ForWARD - November 8th, 2019

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

November 8, 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
  • Kindergarten and 5th Grade Potluck Dinner - November 15
  • Picture Retake Day - November 22
  • Book Fair - December 10-12
  • Ward Night at Boston Celtics - January 8
  • Fourth Grade Potluck Dinner - February 1
  • Second Grade Potluck Dinner - February 29

Letter from Newton School Superintendent
Dear Families, 

An important component of students' success is their sense of belonging in their school. In the Newton Public Schools, we are working to be sure that each school in our district is welcoming, supportive and safe for all students. We do this work in many ways and with many different constituencies, recognizing that creating and maintaining the school climate we want involves working with all members of the school community.  
To be sure we are well-informed about students' experience, we conduct a survey each year of all students in grades 3 - 8 and in grade 10. The purpose of the survey is to gauge students' feelings about: 
  • Sense of comfort and safety at school 
  • Relationships with peers in school
  • Sense of being able to support peers 
  • Academic engagement with school
  • Emotional engagement with school
  • Access to and usefulness of academic support
  • Sense of behavioral support at school
  • Participation and sense of belonging in sports, clubs and other school activities (secondary schools only)
  • Frequency, location, and student response(s) to discrimination, insulting language, offensive jokes, or other unacceptable behaviors (high school only)
The survey is confidential, but will include student identification numbers to allow us to analyze results by subgroups of students. The management and analysis of the data we collect will be done by Newton Public Schools staff. Each school will receive a report summarizing the results of the survey from their school and comparing results to previous years. The survey data will not be disclosed outside of NPS, with the exception of Newton city officials focused on youth and education, who may receive district-wide summarized results.   

The survey will be administered between November 25 - December 20th for students in grades 3-8 and November 25 - January 10th for students in 10th grade. It takes about 20-25 minutes to complete. You may opt your child out of participating in this survey by submitting this Opt Out form -- Opt-Out Form -- to the main office of your child's school by November 14. Copies of the opt-out form can also be found in the main office of your child's school. If you have not turned in the form by November 14, we will assume consent for your child to participate. In addition, your child may voluntarily opt out or may choose to skip any questions s/he feels uncomfortable answering. If you wish to see the survey itself, copies to review will be available in each school's main office. 

Your child's participation in this survey will help inform our decisions about the effectiveness of our current programs, and to improve our programming and supports as needed. Our goal is to provide each student in the Newton Public Schools with a safe and supportive learning and social environment.  


David Fleishman
Superintendent of Schools

School Picture Retake Day
Missed the Picture Day? You have a second chance! 

Don't be late for school that day - the Picture Retake Day is on Friday, November 22nd, from 8:30-10:30am.

4 Down, 2 to Go! 
Potluck Dinner Hosts Still Needed for Grades 1 and 3
Kindergarten Potluck rescheduled for November 15th!  Joe and Renee Moran
2nd Grade Potluck rescheduled for February 29!  co-hosts: Caitlin & Matt Cusick and Jen & Alex Ewing
4th Grade Potluck is scheduled for February 1st! co-hosts: Sarah Hirzel & Jake Hendrickson and Sarah Lenz & Grant Welstead
5th Grade Potluck November 15th!  Sandra & Kevin Kelley
You choose the night between now and December and we'll help you through the planning process.  Your home should have enough space to accommodate approximately 50 adults in an informal setting.  Hosts only need to supply paper goods and drinks and the guests will bring food based on assignment.  
If you are willing to be a host for your grade, please contact Diana Hashkes

Ward Night at The Boston Celtics
We have 30 tickets remaining and November is the last month to decide to come along! 

Join friends from the Ward School community to cheer on The Boston Celtics together on January 8, 2020 at 7pm. Order forms will be in backpacks this week or 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. 

Questions? Go Celtics! And Go Ward!

Lost and Found
The Lost and Found items will be picked for donation on Friday, November 1st. The Los and Found is located in the school entrance foyer. Please have your child check for missing items or come in to school and check out the Lost and Found (after signing in at the office). Please consider writing your students name on sweaters, jackets, water bottles, etc. Items not picked up will be donated every other month. 

If you have any questions, please contact Sandra Kelley at

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

Special Education Parent Advisory Council 
(SEPAC) News
Please join the Newton SEPAC for a meeting with Beth Fitzmaurice, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
7:30-9:00 pm
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Room 210
100 Walnut Street

Beth Fitzmaurice, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, is responsible for special education across Newton Public Schools. Beth joined NPS in August 2019 and has spent her first couple of months on the job getting to know the schools, staff, and programs. We will have the opportunity to hear from Beth on her impressions of special education in Newton, her thoughts on current special education issues, and her priorities for this academic year and beyond. There will also be time for parents to ask questions.

We hope you will be able to join us to meet Beth and hear from her about special education in Newton!
Please contact with any questions.

Newton Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) 
Join Newton FORJ for a citywide meeting with Annawon Weeden from First Light Foundation. Families are welcome and encouraged to come!

Date: Wednesday, November 13
Time: 6:30PM to 8PM
Place: Angier Elementary
As we move through the fall holidays that celebrate Europeans' first contact with Indigenous People in the Americas, Annawon Weeden's upcoming performance will transport you and your family to that first contact and bring you up to the current moment. Engaging audiences in a heartfelt and authentic manner, Annawon will explore the impact and legacy of the first cross-cultural connection in our country. Annawon is an avid performer who works to bring awareness about his culture to both children and adults. All children welcome, there will be a 45 minute performance with break out discussions after. 

PLEASE RSVP HERE for the November 13th Meeting

Flu Clinic at Newton City Hall
Missed your school's flu clinic?

A family flu clinic will be held on Tuesday Nov 12 from 5 to 7 pm at Newton City Hall outside the Health Dept. in Room 107. Anyone age 6 months and up may receive a flu shot. Teens may come on their own if a parental consent form is completed in advance. Forms available at

Questions? Call 617-796-1420.

Newton School Committee Meeting Update
The update for the 11/4/2019 Newton 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.