From the Principal's Desk




From the Principal's Desk  

Inclusive Schools Week

December 3-7 has been designated "Inclusive Schools Week."  During this time, we celebrate the progress that schools have made in providing a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socioeconomic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors. (From the  The focus this year is Social Inclusion: More Than a Seat in the Classroom.

Here's how we are recognizing this special week:

In each classroom at Ward School teachers selected a book to read that promotes inclusionary practices.  After listening to a reading of the book and engaging in classroom discussion, students created a paper chain as a representation of our school community being "connected" or "inclusive" as a group.  On provided paper strips, each student wrote a word or a short sentence stating how they connect with other students. They could either use the sentence starter "We are all connected at Ward School..."  or come up with their own word or phrase, such as "sharing favorite stories'" or "singing together at the Halloween Hoot."  Each classroom made a chain with the words and the writers' names on the outside of each link.  All of the chains will be connected and displayed.

Internet Safety

Over the past few weeks, every class has reviewed the Acceptable Use Policy with Mrs. Packard.  This is a set of rules users must follow when engaging in activities that require the use of technology and the Internet.  The policy outlines how students should respect themselves, others, and all equipment in an online environment.  We feel it is essential each year to discuss our rules for using the Internet and technology tools in our school.

School Council

You are welcome to join us at our next School Council meeting on December 10. Members of the School Committee will attend to discuss the upcoming override.  The meeting will take place at 3:30 in my office.

MCAS Dates

The final MCAS testing schedule is listed below.

- English Language Arts

- Grade 3  March 21, 28

- Grade 4  March 19 (composition), April 1, 3

- Grade 5  March 18, 22

- Math

- Grade 3  May 9, 10

- Grade 4  May 13, 15

- Grade 5  May 6, 8    Science/Technology  May 16, 17

Please avoid scheduling any appointments that would keep students out of school on these dates.


Audrey Parad Peller


John Ward Elementary School

10 Dolphin Road

Newton Centre, MA 02459