ForWard - February 3rd, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

February 3, 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
  • TODAY -- PTO Meeting with Superintendent Fleishman - February 3, 8:30 am
  • Walk/Bike to School Day - February 7
  • 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
  • Spring Auction - April 29

TODAY -- 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. We hope to see you there!

From the Principal's Desk
Meeting for Parents of Incoming Kindergartners
The district is offering two meetings to review the registration process for incoming kindergartners and an overview of the kindergarten experience.  They will be held at the High Schools (Newton North on February 6 and Newton South on February 8) at 7:00 PM.  Please visit the Newton Public Schools web page to sign up for the meeting and view the registration materials.  Families who live in the Ward district should schedule a time to register at our school with their child on the morning of March 6 or 10.  At this time we administer a brief screening as required by the State.  Please contact Susan Tempesta, Executive Assistant, for an appointment. We look forward to welcoming you.
Early Release Wednesday
Our staff spent Wednesday afternoon looking at the most current data on our growth towards becoming a Responsive School.  Most recently our work has focused on the impact of teacher language on student learning.  Staff members are also attempting to implement school-wide rules to provide consistency in teacher expectations throughout the building.  
Blue Zone
We ask for your support in adhering to the safety rules for drop off and pick up. During inclement weather, adherence to the rules dwindles and these are the times we need the greatest compliance.  
Cars should not be parked in the Blue Zone at dismissal.  It should be a moving lane.  Children should be waiting at the Blue Zone curb for the driver, not the other way around.
Live parking means there is a licensed driver in the car.  It is meant to be a drop off area for students who need some extra time or assistance entering/exiting the car.
Our next community meeting will focus on Blue Zone rules.  Students will be reviewing the rules and will bring home a contract for you to sign indicating that you will follow these safety rules.
We truly appreciate your support.  All of us need to work together to maximize safety at drop off and pick up.
Audrey Parad Peller, Principal

Monthly Walk/Bike to School Day - Tuesday, Feb. 7
Take a wintery walk or bike ride to school next Tuesday! All students will receive a new foot charm to remind them to take more steps and get outside!  If you drive, please consider dropping off at the top of Dolphin Road.  

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

From the Nurse's Office
As a reminder- if your child has exhibited any of the following symptoms, please do not send them back to school until the symptoms have resolved. This is essential to minimize the spread of illness and keep students and staff healthy and able to learn.
  • A fever of 100 degrees or greater in the past 24 hours (student must be fever free for 24 hours without using any fever reducing medications prior to returning to school)
  • 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
  • An undiagnosed rash or skin eruption
  • Acute pain that requires relief by narcotic medication

Teacher Raffle is Coming!
The TEACHER RAFFLE is coming to Ward School very soon! Once again, Ward School teachers and staff are donating their time and creativity with unique activities for our children. All funds raised help the Ward School PTO support ongoing programs such as Creative Arts and Sciences, purchase new equipment and supplies for the classrooms and library, and much more! Details about ticket forms and the Teacher Prize List will be shared later this month when this exciting fundraiser launches. Questions? Please contact : Gabriela Kroszynski at

Potluck Dinners
Thanks to Allison and Balaji Ganchi for hosting the 4th Grade parents potluck last weekend!  Thanksalso to all of our hosts who made this year's dinners such a success.If you are inspired to host for next year, please contact Kathy Shields at to reserve your date now!

Talking to Children About Race
On Wednesday, March 22nd, Newton Public Schools will host a forum entitled "Talking to Children about Race: Why and How?" The session, designed for a K-5 parent audience and led by Horace Mann Elementary teacher Mike Feldstein and METCO director Maricel Sheets, will:
  • Allow reflection of your own experiences around issues of race and racism
  • Demonstrate the importance of early conversations with children on race
  • Provide "how-to" help for guiding children and answering challenging questions
  • Highlight resources available to help parents and families navigate the issues
The forum will be held at Angier Elementary (1697 Beacon St.) from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. An RSVP is not required, but will help the district plan for materials and activities. Please RSVP here:

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.

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:
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

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"


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.