ForWard - January 22nd, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 22, 2016 

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
  • Note - January 23 - 3rd Grade Potluck is rescheduled to Feb. 27
  • January 29 - 7:30 pm, Ward School Night at the Celtics game
  • January 30 - 1st Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner
  • February 3 - 12:30 - Early Release Afternoon
  • February 6 - 4th Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner
  • February 15-19 - No School for Vacation Week
  • February 27 - 3rd Grade Parents Potluck Dinner

Ward Night at the Celtics - Coming Up January 29
f you have not received your tickets for the Celtics game please contact Diana Cohen at

Teacher Raffle
The TEACHER RAFFLE is coming to Ward School very soon! Once again, Ward School teachers and staff are donating their time and creativity with unique activities for our children. All funds raised help the Ward School PTO support ongoing programs such as Creative Arts and Sciences, purchase new equipment and supplies for the classrooms and library, and much more! Details about ticket forms and the Teacher Prize List will be shared later this month when this exciting fundraiser launches. Questions? Please contact Stephanie

Grade-Wide Potluck Dinners 
Save the date for these upcoming dinners:
4th Grade - February 6, 2016
3rd Grade - NEW DATE - February 27
2nd Grade - March 5
1st grade -  January 30.  Invitations have been sent.  If you are missing an invitation, please contact Diana Cohen at

Please Donate to the Annual Fund
Dear Ward Families,

If you haven't yet donated to the Annual Fund, we still need your contribution to purchase 10 new laptops to replace aging ones in the upstairs cart.  These laptops are estimated to cost $10,000.  This is in addition to other technology items identified by Principal Peller as items the Ward PTO can purchase for Ward School this spring and it supplements technology that NPS is earmarking for Ward.

Please donate today so that we can buy these laptops and get them into service this school year.  Don't wait to the end of the year!
A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all those Ward families who have already made their Annual Fund contribution for this school year.


Contributions are tax-deductible.  

DONATE ONLINE TODAY.  Or drop your check in the box in the lobby made out to "Ward PTO."  
Please help us to hit our goal by donating today so that we can stop sending these Annual Fund solicitation messages.

Warm Regards,
Linda Gillespie (

Why So Early?  A Community Forum on Rethinking the High School Start Time
Date: January 26, from 7 to 8:30 pm
Place: Newton North High School Cafeteria
Why Go?  This forum is intended for parents of students in elementary school too, as decisions about high school start times will have impacts district-wide.
Can't wake up your teen for school?  Tired of grumpy, groggy kids? Concerned about the impact of limited sleep on your student?  There is a lot of evidence that delaying the start time for high school can improve the physical and mental health of students, reduce tardiness, and improve learning in school. Newton is in the process of studying a later start time for the two high schools.  The School Committee has formed the High School Start Time Working Group to study the benefits and challenges of doing so. Find out more at
On January 26, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., the Newton North School Council is sponsoring a forum to inform the community about the benefits and challenges of a later high school start time in our city. We are pleased to be joined by Superintendent David Fleishman (watch his video, Working Group and School Committee members Ellen Gibson and Ruth Goldman, and Dr. Christopher Landrigan,  a Newton parent and a physician and researcher in the Division of Sleep Disorders at Brigham and Women's Hospital. We will also hear from high school students and faculty about their experiences. We welcome your participation in the conversation about a later high school start time in Newton.
If you are unable to attend the event, but would like more information about this topic, please visit:, where you will find resources and can sign-up for periodic updates. 

From The Nurse - Norovirus in the News
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.  The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.
A person infected with norovirus usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.
If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and throw up or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
Norovirus can spread quickly in closed places like daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and cruise ships. Most norovirus outbreaks happen from November to April in the United States.  For more information about norovirus, including tips on what to do if you get norovirus illness, talk to the school nurse or visit
Article adapted from

Upcoming School Committee Meetings 

The School Committee will next meet on Monday, January 25 at 7 pm.  A link to the agenda for this meetings is available here.  Meetings will also be held on February 8 and 25.  All meetings take place at the Education Center, 100 Walnut St., Newtonville.  

Free Camp Fairs
The Newton Parks and Recreation and Newton Public Schools Camp Fair will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2016 (snow date 2/7/16) at the Newton North High School in the Cafeteria from 12-4 PM.  Come see what is being offered in Newton this summer.  For more information go to 
The Underwood PTO has organized a FREE public event: the New England Camp Fair. The Camp Fair is open to ALL local families and will be held from 5:30-8pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at Bigelow Middle School. Over 30 camps from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut will be participating. Attending camps serve kids ages 6-14 and represent a mix of day and overnight camps. For more information, visit

Save the Date for a Spring Community Event

There will be a special Ward School event on the evening of May 12.

We need volunteers to help plan and execute this special event.  If you would like to be a part of the event committee, please contact Laurie Ufland

Save the Date for Pizza Day

There will be a special Ward School Pizza Day at Bertucci's in Newton Corner onApril 5th from 11:00am to 10:00pm.
On that day, Bertuccci's will donate 15% of all spending to Ward School. More details will follow soon.
If you have any questions about this event, please contact Lisa Schwarzberg at

Free Indoor Play This Week - Viking Activity Center
You are cordially invited to the new Viking Activity Center, at 143 Cypress St. in Brookline to sample their new classes and open play time for FREE this week (through January 24).  
The Viking Activity Center is a wide open hardwood facility complete with lots of fun sports equipment, an outdoor play space, and a kitchenette for party prep.  The facility is also equipped with a family friendly bathroom and tables & chairs for all birthday parties and rentals.  For more information, and to sign up for a free class,please click here.  Reservations are not needed for Open Play from 9-11 on Saturday and Sunday.  More info is available here.

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!  The last workshops will be held on Tuesday, February 9, from 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.

Help Newton School Foundation Meet its Goal!
NSF needs your help for Newton to continue to be one of the best public school systems in the Commonwealth and the nation. We are two-thirds of the way to our Annual Appeal goal of $60,000.  Please donate today to help us reach our goal.
Your gift will support innovative programs that are difficult to address in the school department's operating budget. These include:
  • Elementary music initiative, modeled after El Sistema, established in Venezuela, to introduce low-income children to instrumental music. This will be piloted at Lincoln-Eliot with potential for expansion to other elementary schools.
  • Summer writing institute, a professional development program for elementary school teachers to help students become better writers for the information age.
  • Computer coding in the middle schools
...and much more!
NSF-supported initiatives also address social/emotional wellbeing; global education, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics), and closing the achievement gap. The programs NSF funds span Newton's diverse student population and impact all of Newton's 12,000+ students.
These teaching and learning opportunities would not be possible without supporters like you. 
When you give to Newton Schools Foundation you are ensuring that the Newton Public Schools continue to provide Newton students with the best education in this ever-changing teaching and learning environment.

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.