ForWard - October 20th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

October 20, 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
  • Fourth Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner - October 20
  • Bulb Planting and Garden Fall Cleanup - October 21
  • Ward Night at Boston College Basketball - November 10
  • Kindergarten Parents' Potluck Dinner - November 12
  • Book Fair - November 28-30
  • Ward Night at the Celtics - December 13
  • Moms' Night Out - January 25

Thank You for Mystery Dinner 
Another great Mystery Dinner in the books!  
Thank you to all of the families that opened their homes and hosted appetizers, dinners, and desserts.  You have been instrumental in making this event a success.
Thank you to the more than 150 adults who came out to support this great fundraiser that helped raise over $10,000 to support our children's future, while having a great time with the Ward community.
An extra special thank you to Beth and Alexis, who pulled this together and made it all happen.  Thank you a million times for a fabulous event and fun time had by all!

School Health Newsletter:
Communicating with School Nurse
In order for the school nurse to be as well prepared as possible to care for students coming to the health room, it is helpful to have the "big picture" perspective for each child. Parents and guardians should know they have an open invitation to communicate with the school nurse both about physical changes such as significant illness, hospitalization, injury, and medication (even if not taken at school), and about social and emotional changes.

Examples include changes in the family structure such as a new sibling, parental separation, illness/death in the family or a parent traveling. It is also helpful for the nurse to know if a student is having trouble adjusting to school or if a parent is concerned about bullying or classroom issues.

The goal for the school nurse is to keep students in school whenever possible. This "big picture" kind of information, along with phone calls for parent consultation, is helpful to achieve this goal.

Additional tips for communicating with the school nurse:
  • For urgent or time-sensitive matters, please call. Occasionally there is a substitute nurse who cannot access the email of the regular school nurse.
  • Parents should drop off medication directly to the school nurse instead of sending it with the student.
  • Keep contact information such as cell phone and work phone numbers updated.
Let's keep in touch to meet the needs of your child.

To reach the Ward School Nurse, Valerie Carroll, please call her at 617-559-6453 or email her at

Halloween Safety
With witches, goblins and super-heroes descending on neighborhoods this month, it's important to remember a few safety tips to keep Halloween fun and safe for everyone.
  • Walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks, not on the street or around parked cars
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks and low-flying brooms
  • Carry a flashlight to light your way
  • Adults or responsible teenagers should accompany trick-or-treaters
  • Save the candy eating for home when an adult can look through the treats
  • Throw away opened candy and be cautious of small, hard candy with young children
  • Keep the capes & other costume parts away from candles and feet that might trip
  • Use face paint rather than masks that can limit vision
  • Go only to houses with the lights on
Adapted from the American Red Cross

Printed Directory: Coming Soon
The printed Ward Directory will be coming home to you soon! We distribute one per family, coming home with the youngest child.  If you need an additional copy for your household, there will be extra copies in the school office and Ms. Tempesta can help you get one.  
Hopefully everyone is able to access the directory information online now through MySchoolAnywhere, linked here through the Ward PTO website. 
Please email the directory team at if you are having difficulty with your online account.  
We also encourage you to download the MySchoolAnywhere app to make connecting with other Ward families even easier.  The app is available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

Responsive Home Workshop
Struggling with behavior at home? The Responsive Classroom strategies work at home, too. Join us to learn useful steps to creating a Responsive Home, including:
  • Family meeting
  • Interactive modeling
  • Logical Consequences
  • House Rules
  • Positive Language
  • Choice and Quiet Time
The workshops will be held at the District Education Center, room 210 (100 Walnut St, Newtonville).
These workshops will be taught by Amy Kelly, District Leader of Social and Emotional Learning, Newton Public Schools. Open to the public, no registration required. 

Wednesday, November 29th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Wednesday, January10th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Wednesday, February 7th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Tuesday, March 6th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Creative Arts and Sciences Committee (CASC) News
On Monday, October 16, the entire school enjoyed a concert presented by the NewEngland Percussion Ensemble called Language of the Ancients.  The performers introduced the children to a wide variety of percussion instruments and styles and often had the children clapping along to the music they made.
Parents who would like to volunteer/attend at any of the programs please contact Robin, Amy or Sukanya at  CASC requires at least one parent to meet and introduce the performer and stay for the duration of the program.
Upcoming CASC programs are listed below: 
  • Grade 2 - November 6 at 11am, Kevin Hawkes, author
  • Grades K, 1 &@ - December 4 at 8:45am, Len Cabral, storyteller

Ward Night at Boston College Men's Basketball
Please join your Ward friends on November 10th at 7:30pm for a fun night at BC!
This will be the first of a series of games that we will attend at Boston College.  (Women's basketball and Men's Hockey to come in the Winter) 
Tickets are $5/person.  
Check only - Drop application and check in the lobby of the school. 
Any questions please contact Diana Cohen at

Help Needed at School Library 
Please consider volunteering at the library during kids' library time. With the parent's help the librarian can fully dedicate herself to our kids. 
This year we created a single calendar for the entire school - so the librarian can better keep track of all sign ups. 
Please find below the instructions on how to sign up:
1- Go to (Username:; Password: Ward2017)
2- Once logged in, click on the time and date you want to sign up as volunteer.  
3- On the pop-up window, choose "Edit event". 
4- Replace "Volunteer Name" with your name. 
5- Press "SAVE". 
6- On the next pop-up window, make sure to select "Only this event". 
7- Log out from Calendar.

Ward School Bulb Planting & Garden/Grounds 
Fall Cleanup
On Saturday, October 21, from 2-4pm, please join the Ward School Garden Committee for an afternoon of planting bulbs and cleaning up the garden & grounds!  
Please bring your own work gloves if you have them and any garden tools you'd like to use.  We also have tools in the garden shed.  We'll have bulbs (tulips, daffodils, etc...) to plant around the school so that Ward really pops with color come Springtime! And we'll have leaf bags to help with the cleanup.
Please direct any questions to Will Havemeyer (Nellie 5A, Nate 1H) at
On behalf of the Garden Committee, thanks and see you this weekend!

Fourth Grade Potluck Dinner is Today, 
Kindergarten Coming Soon! 
The potluck dinner for fourth grade parents is this afternoon, Friday, October 20. If you have not received an invitation and you've got a fourth grader, please let Kathy Shields ( know.  

Th kindergarten dinner will be on Sunday, November 12. You should receive an email invitation soon. 

Family Runs Start on Saturday
Family Runs start this Saturday, October 21, at 9:30 AM at HHRC
Join other Ward families and families from all over Newton for fun and fitness in our neighborhood! Meet at Heartbreak Hill Running Company at the corner of Centre Street and Commonwealth Ave at 9:30 AM.  
All ages and fitness levels welcome, strollers welcome too! Please spread the word!  
Please reach out to Becca at with any questions.  

Community Connections: Join Us!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  - Margaret Mead
Join Ward Community Connections to change the world...starting here at Ward
Ward Community Connections is a new committee of the PTO focused on building bridges among all families.  Our goal is to work to ensure that all students and families feel welcome, included and respected within the walls of our school and beyond. 
We're working with parents across the city to share ideas, curriculum and best practices and need YOUR feedback to decide what to implement here at Ward.
If you're interested in getting involved and learning more, click here.
 For more information, please contact Angela ( or Becca at

Moms' Night Out
Moms - just a quick note to let you know that Moms' Night Out is coming on January 25th. Clear your calendar, more information to follow. 

Ward School Annual Fund


We would like to thank the Ward families who have already generously donated to the Annual Fund. 
As the end of the year approaches, please consider the Ward School when making your charitable contributions.
Please click here to donate.
Thank you for your support. 

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.