ForWard - June 9th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

June 9, 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 - Ward Red Sox Night - June 9
  • Rescheduled - Walk/Bike to School - Talk Like a Dolphin Day and Crossing Guard Appreciation Day - June 13
  • Rescheduled - Color Day - June 13, 8 am to 12:30 pm
  • 4th Grade Concert - June 15
  • Lost and Found Cleanout - June 21
  • Save the date for the fall - Mystery Dinners are on October 14

Reminder - Color Day is Tuesday, June 13
Color Day will be held on Tuesday, June 13th, from 8 am-12:30pm.  Your children's teachers will have assigned them to the red, blue or green teams. 

Walk/Bike to School Day - Tuesday, June 13
TALK LIKE A DOLPHIN DAY (and get a Ward Dolphin Tattoo!)!
Practice your dolphin sounds and learn about how dolphins communicate here:  AND here  We can't wait to hear all of your chirps and squeaks!
We'll also be celebrating Crossing Guard Appreciation Day on June 13th, so please make sure to thank your neighborhood Guard and let them know how much you appreciate their efforts keeping our students safe on the streets this school year! 
If you have any questions, or want to help greet our student walkers and bikers, contact Becca:

Lost and Found Clean Out Time!
Please check the lost and found for any of your children's belongings.  Everything left in the lost and found will be donated to charity on Wednesday, June 21

 Remember to Return your Library Books
As the end of the school year approaches, please make sure to look around for any Ward Library books that you have at home and make sure they are returned soon.  

 Save the Date For Mystery Dinners
Ward's Mystery Dinners will take place this fall on October 14, 2017.  If you are willing to host a dinner, or the appetizer or dessert parties, please contact Beth Hicks at  

 Change in Arrival Procedures for Next Year
We wanted to make sure you saw this announcement from Superintendent Fleishman:
Dear Elementary Families,
As this school year winds to a close, we begin planning and preparation for the next school year. Part of this preparation includes an evaluation of current practice and areas for improvement. As discussed at our School Committee meeting last night, we would like to share with you our new drop-off procedures for elementary schools.
In Newton, some of our elementary schools give families the option to walk their children into the building for morning drop-off. When we opened the new Angier and relocated Zervas students to Carr, we determined it was safer and more efficient for families to drop students outside the school. This has worked very well at these two schools and we will now expand this procedure to all Newton elementary schools.
The rationale for the change is three-fold:
  • Maintain school security - Conducting drop-off outside the school allows us to more carefully monitor adults going in and out of the building. It is our number one goal to keep our students safe. Establishing this new practice provides increased security for all.
  • Foster student independence - School is an opportunity for elementary students to learn the skills they need to be successful and independent learners. Entering the school on their own and preparing for their day is an important skill to master at the elementary school level.  
  • Start instruction on-time - We view every minute of our school day as precious time for learning and instruction. When students arrive at the classroom on their own, the teachers can move them more seamlessly into the rhythm of the day. Both Angier and Zervas have found this to be the case.
These changes will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.  We know this is a change for our families, many of whom have enjoyed bringing their children into the building, helping them to begin their day, and saying hello to teachers and staff. We hope that you will understand that we believe this shift in procedure is best for both the security of our buildings and the academic and social/emotional growth of our students.
Your school principals will provide specific details for the new drop-off procedures over the summer. Staff will be on hand at all schools to assist students and to ensure they reach their classrooms safely.
Thank you for your understanding and I hope your family has an excellent finish to the school year.

David Fleishman


The 8th Annual Newton SEPAC Special Educator Awards
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Newton North High School Cafeteria
457 Walnut Street
6:30 pm: Buffet Dinner, Dessert, Beverages, and Mingling
7:00 pm: Awards Ceremony
The Special Educator Awards are presented to Newton faculty and staff members who have done exceptional work with students receiving special education services. Parents/guardians and students may submit nominations and may nominate any staff member who they believe has done exceptional work; in the past we've had regular and special education teachers, aides, BTs, secretaries, principals, and custodians receive awards.
Please note that the awards do not identify you or your child by name, to preserve the child's confidentiality. Only the honoree is given the name of the family who nominated him or her.


 Advertise in the 2017-18 Ward School Directory!
Advertise your business to the Ward Community by purchasing an ad in the 2017-2018 Ward Directory which will be printed and distributed at the end of September.
This is a cost effective way for your business to reach our families and support the PTO. 
In addition to offsetting the cost of printing the Directory, proceeds will go toward PTO funding including Creative Arts & Sciences programming and technology updates.  
A: Full  Page  $500 - 8.5" x 11"  
B: Half page landscape  $250 -  8.5" x 5.5"
C: Quarter page portrait  $150 - 4.25" x 5.5"
D: Eighth page landscape  $100 -  4.25 x 2.5
Email Linda Gillespie at with any questions about directory ads.

School Committee Update
The next meetings of the School Committee will be held on June 12 and June 19 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.

Honor a Teacher While Supporting the Newton Schools Foundation
Are you looking for a way to honor and thank the exceptional teachers and staff who have motivated, educated and inspired your students to grow and achieve all year? Consider participating in Newton Schools Foundations' Honor Thy Teacher campaign. This special program, now in its 20th year, enables families to thank teachers or other school personnel by giving a gift to NSF in their honor.
After receiving each donation (suggested amount - $25/teacher), NSF will:
·         Notify the honored teachers and staff of your gift; 
·         Share the honoree names with the Superintendent and Principals; and
·         List each of those honored in the Newton TAB.

You can make your tax-deductible donation on-line at, or mail it to Newton Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 590020, Newton Centre, MA 02459. Please be sure to include the names of the teachers and/or staff that you are honoring.  Or look for the flyers that were sent home in your child's backpack that includes a donation form.
NSF is a non-profit organization that raises funds to enhance the quality of education throughout Newton's public schools. Your gift supports NSF initiatives including teachers' professional development and new curricula and learning opportunities, including the following at the elementary level:
  • Elementary Teacher Summer Writing and Research and Writing Institutes
  • Responsive Classroom Training
  • Instrumental Music Pilot Program at Lincoln-Eliot

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.