ForWard January 4th, 2013

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 4, 2013    

In This Issue
Mark Your Calendars
From the Principal's Desk
And Now a Word From the PTO
School News
What's New at After-School
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  


Happy New Year!

Winter Weather Reminders
To the joy of some, it looks like winter has finally arrived.  I am asking for your help in following these safety rules:
  • There is no throwing of snow or snowballs on school premises before, during, or after school.
  • Stay off icy patches.
  • Keep off snow mounds near the Blue Zone.
  • To play in the snow, children must wear boots.  Snowpants are required if children are rolling in the snow or playing in deep snow.  We want children to reenter the school in dry clothing.
Our muralist, David Fichter, will be working with small groups of children during the month of January to create an exciting mural for our front stairway.  Six dolphins will be painted with images collected from students and each dolphin will be edged with tiles.   Students have been working with Mrs. Broder to create drawings that will be incorporated into the mural. During art class, small groups of students will work on transferring drawings and painting the mural. The final project will be unveiled at our spring Art Show.  We are grateful to the Massachusetts Cultural Council and our PTO for thier financial support.  Special thanks go to Sheryl Kalis for writing the grant and organizing this project.

Midyear progress reports for students will be available through the parent portal on February 11.  You can access your child's report on the district website ( under the Families tab by clicking the ParentCONNECT Parent Portal link.

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

 And Now a Word From the PTO

2013 Teacher Raffle

Teachers and staff of the Ward School have donated their time and creativity with unique activities for our children. Look for the list of raffle items and raffle tickets to be sent home soon. You can also review the list and print tickets from the PTO website by clicking here.


John Ward International Night ~ Host Countries and Volunteers Needed

International Night is a fun-filled educational evening for the whole family celebrating the international diversity of the Ward School! This year International Night will be held on March, 20th, 2013. It's an opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures.


There are booths for different countries and a pot luck dinner. We are looking for individuals that would be interested in hosting a booth from your country; it can be a joint effort with other families from the same country. In the past the booths have had photos, brochures, traditional objects, costumes and even a specialty food specific from the country. With your support and participation we can make this year's International Night a big success.


If you would like to be involved as a country host or a volunteer to help the night of the event please contact Anna Olivella at 617 314 0087 or



***Upcoming Events***



Kindergarten Pot Luck Dinner ~ January 12th

The Kindergarten Pot Luck Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, January 12th at 7:00pm at the home of Lisa and Chris Kirby. The invitation went out a few weeks ago, please email if you did not receive it.


PTO Meeting ~ TBD

The next PTO meeting scheduled for January 15th is postponed and the new date is TBD. The rescheduled event will be attended by Newton School Committee members and the Superintendent to discuss the proposed March override. The date will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.




 School News
Creative Arts and Sciences Committee
The Ward School Mural Project is in full swing for the month of January.  The students have all submitted drawings and muralist David Fichter is currently incorporating them into a final design.  Starting the week of January 7th students will begin painting.  We are looking for parent volunteers to help out in all the art classes but most importantly in Grades K, 1 and 2.  Please watch for an email from your room parents and please volunteer if at all possible.  
Many thanks to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for providing Ward School with a STARS Residency Grant for this project.  

Additionally, all of the grades will have an CASC enrichment program in the month of January.
January 3 - Poet Lyn Littlefield Hoopes ran poetry workshops with the 4th Graders.  In these workshops the students create their own poems and explore the power of metaphor, rhythm, voice and pattern.
January 10 - Grade 1 was introduced to Hellen Keller via Historical Perspectives for Children.  Through a powerful dramatic portrayal, the students learn about Ms. Keller's childhood and the challenges she faced.  The goal of the program is to instill a sensitivity and respect for differences.
January 23 - 5th grade begins their 6 week artist-in-residence program with poet Judith Steinberg.  Judith helps students read, interpret and write poems that integrate a wide range of literary techniques.  The culminating event is a poetry reading where the students present their poems to parents and the community.

Creative Arts and Sciences is generously funded through PTO contributions.  CASC sponsors curricula related programs throughout the year and brings artists, writers, musicians, historians and scientists into the classrooms to present very special programs that build upon what the students are learning.  Please feel free to contact Sheryl at with any questions.

Many thanks to all the lead Grade Representatives for CASC who have helped make these programs possible - Vicki Spetter Goldstein, Lori Belz, Jen Weber, Jodi Figler, Sepi Hedayet, Nancy Sharooz and Caryn Lipchin.

Register for the Mythology Exam

Students in grades 3 through 5 who are interested in taking the National Mythology Exam need to register with their classroom teacher by Friday, 1/11/13.  Classroom teachers will collect the exam cost of $4 (paid via cash or check made out to John Ward School).


Stop and Shop Rewards Are Back!

 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!                




 What's New at After-School

Happy New Year!  We hope that 2013 is a happy, healthy and prosperous year for everyone.  We'll have a busy year here:   we begin our Skiing and Snowboarding at Nashoba Valley; our rehearsals for Sinbad are underway; and our Kindergartners will be learning all about Mexico. We also welcome a new teacher to our program, Lisa Rideout.  Her name may be familiar to some of you as she is a classroom aide in Mr. Hammer's 3rd grade class.  We are happy to have her on board with us in the later afternoons, and grateful to the 3rd graders who are "showing her the ropes" here at After-School.

Don't forget you can always see what we're up to here at After-School by visiting our website,

Donna Marohn

Newton News and Events



Joint School Council/PTSO Meeting: Newton School Committee and Newton Public Schools leadership to visit Newton South, January 8 at 7PM, as part of an outreach tour to meet with parents at every school in the district, at least once per year. Please come to a joint NSHS School Council/PTSO meeting in the Newton South Lecture Hall, January 8 at 7PM. Claire Sokoloff, Margie Ross-Decter, and Steve Siegel will be there to hear parent concerns and answer any questions you might have about the most pressing issues facing the Newton Public Schools, including enrollment growth and space issues as well as the upcoming override vote on March 12. Please feel free to submit any questions in advance to Robin Maltz at For more information about the override, please click here.




Newton Parent Advisory Council for Special Education Meeting:

Thursday, January 10th, 7:30 to 9:00 PM

Assistive Technology to Support Executive Function Skills

Karen Janowski, NPS

100 Walnut Street, Newtonville, Room 210


Learn about assistive technology tools which support students who struggle with Executive Function skills. Karen will present a variety of technology tools which support skills necessary for school success, from elementary through high school. We will focus on tools for managing executive function skills across the grade spectrum.  Karen writes: "As an Assistive & Educational Technology Consultant, my passion is to remove the obstacles to learning for all students. It is important to make the curriculum accessible to all learners and provide opportunities for struggling learners to demonstrate what they know using principles of universal design." Karen writes a blog and a Universal Design for Learning-wiki describing free tools Networking beginning at 7:15 PM.


Newton Parent Advisory Council (NewtonPAC) for Special Education meetings are free and open to all people interested in learning more about special education. Join us! Questions, contact Eileen and Lisa at




Newton Community Preservation Committee: January 10th Public Hearing on Funding for Newton Homebuyer Assistance Program


The Newton Community Preservation Committee's meeting on Thursday, 10 January 2013, at 7 pm in City Hall Room 222 will include a public hearing on further funding for Newton's long-running Homebuyer Assistance Program. The full meeting agenda and full text of the proposal are online Contact: Alice Ingerson,, 617.796.1144.



Community Classifieds


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, executive function, 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




Music and Art Classes: Registration is now open for Time for Partners music and art classes at the Newton Cultural Center. Learning is fun with music and art every day for children 18 months to 4 years, accompanied by an adult. An opportunity to meet new friends while building self-confidence and sharing successes. Visit and click on Children's Programs.




School of Rock Concerts: School of Rock Boston invites the general public to 3 sets of all-ages concerts in January of 2013. The first show, Black Keys VS. The White Stripes takes place on 1/11 at the Arlington Center for the Arts & 1/12 at Johnny D's; the next 2 shows, Best of Boston Rock (1/19 & 1/20) and The Soul of Grohl (1/26 & 1/27) will be 1pm afternoon matinees at the #1 club in town, The Middle East in Cambridge. 42% of School of Rock students hail from the Newton, MA school districts and they would love your support! For more information, please call 617-923-3434 or visit





Don't miss out on the 4th annual family friendly a-cappella concert, Acappelooza IV, on Saturday, February 2, 2013 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Newton North High School auditorium. All proceeds go to the Countryside PTO. Featuring Newton North's Forte, Newton South's Newtones, the Berklee College of Music's Pitch Slapped, and Boston's professional vocal band Ball in the House. Tickets can be purchased at This show sells out fast so get your tickets early! Contact Anne Kalis at with further questions.




Magic Show: The JCC Magic Ark Performing Arts Series for Families presents Spencers Magic Show on Monday, January 21 (11am and 1pm)


The Magic Ark Family Series presents the Spencers Theatre of Illusion, a larger than life, high tech show that combines drama, comedy and suspense with elaborate illusions. Performances take place at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC, 333 Nahanton Street in Newton. Tickets are $13 general admission and can be purchased online at or by calling 617-965-5226.


The Spencer's have baffled audiences across America, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Redefining the art of illusion by shattering the traditional magician / assistant stereotype, The Spencer's are one of today most sought-after magic acts. Charismatic and skilled performers who captivate their audience from the moment they take the stage, this talented team creates a sense of wonder that has led to their being the only artists in history to capture the Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year award for six consecutive years and named 2009 Magicians of the Year by the prestigious International Magicians Society. Bringing new meaning to the word "magic," The Spencer's dazzle audiences with magnificent sets and stunning special effects as they levitate, read minds, walk through walls, vanish, reappear and present never-before-seen illusions designed exclusively for their shows.



ForWARD Submissions 

Next deadline:  Tuesday, January 15th at noon for the January 18th 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.