ForWARD - February 1st, 2019

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

February 1, 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
  • Ward Night at Bertucci's - February 4 
  • 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

Ward School Online Auction
Thank you to all who participated in the Ward School Online Auction. 
The event was a tremendous success thanks to our sponsors, our donors and our bidders. Winner's items will be distributed over the next week. They may be picked up at the Bertucci's Dining for Dollars Event on Monday evening....grab dinner (dine in or take out) and collect your winnings at the same time or at drop off on Tuesday 2/5 (rain date Wednesday 2/6). 

Executive Function Skills in Children and Adolescents
Sponsored by Newton SEPAC and Newton Public Schools:
Kristen Jacobsen, MS CCC-SLP

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
7:30 - 9 pm

Newton North High School
457 Walnut Street
Newton, MA

Teach children to manage their time, space and materials (and keep their emotions in check)!

This presentation will cover powerful strategies to help your child develop independent executive function; teach students to internally sense the sweep of time, self-monitor in order to sustain concentration, manage pace, and complete tasks in allocated time frames; improve students' motivation and task initiation, help them to plan homework and long-term projects/papers, and coach students to think in an organized way; and encourage self-initiative to manage homework and personal belongings.

Ms. Kristen Jacobsen, MS CCC-SLP is a trained speech-language pathologist who is Co-Director at the Cognitive Connections Executive Function Practice. She is currently working with Newton Public Schools to develop an Executive Function program for middle school students. She provides training and coaching for teachers and professionals, parent consultations, as well as student coaching services. Ms. Jacobsen has worked as an educational consultant and speech-language pathologist in public education, private schools and hospital settings, and has provided teacher training seminars and school consultations nationally.

Thank You
Many thanks to Susan StPierre, Tetsu Inada, Casey Ngo-Miller and Dan Miller for co-hosting the first grade pot luck.

Join Us for Winter Walk and Roll to Ward
Today we will kick off the new month with a special kindness-themed Walk and Roll to Ward. Students will collect heart charms for their backpacks this month as we focus on keeping our hearts healthy with exercise and also with simple acts of kindness. 

Worksheets with blank hearts will be sent home with students around February 1st. Work with your child to cut out the hearts and write/draw an act of kindness that he/she has given or received each day. 

A box to collect completed hearts will be in the front lobby thru February 8th. A new bulletin board on the first floor will then display the hearts for the month of February. Submittals can be anonymous or include a name....let's crowd that board, and our community, with kindness together! 

Questions? Caitlin Cusick or Sarah Hirzel

Ward Night at Bertucci's
Please join us for a "Dining for Dollars" event on Monday, February 4th, at Bertucci's in Newton Corner!

Not only do you get a night off from cooking, get to socialize with friends, raise money for Ward and have fun.... but you can also pick up your auction winnings from 5:30-7:30! 
No worries if you can't stay for long!  Feel free to order some takeout to feed everyone at home!  A percentage of all sales throughout the day will directly benefit Ward School!

Ward Night at BC Basketball
Over 85 members of the Ward Community will gather to cheer on BC on February 12th. Paper tickets are being sent home today, February 1st, in the take-home folder of your oldest child at Ward. 

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

Future Chefs Culinary Competition

Please note that the competition is open to 4th and 5th graders only!
Once again, the Newton Public Schools food service partner Sodexo, is hosting the Future Chefs culinary competition! This year, the theme is Mexican. Just fill out the entry form with your favorite Mexican recipe. 
One winner from each school will be chosen to participate in a cooking contest at Newton North High School on Tuesday, March 26th. 
We can't wait to see your creative recipes and taste those amazing dishes!
Entries are due Friday, February 8th. Forms can be picked up in the main office or the cafeteria at each elementary school and then returned to either location by the deadline. 
For more information, please visit the NPS website:

Newton School Committee Update
Dear Friends,

This update is for the 1/28/2019 Newton School Committee meeting:

New Business
  • We reviewed and discussed the Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report.  Here are some of the key points:
    • Elementary class sizes remained the same and secondary class sizes improved.
    • Middle schools can accommodate projected enrollment growth in near term and then return to current levels.
    • Meeting needs in district-wide programming is a focus.
    • Balancing class size at high schools is critical as enrollments continue to grow.
  • Interim Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Eva Thompson was joined by principals Kathleen Smith (Underwood) Tom Morris (Memorial Spaulding) and Beth Herlihy (Countryside) to present an Elementary Principals' Update. The focus of the presentation was the development of Principal Learning Teams or "PLTs."  The principals reviewed the work that is being done at their schools.  
  • School Committee member Diana Fisher Gomberg presented highlights of the EDCO Annual Report. One item discussed was EDCO's desire to expand programs, including the exciting possibility of expanding the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program into elementary schools.
Old Business
Consent Agenda
  • School Committee voted unanimously to approve the 12/10/18 and 1/14/19 minutes
  • School Committee voted unanimously to approve the 11/28/19 Special Meeting (Caucus) minutes
Next Meeting
February 11 at 7:00 p.m.: Technology Update, System Wide Goals, Mid-Year Superintendent Assessment, Short Term space needs, Fiscal and Operational Facilities update.

Next Virtual Office Hours
Our next Virtual Office Hours will be held on February 10 at 8PM.  Join us through the Newton Public Schools' Facebook page!

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

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.