ForWard - January 29th, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 29, 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
  • 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 5 - PTO Meeting RESCHEDULED for March 4
  • 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 - Tonight
f you have not received your tickets for the Celtics game please contact Diana Cohen at

From the Principal's Desk
We have created a schedule for PARCC testing sessions for students in grade 3-5 as well as MCAS science/technology for grade 5 students.  All testing must be administered between April 25 and May 27.  We ask for your help in being sure that you do not schedule appointments that will take your child out of school during these test sessions.  Make-ups will be available, but only complicate the process for us here.  

PARCC ELA (English Language Arts)
Grade 3
Unit 1 - 90 minutes  April 26
Unit 2 - 75 minutes  April 27
Unit 3 - 90 minutes  May 6
Grade 4
Unit 1 - 90 minutes April 29
Unit 2 - 90 minutes May 3
Unit 3 - 90 minutes May 4
Grade 5
Unit 1 - 90 minutes April 28
Unit 2 - 90 minutes May 2
Unit 3 - 90 minutes May 5
Grade 3
Unit 1 - 60 minutes May 12
Unit 2 - 60 minutes May16
Unit 3 - 60 minutes May 17
Unit 4 - 60 minutes May 18
Grade 4
Unit 1 - 60 mintues May 9
Unit 2 - 60 minutes May 12
Unit 3 - 60 minutes May 13
Unit 4 - 60 minutes May 18
Grade 5
Unit 1 - 60 minutes May 10
Unit 2 - 60 minutes May 11
Unit 3 - 60 minutes May 23
Unit 4 - 60 minutes May 24

MCAS Science/Technology for Grade 5
2 sessions - untimed May 19 & 20

At our recent PTO meeting with Dr. Fleishman, there were many questions about the PARCC tests.  As I mentioned earlier, all elementary schools will be taking the pencil and paper version.  The number of test sessions has been cut down.  There were also questions about preparation.  We believe that PARCC is attempting to measure what our children have learned.  Our curriculum is based on the Common Core, and that is what PARCC is attempting to measure.  We believe that all children should have some exposure to the kind of questions they will be experiencing and some understanding of test taking strategies.  We include this in our teaching but do not feel there is a need to do extensive preparations for the test.  Special incentives during the testing will include an activity break prior to taking the test, no homework that day or the previous night, and hard candy or gum use during the test administration.  Let me know if you have further questions about PARCC.
Audrey Peller

Coming Monday - Online Camp Auction!
Ward PTO is hosting an Online Camp Auction that will go live on Monday!  Bid on items such as Fessenden Camp, Chestnut Hill Camp, B.C. Camp, Babson Sports Camps, YMCA Camp, and Beaver Family Swim Club.  Bid and you might be able to get one of these camp sessions at a big discount!  All proceeds go to the Ward PTO operating budget to fund technology, creative arts and sciences programming and more!

Other amazing items including Ward School Principal for the Day, or your child's art work on the front or back cover of next year's Ward Directory!

Look for the email announcing the start of the Auction on Monday morning!

Please email with any questions.

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.  Invitations will be going out soon.  If you do not receive an invitation, please contact Elizabeth Bosco at
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 (

Animal Shelter Donation Drive and Art Contest
Donation Drive
Please bring bagged/boxed items to the Ward School Lobby on Tuesday February 9 and Wednesday, February 10

The Boston Animal Rescue League is in constant need of the following items: clean towels, paper towel/toilet rolls, clean flat sheets, clean blankets, HE detergent, dishwasher liquid, unopened cat/dog food or treats.

Art Contest
Every Student who donates is eligible to submit their Artwork. A Grade-wide contest will be held with prizes for 1st place and Honorable Mentions.
Art Submission Guidelines:
  • 8.5 x11 Paper- Construction Grade or better
  • Student must work independently to create artwork representing their favorite animal in any medium.
  • Include Name and Grade on back

Any questions/thoughts:

Upcoming School Committee Meetings 

The School Committee will meet on  February 8 and 25, at 7 pm.  All meetings take place at the Education Center, 100 Walnut St., Newtonville.  An agenda for the upcoming meetings is available here.

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 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

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

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.

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.