East Ward Cougar News

Volume 12, Issue 1 September, 2023

Welcome Back Cougars!

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year at East Ward! I am so thankful to be reunited with our students, their families, faculty, and staff. This year promises to be a great year! There have been a lot of exciting things so far this year. Last week, we held our school-wide PBIS Kick Off Assembly! Students talked about being respectful, responsible, safe, and kind. We had a dance contest against teachers, and the Cougar joined us too!

To keep us moving forward in the right direction, I will share information with everyone through The Cougar News, email, and phone calls. If you are on social media, please follow @dasd_ew on Twitter, @eastward_principal on Instagram, and of course East Ward Elementary School on Facebook.

Your Proud Principal,

Dr. Argonish

East Ward Calendar

8/28- First Day of School

9/4- School Closed- Labor Day

9/14-Spread the word to end the word football game at Downingtown West

9/21-DASD Culture Fest 5:00 Marsh Creek 6th grade center

9/25- Schools Closed (Yom Kippur)

9/27- A Night Of Remembrance 6:00 Downingtown West Campus Registration link

10/2- Picture Day

10/6- Fun Run

10/21- Trunk or Treat

New Faces at East Ward

Much of the summer has been spent interviewing and hiring new faculty and staff for East Ward. To begin, please join me in welcoming all our faculty and staff.

Mrs. Jill Yeager, is our new certified school nurse. Mrs. Yeager is in her 32nd year as a nurse in PA, 17 of which have been in residential, private and public school nursing. Mrs. Yeager holds two Bachelor’s degrees, (one in Nursing and one in Psychology) and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Education/ SEL. Also in the health room, is our health room nurse, LPN, Ms. Brii Rose. Ms. Rose comes to EW after 2 years as a nurse at Pediatric Specialty Care in Lancaster, PA.

Mrs. Griffith brings a wealth of experience to our school. She is a graduate of Eastern University with a degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Multicultural Education. She has previous teaching experience in Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and abroad in England, and China!

Ms. Sandra Cintura Zamudio is our newest first grade teacher. Mrs. Cintura Zamudio is excited to be joining the East Ward community! Ms. Zamudio graduated from Immaculata in 2015, certified in Elementary and Special Education. She taught 1st grade in Chester Community Charter School before heading to Alabama where she taught 1st grade and most recently was a reading intervention teacher.

Ms. Kate Lewis is our newest member of third grade teacher. Ms. Lewis is thrilled to be joining the East Ward community! Ms. Lewis graduated from Penn State in 2021. She finished the year as a building sub in State College. She returned and taught at the Chester County Art Association as well as being an ESY teacher in T/E. Last year, Ms. Lewis was an LTS in a 4th grade class at East Vincent Elementary in OJR.

Ms. Tracy Biehl is our short term substitute teacher in grade 1 for Mrs. Bailey's maternity leave through October 2. Originally from Northeastern PA, Mrs. Biehl graduated from Misericordia with her degree in Elementary Education and has her Master's Degree in Classroom Technology from Wilkes University. She currently resides in Phoenixville and has been teaching for about 22 years. While she is K-6 Elementary Certified, she is working on finishing up her Special Education certification in November. She comes to East Ward Elementary full of excitement and anticipating a great school year!

Mrs. Nicole Broderick is joining our team in fifth grade. Mrs. Broderick is excited to join her home district! She has been teaching for 12 years! She comes to us from Unionville-Chadds Ford School District where she has taught grades 3, 4, and 5 over the last 8 years. Mrs. Broderick graduated from East Stroudsburg University with her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. She also received her master's degree in Special Education from West Chester University.

More New Faces at East Ward

Mrs. Reeder is split between LMS and EW. As a reading specialist, this year Mrs. Reeder is teaching a few reading classes. She spends midday at EW, and can be found on the third floor.

Mr. Cronin is our new building technician. Last year, Mr. Cronin supported D West, and has had a smooth transition to supporting the tech needs at East Ward!

Mrs. Jacoby & Mr. Prescott are East Ward's building substitute teachers this year. When our faculty and staff are absent, they provide coverage. We are fortunate to have them as both have been connected to EW for many years. Mrs. Jacoby began here years ago as an instructional assistant, and Mr. Prescott is a retired teacher having spent 20+ years at EW!

Strengthening Steps comes to EW!

Come join us for lots of FAMILY FUN!

For children between the ages of 7 and 9 and their parent/caregiver

Parents/caregivers will:

● Discuss parenting challenges

● Participate in fun activities

● Learn about their child

● Develop skills to deal with the stress of parenting in today's world Children will:

● Participate in engaging activities

● Enjoy fun projects and crafts

● Learn positive behavior skills

Free dinner will be provided


Free childcare for all siblings


Fun family incentives every week

For more information or to register, contact Lauren

lpiotrowski@familyservice.us • (484) 319-1803

Driving in and around East Ward

Please be cautious when driving in and around East Ward. We have walkers, car riders, aftercare students, and neighborhood children playing at EW after school. Whenever you are in our parking lot, please drive with caution. We want everyone to be safe.

ACP Pick Up and Drop Off

There have been a few reports of close calls with cars driving on the blacktop before and after school hours. With people walking in and out of ACP, students on the playground, and staff walking in and out of the building, we are no longer going to have cars entering the blacktop playground to drop off or pick up. I understand that this may be an inconvenience to families, especially with young children, but in the interest of keeping everyone safe, please either park in a spot in the lot, or further down in the loop when dropping off or picking up. Thank you.

Parent Portal

New families to DASD- Infinite Campus Parent Portal Accounts will be created and activation instructions will be sent electronically to the email address identified for the parents/guardians on your enrollment application. Separate accounts are created for each parent/guardian. Account creation will occur the week of August 7th. For security purposes, when you receive the link to activate your account, it will be valid for 48 hours after the date/timestamp on the email and may only be clicked one time. You must complete the enrollment process at the time you select the link. If your link expires, or you are unable to complete the enrollment process, please contact the Technology Service Desk for assistance to reset your password. Returning families- If you have forgotten your password, you can reset. More information can be found on the DASD Technology Page.

ClassLink for Parents/Guardians

There are many sites in DASD that parents frequent. However, ClassLink is a place where all of the sites caregivers need are located. Simply click on this link (ClassLink Parent Portal) to log in. Once there, you will see all the sites needed each year. You do have to log in the first time, but after that, it will open when you select an icon.

New Backpacks and school supplies

If your child is in need of a new backpack or school supplies, we are happy to help! Please email or call our school counselor, Mrs. Kenworthy (nkenworthy@dasd.org), in since last April for Mrs. Rastetter.

Free/Reduced Meal Benefits in DASD

The cost for breakfast will be free for all students again this year, and lunch will be $2.50. Every year, families need to apply to receive free/reduced meal benefits. If you need assistance with school meals, field trips, activity fees, and insurance for student devices, you can apply here: https://www.schoolcafe.com/DASD for our Free or Reduced Meal Program. This application is confidential.

Support Beyond Meals Program

If you are in need of assistance/support for subsidized childcare, Medical Assistance, Cash Assistance, SNAP, LIHEAP, CHIP, and school meal benefits apply through COMPASS by clicking here: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/compass.web/Public/CMPHome.

East Ward is a Title I School in DASD

Our school is one of 4 elementary schools in Downingtown who qualify as a Title I school due to the percentage of students who qualify for free/reduced lunch. To learn more about Title I services, you can view the video I shared at the start of the school year, or preview the DASD Tile I website. Next month, I will share additional Title I information with you!

Student/Parent Handbook

Our 2023-2024 Parent Handbook is posted on the East Ward Elementary School website. When visiting our homepage, please scroll down to the lower left portion of the page. In the “Backpack” you will find the Parent Handbook posted. It is very important that each parent/guardian read through the handbook. Important information such as attendance regulations, communication protocols, health and medical guidelines, activity fees, student expectations, calendar, instruction and assessment is included. Also featured is a section about our Home and School Association; officers, committees, and events are included.

Upcoming Events in DASD

Spread the Word To End The Word Game

Thursday, Sep. 14th, 7pm

Campbell Drive

Downingtown, PA

Downingtown Area School District’s (DASD) Best Buddies Program has partnered with the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation to celebrate its 11th annual “Spread The Word To End The Word Event.” Best Buddies is a program in Downingtown that builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), offering social interactions while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. The mission of the program directly aligns with the mission of the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation which is to support the highest quality and most impactful Autism research and care to improve the lives of affected individuals and families now, as well as foster the acquisition of knowledge, technologies and discoveries that will bring new opportunities in the future. The program will begin at 7pm on Sept 14, 2023.

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2023 Narwhal Culture Fest

Thursday, Sep. 21st, 5-8pm

489 Dorlan Mill Road

Downingtown, PA

Entertainment will be provided from a number of talented student musicians, singers and dancers who represent a number of different countries. Food will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks featuring cuisine from around the world. This event is FREE and sponsored by the Downingtown Community Education Foundation and the Downingtown Area School District's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. We want to create a community culture of inclusivity and empathy that can grow and flourish. All proceeds from this event benefit the Marsh Creek 6th Grade Center Library. Registration: Click Here
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A Night of Remembrance (Rescheduled)

Wednesday, Sep. 27th, 6pm

445 Manor Avenue

Downingtown, PA

Holocaust survivor Peter Stern will share his personal story of survival during a special event hosted by the Downingtown Area School District (DASD) Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). The evening presentation will take place on Sept 27th at 6 p.m. in the Downingtown High School West auditorium (445 Manor Ave., Downingtown).

Registration: Click Here

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Health Room News

Hey cougars! Just a reminder from us nurses to stay hydrated! Especially with this warm weather, please bring a water bottle to school, if possible, to ensure that your child is staying hydrated throughout the day. If your child does not have a reusable water bottle, please let us know. Weare happy to provide one.

Stay healthy!

Ms. Rose and Mrs. Yeager

Reading Corner

Talking Counts!

Most words in a child’s vocabulary come from everyday encounters with language. Children pick up language from books, media, and conversations with the people in their lives.

You can increase your child’s vocabulary and background knowledge—two important pieces of the reading puzzle—by having conversations with them. Giving children a rich language environment is one of the best ways to build a foundation for reading success.

With babies:

-Talk to them about what you’re doing so they can begin to connect words with concepts.

-As your baby begins to speak, start asking, “What’s that?” when pointing to objects or pictures. Elaborate on their simple answers as a way to have them listening to more words. “Yes, that is a banana! It’s yellow and smooth.”

With young children:

-Talk about the things you see in your neighborhood, on trips around town, or on television. These conversations help build a child’s understanding of her world.

-When reading, pause to ask questions or comment on the story. Ask, “Why do you think he did that?” or “What do you think is going to happen next?”

-Use interesting and new words with your child. For example, “This cookie is scrumptious!

-It is really good!” or “I can see you’re reluctant to leave, but we can come back tomorrow.”

-Tell your children stories from your own life, or about the day they were born. This helps develop their personal and cultural identity.

It doesn’t matter what language you use—

a rich language environment creates better readers!

For more ideas to help your kids build vocabulary, visit:


Counselor's Corner

Your counselor provides...

~Developmental classroom lessons.

~Individual and small group counseling.

~Proactive/preventative programming.

~Positive leadership, encouraging a

safe, nurturing environment.

~Consultations with parents, staff and community agencies

Counselors can help when...

Social, emotional and behavioral

issues interfere with academic success.

Family or community crises impact

students and staff.

Parents need information and support with the challenging job of raising

Students meet with their counselor by...


~ Parent referral

~ Peer referral

~Teacher or staff referral

~Counselor Initiated referral

Important Chester County Counseling Services

Crisis 610-918-2100

Family Services 610-696-4900

Human Services, Inc. 610-873-1010

Life Counseling Services 610-644-6464

Crime Victim Center 610-692-7420

Rape Crisis Council-Sexual Assault


Valley Creek Crisis Center 610-280-3270

Elementary School Counselor:

Mrs. Nancy Kenworthy

435 Washington Ave Downingtown, PA 19335


Ext: 23040