ForWARD - March 1st, 2019

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

March 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
  • Spring Gala and Live Auction - April 6
  • NewtonSERVES - April 28
  • Ward Night at Fenway - May 10
  • Annual Art Show - May 22

Message from School Nurse
Hello 5th grade parents,
This week, your child will be bringing home information about optional postural screening. This is offered yearly as a screening for early signs of scoliosis. This year, the screening is offered as an opt-in only. Only students who return the signed form will be screened. 
If you have any questions, please call the health room at 559-6453.

Aja Hutchins, MS, RN  
Ward School Nurse
Health Room 617-559-6453
Fax 617-552-5563

Creative Arts and Sciences Committee (CASC) Update
In February, Ward students participated in two wonderful CAS events, which were funded by your generous donations to the PTO:

The fifth grade participated in the "Life at Sea" program presented by David Coffin, the Artist in Residence at The Christmas Revels. "Life at Sea" is an interactive program that enriches the study of Colonial history by exploring the whaling industry that was a key part of New England commerce in the 18th century western world and the biggest industry at the time. "With his harpoon, concertina, his larger-than-life singing voice, and Pierre, his limber-jack, David transported students, who became his crew, back to an 18th century Nantucket whaling voyage.

The third and fourth grade classed enjoyed David Coffin's "Music of the King's Court" presentation which covered the history of the recorder from the primitive ocarina through medieval gemshorn, to the refined recorders of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. With his beautifully crafted instruments, David demonstrated period examples of music written for some of the instruments. The program included a "Science of Sound" segment that both demonstrated and explained the science of sound. Students were encouraged to create their own demonstration of sound waves with a drinking straw and water bottles at home.

Applications for Ward After School 2019-2020
Ward After-School is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year!
Applications will be emailed to current families.  For families new to our program, you can email us at to request an application.  Applications are due by Friday, March 29.   
Some important things to note about the application process:
  • Newton will be going to a Full Day K schedule next school year.  Therefore, our K program will now be available beginning at 3:00 four days of week, and at 12:30 on Tuesdays (in other words, same hours as Grades 1-5)
  • We have a two-day minimum for enrollment.
  • There is a $50 application fee.
  • Applications are due by March 29.  This is a REAL deadline!
  • Tuition costs will be determined by the number of applications received.  To see the current year's rates, please email the director.
  • Our program strives to accommodate all who apply by the deadline.  However, we may receive more applications than spots available in accordance with our child care license.  A waitlist may be necessary.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at, or 617-965-3087

Volunteer to Help with Kindergarten Screening
The PTO is looking for volunteers to help welcome new kindergarten families to Ward when they bring their children for kindergarten screening.  This is a great volunteer opportunity for this year's kindergarten families to share what you've learned over the last year with new families.  The time commitment is SMALL - just an hour and a half of your time on Monday, March 4 or 5.  
To sign up, please register for a time slot here or or email Kathy Shields at to sign up.  
Helpers will be collecting directory information from new families, photographing the children for the school's use, escorting parents around the building, and answering questions.

Walk and Roll to Ward TODAY
As we continue with our "First Friday Walk and Rolls to Ward", join us today for some fresh air, exercise and community building. 
With darker mornings upon us this month, be sure to collect a special 'glow in the dark' backpack charm today!

Save the Date for NewtonSERVES Day!
Sunday, April 28th from 9 am to 4 pm
Bring your family and friends to work on various indoor and outdoor projects at Ward School. This is a great and fun opportunity to do some community service together with your children and get to know other Ward families. Registration details to follow. 
Project Lead Volunteers Needed! Please contact Raquel Alencar at if interested. 

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
This update is for the 2/11/19 Newton School Committee meeting: 

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.