ForWard - May 5th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

May 5, 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
  • 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

 Moms Night Out
Moms Night Out is May 9th from 6-8 pm at Central Newton!  
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!
Central is located at 761 Beacon St., Newton (a few doors down from Bill's Pizza).

Many, Many Thanks to our Volunteers
Ward Auction:

The Spring Auction was a great night out, and we were able to raise almost $30,000 to support the PTO activities at Ward.  We had a great turnout, and thank everyone from the Ward community who made a point to come out for this important night.  Many thanks to the leader of this all, Ruth Somers, and the entire group of parents who dedicated their time and energy to bring this all together: Laurie Ufland, Susan St. Pierre, Gabriela Kroszynski, Cheryl Abramson, 

Monica Alcalde, Sandra Kelley, and William Kenneally.  Thank you also to all of the businesses and people that supported this event with their donations, with a special shout out to Asher Nichols for leading the kindness. It was a great night out led by great people, and the entire Ward community thanks you!

Newton Serves:

Thank you to everyone who came out to support our community through Newton Serves.  A special thank you to Cheryl Abramson and Lisa Gilinsky for organizing all of the activities and for creating a meaningful day for our Ward group.  Because of your efforts, we were able to lay down new mulch, paint classrooms, clean up offices, and more! This is an annual event that we are so proud to participate in, and we look forward to seeing you next year at Newton Serves!
Diversity Night:

A shout out to Becca Havemeyer for taking the lead and organizing Dynamic Diversity Night.  From coordinating the speakers to making sure there was pizza and ice cream on site, we had a great turnout for this important topic.  Thanks Becca!

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

 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.

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 talked 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

Spring Spirit Walk & Bike to School Days!
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:

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 meeting 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.

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.