ForWARD October 19, 2012

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

October 19, 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
Ward School
Ward PTO Home
Ward PTO Calendar

Ward School: 617.559.6450
Childwatch: 617.559.6470

Dear Lynda  Bentley,


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


* To stop receiving this newsletter, or update your email information please use the links at the end of the newsletter.



Ward School Banner

Mark Your Calendars    


From the Principal's Desk  


It was wonderful to see so many families participate in International Walk to School Day.  What a great way to exercise and get those juices flowing so students arrive alert and ready to learn.
We are fortunate to have been awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council STARS Residency grant to supplement PTO funds.  This funding will allow us to create a mural in our front hall stairway.  The theme will be  "Love of Learning".  Special thanks go to Sheryl Kalis for helping to develop this concept and for successfully writing this grant.  Muralist David Fichter will be working with our art teacher, Amy Broder, to collect student drawings that will be transferred to six dolphin shaped murals, one for each grade level.  The dolphins will represent how learning and knowledge expand year after year.  Students will collaborate on the numerous steps involved in completing the final mural.  Older students will have the opportunity to further embellish the project with glass tiles.  We are excited to provide this enriching experience for our students.  You will be invited to view the final product at our annual Art Show in the spring.
Our annual Halloween Hoot will take place on Wednesday, October 31 at 9:00 in our gymnatorium.  You are welcome to join us.

During the month of October, the elementary special education administrative restructuring committee is holding a series of focus groups to listen and gather input from principals, special education staff, and parents.  We are inviting parents to participate in one of two focus groups on October 24th (see below).

As you know NPS is in the process of restructuring the administrative team of the elementary special education department.  In addition to researching how other districts are organized, we are asking for input from principals, special education staff, and parents.  We invite you to attend a focus group designed to listen and gather information from stakeholders across the district.  The format of the group will be to briefly explain the goals of the committee and then listen to your thoughts and ideas.  

The dates/times are:
*October 24th, 4:30-5:30 - Parents of students who participate in regular and special education
*October 24th, 6:00-7:00 - Parents of students who participate in regular education only

All the sessions will take place at the Ed Center in Room 210. 100 Walnut Street.  Room 210 is on the main floor next to the superintendent's office. Thank you in advance for your participation.


Audrey Parad Peller
John Ward Elementary School
10 Dolphin Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459

 And Now a Word From the PTO


Annual Fund

We would like to thank the Ward families who have already generously contributed to the Annual Fund. We have raised over $4K in a very short amount of time! As the end of the year approaches, please consider the Ward School when making your charitable contributions. Please click here to donate.


Room Parents

We would like to announce the Ward Room Parents for 2012-2013. Click here to view list. Please join us in thanking these 43 parents who have stepped up to help in their children's classrooms to support the teacher, facilitate volunteer opportunities, organize events, and help keep parents apprised of classroom activities and needs. Their efforts are greatly appreciated!


Webmaster Volunteer Needed

We are looking for a volunteer (parent or student) to help maintain and enhance the PTO website. If you have web design skills or know a student that does, please consider volunteering for a few hours a month to enhance the PTO website. Please contact Gail Fitzgerald at if interested.



***Upcoming Events***


CARe Committee Event ~ November 1st from 12:30-3:00pm

Our next CARe (Community Awareness and Responsibility) Committee event is scheduled for Thursday, November 1st from 12:30-3PM. This project is entitled "Caring Cards for Kids". We will be making get well cards for children in local hospitals.


Students do NOT need a parent to accompany them to this event. Please give your child/ren permission to be picked up from their classroom or after school by an adult from the care committee. Also, please pack a lunch and snack for your child.


We look forward to another amazing event! Click here to sign up online.


Grade-Wide Pot Luck Dinners

In the past we have had pot luck events on an ad hoc basis and people have reported that they were great ways to have a fun evening while getting to know fellow parents. Last year we decided as a PTO to help ensure that happens in each grade.


We have hosts lined up for each grade and have many of the dates scheduled. So mark your calendars if you have kids in the following grades:

  • Kindergarten hosted by Lisa & Chris Kirby on Saturday, January 12th
  • 1st Grade hosted by Heidi Gardner and Ivan Matviak on Saturday, November 10th
  • 2nd Grade hosted by Heather & Jeremy Pozen date TBD
  • 3rd Grade hosted by Jodi & Sam Figler on Friday, November 16th
  • 4th Grade hosted by Madelon Bracke & Jan de Boer on Saturday, November 17th
  • 5th Grade coordinated by Maria Sullivan, location(s) and date TBD


These nights will be a great way to meet and socialize with other parents in your child's grade. The evening is for adults only and it is not a sit down meal but rather more of an informal gathering. Closer to each evening you will be receiving an email by grade with more details on your specific event, but plan on a fun night out! Please contact Beth Panella at if you have any questions.



 School News

 Help Ward School raise money. Stop and Shop will donate money each time you shop if you register your card as follows:


Go to:
Select "Register your Card",
Enter the first three letters of your last name and  your Stop and Shop Card Number
Click "Continue to Listing"
Enter the Ward School Number 08887
Click "Register my Card"

Thank you  = now start shopping!                




Newton News and Events



Parent Workshop: Aliens from Planet Teen: A Survival Guide for Parents of Adolescents

Wednesday 10/17/12, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Bigelow Middle School, 42 Vernon Street, Newton Corner, MA 02458


Author and psychologist Anthony Wolf will act as a "translator" for parents and teenagers who at times seem to be speaking completely different languages. Dr. Wolf, who is the author of the popular parenting book, "Get Out of My Life! But first will you drive me and Cheryl to the Mall?" will help us consider how to most harmoniously work with typical teen behaviors in ways that strengthen relationships. Learn how to decipher and respond to temperamental teens and tweens and why they behave as they do. This insightful lecture will leave parents with a better understanding of their children and will benefit the whole family. Suggested donation $5 per person. A book signing will follow the event. Books will be available for purchase or you can bring your own copy.




Second Annual Newton Inspires Event: Newton Schools Foundation Presents Newton Inspires-An Evening of Ideas and Community. Free event at Newton South.


What do NPR host Tom Ashbrook, Boston Globe Film Critic Ty Burr, novelist and author Anita Diamant, and Defending Jacob author William Landay have in common? All four writers and journalists are Newton residents, and all will headline the second annual Newton Inspires-An Evening of Ideas and Community, sponsored by the Newton Schools Foundation (NSF). The free community event will take place Wednesday November 14, 7-9:30 p.m. at Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Road in Newton Centre.


Leaders representing an array of fields and interest areas will address topics ranging from business, education, science and medicine, journalism and the environment, to sports, literature, arts and entertainment. Participants choose three 30-minute speaker sessions from among 18 speakers. At the end of the evening, participants and speakers gather to reconnect over coffee and dessert.


The event is free and open to the public and speaker sessions fill up quickly, so early registration is recommended. To view the full list of speakers, to register or for additional information go or call 617-559-6120.




Cultural Festivals: The Mayor's Office for Cultural Affairs in Newton is hosting a series of Cultural Festivals. We have had a Russian Festival, we are in the final planning stages of the Indian Festival for November 10th and we are in the early planning stages of a Chinese Festival for February 10th and a Latin Festival for March 23rd. We can plan these festivals more effectively with the help of families from these cultures and we would like to invite you to our planning meetings.


The Indian Festival will be held at the Newton Cultural Center on Saturday, November 10th from 10am - 5pm. It is going to be a wonderful event showcasing many of the tastes, music, dance, games and crafts of India. One of the elements is a fashion show and we are looking for Indian families who would be willing to show off the costume from their region. The fashion show will take place at 3pm.


The meeting for the Latin Festival is October 22 at 6:30pm at the Newton Cultural Center, 225 Nevada Street, Newtonville. For more information, please contact Jeannie Smith at or 617-527-8283.




Benefit Concert for Centre Street Food Pantry: Parish of St. Paul, 1135 Walnut St., Newton Highlands on Oct 28 at 3 p.m. The Laura Grill Band, a self-described "jazz infected folk band", will give a benefit concert on behalf of the CENTRE STREET FOOD PANTRY. Admission is free; donations accepted at the door.


Community Classifieds


Girls Basketball: Newton Girls Basketball Association (NGBA)

Registration is underway for the upcoming Newton Girls Basketball season. Join the more than 500 players from second graders through high school level who play NGBA basketball. This is a recreational basketball league for Newton girls and girls attending Newton schools with fun for beginners and experienced players alike! Games are played on Saturdays for all grades, starting early December and continuing into mid-March. Registrations are due by October 27th for Grades 3-8, November 3rd for Grade 2, and December 1st for High School. A late fee applies for registrations received after those dates. Scholarships are available based on need; please see the website for details. To register, obtain additional details and to find out more about the league, please visit our website at




Music School Events: Join Brookline Music School on Sunday, October 21 for this interactive and fun day of sampling several different instruments and enjoying live music by a world-renown faculty and outstanding students during the Lincoln School Pumpkinfest. At our Instrument Petting Zoos (1:00-3:00pm at Brookline Music School), children and adults are given the opportunity to listen to and play a wide range of instruments, including woodwinds, brass, strings, guitar, piano, drums, percussion, harp and accordion. Students and faculty will perform during Pumpkinfest (12:30-4:00pm at Lincoln School). Free


Brookline Music School presents Sempre Schubert by the Thoreau Piano Trio with BMS faculty Paul Jacobs on piano and guest artists Susan Jensen on violin, and Darry Dolezal on cello, members of Esterhazy Quartet. The concert will present a mix of chamber works by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). The Sempre Schubert concert opens the Brookline Music School's 2012-2013 Faculty Artist Series. The BMS 2012-2013 Faculty Artist Series will feature a colorful spectrum of musical backgrounds to include jazz, folk, classical and ethnic styles. Free


Brookline Music School, 25 Kennard Road, Brookline, (617) 277-4593,  




Halloween Rock & Roll Costume Party: School of Rock Boston is hosting a FREE Halloween Rock & Roll Costume party on Friday, 10/26/2012 from 6-9 PM at our studios on 120 Elm Street in Watertown featuring contests, games, movies, prizes, and live entertainment by whimsical rock band Lucretia's Daggers. Event is fully staffed, supervised, and open to the public. Please bring a treat to share. Any new student who signs up for music lessons that night gets a 10% discount on tuition for the remainder of 2012. Please RSVP to:




Vacation Art Program: What is your child or teen doing this Veteran's Day? Send them to the New Art Center for a one day vacation art program! Students will get to explore and create 2D and 3D artwork and be inspired through discussion-based tours and interactive activities in our galleries.

Monday, November 12th from 9-4pm, Grades K-10.


Call 617-964-3424 or visit our website to register.




Play Group: LYNDA'S PLAY GROUP - Family Daycare Setting. OPENINGS NOW for children 2 years old to pre-school age TUES & THURS 9am-1pm, follows the Newton Public School 2012-2013 calendar. Convenient location in Newton Centre, off Comm Ave between Centre and Walnut Streets. Warm, loving, caring energetic provider. Bright, sunny indoor space - 1st floor family room with lots of windows. Great outdoor space - fenced in yard with swing set, climbing structure, large "digging" area, etc. Opportunity for children to develop skills needed for pre-school and being a friend..... License #: 9005453. CPR and 1st aid certified. Contact Lynda at: or 617.527.2117.




PlaySpace: PlaySpace opens for the season October 23 through April 11. It is that time of year already! Looking for a place for your youngster to run around and play, and it's cold or wet outside? The Newton Cultural Center at 225 Nevada Street, Newtonville is the answer to your cabin fever! A large gym full of riding toys, slides, balls and lots of room; and a fully-stocked and cheery art room with a teacher to help with some fun winter projects. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 2:30 - 5pm. Visit or call 617-527-8283 for more information.




Parent Workshops at the Spiral Foundation:

Dogs, Horses, OT, Oh My! Animal-Assisted Interventions for Children with Disabilities. Join us for "Dogs, Horses, OT, Oh My!" with Jennie Dapice Feinstein, PhD(c), OTR/L, Perkins School for the Blind.

Does your child or your client love animals? Come learn about the types of animal-assisted interventions for children with disabilities, from hippotherapy to assistance dogs. Descriptions of programs, examples of how to get involved, and resources will be provided. Jennie will also bring along Norm, Perkins' Facility dog, trained by Canine Companions for Independence.

Date/Time: Wed., Nov. 7, 2012, 7-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 parent/professional ($10 for a second parent)

Click here for more info.

SI Overview: An introduction to sensory integration and sensory processing disorder

When: Wed., Oct. 24th 7-8:30 pm

Where: OTA at The Koomar Center

Click here for more info.


Parent Speak for Children with Autism: This 4-week language-based educational program will support parents and paraprofessionals in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. You can attend one or all 4 sessions.

Date: Mondays in November, Time: 7-8:30

Cost: Single Session $50 early bird by Nov. 1, $60 after Nov. 1; Full Workshop $180 early bird by Nov. 1, $200 after Nov. 1; Rates for Parent Couples also available.

Click here for more info.

CEUs available through AOTA for professionals.




View Newton's Potter Estate: After a six-year hiatus, The Junior League of Boston is pleased to announce that tickets are now available for purchase to see the transformation of Newton's Potter Estate at 71 Walnut Park. Featuring 35 New England designers, including Elizabeth Benedict (a Ward parent to Emmy and Finn), the 150-year-old house has been completely revamped. Ticketholders will be able to view the unique makeover room by room beginning on October 16. For tickets, please visit, call (617) 536-9640 or email




NE Aquarium Educational Event: W2O Lunch - Roadside Assistance: Driving Change on our Streets and in the Oceans


Climate change is one of the major challenges facing our oceans, and cars are one of the major contributors to climate change. Join us for an overview of climate change, a photographic journey of its effects, and an expert car panel that will open your eyes to ocean-friendly options for your next car purchase!


W2O is a nonprofit working with the NE Aquarium in order to raise women's awareness of and involvement in saving our oceans. We offer educational events throughout the year and invite everyone, men and women, to join us at our next event on October 23 at 11:30AM. The event's speaker will be Bud Ris, President and CEO of New England Aquarium. Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor for WBZ-TV News Lisa Hughes will moderate a panel of car experts including Ray Magliozzi co-host of NPR s Car Talk for 35 years; Herb Chambers, President of Herb Chambers Motor Group; Scott Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Zipcar; and Eric Evarts, Associate Autos Editor at Consumer Reports. Our panel will inform, debate and educate about car emissions and what you can think about when making your next car purchase to insure that you have made the decision that will help protect our oceans and our health. Sign up here.


ForWARD Submissions 

Next deadline:  Tuesday, October 30th at noon for the November 2nd issue.

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 Wardwill 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.