ForWard - March 25th, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

March 25, 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 25 - NO SCHOOL for Good Friday
  • March 29 - 5th Grade is selling water bottles after school
  • April 5  - Pizza Night at Bertucci's in Newton Corner
  • April 18-22 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess
  • May 1 - Ward Serves Day, 9 am to 2 pm
  • May 12 - Spring Party, details coming soon

Spring is coming, Spring sports will be here soon. You probably are thinking about buying new water bottles for your kids. The Ward School 5th grade is selling water bottles with the Ward School logo to help raise funds for their class gift and community service project. Bottles are $10 each.

Bottles will be on sale this Tuesday, March 29, right after school.  We will have parent volunteers selling the water bottles out front at dismissal, as well as at the After-School program at 12:30. Please remember to send your child in with money to buy a new water bottle!  Proceeds will benefit the 5th grade. Thanks for your support!!

Thank You to 1st Grade Parents
Thank you to the 1st grade parents for hosting a wonderful "appreciation" breakfast for our Ward staff this month!  We truly have the best community at Ward!

Animal Shelter Donation Drive - Art Contest Winners 
(1st Place & Honorable Mention)
Congratulations to the first place and honorable mention winners of the art contest that was part of our Animal Shelter Donation Drive!  Thank you for all of the contributions!

Kindergarten:    Becky Gansner
1st Grade:  William Balerna 
            Henry Posen
2nd Grade: Lucas Abramson
            Ella Vonkohorn
3rd Grade: Jonah Gatoff
            Ella Glennon
4th Grade: Ericka Hicks
            Ellie Qian-Tsui
5th Grade:  Kyra Pyanim
            Bridget Gilmartin

Deadline Approaching to Apply for 
After-School 2016-2017
Last call for applications for 2016-2017 for the Ward After-School Program!  The deadline is Monday, March 28 and this is a real deadline.  While we strive to accommodate all that apply on time, please note that a waitlist may be necessary if we receive more applications than spots available.

You can email the director at to request an application.  Please note that there is a 2 day minimum for enrollment for Grades 1-up, and that there is a $50 application fee required with the application.  

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 will be sending a flyer home with the children for you to bring as well.

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 chip cookies.   Raffle tickets will be $10 each and 6 for $50. 

Please contact Lisa Schwarzberg with any questions at 917 327 6132.

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.  

Save the Date for Ward Serves Day!
Sunday, May 1 from 9 am - 2 pm
Please bring your family and friends to help improve Ward during our annual Ward Serves Day!  We had a terrific turn out last year and would like to keep the momentum going -- all are welcome even if you can only serve for an hour!

This is a great and fun opportunity to do some community service together with your children and get to know other Ward families.

We need volunteers to help with:
painting the teacher's lounge and several offices
the Ward Garden
school landscaping, mulching and planting
spreading new woodchips around the playground
leaf raking
trash pick up around the school
and collecting and donating food for the Newton Food Pantries

We'll need volunteers to bring rakes, gardening gloves, shovels and a few wheel barrows for spreading woodchips around the playground.

If your family would like to help paint, please wear old clothes.  Please let us know if you are willing to be a Paint Project Captain!

Please email Cheryl Abramson or Lisa Gilinksky with any questions!

Ward School Family Night at Fenway Park!
Join your classmates, teachers, family and friends for a night of fun at Fenway Park on June 17 as you watch the Red Sox take on the Seattle Mariners.  The game starts at 7:10 pm.  Bleacher tickets cost $36.
The deadline to buy tickets as part of our group is April 15, 2016.  To order tickets,please fill out this form, and leave it, with your check made payable to the Ward PTO, in the box in the Ward School lobby.
If you have any questions, please contact Diana Cohen.

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!)

Upcoming School Committee Meetings 

The School Committee will meet on March 28, and on April 4, 11 and 27, 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.

BU Brain Day!
The BU Mind and Brain Society is hosting its 3rd annual Bringing Recognition And Interest to Neuroscience Day on Sunday, April 10th. All students and their families, and faculty members at Ward Elementary are invited to our BRAIN Day event to be held at 770 Commonwealth Ave (George Sherman Union 2nd floor ­ Ziskind Lounge).

B.R.A.I.N. Day is a free event on Boston University's campus designed for students in grades K-12 and their parents and teachers. The event features a variety of fun and interactive activities along with mind-boggling demonstrations led by BU Neuroscience undergraduates. Our goal is to share our enthusiasm for science and discovery, and inspire questions about the brain!

In addition to having brains on display, this year¹s event will include tests and demonstrations to:
  • Evaluate cognition and memory,
  • Show how the brain tricks your visual system,
  • Reveal the value of mistakes and practice,
  • Introduce Brain Machine Interfaces and neuroprosthetics,
  • Illustrate the language of the brain through neural recordings,

And MANY more!

Our newest addition to this year¹s BRAIN Day is a career panel that will feature a graduate student focusing on policy, a neuroeconomics professor, among others in the neuroscience field.

For more information, please visit  Should you have any further questions regarding the event please reach out to

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.