ForWard - March 7, 2014

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

March 7, 2014 

In This Issue
Mark Your Calendars
From the Principal's Desk
And Now a Word From the PTO
School News
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, March 7: PTO Meeting, 8:45am @Ward, Dolphin Cafe
    • Thursday, March 13: EARLY RELEASE, 12:30pm
    • Thursday, March 13: CARE Committee Event, 12:30 - 2:00pm
    • Tuesday, March 18: MCAS Switch Day, 3:00pm Dismissal
    • Wednesday, March 19: MCAS Switch Day, Early Release, 12:30pm Dismissal 


From the Principal's Desk  



Dear Ward Parents,


It is almost spring (the snow everywhere makes that a little hard to believe) which means that the days are longer and we are all eager to get outside more. As spring approaches, so does MCAS.   In two weeks our students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades will be taking the English Language Arts test. Parents have an important role during the testing period. It is important that students are well rested, have a healthy breakfast in the morning, and come to school in a calm and confident manner. Our students have been well prepared, and if they put in their maximum effort they will do well. It is our job to instill in them the understanding that hard work and effort will pay off in the end. Math testing will take place in May, and fifth graders will also take the Science, Technology, and Engineering test in May as well. In the next year or two the MCAS test is being phased out, to be replaced with the PARCC exam, which will be used by several states and is based on the new national Common Core Educational Standards. (PARCC stand for Partnerships for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.) Towards the end of the year our fifth graders will take part in a field test of some of the elements of the new PARCC exam.  This field test is simply to test parts of the test, and we will not receive any individual or school results.


Audrey Peller thanks you all for your warm wishes and good thoughts. Although she continues to make improvements, her recovery is still progressing more slowly than she had hoped. Her leave will be extended until she is feeling strong enough to manage the stairs at Ward and the other physical demands of her position. That means I will be here a little longer than I originally expected, but I continue to enjoy my interactions with staff, parents, and students very much.


Finally, on a less important topic, some of our students have been asking our cafeteria staff to heat up food brought from home in the Ward kitchen microwave. This is against school policy for health and safety reasons, so we won't be able to continue to provide this service.


Remember to change your clocks this weekend, and let's hope that warmer days are ahead!




Steve Griffin

Interim Principal



 And Now a Word From the PTO



Teacher Raffle

Winners for the teacher raffle were drawn last Friday, February 28th. All winners' names are posted on the board outside of school. Winners should also have received an email from the PTO. A big thank you to all who participated in this annual fun-fundraiser which raised $3,245 thanks to your generosity!


Join the PTO

We are assembling the Ward PTO team for the 2014/2015 school year and we can use your help! The following positions are open:

  • Secretary - Become a PTO board member, attend PTO meetings and take notes.

  • Understanding our Differences, 3rd grade - Help the 3rd graders increase awareness and understanding of individuals with differences. In this city-wide program you will focus on blindness and visual impairment and deafness and hard of hearing. Time commitment is 6-10 hours. No experience necessary.

  • Communications: ForWard/This Week at Ward - Work within a small team to collect, edit and compile information for our weekly outgoing communications to the Ward Community.

  • Auction - 2015 is an auction year. We need a leader to build a team to run this very important fundraiser for Ward.

Ward can always use volunteers - for jobs big and small - so if you are interested in assisting please Cindy Henry at


Grade Wide Pot Luck Dinners ~ Thank You!!!

Grade wide pot luck dinners have been held for all six grades and were a huge success! Special thanks to the following hosts for opening their homes for these events:

  • Laurel and Erik Britt-Webb (Kindergarten)

  • Diana & Anatoli Shabashov (1st Grade)

  • Jennifer & Jeffrey Gandel (2nd Grade)  

  • Heather & Jeremy Pozen (3rd Grade)

  • Heidi Gardner & Ivan Matviak (4th Grade)

  • Christine & Jim Elder (5th Grade)


***Upcoming Events***


CARe Committee ~ Thursday, March 13th

Students please join us on early release Thursday, March 13th from 12:30-2:00PM for our second to last CARe Committee event. We will be making cards & writing letters for children that are medically sick at local Boston hospitals. Please pack your lunch and meet us in the art room. Parents please sign your child up online at ward Any questions please email Alison Best at


Spring Event ~ May 15th

Due to some event planning complications, we are going to change the spring event from a fair to a special Magic Show. Please save the date and watch future ForWards for additional information.


Save the Date - Art Show ~ May 21st

Then annual Ward Art Show is scheduled for May 21st, stay tuned for more information.



 School News


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!                




What's New at After-School


We are now accepting applications for the 2014 - 2015 school year! 
Applications will be emailed to current families.  For families new to our program, you can email us at to request an application, or you can download one from our website,  The applications can be found under the "Forms" section.  Applications are due by Friday, March 28.
Some important things to note about the application process:
  • We have a two-day minimum for enrollment for Grades 1-5
  • There is a $50 application fee
  • Applications are due by March 28.  This is a REAL deadline!
Our program strives to accommodate all who apply by the deadline.  However, sometimes we receive more applications than our license allows.  Please see our website,, to view our wait list policy.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at, or 617-965-3087. Thank you!

Donna Marohn
Ward After-School Program
10 Dolphin Road
Newton Centre, MA  02459

Newton News and Events


Youth Social Anxiety Study at Harvard: Researchers at Harvard University are seeking socially anxious youth ages 8-14 and their parents to participate in a single-session study. The primary goals of our study are to further research on best practices for alleviating child anxiety symptoms, and promote child emotional and behavioral health outcomes. During the visit to our lab in Cambridge, child participants will also have the opportunity to learn emotion and coping skills.


Together, eligible parents and children will receive up to $80 for their participation. Parents who are interested can reach us by phone at (617) 520-4608 or email at



Lecture Series for Parents of Teens

Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library 7-8:30 pm

The Newton Free Library and Newton Youth Services will be hosting a five-part series of workshops for parents around the topics of wellness, stress management, and communication. This series will be held in Druker Auditorium, Newton Free Library, 7-8:30 pm and is free and open to all. As part of the Youth Stress grant awarded to the Newton Health & Human Services Department this program is being offered by Newton Youth Services and Newton Free Library in partnership with Newton Cares, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Riverside Community Care, the Massachusetts School for Professional Psychology and the Multiservice Eating Disorder s Association. Presenters will include mental health professionals and experts in adolescent development and communications.


Monday, March 10, 2014: Calm, Cool, and Connected

Susan Swick, MD, Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Jennifer O'Leary, MA, Director of Youth Services, City of Newton

How do I know when my child is at risk? And what do I do about it? I want my teen to feel connected and I want to know what resources I can access in my community.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014: Success under Stress

Newton is a high achieving community. Can how we define success contribute to the stressors in our lives and the lives of our teens? If we can't eliminate stress, how do we teach our children to manage it in healthy ways?


Tuesday, May 13, 2014: #sorrynotsorry

It's different today from when we were teens. This session will explore social media, how it is effecting teens and how we can help them navigate it.


Monday, June 2, 2014: OMG! Your teen actually talks to you?

Communication is one of the keys to raising a happy and healthy teen. This session will explore tips for open communication to help strengthen your relationship.


Thursday, June 19, 2014: Don't Hate, Appreciate

Learn more about talking to teens about body confidence, eating disorders and media literacy. How can parents start the conversation, model healthy behaviors and teach young people not to put others down based on looks.


Taking Care of Ourselves and Our Teens: Reducing Stress and Enhancing Resiliency

War Memorial at City Hall, 6:00-7:30pm, April 10th, 17th, May 6th, 13th

As part of our Youth Stress grant, Newton Youth Services, in partnership with Newton Free Library, is pleased to offer a four-session wellness program for parents of adolescents developed by the world-renowned Benson-Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. This program teaches self-care skills to help cope with stresses of everyday life and aims to leave parents with a renewed sense of control and well-being. You must register to participate and registration indicates that you are able to attend all four sessions. Please visit to register. This program is free to all Newton residents or parents of teens attending school in Newton.

Research shows that incorporating self-care strategies and healthy lifestyle behaviors can reduce medical symptoms and enhance quality of life.

During the four, 1.5 hour sessions, you will learn:

  • The physiology of stress and how it affects your body

  • Self-care strategies to reduce stress and increase your resilience

  • Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness and imagery

  • Easy ways to reduce or stop stress-inducing thoughts

Tips for modeling these skills for your teens and helping reduce their stress and build their resilience too



Taking care of ourselves is led by Rana Chudnofsky, Med. Ms. Chudnofsky has served as the Director of the Education Initiative at the ben-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (BHI) since 2006. Her areas of specialization include relaxation techniques and cognitive strategies for clinical treatment centers, schools and universities.




Newton At Home Volunteers Needed:


Baby it's still cold outside! And snowy and icy and slushy...

Older adults, members of Newton at Home, need your help. Consider becoming a volunteer for Newton at Home. Drivers are needed to accompany members to appointments, shopping and trips to Logan Airport. As residents of Newton you know your way around! Please be in touch to support a growing community of neighbors-helping-neighbors. Please call Julie Plaut Mahoney at 617-795-2560 or email:


Do you have experience writing promotional letters, press releases and feature stories?

Newton at Home ( is looking for volunteers to join the Marketing and Communications Committee to help increase its visibility. Newton at Home and its members (Newton Senior Citizens) will benefit greatly from your expertise. Please call Julie Plaut Mahoney at 617-795-2560 or email:




Community Sing: The Zamir Chorale of Boston leads a Newton Sing of Handel's Judas Maccabeus

On Sunday, March 9 at 1:30pm at Newton City Hall, please join the Zamir Chorale of Boston and Director Joshua Jacobson in a highly entertaining community sing of Handel's Judas Maccabeus. Choral singers of all levels and lovers of all music are invited to join members of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, and pianist Edwin Swanborn to sing favorite choruses from Handel's famous Oratorio, including "Hallelujah, Amen" and "See the Conquering Hero." Bring your own score, or use one of theirs. Admission is free, while donations are welcome. For more information,




Support Jason's Run For Newton Public Schools:

Who: Newton graduate and NPS employee Jason Agress

What: Running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Newton's public schools; goal is $8000 for NSF.

When: Throughout March and April, culminating on Monday, April 21, 2014


Newton Public Schools truly made a difference for Jason Agress. An alumnus of Memorial-Spaulding, Oak Hill, and Newton South (Class of 2009), his experiences as a student in Newton helped him to discover and pursue his passions, as well as gain the skills needed to succeed. Now Jason is connected to NPS in his role as a Network Media Specialist for the district. Jason goes throughout all 21 schools, implementing innovative technology solutions to support teaching and learning. Through doing this, Jason has gained a deep appreciation for the excellent resources - including dedicated faculty and staff - that Newton is home to, and which provided for his own first-rate public school experience. No stranger to marathon training, Jason has worked with the Dreamfar High School Marathon program for the past three years as a mentor and Team Leader at Newton South.


Follow Jason's Progress at

Donate :




GELF Celebrates 5 Years: The Global Education Leadership Fund (GELF) is five years old. Join 150 members of our community for chef's favorites, courtesy of Katya Salkever, wine and live entertainment to benefit lower income Newton students aspiring to participate in our international educational programs. The dinner is on Saturday, March 8th, 6:30-10:30pm at Newton North High School.

This year alone we have funded:

  • $33,000 in grants to

  • 28 students for

  • 10 different international trips

You may pay online or send a $150/person check (made payable to Newton Schools Foundation) to Newton Schools Foundation, 246 Dudley Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459. If you plan on sending in a check, please click here and register so we know to include you on the registration list before your check is received. Please write GELF on the memo line of your check and include guest names and your email address.


Whether you are coming or not, please consider donating to Support a Teacher to attend the event ($100/person) or just mail a check to the address above. Join us Saturday, March 8th in support of our students.




NewtonPAC Meeting: Please join us for the next meeting of the Newton Parent Advisory Council for Special Education (NewtonPAC), for a presentation on Basic Rights in Special Education, presented by Clare Vann of the Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN).


This workshop provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Massachusetts Special Education Law and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with their child's school to decide the child's eligibility for special education, and to plan, make decisions and monitor their child's progress in school.


The workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm, with light refreshments and networking beginning at 7:15 pm. The location is Room 210 at the Education Center, 100 Walnut Street.   Any questions, please email Eileen Sandberg at






Community Classifieds  



 Sewing Class: Come join us next week at Hipstitch for Early Release Day Sewing. Thursday, March 13th from 1.30-3.30pm. Come and make some St Patrick's Day and Spring Projects!


Early Release Day Sewing Sign Up


Hipstitch, 15 Spencer St, West Newton MA 02465, 617 965 0880




Sewing Camp: April 18th - 25th. Bring a friend or make some new ones. The sewing studio is packed full of great new projects from beginning to advanced! Single days or full week it's your choice. 8:30 early drop off with camp running 10am - 6pm . Book online or email/




Kindergarten Soccer: Register for Spring Kindergarten Soccer!


Since 1993, Kindergarten Soccer has been introducing children to soccer in a fun and non-competitive environment, where girls and boys develop friendships, learn teamwork, and gain confidence. We play on Saturday mornings at Richardson Field in Waban, starting April 5.


Join us and meet other Newton families! Our Pre-K League is open to all Newton children who will start kindergarten in the fall of 2014; our Kindergarten League is open to all Newton children who are currently in kindergarten.


Register by March 21 to avoid paying a late fee.


Kindergarten Soccer is a program of the Zervas Elementary PTO since 1993. For more information and for online registration, please visit our website:




Spring Little League: Upcoming spring season for Newton Central Little League.


Team Rosters Will be Announced By:

  • Majors - Feb 24rd

  • AAA/AA - Mar 9th

  • Farm/Rookie - Mar 23

  •  T-Ball - Mar 31


T-ball, Rookie, Farm - Registration Deadlines: There is still time to register for T-Ball, Rookie, and Farm Leagues. Late fees are applied after the dates below:  

  • Rookie/Farm - Feb 28th

  • T-ball - April 15th


Members Meeting - Save the Date: On Thursday April 3rd, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, there is a general meeting. This is open to all parents. The meeting will cover

  • League operational update
  • Provide an overview of the various seasons and options for players

  • Update on the capital campaign

  •  A meet the coaches social time

The meeting will be held at the West Newton Neighborhood Club, 24 Berkeley St, West Newton, MA

The NCLL web site is




Spring Education Program: Newton Community Farm Spring Education Programs


The 2014 spring educational programs at Newton Community Farm are now open for registration.

Choose from a range of garden focused classes as well as how to keep chickens here in Newton!! For families and youngsters our popular Farm Sprout program returns as does Ready Set Grow, our family gardening program.


For more information and to register please visit our website




Summer Classes: The Chyten Center in Newton is offering a series of hands-on, real-life learning camps and classes for elementary and middle-school this summer.


Younger programs (Grades 2-5) include:

Shark Tank Jr. (Create your own business, just like on the TV show!)

Imagination Authors (Write your own novel and have it fully published)

Team Titans (Run your own baseball team and learn math in the process!)

The Literature Circle (Learn how to comprehend and analyze great children's literature)

Discover My World (Do online research, learn Google Earth and design a "World's Fair" with Legos)

Kids Career Time (Study, roleplay and experience five adult professions: Doctor, lawyer, architect, journalist and mayor)


Older programs (ages 11-14) include:

Writing Masters: The Muckrakers (Be part of a real newsroom and publish an online and print newspaper)

Vocabulary Masters: Drama Dictionary (Create an online video dictionary of advanced English vocabulary)


For more information visit or call 617-559-9936Now Enrolling for Summer Classes, Space is Limited




Youth Theatre: Newton Youth Players at Newton City Hall


If your child would like to be a part of an outstanding after-school youth theatre program, then Newton Youth Players could be the answer to their performing dreams! This program, that famously fills up one year in advance, has a few spaces available for some upcoming plays, and the enrollment will start soon for next year. The casts are small, which gives every child an opportunity to feel they are an important part of the show. They sing, dance, make their own scenery, and wow their adoring public every time! Visit for more information, and to enroll.


Spring 2014 - 'Oliver' (now enrolling)

Summer 2014 - 'Annie' (now enrolling)

Fall 2014 - 'Annie Get Your Gun' (now enrolling)

Winter 2015 - 'Once Upon a Mattress' (enroll April 1: 7am)

Spring 2015 - 'Annie' (enroll May 1: 7am)




Children's Theatre: Watertown Children's Theatre Spring, Summer and April Vacation Registrationare Open!

March 4: Pirates of Penzance tickets on sale

March 15: Winter programming final presentations

March 15: Free Family Fun

March 21-23: Pirates of Penzance performances

March 24: Spring Programming Begins (check individual classes for specific dates/times)


Teen Programming Survey: Current 8th-11th graders, please fill out our survey to help us plan teen programming for 2014-2015


Free Family Fun: Art & Theatre Workshops on Saturdays from 10am - 12pm


March 15: Experiment with paint, paper and collage to create works of art together. Examples will be available for inspiration. Use your imagination and make your own special masterpiece. Additionally, use your creativity and have fun exploring and playing with theatre games. Different projects and games will be offered each class.

The program is perfect for families and children.


This program is made possible through the generous support of The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation and The Sovereign Bank Foundation.


WCT Wish List: As WCT continues to grow, there are some items that we'd love to have for our shop and office. If you have any of these items that you are   not using, and you would like to donate them, please contact us!


* 1 18-volt cordless drill

* 1 socket set and ratchet handle

* 2 sets of Loc-bins

* 15-20 bin clips for Loc-bins

* 1 small heat gun

* c-clamps, squeeze clamps, pipe clamps

* laptop with working graphics card

* folding easels

* 25 or 50 ft tape measure

* large box fan

* iron and ironing board

* sewing supplies

* digital keyboard


Contact Us:

Watertown Children's Theatre

321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472





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. In addition to academic subjects, we teach children organizational skills, homework coaching, study skills, and time management. All subjects and ages are taught. Parents can now receive 25% off the first lesson. Call 781-492-8700 or log on to




Jewish Learning: Are you looking for Jewish learning for your child? Kesher Newton now enrolling for Fall, 2014.


Kesher Newton is an after-school program that offers a hands on and in-depth approach to Jewish learning for students in grades K-11.


Kesher Newton is now located on Hammond Pond Parkway, convenient to Newton, Brookline, and the surrounding communities. Housed inside the building of Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Kesher's warm and inviting new space accommodates its expanding student base and its many family activities.


Kesher Newton is a nationally-recognized alternative to traditional Hebrew School, where children learn Jewish culture and Hebrew language in a spirited, camp-like environment. Kesher's innovative curriculum challenges students intellectually, while fostering Jewish commitment, joy of learning, and active community participation.

Kesher Newton is an independent pluralistic community that is welcoming to all.


For more information, contact Kesher Newton at 617-244-5390 and ask for a tour now! *Kesher Newton Open House, Sunday, March 23, 10-12 a.m.* Please email for more info!




Chinese Classes: Learn Chinese in Newton - small classes, friendly environment, enriched activities, experienced teachers. After school program and summer camp enrollment is open now. Contact Teresa Liu at if you have any questions.




Nursery School Openings: Nursery School Openings for 2014-15 in Newton

The nonsectarian Second Church Nursery School (60 Highland St., West Newton) has a limited number of openings for 2014-15.   The school has been operating continuously since 1934 and currently offers both morning preschool classes and extended afternoon sessions.   Children are grouped developmentally to promote growth and enhance social, cognitive and motor skills to help them become happy and independent people.


Interested parents should contact Director Susan Benes at617-527-4770 or email her For more info about the school and Ms. Benes,




Sports Events: The John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton is offering two great sport and athletic events this spring/summer, with Fight Night on Saturday, March 22, 2014, and our 31st Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, July 28, 2014. Cheer on the red or blue corner or hit the greens at Woodland Golf Club - click on the event of your choice for more details.




Theatre Ink Performance: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Directed and Choreographed by Brad Jensen.


THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE is a high-spirited musical romp that takes place in the roaring '20's. It tells the story of young Millie Dillmount, who has just moved to New York City in search of a new life at a time when women were entering the workforce and the rules of love and social behavior were changing forever. Filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men and a dragon-lady of a villainess audiences will love to hate, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE is an evening of madcap merriment. March 13th, 14th, 15th, 2014, at 7:30PM, March 16th at 2PM in the Performing Arts Center, 457 Walnut Street, Newtonville, MA 02460. Tickets $10.00, $14.00, & $16.00 at or, 617-559-6306




Spiral Foundation Program: March 7-8: NEW! Essentials of Sensory Integration Assessment


Presented by: Dr. Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA


When: Friday, March 7, 2014 at 8:30AM EST to 4:30PM EST and Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 9:00AM EST to 4:30PM EST.

Where: TBD, Newton, MA 02458

Level: Introductory to Intermediate



OT/ OTA, PT/PTA, Speech and language pathologists, and psychologists.

Contact hours:

12 (1.2 CEUs)

Please note: CEUs will be calculated depending on the hours of attendance and the completion of the course evaluation.


The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of spe