ForWard - February 26th, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

February 26, 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
  • February 27 - 3rd Grade Parents Potluck Dinner
  • March 4 - PTO Meeting
  • March 5 - 2nd Grade Parents Potluck Dinner
  • March 10 - 12:30 pm, Early Release Thursday
  • March 11 - Teacher Raffle ends
  • March 25 - NO SCHOOL for Good Friday

Grade-Wide Potluck Dinners - 3rd Grade is Tomorrow
3rd Grade - February 27.  Invitations have been sent.  If you did not receive an invitation, please contact Greg and Andrea Youman at
2nd Grade - March 5.  Invitations have been sent.  If you did not receive an invitation, please contact Kathy Shields at

Teacher Raffle
The TEACHER RAFFLE is going on now! Once again, Ward School teachers and staff have donated 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, purchasing new equipment and supplies for the classrooms and library, and much more!  Ticket forms and the Teacher Prize List will be going home with students on Friday February 26th. Tickets are $5 each. Please make checks payable to Ward School PTO and submit your tickets and payment (check or cash) in the box in the front lobby by Friday, March 11th.  Extra tickets can be found there as well, and can be downloaded by clicking here
Questions? Please contact Stephanie at

Teacher Appreciation Breakfast - Thanks
Thank you to the second grade parents for hosting a wonderful "appreciation" breakfast for our Ward teachers yesterday!  We truly have the best staff at Ward!

Applications for Ward After-School, 2016-2017
Beginning in March, the Ward After-School Program will be accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year!
Applications will be emailed to current families.  For families new to our program, you can email us at to request an application.  Applications are due by Friday, March 25.
Some important things to note about the application process:
  • We have a two-day minimum for enrollment for Grades 1-5, no exceptions.
  • There is a $50 application fee.
  • Applications are due by March 25.  This is a REAL deadline!
  • Our program strives to accommodate all who apply by the deadline.  However, we may receive more applications than our license allows.  A waitlist may be necessary.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at, or 617-965-3087. Thank you!

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

March is Unplugged and Connected Month
"Unplugged and Connected!" reminds us there is more to life than what is on the other side of a plug. The 2016 calendar provides suggested activities and events for friends, families and neighbors to enjoy together. Please visit  and click on the Newton Unplugged link on the main menu or go directly to the calendar here.

Each year students look forward to "No Homework Night", this year on March 9, and the other thirty suggested activities and events. This year's calendar includes some old favorites and some new events and ideas for spending unplugged and connected time together.

For questions, contact Family Access of Newton,

Creative Arts and Sciences - Ruby Bridges
On April 7th, CASC is bringing in Ruby Bridges to Ward to speak with our students in the 3,4, & 5th grades.  Ms. Bridges came to Ward a few years back and it was the highlight of the school year.  The program is described below.  Ms. Bridges has a agreed to stay for a book signing after her presentation.  Parents may choose to purchase her book, Through My Eyes, for their families.  It would be great if you could do so through this link, which benefits our PTO and CASC. The book is very readable and has a lot to offer.
Below is a synopsis of Ruby's program:
Ruby Bridges is living history. She was the first African American child to enter the newly desegregated New Orleans school system in 1960. She has written her memoir, Through My Eyes, for ages 8-12. The book describes her experience as a six-year old entering an all-white school amidst hatred and bigotry. She contributed to a biography entitled Let's Read About Ruby Bridges. Robert Coles wrote the biography, The Story of Ruby Bridges. Ms. Bridges is also the subject of Norman Rockwell's painting, "The Problem We All Live With." 

In her riveting grades 3-5 program, Ms. Bridges blends her powerful, autobiographical experience with a history and civics lesson. Ms. Bridges shows a five-minute and fifteen-minute DVD or CD of the historic day in New Orleans in 1960 and tells her experience through her six-year old perceptions. She skillfully teaches what civil rights are and what students should do if they feel their rights are being challenged. Ms. Bridges teaches what students should do if they feel a law or laws need to be changed to reflect civil rights. Throughout the program Ms. Bridges uses a question and answer format to teach the historical and legal concepts she introduces.
Robin, Jen, and Dawn  

Upcoming School Committee Meetings 

The School Committee will meet on March 14, 17 and 28 at 7 pm.  All meetings take place at the Education Center, 100 Walnut St., Newtonville.  An agenda for the upcoming meetings is available here.

High School Start Times is an independent group of Newton parents, co-founded by Ward parents Jeff Pontiff and Heidi Gardner, who are concerned about high school start times. All Newton parents are encouraged to join their email list and keep abreast of high school start time developments. 
Please contact Jeff Pontiff with any question 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 (

Special Offer for Ward Families - Harlem Globetrotters 

Following up on the success of Ward Night at the Celtics, the PTO has obtained this special offer to see the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters, as the team celebrates its 90th anniversary world tour.
A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages.
Discount tickets are available for select seating options.  Pricing ranges from $19-$166 per seat.
Saturday, March 12, 2016 7:30pm
Sunday, March 13, 2016 1:00pm
To order online, please click on the following link. Your promo code is 16GLOBETROTTERS296.  More information is available on the PTO websitehere
To order over the phone, please contact Alexandra Bottone  with the TD Garden at 617-624-1822 or  Please mention this offer and leave a daytime phone number.

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

Summer Camp Fair  
Discover Summer! Camps & Activities Fair:  Considering overnight camp for your child or teen this summer?  Interested in exploring a wide variety of day options?  Join us at the Avery School, 336 High St., Dedham on March 5th from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM to chat with representatives from 50+ summer programs.  Traditional day and overnight camps, unique programs focusing on academic enrichment, STEM, the arts, sports -- we have something for everyone.  Exclusive discounts & chances to win free or reduced weeks of tuition.  Local non-profit Catching Joy will also host a sock drive in conjunction with the event.  Bring new socks with you to donate to area children in need and do good while looking for something good-to-do this summer!  Questions?  Email Kara at
 or see

Newton Creative Arts and Sciences
APRIL 8, 2016
Newton's Creative Arts & Sciences presents an evening with this year's Concert Series performer, Crocodile River Music. Come celebrate the global music experience that students enjoyed this fall. Crocodile River Music brings the music of Mali, Brazil, Spain and Trinidad, and the instruments and dances that celebrate these cultures to Newton. Join musicians from Bamako, Mali and Boston, Massachusetts for an evening of world class entertainment in your own backyard. Complimentary wine, beer, and light fare round out what is certain to be a fabulous event for a 21+ audience.
Tickets are $35/person and go on sale February 22.
Contact Stacey Moriarty with questions:

When:   April 8, 2016, 7 to 10 PM
Where:  Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Rd., Newton Centre, 02459

No one under 21 will be admitted.

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.