Forward June 15, 2012



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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

June 15, 2012   

In This Issue
Mark Your Calendars
From the Principal's Desk
And Now a Word From the PTO
School News
Newton News
Community Classifieds
Ward School Quick Links and Contacts

Welcome to the latest edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD.


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Ward School Banner

   Mark Your Calendars                      



From the Principal's Desk  


I want to applaud the efforts of our outgoing PTO co-presidents: Mindy Peckler, Stacy Schwartz, and Maria Sullivan. They have been an amazing leadership team, and our PTO has thrived under their thoughtful leadership. I appreciate their wisdom, concern for the community, and hard work. I know you join me in thanking them for their tireless efforts in serving our community.


We will be welcoming Jean Corbo-Hudak as our new kindergarten teacher. Currently, she is teaching kindergarten at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston. Ms. Corbo-Hudak received her MA from Lesley University, and has a strong background in the arts which is reflected in her lessons. Our hiring committee observed her teaching and was impressed with her creativity, high expectations, and caring nature. She is a great fit for Ward School.


Some staff members will not be returning in the fall: We say goodbye to Joan Nash, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, who will be relocating due to changes in her caseload. Likewise, Mr. Rickman, our ASL Interpreter, will no longer be at Ward. Our Occupational Therapy staff will be streamlined and Jenny McKee-Heinstein will not be returning. Teresa Swanson will be our Occupational Therapist next year. Susan Kass, who works in the Kids-Connect Program, will be taking a social worker position at the elementary level. Several of our talented teaching assistants are also moving on: Bethany Logan, Laura Beebe, Meaghan Pelletier, and Tricia Hanley Bergantino. We thank and wish everyone well in their future endeavors.


The Elementary School Library Teachers' Summer Reading List is now available online. Go to the Ward School Library website and click on Summer Reading. There are some wonderful books this year, along with great websites, to enjoy with kids (or without!) this summer. Happy reading!


Progress reports are available only through the parent portal as of Wednesday, June 13. If you experience difficulty accessing your child(ren)'s report(s), please call our office for assistance.


Placement letters will be emailed on August 24. This allows us to make changes that reflect any students moving in or out of our school community during the summer months.


I hope that you and your family have a glorious summer and enjoy your time together.


Audrey Parad Peller

Principal, John Ward Elementary School
10 Dolphin Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459

And Now a Word From the PTO


On behalf of the PTO Leadership Team, we wish to thank you for a wonderful two year term. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to work with such dedicated and enthusiastic parents and staff.  A big thank you to our principal, Audrey Peller, who made our job interesting and fun.
From watching the Mystery Dinner take off to new heights to the blossoming garden in front of the school, we have enjoyed the community spirit that is alive at the Ward School.  Please continue to stay involved and support the new leadership team in September.  We welcome Alison Best, Christine O'Neill, Jodi Figler and Gail Fitzgerald, along with Amiee Parco, Beth Panella, Julia Johnston-Ketterer (staying on as Vice-President), and Karla Siegel (who will stay on as Treasurer).
In Gratitude,
Mindy Peckler, Stacy Schwartz and Maria Sullivan
Beth Coomber, Julia Johnston-Ketterer, Jessica Gilmartin and Karla Siegel

 School News 


Understanding Our Differences 3rd Grade Update   

The deafness and hard of hearing unit of the Understanding Our Differences program has come to a successful conclusion. Students learned about various ways to communicate such as American Sign Language and finger spelling. They were enthusiastic to meet Nina Livingstone who answered all their thoughtful questions. We would like to thank our volunteer team of Karla Siegel, Sara Singer, Jessie Gilmartin, Jennifer Weber, Beth Coomber, Christine Elder, Julia Johnson-Ketterer, Lara Metcalf, and Elizabeth Benedict.  We would also like to thank Sheila Packard, our librarian, and our principal Audrey Peller for their support.

International Night 2013 ...
Next year it's going to be the International Night - a family event at Ward to learn about many different countries in the world. If you are from abroad, you have family from another country or you had the experience of living abroad, please think about participating in this an amazing event.


Don't forget to bring some stuff if you go to your country this Summer.  If you have any questions, please contact Anna at


Care Committee Planning for 2012-2013 

We are looking forward to organizing the Care Committee next year and have some great ideas for how we can help others in our community as well as teach our children the importance of giving back. We would like some feedback from the Ward families with suggestions for charities that they work with or are meaningful to them. To start next year off with a bang we are planning a sporting goods swap during the 'Welcome Back to School" pizza picnic in the Fall, so save those cleats! Feel free to introduce yourself and share your ideas at that time, or you can reach us by email,, or  

Have a great summer, Amiee Parco and Alison Best


Honor Thy Teacher Campaign  

It's that time of year again to honor exceptional Newton teachers and staff who have touched your child's life. The suggested donation is $25 per teacher/staff member.


We celebrate Newton Public Schools teachers and staff by:

· Notifying honored teachers and staff of your gift

· Listing all honored teachers and staff in the Newton TAB

· Sharing honoree names with the Superintendent and Principals

· Ensuring your donations go to support teaching & learning in Newton schools.


To honor a teacher or staff person go to


Stop & Shop Rewards for Ward

Do you shop at Stop & Shop or use Peapod?  Then register your rewards card to earn CASH for the John Ward School.  All you have to do is log on to to register online or dial 1-877-275-2758 to register your card over the phone.   We are the John Ward School in Newton Centre- school number 08887.  After you register your card, each shopping trip earns cash for our school!   



Newton News and Events 



Summer Programs and Activities: Check out the Newton Parks & Recreation Department Summer Newsletter: Programs and activities for all ages!




Summer Volunteers Needed: Summer Volunteer Opportunities with Newton at Home! Newton at Home, a member organization dedicated to helping Newton seniors age in their own homes, is looking for volunteers who can help senior citizens over the summer.

  • We need drivers who can give rides to seniors. Make a new friend while helping someone get to a doctor's appointment, the supermarket, a social event or the airport.
  • We need young people who are available to mow a Newton senior citizen's lawn once per week during the summer. No need to commit to the entire summer!

Volunteer as much as you can at your convenience, and know that you have made a difference in a Newton senior's life. You'll meet interesting people and share great conversation along the way! If you are willing and able to help, please call Julie Plaut Mahoney, Ph.D., Coordinator of Volunteers, Newton at Home 617-795-2560 or


Community Classifieds


Summer and Fall Dance Classes: All That Jazz Dance Studio is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row we are the Proud Winners of the Newton Tab Readers Choice awards for Best Dance Studio in Newton and Regional Gold for Newton, Needham, and Wellesley! We are still accepting summer and fall registration.


Call Deb Lifson Vogel, Newton parent of an incoming kindergarten and 3rd grader at Ward School, to discuss joining our vibrant dance community.,, 617-548-3626




Summer Music School: Brookline Music School's summer programs (June 25-Auhust 23) offer private instruction and classes for babies to adults. Summer is the perfect time to try out the various programs. Children can sample a variety of musical instruments or take a beginners course. Teenagers can play with other musicians and record a four-song cd or take private lessons. Adults can take as many lessons as they choose or play music with others.


For the summer 2012 schedule, session dates and rates visit or call (617) 277-4593. Brookline Music School is located at 25 Kennard Road, Brookline, MA 02445.




Summer Fiddle Camp: The Suzuki School of Newton is hosting a Fiddle Camp for violin, cello, and guitar players ages 9 to adult with a minimum of one year of study in their instrument. The camp features daytime fiddle classes taught by an internationally recognized faculty, student performances, a staff concert, and other summertime activities. The camp runs August 21-24 at the Newton Cultural Center. For other information, including tuition rates, camp schedule, and other details, call 617-964-4522 or email us at Registrations prior to June 30 receive an $80 discount.




Summer Math Program: Summer is a great time to catch up, keep up and get ahead in


Math Mathnasium Learning Center in Newton Highlands offers individualized math summer programs in a fun, relaxing environment. Schedule your 12 tutoring sessions around your vacations and camps. Save $50 when you register before June 21st. or call us for a free trial (617) 340-3665.




Summer Day Care: DoReMi Family Day Care. Summer enrollment. Children 2-5. DoReMi FDC offers extensive music curriculum throughout the day,engaging math, literacy, science and art activities. Home made meals and snacks provided. Fully fenced playground with organic mulch. Experienced, certified early education provider. Location: Newton Center, Rt9 and Parker Street. For more information contact Anna @ or 617-244-7012.




Tennis Lessons: QuicKids Tennis is a revolutionary change in the way kids learn and play tennis, as well as compete, as developed by the USTA for kids 10 and under. QuicKids tailors kids' tennis equipment and courts to a child's size and age so that they develop skills and have fun right from the start. QuicKids is structured for kids to learn tennis and rally and play quickly in a way that is both fun and rewarding. Experience QuicKids in Newton for two weeks June 18th to 29th only!


To register email, call Sami OReilly 617-593-6182 or go to Facebook/pages/generation-tennis for registration form. Registration will include free membership to the USTA that runs the US Open and its Kids Day festival.




Piano Lessons: KEYS FOR KIDS piano lessons. Small groups organized by age (4-11). Outstanding methodology. Experienced, certified instructor. Proven success. Keys for Kids goes beyond ordinary piano lessons: it teaches well-rounded musicianship. Free sample lesson. Individual lessons available, too.

Contact or (617)527-4942.




Music Lessons: Music Lesson Program Registration for 2012-2013


Registration is now open for parents to enroll their child in elementary music lessons and performance ensembles. In recent weeks, flyers have been sent home with students and all program information, registration forms, and online registration and fee payment can be found on the NPS website at You will find this information under the FAMILIES quick links column on our home page.


Summer registrations are strongly encouraged as this helps us prepare lesson rosters in time to begin lessons before the end of September.


Fourth Grade Instrumental Lessons: Students entering fourth grade may elect to take lessons on a variety of band and orchestra instruments. Go to our website to learn more about the instruments available at your school, musical instruments, lesson books and accessories needed, and more.


Elementary Band & Orchestra: Students who have completed beginning lessons in fourth grade and students in other grades who already play a musical instrument are eligible to participate in their school's band or orchestra.


All-City Music Ensembles: These ensembles are extra-curricular programs that require an audition. Online registration opens in the fall. Learn more about these programs on our website.


Financial Assistance Waivers: All of the programs listed above require a participation fee. Families experiencing a hardship may apply for a fee waiver. Financial Assistance applications are available on our website. Families approved for a waiver are also eligible to receive a scholarship instrument.


Music Lesson Extension Program: The MLEP is a private lesson program offered in our schools after school for students who have successfully completed the fourth grade introductory program. Registration forms can be downloaded from our website. The NPS Financial Assistance Waiver DOES NOT apply to the MLEP.


Contact: Richard P. King, Fine Arts Coordinator, 617-559-6149




Flute Lessons: BOSTON SUZUKI FLUTE INSTITUTE (Formerly known as Suzuki in the Berkshires Flute Institute) August 5-9, 2012 at Brookline Music School


The Boston Suzuki Flute Institute offers instruction in Suzuki Flute School Books 3 and 5 for students and teachers, a student program that includes four classes daily, (a master class, ensemble or reading, repertoire and one level-appropriate enrichment class). Enrichment classes are Dance/Movement, Outside the Box, Comfluter or Jazz. In Outside the Box students will go beyond the familiar sounds of the classical flute and explore extended techniques. Using key clicks, harmonics and more, students create a story that is performed at the final concert. Comfluter combines music technology and flute music to create compilations on the computer. Additional enrichment classes are available at an extra cost and include a piano elective.


Boston Suzuki Flute Institute incorporates summertime fun with learning. Students will also have performance opportunities in play-ins, noon recitals, and a final concert. In addition to their study, students are invited to group activities that include an opening night pizza/ice cream social, as well as row boating on the Jamaica Plain Pond and performing outdoors (if weather permits).

Boston Suzuki Flute Institute faculty includes expert instructors from New England: Lindsay Albert, piano; Tom Krusinski, creative movement/dance; Laurel Ann Maurer, flute; Noelle Perrin, flute, Amy Poliakoff, Director; Norman Thibodeau, flute/music technology; and Chris Veilleux, saxophone.

The 2012 Boston Suzuki Flute Institute will take place on Sunday, August 5 until Thursday, August 9, 2012, from 9:30am to 4:30pm at 25 Kennard Road, Brookline, MA 02445. For more information about this event contact director, Amy Poliakoff at, visit or call Brookline Music School at (617) 277-4593.




In Home Tutor: Call Y3K TUTOR IN YOUR HOME today, when schoolwork goes the wrong way!


Our many years of experience in teaching and educational consulting has developed the right way to motivate, the right way to teach, be understood, and be remembered. We tutor special ed. such as ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, Autism, Emotional/Behavioral, and gifted. We also tutor regular ed. and test preparation. All subjects and ages are taught. Parents can now receive 25% off the first lesson. Call 781-492-8700 or log on to




Fall Theatre Programs:

Dr. Dolittle travels the world, and the cast of our fall musical will trot, fly and crawl across the stage in search of the great pink sea snail! Open to grades 3-5, Program Orientation begins Sunday, September 9, 2012, with rehearsals beginning September 23, 2012. Junior Players, our Dr. Dolittle companion program for grades 1-2, will meet on Mondays beginning September 24, 2012, to learn songs and dances to perform as part of the Dr. Dolittle cast. Performances are November 16-18, 2012 in the Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.


In our Play Factory production of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, students in grades 6-9 will spend a creepy weekend on a secret island. A small ensemble will share the secrets that happen there, and perform them for the public in the intimate Black Box Theater. Rehearsals begin on Tuesday, September 11. Performances are October 26-28, 2012, in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts.


Looking for something new for your preschooler or homeschooler? Why not try out one of our new programs this fall? Preschool children ages 2-5, and their parents, are welcome to join us for Play with Me, and explore dance, movement and dramatic play on Tuesday mornings, beginning September 18, 2012. Homeschool students in grades 3-7 are invited to register for Time Travels in Theatre, exploring the history and social impact of theatre around the world. This program runs on Thursday mornings beginning September 27, 2012.


For Kindergarten and 1st grade students, Saturday mornings are for Page to Stage and enjoying Anansi's Adventures. These popular West African folk tales teach students about character and culture through laugh out-loud stories, culminating in a final presentation for family and friends. Classes begin on September 15, 2012.


Finally, our new WCT Chorus is an opportunity for students in grades 3-8 to enjoy singing together, and learn how to make beautiful music as a group, with a final concert performance for family and friends. This compact two-week program begins November 27, 2012, and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


All programs are first come, first served and subject to space availability. Registration begins June 1, and registration forms and information are available at or call 617-926-ARTS (2787).



ForWARD Submissions

Next deadline:  This is the last ForWard of the year. Have a good summer.

Please send articles to

The ForWard will now be distributed electronically on the first and third Friday of every month instead of monthly as in past years.  On weeks when the full newsletter is not distributed, This Week at Ward will be used to inform you of dates and events in the upcoming week.  We hope that a single email each week will help you keep track of important dates and events.

The Ward PTO, at its discretion and as space is available, may permit announcements to appear in the ForWard from not-for-profit organizations that offer a direct service to children/families in the Ward community and from for-profit individuals or businesses that offer a direct educational service to children/families in our community. The Ward PTO may edit announcements and does not endorse any individuals or business whose announcements are published.     

About NPS TAC Support for PTO Communications

Volunteers from the Newton Public Schools Technology Advisory Council (NPS TAC) are helping to set up and support PTO communications, including this system used by the Ward PTO. 
Learn more here.