Suffield Public Schools

Suffield Middle School

February 2014


350 Mountain Road | Suffield, CT 06078 | 860-668-3820 |


Upcoming Events:

T.G.I.S - Thank Goodness It's Saturday

Saturday, Feb. 1st
3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
SMS Cafe and Gym

BOE Meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 4th
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
SMS Media Center

8th Grade to 9th Grade Orientation

Wednesday, Feb. 5th
6:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Suffield High School Auditorium
(Feb. 6th Snow Date)

PTAC General Meeting

Thursday, Feb. 6th
1:30 p.m.
SMS Media Center

Future Chef Entry Form Due

Friday, Feb. 7th

PTAC Student / Faculty Basketball Game

Friday, Feb. 7th
5:00 PM to 10:00 PM


Tuesday, Feb. 11th
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
MIS Portable 4

No School

Feb. 17th - Feb. 18th
February Break

BOE Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 19th
6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
SMS Media Center

The Little Mermaid

Friday, Feb. 21st
7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22nd
6:30 p.m.
Suffield Middle School Auditorium

Virtual Backpack:

2013-2014 School Calendar

School Lunch Menu

Bring your own Technology

School Closing, Delayed Opening, and Early Release Protocol Letter - PDF

8th Grade ORIENTATION to 9th Grade

February T. G. I. S. Snack, Dinner, Movies + MORE!! - Grades 3 - 6


Students Staying for HOME basketball games...

Ski Club BUS Roster 2014



Suffield Little League Baseball and Softball Registration


A Message From The Principal

I hope that all had a restful winter break and that the weather will allow us the opportunity to continue uninterrupted through the remainder of this winter season.

I am proud to announce the success of the middle school First Lego League Robotics teams in the state competition. Through the dedication of Mrs. Lori Foss and her volunteer parent coaches two team were fielded in competitions in November and December.

Suffield First Lego Robotics League

On Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 The Suffield Middle School Gym was full of excitement. The FIRST Lego Robotics Regional Competition was in town. This competition had 18 teams from the Hartford area, including two of Suffield’s own teams. These teams have students from 5th  through 8th grade. Team #812 “The EV3 NXT Bombers”: Kyle Mascaro, Adam McDonagh, Tommaso Calderan, Sky Therian, Holly Tskea, Parker Harpley, and Mickey Barron. Coached by: Lori Foss, Lisa Tseka,and Brenda Judkins.  Team #886 “The Dragons”: David Fitzgerald, Evan Craig, Ben Grigoriou, Michael Grigoriou, Oliver Norgaard, Matthew Skoczylas, and Seth Mascaro. Coached by: Rhonda Harpley and Melanie Chapman. The local FIRST FRC team #176 “Aces High” mentor the teams throughout the season and at competitions.

Teams are judged at competitions on Gracious Professionalism (team work), robot design, robot performance and their research presentation. This year’s topic was Nature’s Fury.  The EV3 NXT Bombers researched wild fires and The Dragons researched blizzards.

The teams have 10 weeks to research their topic, write and present a skit to a panel of judges that demonstrates how they solved the problem and what they learned. During these 10 weeks teams must also design, build and program EV3 Mindstorm robots using Legos to perform various missions on the Lego competition field. All of the hours dedicated to this paid off when The Dragons earned the 1st place Champions Award and The Bombers earned the 3rd place Champions Award. Both teams received a Golden Ticket to the FLL State Championship at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). 

On Saturday, December 7th, 2013 the teams traveled to the CCSU campus in New Britain to compete in the State Championship against 48 other teams from Connecticut.
 Although EV3 NXTs robot didn’t do as well as the kids would have liked. The students had a great time.

After a fun day of competition The Dragons earned 2nd place for Gracious Professionalism (team work).  This award recognizes the team that is able to accomplish more together than they could as individuals through strong communication, effective problem solving and excellent time management.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is considered the “little league” of the FIRST Robotics Competition for 9-14 year old children.  It involves hands on learning of math, science and technology through robotics, using LEGO Mind storms products. Students are lead in a team building approach by interested parent volunteers, engineering mentors. These children are our future and math, science and technology is where we need to put our money if our country is to keep up with the changing times.

Who knows what one of these kids will do or be some day with our help!

Positive School Climate Committee

In December, our positive school climate committee hosted the first of our community building events in our gymnasium. Grade level teams of students and teachers competed in an obstacle course, dance contest, and other fun filled events while being cheered on by their grade level peers. Our student council president gave an inspirational speech on the value and recognition of persistence, hard work, and positive relationships as we, as a community, move forward into a new year.  Click here to see more pictures.




Search for New Principal


With less than five months remaining in the 13-14 school year, there is much to do both personally and professionally. On the personal front, I will take leave from Suffield to hike the Appalachian Trail with my son beginning early June and plan on retiring from education after forty-one years of service in July 2015.

Professionally there is much to be accomplished to complete this year and prepare for the 2014-2015 school year.

The Superintendent has begun the search process for a new principal for the Suffield Middle School by interviewing staff and parents regarding the qualities they would seek in a new leader at this level. If all goes according to the timeline for candidate reviews, interviews, and selection you should see my replacement beginning July 1, 2104.




Schedule and Course Offerings


We are also in the process of reviewing the present schedule and course offerings at the middle school to restructure for the purposes of increased instructional time and providing more of a uniform unified arts experience for all students.  This will be a three to five year plan including capital improvements in the middle school facility.  More immediate steps are being reviewed which will have a positive impact on next year's students and staff.

Thus far two teams of staff and administrators have visited two middle schools in Connecticut to observe their structure and conduct interviews.   Findings from these visitations will be shared with our parent steering committee January 28, 2014 in the middle school media center. The steering committee meetings are open to all interested parents grade K-12.

In early February, eighth grade students will begin registration for their freshman courses at Suffield High School.  The high school orientation program for the incoming class is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, February 5th  at 6:15 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Shortly, parents of sixth and seventh grade students will be receiving a letter explaining the process and criteria for teacher recommendations for accelerated class placement in English Language Arts and Mathematics, student registration for their core courses and unified arts opportunities for the upcoming year.  

In subsequent newsletters I will keep parents informed of our progress with these and other initiatives.




Future Chefs Challenge by Sodexo


We are excited to bring the Future Chefs event to our elementary schools again this year! This year we are offering the competition to students in grades 3-6 and will be featuring recipes for healthy sandwiches. Six (6) lucky winners will be chosen as finalists to compete in our contest at Suffield High School on March 27th, 2014.

The idea behind this event is to help educate the kids in HEALTHY EATING HABITS.  Too often we hear about childhood obesity and kids not making the right choices in terms of their eating habits. That’s why we want kids to submit recipes for their favorite Healthy Sandwich! 

Judging will be based on:

  • Originality
  • Kid Friendly
  • Ease of Preparation
  • Best Use of Featured Ingredients
  • Healthy Attributes
  • Plate Presentation

Entry Forms and ‘Tips to be a Finalist’ are available in your school’s cafeteria, so pick up yours today! All entry forms are due by Friday, February 7th 2014.

Future Chefs Student Flyer - PDF    Tips to be a finalist - PDF    Recipe Card - PDF 

As an added bonus, ours is just one of many local competitions that Sodexo will be orchestrating across the country in February and March.  The winning recipe from each event will be entered to win a national competition in March. More details will follow, but we’re lining up some great prizes for those that are chosen to receive national recognition!

If you have any questions you can contact Katie Brown at (860) 668-3825 or




Suffield Middle School PTAC

  A big thank you to Susi Keane for chairing the 3rd annual Suffield Middle School PTAC Holiday Boutique and to all the local community vendors who participated.  The event was another big success!.  It raised more than $1200 for the PTAC and featured more than 30 vendors.  Sharing the night with the winter concert allowed parents to shop before and after their child's performance.  We are already working on next year's Boutique hoping to bring in more Suffield and surrounding area shoppers.  It's was a great event for the PTAC and there really was something for everyone.    PTAC is hosting a Student/Faculty Basketball Game Night.  Come join the fun on Friday, February 7 starting at 6:30 PM.  Game 1 is the SMS Girls and Boys Basketball Team vs. SMS Faculty / Administration and Game 2 is the Blue vs. White team.  There will be raffle sales, door prizes, contests and food.  The SMS Pep Band and Quest DJ team will provide music and entertainment. Advance ticket purchases are highly encouraged.  Please visit the SMS website for ticket order forms.  Tickets in advance are $10 per person or $30 per immediate family.  Tickets are $12 per person at the door.  If you can volunteer the evening of the event, please email   The PTAC Board introduced an Enhancement of Learning Fund (ELF) for all staff members of SMS.  ELF’s purpose is to provide funding for those items that will enhance teaching, create engaging classrooms, and provide creative opportunities for student learning.  We are pleased to announce that Ms. DeFord was granted $800 to purchase stability balls for her classroom, Mrs. Zaczynski was awarded $316.75 to purchase tripods with tablet video camera mounts for the 7th Grade Language Arts class and the School Climate Committee (Mr. Carullo) was awarded $415 for the purchase of film clips for character education series.  We hope to see many more applications come through with some creative ways to enhance the learning in the SMS classrooms.  
  We need a few more parent volunteers for the 7th Grade Traditions - Luau Planning Committee and the 8th Grade Traditions-Sock Hop Planning Committee.  Please email to volunteer.   Please register your Stop & Shop, Big Y, Shaw’s, Price Chopper and Target Red Card for their education programs and remember to designate Suffield Middle School as your school. You must register annually for us to receive donations from these organizations.   Last call for Eighth Grade Yearbook personal ad sales! If you have not purchased a personal ad for your graduating Eighth Grade Student, please do so ASAP!
Baby Pictures Wanted Flyer- PDF
8th Grade Yearbook Personal Ads - PDF
   Visit the PTAC Website for additional information.  

Suffield Public Schools
350 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
Phone: 860-668-3800


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