From the Principal's Desk
On opening day we welcomed 299 students including many new families. Teachers have created warm, inviting classrooms and began the year building a community and establishing routines and expectations. Classrooms are humming with excitement as students engage with new teachers, peers and curriculum.
It is a pleasure to welcome Jean Corbo-Hudak as our new kindergarten teacher. Most recently Jean taught at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton. Amy Tai will be joining us as an ISS (building based substitute). Her experience includes teaching at the Atrium School as well as teaching in New York City and Peru. We have been given a little extra math coach time this year: Amy Lucenta will share the position with Mike Smalley, former Bigelow math teacher. We just hired a part-time class size aide, Lisa Rideout, for our third grade; we will also utilize our building aide, Mona Krozy, for third grade support. There are several part-time student teachers from area universities who are also working in our classrooms.
A number of improvements were made to the building over the summer months. Several classrooms were painted and carpeting was replaced in some offices. Our gym paneling received a new coat of paint which really brightens the space. A new kiln has been installed. Masonry work will continue to be done on the outside of the building to realign the front steps and repoint the bricks. Our custodians have spent the summer busily cleaning every inch of the building to prepare for the opening of school.
I want to remind you that there is no adult supervision for students prior to 8:20 AM. Teachers are preparing for the day ahead. Please time the arrival of your child as close to 8:20 as possible. Due to the crowding in the front hallway, we ask that students wait outside if they arrive earlier unless there is severe weather. If you need supervision for your child prior to school, our school has a fee-based morning drop-off program beginning at 7:30.
THE BLUE ZONE
Due to the number of vehicles at our school in a short period of time and the increased number of vans and buses, it is vital for the safety of all children that our community work together to follow the Blue Zone guidelines. Be sure to inform other family members and caretakers.
The Blue Zone is clearly marked with a blue painted curb and signage. It is meant to be a moving lane. Cars should not wait in the Blue Zone at pick-up time.
Is the Blue Zone for you?
*Remember that the Blue Zone is not for everyone. Children should be able to enter or exit the car from the sidewalk on their own. Drivers should not leave their vehicles to assist children in the Blue Zone or walk them around to the street side to enter a car. If you choose to use the Blue Zone, ask your child to meet you in the Blue Zone. If your child is waiting, stop and pick him/her up. If not, circle around the block.
Never park in the Blue Zone. This brings traffic to a standstill.
Also, do not park in the bus zone (yellow curb). It is illegal and disrupts the flow of traffic. We experience the greatest difficulty when the weather gets cold, rainy, or snowy. Let's start the year off right and keep our children safe!
If your child was in grades 3-5 last year, you will be receiving MCAS scores shortly. They will be mailed to your home from the district office.
We have a number of PTO events this month:
- Friday, September 21 Principal's Coffee at 8:30 AM in the library
- Monday, September 24 Back-to-School Picnic 6:00 PM
- Tuesday, September 25 PTO meeting at 8:45 AM
- Friday, September 28 Picture Day
I look forward to working with you. It promises to be an exciting year.
Attention dog owners
This past year, Newton Central Little League, which includes the Ward community, spent $5,000 at Ward on the Montrose Street side baseball field, and plans to spend around $2,000 annually to regrade and tune up the baseball field. All of this benefits Little League, as well as softball, soccer, lacrosse and, most importantly, the school. We have noticed that the morning dog group has moved from the grass part of the field to the baseball infield and dirt. If possible, it would be helpful if people could gather with their dogs outside the baseball field area so the infield stays in great shape from the hard work and money spent on the field.
Audrey Parad Peller
John Ward Elementary School
10 Dolphin Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459