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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 School is celebrating National Library Week along with schools and public libraries across the country! This year the observance is April 13 -19. The theme this year is “Lives Change @ your library!”
National Library Week was first sponsored in 1958 by the American Library Association or ALA. The week was started as a response to concerns that Americans were spending too much time listening to radio, television and music and were reading much less. More and more, libraries are at the forefront of the community as family budgets perhaps become smaller. The library offers a world of knowledge and opportunity that is free to students, teachers and families.
This year, the Northport K-8 Media Center has accomplished many goals that include putting books that kids like to read into their hands and supporting classroom curriculum. Some of the programs that have taken place in the Northport Media Center are the Veterans Partners in Education classroom visits and group programs including “The Forgotten War,” Women’s History programming, Dr. Seuss Community Reading Day, partnerships with community organizations including Big Brothers, Big Sisters and local veterans clubs, 9/11 Tribute programming, organization of the 3rd Annual Unity Day Against Bullying Walk, two visits with Joe The Biker who gave good incite on the anti-bullying message to students, supported and offered several essay contests including six District winners for the Elks Lodge 2658 annual Americanism essay contest and also, a community fundraiser to raise enough funds to purchase American flag home kits for each graduating 8th grader to promote the schools ongoing theme of Patriotism and love of country. Former Penn State Coach, Joe Paterno once stated, “A school is only as good as its library!” after donating millions of dollars to the Penn State library and that adage holds true for Northport K-8 School. Pictured are three seventh grade girls who serve as media center assistants, from left, Britney Kanhai, Rayanna Bohori and Paola Cruz.
After much preparation and studying, Northport K-8 School declared Northstar
eighth grade student Jordan Gray as spelling bee champion of the school. Also,
Northport will send fifth grade student Matthew Zoll from Valerie Niewieroski’s
class as first place student in grades four and five. Students asked for
definitions, words to be used in correct sentences, parts of speech and
language of origin. After seven grueling rounds with 29 students participating,
the winners were declared and prizes awarded. Participating students were:
Sabrina Kim, Brian Chamizo, Alex Peraza, James Crowhorn, Jason Derilus,
Christina Lambert, Radravious Williams, Mayra Solarte, Shawn Outer-Johnson,
Matthew Zoll, Ethan Trainor, Jordan Gray, Jared Diago, Theryssa Sullivan, Tosin
Joloagun, Brianna Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Friedt, Olivia Shaw, Brian Avalos, Juan
Berrones, Jared Lowrie, Trakendra Rivers, Taylor Milano, Conley Hopper, Alyssa
Reaver, Jared Wilt and Naema El-Azzami.
A number of Northport K-8 School administrators, teachers, students and parents supported the community and the St. Lucie School District by marching and riding in a float during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., parade in Ft. Pierce recently. The Northport community was glad to help promote the theme “Continuing the Vision Through Education and Advocacy” and encouraged the community to remember Dr. King’s dream. The Northport K-8 School middle grades band, under the direction of instructor Brian Hoce, marched in the parade and played the song “Stand By Me,” originally performed by Ben E. King. Northport third grade student Deja Adams said,” I loved the parade because I could be proud of my school and wave to all my friends from my old school. It was a beautiful day for a parade!” Pictured is the Northport band carrying the school’s banner.
Northport K-8 School middle grades Art instruction has been deemed an integral facet in educating the school’s children. Students in grades K-8 enter Valerie Niewieroski’s art class with hopes of fun and color, but Mrs. Niewieroski offers so much more to the students. A plethora of studies have proven that an excellent fine arts school program enhances motor skills, builds language development, strengthens problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as offering a vital outlet for self expression and inventiveness. Studies have also proven a direct correlation between art, music education and higher academic achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the Arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in math and science fairs and to win writing awards. The month of September has been dedicated to the study of shapes in Mrs. Niewieroski’s classes. Students have created their own organic shaped beasts inspired by the paintings of Henri Matisse. Pictured are Northport students proudly displaying their creative energies.
Northport K-8 School fifth grade students in Melanie Polascak’s class learned a valuable lesson on survival and how to flourish through a tragedy while learning about the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Mrs. Polascak integrated visual information using video clips of the original World Trade Center prior to 9/11 and of the Ground Zero Memorial, comparing and contrasting the scenes. The class noted the story of “The Survivor Tree” which sustained extensive damage during the attacks. The original tree, a callery pear tree, has been replanted at the Ground Zero Memorial for all to enjoy and learn the story of nature’s lone survivor. The eight foot tall tree, standing among a throng of white oak trees is a symbol of hope, peace, freedom and survival. The children then constructed a quilt with hand drawn pictures and words to symbolize their internal feelings about the story of the survivor tree. Student, Isai Quinones, wrote on his quilt, “Like a soldier, the tree wouldn’t back down!” Pictured are Mrs. Polascak and her fifth grade class.
Northport K-8 School is kicking off Young Author season this year in a big way! Each year, the Northport K-8 media center is decorated to showcase the terrific Young Author books at the school. This year, the theme is “Take Me Out To The Ballgame!” Teachers selected a table or counter space and decorated with items that incorporate the theme. Tables this year are decorated with themes of the Miami Heat from Juliette Thelusma’s fourth grade class, Chicago Cubs from Jennifer Gomez’s fourth class, kindergarten has a Mets theme and many, many other teams and sports are represented as a backdrop for the Young Author books. Students and parents have toured the school’s media center to read each others’ books. Planning, writing, revising, editing, illustrating and the complete writing process are showcased in a community wide project that address the anchor standards for writing across the curriculum in a fun and pride filled arena. The students love the project and like to promote their own books to others! Pictured are third graders in John Fallon’s class promoting their book table.
Northport K-8 instructors are pleased to begin literary instruction in a new
and fresh arena for 2012. Northport teachers Jennifer Babcock Carey and Deb
Mock completed a grant to begin work on a literacy plaza, an outdoor classroom
setting for Northport K-8 School. Instructor Valerie Niewieroski
began work hand painting the four seasons display which will include literary
quotes to inspire young students to read. The literacy plaza will be completed
on January 21 and an Open House will be held on Friday, January 27, 2012.
Pictured from left are instructors, Juliette Thelusma, Jill Staggs, Jennifer
Gomez, Carissa Provencher, Valerie Niewieroski, LynneGruszka and Judy Fowler.
The entire Northport K-8 School community welcomed new and returning students and their families with a fabulous “Welcome to Northport!” Open House recently!
The year was kicked off with teachers and staff that have feelings of renewal and revitalization and are charged with a coordinated effort to bring the best experiences possible to their students. Many Northport students and their familes are thrilled with the K-8 concept that allows students to remain in the same school their entire middle and elementary educational years. Students that are returning are thrilled to look up their teachers and visit with familiar faces. Another exciting opportunity is the ability to move from elementary to the middle grades effortlessly. Pictured is long time Northport student Dallas Persick who has been in the school since second grade. Dallas, who is excitedly moving into the sixth grade, proudly shows off his middle grades schedule
Northport K-8 School is preparing to address the needs of a very diverse population through a targeted and focused ESOL program. Longtime instructor, Mary Toto along with two paraprofessionals will incorporate RTI or Response To Intervention into small group, multi-tiered learning groups.
Each student targeted as ESOL will receive direct instruction in English Language skills to quickly assimilate into the regular education classroom. Students, equipped with support from Mrs. Toto and her team, heritage language dictionaries and classroom instructors who are trained in offered ESOL support strategies will be offered every opportunity to excel and achieve quickly.
Each child’s needs are addressed through close collaboration with parents, family members, classroom teachers, school administration and outside sources. The ESOL lab and the entire school are prepared to help build solid foundations in English language learning and offer speedy and efficient assimilation into the Saint Lucie County School District culture with the greatest degree of success.
Pictured from left are Marion Morales, Mary Toto and LaShawn Floyd.
Northport K-8 School administrators and staff gave a big boost to literacy and offered a “Get Fit” challenge to students at the school. Students participated in a reading marathon to read 5,000 books before race day. The mission was accomplished, and Principal Glenn Rustay donned a pink tutu to complete the run. Also dressed for the occasion were Assistant Principals Benigna Mentengro and Doug Shook, as well as ESE chairperson Sherri Yakovino, and several instructors. Principal Rustay’s father and his son also competed in the Torrey Pines Race For Research with him. The Get Fit For Literacy Challenge was a dynamic and exciting way to get students and families involved in the school community. Pictured, from left, are Northport instructors Rachel Ellsworth, Mary Ellsworth, Principal Glenn Rustay, Assistant Principal Bennie Montenegro, Sherri Yakovino and speech specialist Jennifer Carey.
Northport K-8 middle grades science instructor and science fair program leader,
Dr. Laura Woodworth, escorted groups of students through the school science fair
exhibits recently. The exhibits are a culmination of the school based science
fair programming. The program is an authentic assessment of classroom learning
and an excellent demonstration of student knowledge of science in action. Dr.
Woodworth monitored student learning using critique charts and journaling as
students considered how graphs were utilized to reveal trends in data, how to
identify variables in experiments, and made suggestions for possible
improvements in student research and how to better the experiment and the
Northport K-8 School was pleased to present the Holocaust program Living Voices recently to all sixth graders at the school. The Living Voices program is an interactive program that incorporates Holocaust history, the story of the Frank family and video and audio presentation to engage students in realistic history about the Diary of Anne Frank. The story enhancement of the program was told from the point of view of a young girl living through the Holocaust who was friends with the Franks. The program supports Holocaust education in our school and deepens and enriches student information about the Holocaust. Pictured are sixth graders from Amanda Sartain’s class with the program presenter.