ForWARD - January 24th, 2020

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The John Ward Elementary School PTO Newsletter

January 24, 2020

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
  • Third Grade Potluck Dinner - January 31
  • Fourth Grade Potluck Dinner - February 1
  • Morning Coffee with PTO - February 7
  • Ward Community Meeting with Superintendent - February 12
  • Second Grade Potluck Dinner - February 29
  • International Night - April 16 
  • Ward Annual Art Show - May 20
  • Ward Night at Red Sox - May 27

Message from PTO Co-Presidents: Ward Community Meeting with Newton School Superintendent
Dear Ward School Parents and Guardians,
Superintendent David Fleishman has scheduled a meeting on February 12th at 7:30pm to connect with the Ward Community to explore the facility and educational needs as well as developing a plan for the future.  Parent/Guardian attendance is crucial in order for our community to have a clearer understanding of the future for our building and to be able to have an active role.

There will be a task force formed including parents/guardians representing Ward.  If you're interested in joining the task force please reach out to BillDianaGiulia or Zena.


Winter Illness: January 2020 School Health Newsletter
Even though the temperatures have been spring-like lately, it is still winter when clusters of respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) illness occur in our schools and communities.

Newton school nurses monitor illness among students in the schools and have recently received reports of confirmed influenza.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health posts a weekly flu update most Fridays with the latest information about influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) in the state.
Here are a few highlights from the latest report (1/17/20):

· The percentage of influenza-like illness visits to health care facilities for Massachusetts has increased and is higher than the previous two years in the same week.

· Overall influenza-like illness activity for Massachusetts is high this week. The region that includes Newton (Inner Metro Boston) is reporting moderate ILI activity.

· Nationally, influenza-like illness activity remains elevated and influenza B is most common.

Flu vaccination for all people age 6 months and older continues to be recommended. It's not too late to get a flu shot. For people who get vaccinated but still get sick, the severity of illness is reduced according to the CDC.

Anyone can make an appointment with the public health nurse at City Hall for a no cost flu vaccine by calling 617-796-1420.

Help the school nurses monitor illness in the schools. Report diagnosed strep infection, influenza or other respiratory infections to the school nurse.

It may seem elementary, but in conjunction with a flu vaccine, thorough handwashing is the best way to prevent all kinds of illness including the flu.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.

It is important for families to keep sick children at home, in accordance with school policy outlined below. These guidelines are also good common sense for adults in the workplace. 

· Keep your children home from school when they are ill, following the school exclusion policy. A student will be excluded from school if they have:

o A fever of 100°F or greater in the past 24 hours (must be fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication to return)
o A communicable disease diagnosis
o A cold in the active stages - coughing, sneezing, nasal drainage
o A sore throat and/or swollen neck glands
o Vomiting or diarrhea in the past 24 hours
o Acute pain that requires relief by narcotic medication

Questions? Please contact Gretchen Egan, BSN, RN, Ward Elementary School Nurse at (617) 559-6453

2020 Art Show
The Annual Art Show will take place on May 20, 2020 from 5-6:30pm. 

If you are interested in framing art work (this can be done from home!), or helping with setup or takedown, please email Betsy Blazar at

Secure Your Tickets: Ward Night at the Sox
The Ward School Community will gather for a fun night at Fenway on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Order forms are coming home in backpacks or can be found here. First come, first served. 

Deadline: January 31st and must be returned to the Red Sox box in the lobby. 

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. 

The next pick up date will be 02/14/2020.  

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

Free Weekend at Historic Newton
Saturday, February 1 and Sunday, February 2, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Everyone is invited to enjoy free admission to our museums: Jackson Homestead and Museum, 527 Washington Street, and the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, 286 Waverley Avenue

Admission: Free
Information: 617-796-1450

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.