Weatherbee Reads!

Weatherbee Reads!

Weatherbee Elementary has just completed their book fair.  The name of every student who made a purchase, was put into a jar to draw for a series of free books.  The winners were: Dominick Baily, Ronald Cantarero, and Jyssel Nunez.

Former Westgate Student Lends His Voice to Help Autism

Former Westgate Student Lends His Voice to Help Autism

Mozart Sobrinho stopped by his former school, West Gate K8, to perform a benefit concert for autism. Students in grades 3 through 8 were treated to a half hour concert which included his song “Stay with You” inspired by his former teacher and her autistic daughter. His performance allowed West Gate to raise over $500.00. The monies raised will help sponsor the April 11th, 2015 Walk for Autism Speaks.

Donuts with Dad Celebrated at Palm Pointe Book Fair

Donuts with Dad Celebrated at Palm Pointe Book Fair

Recently, the Palm Pointe Media Center was transformed into Sir Read-A-Lot’s Castle. One Tuesday morning, Donuts for Dad was the theme and Princess Paige Turner (Mrs. Garber, Media Specialist) and Sir Read-A-Lot (Mrs. Ferguson, Media Clerk) welcomed our Rockets and their male role models to a bountiful banquet of books. Almost 40 families participated to show our students that “Real Men Read.” This activity was held in conjunction with the district initiative to encourage men to be involved in our schools as well as our school-wide literacy focus this quarter. It was so rewarding to see our students and dads choosing books together and then sitting down to share them (and a donut) before school began for the day. Pictured from left is Media Clerk, Kathy Ferguson, Media Specialist, Elsie Garber and Dads with their children.

Southport Middle School Presents Beauty and the Beast Jr.

Southport Middle School Presents Beauty and the Beast Jr.

The Performing Arts Department of Southport Middle School presented the Broadway Junior musical, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” in four fantastic shows. This “tale as old as time” was filled with spectacular costumes, beautiful artwork, props, familiar songs, and dance. The cast and crew of over 75 students rehearsed for weeks to prepare. Pictured here are the students who played a part in the production. Many thanks to the additional students, volunteer crew of administrators, teachers, parents and high school students who made the show possible.

St. Lucie Public Schools Celebrates National Kids at Hope Day

St. Lucie Public Schools Celebrates National Kids at Hope Day

This celebration kicked-off at the school board meeting on November 4th with an official proclamation read by Treasure Hunter and St. Lucie County Teacher of the Year, Heather Bolitho.

The theme this year was “We Connect- The Power of Aces.” One of the Kids at Hope leading principles states that children succeed when they have meaningful, sustainable relationships with caring adults. These caring adults are called Aces. Just like in a deck of cards, there is an Ace of Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds. The Ace of Hearts is a child’s parent/guardian. The Ace of Clubs is any other caring adult who knows the child’s talents or skills. The Ace of Spades has high expectations for children and believes in them sometimes even more than they believe in themselves. The Ace of Diamonds gives children opportunities to succeed, making them feel validated and appreciated.

Kids at Hope Schools uniquely incorporated this theme into events, activities, and lessons on November 12th or anytime during the month of November. Some schools even entered the National Kids at Hope Day Contest, with each entry receiving a certificate and a Four Aces poster.

We believe all children are capable of success, No Exceptions!

Weatherbee Celebrates Kids at Hope Day

Weatherbee Celebrates Kids at Hope Day

Weatherbee Elementary School celebrated National Kids at Hope Day during student led conferences. Each student took a letter and sat with their parent(s) or other caring adult and wrote down why they are a Kid at Hope.  The letters were then posted outside of the individual teacher’s room spelling out “Kids at Hope, No Exceptions!” Teachers came out and took a picture with their classes, which were put together in one large poster to display on campus.

Northport Celebrates National Kids at Hope Day

Northport Celebrates National Kids at Hope Day

Northport K8 School celebrated National Kids at Hope Day by infusing a Power of Aces mini-lesson into morning (elementary) or 1st period (middle) on November 12th. The suggested activity included a class discussion on students’ Ace of Hearts and Ace of Clubs and why these adults are important, followed by writing thank-you cards to these Aces. Lessons also incorporated this year’s school theme, “Kids in Wonderland.” During drop-off and pick-up, parents received an Ace of Clubs card with an explanation about this special caring adult, as well as a copy of the Treasure Hunter’s Pledge.

Samuel S. Gaines Academy Celebrates Kids at Hope Day

Samuel S. Gaines Academy Celebrates Kids at Hope Day

Samuel S. Gaines Academy celebrated National Kids at Hope Day during the week of November 10th – 14th.  Staff and students proudly showed their Kids at Hope spirit by wearing Kids at Hope shirts or any blue and yellow shirts during the week. Each day, students discussed their Aces on the morning announcements. Students held up a poster-sized Ace card, described their Ace of Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, and explained why they are important. A faculty member also gave a special “tip of the day,” focusing on the power of Aces in student’s lives. In addition, positive signs were posted around the school, stating “Keep Calm. You’re a Kid at Hope.” During a school-wide parent event, a lollipop tree was used to encourage conversations between parents and children. Students picked a lollipop, brought it back to their parent, explained their talents, skills, goals and dreams. If they chose a lollipop with a blue or yellow sticker, they won a special Kids at Hope prize, such as a light or bracelet. Students who picked one without stickers were still praised for being winners. Parents then heard a presentation about Kids at Hope and students recited the Pledge. Parents were informed about activities and dialogue they can have with children at home to foster positive relationships and hope for the future.

Be the One: Kids at Hope Day at Oak Hammock

Be the One: Kids at Hope Day at Oak Hammock

To celebrate Kids at Hope Day 2014, Oak Hammock K-8 School implemented an anti-bullying campaign from November through January that empowers all Treasure Hunters and students to find the treasures in all members of the school community. Our personal rendition of the 2014 Kids at Hope theme: “Everyone a Treasure Hunter: Be the ONE to Stand up to Bullying!”

This campaign kicked off with a “Hats Off to You” fundraiser, where students and staff paid $1 to wear a hat on campus. Students were asked to identify their own talents, skills, and intelligence, as well as the treasures in their friends and family.

Next was a school-wide reading of the book One, by Kathryn Otoshi in each classroom. One is a simple yet powerful anti-bullying picture book that has many levels of meaning, making it accessible to students from Pre-K through 8th grade.

Then in January, staff will be trained on strategies to help students mentally time travel to the four destinations. Students’ and staff’s future dreams will be shared to further support connecting across our school community and see the treasures in one another.

We will be closing our campaign with the school-wide signing of a pledge to be a Treasure Hunter by seizing Moments of Truth to stand up against bullying. Students who agree to be the ONE to stand up to bullying will sign the pledge and receive a blue dot sticker as a symbol of their commitment to being a Treasure Hunter for others.

Hailey Mack, Mikey D'Andria, Jenny Nguyen, & Caden Deis stand next to the bulletin board created in band. Students focused on individual talents and compared it to how, just as in music, many different notes come together to create a masterpiece.

Hailey Mack, Mikey D’Andria, Jenny Nguyen, & Caden Deis stand next to the bulletin board created in band. Students focused on individual talents and compared it to how, just as in music, many different notes come together to create a masterpiece.

Windmill Point Celebrates Aces for Kids at Hope Day

Windmill Point Celebrates Aces for Kids at Hope Day

During the week of December 1st-5th, Windmill Point celebrated ACES in our Lives”! ACES were honored by inviting these special people to have lunch with a student. As part of the Kids at Hope philosophy, Windmill Point believes that all children are successful when they have meaningful and sustainable relationships with adults.

A letter went home with students describing the four ACES that are typically found in children’s lives, as well as a schedule for each grade level. Lunch was brought in or purchased through the school cafeteria.

An Evening of Connecting at Village Green Environmental Studies School

An Evening of Connecting at Village Green Environmental Studies School

To celebrate National Kids at Hope Day on Wednesday, November 12th, Village Green Environmental Studies School invited parents and students for a night of connecting. The event kicked off with our SAC meeting at 3:40.  We encouraged more parents to join our SAC so they can become even more involved with our school. Following the SAC meeting, dinner was provided for families with staff members serving pizza, salad, cookies and drinks.  Families also had the opportunity to shop at the Scholastic Book Fair that was held in our Media Center. After dinner, different break-out sessions were provided for parents, including one on Kids at Hope.  Child care was also provided so parents could focus and interact. Families, teachers, and community members enjoyed an evening of connecting!

All Children are Capable of Success at Dale Cassens!

All Children are Capable of Success at Dale Cassens!

Dale Cassens Educational Complex celebrated National Kids at Hope Day by creating a tunnel of hope made of various community members from Ft. Pierce and Port St. Lucie. These special caring adults cheered students on and held signs reading “You can Succeed,” as they as they arrived to school on November 25th. The students then participated in a Fall Festival which included “Minute to Win It” events and a giant blow-up obstacle course. Every child was able to acquire tickets throughout the day for drawings of prizes at the conclusion of the event.

High School Grades – Press Release

Today the FLDOE released high school graduation rates and high school grades. Five of the six SLPS high schools increased their graduation rates, with LPA experiencing a slight drop to 93%. The rates were as follows:

School 2014 Graduation Rate 2013 Graduation Rate Change
LPA 93 97 -4
FPC 83 81 +2
FPW 67 55 +12
PSL 74 69 +5
SLWC 77 76 +1
TCHS 80 74 +6

Superintendent Genelle Yost stated, ” The four year graduation rate is one of the true measures of high school performance, indeed district performance, and our substantial increases reflect the hard work of our students and our staff. While we know we will not be satisfied until the graduation rate is 100%, we have evidence to prove that we are moving in the right direction.”

In 2014 the FLDOE dramatically increased the points required to achieve an A or a B in the school grading calculation. State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart announced this morning that there was a 13% drop in the number of A rated schools state wide and a 5% drop in the number of B schools due to these changes.  Three St. Lucie high school grades were impacted by the change in the scales. The grades issued to St. Lucie Schools were as follows:

School 2014 Grade 2013 Grade Impacted by Change in Grading Scale 2014 Grade Had Scale Not Changed
LPA A A No A
FPC B A Yes A
FPW D D No D
PSL C C No C
SLWC C B Yes B
TCHS B B Yes A
Mosaic D F No D

Even though each of our schools showed measurable improvements in many tested areas, not all of the letter grades reflect that high performance.

  • Lincoln Park Academy continued its rich tradition of academic excellence earning 1316 points total, and another grade of A.
  • Fort Pierce Central and Treasure Coast each scored enough points to earn an A on last year’s scale, but under the new scale were assigned a B.
  • St. Lucie West Centennial was also impacted by the change in grading levels as it earned enough points for a B on last year’s scale, but on this year’s scale was awarded a C.
  • Mosaic, the district’s virtual school, increased one letter from 2013.

Yost added, ” It is unfortunate that the state changed the rules of the game again. Under last year’s scale half of our high schools would be A’s, but with the change, only one is. Our schools showed increases in almost every tested area, yet the single letter grade does not reflect that.”

School Related Employee of the Year Finalists 2014-2015

School Related Employee of the Year Finalists 2014-2015

Saint Lucie County Public Schools are fortunate to have a host of extraordinary employees who come to work each day with a passion and commitment to the students they serve and the community they call home.  Because of the sheer numbers of qualified candidates, selecting a nominee can be difficult.  Thus it is with pride that   Superintendent Genelle Yost and members of the Saint Lucie County School Board announce the 2014-2015 School Related Employee of the Year finalists.

Viola Bryant is Southern Oaks Middle School nominee.  Ms. Bryant has worked with the school district for over 33 years and has worn many hats in her career.  Not only does Viola perform her duties with dedication and efficiency but is never daunted by any task.  She takes every opportunity to further her education and is especially trained in child care development.  Viola works in the community to help homeless families find safe shelter and food to eat.  She makes home visits to parents and guardians providing information and encouragement so their children can reap the benefit of parents who have been given the tools needed to assist their own children in achieving academic success.

Simone Catrambone is the nominee from Lakewood Park Elementary.  She is a native of Brazil and made a life-changing decision to leave her small city near Rio De Janiero to immigrate to the United States.  She began her career in Saint Lucie County about ten years ago as an ESOL Paraprofessional.  She continued her efforts to become a fluent English reader and speaker.  Children who were also striving to speak, understand, and read English looked to her for help to achieve that same goal.  Teachers, too, took advantage of her bilingual abilities to enhance their instruction for students whose first language was not English.

Ms. Catrambone produced several school plays exclusively for ESOL students – “Readers’ Theater.”   Simone constructed the sets, made all the costumes, and directed the highly successful plays.  Recently she teamed with the Boys and Girls Club to present an evening play for parents and family members.

Alexandra Sanders represents Treasure Coast High School as their nominee and district finalist for 2014-2015.  Ms. Sanders has worn many hats in her career in Saint Lucie County.  She has been a substitute teacher, a clerk, and is currently the Registrar.  In that role, Alexandra welcomes new families to Treasure Coast High School every week.  Many families have been impressed with her warm welcome and willingness to discuss everything from class schedules to finding a local dry cleaner. Newcomers to the community often sing her praises to administration.  Alexandra also mentors students reinforcing the strong academic accomplishments and opportunities they can find at Treasure Coast High School.

In addition, Ms. Sanders works and meets with a group of young girls monthly a Ft. Pierce Westwood High School.  These girls are finding their way through very difficult life circumstances and have found a friend and guide in Alexandra.

Alexandra also serves on a number of committees at Calvary Chapel.  She spends countless hours giving back to members of her church family and for young ladies who need their voices to be heard.

Congratulations to all our School Related Employee of the Year finalists!  We are so very proud of you!!

TOY2014

Aces Shine for Kids at Hope Day at Bayshore Elementary

Aces Shine for Kids at Hope Day at Bayshore Elementary

Bayshore Elementary had a night where the Aces shined. Parents and students were invited to school to play games against the teacher, and possibly win prizes if they were able to beat the teacher. Teachers and parents were recognized for being Aces to students, and every student was able to win a prize in the end. Parents also received information about PBIS, and Kids at Hope all while having fun at the same time.

Forest Grove Students Appreciate Aces for Kids at Hope Day

Forest Grove Students Appreciate Aces for Kids at Hope Day

We at Forest Grove Middle School have implemented a stupendous initiative to foster a strong bond between the students and their Ace. Each month the students will vote on the Ace that inspires them to succeed academically and flourish positively socially. The students have been informed that the Ace with the most votes will attend a very special lunch with the administrative team at Forest Grove. The students have been participating in droves. This incentive reminds teachers that they are valued by their students and it gives the students a sense of responsibility in choosing and honoring the staff and teachers at their school. Altogether, this increases the positive bond between students and staff/ teachers.

Students Taylor Lewis and Mixi Mitra nominate the Treasure Hunters who see the gold in them, with assistance from School-Based New Horizons Counselor Kimberly Lively.

Students Taylor Lewis and Mixi Mitra nominate the Treasure Hunters who see the gold in them, with assistance from School-Based New Horizons Counselor Kimberly Lively.

Allapattah Flats Honors Aces and Veterans for Kids at Hope Day

Allapattah Flats Honors Aces and Veterans for Kids at Hope Day

The Allapattah Flats family celebrated National Kids at Hope Day in conjunction with Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 12th. To honor all of our service personnel for our city, county, state, and country, Allapattah Flats proudly conducted a Tunnel of Honor.

The entire school of over 1000 students and staff lined the school walkway, waving American flags and cheering for veterans, first responders, police, deputies, firefighters and Coast Guardsmen as they walked through the tunnel. These guests of honor were treated to a musical performance by the middle school band & chorus as well as our elementary chorus. Songs included military anthems and the Star Spangled Banner. Prior to the ceremony, each class created red, white & blue paper chains, naming a goal for the future in one of the destination points on a link. These paper chains were presented to the guests of honor. To conclude the ceremony, all invited guests came up with a link of their own and connected our paper chain together to form one long chain, showing the power of connecting and celebrating the role these Aces play in student’s lives, as well as the role the guests of honor play in the Community & Service Destination.

In addition, students created Aces Pinwheels using construction paper and pencils. On each pinwheel, students were asked to name an Ace of Hearts, Ace of Clubs, Ace of Spades, and Ace of Diamonds on each blade of their pinwheel. Prior to the Tunnel of Hope, these pinwheels were placed in the grassy field, to spell out the letters “KAH,” for Kids at Hope, which could be seen from the third story in the school!

Desire Konicek and Kaitlyn Bright assist a St. Lucie County Firefighter in stapling paper chains together, with a little help from School Counselor Sheri Reichard.

Desire Konicek and Kaitlyn Bright assist a St. Lucie County Firefighter in stapling paper chains together, with a little help from School Counselor Sheri Reichard.

St. Lucie Public Schools Celebrates National Kids at Hope Day

St. Lucie Public Schools Celebrates National Kids at Hope Day

This celebration kicked-off at the school board meeting on November 4th with an official proclamation read by Treasure Hunter and St. Lucie County Teacher of the Year, Heather Bolitho.

The theme this year was “We Connect- The Power of Aces.” One of the Kids at Hope leading principles states that children succeed when they have meaningful, sustainable relationships with caring adults. These caring adults are called Aces. Just like in a deck of cards, there is an Ace of Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds. The Ace of Hearts is a child’s parent/guardian. The Ace of Clubs is any other caring adult who knows the child’s talents or skills. The Ace of Spades has high expectations for children and believes in them sometimes even more than they believe in themselves. The Ace of Diamonds gives children opportunities to succeed, making them feel validated and appreciated.

Kids at Hope Schools uniquely incorporated this theme into events, activities, and lessons on November 12th or anytime during the month of November. Some schools even entered the National Kids at Hope Day Contest, with each entry receiving a certificate and a Four Aces poster.

We believe all children are capable of success, No Exceptions!

SLW Centennial High School Choir Performs at Sights and Lights of St Lucie West

SLW Centennial High School Choir Performs at Sights and Lights of St Lucie West

To kick off the holiday season, the St. Lucie West Centennial Chamber Singers performed at the Sights and Lights event of St. Lucie West on December 2nd.  More pictures are available at:  http://www.tcpalm.com/galleries/sights-and-lights-of-st-lucie-west

Holiday Chorus Concert Enjoyed at Palm Pointe

Holiday Chorus Concert Enjoyed at Palm Pointe

Elementary students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition enjoyed a Holiday Chorus Concert as part of a Positive Behavior event. Students used their earned rocket fuel for good behavior in the classroom to attend the special program put on by music director, Christine Hill and her chorus students. The holiday songs were a great way to begin the upcoming holiday season and the students and staff loved it. Pictured is the chorus performing on stage and the students enjoying the show.