ForWard - December 15th, 2017

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

December 15, 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
  • CAPP Parent Workshop - January 5 
  • Online Auction - mid January, date TBD
  • Second Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner - January 20
  • Moms' Night Out - January 25
  • Ward School Night at Trampoline Park - January 26
  • Dads' Night Out - February 2
  • Fifth Grade Parents' Potluck Dinner - February 10
  • International Night - March 22

Note from Principal: Difficult Classroom Moments
Dear Ward Families,
Last week was Inclusion in Our Schools Week.  The theme for the Ward Family Meeting was just that: Inclusion.  Students discussed what it means to be inclusive, and recorded on a slip of paper a specific way in which they could be inclusive.  The individual slips of paper were strung together into a large chain that now hangs in the main corridor.
Newton Public Schools strongly believes in inclusion.  That means that your children have the opportunity to work and play with all types of students.  Some may look or act differently from your child; however, we value each and every student, and support who they are as learners and children.
I have attached a document regarding how to talk to your child when he/she comes home after having a difficult day in the classroom. I hope you find it helpful.
Elaine Harold, Principal
Ward Elementary School
Newton, MA

Annual Fund
In the famous words of that oh-so-great band Europe (, it is the final countdown!

We are in the final stretches of the Annual Fund drive.  Just think how much better you will feel once you have given to the Annual Fund and supported the events and resources brought to you by the Ward School PTO.  It is like puppies and warm apple pie and winning lottery tickets all rolled into one.  

A  gift of any size to the Fund is appreciated by us,
We thank you in advance for thinking of the PTO in your 2017 charitable giving, and thank you for your ongoing support of the WARD School.  

Ward School Council
We are currently accepting names for two parent representatives on the Ward School Council to join existing parent members, Beth Hicks and Lisa Kirby. If you would like to hold one of the School Council positions, please contact one of the PTO presidents at your earliest convenience. A written ballot will be organized and posted in a subsequent newsletter should more parents apply than current opening.
The School Council is an elected body of parents, teachers, and community members that advises the principal. It provides a forum where teachers and parents can discuss matters of concern to the school. It helps formulate the annual School Improvement Plan, reviews Ward's budget, and discusses any other matters relevant to the educational goals of the school and the educational needs of the children.
School Council meetings in Massachusetts are open and the agenda is posted in advance. At Ward, they occur 4-6 times during the school year. The Council consists of equal numbers of staff (the principal plus three others) and parents (four) together with one community representative who is otherwise unconnected with the school/school department.
Parent representatives are elected each fall for two- or three-year terms by all the parents in a written ballot organized by the Council, if an election is necessary. The faculty elects faculty representatives. The principal appoints the community representatives. One of the Council members, chosen by the Council, serves as co-chair with the principal.
If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Lisa Schwarzberg at lschwarzberg@gmail.comGabriela Kroszynski at or Diana Cohen at by Monday, December 18th.
We welcome your interest!

Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORG)
Are you concerned about what the Newton Public Schools are doing to respond to the rising tide of overt racism in our country? 
Join us for our  next meeting of FORJ - Families Organizing for Racial Justice, a project sponsored by NPS.
The meeting will be on Wednesday, December 20th 7:30-9pm at Mason-Rice Elementary School (149 Pleasant St.). 
Superintendent Fleishman, Newton METCO Director, Maricel Sheets, and teacher Jen Tomaneng will be sharing and answering questions about the "Courageous Conversations" program being rolled out over a 5-year period in our schools. 

Make Money for Ward When You Shop on Amazon
Simply bookmark this new link and click it every time you want to shop on Amazon:

Qualifying purchases made through the link above or on our website result in a payback range of 4% - 8.5% on total purchases through our link.

But you have to click the link EACH time you go to shop as the cookie expires after 24 hours.

Grade Wide Potluck Dinners
The Potluck dinner for the 2nd grade parents will take place on Saturday, January 20th.  Invitations were sent this week.  If you have a second grader but did not receive an invitation, please let Kathy Shields know at
The 5th grade dinner will take place on Saturday, February 10.

Ward International Night
SAVE THE DATE: Ward International Night is on March 22nd 2018

We're calling out to all families to please consider hosting a booth representing a country - whether it's your native origin, a place you've lived in, or a part of the world that you're interested in or connected to. 

Your stories can provide a cultural lesson of celebrated diversity. This is a wonderful opportunity for our children to learn about countries, cultures and customs beyond their own. As you travel back home or abroad  for the holidays, think about bringing back authentic items, trinkets, artifacts, books, national symbols and costumes to showcase! Our children will be amazed! 

Please contact Cheryl Abramson ( or Zlatena Simeonova ( if you have any questions.  
We are also looking for volunteers to help organize this truly exciting evening, so please feel free to reach us if interested. 

Dads' Night Out
Dads... this is your chance! Mark your calendars for February 2nd
Come to Terry O'Reilly's in Newton Centre. Live music and Celtics on TV. PM start. 
A great chance to meet other Ward dads and have a great night out! Thanks to Dave Gillespie and Jon Ufland for organizing!

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.
Newton Public Schools - Tech Advisory Council, 10 Do