ForWard - October 7th, 2016

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

October 7, 2016 

Dear Ward Parents,

Welcome to the latest edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2016-2017 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
  • Mystery Dinners - October 15, 6 pm 
  • School Start Times Forum - October 19 at 7 pm
  • Kindergarten Potluck Dinner - October 22
  • Pizza Night at Bertucci's - October 25

Please RSVP for Ward's Mystery Dinner

Saturday, October 15 at 6 pm
Invitations for this year's Mystery Dinner were sent home with your children this week.  Please RSVP!!!  We look forward to seeing you!
The schedule for the evening is:
6:00 pm - Appetizers together
8:00 pm - Small groups for mystery dinners
10:00 pm - Dessert together

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Beth Hicks ( or 857-231-6892) or Alexis Giannakopoulos ( or 781-492-4500).

Pizza Night at Bertucci's
Please hold the date of October 25 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! 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! 

Please contact Lisa Schwarzberg with any questions at

Online Access to the Ward School Directory
You should have received an email on Wednesday evening with login information to the online version of the Ward School Directory including information on downloading the Directory App.  If you didn't receive it, please email  The printed version will be sent home with your youngest child in mid-October.  If you need a second copy for a second household, please email  Note: access to this directory is being given only to parents of Ward School students so your information is secure.

School Start Times Community Forum
Given the belief of the Newton Public Schools and the Newton School Committee that a later high school start time has important health and wellness benefits for adolescents, the High School Start Time working group was created in September 2015.  The school committee's charge to the group was to define the necessary changes to make a later high school start time happen in Newton. 
Please join a community forum on October 19th at 7pm, which will be held at Angier.  This will be to discuss the potential action on school start times, which may impact elementary, middle and high school start times.  Please find additional information here ( or here (
Also, agendas for upcoming School Committee meetings may be found here. The next meeting will be held on October 24 at 7 pm at the Education Center on Walnut St. in Newtonville.

Want Your Child to Join a Language Club?
There is still time to register for the IES Language Clubs that are held at Ward after school in the afternoons.  For some reason, enrollment is low this year and if it does not improve, there is a risk these clubs will be cancelled.  There is still space in the Monday and Wednesday afternoon Spanish clubs, and the Thursday French club.  For more information, or to register, please contact Joanna Hooley at or 617-363-9450.

Heads Up on Ballot Question Related to Education
The Massachusetts Authorization of Additional Charter Schools and Charter School Expansion Initiative, also known as Question 2, is on the November 8, 2016 ballot in Massachusetts.  This item is related to charter school expansion, and we encourage you to educate yourself on the matters related to Question 2.  You can find additional information about the ballot question here.

Grade-Wide Potluck Dinners - Hosts Needed!

Every year, the PTO organizes  grade-wide potluck dinners.  These nights are a great way to meet and socialize with the other parents in your child's grade.  The evening is for adults only and hosts do not cook!  They only need to supply paper goods and a big trash can and guests do the rest.  Your home should be big enough for about 50 adults to stand (this is not a formal sit-down affair - it's much more casual).  You choose the night, and we'll check it against the master calendar. 

If you would be willing to host a dinner for your child's grade, please email Kathy Shields, at  We are still looking for hosts for the second grade, and third grade dinners.

The kindergarten dinner will take place on Saturday, October 22.  Mark you calendars and book the babysitters!  If you did not receive an invitation, please email

Newton's One to One Program
Newton's One-to-One Program, our very own "Big Brother/Sister Program" has been matching wonderful high schoolers with children in grades one through five for over 30 years.

If you think your elementary aged child would benefit from a mentor in their life and you can you commit 2.5 hours each week to have your child meet with a high school mentor from November to May - you should contact us.

To get more information, please contact Rebecca Young, Program Coordinator, at  or 617-315-8733.

Calling Website Design Pros! 
Do you have experience in Web design?  The PTO is looking for someone to volunteer to redesign the PTO's website.  Your assistance would be a wonderful service to current and future Ward families.  Please contact Diana Cohen ( or Lisa Schwartzberg ( if you would be willing to undertake, or help with, this project.

Save Money, Save Energy and Support Ward's PTO
Newton Energy Savers (NE$) is a City and Green Newton initiative that helps to connect families to Mass Save Home Energy Assessments.  No cost assessments help to identify where homes are losing energy, check the health and safety of home heating systems, and offers instant savings measures, including free energy-saving light bulbs.

The approved Mass Save-certified contractor provides an opportunity to receive insulation and weatherization improvements that are subsidized by the utility at 75% off up to $2,000, and there is no-cost (up to 12 hours) for air sealing drafty spaces. The assessment is no-cost to homeowners, because of a small fee in each of our utility bills.

A contribution to the Ward PTO will be made by Green Newton for each completed assessment, so please call 781-436-2639 (mention Ward PTO) or visit if you have not had a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment within the past two years.

Newton Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP)
Seeking Volunteers
19 Continuing Education Credits available for licensed MSW's.
Multi-session training begins on Oct. 15
Application deadline is Oct. 7
Do you believe that all children have the right to be "Safe, Strong and Free?"  Join our dynamic task force of trained volunteer CAP Prevention Specialists committed to teaching children in the Newton Elementary Schools the skills that they would need to stand up for themselves if faced with verbal, physical or sexual assault. We are now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year.  CORI and SORI screenings required.  For more information please visit our website at  or email Gail Sommer at

Meet the Author at UOD Family Book Event Oct. 18

Join Understanding Our Differences for our exciting "Meet the Author" Family Book Event on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 7:00 p.m., at Newton South High School Auditorium.  Our guest will be Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, who will talk about and sign her award-winning middle grade novel, The War That Saved My Life.  The book is a story of triumph against all odds by a girl with a physical disability, set during World War II.Online registration for this author conversation and book signing is required and is now open at: 

Admission is free for children and NPS teachers and staff.  Requested donation is $10 at the door for adults. Program is 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Book signing follows. Books will be available for purchase at the event. 

For more information, contact us at

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.