Northport Welcomes Students

Northport Welcomes Students

What a wonderful pleasure to welcome new students and to celebrate returning students and families with a flourish.

Northport VPK-8 School and community welcomed back well over one thousand students on Monday, August 15. The morning was a culmination of planning and preparation on the part of the administration, teachers, and staff. The students and parents were heralded with the smiling, welcoming faces of so many in the community who want to wish all a great start to a fabulous school year. On hand to ring in the new year was Superintendent of SLPS, Wayne Gent, SLPS Board members, Katherine Hensley and Debbie Hawley, as well as many other district staff members.

Students were also greeted by local representatives from PSLPD, SLC Sheriff’s Office deputies, Big Brothers Big Sisters employees, local veterans and many, many other community members who have a strong desire to support our students and families. Northport realizes that we are not a closed building and once the school bell rings each morning, we do not shut the doors. We realize that we need the whole community to educate and empower our students. We welcome volunteers, business partners, veterans, animal rescue activists and all who want to assist in making Northport a vital and dynamic school that is supported by its community. We look forward to a stellar year filled with positive energy and community support. Northport is fully invested in “building a brighter future for our students” and supporting our families to the fullest extent.

Northport and FPC Collaborate in the Kitchen!

Northport and FPC Collaborate in the Kitchen!

Northport’s 8th grade culinary students visited the advanced culinary classes at Fort Pierce Central High School. Central’s Chef Jesse Strell, in coordination with Ms. Rachel Savela, brought their students together to mentor and learn together. Northport students learned how to make a roux and many knife skills including the Rondelle cut.

Northport and GiveBack2Kids Partner for Success!

Northport and GiveBack2Kids Partner for Success!

Northport partners, Giveback2kids Inc., along with parents and families delighted in the awesome goodness of many kids during a recent celebration of children ❤. Northport’s partnership with David Gornitzky and James Monds offers proof in the pudding that we can steer children in the right direction and help them navigate a great course for their futures.

Northport and Parkway Elementary came together to showcase the Arts…and WOW! We saw some showstoppers. We listened to a highly motivating talk by Rich Williams and the students were rewarded with a fabulous dinner catered by DaVinci’s restaurant. We are just so proud to be a part of GiveBack2Kids….it’s what we do..work with children to help them achieve their potential…WE LIVE IT, AND WE LOVE IT ❤.

NORTHPORT ANNOUNCES 2017 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR!

NORTHPORT ANNOUNCES 2017 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR!

NORTHPORT IS SO PLEASED TO PRESENT OUR 2017 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR!

It is with great pleasure and admiration that Northport K-8 School present to Rev. Dr. Rad Orlandi our highest achievement award as Northport Senior Volunteer of the Year for the 2017-2018 school year. Dr. Orlandi has demonstrated a true commitment to Northport with his organizational ability, his communication skills and his real care and concern for the children who attend the Title I school.

At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, Dr. Orlandi approached the school media specialist with a plan. Since the school and the church were where Rad serves as an assistant pastor, First United Methodist church of Port Saint Lucie was so close and the church and school were neighbors, why not work together and collaborate to bring volunteers and reading initiatives to Northport? Rad’s main goal when collaborating with the school was to bring people with the time and the drive to help children in need together with the school administration, teachers and students to place a volunteer from the church into each K-2 Northport classroom.

The plan worked and the initiative started with a flourish. At this time, there are at least fifteen adult and student volunteers from First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Lucie who volunteer their time regularly to help teachers with read alouds, small group instruction, tutoring and mentoring. These services are vital to the functioning of the school. Northport has worked without pause to bring our Title I school from a C grade to a B grade. We believe that community dedication to teaching and learning has played a huge role in helping us move forward as a school and help our students progress.

Rad also spearheaded the Northport Summer Reading initiative last school year. The church worked as a group to collect 1,005 new or gently used books to kick-start the Northport summer reading program. Volunteers from the church delivered the books to the school. The books were set up like a store in the media center and students in grades VPK through fifth grade, including all exceptional education students, were able to “shop” for at least three books each. Students were instructed to keep their stack of books in a special place to remind them to read each day over the summer. It was a wonderful program. This school year, First United Methodist Church (FUMC) reached out to First Baptist Church of Port Saint Lucie to deepen the summer reading program by collecting enough books for the entire school, including all middle grades students.

Rad and the people of FUMC also collected ninety backpacks for needy students for the 2017-2018 school year. The backpacks were loaded with much needed school supplies — enough supplies for the entire year. When Rad and the volunteers from FUMC of Port Saint Lucie visit Northport, the students are excited to see them. The children know that the church volunteers love and care about them and that extra learning for the students and the support for the teacher are vital.

Rad has volunteered at Northport for two years and has employed a weekly average, including all program initiatives, of approximately five hours per week. Rad and his wife, Pat, volunteer in Michelle Kemp’s third grade class weekly, but his reach into the school has been all encompassing. The church initiatives touch all aspects of the school and extend into all classrooms.

Rad’s goal for this year is to increase volunteersism and to help bring in more churches to support student learning and teacher and family needs. The collaboration is a win for the school and a win for the church. Everyone involved just loves helping out the children and families in their own community.

A huge thank you to Reverend Dr. Rad Orlandi and to all the members of the First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Lucie for adding the children of Northport to the top of their community outreach program

Northport Awarded PBIS Model School Status of GOLD!

Northport Awarded PBIS Model School Status of GOLD!

It is with much pleasure that we inform our community that Northport has been awarded the PBIS Model School status of GOLD. After difficult and complex work for several years, our school has achieved the highest status awarded to a school. We have worked tirelessly to address the Multi-Tiered System of Support and to fully embrace Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework.

What this all means is that everything we do at Northport is about the success of the students. It’s about getting ALL of our kids ready for the real world. Everything is centered around our school wide expectations. These expectations are our broad, guiding principles. They are Safety First, Act Responsibly, I Show Respect and Listen Well.

Each school year, we begin with an Action Plan about what we need to do and where our students need to be, both behaviorally and academically. The process is ongoing and fluid and the plans of implementation are part of a living document that changes with the needs of our students. We have taken indicators such as the referral rates of black males and used data and then implemented targeted interventions and progress monitoring to really help our students.

We have demonstrated three tiers of effective interventions with the Northport S.A.I.L Note, one of our reward systems, as just one part of the implementation of PBIS or Positive Behavior Intervention Support. This award goes to our entire community because everyone plays a major role in our school success. We are just so thrilled that our tiered system of support has been selected as the “GOLD STANDARD” for our SLPS because our entire culture is based on Northport school wide expectations. Job Well done!

Northport BBBS Mentor Receives Childrens Services Scholarship

Northport BBBS Mentor Receives Childrens Services Scholarship

Northport K-8 School Big Brother, Big Sister Mentor Merisa Moroz has won a $1000 Scholarship for the University of North Florida from the Children’s Services Council. Merisa attends Mosaic Digital Academy and has served as a mentor this school year. Northport is thrilled to have a strong partnership with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the AmeriCorps tutoring branch of the organization as well as the many programs offered by the Children’s Services Council. Merisa tutors and mentors two kindergarten children from Tiffany Tredor’s class at Northport and says that she “loves to meet with the kids and be a positive influence.” She also says that, “being with her kids is the best part of her week!” Merisa’s mentee, Alisha Hallenberg says, ” People think that Merisa is my mom, but really she is my best friend!” Now that is really saying a lot! Pictured are Merisa Moroz with one of her “Littles” Alisha. Not pictured is Merisa’s second “Little”, Jackson Bye.

Northport Black History Program 2018

Northport Black History Program 2018

It is with pleasure that we thank our esteemed guests who visited Northport for our annual Black History program.  The program began with Principal Glenn Rustay having a heart-to-heart talk with our middle grades students about kindness and the feeling of being a family.  He also spoke about safety in light of recent events in Parkland.  Students joyously listened to music performed by Marissia Wallace and viewed the Northport cheerleaders perform.  A very special thank you to Fort Pierce Central JROTC for leading us in the colors to honor our country and our veterans.  The entire group participated in a Moment of Silence for the tragedy that befell our school family at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Dr. Donna Mills, SLPS Board Chairman, spoke with the students eloquently about being able to accomplish anything if you set a goal and follow through with your heart and mind.  Dr. Mills is a wonderful partner in our students’ education by championing the Speakers Bureau.  We are so grateful to her for bringing us this educational platform.
Northport’s special guest for Speakers Bureau and Black History combined was Attorney Donald Watson from the law firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson and Gary P.L.L.C.  Attorney Watson spoke about not being “defined by your failures, but overcoming them to become successful.”  Attorney Watson spoke passionately about his joy of reading and about his long and winding road to his law career.  Attorney Watson and Dr. Mills were presented plaques and fruit baskets from the school.
Many thanks to Diane Crumpton and Deborah Allen for organizing the Northport Black History Program and to DeLacy Bembry for leading the program.  The program was very inspirational.

Northport boys sport heels for a great cause

Northport boys sport heels for a great cause

Northport K-8 eighth grade Clownfish boys are supporting the school’s Relay For Life team this year by stepping into some big shoes! The theme this year is “Old Hollywood Glamour” and the boys are raising money for the event bypaying $5 per day to wear high heels. The Clownfish team leader Dru DeHart came up with the great idea to help support Relay For Life, and the boys have been vying to wear the shoes. The fundraiser for eighth grade boys runs October 30-November 16, and for seventh grade boys from November 27-December 19. The idea supports one of the school’s goals of providing opportunities for students to get involved with their local community efforts and to offer service to those in need of assistance.  Pictured are eighth grade students, from left, Alex Lejeune, Kevin Sanchez, Sevon Cooper, Christian Gilbert and Osmany Venereo.

Northport Boys to Men Host Special Guests!

Northport Boys to Men Host Special Guests!

Northport Boys to Men program hosted members of the local chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity recently. Harry Williams, Roderick Johnson, Mike Greene and Jack Boatwright attended the meeting to help bring a message of integrity and respect to the boys. The men mentor a group of local boys called the “Lamp Lighters.”

Each brought a message about respecting parents and teachers as well as other students. They spoke about how critical school attendance is to success and how critical a time that middle school really is for young people. The chapter members will visit the group twice a month to help steer the boys in the right direction in life. The men told the boys that after each meeting they close with all standing and saying out loud, “I am my Brother’s Keeper!” Thanks to guidance counselor Diane Reynolds for coordinating this very special meeting. Also, thanks to instructor Aaron Barnes for keeping this group vibrant.

Northport Brings Out Community at Annual Breakfast With Santa!

Northport Brings Out Community at Annual Breakfast With Santa!

Northport Principal Glenn Rustay shook off his Santa suit one more time to bring joy and good wishes to the entire Northport community at the Annual Breakfast With Santa held recently in the school cafeteria. On a Saturday morning, Assistant Principal Lisa Cash and Assistant Principal Lorie Monroe suited up to play Mrs. Claus and an elf to bring joy to all as a pancake breakfast was served by Northport’s PTO. Besides Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elf, crafts, games and pictures were available to everyone. It was a wonderful, family-oriented morning with joy and good cheer abounding. Thanks to everyone who participated to make the morning festive for the children and families.

Northport buddies share their writing secrets

Northport buddies share their writing secrets

Northport K-8 School’s youngest authors share their secrets to publishing a well planned, revised, edited and  well written, illustrated book as they meet in the Media Center with their classes. Kindergarten student Isaac Muniz, from
Melody Nieves’ class, and Fabian Allen from Lorri Lamm’s second grade class, sit together to share their stories. Isaac’s book, titled “SpongeBob” and Fabian’s book, titled “The Day I Was A Super Hero,” were instant success stories with students as they moved from buddy to buddy sharing their stories and their secrets to effective writing! The promotion of positive interactions can be attributed to a school culture where creating a positive and flourishing
environment in which to read and share is optimal. Many students have requested to purchase other students’ Young Author books and to check the Young Author books out from the Media Center displays. This reminds us as educators
that the Young Author program and the students displays of their hard work is an integral facet to a successful “across the curriculum” learning project. Pictured are Fabian Allen, left, and Isaac Muniz.

Northport celebrates 27 years

Northport celebrates 27 years

Northport K-8 School is celebrating 27 years of educational growth and community connections. The doors opened to accept students on April 8, 1986 with John Townsend as the supervising principal of the school. The school began as a junior high school accepting students in grades 7 and 8, then moved into the middle school concept bringing in sixth graders. In 2005, Northport became a K-8 school with Eric Seymour as principal overseeing those dramatic changes. Currently, Glenn Rustay is the principal of the school assisting in keeping those community connections vibrant and the education of students top notch. The school held a wonderful reunion of teachers, staff, administrators and students for the 25th anniversary party in 2011. Key components that make the school terrific are the feeling of family and community brought forth by John Townsend, making learning a fun opportunity for students and building those so important community/parent connections. Original staff members, who number over 50, hold a reunion each year to keep the threads of family secure. Teachers and staff who started the school and are who are vital standard bearers currently still working at NPK-8 are Agnes Brooks, Linda Walker, Lynne Gruszka, Mary Toto, Carolyn Mann-Lurry and Jeannette Crenshaw. Pictured, from left, are Lynne Gruszka, Benigna Montenegro and Agnes Brooks.

Northport Celebrates 30 Years with a Legacy 2016 Program!

Northport Celebrates 30 Years with a Legacy 2016 Program!

Northport proudly celebrates our very diverse culture every day, and Thursday, February 25, 2016, was especially special at the school. On this day, Northport included a program that hosted pioneers from our county and also all the Northport past principals. Dr. Sam Gaines, first African American school board member, Gloria Johnson-Scott, first female African American high school principal, Dr. Donna Mills, first female African American school board member, Joseph Smith, first African American Clerk of the Court, Officer Carl Toppin, first African American PSL police officer, as well as Queen Townsend, first SLC African American Interim Superintendent.

We were also thrilled to host every principal who helmed Northport. Mr. John Townsend, Mrs. Gloria Johnson-Scott, Mrs. Jane Summa, Mr. Eric Seymour and presently, Glenn Rustay. Two former assistant principals, Barbara Kelly and Maizie Epps were also honored as part of the Northport legacy. It was a wonderful and all encompassing program richly filled with the tapestry that makes up the Northport leadership family.

Thanks to Counselor Diane Crumpton for organizing such a wonderful program. We are all so proud of the Northport family! This was a richly deserved birthday celebration for the school as we celebrate 30 years of stellar educational experiences.

Northport Celebrates 30th Birthday and Dr. Seuss with Flair and Finesse and Much Love!

Northport Celebrates 30th Birthday and Dr. Seuss with Flair and Finesse and Much Love!

Northport K-8 School held a spectacular morning of Community Involvement recently to celebrate not only the birthday of Dr. Seuss, but also the 30th birthday of the school. Northport is so proud of the forward progress made by the teachers and staff as well as the parents and students. The school offers a well rounded education with an excellent opportunity to become immersed in not only reading, writing and mathematics but an opportunity to interact with community members from across the county on a regular basis.

Northport realizes that the children need and desire all members of the community to come through the doors of the school building and offer their time, testimony and expertise. The remarkable morning started in the Northport Media Center with a community table of 30 cakes made by teachers and staff and coffee to celebrate and acknowledge in a special way, 30 years of service to the community. Then a wide range of close to sixty guests received directions and were ambassadored to VPK-5 classrooms by selected middle grades students. Students were polite and genuinely interested in the guests as they made their way to the assigned rooms.

Guests included many local veterans who entered 5th grade classrooms to tell their stories. The veterans are primary sources for our students and many want to just tell their story “one more time!” We are thrilled to host our “Veteran Partners in Education” each and every time. Many members of the Port Saint Lucie Police Department including Assistant Chief Richard Del Toro, Carmine Izzo, Kacey Donnell, Raphael Lushbaugh, Steven Camara, Jack White, Andrew Lawler, Officer Brown and Tracee Diaz. Also included were SLC Councilmen and women, Chris Dzadovsky, Tod Mowery, Linda Bartz, Paula Lewis and Kim Johnson. SLPS District Chief Communications Officer Kerry Padrick, SLPS Board Member Deb Hawley and several other district office staff. The school also was thrilled to host IRSC Women’s volleyball players and the Star Bright Therapy Reading dogs.

Many others were in attendance as the school continues to develop deeper and more solid friendships with stakeholders from across the community. Tales were told, stories were read and most importantly, children were able to react and learn from people who have come to love and honor Northport. Thank you to everyone involved in making the 30th birthday of Northport spectacular. Special thanks to our local Big Brothers, Big Sisters for partnering with Northport to bring the very best and brightest moments to the school.

Northport Celebrates 8th Annual Unity Day!

Northport Celebrates 8th Annual Unity Day!

For the last eight years, Northport has recognized the month of October as Bullying Awareness Month. Students are educated using a multi-pronged approach with a common message. We don’t tolerate bullying at Northport; we offer tools to cope using an individualized plan, and we promote a single school culture with kindness, civic duty, patriotism, service, care and concern as our bell weather teaching style. Our community always remembers to teach the whole child. We never forget that each child has their own learning style and each receives messages in their own way.

This year, we closely followed the SLPS Stomp Out Bullying, Change the Culture plan that was a collaboration between the Department of Student Services, Department of Social and Emotional Learning and the Department of Exceptional Student Education. We tailored the plan to fit the needs of our school. We honored “Be A Buddy Week,” “Make New Friends Week,” “Stand Up For Others Week,” and “Inclusion Week.” We utilized quotes on the morning announcements as well as specific conversation starters. We promoted “The Promise” pledge and read books related to bullying. We offered, in coordination with our PTO, real tools to cope and what to do if a child feels bullied. Parents have been involved with our specialized approach to deter bullying.

Many thanks to our resource/elective teachers who were integral in implementing our annual “BULLY WALK” around the school during each class period. Northport is a fascinating study in what a true public Title I school should be and, without exception, we are proud to call Northport “OUR SCHOOL!”

Northport Celebrates Achievement and Perfect Attendance

Northport Celebrates Achievement and Perfect Attendance

Northport community celebrated Sharks and Stingrays middle grades students for achievement and perfect attendance. We are so thrilled to welcome parents and families to help and encourage the students.

Spectacular job to all students and teachers!

Thank you all for helping us achieve one of our Northport School Improvement goals of increasing attendance rates.

Northport celebrates adult volunteer of the year

Northport celebrates adult volunteer of the year

Northport K-8 School faculty, staff, administration, students and the family community celebrate the selection of Christine Hunsicker as our representative for Northport K-8 School Adult Volunteer of the Year!  Mrs. Hunsicker has volunteered for the school for the last eight years serving as grade mother for several teachers, PTO parent volunteer and School advisory Board member. This year, Mrs. Hunsicker serves as PTO president. She organizes so many fundraiser and student centered activities such as the Holiday Shoppe, Valentine’s dance, Teacher Appreciation lunches, Yankee Candle, and World’s Finest Chocolate sales. Without Mrs. Hunsicker, many school activities would not be nearly as fruitful and students’ achievements would not be celebrated nearly as heartily. Mrs. Hunsicker also organizes the very successful Boxtops for Education and  Campbell’s soup labels and has planned and organized reward parties for students. She has also organized Family Community Night and along with teachers, Shana Cicio and Jennifer Carey, organized and implemented our traditional Family Fun Run and signed on as a team member for the schools Relay For Life events.  Mrs. Hunsicker has also rallied parents and community members to become part of the parent, family, school connection by holding a training to instruct new volunteers in the PTO on how to wade the technology highway and sign up using the new and updated format for volunteerism.   Northport K-8 School is a collaborative team and Mrs. Hunsicker is a huge proponent of the team!  Thanks to Christine Hunsicker for your service and dedication to the students and faculty of Northport K-8 School! Pictured is Christine Hunsicker.

Northport Celebrates Annual Unity Day!

Northport Celebrates Annual Unity Day!

What an amazing day at Northport! The school community came together with a unified message against bullying. Parent and PTO president, Kendra Hansard, joined students for the Pledge of Allegiance and PTO vice president, Kristy Ellison, led the students in the Kids at Hope Pledge with a nod to a culture of kindness and antibullying on campus.
Students across the campus made posters and banners to promote bullying awareness and voiced a powerful message of care, concern and kindness. Students, teachers and staff wore orange to promote unity and togetherness. Many thanks to the teachers who assisted in making posters and banners. We need all hands on deck for this annual unifying event. Many thanks to our parents who participated and a special SHOUT OUT to our resource/elective teachers who marched around the school with the students for the annual walk. Thanks to Kim Kanada Graff, Rachel Savela, Stephanie Ramirez, Christine Ilgenfritz, Ricardo Renelus, Kim Fields, Daryn Ploeckelman and Michael Morales. Without these special teachers, Unity Day could not happen! We don’t accept bullying on Northport campus and we always look forward to this unifying event.

Northport Celebrates Black History with Home Town Hero!

Northport Celebrates Black History with Home Town Hero!

With much pomp, circumstance and practice, Northport students gave local hero, Attorney Willie Gary a welcome fit for a “Giant Killer!” Cheerleaders, flags, Northport band and student ambassadors led Attorney Gary to the school gymnasium to be seated on the dias along with Saint Lucie County School Board chairwoman Dr. Donna Mills, principal Glenn Rustay, program coordinator Diane Reynolds Crumpton, program emcee DeLacy Brown, and student speakers.

After a beautifully orchestrated Northport jazz band performance and cheer, student speakers gave examples of the accomplishments of famous Black Americans. Attorney Willie Gary, guest speaker, held the middle grades students in the palm of his hand speaking about his upbringing and his accomplishments. He spoke about his belief that God has been the master of his path and Mr. Gary also gave high accolades to his wife, Gloria, for the unwavering support throughout his stellar career as a uniquely successful attorney.

Attorney Gary gave concrete examples to students about how he pulled himself up by his boot straps and did not depend on anyone to give him any handouts or any expectations of entitlement. He told students about getting on a bus on a Sunday afternoon on US 1 and riding to Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina with no money and no letter of acceptance. He vowed to the students that he would look at the Northport VPK-8 grade and if he saw improvement, he would take them all out to lunch.

He spoke gravely and solemnly about the strength of the people, black and white who paved the way for students of today and urged students to get involved in their own lives. Attorney Willie Gary is an exceptional man and a masterful speaker. If only we could clone Attorney Willie Gary and bring our students many, many more strong male role models what an amazing amount of work could be accomplished. Kudos to Diane Crumpton for her programming efforts and to the children of Northport VPK-8 School for bringing their best attitudes to school not only for Attorney Willie Gary, but every day.