Northport Northstar students in Mr. Vlaun’s class engaged in great hands-on learning recently. Students worked together with Mr. Vlaun to build Rube Goldberg machines. Students learned about motion, force and simple machines. Rube Goldberg machines named after cartoonist, Goldberg intentionally are designed to perform simple tasks in an indirect and complicated way. The Rube Goldberg machine usually includes a chain reaction. Awesome learning in Mr. Vlaun’s science class!
Northport K-8 students in Pam Mishler’s first grade class and Lisa Cash’s sixth
grade class made new friends all in the name of literacy recently when the
students paired up to prepare for the school’s vocabulary parade. Students used
words from their reading text for the year to make vocabulary costumes and hand
made signs to wear in the parade to celebrate words. Teachers and students used
the book “Miss Alaineus” by Debra Frasier to hone ideas and to prepare to model
their costumes in the vocabulary parade. The vocabulary parade is just one of
the activities made available to Northport students to participate in Just Read,
Florida’s initiative, “Celebrate Literacy” during the week of January 14-18.
Pictured from left are Destiny Davis, Skylar Warner, Tatiana Hamilton, Harper
Carey and Ariane Russell.
Northport K-8 School students from kindergartners to eighth grade enjoyed Northport’s annual Field Days recently held at Sportsmen’s Park. Students and teachers attended the Field Days in rotations with their classroom and elective teachers assisting to make sure all students were safe and enjoying the event. Activities included the 50 yard dash, 100 yard dash, jump rope, hula hoops, javelin throws, grass relays, crab races and the tug of war. This year was the first year that middle schoolers have been invited to participate in the events. Clownfish team teacher Sandra Tyndaler said, “The students thoroughly enjoyed the well organized event. The students were eager participants and the day was smooth and fun filled!” The 7/8 Clownfish team was commended by Coaches Linda Walker and Kim Kanada Graff for outstanding behavior, sportsmanship and great attitudes. Overall, the Northport K-8 School annual Field Days events were a great wrap up for a year filled with fun learning activities for students of all ages. Pictured are students from the Mariners’ eighth grade team in a tug of war.
Seven Northport K-8 students and their families participated in the St. Lucie County Reading Council Young Authors program held recently at Fort Pierce Central High School. All students at Northport K-8 School participate in the Young Author’s program as evidentiary data for the school’s Parent Involvement goals for the School Improvement Plan. Student, family and teacher involvement in the authentic writing program is nearly 100%. Each year, at the beginning of the school year, teachers prepare their students for the “whole community- project based” program. Writing workshops are held in conjunction with the 21st Century after school program and classroom teachers prepare their students to be able to demonstrate mastery of the writing process, which includes planning, organizing, writing, editing, style, revision, adding illustrations and achieving the final product. The books are then displayed in the school Media Center for optimal display of community work and parent visits. This year’s school wide selections for best writing by Northport students are Zachary Roy, Breanna Guillame, Alexander Hernandez, Alayna
Jaworski, Cali Romano, Alexa DeMatthews and Jill Quant. Pictured is Zachary Roy and his proud mother, Marie Roy.
Northport K-8 kindergartners, fifth, and eighth grade students are celebrating their accomplishments with “Moving Up” ceremonies, dances, picnics and parties. Parents and grandparents, as well as teachers and administrators, are proud of the students’ progress at Northport. Kindergartneners celebrated with classroom ceremonies, fifth graders will host a formal celebration, and eighth graders will celebrate with a formal ceremony in the evening with a host of Veteran partners serving as flag bearers for an honor color guard to kick off the ceremony. Students will also honor Sgt. Ray Carter of the United States Army, who participated in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy Beach and Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. This year is the 69th anniversary of D-Day. At Northport, we celebrate students and honor our United States military. Pictured is fifth grader Danarius Yearby from Nichole Robinson’s class. Some of the highlights of his year, Darius remarked, were his awesome teachers, friends, trip to Oxbow Eco-Center, Northport Field Day and science project.
Northport K-8 middle grades students are diligently planning, organizing and researching for the Northport K-8 School Annual Science Fair. Students in grades six through eight follow a timeline, beginning with getting special certification forms completed, checking and completing logbooks that include purpose, hypothesis, procedures, analysis, conclusion and much more. Students also are collecting data, completing research papers and formatting bibliographies. Finally, completed science research projects including science boards are due in December. The whole process is an all-encompassing community effort in time management, data collection, research skills and a multitude of other far reaching lessons that will impact student achievement far into the future. Competition is key and individual students excel learning to use the scientific process. Northport students in grades four and five learn science fair techniques through a classroom approach and will conduct a Science Expo that is not based on competition. Middle grades science teachers to be commended on their expertise and dynamic, focused approach to scientific instruction are Ellen Weiss, De Green, Kalyn Nova, Christine Persick as well as Northport Science Fair Coordinator, Dr. Laura Woodworth. Pictured are students from De Green’s class researching in the media center, from left, Luis Flores, Jaylona Casado, Jarvin Patrick and Tajah Johnson.
Northport K-8 students are participating in the Young Authors program and are setting examples of effective writing for display in the school Media Center. Students from kindergarten through eighth grade have been preparing, thinking, writing, revising, editing, illustrating and demonstrating a commitment to great writing through a year long process of effective learning and teaching. The crown jewel in Northport’s commitment to effective writing and communicating ideas and information effectively is the Young Authors program. Each year, students display their books in a Media Center showcase with a theme as a backdrop. This year the theme is “Wild, Wild West Writes Again.” Entering the Media Center is a step back into American history where the Old West was King! Pictured is third grade instructor Glenda Taylor with her students in front of the third grade “Trail of Tales!” Red checkered table cloths, real cow and bull skulls, deer antlers, a saddle and bridle, a sarsasparillla 5 cents stand, kerchiefs, horseshoes and old pots and pans are some of the memorabilia that students are checking out! Young Authors Season is one of the highlights of Northport’s investment in student achievement!
Northport is pleased to announce that fifth grade student, Paris Martinez from Mrs. Tredor’s class has won not only the District 9 Florida Retired Educators Association essay contest, but also the state of Florida award. At the state level, Paris will receive a special plaque and $150 cash award. The topic was “A Memory With a Grandparent!” The accolades just keep .❤ We are teaching children to be courageous writers at our school. 📚
Northport VPK-8 School is please to announce that Northstar student Michael Gorbach has been awarded fourth place in the Junior division of the 60th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair this April in the Medicine and Health category. Michael’s project entitled “FIR=LIFE” was recognized with a first place award in the school’s science fair in January, a first place award in the Treasure Coast Regional Stem Science and Engineering Fair in February as well as the nomination to be one of the fourteen delegates representing St. Lucie County students at the 60th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, Florida.
Michael Gorbach’s scientific work was based on wound healing time with an interest in decreasing medical costs and disability length of treating and healing wounds. After completing a literature search on wound maturation and radiation types and their effects on body tissues, he designed and completed an experiment to test the effects of infrared radiation on wound healing speeds. Practicing excellent scientific ethics, he decided to work with earthworms as an invertebrate organism rather than exposing humans to any potential pain or harm. He performed a controlled experiment with multiple trials where the worms in the investigational group were exposed to the infrared treatments and a control group of worms that did not receive the treatment. Observations of the wounds and measurement of regeneration length were carefully recorded in his log book. His data analysis included several statistical methods and numerous graphs. Based on the data obtained, Michael Gorbach concluded that infrared radiation exposure does speed wound healing and regeneration processes.
Michael Gorbach is on the Northstar team at Northport VPK-8 School which offers an advanced curriculum with opportunities to earn high school credits. The middle grades placement on the Northstar team is an excellent addition to the academic selection offered at Northport VPK-8 School and it is noteworthy that the advanced curriculum has achieved solid academic results with a focus on leadership.
For the last seven years, Northport K-8 School has built a strong bond and partnership with local veterans in Saint Lucie County. The program is called Veteran Partners In Education. Through the years, the Veteran Partners have served the children and families in a multitude of ways. Some examples of service to the school are, many classroom visits to talk about Patriotism and the military life, presented several living time lines, participation in the Purple Heart Memorial building, Read Across America guests, Northport commemorations for 9/11, Veterans Day and Memorial Day each year, Army One Presidential helicopter pilot visit, Korean War Armistice program, Salute to the Marine Corps birthday and many, many other events that bring the veterans into the school nearly every week.
Through data and meticulous record keeping, it has been determined that 15,305 students and families have been touched by the Veteran Partners program at Northport. On many visits, veterans will bring uniforms and hats for the students to try on. Recently, veterans Bill Arnold and Peter Popolizio, both Northport Senior Volunteers of the Year, with Mr. Popolizio also serving as the Saint Lucie County School Board Senior Volunteer of the Year for 2013-14, visited a particular student at Northport K-8 School. Aune Abdelquadar, seventh grade student on the Stingrays team, was rewarded with an authentic army veterans hat, complete with American flag pins and many other military insignia on the hat. Aune was rewarded with the hat because each time he see’s a veteran, his salute is stunning. His respect is unquestionable and outright moving. The veterans were thrilled to present Aune the hat and the students thought it was quite the remarkable occasion and were surprised by the visit in Mrs. Sandra Tyndale-Harvey’s class. Pictured are Peter Popolizio, Sandra Tyndale and Bill Arnold with Aune Abdelquader sporting his brand new hat.
Northport K-8 fourth grader Cierra Yuhas knew she was having difficulty with reading comprehension. She spoke to her teacher, Carissa Provencher, who provided some valuable advice: select your favorite book, contact the author and get some tips on how to better understand concepts from books. Cierra took her teacher’s words to heart and wrote a letter explaining the situation to Cynthia Lord, author of “Rules”, Cierra’s favorite book. Lord wrote Cierra a very special letter with some words of advice to keep reading, to look closely at everything because it becomes more beautiful. The author also advised Cierra that her book was inspired by her son, who has autism like the book’s main character, and told Cierra to look out for her next book called “Touch Blue”. Cierra has been so inspired by the letter from Cynthia Lord that she is reading more than ever, as well as looking forward to writing her own Young Author’s book. Pictured is Cierra with her book and letter.
Talk about a “Joyful Noise!” That is what Dr. Kevin Perry brought to one lucky student at Northport K-8 School recently. Northport eighth grader Zachary Davis was surprised by Dr. Kevin Perry, the SLPS Assistant Superintendent of Schools and Fine Arts. Dr. Perry is part of a delightful group of local citizens called Bluebird Educational Productions. Dr. Perry, along with group founder, Darryl Bey, love music so much that they started a group called “Recycling In the Key of Education” or RIKE for short. The group collects used musical instruments from local citizens who gladly donate and then have the used instruments refurbished into beautiful, shiny nearly new pieces.
SLPS band directors then select students who will benefit by owning their own instrument. Dr. Perry said that the recipients of the musical instruments are spread around all schools so that not just one school receives all instruments. Zachary was so overwhelmed by the generosity of “Recycling in the Key of Education” that his eyes filled with tears. He said, “It’s a miracle! A white glove too!” Many thanks to Dr. Karen Crocco who encourages and teaches the joy of music every single day @Northport.
Northport K-8 School 8th grade Mariner student, Albert Morgan will be attending a very special three day conference in Anaheim, California this month. Albert will be representing the Chuck Hill Unit of the Port St. Lucie Boys and Girls Club on Marion Street. Ten other local students from the unit will be attending with Albert as well as Unit Director, London Reeves. Students raised the money to attend the leadership conference through fundraising. The Keystone Conference attendees are called Keystones. The Keystone Conference has three main goals for the students, community involvement, academic success and career exploration. Students will visit technical schools, fashion schools and University of California at Los Angeles or UCLA as well as attending leadership classes and trainings. This is a wonderful opportunity for Albert and the Northport Community is extremely proud of his achievements through this terrific club.
Northport VPK-8 School STEM Center received some very good news and a package in the mail that contained a brand new 3D printer from the First Robotics organization, ECKOCYCLE and Coca Cola. STEM Center instructor, Christine Nurse wrote and received the grant from will.i.am and Coca Cola whose mission is to inspire new things made in part from recycled materials. The grant was bestowed to help motivate students to do “something cool” for sustainable living and to help support a more sustainable environment using recycled materials. The twelve hundred dollar grant which purchased the 3D printer will help inspire Northport students to dig deeper, think harder and be more productive when researching and innovating. Great job Mrs. Nurse for reaching deep and going the extra mile to make sure that Northport VPK-8 students have the best materials. Pictured are students, Shea Ellsworth, Sebastian Hernandez and Jared Wilt helping Mrs. Nurse open the new 3D printer.
Northport K-8 School is proud to offer to Northstar team 6, 7, and 8 grade students the opportunity to design, build and implement a STEaM Photonics Lab. The lab allows students to excel in many areas including science, math, engineering and technology that have not previously been explored. Students are utilizing the engineering design process and work in groups to develop a design plan using criteria and constraints, implementation and modification, as well as trouble shooting and executing their final design. Every step is recorded following the engineering notebook criteria for validation through replication by other students. Every procedure employs teamwork, communication skills, critical thinking, math with an emphasis on geometry and writing skills. Northport K-8 School STEaM program is a joint partnership with NSP, Laser-Tec and IRSC. Pictured are Northstar students working on a special project to save Jack Sparrow’s treasure from thieves. The program is professionally conducted by instructor, Christine Santos-Nurse. The students are passionate about the program! So passionate that the implementation design plan has been included in a special grant that is currently being developed by a team of teachers at the school chaired by principal, Glenn Rustay and coach, Deb Mock.
Northport students and teachers welcomed the monthly Speakers Bureau recently, and the Northport Media Center truly did “Shine Forth As Gold!” The morning began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by sixth grader, Alicia Brown, dressed as Harriet Tubman. As the program progressed, students from Deborah Allen’s class dressed authentically as famous Black Americans such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Mary McCloud Bethune and more black heroes presented “Who Am I?” speeches. This segment of the program was first rate as the students taught the guests about important Black Americans and their contributions.
Dr. Donna Mills presented the first guest speaker, Dr. James Harrell, husband of District 83 House of Representatives, Gayle Harrell. Dr. Harrell spoke of his own difficult youth and the value of education. The keynote speaker was Mr. Joseph Dillard who dug deep and spoke about his life story. His father was in prison and his mother was a drug addict. He spent his youth on the streets selling drugs, was in and out of relationships, and engaged in fighting. Dillard finally broke free from the burdens of his life when he began reading voraciously at the age of 21. He recounted the story of sitting and telling the moon, “One day I am going to conquer you!” Mr. Dillard tipped his hat to his teachers who gave him the feelings that “I can do it” and “You should do it!” He had students place their hands over their hearts and repeat, “I am a champion. ” He told them to read, to listen, to go above and beyond expectations, and to ask themselves, “What do I stand for?”
The program was flawless and inspiring. Children learned about integrity, grit, determination and the importance of unifying as people, men, and women of vision and not color.
Dr. Mills spoke about the SLPS “A Promise is a Promise” program and explained to students that if they graduate from SLPS, secure credentials as a certified teacher, then SLPS will provide them with a teaching position.
Every adult present, including Pastor Kenneth Mills, who has worked tirelessly with the program, “Save Our Children was, “Don’t let anything stop you. Cry your tears and move on! We will! We promise!”
Northport has been so proud to play a role in the Speakers Bureau this year. The program has achieved astounding success through a series of community leaders and role models who have visited the school. With the collaboration of SLPS Board Vice Chairman Dr. Donna Mills, Northport Principal Glenn Rustay, Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, and a host of middle grades students, teachers, and parents, students have been offered the opportunity to hone leadership skills and to learn to develop and pose well thought out and provocative questions. Students have learned to research the background of the speaker, then, working with their teachers, develop questions with the intent of finding out as much information as possible.
Northport students have been exposed to community guests who have told stories of grit, determination, and success and then each has shared their life formulas with students. Each guest has motivated students to buy into their own success and their own education. Northport guests speakers have included SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent; Tony Ross, brother of local hero, Cee Cee Ross Lyles who perished on Flight 93 during the September 11, 2001 tragedy; Tony Barnes, Ft. Pierce City Hall Executive Director of Purchasing; Samuel McDuffie, Customer Service Supervisor, youth coach and mentor; Dr. David Thompson, chaplain for the SLC Sheriff’s office at Rock Road Jail as well as several local Veteran Partners In Education.
Each program was kicked off by a display of student talent including band quartets, ensembles, elementary songs and a special Black History presentation by sixth grade students from Deborah Allen’s class. The programs were filled with faith, hope, love for children and community, service, integrity and people who are willing to stand up and do the “right thing!” All these inestimable qualities are the keystone of a solid Northport education. We educate good, loving, caring and kind citizens who will develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Many, many thanks all the guest speakers and to Dr. Donna Mills and her husband, Pastor Kenneth Mills. Through our guest’s commitment and singular focus, Northport, as a school, has achieved uncommon valor in education.
The format and focus of the Northport Speakers Bureau has been submitted to the state of Florida Department of Education on behalf of SLC Public Schools for the purpose of promoting and recognizing innovative school practices that increase family and community involvement. Family and Community Involvement submissions will be judged for innovative programs being implemented throughout the State and will be notified in the F all of 2017.
Northport is pleased to be working with SLPS Board Member Dr. Donna Mills. Dr. Mills, Northport Media Center staff, administration and teachers have formed a special collaboration to bring the best and most up-to-date information to NP students. Each program highlights a different theme. For example: October was themed Read More, Write More; November will be themed Integrity and Peer Pressure; February will celebrate Black History; and March will commemorate Women’s History. The final program to be held in April will be themed, Why the Arts Make Us Better Students! The teachers and media specialist plan student-based programming then Dr. Mills tailors her guest speaker to that programming.
The first guest was Dr. Judi Miller, former SLPS board member and current CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLC. Maryanne Warren, program specialist for New Horizons, Tracy LeJeune, 7th grade writing instructor and Lorelle Ceville collaborated to help bring a powerful program to instill the importance of reading and the will power to overcome obstacles with reading. Also highlighted were the reading peer mentorships betweeen Mrs. Ceville’s kindergartners and Mrs. LeJeune’s seventh graders. Dr. Miller was thrilled to learn of the student mentorships because that is part of the daily business of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many thanks to Dr. Donna Mills for encouraging the Speakers Bureau at Northport to be better than ever. We have a first-rate program happening.
Northport K-8 students in Vicki Baird’s eighth grade Spanish classes created their own family trees using Spanish words and phrases. Students identified relationships to family members and then gave two physical and two personality
traits for each family memeber using Spanish language skills. Students also displayed handmade Ojo de Dios or Eyes of God. The Ojo de Dios were symbolic of wisdom and light in the Indian cultures in Mexico and Central America. Students
on the Northstar team in eighth grade have a great opportunity to earn one of two required high school foreign language credits at an advanced pace.
Northport K-8 sixth grade science instructor Amanda Sartain addressed deep content in her lesson segment about the human body systems and their relationship within the body. Ms. Sartain reviewed the new content, then organized students into learning teams to practice and deepen knowledge. Students shared the tasks of cutting out the skeletal system with construction paper, added the main organs for respiratory, circulatory, nervous and digestive systems and then attached each organ to the appropriate place in relation to the skeleton and displayed on a hallway wall. Students then labeled each organ with function and each system with its job in the body. Students worked cooperatively putting the bodies together on the wall and then reviewed each system within their learning teams. As students were reviewing within the teams, Mrs. Sartain monitored for remaining unanswered questions and addressed student learning needs. Pictured is Ms. Sartain with her sixth grade students.