ForWard - October 13th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

October 13, 2017 

Dear Ward Parents,


Welcome to the latest edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2017-2018 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
  • Mystery Dinner - October 14 
  • Picture Day - October 16
  • New England Percussion Ensemble Concert - October 16
  • Fourth Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner - October 20
  • Book Fair - November 28-30
  • Ward Night at the Celtics - December 13

Mystery Dinner on Saturday Night
Get ready for the best Mystery Dinner yet. With over 150 people, we are ready for a great night tomorrow. 
See you then, and thanks to Beth and Alexia for bringing this all together! 

Fourth Grade Potluck is Next Weekend and 
Host Still Needed for Second Grade Dinner
The potluck dinner for fourth grade parents will be next Friday, October 20th.  If you have not received an invitation and you've got a fourth grader, please let Kathy Shields ( know.  

Also, we're still looking for Hosts for the 2nd grade dinner, so if you'd be willing to host, here's some more information.  
Every year, the PTO coordinates dinners for the parents in each grade so that we can all get to know each better.  The host's job is to open your home to about 40 adults, send out the email invite (with the email list we'll give you), and provide paper plates and utensils and drinks.  The guests will bring all of the food.  These are adults-only events; kids stay at home.  
If you're willing to host, please email Kathy Shields and we can find a date that works for you.

Greetings from the Newton SEPAC 
(Special Education Parent Advisory Council)
Whether you are new to Newton, or have a returning student, we would like to introduce you to the Newton SEPAC!

The Newton SEPAC....
  • Advises the School Committee on the education and safety of students with disabilities
  • Hosts a "Basic Rights" presentation annually, to discuss the rights of students and their parents/guardians under state and federal special education laws (Wednesday, November 8th at the Education Center; presented by Ruth Diaz of the Federation for Children with Special Needs)
  • Serves as a liaison between parents of students receiving special education services and Newton Public School administrators 
  • Meets monthly with Karen Shmukler, the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services
  • Coordinates the Annual SEPAC Awards Ceremony in June, so that parents can recognize exceptional Newton Public School Staff
  • Hosts the Newton SEPAC Yahoo Group; an online discussion group which serves as a forum for parents and guardians to exchange information and share community resources
  • Coordinates monthly presentations.  
All meetings are posted on our website, and are open to everyone

If you would like to become a member of our yahoo group, send a request to

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Newton SEPAC Board

CAP Volunteers Needed
Do you have 2 free mornings a month? The Child Assault Prevention Program, part of Family Access of Newton, is now accepting applications for volunteers for the 2017-2018 school year. The next training begins October 29th.

Each year CAP volunteer Prevention Specialists present 150 workshops to students in Newton and Brookline elementary schools. The Prevention Specialists work in three-person teams to deliver the CAP curriculum in 90 minute workshops during school hours. 

This program teaches children simple strategies to reduce vulnerability to assault and violence by presenting basic, age-appropriate, skill-oriented workshops that focus on bullying between children, stranger safety, and sexual assault by known persons.

The workshops consist of facilitated discussion and role-plays for each of the topics. It ends with "Review Time" when the children are offered the opportunity to talk 1:1 with the Prevention Specialists.

Time Commitment: 
Attend all 3 sessions of the training and present 2 to 3 ninety-minute classroom workshops monthly, October-May, for one school year. Attend 3-4 in-service trainings during the school year.

For more information or an application, please visit their website or email Gail Sommer, CAP Program Director.

Newton Inspires: An Evening of Ideas and Community
Since 2011, Newton Inspires has gathered Newton residents for an evening of discussion with some of Newton's best and brightest.

This year's program features Boston Globe's Ty Burr; Alice Shaw, MD, director, Center for Thoracic Cancers, Massachusetts General Hospital; Nancy Schön, artist/sculptor interviewed by Jared Bowen, WGBH executive arts editor and Open Studio host, restaurateur David Punch speaking with food writer Andrea Pyenson; along with many other talented Newton personalities.

Newton Inspires is on Monday, November 13, 7-9:30pm at Newton South High School. The event is FREE to Newton residents and $15 for non-residents. 

Space is limited so register early. To register, go to

Ward School Annual Fund


Every dollar counts and we NEED YOUR FAMILY to make this year's drive
a success! 
The Ward Parent Teacher Organization (of which all Ward parents and teachers are automatically members) spends $150-$200 per child per year on top of what the City of Newton allots for your child's education and enrichment.  
For your child, this means:
  • classroom technology, 
  • books and supplies for classrooms and the school,
  • library and class parties, 
  • community activities including the fall and spring picnics, and 
  • all of our Creative Arts & Sciences programming throughout the year.

Please mail your contribution to: 

WARD SCHOOL PTO, 10 Dolphin Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459
All checks to be made to:  WARD PTO
Credit cards can be used on our website: www.WARDPTO.Org 
(Please consider adding 5% to your donation for our service fee). 
Please consider using corporate matching programs when available to maximize the proceeds to the PTO.

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.