ForWARD - November 15th, 2019

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

November 15, 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 - Today
  • Picture Retake Day - November 22
  • Walk and Roll to Ward - December 6
  • Book Fair - December 10-12
  • First Grade Potluck Dinner - January 4
  • Ward Night at Boston Celtics - January 8
  • Fourth Grade Potluck Dinner - February 1
  • Second Grade Potluck Dinner - February 29

Annual Fund Appeal
Thank you for all who have already donated to the Annual Fund! We currently raised $2,850. We need your help to reach our goal of $35,000!

The Ward Parent Teacher Organization (which all Ward parents and teachers are members of) spends over $230 per child per year on top of what the City of Newton allots for our students' education. For your child, this means:

· Classroom technology and technology equipment throughout the school (computers, tablets, projectors, etc.) - new and upgrading outdated equipment annually to ensure children have access to functioning technology and the latest learning tools as specified by NPS

· Funding all of our Creative Arts & Sciences programs throughout the year, including guest speakers, book authors & illustrators, artists & performers (such as 5th grade poet-in-residence Judith Steinberg), visiting programs from Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, various other science programs, dance workshops, and more. All these programs are presented during regular school hours and are tied to the curriculum.

· Underwriting essential inclusive programs such as the Child Assault Prevention Program, Understanding our Differences, Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) and FORJ

· Books for the school library and the classrooms

· Enhancements to our playground space, upgrades and maintenance to our garden and outdoor landscaping as well as building improvements like co-funding the purchase of water filtration systems for each floor of the school

· Radios for the principal and staff to have our children safer and the building and grounds more secure

These funds support essential learning tools for your child in their classroom, to ensure they have the materials and curriculum they deserve, support our teachers to ensure they have the supplies and enrichment opportunities necessary to meet their goals, and provide our school with the ability to create the learning environment we all desire.
Any contribution, big or little, will make an impact, we need your support! You can Venmo @WARDSchool-PTO, use a credit card or paypal using the following link: or drop a check in our colorful Annual Fund collection box located at the entrance of the school.

Important Parking Reminder: No Idling per State Law
In an effort to work together to provide all students with a safe environment around our school, please do not idle (leave engine running) at any time (other than active blue zone pick up or drop off). 
The Newton Police Department and Safe Routes to School remind us that an idling vehicle emits harmful pollution into the idling vehicle itself and also into the area surrounding the idling vehicle. With young lungs at work at Ward, please follow state law and turn off your vehicle when waiting for longer than 10 seconds. 
  • How does this apply in the Blue Zone? 
    • During active drop-off, keep your car running. 
    • During active pick-up, keep your car running. 
    • If you arrive early for pick up, you may wait for your student with your car engine off/not idling.
  • How does this apply in the "live parking" area? This is a short term parking area. You are welcome to continue to park along the curb while you wait for your student, BUT with your car engine off/not idling. 
Here is more information on the specifics of the state law on idling:
Section 16B: Idling of a motor vehicle engine on school property; penalties; adoption of regulations Section 16B. (a) For the purposes of this section, the term ''school grounds'' shall mean in, on or within 100 feet of the real property comprising a public or private accredited preschool, accredited Head Start facility, elementary, vocational or secondary school whether or not in session, and ...

School Picture Retake Day
If you haven't already ordered your child(ren)'s school photos, it's not too late!

The professionals at Coffee Pond aim to please: If you are not completely pleased with the initial photo taken, Picture Retake Day is next Friday, November 22 (8:30 until approximately 10:30am at school).

Reach out with any questions to:

Potluck Dinner Hosts Still Needed for Grade 3
Kindergarten Potluck rescheduled for TODAY!  hosts: Joe and Renee Moran
1st Grade Potluck is scheduled for January 4! hosts: Bekka and Adam Cirel
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 is scheduled for TODAY!  hosts: Sandra & Kevin Kelley
We are still looking for hosts for the 3rd grade potluck. 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
Last call for Celtics tickets!

Join friends from the Ward School community to cheer on The Boston Celtics together on January 8, 2020 at 7pm. Order forms were sent home 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!

Ward FORJ 
Ward FORJ is having its second meeting of the school year on Thursday, December 5 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 (

Lost and Found
The Lost 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, lunch boxes, water bottles, etc. Items not picked up will be donated every other month. Next pick up date will be 12/20/19.  

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

Green Newton Open Meeting
Take personal action against the Climate Crisis at Green Newton's Open Meeting. Are you interested in doing something about the climate crisis but not sure what? 
Green Newton welcomes you to an open meeting to chat with like-minded people and take part in developing Green Newton's new Green Action Teams, including -Home Efficiency & Heat Pumps; Transportation & Electric Vehicles; Food as Climate Action; Reduce, Reuse & Recycle; and Advocacy & Education. Get involved, and help combat climate change!
Refreshments will be served. 
RSVP to or just show up.
November 19th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
War Memorial Auditorium, Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue

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.