ForWARD - October 5th, 2018

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

October 5, 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
  • Columbus Day, No School - October 8
  • Picture Day - October 12
  • Mystery Dinner - October 13
  • Ward Night at Celtics - October 22
  • Kindergarten Potluck Dinner - October 27
  • 4th Grade Potluck Dinner - November 30
  • 5th Grade Potluck Dinner - December 1

Mystery Dinner Coming Up
THE MYSTERY BEGINS NOW! Yes, it's true...that moment you have been waiting for since last October is finally here.  Eat, drink and be merry at the best Mystery Dinner ever on Saturday, October 13th!  
Invitations have been sent home this week, but you can also find all of the information on the PTO website at
Is it "You Had Me at Sangria" or "Feasts from the Middle East"?  So many great options, so many great people to be with for one night only!  
So RSVP by October 9 and get your spot for Ward's best night out! 

BoxTops for Education - Earn Money for Ward!
There is a brand new box in the school lobby for BoxTops submissions.   Simply clip any BoxTop from the packaging of participating brands and place them in the box.   It's as simple as that!

Here are some things to remember when submitting BoxTops:
  • Clip it out cleanly! - BoxTops need to be cleanly clipped out, so please, please do this before you turn them in.  We receive thousands of BoxTops, and it takes a LOT of extra time to clip them before sorting, counting, and submitting them.    
  • BoxTops expire! -  BoxTops that have expired are not accepted, so please take a moment to make sure that your BoxTops haven't already expired.  There is a date listed at the bottom of every BoxTop.
If you have any questions about BoxTops, feel free to contact Shelly Straight NIssen.  

Thank you in advance for helping to support Ward School!

Ward School Directory: Available Online and 
Print Version 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 - just ask Ms. Tempesta.
Everyone should be able to access the directory information online now through MySchoolAnywhere, linked here through the Ward PTO website. 
Please email the directory team if you are having difficulty with your online account.  

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.

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 Posts

Ward Community Connections Meeting
The first Ward Community Connections meeting of the year will be on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:45 PM (location TBA). We'll have light snacks and drinks, and good conversation.
We value your participation and your input on how we can all ensure that Ward is a supportive and inclusive community for all students and families.

Please RSVP here

Newton Schools Foundation 8th Annual Newton Inspires
Tuesday, November 13th, 7-9:30 PM at Newton South High School
Newton Schools Foundation invites you to Newton Inspires: An Evening of Ideas and Community - Prominent Newtonians Share Their Passions
Newton Inspires 2018 features headliners Kimberly Buddassociate justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and David S. Friedman, senior vice president, legal & government affairs, Boston Red Sox, along with many other talented Newton personalities.
This free event is open to Newton residents but space is limited and donations are accepted. To reserve a spot register here.

Update from Newton School Committee
Dear Friends,

This update is for the 10/01/2018 Newton School Committee meeting:
  • Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, Eva Thompson, was joined by Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Karen Shmukler, as well as Elementary Principals Tom Morris and Diana Beck, to discuss and present updates on Full Day Kindergarten. Key points included keeping the curriculum age-appropriate and making sure that every student voice is heard via a continuation of small-group instruction.  Details were covered in an article published in the Newton TAB.
  • Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, Toby Romer was joined by Director of Finance and Planning, Julie Kirrane, to present an update to the High School Start Time and Scheduling Initiatives.  They noted that, due to a need to adjust elementary and/or middle school start times, a roll-out would not be possible for the 2019-2020 school year. Work on the high school schedule to facilitate later start times continues with an upcoming survey and student focus groups scheduled for later this fall.
  • Julie Kirrane next presented a final update to our SAWG (Student Assignment Working Group) plans.  There will be a final public hearing on October 22 at 7PM.  
  • Liam Hurley, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, was joined by Julie Kirrane, to present a final draft of the FY19 Capital Improvement Plan.  The School Committee voted unanimously to accept the CIP in final form.
  • Diana Fisher Gomberg, current EDCO representative for the Newton School Committee, presented an EDCO Update including her move to role as Vice-Chair of EDCO and the hiring of a new EDCO Executive Director.
  • School Committee Members Anping Shen and Margaret Albright presented the MASC resolutions.  The School Committee will be voting on these resolutions at the next meeting. 
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to accept the McKinney-Vento State Reimbursement for Homeless Students.
  • The School Committee unanimously voted to approve School Committee meeting minutes for the September 17 meeting.
Next Meeting:
  • October 22 @7PM: Public Comment for Student Assignment, Presentation of Irwin Blumer Book Awards, Discussion and Vote: Student Assignment Working Group, Enrollment Update, Preschool Update
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

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.