ForWard - January 27th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 27, 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
  • 4th Grade Parents' Potluck - Saturday, January 28
  • Early Release Day - Wednesday, February 1 (Ward's Girl Scouts will be selling cookies at pick up time)
  • Teacher Appreciation Breakfast hosted by 2nd Grade Families- February 2, 7:30 a.m.
  • PTO Meeting with Superintendent Fleishman - February 3, 8:30 am
  • Last Day to Buy Ward Night at Fenway Tickets - February 10 (or earlier if sold out)
  • Winter Break - February 20-214
  • Ward Night at Launch - March 3
  • International Night - March 23

Annual Fund Thank You
An enormous thank you to the families, individuals and corporate matching donors that made this year's Annual Fund campaign a success!  We're so grateful for your generosity.  In addition to funding Ward's ongoing needs and programs, the PTO has decided to direct a portion of the funds raised through the Annual Fund to support new science and technology enhancements. We wouldn't be able to meet this need without your support!
An extra special thank you to Becca and Will Havemeyer and Zlatena Simeonova for their leadership and commitment to the Annual Fund. We are so grateful for your dedication to this important initiative. 
We've notified the winners of the Spring Auction ticket raffle, congratulations!  
If you'd like to learn more about the Annual Fund and how the PTO uses these funds to enrich the educational experience at Ward for all students, please reach out to us. Thank you again for your support and for making a difference at Ward! 
Diana Cohen & Lisa Schwarzberg, PTO co-chairs

Upcoming Potluck Dinners
The last potluck of the year, for 4th grade parents, is next Saturday, January 28.

Thanks to Kat and Eugene Liao for hosting the very well-attended 1st Grade parents potluck last weekend!

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 Fenway Park
Come join us for our Ward School Night at Fenway Park on June 9th.  Due to popular demand we have a limited number seats (up to 100) so it is first come first serve.  Flyers went home this week and we will stop selling tickets by Feb. 10th (or earlier if we sell out).  Any questions can contact Diana at

Ward International Night
It isn't too late!  Show us your international flair!  Tour the world within the walls of Ward School!  Ward's International Night is a great opportunity to showcase your family's background and to teach others in our community about the many cultures represented in our school. It will be held this year on March 23 at 6pm in the school's gym, and is an eagerly awaited Ward tradition.

Please sign up at the link below to represent your country and to host a booth.  Sign up at the link below:

Please contact Cheryl Abramson or Zlatena Simeonova-Ezzat with any questions, and mark your calendar for March 23!

2017 Bi-Annual Spring Auction
Save the Date: April 29, Putterham Grille in Brookline
This is one of Ward's premier social events.  The Ward School Spring Auction Committee hopes to raise $25,000 to fund technology, creative services, and additional supplies for the library, playground and classrooms.
In the slight chance you're thinking, "Gee, Sounds great . . . How can I help the Auction Committee?"  We're so glad you asked.
  • Data entry for bidding software
  • Audio visual support
  • Emcee the live auction
  • Prep/breakdown
  • Event check in and out
Auction Items Needed
  • Fitness memberships, camp vouchers, children's activities, host a golf/tennis outing
  • Services - chefs, pet sitters, babysitting, interior design, tutoring, home repair
  • Gift cards
  • Vacation homes
  • Tagged goods (scarves, bags, jewelry, sports memorabilia)
  • Tickets to sporting events or shows
  • Wine Pull Event, wines over $30
Sponsorship is great exposure for your business.  We have many opportunities for advertising via our new auction website along with printed event material.  Please inquire for more information.
  • Platinum - $1,000
  • Gold - $500
  • Silver - $250
  • Bronze - $125
Please email, if you have any questions or would like to volunteer.  Please consider supporting our school and taking advantage of this opportunity by contributing whatever you can.

An Easy Way to Make Money for Ward
Do you have those brown boxes coming to your house too? Amazon Prime?  Amazon Video?  Amazon Music?  Amazon everything? Whatever the reason, please use this link when you are shopping at Amazon.  It is an easy way to support the Ward School PTO:

Please remember that you need to re-click this link or save the address each time you shop at Amazon. 

Or you can set up your computer / phone to support the PTO at and search for John Ward School, and this will store your selection.

Or you can go to the Ward website- and click on "shop amazon"


Update from High School Start Times Working Group
The High School Start Time Working Group reported on feedback from all stakeholders about scenarios under consideration and made a presentation to School Committee on Monday, January 23, 2017.  The report on community feedback has been reissued to included feedback from Newton Public Schools teachers and staff.  A presentation has also been posted.
Please visit the Newton Public Schools web site for full information and to review the reports:

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. 

Responsive Home Workshops
Are you struggling with your child(ren)'s behavior at home?  The tools of Responsive Classroom can be used to help create a calm, supportive and encouraging environment at home too!  These overview workshops are open to the public and no registration is required:
Tuesday, January 31 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, March 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, April 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Thursday, May 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
The January 31 workshop will be held in the Williams Elementary School Auditorium, at 141 Grove St. in Auburndale.  All other workshops will be held at the Education Center, room 210 at 100 Walnut Street in Newtonville. 
For more information, please contact Amy Kelly at

School Committee News
Agendas for upcoming School Committee meetings may be found here . The next meeting will be held on February 13, 2017 at 7 pm at the Education Center on Walnut St. in Newtonville. 
At the meeting held on January 23, the School Committee discussed a further report by the High School Start Time Working Group, an update on Class Sizes, and heard preliminary discussion about the proposed expansion of the Ward/Underwood buffer zone.  This proposed expansion will be voted on at the February 13 meeting. For more information and to view the meeting materials, click here.

Paint and Party for Newton Schools!
Grab your friends and come on down to the Paint Bar on March 9 to support Newton South teacher Holly Kee's Boston Marathon run for Newton Schools Foundation. Holly, a Southside Program Aide and mentor with the Dreamfar High School Marathon program, is running this year's Boston Marathon to raise funds for Newton Schools Foundation.  The money raised will enable the Newton Public Schools to pilot and expand innovative programs, enhance teacher training, and help close the achievement gap.  So have a drink and a bite and get your creative mojo on!
Thursday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m.
The Paint Bar, 823 Washington Street in Newtonville
Sign-up today-space is limited! To reserve your spot, click hereBe sure to type  "Newton Schools Foundation" in the space the asks with whom you'd like to sit.  For more information about Newton Schools Foundation, go to

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.