Northport K-8 students, parents, teachers and staff joined hundreds of other Florida schools to celebrate literacy this year during “Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!” The week of January 13 through 17, 2014 was themed “Reading Accelerates Success!” The week long celebration at Northport K-8 School included fun and intriguing activities that helped students connect with all kinds of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The activities helped celebrate the success that Northport has accomplished. Some of the activities included “Get Caught Reading” tickets for prize drawings, Title Mash boards where students decorated their favorite book title, “Chew and Read” activities, buddy reading, a career station filled with books on STEM careers that would fit the 21st century job seeker, silent reading time to add to the 33 million minutes that other schools in the school district aspire to read, and a culminating vocabulary parade. The week of literacy celebrations and activities promoted positive interactions within the school community. Pictured, from left, rear, are middle grades Northstar students Savannah Cruzeiro, Brandy Staab, Ayana Kelly, Kelsey Kreiger and Arabella Tenneson. Front, from left, are fourth grade students from Jennifer Gomez’ class, Logan Sacchi, Timothy Ware-Terry, Christian Baca-Rool, Hannah Lovsey, Brooklyn Wards and Christopher Gunn. Students are pictured in front of the Title Mash Boards.
Northport K-8 administration, faculty, staff and families united for a terrific cause recently. The Northport family joined with the American Cancer Society to support Relay For Life held at Digital Domain Park. The school based organizers, third grade instructor Tiffany Tredor and middle grades math instructor Mehgan Drost generated support for the walk by promoting the Relay For Life continually through the school year to students and families. This year, thanks to the Relay For Life team, the school met the goal of $2500 and turned in $2696. Northport K8 tuned into the theme of the Relay For Life this year by decorating for Charles Dickens classic story, “A Christmas Carol!” Northport K-8 School is so pleased to be an integral piece of this terrific community based initiative.
Northport K-8 School Neon Navigators, a team of fun-loving, running enthusiasts, got together for a special 5K run called Color Vibe held recently at the Saint Lucie County fairgrounds. The colleagues and some of their children came together to run for charity and to simply have a wonderful time role modeling good health habits and the joy of completing the walk/run together. Pictured, from left, are former Northport instructor Liz Devereaux, Mary Ellsworth, Chris Prusa, Shana and Chris Cicio and their children, Principal Glenn Rustay, as well as Christine Santos Nurse, Nick and Jennifer Carey and their children.
Northport K-8 third grade students in Linda Beidler, John Fallon, Tiffany Tredor, Diana Lankow, Glenda Taylor, Melanie Polascak , Becky Reuther and Janine Wiecks classes received a special visit from sheriff’s deputy Boger and his K9
partner Molly recently. Third graders read an informational text about police dogs and then learned first hand how deputies locate drugs. Molly is a seven year old canine and is an aggressive finder. When Molly sniffs drugs, she paws,
claws and becomes excited to reveal the hidden contraband. The community lesson was an extension of previously learned knowledge utilizing complex text and was an effective scaffold for deep learning.
Northport K8 School administration and staff recognize the fact that parental involvement is critical for a truly successful school. Northport K8 PTO sponsors many events throughout the school year such as, Breakfast With Santa, Student of the Month, Fun Run, Fifth grade Moving Up ceremony, AYP celebrations, school wide beautification programs, Teacher Appreciation programs, faculty breakfasts, holiday luncheons and eighth grade graduation. The PTO also matched the school Media Center’s Titlewish program by matching funds collected. The Media Center was able to purchase many new books. Northport k8 School would love to have additional parent involvement and encourage all to become involved in the achievement of each and every child. First NPK8 PTO meeting is August 27 at 4:15 pm in our parent room. Pictured, from left, are students Cody Scott, Kylee Cicio and Finn Carey.
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.