Northport K-8 students in Susan Matteson’s eighth grade critical thinking class are selecting books to prepare to demonstrate enthusiastic reading with an engaging and lively pace with Lorri Lamm’s second graders. Students will pair together to read and enjoy new books. The brand new books are a product of the media center’s partnership with the Northport K-8 School PTO. The books were purchased through a community book fair called Titlewish. Titlewish is an online zone offered through Follett Book Company. The Titlewish program allows the parents, grandparents and community members to purchase library ready books. The Northport PTO donated $1,500 for exciting, new and up to date books for children. This positive promotion supports Northport’s goal of promoting a community atmosphere where literacy skills are at the forefront for students and families. Pictured are PTO members Suzi Scott, Jocelyn Hovey, Christine Hunsicker and Rosemary Lambert with the eighth graders.
Northport K-8 School administration, teachers and staff incorporated the St. Lucie County School Board’s theme of “Cruising To Excellence” into the overarching theme of the Northport message for the 2013-14 school year. Faculty and staff returned to the school Media Center for introductory meetings, review of Common Core initiatives, team planning, Instructor evaluation reviews and reinforcement of positive messages. They were welcomed into the center completely decorated in a Hawaiian Islands motif complete with tiki hut and totem pole. The messages of unity with the focus on student achievement were clear and the brevity of polishing the collective Northport halo was appreciated by the entire Northport instructional and non-instructional community. The community of learners, parents and volunteers will forge ahead to honor the tremendous work accomplished by previous principals, assistant principals, instructors and thousands of students who have passed through the school doors and who are acknowledged as the bedrock of the school’s foundation. The
excitement and positive atmosphere are pervasive and the work is just beginning. Pictured are Principal Glenn Rustay and, from left, instructors Shana Cicio, Diana Lankow, Michelle McCloskey, Rachel Ellsworth, with Chris Prusa in front.
Northport K-8 teachers and students followed the initiative of the St. Lucie County School Board Wellness Manager Carlye Fabrikant and participated in the program “Take A Walking Lunch Instead of a Working Lunch!” Teachers and students followed the new healthy walking path mapped out at the school on their lunch breaks and planning periods. Participation in wellness activities has increased at the school this year as students, faculty and staff have participated in a variety of walks, runs, healthy eating plans, weight watchers classes and on campus zumba classes. Pictured on the healthy walk, from left, are Northport K-8 media specialist Lynne Gruszka, teachers, Sandra Tyndale, Josie Bailey, Dorothy Still and student Osmany Venereo.
Northport K-8 School recently partipicated in Walk To School Day! The walk started at Sportsman Park in Port St. Lucie at 8:30 AM, and a group of 120 students, parents, instructors, Principal Glenn Rustay and committee members De Green, Northport science instructor, deputy Richard Green, school resource officer and an array of community involvement
personnel joined in the walk to support pedestrian safety awareness and increase childhood activity. The “Walking School Bus” was a terrific success and an active display of community support for the program. Pictured, from right, are
Northport students Shadae Stone, Farrah Dorsainvil, Maria Garcia and Jeverel Robinson.
Northport K-8 third graders in Tiffany Tredor, John Fallon, Diana Lankow, Linda Beidler, Melanie Polascak, Glenda Taylor and Janine Wiecks classes celebrated literacy, as well as Positive Behavioral Support or PBS, through team building activities recently. Students paid Northport SAIL Notes to choose from sharing cookies and milk with their stuffed animals while listening to traditional fairy tales, watching a movie while munching popcorn, listening to German folktales and creating a mask to represent the character, playing a board game or attending a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from the tale Alice In Wonderland. Pictured is a sampling of third graders who created Mad Hatter chapeaus. Choice is an integral part of the Northport Student Growth Plan.
Northport K-8 School is extremely proud and honored to assist Big Brothers, Big Sisters of St. Lucie County begin the celebration of National Mentoring Month. Northport has an extensive and strong partnership with the organization and encourages the strong bonds and connections that can lift students to a higher level in both literacy and citizenship. Northport currently welcomes six Big Brothers, Big Sisters mentors along with case manager, Lauren Fowler, into the school to assist and support students with behavior skills and strategies. The school also has three AmeriCorps tutors who fall under the Big Brothers, Big Sisters umbrella, including program director, Jenna Stinnett, who service thirty three children in grades K-3 with literacy skills development. Northport has six students waiting for a special mentor, especially male role models for young boys. Anyone interested in volunteering for one hour per week to help change a child’s life for the better, forever, please contact Big Brothers, Big Sisters at 772-466-8535. Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, under the direction of CEO Judi Miller help the Northport community improve reading skills, increase attendance, promote self-esteem and promotion rates as well as boost academic performance. Pictured, back row from left, are Barbara Phenes, Kathy Cazabon, Denise Lubas and Lauren Fowler. Students in the front are Katelyn Knoch, from left, Jada Gunn and Maleah Brogan.
Northport K-8 School Media Center is open for business and promoting the joy of reading this year! Long range goals have been formulated with student achievement in the forecast. Students will learn to select books focusing on their interests and quality research skills are connected to classroom instruction. Premier literacy programs are offered through the media center targeting common core standards across the curriculum. Some of the quality programs offered are Veterans Partners In Education programming, September 11 commemoration program, community reading programs and partnerships, Young Authors program, spelling bee, Women’s History programming, book fairs, multicultural events, guests speakers on a variety of subjects, Veteran’s Day “Invite a Vet to Class” program, Titlewish Community Book Fair as well as the school wide antibullying program, Unity Day, One Book-One Community programming as well as in depth involvement in the St. Lucie County Reading Council to promote positive interactions with colleagues and to promote literacy in our community. The school media center offers students and teachers an opportunity to connect with great books, utilize technology and open avenues for community and parental involvement.
Northport K-8 Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, with the collaboration of a network of Northport teachers, put together an authentic, student empowering program recently in honor of Women’s History Month. Students researched and paid tribute to women such as Condoleeza Rice, Susan B. Anthony, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Rosie the Riveter, Margaret Thatcher and many more. Students sang a special selection of the National Anthem as a tribute to strong women in the military, a student rendition of Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Phenomenal Woman” with a dance routine, and a rousing rendition of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge was sung by students in Juliette Thelusma’s fourth grade class. The finale of the program was the traditional singing of Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman!” Pictured are sixth grade Starfish students Alyssa Reaver, Toni Ann Salerno, Mikyla Foucault, Mackenzie Hunsicker and Daphne Sheets who wrote and performed a skit in honor of their teachers. Students are standing in front of a hand painted depiction of Rosie The Riveter presented to Lynne Gruszka by volunteer Rosemary Lambert.
Northport K-8 media specialist and group facilitator Lynne Gruszka, along with assistant principal Benigna Montenegro, Coordinator of Learning Communities, are pleased with the progress of the Reading Learning Community that is occurring in the school’s Media Center. Teachers are utilizing the book, “Teach With Your Strengths, How Great Teachers Inspire Their Students” written by Rosanne Liesveld and Jo Ann Miller as a scaffold to professional conversation and camaraderie. Teachers in the group are learning to recognize the similarities of all great teachers and how to capitalize on their specific teaching talents as well as how to better develop individual strengths. Teachers who
teach with their strengths are turning out well educated students regardless of socio economic status. Teachers are studying about Donald Clifton, PhD., who is the creator of Strengths Based Psychology and the creator of the Clifton
Strengths Finder test. Pictured, back row from left, Leigh Woltjen, Lorri Lamm, Glenda Taylor, Penny Arbuckle, Marquita Battles, Laura Woodworth, Mala Woessner, and Melody Nieves. Pictured front row, from left, are Caroly Mann Lurry, Denise Fields, Barbara Greenwood, Pam Mishler and Nancy Yost. Also part of the community not pictured is Kathy White.
Northport K-8 kindergartners took part in a pilot study at the school called “Sounds For Intelligence!” The program consists of brain-strengthening sound exercises. The core techniques include a series of sounds vocalized while visualizing parts of the brain, eyes, ears and back of the neck. The exercise is less than five minutes when used correctly each morning, and helps to create balance in brain function. Phonemic Intelligence uses a small unit of sound called a phoneme. The phoneme also carries intelligence and knowing. Phonemic Intelligence was first introduced as “Mind Sound Technology” in the USA, Canada and India. It has become popular in India among students from lower income levels. Phonemic Intelligence exercises, when correctly and methodically carried out, can increase comprehension, lower anxiety, enhance memory, reduce stress and promote a heightened state of learning capability. The program, hosted by Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka, includes teacher training, volunteer visits, debriefings and finally, celebrations. If interested, visit www.tripurafoundation.org. Special thanks to Palm City, Florida, doctors Brent Cooper and Becky Prostko for offering this initiative to Northport students. Pictured standing, back row from left, are Tiffany Tredor, Melody Nieves, Shana Cicio, Dr. Brent Cooper and Dr. Becky Prostko, along with a group of kindergartners.
Kindergartners in Nancy Yost’s class at Northport K8 produced a charming display for parents and grandparents recently in their classroom. Students used singing, verse and rhyme to showcase learning three main requirements for plants to grow: sun, air and water. Students used verse to portray the months of the year and used pictures to impress with their vocabulary skills. A few of the words were stumble, journey, absurd and gorgeous. Much hard work, determination and family support helps to make Nancy Yost’s classroom and her students a success story for all students. Special thanks to classroom volunteer Sally Poole who is an integral facet in the successful classroom. Mrs. Yost encouraged parents to continue working with their children over the summer to make the burst into first grade a tremendous success.
Northport K-8 kindergartners in Staci Saunders’ and Chelse Goergen’s classes
celebrated Gingerbread Man Day recently by decorating gingerbread men using foam
shapes and sequins, made word family gingerbread houses, counted one to 20 using gingerbread shapes, graphed the number of cookies decorated, estimated numbers of cookies and made a variety of patterns using the gingerbread shapes. Students also joyfully decorated gingerbread tree ornaments using glitter and
glue. The activities supported many daily lessons and justified vital classroom information while valuing student interests and community spirit. Pictured is Mrs. Saunders with several of her students.
Kindergartners in Northport K-8 RTI classes are learning all about holidays around
the world. Students and instructors cooked and experienced the many flavorful
foods that different cultures enjoy. Students made and enjoyed latkes for
Hannakkuh, cheese Quesadillas for Las Posades, mini pizzas for La Bafona and
delightfully hand decorated sugar cookies to celebrate Christmas. Kindergarten
students appreciated cooking around the world and can support why each selected
their favorite cultural food dish. Pictured are teachers Staci Saunders and Chelse Goergen with several kindergartners.
Northport K8 School Northstar seventh grade instructor Mala Woessner and third grade instructor Glenda Taylor combined forces to teach a common Learning Goal. Seventh grade students taught basic research skills using selected
websites to guide third grade partners and to complete a display board for the school’s Multicultural Festival. Students used research techniques to organize, compile and summarize information using a common format and showcased
information about Germany. Students pictured, from left, are Okyiah Mclean, Jailene Ventura, James Mikovsky and Marissa Maffucci.
The Northport K-8 Media Center radiated beauty, power, strength and a sense of family recently as the students and teachers celebrated and honored Women’s History. Each year during March, Northport Media Center transforms into a center for women’s culture. The program this year was dedicated to Connithea Arrindell and also to the strong, powerful and fearless women of the United States military. The acts in the program included Spanish teacher, Vicki Baird singing “I Am The One,” third grade teacher Tiffany Tredor playing her violin, eighth grade student Taylor Greger singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” seventh grade girls in Dot Still’s class performing Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal
Woman,” a PowerPoint presentation by Mala Woessner’s students on the birth of Women’s History, kindergarten teacher Staci Saunders singing “Greatest Love Of All,” a tribute to Lucille Ball by sixth graders on the Starfish team, a talk about Sacajawea and Rachel Carson by Mike and Moriah Weir, a Susan B. Anthony tribute and beat rap by fourth and fifth graders in Juliette Thelusma and Nichole Robinson’s classes and a variety of other poems and skits. The program was a wonderful celebration of women, family, love and standing strong and brave. Pictured are instructors Mala Woessner, left, and Josie Bailey and some of the Northstar team girls.
Northport K-8 School was abuzz with the excitement of Grandparent’s Day recently. A special luncheon was held in the cafeteria as grandparents met their children for lunch. Tables were decorated with floral arrangements and students were thrilled that special visitors had arrived.
That afternoon, first grade teachers, Renee Immordino, Michelle McCloskey and Pam Mishler invited grandparents from their classes of students to a special children’s program with songs and poetry honoring all grandparents . Middle grades Culinary Arts instructor, Rachel Ellsworth collaborated with the teachers as her classes baked and showcased homeade apple pies, pineapple upside down cakes and offered tea and lemonade to grandparents after the program.
Northport K-8 School offers an opportunity for the whole family unit to become engaged in the school community. When parents and grandparents as well as extended family are involved in the school culture, students by extension are thrilled to feel a part of the goodwill. There were several hundred grandparents visitng Northport for the special day.
Pictured are grandparents Mike and Ronda Morse and their grandaughter, Erin Simberlund from Carissa Berkley’s fourth grade.
Northport K-8 School has achieved the school district’s Parent Involvement award for the middle/senior level. Northport K-8, a Title 1 school, submitted its “Take The Lead And Read” program for consideration. The program standards must apply a welcoming of all families into the school community, effective communication, support of students’ success, sharing power, speaking up for every child and collaborating with the community. The award highlights exemplary programs in Florida schools. The award also reflects innovative practices for recruiting, training and recognition of family and community members. Northport’s programming includes strong PTO support, 21st Century before and after school program, veterans program, Waggin’ Tales public library program, involvement in community reading events, community book fairs, support of Florida initiatives for Just Read, Florida, a challenge camp and volunteer reading mentors. Pictured are proud members from across the school community. From left, student Adnan Abdelquader, volunteer Sally Poole, students Ashlei Freeman and Christina Lambert, Northport’s adult Volunteer of the Year and parent, Suzi Scott, and teacher Chris Prusa.
Northport K-8 Girls Treble Chorus performed recently at the District 13 Florida Vocal Association adjudicated festival or Music Performance Assessments for Chorus. The all-girl middle grades choir achieved an overall Superior rating. The chorus performed a German song titled, “Bist Du Bie Mir” as well as a spiritual song, “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel.” Students also performed sight reading materials. Bravo to Northport K-8 choir director Shirley Lyons. Pictured with the girls and Mrs. Lyons is Northport K-8 principal Glenn Rustay.
Northport K-8 fourth graders in Juliette Thelusma’s class
participated in a group science fair project called Pop Rock Science. Students
learned the meaning of the words purpose, hypothesis, data, constant variable,
results, conclusion and research. Students and instructor then applied the
knowledge gained to a fun and informational science fair project. After
understanding the meaning of scientific terms, students put pop rocks in
balloons and attached them to soda bottles. The pop rocks were
allowed to fall into the soda and students watched as carbon dioxide was
released. The conclusion was reached that the Pepsi brand contained more carbon dioxide
than CocaCola. Ms. Thelusma monitored student learning of key terms and students’
ability to put research into action by keeping a comprehension log and
conferencing with her students.
Students in Juliette Thelusma’s fourth grade class at Northport K8 School created a reflection journal recently depicting the elements of literature. Students defined each element, then created an example and drew a picture to deepen understanding of each element. The elements students reflected on were figurative language, alliteration, hyperbole, idioms, similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, pun and personification. Examples from student Rheanna Buckman’s book included personification, “The sun is smiling on a field of flowers” and hyperbole, “I am so hungry, I could eat a horse!” Students then shared their books with peers, parents and teachers. Students represented newfound knowledge in an engaging and explicit format.