Northport K-8 students, teachers and parents united recently to complete the Young Author’s program. The Author’s program is a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have learned the writing process effectively. The entire school completes the book as a community program using common language in a commitment to engaged learning. Students learn to flesh out their characters and setting with concrete vocabulary words and phrases. Students prewrite, reflect, edit, illustrate and then revise their books for publication and presentation. Each year, the media center is transformed into a wonderland with a different theme as a backdrop to showcase the K-8 Young Author books. Students and parents are able to peruse the writing at each grade level and view the learning progression. This year, the media center has used the St. Lucie School District’s overarching theme of “Cruise to Success” and decorated the center in a “Cruise To Hawaii” theme. Students follow a Northport Young Author’s rubric and produce their Masterpiece! Manatee student, Cassaundra Churchman said, “Young Authors has been a great experience for me. It has been my life since we started the book! The best part is I have been able to sit with my mom and work on something that gets me to think and use my creativity!” Pictured are the eighth grade students in Mrs. Susan Smith’s class setting up their table to showcase their “Masterpieces!” The St. Lucie Reading Council Young Author’s program will take place at Oak Hammock K-8 on Saturday, May 17.
Northport K-8 School community including administration, deans, teachers, staff and parents, provide a multi-pronged approach to discouraging bullying on the campus. School staff is well trained and very well versed in quelling any issues pertaining to all types of bullying.
One of the events on the campus to bring the students together to promote a singular message is the annual Unity Day Walk. Modeled after the Pacer program founded by the National Bullying Prevention Center, the Unity Day Walk is an exciting event that is promoted annually at the school by the teachers and parents. Students are encouraged to wear orange shirts to signify unity and crazy socks to “kick bullies off the campus!” Students and parents make signs, banners and flags for students to wave while they walk a marked route around the school perimeter. Students learn that they are not alone if they are bullied either physically, emotionally or cyberbullied.
One in five students is bullied and if an adult is notified and intervenes that number is reduced by 57%. Bullying incidents at the school have been dramatically reduced and students feel comfortable in reporting instances of bullying to an adult. This year the school celebrated their 4th Annual Unity Day Walk with parents and community members taking the walk as well as many teachers and staff. Accommodations and modifications were made so that all students were able to participate in the Unity Day event and all were able to enjoy the beautiful walk on a glorious fall day.
For more information on the Pacer program, visit www.pacer.org.
Friday morning, September 18, following the Pledge of Allegiance and the Kids At Hope Pledge, Northport joined the Nation in remembering our POW/MIA military members and their families. The community of learners commemorated the day with a special reciting of the “Northport American Children’s Pledge!” The pledge was recited over the school intercom by parent, Angelica Urbiza, and her first grade son, Alex.
“The Northport American Children’s Pledge”
WE, the students of Northport, promise to honor the United States of America.
We pledge to:
Respect ourselves and our fellow citizens,
Protect our Constitutional Rights,
Uphold the laws set forth by our state and nation,
Remember our Forefathers’ sacrifice for our freedom
Commit to the safety of our country with honesty and loyalty
Display pride in all that the United States of America stands for.
Northport is so thrilled to have our parents and community members joining us to bring the very best education to our school. We realize that we can’t do this alone! Thank you to every member of our community for drawing out the best educational experiences that we can offer and for helping the instructors, administrators and staff to mold our students into fine citizens! Northport is truly the epitome of an American School!
Thanks Veteran Partner, Joe Lusardi for bringing the POW/MIA Remembrance to the forefront. The National Day of Remembrance will be commemorated by the local community at Veteran’s Park on Saturday, September 19 at 7:00 pm with a candlelight ceremony. Everyone is invited to attend. Pictured are Mrs. Urbiza and her son, Alex.
Northport K-8 School held their annual Spelling Bee recently in the school media center. Students from grades four through eight who won their classroom spelling bees were able to move forward and participate in the school based spelling bee. Parent attendance was plentiful and each spelling bee participant was able to bring one student guest from their class. Students moved through six rounds with Americorp Tutor Azzam Abdur-Rahman calling the words and tutors Barbara Despinos and Tessa Falatovich serving as judges. Students showed an impressive knowledge of spelling this year as they used rules and strategies to make excellent spelling connections. Many students asked for the word in a sentence, the language of origin and the part of speech as well as palm writing to become better bee participants.
The Northport Grand Spelling Champion for 2016 is Jennifer Tufte, a fifth grader, and second place went to Sierra Molinary, an eighth grader. Both girls will represent Northport at the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee at the Civic Center in March. Participants were Julian Moldonado, Samuel Guillen, Honeylette Ricalde, Alex Uy, Skylar Warner, Pierre Dentilus, Diego Lopez, Giovanni Wright, Anthony Serrano, Elijah Yuhas, Ellen Garcia, Dorian Jessee, Jordan Braden, Jesus Gonzalez, Jayden Diago, Jennifer Tufte, Jake Jones, Marilla Cruce, Alexander Hernandez, Matt Pinto, Jared Lowrie, Sierra Molinary, Andrevious Collins, Mya James, Davon Charles, NAthaniel Oliver, Zachary Cummings, Dudley Olibrice and Dakota Davis.
Wonderful and enthusiastic student performance!
Northport K-8 School administrators, teachers, students and parents came together recently to celebrate learning gains made by students on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, better known as the FCAT. Northport K-8 School moved up a complete letter grade and showed tremendous growth thanks to an all out effort by the entire school. Students who excelled in selected criteria in reading, math and science and actually “Navigated” the school to success were rewarded with a celebration including, snow cones, bounce houses, slides and games. The experience demonstrated to all students that hard work and achievement pay off. Pictured are PTO parents who assisted in the celebration, Marcy Waltz, Angela White and Suzi Scott. Special thanks to the Northport PTO for dedicating so much time and effort in helping our community succeed.
Teachers, parents, grandparents and friends…
Northport K-8 is building a Veteran’s Wall in the hallway outside the media center. Please send in a picture or a color photocopy of your veteran as well as name and we will add to our Collage of Pride. The students are learning about patriotism, honor, courage, pride, civic duty, sacrifice and integrity. If we can get this right, it will be a beautiful work of art to signify our basic core of learning at our school. All welcome to participate…Please! ❤ This will be an ongoing work of art… The Northport Veteran’s Wall is growing and influencing our young students on significant core values daily.
Northport K-8 Community Book Fair promotes positive interactions with students and teachers in an atmosphere filled with resources to fit the needs of every learner. Media specialist Lynne Gruszka and clerk Pam Crum are able to offer accessibilty to great books to encourage students to want to read. The book fair gives parents and grandparents an opportunity to shop with their children to select books directly with the teacher to fit students’ literary needs and likes and offers a great outlet for development of reading skills. The book fair has materials appropriate for all learners in the K-8 school. The fair offers a friendly, easy going atmosphere with books as the showcase. Pictured are seventh graders, from left, Christopher Thiery, Christian llanos, Jose Miguel, intstructor, Diane Carvalho and Tatyana Walker enjoying the many types of materials and resources that the fair offers.
Northport welcomed five local veterans into the school media center recently to honor Veterans Day and to teach students about words with very important meanings like service, sacrifice, integrity, grit, education and commitment. The group of veterans are an integral part of the fabric of Northport and they bring their very important message to the children of the school regularly. Elissa Garcia’s Northstar sixth grade students, Dr. Angela Bennett and Sandra Tyndale-Harvey’s eighth grade students were engaged and asked important questions.
Students at Northport are blanketed in lessons about respect, patriotism and service at an early age. Administrators, teachers, media services personnel and staff work diligently to support and scaffold lessons learned at home about the sacrifices that our veterans make and the love and respect that is offered to those who have served us so selflessly. Many thanks to our Northport Veteran Partners in Education for once again offering students great lessons on democracy, civics and community engagement. Students were quick to lavish thanks and shook hands with our veterans as the program wrapped and each understood the gravity of the day’s lessons.
Northport hosted a contingency of veterans from American Legion, Post 318 and Vietnam Veterans, Chapter 566 for a panel discussion for a commemoration of Veterans Day. The program began with second grade students from Jennifer Lusardi’s class leading the Pledge of Allegiance and giving a special salute to our veterans. Miss Lusardi’s father, Joe Lusardi. was one of the honored guests for the morning panel. Drama students from Allison Barajas’ class sang moving renditions of The National Anthem and God Bless America. Handwritten poetry was read by students from Mrs. Flores’ class. Students listened as the veterans gave a background of their service then were given the opportunity to ask questions and extend those questions and answers. Many topics were discussed and at times, students were in awe of direct answers to questions; at other times they were moved to tears. Information about JROTC classes at local high schools was discussed and students were given options to mull over. Principal Glenn Rustay spoke to the seventh grade Stingrays about patriotism, service, choices in life, respect and empathy. The program was a tremendous opportunity for students to synthesize information and to make connections for their own lives. We are a patriotic bunch at Northport!
Northport K-8 School participated in the annual commemoration of Veteran’s Day recently by inviting 18 veterans from all branches of the military, all with a variety of rank,s into classrooms. Veterans spoke openly with students about the United States military and their own role in their service to our country. Students listened intently and then asked in-depth questions and made heartfelt inquiries about each veteran’s career, including talks about patriotism and the importance of a solid, self motivated education. The Veteran Partners in Education program is a vital piece of the educational pie at Northport K-8 School. Thousands of students have been educated about thrilling aspects of American History and the military through the veteran’s programming. An annual September 11 tribute, a Korean War Interactive program and the Veteran’s Day commemoration are just a few of the school’s planned events. An Honor Flight program, a program spotlighting Normandy Beach with highlights from World War II, and a lifelong submariner’s experiences are still on the educational agenda for the year. Local veterans from across Saint Lucie County will participate in the eighth grade graduation as the Sons of the American Revolution pass out flags to each graduating eighth grader and their families. American history and instilling the love and pride of country is a strident part of the Northport K-8 educational experience. Pictured are veterans, student ambassadors and Northport principal Glenn Rustay.
Northport K-8 School continually instills in our children that we should respect all police officers. The police are part of the fabric of Northport and they are common faces at our school. They are community partners and work with our staff to instill attributes in the children of Northport to become good citizens, to enjoy a healthy respect of the police and to always honor our country and be patriotic. This week is the 36th annual Peace Officers Memorial and Police Week. We salute and thank ALL police officers on this day. All American flags will be at half staff for our fallen officers.
Northport Commemorates Eighth Grade Graduation by Instilling Pride and Exceptionalism with Community Support
Northport K-8 School graduated their twenty-eighth group of eighth grade students in the gymnasium recently. Over two hundred students completed the school requirements and were able to march to Pomp and Circumstance to receive their diplomas. The gym was decorated in the school colors with banners flying! As the families arrived in the courtyard, Bagpiper Michael Hyde, a Merchant Marine, welcomed the community to gather together. A full Honor Guard of veterans from across St. Lucie County, including Jack Ivy Detachment 666, United Veterans, Sons of the American Revolution, Vietnam Chapters and many other Northport Veteran Partners were on hand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to wish our students well. All veterans in the packed gymnasium were given a standing ovation. Another aspect of the graduation program to instill patriotism, pride in America and educate students was the “Building American Pride One Flag At A Time” program held throughout the school year. The school, through community funding, was able to purchase an American flag home kit to give to each graduating student and family in honor of retired NYC Detective, Albert Hickey. Detective Hickey, 9/11 First Responder, spoke to the students at the beginning of the school year about the need for American flags to fly on homes throughout the county. The school honored Detective Hickey by dedicating the flags at graduation. Detective Hickey shook each graduates hand as they received their graduating diploma, a Patriot’s Diploma from the Son’s of the American Revolution and their American flag kit. Florida Representative Gayle Harrell was the keynote speaker and personalized her words by calling students by name with accolades and commenting on specific awards and memorable moments from the school year. Paulina Palma, Student Council President also gave a heartfelt commentary to her fellow students. Northport band and choral students gave exceptional music contributions with powerful musical performances to accentuate the program. Special thanks must go to Susan Matteson, eighth grade team leader and program coordinator and her assistant, parent, Suzi Scott for an outstanding job organizing the program. Congratulations to eighth grade students, families and teachers! Job Well Done on a very special commemorative graduation! Pictured is Northport Student Kylee Lanni accepting her Patriot’s Diploma and her American flag from Sons of the American Revolution and Detective Hickey. Kylee’s parents also attended Northport.
The privilege of educating students on vital issues in history, patriotism, the strength and power of music and respect for our military and our veterans is evident at Northport K-8 School. The Northport K-8 School Media Center presented a beautiful and timeless program educating our students on the very somber issues of 9/11. The program began with a welcome from principal, Glenn Rustay and media specialist, Lynne Gruszka. Veteran Partners, teacher veterans on campus and guests were given a hearty welcome to the school. The pledge of Allegiance was led by sixth grader, Bradley Venneau. Kindergarten instructor, Tiffany Tredor played a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem on her violin. Students then heard reflections and viewed a beautiful, educational powerpoint used as a teaching tool to educate about the details of 9/11 and to highlight the children who perished on 9/11. Students were treated to primary source speaker, 9/11 First Responder, Detective Albert Hickey who touched guests hearts with his first hand account of his experiences at Ground Zero. Detective Hickey is truly a community leader who is leaving a great legacy. School Prevention Specialist, Maryanne Warren performed “Spoken Word Poetry” dedicated to the children of 9/11 and Sandra Tyndale-Harvey, Intensive reading teacher sang a heart wrenching rendition of “He Hears Us When We Cry!” The Northport Main Media Center was then dedicated with a large banner to the children of 9/11 by principal, Glenn Rustay, assistant principals, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wiggington and Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka.
Students moved to the flagpole and small flags were posted for each of the 8 children who were lost. Instructor and United States Army veteran, Nick Carey and his student, Nixon Adea raised the American flag. The flag is so important to Northport K-8 School because it was carried on the back on Alexander Babington, son of former teacher, Thomas Babington as his unit marched into Fallujah. That flag remained on Babington’s back through his entire tour in Iraq. The program was wrapped up with beautiful music, “God Bless America,” “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art!” It is the sincere pleasure of the Northport community to honor and educate together on this anniversary of this momentous and tragic anniversary. Thank you to Marcy Waltz and Suzette Scott, PTO parents for assisting and helping to make the program a wonderful event. Special thanks to our veterans and parents who attended the moving program.
Each year, Northport K-8 School honors the heroes and victims of the 9/11 tragedy and begins the educational process of teaching our students about September 11th in the school media center. The media center has been dedicated to the eight children who perished on September 11th. This year has been especially powerful. In partnership with SLPS Board Member Dr. Donna Mills, Northport sixth graders had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Tony Ross, brother of Cee Cee Ross Lyles. Cee Cee, a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93, was from Fort Pierce. She was the beloved niece of Dr. Mills. The program started with a lovely rendition of “America the Beautiful” by teacher Tiffany Tredor playing her violin. Introductions and 9/11 background information was given by Principal Glenn Rustay and Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka. Northport Instructor Sandra Tyndale-Harvey sang a heart stoppingly beautiful rendition of the the song “Cling.”
Students’ emotions were evoked when viewing a beautiful movie about 9/11 and the children lost created by New Horizons Student Assistance Specialist Maryanne Warren. They then listened to Tony Ross talk about his memories of his little sister. Army veteran Bill Arnold, who also helped start the Northport Veterans Partners in Education program was on hand to talk about his visit to the Shanksville, PA Memorial to Flight 93. Honored guests at the program were a cadre of local veterans, including Jim Burk. Also on hand were SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent, Deputy Superintendent Jonathon Prince, Rev. Kenneth Mills, a group from New Horizons School Support Specialists, many local veterans and community members, including Frank Sisto, NYPD first responder and security expert for SLPS. The Northport community was so pleased to host and help educate our students about this tragic event in history that altered the trajectory of our country’s path.
Each year Northport K-8 School commemorates and pays tribute to the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001. The school media center is dedicated to the memory of the eight children who perished on 9/11. This year, the school media center program offered Power Instruction to sixth and eighth students on the Shark and Mariner teams. The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by eighth grader, Matthew Seama and the National Anthem was sung by choral student, Sharene Thomas. Mr. Kirk, Northport choral director and his vocalists, the Velvet Bluebirds, sang a powerful rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
An extremely informative powerpoint was one of the highlights of the program explaining September 11, 2001, the National response and the Northport community response and two primary source guest speakers made the story become living history for the students. Retired Detective Albert Hickey and SLC firefighter, Gary Hollett spoke eloquently and with deep emotion to the packed house of students.
Northport alumni currently serving in the United States military video clipped recent messages to the students. Army Sgt. Xiovani Guanill spoke to the students directly from Afghanistan and United States Air Force medic, Corey Gruszka spoke from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The program came full circle to the school flag pole where veterans from Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 106 raised the flag and called the names of the flights. Port St. Lucie American Legion, Post 318 Legion Riders also had a large presence with motorcylces parked in a line in the front of the school. When polled, 100 % of students expressed deep undertanding of the tragedy of 9/11. Pictured are the Legion Riders and Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka
What a momentous week at Northport! This weeked capped off the collaboration between First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie, First Baptist Church of Port St. Lucie and Northport K-8 School to provide an exceptional summer reading program for every child at the school appropriately themed, “Faith In Literacy!” The two churches collected picture books, chapter books, fiction and non fiction books at every service for the last few months. Three thousand summer reading books were collected for the children of Northport. The Title I school is extremely lucky and grateful for this extraordinary undertaking by the church community. The school media center has been buzzing with activity as children learned about making a summer reading stack and to read every day to prevent the “Summer Slide.” Children left the media center with stacks of five to six books or even more to start building their stack. As the children kept coming, the books kept appearing! The joy and energy for reading has been boundless. This truly was a staggering community based project by the churches. Children were told that not only do their parents and teachers care about their success, but so does the community and the books were that proof. A million thanks to FUMC and 1PSL for their generosity and commitment to the children of Northport!
Northport is pleased to announce Brandy Arthur and Olivia Sacchi as our Northport GiveBack2Kids, Inc. Student of the Month. Students are selected for good citizenship, leadership qualities or simply being an awesome friend. Many thanks to David Gornitzky and James Monds for being great community partners with the best interest of our children at heart. This is our final GiveBack2Kids, Inc. Student of the Month for this school year.
Northport K-8 middle grades Ensemble Choir participated recently in the 10th Anniversary of Disney Festival. Thirteen girls, accompanied by Northport K-8 staff and parents, represented Northport with aplomb. Students performed an arrangement of Michael Jackson’s hit “ABC” as well as “Hot Chocolate!” with show choir ability. The girls received an “Excellent” rating and were thrilled with the professionalism of larger groups from across the state. Northport Choir Director, James Kirk said, ” The girls were on point! Job well Done!” Pictured are chaperone, DeLacy Bembry, choir director, James Kirk and the participating girls.
Northport students across the grade levels are preparing for Student Led Conference Night. Everyone is very excited to share their learning and progress with their families. Students are learning if goals are specific, measureable, achieveable, reasonable and timed. Pictured are students from Tiffany Tredor’s class working on Smart Goals.
This year, as part of our Northport School Improvement Plan, one of our important goals is to raise attendance rates. We are determined to get our students into school so that our achievement levels will rise. We celebrated with a popcorn and movie party today with parties for grades 3 through 8 for all students who earned Perfect Attendance for the first quarter. We are proud to report that at this time we have raised our attendance levels significantly. This is awesome! Next quarter, students will celebrate with a school dance. This is an even better encouragement. Thank you to all parents who are helping us achieve our goals and get the students in their seats to learn. We LOVE you for that!