Learning to write authentically and with focus is a key part of the performance mission at Northport K-8 School. Students have many opportunities to plan, organize, learn how to write supporting details, elaborate on ideas, use good conventions and learn how to turn off the fog lamps in their brains and write with laser-like focus, using dramatically intense and dynamic writing tools. Among the writing opportunities at Northport are the school-wide Young Author’s program, a generous amount of authentic essay writing assignments with focused feedback, journal writing, newsletter writing collaborations, learning to write research papers, using writing response techniques and strategies. A tool that fourth and eighth grade instructors have at their disposal is a program called Writescore! Students take a practice writing prompt each month in preparation for the statewide test held in February. The test is then submitted and the practice prompt is checked holistically and analytically for focus, organization, support and conventions. Students and writing instructors then collaborate to compare growth from month to month. Pictured are eighth grade writing instructor Susan Smith, left, with students Katelyn Anguish, center, and Chloe Taylor, who have mastered the art of writing.