Northport K-8 seventh and eighth students on the Clownfish team, under the direction of instructor Dru Dehart and with the support of her team of teachers have been raising much needed dollars to support Relay For Life in a variety of meaningful ways. Clownfish boys previously sported high heeled shoes for a cost to raise funds. Recently, students participated in a pie eating contest to support cancer research. Students paid three dollars to participate and five dollars to make their own pies using pudding, vanilla wafers and whipped cream. Students raised well over three hundred dollars. Pictured, from left, are Christina Lambert, Paul Brinker, Richard Ramirez, Patrick Gallway, Osmany Venereo and Evan Buckman.
Northport K-8 School Northstar team students in six, seventh and eighth grades visited St. Augustine recently for a day long learning excursion. Northstar instructors Mala Woessner and Mehgan Drost planned and organized the “Step Back Into History” program as a scaffold to information gleaned in the classroom about Spanish Colonial Florida and an examination of Florida History. Students perused artifacts and heard stories of the native Americans and Colonial settlers. Students drank heartily from the Fountain of Youth and learned why Ponce de Leon named Florida when he claimed the land for Spain. The oldest fort and the oldest school house were toured and students ended the learning initiative to St. Augustine by listening to the stories of ghosts of Old St. Augustine. The trip was an excellent opportunity for students to connect information learned in the classroom to real time experiences.
Northport K-8 physical education instructors Linda Walker, Kim Kanada Graff, Ryan Carpenter, Kevin Fess, James Hebb and Daryn Ploeckelman promoted the joy of vigorous activity as well as building teamwork, cooperative learning skills and fine tuning locomotor activity. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth were treated to Field Days Northport style! A variety of activities were offered including parachute ball, obstacle courses, hula hoops, basketball throws, bouncy ball races, sidewalk chalk races, jump ropes, bubble blowing contests and lots more great events. The classroom teachers are to be thanked for their participation right along with their students and many parents and grandparents were included in the health and fun focused Field Days! Pictured are students in Kara McNair’s kindergarten class with coaches Walker and Kanada-Graff.
Northport K-8 students from the Northstar team were selected to present at this year’s Project Citizen Oral Hearings held recently at the Palm Beach Coounty Convention Center. Three of the five teams presenting were from St. Lucie County and two were from Miami-Dade County. The team from Northport K-8 School represented Mary Ellsworth’s sixth period class with their project, “Put Down the Fork and Pick Up the Pace.” The project centered around the issue of childhood obesity and how schools can help combat
this increasing problem. With support from Northport administration, the PTO, Building Level Planning team, cafeteria staff and coaches, students were able to initiate a Fun Run, install changes in the school menu’s for next school year and earn the promise of a middle grades Field Day next year. Students
learned how much hard work, knowledge of current laws and civic responsibility it takes to get public policy enacted. Northport K-8 school is extremely proud of the state finalists. Pictured, from left, are Gabriella Mejia, Jellisa Alleyne, Cameron Templeton, Jalisa Smith, Sabrina Wing, Myles Jackson, Cassidy Giles and Alexandria Robinson. Students were accompanied by teachers Mary Ellsworth and Mala Woessner.
Northport K-8 middle grades students made great strides in research techniques and effectively followed the scientific method as the school-based Science Fair came to a conclusion. Sixty-two students whose projects were evaluated as “highly effective” were selected to display their projects in the Northport Media Center. A wide array of projects were on display covering multiple categories such as botany, earth science, chemistry, physics and astronomy and medicine and health. First and second place winners in each category will represent Northport K-8 School as delegates to the Regional Science Fair to be held on February 13, 2014 at the Kight Center at Indian River State College. The Northport projects are authentic assessments using the scientific method and information to solve real world problems. Long range planning and implementation are vital components to completing the project. Dr. Laura Woodworth, who serves as the school’s science fair coordinator, is pictured with the science fair participants earning awards.
Northport K-8 School lower school students recently participated in the traditional Jump Rope For Heart during physical education class. Students donated nickels, dimes and even dollars to assist in the fight against heart disease. The day was beautiful and very conducive to enjoying time outside jumping rope for an excellent cause. Each year, Northport coaches Linda Walker, Kim Kanada Graff, Kevin Fess, James Hebb, Ryan Carpenter and Daryn Ploeckelman promote the activity to benefit the American Heart Association. Pictured are Coach Linda Walker and Logan Sacchi from Diana Lankow’s third grade class.
Northport K-8 students in Susan Matteson’s eighth grade reading class and Lorri Lamm’s second grade class collaborated on a great lesson in building literacy skills and forging friendships recently in the school’s courtyard. The eighth grade students selected beautiful picture books and beginning reading books from the school’s media center, then shared the books with their second grade reading buddies. The eighth graders read the books using expression and a lively pace, demonstrating fluency and enthusiasm. The second graders then read the books back to the older students using the same model of reading skills demonstrated by the eighth graders. The lesson was engaging and both grade levels of students were satisfied with the great opportunity to express reading style. Pictured, from left, are Jesus Gonzales, Keith Hicks, Kevin Kenniston and Ryan Lamothe.
Northport K-8 sixth grade students in Georgia Stone’s World History classes took learning about Egyptian studies to the next level recently as students learned how the Nile River shaped Egypt. Students marveled at the fact that the ancient Egyptians valued the afterlife so highly and that every aspect of their lives on Earth was a road map for their afterlife. Students learned that burial tombs were placed on the west side of the Nile River, which was called the “Land of the Dead.” Following in-depth studies and intensive research about Egyptian culture, students created a burial chamber or tomb of what each considered an authentic Egyptian with an Egyptian name. The tomb had to include at least six items that would be buried with the dead, and three important facts about their lives. Also, included in the tomb was the Book of the Dead, which was the instruction booklet to survival in the afterlife. After collaborative assessment and judging, three students were chosen as having the most authentic burial chambers. Pictured are the winners of that judging, from left, Kiara Badalo, Edo Cabrera and Cole Rigsby. Each student received a certificate for showcasing in depth critical thinking and a cash award.
Northport K-8 fourth grade students in Carissa Berkely’s class listened to their teacher read a book that they could really relate to and enjoy. Mrs. Berkel, along with fourth grade teacher Juliette Thelusma, read the book “Sped” by Re Marzullo to their students recently. The students then wrote letters expressing their delight with the book and the story line to the author. Re Marzullo responded to the student’s questions in a letter and also sent each student an autographed bookmark. The book is about a small special education class in a middle school affectionately dubbed “Small Group Superstars.” The main character is a young boy who has been in the class with boys only for several school years. This year was different because two girls entered the class. The story is about coping with change, bullying issues and meeting challenges. Students were so thrilled to receive an acknowledgement from the author because they enjoyed the reading so much. Pictured, from left, are Connor O’Sullivan, Cierra Yuhas and Giovanni DiCandeloro.
Northport K-8 students in grades four through eight who have been identified as reaching Adequate Yearly Progress or AYP were invited to participate in a celebration at the school recently. Students were able to dunk principal Glenn Rustay in the dunk tank, enjoyed a variety of inflatable activities like bounce house and slides and also played kick ball, hoola hoops and jump rope. Students enjoyed drinks and ice cones provided by the Northport K-8 PTO. AYP is determined by looking at student FCAT data in reading and math. 67% of students made learning gains in reading and 62% of the students made learning gains in math. Pictured are students in June Wilson’s seventh grade class, Anthony Navarro, left, and Albert Morgan.
Northport K-8 students in Carissa Provencher’s fourth grade class received donations from the City of Port St. Lucie and Waste Pro USA to beautify the school area. Students and their teacher planted Sabal Palm trees near the school parking lot and bike rack to provide shade and make the curb side appeal more inviting. Students learned all about the importance of trees and the environment in classroom lessons, then applied that knowledge in an outdoor atmosphere. Ms. Provencher scaffolded information using students’ prior knowlege and built on that information using real life lessons.
Northport K-8 students from Mala Woessner’s Northstar team performed a play called Women Who Wowed History about famous women such as Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, Emily Dickenson, Abigail Adams, Amelia Earhart and Queen Elizabeth I. The famous women sat in semi circle and were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey about their contributions and famous quotes. The students showcased the best of Northport K-8 School literacy programs. Principal Glenn Rustay also participated in the Family Reading Festival by encouraging students to read to him in the Read To A VIP section of the festival. Over 20 authors participated including our One Book, One Community authors Diane Z. Shore and Donna Gephart, as well as author David Mark Lopez from last year’s community books made appearances. Mother Goose read from her classics, a Scholastic Book Fair was available, a book exchange, puppet show and many other literacy highlights to help encourage family participation in the St. Lucie County Family Reading Festival.
Members of the Northport K-8 School student council, under the direction of Christine Persick, promoted school spirit recently during a week long series of community building activities. Students and faculty, as well as administration and staff, participated in “Professional Dress Day,” “Hippie Day,” “Jersey Day” and several other activities to build school spirit and to add to the continuous rapport and “love your school” feeling that teachers and students address on a daily basis! Pictured, from left, are teachers in the groove John Fallon, Laura Poveromo, Michelle McCloskey, Melanie Polascak and Diana Lankow.
Northport K-8 students were honored recently at the Port St. Lucie Elks Lodge No. 2658 for excellence in writing. The Elks offered St. Lucie County students the opportunity to respond to an essay contest entitled “What Veterans Day Means To Me!” Northport students, their parents and families, and media specialist Lynne Gruszka, were treated to a wonderful dinner, honored with six cash prizes of $100 and $50 for all winners, and beautiful plaques inscribed with each student’s name. The students were thrilled with the opportunity to experience writing with feedback and reward from community members. Northport thanks the Elks Lodge 2658 for the excellent opportunity to respond to one of the most important questions that students can answer. Pictured are essay winners, from left, Taygen Pennella, Darley Dorvilier, Trevor Walk, Connor O’Sullivan and Elks Lodge Americanism chairman Jack DeBell. Not pictured are essay winners Syad Rievi and Naema El-Azzami. Participating in the contest and the dinner was a wonderful experience for the Northport K-8 School students.
Northport K-8 sixth grade student Christina Lambert, left, a member of the Northstar team in Dr. Laura Woodworth’s Life Science class, uses her initiative and concocts an exact replica of a plant cell using homeade cake, frosting and different types of candy. Christina shared her newfound knowledge of plant cells with Northport fifth grade student Omah Reid, at right, from Charlotte Tombline’s class. Students are learning about plant and animal cells and the structure, function and
location of organelles. Christina presented the intriguing lesson to Omah and her classmates to make the lesson pertinent.
Northport K8 School master kindergarten teacher Melody Nieves and her students give a ringing endorsement to FAU student intern Amanda Bean. Miss Bean completed two years at Indian River State College and then two years in the Education Department at Florida Atlantic University. She has recently completed her student internship at Northport K8, first easing her way into the classroom, then interning as the full time teacher and then easing back out of the classroom successfully. Mrs. Nieves and Miss Bean complement each other’s teaching styles and the experience has been positive for students, the intern and the teacher. Mrs. Nieves said, “From day one, I was grateful to have the opportunity to work with Miss Bean. She was eager to jump in and assist my kindergartners in every way. She has been a blessing!” Pictured are Mrs. Nieves, far left, Miss Bean, far right, and the class.
Selected Northport K-8 middle grades students have been specially trained to serve as school ambassadors to help showcase the great events and opportunities that are available to the students, families and community members at the school. Northport has many, many community partners including military members, first responders, service therapy dog handlers and many guests who require movement within the school. The selected students have been trained to offer their guests specialized services within a cordial and warm atmosphere, and willingly offer their hand and polite conversation while transporting guests to any location on the campus grounds. The students consider being a Northport ambassador a privilege and an honor, and serve the school very well. Each ambassador has a special lanyard and tee shirt to signify that they are a school ambassador. Northport K-8 School is very proud of their school ambassador program, the goal of which is to never let a guest feel unwelcome. Pictured are the ambassadors with school staff.
Northport K-8 sixth grade students in Amanda Sartain’s classes completed a comprehensive unit of study on weather, natural disasters and climate. Mrs. Sartain, helping students to interact with new knowledge, assisted students by representing new knowledge as a fun and interactive research and engineering design project. Students researched tornado resistant buildings and built their own tornado reistant building with materials on hand. Students tested the durability of their designs on three different levels using a box fan as a tornado simulator. Students collected data on each design at each level and then graphed the resulting data.
Northport K-8 lower school teachers and students showcased their love of literacy and participated in the state wide reading initiative, Celebrate Literacy, by marching in a literacy Character Day parade. Students dressed in book character costume, carried their books and walked with parents around the school to promote the pure joy of reading. The positive interaction between classes, teachers and parade watchers provided a great opportunity for students to see just how much they are cared for and to view the connections between books and good fun! Pictured are third graders from Diana Lankow’s class promoting popular book character Judy Moody.
Northport K-8 seventh grade students in De Green’s science classes are studying the electromagnetic spectrum. As microwave ovens are a form of radio waves within this spectrum, the student research teams developed individual tests that could be performed with popcorn kernals. Tests varied widely but examples are, “does kernal location in the microwave affact popping success?” and “If a kernal is not in a wrapper, will it pop in the microwave?” When the data was analyzed and conclusions reached by each research team, success was celebrated by popping a bag of popcorn for student consumption. What an outstanding and unique opportunity for students researchers to learn the scientific method.