ForWARD - September 21st, 2018

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

September 21, 2018 

Dear Ward Parents,


Welcome to the new 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
  • PTO/Principal Coffee - September 25 
  • Flu Clinic - October 3
  • Walk to School - October 3
  • Columbus Day, No School - October 8
  • Picture Day - October 12
  • Mystery Dinner - October 13
  • Ward Night at Celtics - October 22

PTO/Principal Coffee
Tuesday, September 25th at 8:30am in the library 
Please join Principal Rebecca Brogadir and the PTO for our 1st PTO Coffee of the school year. We will hear from the principal, PTO co-chairs and Treasure, Librarian, Art teacher and more

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!

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 School Calendar
Please note that events at Ward are noted on our school calendar. Add this link to your favorites to keep up-to-date with school events:

Last Call for 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! We'll be finalizing the directory content next week, so we really need all families to verify their information by Sunday night (46 of you haven't done it yet)!

To verify your information, please click on the link in the email message that you received from the "myschoolanywhere" system.  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.

PTO Spring Auction Starts Now
Dear families,

If you are new to the school, welcome to Ward! If you have older children, you may already be familiar with the bi-annual PTO spring auction. The auction is an event that serves two purposes. First, we raise a significant amount of money for the PTO. The auction, together with the Annual Fund appeal and the Mystery Dinner supports the vast majority of PTO expenses. Second, the event itself is intended to be a night of fun, excitement, and community-building.

This year, for the first time, we are separating the auction from the party. We will be holding an online auction during the late winter, followed by a Gala event in the early spring. Hopefully this will allow us to enjoy the Gala in a more festive spirit once the majority of fundraising has been accomplished.

You may be asking yourselves at this point, "What can I do to help?". It's a good question because none of this will be possible without your contributions. Luckily, we have some suggestions for you:
  • Are you connected to any local businesses that may be willing to donate to our auction? Gift cards, goods, services, etc are all great auction items. Now is the time to call in some favors!
  • Are you the owner of a business, a season ticket holder, or a vacation-home owner? Would you like to make a direct contribution of your services to the auction?
  • Are you willing to help solicit contributions around town?
Please be in touch with us at the email address below or in person at school. We hope each family is willing to help make this Auction/Gala a success. Small items add up, and we welcome all donations. However, even if you're not able to help procure auction items, we have two more suggestions:
  • Bid generously in the Winter Auction, and
  • Attend the Spring Gala (Date and location TBA)!
Best wishes for a wonderful year,
Susan St. Pierre, Caitlin Cusick, and Magda Duchnowska, auction co-chairs. 
We can be reached at

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.

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

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

Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ)
FORJ ( is holding its first meeting of the year on Tuesday, October 2, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM at Angier Elementary. The agenda includes an update from Superintendent Fleishman on anti-racism work being done in the district and discussion of plans for the coming year. There will also be time for Ward parents to meet as a smaller group. 
RSVP here or email here.

Franklin School Seeking Help
The Franklin Elementary School is looking for a parent to work in the Early Morning Program. The position requires the person to supervise up to 10 children from 7:30 AM to 8:20 AM and it pays $18.00 per hour. The time frame of 7:30 AM to 8:20 AM is considered one hour for the purpose of compensation. 

The parent who is selected from the program may not have children at Franklin and will need to pass a CORI and SORI check successfully. 

Interested parents may email the school's Executive Assistant, Mrs. Donna McLoughlin directly or may stop by the office at 125 Derby Street, West Newton, MA.

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 at or contact Gail Sommer, Director, at 617-969-5906, ext. 143 or

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.