ForWard - April 28th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

April 28, 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
  • TONIGHT - Dynamic Diversity Night - April 28, 6-8 pm
  • Ward Spring Auction - April 29
  • Newton Serves community service day - April 30
  • Walk/Bike to School Silly Hat or Hair Day - May 2
  • 5th Grade Pizza Sale - May 2, 12:30 after school
  • Placement forms for next year due - May 5
  • Moms Night Out - May 9, 6-8 pm
  • Ward Spring Garden Day - May 10
  • Math Morning - May 19
  • Teacher Appreciation Luncheon - May 23 at 1 pm
  • Ward Art Show - May 24
  • Ward Red Sox Night - June 9
  • 4th Grade Concert - June 15
  • Also coming soon, dates TBD: Color Day, End of year picnic

Ward Family Event - Dynamic Diversity Night
TONIGHT - Friday, April 28, 6-8 pm in the Ward Gym
We're looking forward to seeing everyone there!  Email for last minute RSVPs!

From the Principal's Desk
We are beginning to make plans for the 2017-2018 school year.  This is a responsibility that requires many hours of planning by teams of staff members. Please remember that if you choose to submit information about your child, it must be received by May 5.  In fairness to our staff, information received after this time cannot be considered.  Thank you for understanding.
The April 11 community meeting was our annual Kindness Convention.  All classrooms read and discussed Paulie Pastromi Achieves World Peace.  This engaging story is about a boy who wants to achieve world peace before his 8th birthday. To reach his goal, he performs acts of kindness in his community. When our school met in family groups, we shared ways that each of us can bring peace to our school community and engage in activities that reinforce this concept.  Our entire school gathered to reread the book together as teachers acted out the different characters.  This is just one of the ways we continue the conversation about how being kind matters.
On Wednesday, March 22nd, Newton Public Schools hosted a forum entitled "Talking to Children About Race: Why & How?" More than 125 parents and guardians from elementary schools across the district attended the event. We hope to continue the conversation in the coming months and will continue the work we are already doing in our school to explore, respect, and celebrate our differences. During the evening, participants had the opportunity to reflect upon their own experiences with race, as well as receive "how-to" help for guiding children and answering challenging questions.
Did you miss the forum but are interested in potential follow up events and activities? Please click~here~to provide your contact information and indicate your areas of interest.
For more helpful information, resources, and articles, please visit this page on the district Webster:
Save the date: Friday May 19 for Math Morning

Extremely important and interesting

For ALL Ward families
(even if you cannot attend the event!)
Lucky You! We are going to have a fabulous time at the
Vine Ripe Grill located at Robert Lynch Golf Course. 7:30-11pm  
Silent and Live Auctions with Raffles!
This year we are using bidding software, ClickBid which will hopefully make everything easier, but as with all new things there may be some initial growing pains. You will have more time to enjoy the evening if you take a moment to pre-register yourself. Click this link to register (it's really fast and easy).
We're opening a selection of silent auction items Friday morning 4/28. You will receive a text message once the auction opens and you can click the link to get started! Even if you don't want to bid on an item yet, take a look at how the software works, and start to plan your strategy!
If you were part of our camp auction in March, you do NOT need to re-register. Just sit patiently and wait for a message about the auction opening Friday morning.
Please note: Credit cards are not required if you'll be bidding on-site, so if you don't want to enter credit card information, that's fine but remember your checkbook! Cash is useful for the outdoor bar and raffles.
You will be missed! But, do you still want to support the school while bidding on some great items? Well, all our silent auction items are available for remote bidding! Simply follow the steps listed above to register as a bidder, and you'll be all set to go! Check out will be by credit card only and any items won will be available for pickup either at Ward School on Monday May 1st or by arrangement.
Questions or comments? Please don't hesitate to ask Ruth Somers (
(Correction on mailed invites: It is Vine Ripe Grill not Putterham Grill)

This Weekend is Ward Serves Day!
Sunday, April 30 from 9 am to 4 pm
Please bring your family and friends to help improve Ward School during our annual Newton Serves Day!  This is a great and fun opportunity to do some community service together with your children and get to know other Ward families.

 All are welcome even if you can only serve for an hour! Every minute counts! 
Volunteer Registration is now open on the Newton Serves website.  Please register directly at the link below, under "Ward School Community Service and Food Drive"
Or email Cheryl Abramson (
We need volunteers to help with:
painting teachers' classroom doors (chalkboard paint), bookcases and cafeteria


picking up trash around the school surroundings, gardening, landscaping, mulching, spreading woodchips around the playground, raking and bagging leaves. 
please bring wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels and gardening gloves.  Please also make sure to label your tools with your name so that we can reunite any left-behind tools with their owners.
Newton Food Pantry We will serve as a donation site for the Newton Food Pantry.  Please feel free to drop off donations at any time between 9am and 4pm. They requested items such as:  broth, low sodium soups, low sodium vegetables, oil, shampoo/conditioner, body lotion and laundry detergent.
Whether it's sparing an hour of your time, lending a shovel, or donating a can of soup - YOUR CONTRIBUTON MATTERS!

 From the Nurse's Office
At this time of year the Ward Health Room sees less viral illnesses and more seasonal allergy symptoms. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is a common problem in children. The most common symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose with clear drainage, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, sore throat, throat clearing and a cough that may be worse at night and in the morning. These symptoms usually occur during certain times of the year for people with seasonal allergies, corresponding to being exposed to outdoor allergens, such as tree pollens, grasses and weeds. Having uncontrolled allergies can put your child at risk for getting a secondary sinus infection, ear infections, and for having poor concentration at school. It can also make asthma symptoms worse." Talk with your child's PCP for advice on medications and treatment for seasonal allergies.

Spring Spirit Walk & Bike to School Days!
Next Tuesday, May 2: SILLY HAT or HAIR DAY!  Show us your style and school spirit on your head!
Tuesday, June 6: TALK LIKE A DOLPHIN DAY (and get a Ward Dolphin Tattoo!)! 4th & 5th Graders- we could use volunteers to apply tattoos to they younger kids, come to school early to help out! 
We'll also have new foot charms (more sparkly colors!) for everyone's backpack, and extra chains for anyone who has lost theirs!  For families who regularly drive, we're asking you to consider dropping off at the corner of Mandalay and Dolphin so students can join in the fun and walk down Dolphin to school.  
If you have any questions, or want to help greet our student walkers and bikers, contact Becca:

 5th Grade Pizza Sale - Tuesday, May 2
$5 Lunch!!!
Pizza, Drink and a treat all for $5.
Bring your appetites and your $5.  All funds support the 5th Grade.
Soon to come:  Bake sale at the Art Show and Pizza Sale on Early Release Thursday, May 25!

Volunteers Needed: 5th Grade Understanding Our Differences Unit
We are in need of volunteers to help run small group activities with the 5th graders on Monday, May 8, from 10:30am-1:00pm for the Understanding Our Differences (UOD) Autism unit.
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Alexandra Novina:
This program will include presentations, small group activities, and a guest speaker who will share his personal experience with autism.

 News from Creative Arts and Sciences
 In April, CASC had two great annual programs:
  • 5th Grade: On April 27th, Wingmasters presented an amazing program on owls to our students.
  • Kindergarten: On April 26, Honeybees and the Art of Honeymaking taught children how honey is made and about the delicacy of nature.
A lot of exciting CASC programs are scheduled for our students this month:
  • 1st Grade: On Wednesday, May 3rd, local author Emilie Boon will be talking to the students about how an author works and sharing some of her books.
  • 2nd Grade: On Thursday, May 18, Joe Galeota, an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music, and his wife Vida will present A Day in Ghana.
  • 4th Grade: On Monday, May 22, the Museum of Science Traveling Programs will present Geology: Rock On.
  • 2nd Grade: On Wednesday, May 24, the Museum of Science Traveling Programs will present LifeCycles.
  • 4th and 5th Grades: On Thursday, May 25th, Michael Fosse of Origamido will be giving multidisciplinary workshops to each class.
We need parent volunteers for each of these programs.  If you wish to volunteer, please contact your room parents.
Robin, Tina and Sukanya

 Moms Night Out
Moms!  Take note!  May 9th at Central Newton!  It's our turn for a night out!  PTO will be hosting with some appetizers and there will be a cash bar.  Please come to meet and mingle with the fabulous moms of Ward School!
May 9, Central, 761 Beacon St., Newton (a few doors down from Bill's Pizza), 6 pm to 8 pm.

Ward Spring Garden Day - May 10th
Spring is in the air!  Garden Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10.  All 15 classes will spend about 20 minutes planting vegetables and learning about growing food.


If you would like to volunteer to help pon May 10th - either during your child's class or for a longer period of time - please email Elizabeth Apgar at

We are looking forward to a productive growing season!

- The Garden Committee

Save the Date for the Ward Art Show
Wednesday, May 24
The Annual Ward Art Show is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24th. Please help make this event showcasing the amazing art created by Ward students a success!
The Art Committee could still use help framing art work for the show. After a quick tutorial, volunteers can take materials home to do the framing at their leisure.  NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.  We also need volunteers to set-up (Tuesday, May 23rd from 1-4 pm) and take down (Thursday, May 25th at 3 pm) the show.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Elizabeth Apgar at or sign-up HERE

School Committee Update
The next meetings of the School Committee will be held on May 15 at 7 pm.  Meetings take place in Room 201 at the Education Center, 100 Walnut St., in Newtonville.  A link to the agenda can be found here.

April 29 - Celebrating 50 Years of METCO in Newton
On Saturday, April 29th, the Newton Public Schools will commemorate 50 years of partnership with METCO, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. We hope you can join us for this special evening as we celebrate the past, present, and future of the METCO program.   Website:

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:
Thursday, May 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Education Center, room 210 at 100 Walnut Street in Newtonville. 
For more information, please contact Amy Kelly at

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.