ForWARD - September 14th, 2018

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

September 14, 2018 

Dear Ward Parents,


Welcome to the FIRST edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2018-2019 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
  • Library Volunteer Training - September 25 
  • Flu Clinic - October 3
  • Walk to School - October 3
  • Mystery Dinner - October 13
  • Ward Night at Celtics - October 22

New Improvements at Ward
Water Filtration System: 
Over the summer the PTO in collaboration with the City of Newton funded the purchase and installation of three new drinking water fountains with bottle filler stations. There is one water station on each floor. The new fountains are equipped with NSF certified filters for lead, Class 1 particulate, chlorine, taste and odor reduction.
Tennis Court Fence:
Newton Parks and Recreation with the active involvement of the PTO replaced the old, rusted fence and the supporting poles around the tennis courts. 
Thank you to everyone involved for leading these long efforts to a successful outcome.

Hosts Needed for Mystery Dinner
Ward's Mystery Dinners will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 6pm
Help support one of the best nights out for school parents while raising money to support our children's enrichment programs.
Willing to host the appetizer party or small dinner (8-10 people)?
Contact Alexis Giannakopoulos: / 781-492-4500 or Lisa Schwarzberg: / 857-231-6892.
Invitations to be sent out in September for the fun-filled evening that includes:
6.00pm: Appetizers together
8.00pm: Small groups for mystery dinners
10.00pm: Dessert together
Here is your first clue for a fun night: get your babysitter now!

PTO Seeking Volunteers
If you are interested in Volunteering please contact PTO co-president Gabriela for more information on the different and fun committees:
  • Art Committee
  • Book Fair
  • Creative Arts and Sciences (CASC)
  • Ward Garden Committee
  • Understanding Our Differences
  • Ward PTO Website
  • CARE Committee
  • Color Day
  • Crisis Committee
  • Bike Safety Training (4th & 5th grade)
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Newton Serves
  • Newton Safe Routes to School 
  • Box Tops for Education
  • International Night (next year) 
  • Spring Fundraiser-Auction
  • Spring Family Picnic
  • Teacher Raffle
  • Annual Fund
  • Lost and Found
  • T-Shirt Sales
  • Thanksgiving Food Drive
  • Morning exercise for kids
  • Community Connections
  • Amazon Associates account
  • Sport Games Coordination

Crossing Guards Needed
Are you looking for a part-time job? The Newton Police Department has openings for traffic supervisors, also known as school crossing guards. They work during the school year directing traffic and keeping students safe at assigned road crossings.

The position pays $211.42 a week for 42 weeks during the school year (or choose to be paid through the full calendar year, $178.33 for 52 weeks). Hours vary by day: 7:50 to 8:35 a.m. and 3:00 to 3:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Tuesdays from 7:50 to 8:35 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.. This is an approximate 7.5-hour work week.

The schedule follows the Newton Public Schools and holidays and school vacations are paid after the first 30 days of service. This position does not include benefits.

Apply in person at 1321 Washington St., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or online.

Volunteer in Library During your 
Child's Class Library Time
You can sign up to help out during your child's class library time. Parent volunteers are needed to help with circulation, shelving and student library projects.  

Click here to sign up.

LIBRARY VOLUNTEER TRAINING: Mrs. Packard will be giving parents a brief 15 minute training on Tuesday, September 25th at 8:20am in the library right after morning drop off.  You'll learn where everything is located and how to use the system.

Questions? Please ask Linda Gillespie or stop by the library to speak directly with Sheila Packard, Library Teacher, or email her.

Newton Child Assault Prevention Program Seeking Volunteers for 2018-2019 School Year
Do you have three mornings a month free during the school year? Are you looking for a meaningful and fun way to make a difference in children's lives? If so, then join our dynamic team of trained CAP volunteers who are committed to using guided discussions and role plays to teach elementary age children in the Newton Schools that they have the right to be Safe, Strong and Free with their friends and peers, when they meet adult strangers, and with those who are trusted to take care of them. 

We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. The next training begins on October 28th. For more information or an application, please visit our website or contact Gail Sommer, Director, at 617-969-5906, ext. 143 or

Grade-Wide Potluck Dinner Hosts Needed
The PTO has a long history of coordinating grade wide potluck dinners.  These nights are a great way to reconnect and socialize with the other parents in your child's grade.
You choose the night between now and January.  We'll guide you through the planning and invitation process.  Your home should have enough space to accommodate approximately 50 adults in an informal setting.  Hosts only need to supply paper goods and drinks and the guests will bring food based on assignment.  Did we mention that this is adults-only?  Arrangements should be made for kids to stay home. 
If you are willing to be a host for your grade, please contact Laurie Ufland and we'll find a date that works for you. 

Ward Night at Celtics
Ward night at the Celtics on October 22nd!  
Tickets are $36- Checks only (We are not able to accept cash).
We only have 100 tickets so it is first come first serve (or by Sept 19th whichever is earlier).  There will be a box in the front lobby to collect your form and check.  Please see the form attached.

Ward Community Connections
Ward Community Connections is beginning its second year, and we're looking forward to working with committed parents, teachers, and Ms. Brogadir to help foster a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive environment for all Ward students and families. 
Whether you're interested in playing a bigger or smaller role, or just being on the email list, please contact Tara Cunningham and Angela Brooks. Also keep an eye out in the ForWard newsletter for more information, including a date for the first meeting of the year.

Ward School Directory Updates
We're working hard to put together the 2018-2019 Ward Directory and need your help to get it ready for use online and  for printing so you can have a reference copy at home! 
  • Connect Online:
    Existing Ward families can log on here anytime to access directory information, even before the new school year's printed directory is complete.  If you're a new Ward family, you'll be able to logon once you've verified your information (see below). Use the email address you have on file in the directory (your main Ward communication email address) and re-set the password if you've forgotten it. 
  • Verify Your Information! You should have received an email earlier this week asking you to verify your information for the directory! It will come from the "myschoolanywhere" system and/or one of the PTO directory volunteers and may land in your spam folder.  Please check for it, as this is the only way we can confirm your contact details to be included in the directory.  At this time, you'll be able to choose preferences for privacy (i.e. include home address, cell phone, etc.). We recommend that all families include at least one email address so that other parents can connect with you. 

Advertise in Ward School Directory
Do you have a business that you'd like to publicize in the Ward Community?  If so, please consider purchasing an advertisement in this year's Ward School Directory.  The hard copy Directory is frequently used by all families and will be sent home with your children in October.  Here are the ad prices for this year.  
If you are interested in purchasing an ad, please reach out to Ron Farrar or Kathy Shields
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
E:  The "ONE LINER"  $25
     Business name, address, phone number and e-mail.

Newton School Committee Update
Dear Friends,

Welcome back to school!  We hope you had a great summer and the school year has started off well for you.

This update is for the 09/04/2018 Newton School Committee meeting:
  • Superintendent Fleishman welcomed our 2018 - 2019 School Committee Student Representatives:  Nayeth Lopez-Lopez, Maya Matthews, Serena Jampel, Cristian Gaines, Lucy Chae and Ross Halpern
  • Superintendent Fleishman thanked our Custodial, Administrative and Transportation teams for a successful first day of school.
  • Superintendent Fleishman honored the life of Tony Bibbo, longtime friend of NPS, who recently passed away.  
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to approve the contracts with the  NPS Custodian's Association and Newton Educational Secretaries Association.
  • The NPS administrative team presented a second look at our 2018 - 2019 System-Wide goals.  Notable additions are several curriculum changes including expansion of Investigations 3 Math curriculum in elementary, introduction of Illustrative Math curriculum in middle schools, and several updates to our science and social studies curriculum.
  • Superintendent David Fleishman presented  his 2018 - 2019 Superintendent Goals
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to approve the 2018 - 2019 School Committee Calendar and Agenda Items
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to approve several policy additions and updates including JFABE (Military Childen), JFABF (Foster Care) and JRA (School Records) 
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to approve a new private school in Newton called Fusion Academy.  It is important to note that this vote is required by law and is not an endorsement of the school. 
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to approve amended School Committee meeting minutes
Next Meeting:
  • September 17th @7PM: Capital Improvement Plan, Update, Vote: Superintendent's Assessment, Vote: Systemwide Goals
We hope you found this summary useful. You can access all School Committee meeting documents via the NPS website ( 

Additionally, if you are interested in watching an SC meeting from home or a recorded meeting, you can obtain access via

As always, we are very happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us via the email address below.

Have a wonderful week!

The Newton School Committee 

Room Parents Needed
A great way to get involved with your child's class is to be a room parent. There are usually 3-4 room parents for each classroom, and they provide vital support to teachers by organizing classroom events and recruiting volunteers. 

If you are interested in being a room parent, please email Linda Gillespie.

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 result in a payback range of 4% - 8.5% on total purchases.

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

The payout percentage Ward receives on purchases through the Amazon Associates program (using the link above) is much greater than the payout percentage received through the Amazon Smile program.  
Questions?  Contact Linda Gillespie.

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.