ForWard - December 11th, 2015

Contact Group(s): 





The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

December 11, 2015 

Dear Ward Parents,

Welcome to the latest edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2015-2016 school year. 

* To stop receiving this newsletter, or update your email information please use the links at the end of the newsletter.

Ward School Banner
  • December 24- January 3 - No School - Winter Break
  • January 18 - No School for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • January 19th - 8:30am - Superintendent David Fleishman discussion with Ward School Parents
  • January 29 - 7:30 pm, Ward School Night at the Celtics game

Ward Book Fair - A Big Thank You
Thank you very much to Cindy Henry and Shana Smythe for all their hard work to put on a very successful book fair this year!  And thank you to all the volunteers who helped out including Ian Glennon, Michelle Welford, Elizabeth Apgar, Heather Pozen, Aoife O'Dwyer, Joan Gallant, Jen Rugani, Xiaolei Xu, Heather Philbrook and all the volunteers that helped out during class visits.

Cradles to Crayons Hat and Glove Drive - Last 2 Weeks
Help Cradles to Crayons collect 6,000 hats and gloves for local children in need.  For thousands of children in need, staying warm in winter is a struggle.  Help protect kids in your community by collecting new hats and gloves to keep them warm.

Bring new children's hats and gloves to the bin in the Ward School Lobby until December 23.  You can also ship directly to Cradles to Crayons, Attention Mo Reilly, 155 North Beacon St., Brighton, MA  02135.  

Cradles to Crayons provides children living in low-income and homeless situations with the essentials they need to thrive - at home, at school, and at play.  For more information, see

Buy Your Tickets for Ward School Celtics Night
The Ward School night at the Celtics is Friday January 29th, 2016 at 7:30 pm.
We are in the final two weeks of Celtics ticket sales for the game.  We will stop selling tickets on December 18th.  Please drop off your application (there are extra ones in the lobby) by the deadline.  

These make a great holiday present and tickets are open to friends and family.
For more information please contact Diana Cohen at or Erin Lewis

Annual Fund Drive
Thank you to all the Ward families who have already made their 2015-2016 Annual Fund contribution!  If you haven't already donated, please consider donating today through the Ward PTO website.  We still need your support!
Here are all the wonderful things that your donation directly pays for:
  • Creative Arts and Sciences programs and speakers
  • Community events
  • Classroom supplies 
  • Library support 
  • The Ward garden
  • Classroom technology including laptops and iPads
Without your financial support, none of these enrichment activities and purchases would be possible.
Please contribute either online at the PTO website or by dropping a check in the box in the Ward lobby--made out to Ward PTO.
Questions? Please contact:
Diana Cohen ( or Linda Gillespie (

Grade-Wide Potluck Dinners 

Save the date for these upcoming dinners:
5th Grade - January 9, 2016
4th Grade - February 6, 2016
3rd Grade - January 23, 2016
2nd Grade - date TBD in February 2016
1st grade -  January 30, 2016

Responsive Home Workshop
Practical strategies to promote positive behavior at home.

The tools of Responsive Classroom can be used to help create a calm, supporting and encouraging environment at home too!  Open to the Public - No Registration Required!  Workshops will be held on:
  • Thursday, January 21, 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Tuesday, February 9, 9-11 am
All sessions take place in Room 210, The Education Center, 100 Walnut St., Newtonville.

Join us to learn useful steps for creating a Responsive Home, including: 
  • Family Meeting
  • House Rules
  • Interactive Modeling
  • Positive Language
  • Logical Consequences
  • Choice
  • Quiet Time
The workshop will be taught by Amy Kelly, District Leader of Social and Emotional Learning, Newton Public Schools.

For more information, please contact Kathy Marchi, SEL Department, or 617-559-6139.

Ward Art Committee Needs New Members!
The Art Committee needs your help.  Each May, we honor the arts at Ward with the annual Ward Art Show.  This event showcases the amazing art your children have worked hard to create.  
The time commitment is minimal.  We prepare all year long for this special celebration by stapling and framing artwork, but we can't do it without the help of parent volunteers like you. 
No Art Experience is necessary!

Particularly for parents of children in grades K-3 - the Ward Art Committee needs some fresh faces! Many of our volunteers' children will be graduating this year and we need to pass the baton to the younger grades in order to keep the Art Show alive.

Please contact Deb Gilpin at to find out how you can get involved.

Mrs. Packard Needs Your Help in the Library 
Parents, your help in Ward Library classes would make a big difference! Volunteers are needed to help with checking in books, shelving, finding requested books, research projects and making sure our new self-checkout system works smoothly. Library classes are only 30 minutes long and volunteers can really do a lot to help students be successful library users. 
Signup is easy: click on VolunteerSpot on the library website. 
Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: 
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: 
2. Enter your email address. You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot. 
3. Sign up! Choose your spots.  VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy! 

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact your room parent and they can sign you up manually.  If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Bosco

Newton Schools Foundation Annual Appeal 
Please consider a donation to the Newton Schools Foundation (NSF) to support all Newton schools.  Global study.  Computer coding.  Vibrant writing. Social/emotional learning.  These are among the exciting initiatives NSF supports in the Newton public schools.  And we do it thanks to the generosity of Newton community members like you.

For five decades, NSF has provided funding for educational efforts that are hard to address in the school department's operating budget.  As the holidays approach,please consider a donation to NSF so our schools can continue to best serve our kids.

Your donation allows NSF to fund:
dynamic new curricula for all students
teacher training on effective, up-to-date teaching practices
achievement gap programs and scholarships for low-income and minority students.

The programs we support span Newton's diverse student population and impact all of Newton's 12,000 students.  As you make your year-end donations, please includeNewton Schools Foundation in your giving. for more information.

Earn money for Ward when you shop at Amazon  
Shop at Amazon and up to 10% of your purchase goes to Ward.  Please bookmark this page and click here every time you shop on Amazon.  A percentage of your purchase (which varies by category) will automatically go to Ward. This link explains how much of your purchases go to Ward!

Community News and Advertisements  
If you're looking for news about local educational and non-profit events, or services offered by local tutors, merchants, and other service providers, check out theCommunity Notes page maintained by the Newton PTO Council.  Click here to link to their website, which you can search by category.