The Ward After-School Program is a non-profit organization run by a professional staff with the support of a volunteer parent Board of Directors. Students may enroll in the program, which runs after school hours until 5:50, for a reasonable fee. The After-School Program is staffed by a group of professional educators, artists, musicians, and other creative personnel. With a diversified curriculum in a relaxed setting, the children are encouraged to express their individuality and creativity. The After-School Program serves the kindergarten through grade 5 population at the Ward School. For further information, contact the director at 617.965.3087.
Creative Arts and Sciences
Creative Arts and Sciences is a curriculum enrichment program featuring programs in science, music, and art as well as literary, cultural, and theatrical performances. Programs are offered to all grade levels at different times throughout the year. Some programs are presented for the entire school and others for specific grade levels. These programs are organized by parent volunteers and are financially supported by the PTO.
Early Intervention Literacy
A primary goal of the Newton Public Schools is to ensure that all students are proficient readers by the end of third grade. Early identification of and intervention for students struggling to read proficiently in grades K through 3 is essential to achieve this goal. To this end, two Early Intervention Literacy Aides work in consultation with the Literacy Specialist and with classroom teachers to provide reading instruction in the classrooms during Reading Workshop. In kindergarten, grade one and grade two, a literacy aide is in the classroom for forty-five minutes each day during the literacy block. In grade three, a literacy aide is in the classroom two times per week for forty-five minutes during the literacy block. The aide assists the classroom teachers and Literacy Specialist during this time by:
• Testing individual students as part of fall, winter, and spring city-wide assessment.
• Assisting in the analysis, recording, and use of assessment data.
• Assisting in the selection of books for guided reading and independent reading.
• Meeting with guided reading groups for direct instruction.
• Conferring with individual students during independent reading.
• Providing individual instruction to “at-risk” kindergarten students during the second half of the school year.
The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) is a state funded educational program designed to address racial imbalance through the busing of children from Boston to school systems in neighboring communities. The METCO program not only opens up educational opportunities for the Boston children, but also greatly enriches the education of all students by providing a more diverse cultural experience for each and every child.
Understanding Our Differences Program
Understanding Our Differences Program has been part of the curriculum for all Newton students since 1978. The units are now being implemented in third, fourth, and fifth grade. Administered by a volunteer organization, it provides awareness of disabilities through a 22 hour program. The six instructional units include blindness\visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, mental retardation, special medical conditions, and learning disabilities. The purpose of the program is to help non-disabled children understand what it may feel like to have a disability by giving accurate information in a hands-on setting. The program encourages children to discuss their feelings and concerns about the visible effects and consequences of various disabilities. It helps students appreciate that a disabled person is not unlike themselves in many ways.
The annual spring Art Show is an integral part of the art curriculum. Every child in the school has a piece of artwork on display as we transform the Gym into an Art Gallery. As well as exhibiting 2-D and 3-D art in our school all year long, we have displays of children’s art in two locations outside the building. Five exhibits a year take place at Newton’s Education Center. Our second site is sponsored by “Art in Public Places” and is located at the Waban Dental Office. Each child participates in one of these outside exhibits sometime during their six years at Ward School. Taking pride in one’s artwork, using art as a universal language, appreciating other’s art, and enlivening our surroundings are goals that can be met through these wonderful exhibits.
The PTO organizes and runs a book fair, usually in the fall. Children have an opportunity to purchase books during the day, and parents can do some holiday shopping after school or in the evening. All proceeds are used to fund PTO activities. Ward School Circus Fifth grade students perform a series of physical activities under the tutelage of the P.E. teacher.
Color Day is a program designed to celebrate the school year by providing some unity, through recreation and physical activities, involving all members of the school (staff, parents and students). The purpose of our Color Day is to encourage participation in physical activity, with the attitude of “play hard, play fair, do your best, and everybody is a winner!”
Child Assault Prevention Program (CAPP)
This program is provided by trained volunteers for children in grades K, two and five (with parent permission). CAPP seeks to prevent child abuse by training children to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations and prepare teachers and parents to help children in this endeavor. A workshop is available for parents that describes the children's workshop and discusses the parents' role in prevention education. The classroom workshop combines guided group discussion and a series of role-plays focusing on situations children may encounter. Discussion helps children focus on self assertion, peer support, and telling a trusted adult.
Musical Events and Traditions
• October – Halloween Hoot presented by grade 5 – a spirited happening for K-5 to enjoy in the morning.
• November – Autumnfest/Thanksgiving gathering – grades K-5 in the morning.
• December/January – Winter Concert performed by the Ward School grade 4/5 Chorus, band and string ensemble.
• March – Talent Show that includes 15 auditioned acts and is presented during the morning.
• Spring - grade level talent shows for grades 2 – 5 and includes all students who wish to participate.
• June – Spring Concert performed by the Ward School Chorus, band and string ensemble.
• June – Grade 5 Musical Production.
Each fall, Ward families and staff are invited to a picnic. This is a Ward tradition and a nice way to reconnect after the summer break.