ForWard - January 6th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 6, 2017 

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
  • 3rd Grade Parents' Potluck - Saturday, January 7
  • Teachers Appreciation Breakfast (sponsored by 3rd Grade families) - Thursday, January 12
  • Last day for Cradles to Crayons donations - January 18
  • 1st Grade Parents' Potluck - Saturday, January 21
  • 4th Grade Parents' Potluck - Saturday, January 28
  • PTO Meeting with Superintendent Fleishman - February 3, 8:30 am

From the Principal's Desk
I hope that your family enjoyed winter break. We are excited to welcome 2017, and take time to reflect on our goals for the coming months.
Students in grades kindergarten, two and five will soon be participating in CAPP (Child Assault Prevention Program). CAPP volunteers teach children developmentally appropriate safety strategies through role-play situations. The volunteers are committed to teaching children the skills and strategies that they would need to stand up for themselves if faced with verbal, physical, or sexual assault. Your written permission is required for your child to participate, so please be on the lookout for your child's permission form and return it to your child's teacher prior to January 13 when workshops will begin.
If you have a child who will turn five by August 31, 2017, your child is eligible for kindergarten. Information for kindergarten registration is now available on the Newton website. You can sign up for one of the information sessions, February 6 at Newton North or February 8 at Newton South, and schedule a screening appointment for your child at Ward.
Our fourth graders are planning a trip to Cradles to Crayons to volunteer their time and skills to this amazing organization. This is a great "hands on" experience for them to provide support as well as learn about ways they can help others.   Please consider contributing new or lightly worn boots and winter jackets (adult and child sized). Collection bins will be located in our school foyer until January 18. Thank you in advance for your support.
Tickets are on sale for the Jennifer Price Global Education Leadership Fund (GELF)'s annual benefit dinner. GELF is a scholarship program that supports low-income Newton students in taking advantage of international opportunities. The evening is a not-to-be-missed community event, featuring an amazing 5-course gourmet meal (cooked from scratch on-site!!), paired fine beers & wines (featuring Sam Adams beer pairings, a major hit last year!), dancing (with a great live band featuring our own Katani Sumner), 150 like-minded community members, table service by Newton principals, and a raffle.
This year's benefit dinner will take place on April 1st, 2017 from 6:30-10:30 PM at Newton North High School. GELF is under the 501(c)(3) umbrella of the Newton Schools Foundation. If you buy before February 18, 2016, you will get 2 free tickets to an exclusive, early-bird-only raffle!
You can buy tickets online here at:
(scroll down to the bottom for the PayPal button) or send a $150/person check (made payable to Newton Schools Foundation with GELF in the memo line) to:
Newton Schools Foundation, ATTN: Diane Greer, P.O. Box 590020, Newton Centre, MA 02459
Wishing you a happy and healthy year ahead,

From the Nurse's Office
Coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, oh my!
Winter illness is abounding, as is often the case during the colder months.
Here are some Stay Healthy Tips:
Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Wash your hands often -- when they are dirty, before eating, after using the restroom and after sneezing into a tissue
  • Use soap and warm water and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ok to use when your hands aren't visibly dirty, but hand washing is preferable
  • Make it fun with kids - sing a song and model thoroughly soaping up!
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea -- "the stomach bug" - are often transmitted via a fecal/oral route, meaning virus is shed in the stool, gets on hands, and then enters the body through the mouth. Thorough hand washing after using the bathroom helps prevent this type of illness.
Cough Etiquette
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands - use a tissue or your elbow
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Stay away from people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
If your child unfortunately does get sick, please follow the illness policy. A student will be excluded from school if he/she has:
  •  A fever of 100 or greater in the past 24 hours
  •  A communicable disease diagnosis
  •  A cold in the active stages - coughing, sneezing, nasal drainage
  •  A sore throat and/or swollen neck glands
  •  Vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
  •  Acute pain that requires relief by narcotic medication
  •  An undiagnosed rash or skin eruption
Nurses monitor illness patterns so please contact the school nurse:
  • If you are uncertain if your child should come to school
  • To report illness when keeping your child home

Adapted from

Upcoming Potluck Dinners
Here's the schedule for the remaining dinners.  Invitations for the 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade dinners have been sent.  If you did not receive an invitation, please contact Kathy Shields at
1st grade -- Saturday, January 21
3rd grade - Saturday, January 7
4th grade - Saturday, January 28

PTO Meeting with the Superintendent
The PTO will be hosting a meeting with Newton Schools Superintendent David Fleishman, and members of the Newton School Committee on Friday, February 3 at 8:30 am. In order to optimize our time with the Superintendent, please send topics of interest to Diana or Lisa in advance of the meeting.

Ward Night at Launch!
Save the date for a great kids night out! On March 3 from 5 to 9 pm, the Ward School will invade Launch Trampoline Park in Watertown. Launch will donate 25% to Ward School. Please save the date for a great night out! More information to come closer to the date. 

School Committee News
Agendas for upcoming School Committee meetings may be found here . The next meetings will be held on January 9 and 23, 2017 at 7 pm at the Education Center on Walnut St. in Newtonville. 

Newton SPED PAC Meeting
The Newton Parent Advisory Council for Special Education is meeting on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  The topic is Transition from Middle School to High School, with Newton staff members from North and South attending. 
We will discuss Newton High Schools' student services and special education programs offered at North and South.  We are planning on having a parent panel discussion.
Meeting time is 7:30pm - 9pm.  Light refreshments and networking begins at 7:15pm. 
Location:  Room 210 at the Education Center, 100 Walnut Street. 
IMPORTANT: Please send an email to if you plan to attend.  Last year this presentation and panel was very crowded.  Please check for any room changes. 

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.