ForWARD February 1, 2013

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

February 1, 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  



We are appreciative of the warming trend this week and the opportunity to get outdoors for recess.  It's clear that we all benefit from that breath of fresh air and exercise.

We welcome several new student teachers this semester:  Katarina McAfee, our Northeastern Intern, is assisting with lunch supervision and supporting students in classrooms, particularly in kindergarten.  We have two full time student teachers in grade one from Boston University: Jenna Kruger is in Mrs. Petrie's class and Esther Marsden is in Mrs. Colarusso's class.  Elizabeth Costello from Mass General IHP (Institute of Health Professionals) is working with Lisa Dubinsky, our Speech/Language Pathologist. Kayla Manczurowsky from B.C. is working with Karin Lieberman in the Health Room.  Jessica  Barkin, Berklee School of Music, is with Sara Seals in Music.  Also, Brianna Brown just joined us as an assistant in Mrs. MacKenzie's class.  We also have several students from Lasell College joining classes to support students during our literacy block.

Classes will soon be celebrating Valentines Day.  I want to remind you to comply with our district food policy.  Do not attach candy to valentines or send in any edible treats. When putting together your valentines, it's fine to include a sticker or pencil if you wish.  However, to ensure the safety of all students, we want to uphold the district policy regarding food items.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Our Respect for Human Differences Committee will be holding our annual Naomi Singer Read In (named in honor of our former Literacy Specialist) . You will soon receive a flyer inviting your family to join a small group discussion about a book with an important message.  The flyer will give you several book choices.  You may also order pizza.  Be sure to save Thursday, March 7 for this important event.

This is the final MCAS testing schedule.  Please make every effort to have your child at school on these days since it will be challenging to schedule make-ups.

Grade 3  March 21, 28
Grade 4  March 19 (composition), April 1, 3
grade 5  March 18, 22

Grade 3  May 9, 10
Grade 4  May 13, 15
Grade 5  May 6, 8    Science/Tech  May 16, 17


You are invited to join our next School Council Meeting on Monday, February 4 at 3:30.  The agenda includes a discussion of upcoming safety measures and their impact as well as a walk through the building to identify recommended updates.

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

 And Now a Word From the PTO

Ward School Mural

Muralist David Fichter has been working with the children for over a month now to complete a mural to be installed along the front stairwell. The mural will consist of 6 panels with a dolphin motif filled with drawings submitted by the children to depict their grade level curriculum. Each class has had the opportunity to paint on the drawn panels. Additionally, 4th and 5th grade students have had the opportunity to create mosaics from glass tiles which will enhance the design.   

Please help us finish this terrific project.  On Feb. 5th from 5-7:30 we will have a community open house to put on the finishing touches. Please come by .  We will meet in the art room.  In order to best plan  for how many people to expect please respond if you think you will be helping out to Sheryl at


The mural is expected to be completed and installed in time for the Spring Art Show.


The Ward School Mural Project is generously funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Ward PTO. Thank you to all of the parents who have volunteered their time to help with this project.




Today is the last day to submit your teacher raffle tickets! Winners will be announced on February 8th. Download extra tickets or view the raffle list at

***Upcoming Events***


 CARe Committee Event ~ Early Release Wednesday, February 6th @ 12:30PM

Sign your child up on the PTO website here. We're bringing spring a little early to older adults in Newton. On Wednesday, February 6th from 12:30 - 2:30PM we will be planting bulbs and making cards to distribute to older adults who reside in local nursing homes in Newton. Please pack your child with a lunch. *Note: New ending time is 2:30PM. This event will be limited to 15 children. Please pick your child up promptly so our volunteers can go home to their families.


The International Night will be held on March, 20th from 5:30 to 7:30PM. This is one of the most amazing events at Ward School. It's an opportunity to learn about other countries and cultures, there are booths for different countries, activities for kids, performances and a pot luck dinner. There will be a meeting on Wednesday, February 6th at 8:30AM in the cafeteria to discuss the details and the logistics of the event. Everyone is welcome to attend. We would like this year, to have a booth of the USA. If you are interested in hosting it or any other booth of another country, or in volunteering for the event, contact Anna Olivella or call 617-314-0087.


Fourth Grade Pot Luck ~ February 8th @ 7:30PM

The Fourth Grade Pot Luck Dinner is scheduled for Friday, February 8th at 7:30PM at the home of Madelon Bracke & Jan de Boer. The invitation went out a few weeks ago, please if you did not receive it.


Ward School's Rock of Ages Family Dance ~ February 9th @ 6PM

Saturday, February 9th from 5:00-7:00PM* in the Ward Gym. Harness your Inner Rockstar/Popstar. Come dressed ready to rock! Dance to your favorite songs with DJ Jasper of Siagel Productions. Free admission.


*Due to a conflict with an event at Bigelow, the time for our dance event has been changed to 5-7PM. Please note that food will not be served. You are welcome to bring your own food and dine in Ward's Dolphin Cafe.


Note: This is a family event, not a drop off event. All children need to be supervised by an adult.


We will need volunteers to staff the event and also to decorate the gym on Thursday, February 7thprior to the event. If you are interested in helping, please contact Heather Pozen

Naomi Singer Read-In ~ March 7th @ 5:45PM

No cooking dinner + unplugged kids + meaningful book discussion + home by 7:30PM? It sounds too good to be true! Mark your calendars for the annual Naomi Singer Read-in on Thursday, March 7th, starting at 5:45PM. Details to follow in the next few weeks.



School News  

Ward Safe Routes To School:

Announcing Newton Safe Routes to School winter walking campaign. Share the Love of Walking is a 2 week event starting Friday, February 1st and ending on Valentine's Day Thursday, February 14th.  Ward Safe Routes encourages you to walk to and/or from school as much as possible during these 2 weeks. We will cap off the Winter Walk event with a school wide walk to school on the last day of the event February 14thThere will, as always be special giveaways for the families who walk on this day. Ward has so many families that walk everyday rain or shine please join them for some fresh morning air by walking to school.


Safe Routes Winter Walking Safety Tips:

With winter finally giving us some snow, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind while walking. Be aware of the conditions on the sidewalk and look out for icy patches that could cause you to slip and fall. Also, look out for broken tree branches or shrubs that are blocking the way or about to fall. Anywhere you encounter a blocked sidewalk or dicey intersection along your walk you should report it to the City of Newton. By law in Newton, businesses and homeowners must shovel the sidewalks surrounding their property. It is also illegal for homeowners to dump snow on the city sidewalks from their property. You can report these problems to the city directly online through their 311 system on the main website, The 311 reporting system is the big green button on the left side of the homepage and it is easy to navigate - and anonymous.

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
What's New at After-School?
If you have an incoming kindergartner in September 2013, we hope to see you at Ward School's Kindergarten Information Night on Tuesday, February 5 at 7:00 pm.  Parents will hear helpful information about getting ready for Kindergarten, including how to register for our after-school program!  We have a vibrant, enriching and creative program for kindergartners.  Approximately 75% of the Ward School Kindergartners take part in our program!
It is also almost that time of year when we will begin accepting applications for 2013-2014 for all grades.  Beginning in March, applications will be available and will be due by Friday, March 29.  Any applications received after that date will be wait listed. 
Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about our program! or call 617-965-3087.  You can also visit our website,

Donna Marohn


Newton News and Events



Food Allergy Lecture: What's New in Treating Food Allergies?

People with food allergies and their family and friends are invited to learn about the latest thinking and innovative approaches to living safely with food allergies from Jessica Savage, MD on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Metro-Boston Allergy and Asthma Educational Support Group, which meets at 7:00 p.m. at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. The program is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter (AAFA NE).


"It is really important to stay up-to-date with the latest research and recommendations," says Cindy Aswad, volunteer leader of the group. "This is also a great opportunity to meet an allergist and researcher who is new to our area."


Dr. Savage recently completed her training in allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins Medical Center where she conducted several studies of food allergy epidemiology and treatment with Dr. Robert Wood, an internationally recognized leader in the field of food allergy. She recently joined the faculty of Brigham & Women's Hospital and is currently seeing patients at its offices at 850 Boylston St. in Chestnut Hill and at Faulkner Hospital. Her current research is related to chemical exposures and their potential role in causing allergy. She is also interested in developing better diagnostic tools and treatments for food allergy.


AAFA New England organizes educational support group programs throughout the region, publishes a newsletter, and runs a telephone resource and referral line for people coping with allergies and asthma. For more information, or a free copy of "Eating Out with Food Allergies" or checklists for managing food allergies in school and child care, call (781) 444-7778 or




Marathon Reading: A Marathon Reading of the Bestseller Wonder by R.J. Palacio

The Newton Mayor's Office for Cultural Affairs along with Understanding Our Differences and Newton Community Pride are hosting the first ever Staged Marathon Reading of the book Wonder on Saturday, March 16 from 9:00am- 7:30pm, at the Newton Cultural Center, 225 Nevada Street. A grant from the Newton Cultural Council underwrites the event.


R.J. Palacio's bestseller Wonder is the story of an ordinary 10-year-old boy, born with an extraordinary face, which explores themes of bullying, empathy, kindness and ultimately acceptance. The cast is comprised of 14 actors and 55 community readers. The cast includes retired Zervas Principal Steve Griffin, who plays Principal Tushman, and Adam Brown, Chair of Newton North High School's Theatre Ink." Children are invited to submit a Wonder inspired drawing, painting or collage that embrace the themes of inclusiveness, kindness, courage and friendship for an Art Exhibition which will be on display all day. Artwork should be dropped off to the Newton Cultural Center no later than Wednesday, March 13.


The public is invited to the entire reading or to parts that they particularly want to hear. For more information go to or call 617-796-1540.




Early Chinese New Year: Celebrate an early Chinese New Year on February 6, 2013, 4:00 PM, Newton North High School


Learn about China from the inside: Education, Politics, Economics from teachers and students who have seen it as participants in The Newton-Jingshan Exchange Program.


Presentations 4:00 to 5:00 PM: Film Lecture Hall

Dinner & Conversation 5:00 to 6:00 PM: International Café


For Interested Parents, Teachers, and Students. Sponsored by the Newton-Beijing Jingshan School Exchange Program. RSVP: Nancy Fenstemacher




Newton Unplugged Ideas Needed: Newton Unplugged and Connected, 2013 reminds us that there is more to life than what is on the other side of a plug. This year's March calendar of suggested activities and events is now being constructed. We welcome ideas for activities and/or events (that are open to the public) and that are appropriate for children, youth, and their caring adults. Please send your ideas to Newton Unplugged is sponsored by the Newton Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP), the Newton Community Service Center (NCSC), the Newton School Department, and the City of Newton.



Community Classifieds


Pre-teen/Teen Yoga: Yoga is a great tool to help pre-teens and teenagers develop healthy relationships with their bodies, as well as to help them feel empowered to make good decisions and manage the stress in their busy lives. Yoga builds strength, flexibility, and focus in the mind as well as the body. Down Under Yoga's Christyn Schroeder is teaching a yoga class for kids ages 10-16 in Waban Thursdays from 7:00-8:00pm starting January 31st.


Dates: Jan 31, Feb 7, 14, 28, March 7, 14, 27. No class February 21, March 21

Cost is $126 for 7 classes. May start anytime, pro-rated for number of classes taken.


Contact Didi von Deck at




Karate: Kids' Karate at Lasell College. Free Trial Beginners Class--Sat., March 2, 10-11 a.m. Girls and boys, entry ages 1st thru 5th grades. $79 per 7-Week Session.




Winter Vacation Sewing Camp: Kids can't wait to have time off school but how soon does the novelty wear off for both of you? Don't get stuck scrambling to entertain them days on end. Take a break and send the kids to sewing camp and let the fun and creativity begin! Beginners and seasoned stitchers will appreciate our mix of fun and useful projects. We welcome kids as young as five and parents are more than welcome to stay and sew with us. Feb 16th through the 24th - 2 hours, Half or Full days. Book online or call 617-213-0344.




Early Release/Winter Vacation Sewing Classes: We have an Early Release day class coming up Wednesday February 6th 1.30-3.30pm, come join us and make some cozy winter accessories!

Early Release Sign Up.


If you have a free morning or afternoon during school vacation, come and join us for some creative fun and learn how to sew your own clothes and other fun projects. We have early drop off or late pick up. Sign up now!

February Vacation Sign Up


Hipstich (next to Cafe Laroma), 15 Spencer Street, West Newton, 617-965-0880.




Art Classes: From "Messy Hour" to "Cartoon Mania", The Art Loft in Newton Highlands offers unique classes for children ages 2 to 12, taught by some of the finest children's art teachers in the Boston area. Sign up for a series, or choose the drop-in option. Visit to read class descriptions and register online.




Music Classes/Open House: The Suzuki Preschool of Newton will be hosting an open house on Sunday February 10th from 1:00PM-4:00PM at the Newton Cultural Center, 225 Nevada Street, Newtonville, MA 02460.


This is a great opportunity for parents to bring their children and explore and acquaint themselves with our program and our integrated arts curriculum. You will have a chance to meet the teachers and administrators and you will also receive a guided tour of the facility. The Suzuki Preschool of Newton offers daily music instruction with Suzuki trained musicians in both large group and individual settings. For inquiries please feel free to contact Marlene Lerer 617.964.4522




Winter Concert: Winter Concert & Festival featuring Wayne Potash


Get the whole family dancing! Join Burr Cooperative Nursery School for a fun-filled morning of live music from fabulous singer-songwriter Wayne Potash, along with various activities, crafts, a bake sale, and fantastic raffle prizes. Saturday, February 2, 10am-12pm at the Newton Cultural Center, 225 Nevada Street, Newton. Tickets: $8/person in advance (children under 1 free), $10/person at the door (based on availability). Advanced tickets are available for purchase until Friday, February 1st at or All proceeds to benefit Burr Cooperative Nursery School, a non-profit organization.




The Dragon King Production: For a delightful school-vacation treat, see the Tanglewood Marionettes' production of "The Dragon King" on February 24th at the Newton Cultural Center, 225 Nevada Street in Newtonville. In this underwater fantasy, an intrepid Grandmother journeys to the bottom of the sea to seek the Dragon King, the Ruler of the waters, and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above. With colorful sea creatures, this exciting adventure is a heart-warming tale that will thrill young and old alike. Please bring a non-perishable item for the Newton Food Pantries. Tickets are $8 in advance/$10 at the door at




Events at Historic Newton/The Jackson Homestead and Museum:

Save the Date for the Newton House Tour! The 31st Annual Newton House Tour will be held on May 19, 2013, 12-5 pm. Tickets go on sale April 1, 2013.


Saturday and Sunday, February 2 and 3, noon-5:00 PM


Newton residents are invited to enjoy free admission to the museum.


Thursday, February 7, 7:00 PM


Oak Hill Park-A "Local Utopia"

In 1995, Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell wrote, "The greenbelt system is what's unique about Oak Hill Park. There's nothing else like it in Massachusetts. And it's still intact. Even in today's privatized world, nobody has chopped the Oak Hill Park greenways into private, fenced barbecue patios." Join resident Paul Eldrenkamp for a discussion of the origins and evolution of this little-known corner of Newton, a planned community built by a public-private partnership to provide inexpensive housing for veterans returning from WWII. Discover what Campbell found so appealing about this close-knit neighborhood, and learn what's changed in the years since Campbell wrote so compellingly of its charms. Co-Sponsored by Historic Newton and the Newton Free Library. At the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer Street. Free.


Sunday, February 10, noon-5:00 PM


Need help organizing or preserving your family

photos and papers? Drop in for a brief, on-the-spot consultation with Archivist/Curator Sara Goldberg. Sara will provide advice and resources that will help keep your precious collections alive and well. (Please feel free to bring samples, but NOT whole collections of what you'd like help with.) Free and open to the public.


Wednesday, February 20, 2:00 PM


A Vacation Week Family Program

Have you ever wondered how people made cloth at home before store-bought cloth was available? Want to try weaving your own cloth? Join Beth Guertin, a weaver and teacher of weaving for over twenty-five years, in this hands-on workshop. Watch a demonstration of loom-weaving techniques, and then give it a try yourself! Cost: $25 per family ($20 for members) includes museum admission and materials. Prepaid registration is required, limit 25; call 617.796.1450 to register.


Thursday, February 21, 2:00 PM


A Vacation Week Family Program

Want to know what life on a farm would have been like for kids in Newton in past centuries? Using real artifacts from the Museum's collection and real stories from the Angino family who lived on what is now the Newton Community Farm, we'll explore how kids would have helped on the farm. Then we will plant some seeds which will be transplanted into our garden in the spring. Cost: $30 per family (4 people max, 1 adult required) $25 for members of HN or NCF. Includes museum admission, materials, and snack. Prepaid registration is required, limit 25; call 617.796.1450 to register. Co-sponsored by Historic Newton and Newton Community Farm.



Confronting Our Legacy: Slavery and Antislavery in the North: This new exhibition transforms the lower gallery of the museum into a three-dimensional learning center with hands-on activities and information about colonial slavery, the Underground Railroad, and local abolitionists.


An Architect Ahead of Her Time: Annie Cobb (1830-1911): Starting in the 1870s, Annie Cobb built 16 homes in Newton Highlands and exhibited at the World's Fair of 1893 in Chicago. She was arguably the first woman architect in America, and succeeded in fashioning a career for herself in the male world of building in a time when women's work was mainly limited to the home.


Newton and the Civil War: In celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Historic Newton will be featuring a changing exhibit showcasing Newton residents in the Civil War. Also be sure to visit our new Women's Fashions of the Civil War Era exhibit.  


Peeking into Newton's Toy Chest: The values and lessons toys teach us, as shown by the Historic Newton collection, are explored in this exhibit. Children's attractions include hands-on toys and a model train.


Mapping a New Town: 1714-1874: Maps depicting Newton's growth over the centuries are displayed; special activities for children are also featured.


Newton Salutes-Restoring Farlow Park Bridge and Pond: In 1880 John Farlow, a successful railroad businessman, donated land to the city for the purposes of creating Newton's first open space for recreation and relaxation. The focal point for the park was a lovely pond and handsome Adirondack style bridge. However, in the 1950's, the water was drained from the pond and the deteriorating bridge removed. This exhibit documents the history of the park and contemporary efforts to restore it.

The Newton History Gallery: Featuring tools, furniture, clothing, and toys to illustrate the Newton of the past.  


The Jackson Homestead and Museum is open from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday through Friday, and Noon to 5:00 PM Saturday and Sunday. If you need special assistance, please call 617-796-1450.




Parent Group: Navigating the Rocky Road of Adolescence, a group for parents of high-school aged children, begins Wednesday evening, February 27. This program does require registration and has filled up early in the past. There is a $20 fee for the 4-week series and we offer financial assistance to those who need it.


This group meets on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30pm and will take place at the Freedman Center at MSPP, Ground Floor, One Wells Ave., in Newton. We have offered these groups before with much participation from parents, but this is the first time we have separated the age groups and created a group for parents of high schoolers only.


This parent group series provides parents with the opportunity to interact with other parents of children in high school and to explore the many changes that occur during the high school years, and how they affect relationships at home and school. This group is also a great way for parents to develop a network of parents dealing with the many issues that can arise during this challenging time.




Spiral Foundation Lecture: Understanding Foundations of Handwriting presented by: Geraldine Rapela MS, OTR/L on Wednesday, February 6, 2013

You're invited to our next exciting, educational evening lecture for parents, occupational therapists and occupational therapist assistants, and teachers.


With today's curriculum demands, it is easy to miss foundation skills and skip right to handwriting before the child's hands are ready. It's important to understand that handwriting is a complex task that requires many underlying foundations to be in place for success. The hidden elements necessary for handwriting success are within the sensory system, motor skills, visual perception, and the hand. Join us to learn about these important foundations and how to promote better handwriting skills.

Please click on this link to register or RSVP. Program Cost: $25, Parent Couple: $35.


Get more information here.




Truro Summer Rental: 3 bedroom, 2 bath modern home in Truro (sleeps 6). Open layout, lots of light, screened porch, outdoor shower, a/c, and more. 1 week minimum rental, no pets. For availability and more info email:, ph: 617-965-7885.




Boston Marathon: Run Boston 26.2 - April 15, 2013


Do you want to run the 2013 Boston Marathon? The Boys & Girls Club of Newton still has a few spots open on their official Boston Marathon team! If you, or someone you know, want to run the most famous marathon in the world and help kids, please contact John: 617-630-2066


All runners must raise a minimum of $4,000, which is set by the B.A.A. We have a goal for each runner of $5,000 or more. Team members also get:

- Large Team Training Runs

- Professional Coaching

- Fundraising Website

- Fundraising Support

- Team Events

- Race Day Perks

- Team Gear (Shirts, etc)

- All Day Race Day Friends & Family Event at the Westin Copley

- To support kids while running the most famous race in the world!




Online Summer Camp Auction: Countryside PTO Launches Online Summer Camp Auction


Countryside Elementary PTO's online summer camp auction will run from: Friday, February 1, 3 p.m. - Sunday, February 10, 10 p.m. Go to and bid on sessions from some of the Newton area's best day and overnight camps. Minimum bids are at a huge discount from the retail value of the sessions. Give your child a fantastic summer experience and save money!


Sessions are available from Beaver (Brookline, MA), Chestnut Hill (Chestnut Hill, MA), Camp Cody (in the White Mountains, NH), Meadowbrook (Weston, MA), LINX (Wellesley, MA), Rivers Day Camp (Weston, MA), and Everwood (Sharon, MA).


All proceeds benefit Countryside Elementary. For more information, contact Abby Schwartz ( or Gena Hooper (


ForWARD Submissions 

Next deadline:  Tuesday, February 12th at noon for the February 15th 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 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.