, 9/18 - Hot Lunch begins for those who have ordered.

A Message from Mrs. Gannatti  Regarding Emergency Delays, Early Closings & Cancellations 

I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we always follow the Simsbury Public Schools schedule in regard to delayed openings, early closings and emergency cancellations.  Yesterday we received the early closing call during morning prayer.  We sent out the information immediately via Remind Text and family email.  I understand that unscheduled early closings are an inconvenience for everyone.  Please remember to sign up for our text alerts through Remind.  When you hear on the news that school districts in surrounding towns are closing due to weather please check your text messages and the email account you listed for us to contact you.  We will let you know as soon as we know.  

Remember - When you hear Simsbury Public Schools are closed, opening late or closing early we follow that schedule.  

Thank you for you patience and understanding. 

When early closings occur, our early dismissal time is 12:45pm.  When there is an early closing, there is NO PreKindergarten Enrichment or Aftercare available. There are NO after school activities or athletics.  A Remind text is sent whenever there is a delayed opening, early closing or cancellation. Click here for directions on how to join the Remind Text community.  

Lifetouch Photography will take individual student photos for children in grades PreKindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7 on Monday, 9/14/15.  A photo will be taken of each student in these grades even if no portrait package is ordered.  This photo is used for our school yearbook.  Students in PreKindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7 may wear business casual clothing appropriate for school on Monday, 9/14.  Portrait package order forms were sent home with each student in these grades on Friday, 9/4/15.  Extra order forms are available in the school office.  This year, you may also place your portrait package order online at  Our Picture Day ID is EJ495165Q0 (last digit is zero not the letter "o"). If ordering using the paper form, please be sure to enclose exact payment. Group class photos will be taken on a date to be determined in November.  Students in 8th grade will have their individual photos and group class photo taken by Paul Cryan Photography on Friday, 9/18.  Mrs. Gillen will provide students with guidelines regarding dress for these photos.

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.

Parent/Teacher Conferences for students in grades Kindergarten - 8 will be held this year from Monday, November 9th - Thursday, November 12th.  Each of these days will be a 12:45pm early dismissal.  There will be PreKindergarten Enrichment available until 3:20pm but Aftercare IS NOT available on conference days.  Please click here to sign up for your Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Please note that if you do not sign up for a conference, none will be assigned for you.  If you do not sign up for a conference and a teacher feels one is necessary, he or she will be in touch with you to request that you schedule a conference.

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 offered here at SMS later this fall.  The date and time for this training session will be announced via the blog.

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

SMS Stars - "Hope was born that day, too"  We are so proud and pleased to have our very own 8th grader, Jordan S., ringing the bell to open trading on the New York Stock Exchange this Friday in commemoration of September 11, 2001. Jordan was one of thousands of children born on this date and represents the sentiment that "Hope was born that day, too".  Jordan has been chosen to participate in this event and also has participated in a video interview for a PSA campaign that is being sponsored by the nonprofit group 9/11 Day. 9/11 Day is working diligently to help bring awareness to the positive side of this tragic event in American history by recognizing all of the amazing children born on this day and by asking all citizens to do one good deed this Friday, as we observe the 14th anniversary of the day that fundamentally altered our nation's consciousness.

Click here and here to learn more the history and mission of 9/11 Day.

Jordan is going to have a busy morning on Friday as she heads to Fox News studios at 7:00am. to be interviewed by Fox and Friends, and then off to the stock exchange to ring the bell at 9:00am. This event will be televised by CNBC. Please make sure to tune in and watch! 

Our school community will show our support by coming together sing the National Anthem at 1:00pm on Friday.

Community News

You can sign up for the parish picnic online - click here.

Boy Scout Troop 175 is hosting a recruiting night on September 17th - 

Mathnasium in Avon Invites Students in Grades 2-5 to Participate in a "Trimathlon" -

Sylvan Learning Centers are offering STEM programs for students. 
With Robotics, your budding engineer will enjoy:
  • Planning and creating robots with LEGO® bricks (great for kids who love keeping their hands active)
  • Programming robots using LEGO® Education’s award-winning WeDo™ software
  • Collaborating and experimenting with other kids in friendly competitions
  • Learning to troubleshoot and solve problems, building critical thinking skills
With Coding for Kids, your future computer whiz will enjoy:
  • Learning computer programming through video game design
  • Using code to create stories, characters, animations, sound and special effects
  • Building skills in problem solving, logic and physics through hands-on creation
  • Collaborating with peers to develop communication skills and make new friends
With Math Edge, your aspiring math star will enjoy:
  • Building math proficiency, accuracy and fluency through kid-friendly activities
  • Working independently to build confidence and self-reliance
  • Getting ahead in math, progressing at his or her own pace and level
  • Working hard and achieving goals (earning fun rewards along the way)
Michelina Kinell, Center Director
Sylvan Learning of West Hartford

Robotics 101 (Grades 2-4):          Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30                 Starting 9/30
Robotics 201 (Grades 4-6):          Thursdays, 6:00-7:30                     Starting 10/1
Game Design 101 (Grades 3-5):   Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30                       Starting 9/29
Game Design 201 (Grades 6-8):   Mondays, 6:00-7:30                        Starting 9/28
Math Edge:                                     Tuesday & Thursday5:30-6:30     Start Anytime
 Click here for more information and registration.

Saying Good Bye to Summer!  Several SMS families had an end of summer Labor Day adventure when they went zip lining at Catamount Ski Area, Hillsdale, NY.  Members of the Mikan, Rhode, Sautters, and O'Dowd families joined in the fun!