ForWard - March 18th, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

March 18, 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
  • March 18 - Teacher Raffle ends TODAY
  • March 25 - NO SCHOOL for Good Friday
  • April 5  - Pizza Night at Bertucci's in Newton Corner
  • April 18-22 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess
  • May 1 - Ward Serves Day
  • May 12 - Spring Party, details coming soon

Teacher Raffle - ENDS TODAY!
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 are available on the PTO's website. 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 18th.  Extra tickets can be found there as well, and can be downloaded by clicking here
Questions? Please contact Stephanie at

From the Principal's Desk
This month our Community Meeting focused on perseverance.   We talked about what it looks like and sounds like when we persevere.  You can help us by continuing this conversation at home.

Our next day for Kindergarten Registration will be March 21, by appointment.  We are still locating families with children who will be attending Ward who were not contacted through the city census.  Please spread the word.  In order to be sure we have an appropriate allocation of staff, we need to know who will be attending next year.  If your child is not attending Ward next year, please let Susan know.  In this way we can gather the information you will need for your next school as well as helping us plan for the appropriate number of students next year.

Our parent/teacher conference period is March 10-24.  At this time teachers plan to update you on your child's progress and work with you to set goals for the remainder of the year.  If you have not set up a time, please contact your child's teacher.

Our next School Council meeting is on Tuesday March 29, at 3:30.  We will be revising our school handbook.  You are always welcome to join us.

Audrey Parad Peller, Principal

Library Volunteers Needed
PARENT  VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!!   Ms. Packard, the Ward librarian, needs more parent volunteers in the library to help during library times for grades K, 1 and 2. Parents can sign up online through VolunteerSpot by clicking here.  

Applications for Ward After-School, 2016-2017

Ward After-School is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year!
Applications have been emailed to current families.  For families new to our program, you can email us at to request an application.  Applications are due by Monday, March 28.
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 28.  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!

Pizza Night
Please hold the date of April 5 for a school-wide pizza night. Bertuccis in Newton Corner will donate 15% of your bill to the PTO. Please bring your family and friends for a great night out. Bertuccis is located at 275 Centre Street.

This event is all day! The only thing you need to do is present this flyer to your server.

We are encouraging Ward families to come for dinner between 5:30 and 7:30 so that we can all be together for a fun night!

We will also have a few raffle items there so get ready for some extra fun! We will have 3 raffles including 1) Celtics tickets, 2) Gift certificate for Learning Express, and 3) Ride to school from Ms Leiberman plus delivery of her famous chocolate.   Raffle tickets will be $10 each and 6 for $50. 

Please contact Lisa Schwarzberg with any questions at 917 327 6132.
See you then!

Community Forum on High School Start Time: 
Especially for Middle and Elementary Parents
April 6, from 7-8:30 pm, in the Brown Middle School Auditorium
Join the Brown and Oak Hill PTOs and the Newton South School Council to explore the research on teen sleep and starting high school later. We hope to continue the community conversation around the the impact of inadequate sleep on our teens and welcome middle and elementary parents to the discussion.
The featured speaker will be Dr. Christopher Landrigan, Director of the Sleep and Patient Safety Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Research Director of Inpatient Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Landrigan is also a Brown and South parent; he was the featured speaker at January's High School Start Time Forum at Newton North. Catch up on the research and join the conversation-we look forward to seeing you there. 
More information and resources on adolescent sleep and later start time here (
Web Site Info
New items have been posted on the High School Start Time web page including information about the faculty/staff survey and about timeline.  Please review the presentation made March 14, 2016 at School Committee, or check out the full broadcast on NewTV.  Also, the F.A.Q has been updated.  

Please visit the web page for more information.  (You can also click through right from the district's main web page!)

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,

Upcoming School Committee Meetings 

The School Committee will meet on March 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.

MIT Open House!
Five years ago on a sunny day in April, MIT opened its doors to the world, welcoming 20,000 visitors to campus to experience the spirit of discovery and innovation that hums throughout our departments, labs, and centers. Today, as we prepare to celebrate 100 years on the Cambridge side of the Charles River, we are thrilled again to invite you to join us for what promises to be an exciting, informative, and lively introduction to the world of MIT.

Last November, Professor Leslie Norford and Associate Dean Elizabeth Young extended an invitation to you and to your students, teachers, and staff to attend ourApril 23, 2016, Open House entitled "Under the Dome: Come Explore MIT."  I write now to say, "Please come! And encourage your school community to participate!"

We have confirmed hundreds of Open House activities -- hands-on projects, exhibitions, lectures, and demonstrations- that will appeal to a wide range of interests, from science and engineering to entrepreneurship and the arts.  In early April a full list of activities - from "Measuring the Speed of Light with Chocolate" to  "Drive an Underwater Robot" - will be available online by clicking here

The Open House will run from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM across MIT's main campus.  Admission is free.  Please write to with any questions.

Please Donate to the Annual Fund
Dear Ward Families,

If you haven't yet donated to the Annual Fund, we still need your contribution.
In addition to funding classroom technology, such as ipads and computers not paid for by the Newton School Department, your donation funds wonderful Creative Arts and Science programs and much more.  Click here to view the full PTO budget if you'd like to see exactly what your contribution pays for. 
Contributions are tax-deductible.
Warm Regards,
Linda Gillespie (
Diana Cohen (

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 - Mayor's Community Discussion
 Save the Date: April 7, 2016 - Mayor's 1st Annual Community Discussion on Newton as a Welcoming City For All 
Help us ensure that Newton is open to people of all races/ethnicities, religions, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and disabilities.

On Thursday evening, April 7th, Mayor Warren will host the first annual community discussion focused on ensuring that Newton is a welcoming community to people of all backgrounds. The forum will include leaders from our community and beyond. This will be an opportunity for residents of all ages to ask questions, and join us in making Newton the most inclusive community it can be.

The discussion will be held in the War Memorial of Newton City Hall, located at 1000 Commonwealth Avenue, on Thursday, April 7th at 6:30 pm.

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.

Make 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. 

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.