School Policies, Procedures and Information

Please see the Newton Public Schools Policies and Procedures, Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, and the Ward School Handbook for further information.

Absences/Tardiness/Early Dismissal

Please call Childwatch at 617-559-6470 to report absences, or if you know your child will be tardy.


If a child is to be dismissed early, a note from the parent or guardian is necessary.  A child will not be dismissed from school under any circumstances unless he or she is picked up at the office at the designated time by a parent or guardian.

Arrival Time at School

Doors open at 8:20 am. Unless the weather is excessively cold or wet, students should not enter the building until the bell rings. There is no supervision for students prior to 8:20.   School begins promptly at 8:35 am and all students are expected to be ready to begin their class day at that time. 


Assemblies are held periodically throughout the year and, whenever possible, parents of performing students will be invited to attend.

Bicycle Safety Program

This program is available in most elementary schools for third and/or fourth graders.  The Newton Police Department conducts this program with the cooperation of one or more of the following groups: a member of the physical education staff, the PTO, interested parties.

“Blue Zone” Student Pick-up and Drop-off Area

The “Blue Zone” designated by the blue markings on the curb is for immediate drop off and pick up of students only.  It is a moving lane not a parking place.  To utilize the blue zone have your child(ren) meet you at the furthest point in the blue zone.  Please be certain that your child meets you at the curb, as walking between cars is unsafe and can lead to accidents.

Cell Phones

The carrying of cell phones is discouraged.  If a parent believes their child should carry a cell phone for safety reasons before/after school, the phone must be turned off and stored in the child’s backpack during the day.

Crossing Guard Coverage

At major intersections on the way to and from school, police crossing guards are on duty for 30 minutes before the start of the school day and 30 minutes after the close of the school day.  Students should walk to and from school during these times.

Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night is held in September.  Directions and a schedule will be sent home.  The program includes classroom teacher’s objectives for the year and opportunities for you to become involved in the school, PTO and your child’s classroom.

Contact Information

Yellow sheets are sent home to elementary school parents at the beginning of each school year.  Contact information gives present home and business addresses and phone numbers for parents/guardians.  Also included are the names and phone numbers of three neighbors or relatives who can be called in the case of an emergency or accident and the school is unable to contact the parents/guardians.


It is of the utmost importance that this information be kept up to date. Please notify the school, in writing, of any changes in your child’s information. 

Dogs and Other Pets

Pets are not allowed in school.  Please keep dogs leashed and away from the entrance to the school and blue zone.  Do not leave dogs unattended.

E-mail Reminders…

Contact information, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of students, parents and faculty are provided to the John Ward School community to facilitate communications between parents within the community.  They should not be distributed or used outside the community or for other purposes.

  • If you have listed an e-mail address in the School Directory, please check your e-mail at least weekly.
  • If you are not familiar with the e-mail habits of your intended recipient, you may want to telephone that person to ensure he/she knows a message has been sent.
  • Anonymous mail should not be sent and should be deleted by any receiver.
  • Please identify yourself in any e-mail you send within the school community.

Field Trips

No student may be permitted on a school trip without a signed consent and release form from the parents/guardians.  No student should miss a school trip due to financial restraints.  Financial assistance is available by contacting the principal, Audrey Peller, for confidential arrangements.


Food Policy

Please do not send in any candy or other food treats to be distributed to children in the class. 

  • There is no sharing/trading of food in class.
  • We avoid the use of food for classroom and school-wide functions during the school day.
  • If the teacher feels it is appropriate to use food as part of the curriculum, the teacher will check with the school nurse and notify parents in advance of the project or activity.



Gift Policy

Newton School Committee’s policy regarding gifts states, "No teacher in the performance of regular duties shall receive presents from the pupils under his or her direction.” 

Head Lice

Pediculosis (head lice) is a common problem among school children.  If you find that your child has lice, please notify the school so that preventive measures can be taken.  If you are unfamiliar with the problem, please get in touch with the school nurse or the Health Department.  Instructions on identification and treatment of head lice will be provided.  Children who have been identified as having lice are excluded from school until they are treated.


For your child’s welfare and for the protection of others it is important to keep your child at home if he or she has:

  • a fever over 100 degrees during the past 24 hours
  • cold in the active stages
  • sore throat and/or swollen neck glands
  • undiagnosed rash or skin eruptions
  • vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours
  • head lice that haven’t been treated


For other specific communicable disease exclusions (i.e. chicken pox, conjunctivitis, impetigo, strep throat, etc.) please contact your health care provider or the school nurse to determine the best time to send your child back to school.

Illness at School

School personnel assume responsibility for determining whether or not your child should be sent home during the school day because of illness or injury.  Since accidents can happen, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to make sure that the emergency information is completed and the school secretary has at least three local telephone numbers of friends, relatives or neighbors to contact in the event you are unavailable.


The State of Massachusetts requires every child entering public school to be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and hepatitis B.  Proper documentation must be provided to the school in order for the child to start school.  Children who are exempt from immunizations for medical or religious reasons must provide proper documentation in order for the child to start school.

Medication at School

No student is allowed to carry medication without written, prior approval from the school nurse.  Every attempt should be made to administer medications at home before or after school.  If medications must be administered during school hours or on authorized field trips, it will be done only under direct orders from a licensed physician and with the parent/guardian’s written permission.  Authorization forms are available in the Principal’s or Health offices.  Medication must be brought to school in the original container provided by the pharmacy.  For additional questions or concerns regarding your child(ren) please contact the School Nurse.

Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO)

METCO is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1966 for voluntary school desegregation. Currently the program places over 3000 minority students from Boston communities in suburban schools for the promotion of quality integrated educational opportunities for urban and suburban students. 

No School/Delayed Opening Announcements

When school sessions are canceled or there is a delay in opening, the announcement will be made over the following radio and television stations: WBZ (1030 AM), WILD (1090 AM), WNTN (1550 AM), WRKO (680 AM), WBUR (90.9 FM), Newton Cable TV, Channel 4 (WBZ TV), Channel 5 (WCVB TV), Channel 7 (WHDH TV) and Channel 56 (WLVI TV).  The superintendent will also contact families through the Connect-Ed System.


Transportation to/from school

Children are encouraged to walk to school. Your child may bike to school if you believe there is a safe route to and from your home.  Children should NOT use scooters, skate boards, roller blades, or wheelies at or near the school during drop off and pick up times.



All visitors, including parents, must sign-in at the School Office.  For the safety of our students, each visitor and volunteer must wear a visitor badge.


Please contact your child’s teacher, the Principal, Audrey Peller, School Specialists, Support Staff or any of the PTO Board members for additional questions.  Every effort will be made to provide your family with the resources needed regarding school or family related issues to help insure a happy, productive year for your child.