News for the Week of October 21, 2015

The St. Mary's Parish Facilities Working Group has shared a Campus Connection Update.  Please take a few minutes to review the updates associated with the Group's exciting proposals to improve our campus for our community.  Click here.

Announcement from Talcott Mountain - An email has been sent out to all families from Talcott Mountain Science Academy.  If you have not received this email, please contact Mrs. Hatch at

Students in Mrs. Jehning's First Grade have been learning about the Holy Family.  Students created flip books with Holy Family facts and even role played a visit from the Holy Family.

It's almost time for formal uniforms!  Just a reminder that all students in grades Kindergarten - Grade 7 will transition to formal uniforms beginning Monday, November 2nd.  Eighth grade students are given the privilege of wearing the relaxed uniform until December 1.

Just in time for formal uniforms - an updated inventory is available from the Used Uniform Exchange.  Click here.

Lifetouch Photography will take group class photos for students in grades PreKindergarten, Kindergarten - Grade 7 on Monday, 11/2/15. All students 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. 

* 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. Student may change into this clothing for the individual photo but must wear formal uniform for the rest of the day.

Paul Cryan Photography will be holding a "sibling session" at their studio on Tuesday, November 3rd. The studio is located at 40 Avon Meadow Lane in Avon.  Please call the studio to schedule an appointment - (860)676-1350.  This session is on a first come, first serve basis and open to other schools as well. 

Our November School Mass will be held on Friday, 11/6, at 9am in the church.  All are welcome to join us in worship.  Please remember that no physical uniforms should be worn to Mass.

Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held from Monday, November 9 - Thursday, November 12.  Each of these days will be a 12:45pm early dismissal for grades K-8.  PreKindergarten Enrichment is available but there will be NO AFTERCARE.  Please use the Sign Up Genius to register for your conference(s). 
 Click here.

Hot Lunch Help Needed!  There are a number of days where we do not have enough volunteers to serve hot lunch.  If you can help on one or more of these days, please sign up via the Hot Lunch Volunteer Sign Up Genius - Click here.  Serving hot lunch is a great way to share in your favorite SMS student(s)' day.

This FRIDAY - October 23 - 1 volunteer needed (pizza Friday)
Next MONDAY - October 26 - 1 volunteer needed (Monday)
October 28 - 2 volunteers needed (Wednesday)
November 2 - 1 volunteer needed(Monday)
November 4 - 1 volunteer needed (Wednesday)
November 9 - 3 volunteers needed (Monday)
November 23 - 3 volunteers needed (Monday)

Service Project - Personal Care Items Collection 
Fourth grade has volunteered to help support the House of Bread as one of our community service projects.  We are asking for families to send in small, travel-size soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and body washes (the size you would get from a hotel room).  These supplies will be of great use to those who utilize the House of Bread for their showers.  Please do not send in larger bars or bottles of soap, as they can only be used once.  You can send in supplies anytime between now and the end of October.  Thank you for your support of this effort!  

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

Spread the Word!   
Walk in Wednesdays are back! 

Next Wednesday, 10/28, 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 -  

We will also be hosting the first in a series of Open House Lectures on Wednesday, 10/28, beginning at 6:30pm in the Parish Center.  Author, Educator and Psychologist, Barbara Stacks, will discuss what to expect at each stage of a child's development, how to develop and strengthen values,resilience and confidence in children and how to navigate parenting challenges in our technology driven world. These are all topics addressed in Ms. Stack's recent book - Childhood Roots; Trail Markers for Raising Children From Birth to Eight.  A question and answer session as well as a book signing will follow. Books will be available for purchase. 

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Toni Chagnon at 860-658-9412 or

Ski & Snowboard Club The St. Mary’s Ski and Snowboard Club is currently accepting registrations from students and parents for participation this winter.  We are encouraged by interest from some new families and are looking forward to our returning students.  Transportation (a school bus) has been secured and is available to all participants including anyone who holds a season’s pass and needs a ride.

Despite some policy changes at Ski Sundown, we will be on the slopes in January and February.

            Any student age 8 or older on 1/6/16, can participate and they have a great first-timer 
            lesson program.

Please click here for the forms needed to register and for a FAQ document. The group leader Jim Shanley can be contacted anytime at 239-989-6206 or

Chaperones can sign up by using the club’s Sign-Up Genius.  Click here.

Registrations and payment are due Tuesday November 2, 2015.  Registrations received after that will incur a $25 late fee.

Veteran's Day Prayer ServiceOn Wednesday, November 11, 2015, we will be having a Veteran's Day prayer service at 9am in the parish center. All veterans are invited to attend. Please email Mrs.Gore if you would like to attend. 

Athletic News

Basketball participation checks need to be in by October 23rd

A player will not receive a team jersey until the fee is paid.
2nd and 3rd grade $50
4th-8th grade $150

We are still looking for a JVA boys coach grades 5-6  If you are interested please contact Mr. Gangloff at

Please also remember to sign up for Athletic Remind Texts -

Text @smsat to 81010

CHOICE NewsGreat news! We're pleased to announce Ulta Beauty ScripNow® eCards are now available in $10 increments, from $10 - $500, with a 4% non-profit contribution.  Ulta cards are NOT part of the routine CHOICE inventory but can be ordered.  These orders generally take a week to 10 days to be received.

St. Mary's Stars - Congratulations to the students that participated in the FMI 2015 Eastern Regional Band Concert on October 17th!  Several of our students were selected by audition to be section leaders.  We commend all our musicians for their dedication and practice and their parents for their support.  Regional band participation requires weekend rehearsals in Manchester to prepare for the concert.  These students are now eligible to audition for the FMI All State Bands.  The All State Bands perform outside of Lincoln Center in the Spring and also at a concert at CCSU in New Britain. Our continued thanks to our FMI Instructor, Mrs. Debbie Morse, for all she does to help our students grow in their musical skills and prepare for these concerts and our own school band concerts.  Click here to view a list of student musicians that participated in this year's Regional concert.

Knightly News - The Robot Knights!  This year's Robotics Club is having a great time under the direction of SMS Alumna, Gabriela Doskos, Class of '13 and her parents.  Gabriela is excited to share that her parents have sumbitted for two UTC grant awards for St. Mary’s worth $250 each. This grant money should be available to the school by the end of the year.  Gabriela plans to use these funds to buy. additional kits and other equipment needed for the program. The club has made a lot of progress over the past couple of weeks, and all of their robots are now built and running. Next week, the club will begin to build programs for a competition map  that combines many robotics skills into one objective. 

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face."
[The Autumnal]” 
― John DonneThe Complete Poetry and Selected Prose

Community News 

Friends of Barb Sieber-   Tuesday, October 27th at 6:30, St. Mary’s Church – Join us to pray the Rosary for our friend, Barb.

Forty Days For Life - St. Mary’s Parish will partner with St. Bernard’s for the Archdiocesan 40 Days For Life campaign of prayer, fasting, abortion clinic prayer vigil, and community education. There will be a Prayer Vigil at the Hartford GYN (abortion clinic) on Sunday, October 25, from 8AM to 6PM. To sign-up, click here. Sign-ups will also be at all the exits of the church. For information, call Louise Carroll, (860) 653-4088, Maria O’Donnell, (860) 651-5733.

Help SMS Win a Grant to "Celebrate the Arts"! - Bob’s Discount Furniture is holding its 10th annual "Celebrate the Arts" contest from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31. One lucky school will win a $25,000 cultural grant to support arts programs. The winner is selected via a random drawing. To enter, fill out an entry form - click here