ForWard - April 1st, 2016

Contact Group(s): 





The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

April 1, 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
  • April 5  - Pizza Night at Bertucci's in Newton Corner
  • April 7 - Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, hosted by kindergarten families
  • April 11 - Math Morning, 8:20 to 9 am
  • April 18-22 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess
  • May 1 - Ward Serves Day, 9 am to 2 pm
  • May 12 - Spring Party, details coming soon

From the Principal's Desk
Our April Kindness Convention will be held on Monday, April 4 and will be the theme for our community meeting.  In preparation, all classes will be discussing the book I Like Your Buttons by Sarah Lamstein.  When families meet on Monday morning, students will share an act of kindness and write it on a piece of paper.  When we meet in the gym, a kindergartner from each family will collect the notes and add them to a kindness bucket.  This bucket will be available in the front lobby so that students can add their acts of kindness during the month of April.  We hope it won't take long for the bucket to be overflowing with notes of kindness.

You are welcome to attend our annual Math Morning (formerly Math Night) which will take place on Monday, April 11, from 8:20-9:00 AM.  This is an opportunity for parents to visit their child's classroom to participate in some of the games and activities that are part of our math curriculum.  Math Morning takes place during Estimation Week at which time students answer a series of estimation questions throughout the building that are created especially for their grade level.  I hope you can join us for this exciting event.

This is a reminder that PARCC testing will begin on April 26.

Audrey Parad Peller, Principal

Ward Water Bottles For Sale! 
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, April 5, 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!!

Teacher Appreciation Breakfast - Kindergarten
The next teacher appreciation breakfast will be on Thursday, April 7th, hosted by kindergarten families.  Please click here to view the online sign up sheet. 
If you have any questions, please contact Beth Hicks at

Understanding Our Differences - 
Learning Disabilities Unit
On March 24, the Learning Disabilities unit of the UOD program was presented to the 4th grade. Students were given introductory presentations about Learning Disabilities, and they also took part in a number of hands-on activities.  We were fortunate to have two NNHS students as our guest speakers. They shared their experiences with Learning Disabilities, and thoughtfully answered the 4th graders' many  questions.
Many thanks to our parent volunteer team of Aoife O'Dwyer, Marsha Marchant, Rong Zhang, Lori Maddams, Mark Potter, Jasmin Ha, and Christine O'Neill.  I would also like to thank our 4th grade teachers, Katherine Goldman, Lauren Ludman, and Amy Magna, the classroom aides, and our principal Audrey Peller for their support, as well as Shelia Packard, Sis Belcher, and Amy Broder for their invaluable assistance.
Alexandra Novina
For more information:

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.

Save the Date for a Spring Community Event

It's spring time at Ward School!  Bring the family and join the Ward School Community on Thursday, May 12th at 6:00 pm, outdoors at the playground and tennis courts. Complete with organized games, food and interactive DJ entertainment, this event is not to be missed.  Show off your basketball skills at the long shot challenge and compete with other families on a life size Jenga game, just to name a few.  What a great way to kick off the season! Dinner will be provided and RSVP's will be required so we can plan accordingly.

You can help!  Volunteers are needed to assist with setup, food stations, overseeing games and clean up.  

Please contact Laurie Ufland at

Additional information to follow in the coming weeks.

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.

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.  

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 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 - 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.