ForWard - May 6th, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

May 6, 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
  • May 6 - Last day for Lost & Found clean-out
  • May 12 - 6 pm, Ward Spring Party! Sign up by May 9!
  • May 25 - Annual Spring Art Show.  Details coming soon!
  • June 7 - PTO End of the Year Party

From the Principal's Desk
Dear Ward School Families,

It has been wonderful to become reacquainted with students, teachers, and parents these last two weeks though very unfortunate that my presence is due to Mrs. Peller's recent bout with back pain. I am sure you join me in wishing her well as she recovers. As a heads up, there will be a day or two when I will not be in due to prior commitments.
As always, we have a great team of teacher leaders who fill in when the principal is not in the building including Hannah Franklin, Sis Belcher, Meghan O'Brien, and Cynthia Silverman. Susan Tempesta, our administrative assistant extraordinaire, can direct you to the appropriate person should a need arise.

Newton Serves Came to Ward!
Beautifully tended gardens, cheery light yellow walls in the Teachers' Lunchroom and a calming blue in the Café, and much more, all thanks to Ward's Newton Serves well-coordinated efforts on Sunday. Thank you to all families and staff for the wonderful work you did in making our school look great for the spring!

Not Returning to Ward?
As the office begins to plan for next year, please let us know if your child will not be
returning to Ward School next year. At this time of the year, schools routinely monitor enrollment numbers so that our planning matches our needs. Thank you!

Watch for the next ForWard News where I will have some definitive dates for you
regarding end of the year communication (progress reports, as an example) and events.

My best to all,
Eva Thompson

Lost and Found Clean-Out - TODAY!

The Lost and Found is overflowing!!  TODAY is the last day to collect all of your abandoned (mostly winter) clothes and other items.  After today, all remaining items will be donated to Cradles to Crayons. 

Spring 3rd and 4th Grade Clay Show 
Where:  Ward School Library
When:  April 26 - May 6
Please stop by the library and see the amazing work done by your children under the guidance of our dedicated art teacher Amy Broder.

Sign Up for the Ward Spring Party!

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.
 Click here to RSVP  by May 9 in order to reserve your FREE pizza.
Limit of 2 slices per person. 

Or look for the form coming home in your child's folder, detach and place in box outside of the office.

Volunteers Needed:  In order to pull off a successful event, we need volunteers to distribute pizza and dessert and to man some of the game stations.  Please contact Laurie Ufland at if you can volunteer or if you have any questions.

Understanding Our Differences - Volunteers Needed
The 5th grade is having their final Understanding Our Difference Unit on May 12, 2016 from 1-3 pm on Autism.  5th grade parent volunteers are needed and any volunteer parents in other grades are more then welcome to also volunteer.  It is a great way to see how a program goes for future UOD units in 5th grade.  Please contact Beth Newman if you can help out on May 12. or (617) 331-7108 

Annual Spring Art Show
Mark your calendar!  May 25th is the ANNUAL SPRING ART SHOW!
Watch for details soon.

Thanks to all for Ward Serves Day!
Ward Serves was a tremendous success thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help! Thank you for your hard work!  A very special thank you Cheryl Abramson, Aoife O'Dwyer, Marc Laredo, Raquel Alencar and Lisa Gilinsky for all of their hard work and leadership both in advance of and all day yesterday -- It was a very successful effort!

Thanks to everyone who brought supplies, food and to the O'Rourke's who bought pizza for everyone!

Congratulations to the 5th graders on the beautiful new butterly garden, located behind the library, that they've created for all of Ward to enjoy!  Go check it out!
And we were very fortunate to be aided by a team of very energetic Boston College ROTC students who spent the day helping us.
Note: If you left behind any shovels or rakes, they can be picked up in the gardening shed to the left, behind the front entry stairs.

Thanks to Ward Garden Day Volunteers 
A very special thank you to Aoife O'Dwyer for four years of hard work and dedication to the Ward Garden!  It's a wonderful resource for Ward students and the Ward community.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time!
Thanks also to all who helped organize this year's Garden Day plantings.  Each class spent time in the garden today assisted by the garden team and by parent volunteers from each class.  The garden they planted will beautify the school all summer long!

PTO End of the Year Party
Save the date of June 7 for an end of the year party to celebrate all of the people who have volunteered their time to the PTO and to Ward School this year.  More details will be coming soon.  Please contact Diana Cohen with any questions.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings 

The School Committee will meet on May 9 and 23, at 7 pm.  All meetings take place at the Education Center, 100 Walnut St., Newtonville.  An agenda for the upcoming meetings is available here.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6
Time for Honor Thy Teacher
May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week! What better time to recognize your child's teacher(s), classroom aides, specialists, and school staff through Newton Schools Foundation's Honor Thy Teacher Program.
Honor Thy Teacher is a great way to say "Thank You" to the wonderful men and women who motivate, educate and inspire our kids to be the best they can be.When you recognize teachers and staff through Honor Thy Teacher, you'll also be supporting the Newton Public Schools.
NSF celebrates teachers and staff by:
  • Notifying honorees of your gift
  • Sharing honoree names with the Superintendent and Principals
  • Listing all honored teachers and staff in a full-page display in the Newton TAB
Suggested donation is $25 per teacher/staff member, which will help NSF fund innovative and creative programs throughout Newton's schools. You can donate on line by visiting the NSF web site or by check made out to "Newton Schools Foundation", P.O Box 590020, Newton, MA 02459. Be sure to include the name(s) and school(s) of those you wish to honor. Elementary school parents may complete the flyer that went home in your child's backpack.
Questions? Call 617-559-6120 or email
Tell Newton's teachers, "We appreciate you!"

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 (

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 the Community Notes page maintained by the Newton PTO Council.  Click here to link to their website, which you can search by category.