ForWard December 20, 2013

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

December 20, 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  

    • Monday, December 23 - Wednesday, January 1: WINTER RECESS, NO SCHOOL
    • Saturday, January 4: 1st Grade Parent Pot Luck
    • Tuesday, January 14: PTO meeting with superintendent, David Fleishman 
    • Monday, January 20: No School Martin Luther King Jr. Day 
    • Saturday, January 25: 4th Grade Parent Pot Luck  
    • Friday, January 31: 2nd Grade Parent Pot Luck


From the Principal's Desk  



Despite my best efforts to cure my ailing hip, it's clear that surgery is now my best option.  It is likely that I will be scheduled mid-January; I expect to be out for a 4-6 week recovery.  Joe Russo will be appointing an interim principal to cover my absence.


Within the next few weeks, Mrs. Colarusso will begin her maternity leave.  She plans to be out for twelve weeks.  During her absence, Ms. Abbey Patteson will be teaching Mrs. Colarusso's class.  Currently, Ms. Patteson is an assistant in Mrs. Hingston's class.  Ms. Patteson has been a special education assistant teacher in our building this year.  Her previous experience includes teaching preschoolers and working in a therapeutic setting.  Ms. Patteson received her Masters degree in Early Education from Lesley University and her Bachelors from U. Mass Amherst.  The interview team was impressed with her interactions with students, her calm and caring nature, and her flexibility in adapting her lesson to the needs of her students. She is excited to join the first grade teaching team during this period of time.


Students in grades K, 2, and 5 will be participating in C.A.P.P. (Child Assault Prevention Program) this year.  This program seeks to prevent child abuse by training children to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations, and by helping parents and teachers support children in this endeavor.  Ward will be hosting a Parent Information meeting on Friday, January 3, at 8:35 AM in our cafe.  This is an opportunity to hear practical advice on keeping our children safe.



PTO meeting with superintendent, David Fleishman on Tuesday, January 14

February 5 is an early release WEDNESDAY


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

 And Now a Word From the PTO



Annual Fund

There is still time for you to make a 2013 donation to the Annual Fund!  As the end of the year approaches, please consider the Ward School when making your charitable contributions.  Place your donation online now - click here to donate. Or if you prefer, you can leave a check in the 'Annual Fund' box in the front lobby.



Book Fair Thank You

Special thanks to Heather Pozen and Jessica Dumphy who organized this year's book fair and thank you to all the volunteers who helped out with it! It was a great event where kids and adults were able to purchase great books at reasonable prices and some of the proceeds will go to more books for Ward school.


Lost and Found

Just a reminder to check the lost and found (temporarily located outside of the library) for any missing items. Anything not collected before school break will be donated to Cradles/Crayons in January. Any volunteers to help wash/transport these items would be greatly appreciated.



***Upcoming Events***


PTO Meeting ~ Tuesday, January 14th @ 8:45am

The next PTO meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14th at 8:45am, in the Ward Café. Our guest will be Newton Superintendent of Schools, David Fleishman. David will be with us to address parent's questions/concerns. Please let us know beforehand if there is anything in particular that you would like him to cover. Contact


Upcoming Grade-Wide Pot Luck Dinners

Save the date and line up a sitter if you have children in one of these grades:

     *  1st Grade, hosted by Diana & Anatoli Shabashov on Saturday, January 4th

     *    2nd Grade, hosted by Jennifer & Jeffrey Gandel on Friday, January 31st   

     *     4th Grade, hosted by Heidi Gardner & Ivan Matviak on Saturday, January 25th  


Please contact Beth Panella at if you have any questions.  
Note that these are parent-only events - no children please.


CARE Committee (CC)

There will not be a CC event in January 2014 since there isn't an early release day.  In February, 2014 the CC with be holding a Pennies for Patients Program which raises monies to fight against blood cancers such as Leukemia for children and adults. For more information about this wonderful program please check out  So keep a look out in your couches or in your pockets for pennies!



On behalf of the PTO board, we'd like to wish you a Happy Holiday Season!!!

~ Alison Best, Gail Fitzgerald, Cindy Henry, Christine O'Neill, Megan Flynn, and Beth Panella



 School News


Mythology Exam

Once again, Ward students in Grades 3-5 will have the opportunity to take the National Mythology Exam.  The exam will be administered at Ward on March 3, 2014.  Students can register with Mrs. Franklin by bringing in $4 between January 2nd and January 10th.  Details will follow when we return from Winter Break.

Hannah Franklin
Literacy Specialist
Ward Elementary School

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!


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!                




From the Health Room
December 2013 School Newsletter
Stay Healthy this Cold/Flu Season
Illnesses are inevitable this time of year, but there are many ways to keep yourself and your family healthy. Here are some
tips to protect yourself and prevent the spread of germs to others:
  • Wash your hands when they are dirty, after using the restroom, and before eating
  • Wash with soap and warm water. Rub your hands together for at least 15 seconds before rinsing and drying
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when your hands are not visibly dirty
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your inner elbow-never cough or sneeze into your hands
  • Keep your hands away from your nose or mouth
  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine- the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year
  • Keep your child home is he/she is sick and let the school know they are out because of illness.
  • Newton Health and Human Services policy says students should be out of school for:
  • A fever over 100°F during the past 24 hours
  • A cold in active stages: coughing, runny nose, sneezing
  • A sore throat and/or swollen neck glands
  • An undiagnosed rash or skin eruption
  • Vomiting or diarrhea during the past 24 hours
  • Untreated head lice
Contact your school nurse for any questions. Contact the Health & Human Services Department
at 617-796-1420 to schedule an appointment if anyone in your family still needs a flu vaccine.

Winter Safety Tips
There are lots of fun winter activities for families this time of year. Here are some things to keep in mind to stay safe this winter season:
  • Always wear a helmet while skiing,snowboarding, ice skating and playing other fast-paced slippery winter activities.
  • Dress in layers to prevent body heat loss- be sure to include a hat and gloves.
  • Make sure your child has appropriate shoes when walking to school, sidewalks can get very slippery!
  • Ice skate at skating rinks-some ponds and lakes may not be frozen enough to handle a skater.
  • Be aware if your child has asthma, as the cold weather may aggravate his/her lungs.




Newton News and Events



New Year's Open House:  Mark your calendar for the Dec. 31 New Year's Open House: 9am: help with the Food Drive in City Hall Cafeteria beginning at 9:00am. Sorters needed, children welcome. And then enjoy David Polansky and the Dixie Land All Stars at 1:30pm.




Newton at Home Volunteers Needed:  Have you got an older neighbor? Have you ever wondered how they are faring - especially with the cold weather coming on? Newton At Home (NAH) has a Winter Buddy program in which NAH members are matched with a volunteer buddy. The volunteer buddy (that could be YOU) checks-in on their member buddy when they hear that winter weather is coming to make sure that the member is prepared. Then when Mother Nature is paying her snowy, icy cold visits, the volunteer buddy checks-in to be sure that all is well with the member. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer winter buddy, please be in touch with Julie Plaut Mahoney, Coordinator of Volunteers:  or call the NAH office: 617-795-2560. Thanks!




Luke's Lights:  Please Join Us on December 20th for the Second Annual Community Celebration of Luke's Lights from 6pm-11pm for a Family Pot-Luck Dinner, Kids Activities, Great Live Music, and DJ at the Windsor Club, 1601 Beacon Street, Waban, MA.  For each ticket, two lights get to someone who cannot yet imagine how his/her life will change.  Tickets and information are available at and food sign-up


"Luke's Lights" was born of a wish by Luke Voss-Kernan's friends and family to spread his light far and wide. All proceeds go towards a nonprofit "Unite-to-Light" to bring solar lights to communities in developing countries that live off the electrical grid. Since Luke's Lights was started over a year ago, more than 5,000 lights have been sent to light homes in Kenya, Haiti, India, and, just this month, two Mason-Rice families delivered 50 solar lights to an orphanage in Tanzania so the children could read and do their homework in the evening.  In the United States, Luke's Lights helped to brightened homes in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy left them in darkness.


Luke was a 2010 graduate of Newton South High School, and alum of Brown Middle School and Mason-Rice Elementary School. To learn more about Luke and the good this program is already doing, please take a moment and visit




Greening Our Community Series:  Little Changes: Tales of a Reluctant Home Eco-Momics Pioneer.


Jan. 6 (Mon) 7pm at the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St. Newton:

Kristi Marsh is the founder of, the author of Little Changes, a breast cancer survivor, and an advocate for safer products. Kristi was a happily married mom of 3 children when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She learned how little she knew about the hidden dangers in her personal care products and she began a journey to become an educated consumer with the help of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the Environmental Working Group, and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow. Now she is a nationally celebrated speaker, inspiring others to join the movement for healthier homes and safer communities.


Elizabeth Saunders, Director of Clean Water Action/MA and Coordinator of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow will join the Q&A.  A book signing will follow the program.




Programs at the Newton Free Library


The Lone Ranger Movie Screening, Saturday, December 21, 2:00 pm

Johnny Depp hits the big screen in The Lone Ranger. Come to the Newton Free Library on Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 pm to watch a screening of the film. Open to ages 13 and up. Rated PG-13, runtime 149 min. 


Family Game Night, Monday, December 30, 7:00 pm

Staying around town for the holiday season? Get in on a little friendly competition at Family Game Night on Monday, December 30 at 7:00 pm at the Newton Free Library. Join us in Druker Auditorium, where we will be playing board games and eating pizza. Open to all ages. 






Community Classifieds  




Girls Softball:  Newton Girls Softball registration NOW open

Newton Girls Softball registration is underway for the 2014 spring season. This is a recreational league for over 300 Newton girls in grades 1-7. Players of all skill levels will have a fun and rewarding experience.


Visit the website for more details, access to on-line registration, and winter indoor clinic information. Register before January 31st to avoid a late fee. February 28th is the last date you can register with guaranteed placement and pair-me-with requests.




Youth Lacrosse:  Newton Youth Lacrosse Registration is NOW Open.  Please visit our website for more details at


Teams and age groups offer this year:

U-9 - Open to 1st & 2nd Graders - Learn to Play

U-11 - Open to 3rd & 4th Graders

U-13 - Open to 5th & 6th Graders

U-15 - Open to 7th & 8th Graders


Select U-13 Sharks- Open to 5th & 6th Graders - Tryout required

Select U-15 Sharks - Open to 7th & 8th Graders - Tryout required




Art & Music Class:  Due to the overwhelming demand of the morning Time for Partners classes, we are delighted to announce the availability of a later session. Mondays and Tuesdays only from 11:30 - 1:15, 2/3/14 - 6/6/14. The art teacher is Kim Jaques and the music is with David Polansky. Instead of snack time between classes, we are inviting you to bring your lunch and have fun eating it together! Registration is available at, click on MA, click on Newton Parks & Recreation, click on Activity Registration, click on Mayor's Office for Cultural Affairs, choose your class. Newton resident: $270, Non-Newton resident: $295. Time for Partners is an art & music class for children ages 18 months to 3.5 years old, with a caregiver. They take place at Newton City Hall. Call 617-796-1540 for more information. 




Theatre Program:  WCT is still accepting registrations for our Jr. Players program for Pirates of Penzance, and we are now open to Kindergarten students!  Students in K-2 can perform with the Pirates of Penzance cast and participate in this popular performance based class which meets on Mondays at 3:30 or 4:45 pm.  For more information, visit or call us at 617-926-ARTS (2787).




Summer Youth Theatre:  We're delighted to be able to announce that registration is now open for the Summer Newton Youth Players Show, held here at Newton City Hall. And the show is Annie!!!


Director: Melissa Bernstein

Dates: June 30 - July 24, 9am-noon

Register and for more info:

Limited to 30




December Vacation Week Childcare:  Need Child Care for December Vacation Week?


There are a few spots remaining for the December Vacation Program. For $50 per child we provide care from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM on December 23rd, 26th, 27th, 30th and 31st. The club will be closed on the 24th and 25th to celebrate Christmas.


Vacation weeks are a "closed door" program and participants are not allowed to leave the building unsupervised.  Activities are based on the ages and the number of children who sign up but are guaranteed to include daily movies, theme days with games and prizes, and occasional food and snacks. 


Registration forms are available at the Front Desk!




The Dragon King Performance:  The Tanglewood Marionettes present The Dragon King

Sunday, February 23, at Newton City Hall. 1pm and 2:30 shows.

An underwater fantasy based on Chinese folklore, The Dragon King tells the tale of an intrepid Grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea in search of the elusive Dragon King, and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above. With colorful sea creatures, an exciting adventure, and a Dragon King that will knock your socks off! Don't be stuck inside with cabin fever over school vacation, this show is a delight for the whole family. Tickets in advance for $8, or $10 at the door. Open seating. 617-796-1540 for more information.




Math, Handwriting, English and Computer Science Classes:  Top Banana Education Foundation: There's still time to sign your child up for one of our classes! Math, Handwriting Remediation, English and Computer Science! For more information please call us (617) 795-1557 or visit our website (


Math Kangaroo: Math Kangaroo is an international math competition that takes place on the third Thursday in March (March 20, 2014) each year. Students in grades 1-12 can participate! The registration deadline is Tuesday, December 31st, 2013! Don't wait, sign your child up today! (  Students can take the test at our Newton location or at the Hale Reservation in Westwood, MA. For more information please call us (617) 795-1557 or visit our website ( 




ForWARD Submissions 

Next deadline:  Tuesday, January 14th at noon for the January 17th 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.     

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