ForWARD - January 18th, 2019

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 18, 2019

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
  • Online Auction - January 24-31
  • 1st Grade Potluck Dinner - January 26
  • Ward Night at Bertucci's - February 6
  • Ward Night at BC Basketball - February 12
  • Spring Gala and Live Auction - April 6
  • Ward Night at Fenway - May 10
  • Annual Art Show - May 22

The Auction is Coming...
...and luckily you can bid from the warm comfort of your living room sofa!

In 6 short days you'll be able to start bidding on all the fantastic offerings we have secured. We have many camps, activities, restaurants, retail shops, and experiences to tempt you! 

Please be on the lookout for a registration email that will be sent on Monday. The email will contain a link to the preview so you can start checking out the items a few days early.

Feel free to share the link with friends and family who are welcome to register and bid, though we do not offer shipping on most items. Also, be aware that we are still adding some items, so nothing is final until we go live on Jan 24th at 8am! 

Finally, a few selected items are being reserved for a live auction at our Spring Gala on April 6th. We will also have student class art projects for auction at that event. Please make sure that date is on your calendars! 

- Susan, Caitlin, & Magda

Home Alone Safety Class on Early Release Thursday, May 9th at Ward
Newton Community Education is running Home Alone Safety Class for students Grades 3-5 at Ward on May 9th from 12:45-2:45PM.
Take the first steps towards independence. Learn about Internet safety, phone and door-answering techniques, accident and fire protection, and first aid. We'll watch an instructional video, discuss how to manage your time when you're home alone for short periods, and explore scenarios through role-playing. 
Currently there is not enough enrollment and the class might be cancelled. If you are interested to sign up your child, please do so as soon as possible. 

Thank you!
Thank you Cheryl and Christoffer Abramson for hosting the third grade potluck this past weekend.  

Ward Night at Fenway
May 10th, 7:10pm
Come see our 2018 World Series Champions play Seattle!
Tickets are $37/person. Checks only.  Please put the attached application and check in the Red Sox box in the lobby of Ward. First come first serve on the tickets-  sale ends the earlier of January 31st or when the 100 tickets are sold 

Ward School on Twitter
Did you know that you can follow Ward School on Twitter? If you have an account or plan to make one, follow us: @ward_elementary.

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

Newton School Committee Update

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year!

This update is for the 1/14/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

First, Did you know that the School Committee includes terrific student representatives from both high schools?   Please check out the bio for our 2018 - 2019 student representatives.

Superintendent Update
  • Starting in the Fall of 2019, the NPS IT department will be rolling out a Gmail platform to replace the current First Class System used by NPS staff.  
  • Oak Hill Middle School has started a Girls Who Code group. So far the group has had a huge turnout with over 50 young women joining mini-lessons on Friday afternoons.
New Business
  • Mary Eich, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, was joined by Jennifer Shore, Curriculum Coordinator for K-8 Mathematics, to present an Elementary Math Update.  This included a deep history of math curriculum and a detailed look at the year-long decision making process that led to the adoption of the "Investigations 3" math program in our elementary schools. This historical review was accompanied by a presentation demonstrating how "Investigations 3" works, why it was chosen, and how NPS will be tracking its success.
  • Members of the Equity Committee, including PTO Council Co-President Christine Dutt and School Committee Member Kathy Shields, presented a brief update on the activities of the Equity Committee.  Originally the committee had a goal of presenting a final recommendation to the School Committee about the possibility of pooling some PTO funds by April of 2019.  However, they have requested more time in order to thoroughly collect public feedback.  We will receive an update in April.
  • School Committee member Margaret Albright presented suggested revision to two policies: Public Comment and Naming Schools.  Members of the School Committee suggested further editing.
Consent Agenda
Next Meeting

January 28 at 7:00 p.m.: Elementary Principal Update, Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report, Mid-Year Superintendent Assessment, Mid-Year SC Calendar Review, EDCO 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:

The Newton School Committee

A Step Ahead Basketball
A Step Ahead Basketball (ASA Hoops) is offering a February Vacation basketball clinic for boys and girls ages 7-15 at the Brown Middle School.  This clinic will run Monday to Friday from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.  Register here.  
In addition to school vacation clinics ASA also offers a variety of summer camps in Newton and surrounding communities.  For more information about our camps, please check our website at or contact Brendan Smith at

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.