Communication

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    Parent Teacher Conferences and Communications

    All teachers hold fall conferences in October/November and spring conferences in April/May. The purpose of these conferences is to share information about each student’s progress and work toward setting appropriate goals for the remainder of the year. All teachers send home written progress reports in January and June.

    Several grade levels have Progress folio conferences scheduled at various times throughout the year.

    Teachers will always make time to speak with parents. Teachers will return phone calls made to the school office and will respond to parent notes and emails.

    Curriculum Overview

    The curriculum coordinators for the Newton Public Schools have developed curriculum overviews for each subject at each grade. The overviews provide a brief synopsis of the types of informational experiences and concepts to which children will be exposed. Curriculum overviews are distributed by classroom teachers at Curriculum Night or can be obtained from the principal.

    Curriculum Night

    Parents are invited to their child's classroom in the early fall to learn about the curriculum and to ask general questions about the year ahead. Teachers also use this opportunity to discuss expectations, policies, and procedures that are unique to their individual classroom. Parents are encouraged to look at materials in the room as well as their child's work and to ask questions regarding the curriculum or general program. Curriculum Night is not intended for discussion of individual children or their progress. This occurs by appointment or during regularly scheduled conferences.

    Directory

    Families will be sent the Ward School Directory, which includes class lists for the entire school. In order to be included in the directory, parents must fill out a form, available in the office, and sign a release allowing the information to be published. The child’s name, parents’ names, address, phone number, and e-mail address can be included unless a family wants all or part of the listing omitted. All information is intended for personal purposes and should not be used for business mailings.

    Fifth Grade Transition to Bigelow Middle School

    Each spring, our fifth grade students and their parents participate in a process that facilitates a smooth and comfortable transition to middle school. Staff and students from Bigelow come to Ward to discuss courses, schedules and other relevant information. Our fifth grade students visit Bigelow to meet the sixth grade teachers, tour the building, and see first hand how the middle school operates. Parents are invited to attend an informational presentation by the Bigelow staff and principal. In addition, the sixth grade guidance counselor meets with our fifth grade teachers to share relevant information regarding each student. This sharing of information allows the Bigelow teachers to meet the individual needs of incoming students.

    ForWard – School Newsletter

    The ForWard is the Ward School newsletter and is published monthly by email. Sponsored by the Ward PTO, it contains information about school and community activities. Submissions are welcome and should be e-mailed to the ForWard editor or placed in the ForWard mailbox in the school office. A hard copy can be requested. Additional copies are available in the school office.

    Messages for Students

    The school office receives many phone calls during the school day from parents who want messages delivered to their children about after-school arrangements. We ask that you make all necessary arrangements before your child leaves home so that phone calls are not needed. We know real emergencies do arise and we are happy to take messages in these cases. However, please make every effort to think about your child’s plans the night before so a note can be written to the teacher if a child’s after school arrangements will be changed. When making arrangements for a child to go to another home after school, be sure the “receiving” parent is aware of the arrangement. Remember, only people you have designated on your child’s information card are allowed to pick up your child after school.

    Messages for School Staff

    If you would like to leave a message for a teacher, principal, or other staff member, please call the office at 617.559.6450 or email the staff member directly. The secretary will record the message and place it in the person’s mailbox. Staff will respond promptly to any message left for them. Staff can not be disturbed from the classroom to answer phone calls, but will respond to the message as soon as possible.

    Opportunity to Discuss Issues Concerning Students

    Both school and home can work together to help support and encourage your child. It is important to let the teacher know immediately if a concern about your child arises. If you wish to speak to your child's teacher, call or email during the school day and leave a specific message, or send a note explaining your concerns. This gives the teacher a chance to confer with other faculty if appropriate, and respond to you in a timely fashion. If you need more than a telephone conversation, you should not hesitate to arrange an appointment to meet your child's teacher at a mutually convenient time.

    Snow Delays and Cancellations

    Additional info re: Connect-Ed: Connect-Ed is our citywide communication system. When there is a school arrival delay or cancellation due to weather, etc., this system broadcasts a voicemail message to the telephone number of your choosing as indicated on the yellow “Student Contact Information” form distributed at the beginning of the school year. Please be sure to advise the office whenever your number(s) change.

    Parents will be notified using our reverse 911 system in the even school opening is delayed or school is cancelled. Information about delayed openings and school closings will be broadcast by 6:30 AM on the following radio and television stations:

    WBZ 1030 AM WEEI 590 AM
    WHDH 850 AM WILD 1090 AM
    WNTN 1550 AM WRKO 680 AM
    WNEV-TV Ch. 7 WCVB-TV Ch. 5
    WBZ-TV Ch. 4 Cable Ch. 13

    This information is also available on the district website at http://www3.newton.k12.ma.us

    Do not call the police or fire departments.

    Although school may be open on days following snow or ice storms, parents should use their own judgment in determining whether road conditions in their areas permit children to proceed safely to school. The judgment of the parent will be accepted as a legitimate reason for student absence.

    Webpage

    Please visit our school’s web page http://ward.newton.k12.ma.us Reminders about upcoming events will be listed. There are links to special sites for kids and classroom web pages as well. It is our policy to use only the first name of students.