ForWARD November 15, 2013

Contact Group(s): 




Ward School Banner

The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

November 15, 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  

    • Friday, November 15 - 5th Grade Potluck, 7pm
    • Tuesday, November 26 - 5th Grade Circus, 9am @Ward  
    • Wednesday, November 27 - Early Release, NOON DISMISSAL  
    • Thursday - Friday, November 28-29 - Thanksgiving Recess, NO SCHOOL
    • Tuesday - Thursday, December 3-5 - Book Fair  
    • Thursday, December 5 - Early Release, 12:30pm Dismissal  
    • Thursday, December 5 - cARE Committee Event, 12:30pm @Ward 
    • Friday, December 6 - PTO Meeting, 8:45am @Ward 


From the Principal's Desk  


Next week students in grades 1-5 will assemble to review the procedures for safe arrival and dismissal with an emphasis on how to use the Blue Zone safely.  As I often remind the students, the rules are made to keep you safe; following them, even when it's not convenient, is important for our community.  Students will bring home a contract and should review the rules with their parent(s) or any adult who picks them up at school.  I hope this will help to improve the current level of compliance since traffic has been increasing as the weather gets colder. Our neighborhood was not built to handle the current level of traffic at dismissal.  Adherence to the Blue Zone and other posted rules is essential for the safety of ALL students.
This year, I have the pleasure of welcoming Kristin Capezio as my intern.  Ms. Capezio is enrolled in the leadership progam at UMass Boston and will be shadowing me several hours a week as part of her program.  Currently, Ms. Capezio is the Program Manager at the Underwood School After School Program.  With your permission, she may be joining meetings as part of her experience.  It is wonderful to have the opportunity to nurture an upcoming leader.
As the winter holiday season approaches, I want to remind you of the Newton School Committee's policy regarding gifts.  The policy states "No teacher in the performance of regular duties shall receive presents from the pupils under his or her direction."  Each year I remind families of our policy and most comply.  However, when some families send in gifts, it places the teacher in an awkward situation.  While teachers appreciate your kindness, they do not want to violate school policy or upset the feelings of the child who has brought the gift.  It can also be upsetting to the children and families who follow the rules.  These people feel disturbed to see some children giving gifts when they were told they should not (even though they wanted to).  It is wonderful that families wish to acknowledge the hard work of our dedicated staff.  The staff would be delighted to receive notes, pictures, or poems to thank them for their service.  You may also honor a teacher through a donation to the PTO literacy or music fund as well as a gift to the Newton Schools Foundation "Honor Thy Teacher" campaign.  Thank you for adhering to these guidelines.
During this season of thanks, I want to be sure to express the gratitude of the Ward staff for the many ways you contribute to the important work of educating all children.  We appreciate your partnership in the process as we work to create the optimal learning environment for our children.  I hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving!



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

 And Now a Word From the PTO



Cyber Monday is coming up - Shop at
10% of all purchases go to Ward School! If you use the link (click here) to connect to and make your purchases, Ward School will earn up to 10% of your order. There is no added cost to you - just use this link to connect to Amazon!




***Upcoming Events***



PTO Meeting - Friday, December 6at 8:45am

The next PTO meeting will be Friday, December 6th at 8:45am in the Ward cafe. Newton School Committee member, Matt Hills will be joining us. If you have any specific issues you'd like Matt to address please email



CARe Committee ~ Thursday, December 5th

The CARe Committee December event is scheduled for Thursday Dec. 5th from 12:30 -2:00 PM. We will create some winter magic and bring some cheer to those in need. Please pack your child a lunch. Please go the website to sign your child(ren) up.



Scholastic Book Fair ~ December 3 - 5

The Scholastic Book Fair returns to Ward School on Tuesday, Dec 3rd thru Thursday, Dec 5th. Just in time for the holidays!


Book fair flyers with volunteer information will be sent home with your children next week. All help is greatly appreciated especially for the setup and take down of the fair.


Looking forward to another great book fair! Heather Pozen and Jessica Dumphy



Grade-Wide Pot Luck Dinners

The grade-wide pot luck dinners start this month. Save the date and line up a sitter. Here is the schedule for each grade:

  • Kindergarten, hosted by Laurel and Erik Britt-Webb on Friday, November 22nd
  • 1st Grade, hosted by Diana and Anatoli Shabashov, held sometime in January
  • 2nd Grade, hosted by Beth and Bill Hicks on Saturday, February 1st
  • 3rd Grade, host needed!
  • 4th Grade, hosted by Heidi Gardner and Ivan Matviak on Saturday, January 25th
  • 5th Grade, hosted by Christine & Jim Elder, on Friday, November 15th


Invitations for the Kindergarten dinner were sent out via Evite last week. If you haven't received your invitation, please contact Laurel Britt-Webb at or click here to respond to the Evite. If you can host the 3rd grade pot luck or have any questions, please contact Beth Panella at beth.ann.panella@bankofamerica.comNote that this is a parents-only event - no children please.










 School News

5th Grade Understanding Our Differences 

On November 13, the Physical Disabilities unit of the Understanding Our Differences program was presented to the 5th grade. Students learned about how people with physical disabilities face architectural and attitudinal barriers. We learned about concepts of universal design and assistive technology as means of addressing architectural barriers. We also discussed sharing commonalities, building communication skills, and taking personal responsibility for actions to help prevent the isolation of peers with disabilities. They were enthusiastic to meet Dan Cummings who answered all of their thoughtful questions. Dan's story of his return to walking after a serious neck fracture is inspiring. Despite his ongoing disability he founded Journey Forward ( which helps other people with serious spinal cord injuries. I would like to thank our volunteer team of Jessica Gilmartin, Elizabeth Benedict, Susan Fabry, Hongtao Guo, Mary Lee Gwo-Shu, and Jade McNeil. I would also like to thank Ms. Belcher, Mr. Benson, Ms. Broder, Ms. Packard and our principal Ms. Peller for their support.
Our next Understanding Our Differences unit for the 5th Grade is on Intellectual Disabilities on Thursday January 16, 2014. The final unit for the 5th Grade on Autism Spectrum Disorders is on Thursday March 6. 2014. Please email me at if you are interested in volunteering for these units. 


For more information:
Laurence Bailen
5th Grade Coordinator, Understanding Our Differences 


Looking for Spare Instruments 

Ward does not have any spare musical instruments for children to use when they forget and leave their instrument at home. Many elementary schools have some old spare instruments but they are not provided by the school system. Most of them have been donated by the community.

If you have spare flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, violins or other instruments, it would be very helpful for our music program. Please contact Geoffrey Wadsworth, Ward's Instrumental Music Teacher to donate.


Boxtops for Education

You can raise money for Ward School by clipping boxtops and by shopping at

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

Please take note:  Ward School closes at 12 noon on Wednesday, November 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There is NO AFTER-SCHOOL that day.  We wish all of the Ward families a very happy Thanksgiving!


Donna Marohn



Newton News and Events


 Young Adult Book Reading: Sunday, 11/17, 2PM Newtonville Books - young adult event with Heather Terrell (aunt to Emmy, Finn & Tucker Benedict), author of RELIC: The Books of Eva. Part mystery, part dystopia, part historical fiction - A YA Handmaid's Tale meets Game of Thrones - this novel is an action-packed coming of age thriller. Click here for more information.




Hoop Contest: Elks National Hoop Shoot® Free-Throw Contest

Location: Newton YMCA                                                                       

Date: Sat, Nov. 9th

Start Time: 1:30 PM                              

Hosted By: Newton Elks Lodge

Lodge Hoop Shoot® Director: Paul Dibenedetto

Contact:   781-891-7519                                                                                    

Fast Facts:

  • The Elks Hoop Shoot® is free to boys and girls who will be between the ages of 8 - 13 on April 1, 2014.
  • Winners advance through district, state and regional Hoop Shoot® contests.
  • Regional winners qualify for a trip to compete at the Hoop Shoot® National Finals held April 10-13, 2014, in Springfield, Mass.
  • National champions will have their names permanently inscribed on a plaque in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Learn more at  



Food Allergy Lecture: "New Perspectives: Exploring More Positive, Less Stressful Ways of Approaching Your Child's Food Allergies"


Speakers: Deb Elbaum, MD & Holli Bassin will explain "coaching" techniques and share experiential exercises

7:00 p.m. at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Free.


For info, call the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America - New England Chapter at (781) 444-7778 or go to




Newton Schools Foundation Free Community Event: "Newton Inspires: An Evening of Ideas and Community"


Some of Newton's most talented, captivating, and forward-thinking individuals will converge on Newton North High School on November 19 for the third annual Newton Inspires-An Evening of Ideas and Community, sponsored by the Newton Schools Foundation (NSF). The free community event will take place Tuesday November 19, 7-9:30 at Newton North High School. Newtonites representing an array of fields and interest areas will address topics ranging from business, education, science, health and medicine, to journalism, architecture, arts, entertainment and culture. Speaker sessions fill up quickly, so register early! For a list of speakers, to register and for more information, go to or call 617-559-6120.




Friends of Waban Hill Reservoir News: Last week we held the first meeting of a group now called the "Friends of Waban Hill Reservoir." It was a very productive meeting with Alderman Baker and Alderman Laredo expressing the need for residents to demonstrate their support and commitment to the reservoir park. It was repeatedly stressed that a display of support from across the city will help our Ward 7 Aldermen to convince their colleagues to support the acquisition of the property from the State and its conversion to a public park.


The two ways in which this support can be demonstrated are:

1)   The collection of Letters of Support for the purchase of the Waban Hill Reservoir from residents all across Newton; and

2)   The collection of pledges of any amount from around the city to show our willingness to contribute to the project. This does not necessarily mean upkeep but could be helpful for the purchase of benches, trees, etc. This will illustrate our willingness to remove some of the financial burden from the City.


As such, could you please print out and sign this document indicating your support for the city's acquisition of the Waban Hill Reservoir? This would be a huge help.


In addition, please show your support by pledging funds using this same document. NO MONEY IS BEING COLLECTED NOW. THIS IS JUST A SHOW OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Your Pledge will demonstrate to our elected officials that a significant number of residents from across Newton care about the preservation and acquisition of this important open space for future generations of Newton residents.


Here is the link to the City of Newton site that has comprehensive info about the process and where people can read the reports, see plans etc 

Please fill out this document and send it back to me by e-mail or by mail Susan Servais, 4 Garrison Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.




Newton Preservation Award: Join us in celebrating the 2013 Newton Preservation Award winners.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Boston College Alumni House

825 Centre Street

Newton, Massachusetts

RSVP by November 8 or 617-796-1450

Hors d'oeuvres and light refreshments will be served


Historic Newton, in collaboration with the Newton Historical Commission, presents awards that recognize projects which feature the preservation of Newton's historic buildings and landscapes, and promote awareness of Newton's historic fabric. Eligible projects may include: the rehabilitation of a historic house or building; a sensitively designed addition to a historic building; the restoration of a historic landscape; education programs which make students aware of Newton's architectural treasures; and individuals or organizations which have done out-standing jobs of stewarding historic properties and materials. In addition, the Thelma Fleishman Personal Achievement Award celebrates individuals with a strong dedication to preserving Newton's irreplaceable history.




Community Classifieds



Thanksgiving Break Sewing Camp: Head down to Newton Sewing Studio this Thanksgiving Break for an awesome day of sewing camp! Fun projects suited for both beginners and advanced. Never sewn before? Orientation classes start at 9am and 1pm. Try the embroidery machine or bring a blank T and make your own permanent iron on transfer! Clothing is easy when you use the computerized pattern drafting software. Studio will be open 9am - 6pm. We will be closed for Thanksgiving Day only. Visit online for more info and to reserve your spot, they fill fast!




February Break Music Camp: School of Rock Boston announces February Break Camp (2/17/2014 - 2/21/2014) for musicians ages 7-17. Students receive intensive individual and group lessons on the instrument of their choice and the camp culminates in a live show at rock venue in Cambridge. $100 discount for pre-12/31 registrations. For more information, please call 617-923-3434 or visit




Piano Lessons: Gloria Jasinski

Bachelor of Music in Composition from Berklee College of Music, Master of Music in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory. 30+ years teaching experience. Learn Jazz/Blues/Classical, theory, sightreading. Build a high quality musical foundation with a patient, upbeat, and caring instructor. Beginners especially welcome. Have a positive and successful learning experience. Phone: 617.566.9704, email:




Coach/Tutor: Does your teen feel overwhelmed with school work? Completes homework but forgets to turn it in? Often late completing projects because s/he has difficulty getting started? A New Day Coaching can help.


Rachel Dayanim is a certified ADHD Coach and Executive Function Tutor with years of experience working with teens and college students who struggle to be as productive as they can be. Rachel currently works with many Newton Families and is available to tutor in your home. When you are ready make that change and improve your situation give us a call. 702-ADHD "A good coach may improve your game. A great coach can improve your life."




In Home Tutor: Next Level Up Tutoring - Are you looking for a compassionate professional to come to your home and give your student what he is lacking in his academics? Since 2009, we have been providing Newton families and their students the guidance, foundations, organizational skills, and perspective that has been missing from their academic lives. Our tutors can work with any school age student in any subject area. Each student is unique, so each tutoring plan is individualized. Contact us for a quick response or to set up a free consultation. Call (781) 540-1123 or Next Level Up Tutoring - Helping students reach their peak potential.




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, Emotional/Behavioral, 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




Tutor Available: Retired Brookline/Newton teacher (formerly Ward ELL teacher)

25+ K-12 Experience M.ED. Build skills and confidence in K-6 Reading, Writing, Math and 6-12 Reading, Writing, PSAT & SAT Prep. Nancy 617-484-6098,




Online Tutor: I am a math and science tutor and have been tutoring high school and college students for more than 15 years. I have a BS in Electrical engineering and I'm working on my masters in biomedical sciences. I tutor all levels of Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. All including honors and AP.


I will tutor your kids online! Please don't stop reading! I know parents are usually skeptical about this system, so give me a chance to explain it. This system is very engaging, organized and interactive. I have been using it for years - started with a company and now do it privately - and have had great success with it. I use Skype, an online whiteboard and a Penpad.


I will give you a free session to try and see if your student is comfortable with it. Only if they liked it (most of them love it) and found it helpful, we continue the sessions. I am currently tutoring many students from Newton South, online and know the math and science curricula pretty well. Please email me at to set up the introduction and free session. References are also available upon request.




LiveTalk Session: Join our NEW "LiveTalk" session: Neurobytes Series - Investigating the Complexity of the Tactile System. Presented by Dr. Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Date:   Monday, Nov.25, 2013

Time:   7:00-8:00 PM EST

Cost:   $25


Purchase the whole 2013 "LiveTalk" Neurobytes Series! 8 chats for only $150!!!

*   Understanding the Visual System

*   Unraveling the Auditory System

*   What is the Proprioceptive System

*   The Role of the Limbic System

*   Demystifying the Vestibular System

*   Understanding the Role of the Tactile System

*   Foundations of Praxis

*   The Power of the Cerebellum


To register: Visit the "Professional Education" page at After you register, we will send you an email with details on how the chat works!


"LiveTalk" is a phone-in session giving parents and therapists the chance to chat with an expert, hear strategies and ask questions from the convenience of home.


If you have questions, call Andrea at 617-969-4410 ext. 231, email at admin@thespiralfoundation.orgor just ask for Andrea at the front desk!




Fall Concert: Newton Family Singers presents: We Got the Beat! NFS Rocks The Talking Heads, R.E.M., and Other Icons of the MTV Generation


Along with synthetic drums, parachute pants, Sony Walkmans, and aliens phoning home, the MTV Age gave us some beautiful songs that stand the test of time. For our Fall Concert, the Newton Family Singers will rock the house with music that Gen Xers (and those who love them) will remember well -- hits from The Talking Heads, The Go-Go's, Journey, Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M. and more. With new arrangements by our music director, Chris Eastburn, NFS remakes the familiar for old and new fans alike.


Sunday, November 17th, 4pm, Newton Highlands Congregational Church Auditorium, 54 Lincoln Street, Newton Highlands. Tickets are available online at Or email us at




Children's Theatre Musical Production: How to Eat like a Child, November 15 at 7 pm, November 16 at 2 pm and 7 pm, November 17 at 2 pm. Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. A Watertown Children's Theatre musical production.


This lively musical gives kids the chance to remind adults what it's like to be a child. Pop infused lessons include how to laugh hysterically, how to beg for a dog, how to torture your sister, and more! A cast of 1st-5th graders bring alive this musical guide to childhood. WCT's Producing Director, Meghan Kenny, says "This show speaks to the inner child in everyone. The kids bring great energy and talent to their roles. It is a great way to enjoy an hour with friends and family."


Tickets are $12 and are on sale now through WCT's website at www.watertownchildrenstheatre.orgor by calling 1-800-838-3006. For more information, visit WCT's website or call 617-926-ARTS.




Theater Ink Performance: Theatre Ink presents the Freshman Cabaret: Freshman Cabaret is an all-inclusive show where newcomers to Theatre Ink are given an introduction to the program. This show is a way for students to start off their time at Newton North with a bang and showcase their prodigious talents. Freshman Cabaret is made up of skits, songs, and dances in large and small groups. Come see the fun! Directed by Jackson Bunis, Jen Gately, Caroline Kaler, and Amanda Kuo. December 5th & 6th 2013, 7:30, in The Performing Arts Center, Newton North High School, 457 Walnut Street, Newtonville, MA 02460. Tickets $7.00 at, 617-559-6306




5K Holiday Hustle: Kick off the holiday season with a fun race for a great cause. Hosted by the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton, this race includes a 5K run on a certified, flat course through the neighborhood of West Newton, professional chip timing by RaceWire, guaranteed tech shirts to all runners pre-registered by November 15, prizes to top finishers, and post-race festivities for all! Costumes are highly encouraged, and carolers are always welcome!


Date: Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time: 8:00a.m. registration; 9:00a.m. start

Location: John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton, 675 Watertown Street, Newton, MA


Pre-Registration (18 and over): $25

Pre-Registration Youth Rate (17 and under): $15

Day Of (18 and over): $30

Day Of Youth Rate (17 and under): $20


Number Pick-Up: Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at West Street Tavern & Restaurant, 7 West Street, Newton, MA


Not sure if you already registered? Click here.


This year, we are adding team prizes! Families may create a race team (at least one member must be age 16 and under) for consideration as our "Fastest Family," and businesses and community groups alike are also welcome to enter a team (minimum of 5 entrants) for our "Most Festive Team." Other award categories include: Top 3 male and female overall, top 3 in each age group from 8 and under to 70 and over, youngest to finish, and fastest in costume.

Whole Foods Market Newtonville will once again generously donate freshly made, hot oatmeal with a fantastic selection of toppings and other breakfast items. There will be plenty of good cheer and we hope to see you there!


Register Online

Mail-in Form

Sponsorships are also available, please click here for a list of support opportunities. We also always welcome volunteers and carolers for the event. For more information, contact: (617) 630-2066




Trivia Night: Come join the fun while helping support The Second Step and survivors of domestic violence. Grab your friends, co-workers, family and neighbors (max 6 people/team) and see how much you really know!


Tuesday, January 21st, 7:00 - 9:00pm at Temple Emanuel in Newton. Individual Tickets $45 per participant. For more information and to sign up, visit There will be snacks, beer, wine and, of course, prizes!




Holiday Shopping Opportunities: Joint Bazaar Day - FUSN and Second Church provide HOLIDAY SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 - 9:00 am-3:00 pm


Two gift-laden church bazaars will be held in West Newton Square within a block of each other: at the First Unitarian Society (1326 Washington St.) and Second Church, UCC (60 Highland St.)


Both the Unitarian Fair and the Second Church Bazaar will offer a wide variety of merchandise for holiday shopping, including jewelry, seasonal items, books, toys, small furniture and household goods. There will be homemade sweet treats and decorated wreaths. Both churches will feature a Silent Auction.


Hot lunches are available at either site. Plan to enjoy a lunch at one of the churches.


Free parking is available for all patrons in Second Church's Highland and Chestnut Street lots.


For more information, please contact either church:

First Unitarian Society of Newton

Second Church in Newton, UCC



ForWARD Submissions 

Next deadline:  Tuesday, December 3rd at noon for the December 6th 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.