ForWARD - September 27th, 2019

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

September 27, 2019

Dear Ward Parents,


Welcome to the new edition of the Ward Elementary School Newsletter ForWARD for the 2019-2020 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
  • International Walk and Roll to Ward - October 4
  • Kindergarten Potluck Dinner - October 11
  • Mystery Dinner - October 19
  • Flu Clinic - October 24
  • Ward Night at Boston Celtics - January 8

Announcing CAS AuthorFest 2019!
Author & Illustrator Visits
Newton Public Schools' Creative Arts & Sciences* is dedicating November 6, 2019 to recognize and celebrate the importance of books in our children's lives. We know that students are uniquely inspired when they're given the opportunity to meet the authors and illustrators of books they've read. A wide range of authors and illustrators will be visiting schools across the district during the day to talk about the writing and illustrating process - from idea to published work.
Ward's Kindergarten through 2nd Grade will enjoy an assembly with Judith Jango Cohen.
Ward's 3rd-5th grade will attend workshops given by Brian Lies.
Newton Schools Foundation is proud to support the 2019 CAS Authorfest. Through contributions from individuals and businesses throughout the Newton community NSF is able to provide funding for important educational programs that impact students and teachers district-wide.
Book Sale & Signing at the Zervas Elementary School Library on November 6
A culminating book sale and signing will allow students to meet and talk to the authors and illustrators from which they've been inspired.
At the end of the school day on November 6th, all participating authors and illustrators will gather in the Zervas Elementary School Library for a meet and greet, book sale and signing event. Students and their families from across the district will have the opportunity to meet a variety of authors and illustrators, including those who presented at other schools. 
Newtonville Books will facilitate the book sale. Book order forms will be distributed several weeks prior to November 6. No purchase is necessary to meet an author.
A small portion of the proceeds will go toward future CAS events. 
*CAS AuthorFest is made possible by a grant from the Newton Schools Foundation, a contribution from The Village Bank in Auburndale, and your generous contributions to our PTO. Thank you!
A percentage of the book sale proceeds will go to CAS to help defray the cost of the CAS AuthorFest event.
In order to make this event possible, we are looking for 1-2 volunteers available on 11/6 in the morning.
Please email Robin if you have any questions.

Room Parents Needed
One last call for room parents. Please consider volunteering to support your child's classroom teacher in an effort to enhance overall family engagement and foster the family/classroom connection. With a partner or two- this is a manageable commitment and a rewarding volunteer role. There are remaining classrooms in need of volunteers- emails to those groups were sent this week. 
If you have questions and/are interested in being a room parent, please email

Hosts Needed: Mystery Dinner 
Mystery Dinner will be Saturday, October 19, 2019

The evening is a great opportunity to meet other parents, have a fin night out and support Ward!

If you are interesting in hosting a dinner, or the appetizer or dessert parties, please contact Anna Feldman or Betsy Blazar.

Stay tuned for more details.

Ward Family Directory
We're working hard to put together the 2019-2020 Ward Directory and need your help to get it ready for use online and ready for printing so you can have a reference copy at home! 
Along with most Newton public schools, Ward is transitioning to a new School Directory online system. You will need to visit and create a Membership Toolkit Account, then you will have access to the Ward Directory online.  Use your main Ward communication email address and re-set the password if you've forgotten it.  Every family must verify their information in the directory to make sure it's accurate. We can't print the directory until this process is complete.  
For questions, please contact Sarah Lenz

International Walk to School Day
Next week students across the world will make a commitment to walking/biking/bussing to school. We will celebrate at Ward by kicking off our monthly Walk and Roll to Ward Days on Friday, October 4th. 

All walkers/bikers/bussers will get a sticker and one lucky walker/biker/busser will win a raffle for a new bike lock courtesy of Landry's Bicycles. We welcome Newton City Councilors Becky Walker Grossman and Marc Laredo to join our Ward Walkers and encourage all those who are able to participate! Together we will reduce traffic & harmful vehicle emissions in front of our school; make a commitment to our own personal health goals; and foster the Ward community spirit by coming together that morning. 

Ward Night at Boston Celtics
Join friends from the Ward School community to cheer on The Boston Celtics together on January 8, 2020 at 7pm. Order forms can be found here

A small portion of the ticket fee benefits the Ward PTO and it's critical programming. Kindly return order forms and payment (made out to Ward PTO) to the labeled box in the front lobby of the school. 

Please read the important details about receiving tickets on the form. 


Go Celtics! And Go 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

Food Service Advisory Group (FSAG)
The School Committee has recently launched a new initiative, the Food Service Advisory Group. The purpose of the group is to create a dialogue between families and Whitsons Culinary Group (the NPS food service provider) and improve transparency around food choices and services offered at NPS. 
One or two representatives are needed from each school. Please contact Giulia Guffanti and/or Bill Kenneally if you are interested to represent Ward. 
If you would like to provide your feedback on the food service please use the following link: 5V1AQV9Y96hew1QQ7  

Resilience and Managing Anxiety Speaker Series 
at Mount Alvernia Academy
Join Mount Alvernia Academy (in the Dorothy McCormickGymnasium) for our Building Resiliency and Managing Anxiety Speaker Series. Made possible by a grant from the Catholic Health Foundation, we will feature two presentations on October 15th, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm and December 4th, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Please register for each session that you plan on attending below. 
On October 15th, Dr. Julie Edmunds and Ms. Jennifer Dirga will lead a panel discussion on how to develop skills to manage anxiety and the different aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), providing education for and practical tips for parents. Dr. Edmunds is an assistant in Psychology at MGH and an Instructor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety, mood, and behavioral disorders. Ms. Jennifer Dirga MSW, LICSW. was the Director of Social-Emotional and Learning at Project Adventure and a former MAA School Counselor. 
On December 4th, Jessica Minahan will speak about how parents can help children reduce and manage anxiety. Ms. Minahan is a licensed and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), author, special educator, and consultant to schools. Since 2000 she has worked with students who struggle with mental health issues and challenging behavior in school systems. 

The event will take place at Mount Alvernia Academy, 20 Manet Road, Chestnut Hill

For more information and register for this free series through the link below:

Ward FORJ (formerly Ward Community Connections) 
Ward FORJ is having its first meeting of the school year on Wednesday, October 16 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Please join us! More details to follow.
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Angela Brooks and/or Jeanne Choe-Arrieta.

You Are Invited: Bowling with Ward FORJ
Ward FORJ is going bowling! Won't you join us! Ward FORJ is joining with our Boston classmates and families to enjoy a fun-filled time of bowling and conversation!    
Saturday October 26, 2019
Boston Bowl
820 Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester, MA  02122
$5.00 per person, includes bowling and pizza
Please RSVP by Saturday October 19, 2019 to Tara Cunningham so we can make sure that we have lanes and pizza for everyone.
Brought to you by Ward FORJ and the PTO

Newton School Committee Update
The update for the September 16, 2019 School Committee meeting can be found here:

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.