It is with notable pleasure that Northport VPK-8 School participated in the Superintendent’s Learning Lunch held on Tuesday, October 13 from 11:30 am- 12:30 pm at the SLC School Board District Offices. Northport Assessment Specialist, Josie Bailey and Northport 8th grade student, Rosette Garcia enjoyed the collaborative atmosphere provided by new Superintendent, E. Wayne Gent. Mr. Gent, students and teachers focused the casual lunch conversations on great things happening in SLC schools, praises and how student education and satisfaction could be improved. The conversation included Northport’s multipronged approach to communication and messaging including the Northport K-8 School Face Book Page, Twitter Feeds and website as well as the school’s multi-tiered approach to minimizing and eradicating bullying.
Mrs. Bailey and Rosette outlined for Superintendent Gent and the invited guests, Northport’s efforts to establish an open line of communication between instructors, teachers, administration, students and community. Northport realizes that the education of the students must take a powerful collaborative approach and monitors communications frequently throughout the school day. The Northport message and brand is that of an All-American school filled with successful students, invaluable instructors and staff, happy and informed parents, invested community members, veterans and a “thumbs up” pride.
The school’s anti bullying message was shared when student, Rosette Garcia talked about the continuity of the message from VPK through 8. Rosette discussed the school’s “Joe the Biker” visits and the celebration of the “5th Annual Northport Unity Day Walk!” The Walk takes place all day through resource and elective classes on Wednesday, October 28. All students participate in the school’s empowering mile walk around the campus celebrating Unity by chanting rhymes against bullying, carrying hand made posters and banners and thoroughly enjoying each others company and the strong anti bullying message. All community members, district staff, parents, grandparents and veterans are invited to join the “Unity Day Walk.” We are so thrilled to have been a part of a wonderful discussions and the message that was relayed to the school by Mrs. Bailey and Rosette Garcia was thrillingly positive. Superintendent Gent spoke to Rosette about leadership and urged her to run for Student Council office. We are looking forward to sending our next delegates to the prestigious “Superintendent’s Learning
Northport VPK-8 students in seventh and eighth grades were treated to a visit in the media center by community partners (Port Saint Lucie Police Department) recently for a program initiative called StopLifting. The program led by Stacy Paton, Crime Prevention Specialist for the PSLPD, and Officers Jack White and Rod Dobler updated students on the hazards of shoplifting. Students learned about the technical camera systems that are now in retail stores, and they also learned that 89% of students know someone who has recently shoplifted. Students learned that the excuses given for shoplifting range from boredom, anxiety, depression, excitement and most importantly, peer pressure. One in eleven people have stolen from a retail store at some point in their lives. Students also learned that if you shoplift when you are young, you are 46% more likely to commit more crime in the future. Not a very encouraging statistic for the children.
Ms. Paton and the officers also spent plenty of time discussing the consequences of shoplifting such as: arrest and transport to a juvenile facility, restitution beginning at $200, probation, trespass from the store, and labeling by family and friends. Students saw concrete examples of questions on college applications, military applications, job applications, and the reality of background checks. The children learned that once you have a record, that record is forever, especially for deep checks for the military, college, and certain jobs.
Northport is deeply indebted to our community partners, the Port Saint Lucie Police Department, who visit frequently and always have the best interest of the children at heart. We, as teachers, administrators, deans, and parents depend on that partnership because we care about our whole community. We realize that we are not a closed building, we need the assistance of all invested partners to help make our community healthy and to bring the very best education to our students. Pictured are Officer Dobler, Stacy Paton, and Officer White as well as Instructor Elissa Garcia and her seventh grade students.
Northport fifth graders were delighted to learn about a poster contest that is available for all students on campus. Jenny Tomes, Utility Marketing and Digital Video Coordinator for the City of Port Saint Lucie Water Systems Department gave the students great lessons on conservation. She engaged the students on topics such as where the water in Port Saint Lucie comes from, three forms of water, the conservation cycle and how to conserve water. Ms. Tomes reviewed the parameters of the poster contest and gave students ideas on how to make the posters. From the Northport Media Center with the entire fifth grade, Ms. Tomes moved on to Mrs. Flores’ class to review the poster contest for middle schoolers. Thank you so much to Dr. Francisco Arias, from Pediatric Dentistry of the Treasure Coast for donating toothbrushes for the presentations in coordination with the Utility Systems Department. The contest is a FABULOUS opportunity for all! Many thanks to Ms. Tomes
Northport community is so very proud of our essay contest winners for the recent writing opportunity for our sixth graders. The American Security Council Foundation offers a program that teaches good citizenship called “Step Up America.” Northport has made the program an integral piece of educating students about the many aspects of being a great citizen and how to become aware of their surroundings. We have dubbed that program “Step Up Northport.”
The essay topic was titled “What Freedom Means to Me and What Protects Our Freedoms in this Country.” The prizes for the essay contest were awarded to John O’Rourke, third place, who received a gift card for $50; Lahela Cornett, second place, who received a $100 gift card; and our first place grand writing champion is Jayden Diago who will visit Washington, D.C. with a parent or guardian. Expenses are paid for this trip which includes a tour of the city to visit important monuments and places and to attend the National Wreath Laying held on December 16, at Arlington National Cemetery.
Jayden closed her essay by saying, “When I become an adult, I will do my best to become a good, productive and law abiding citizen, pay taxes, pay kindness forward, support law enforcement and military, exercise my rights, especially to vote so I can have a voice and help the government continue to uphold the Constitution. We must work together to retain freedom and acquire peace.”
We are extremely proud of our partnership with the American Security Council Foundation and with Step Up America. The students who participated in the essay contest were a spectacular representation of the wonderful teaching and learning that goes on at Northport every single day.
It is the pleasure of Northport, in partnership with Giveback2kids, Inc. to invite our students to a special banquet at the Port Saint Lucie Community Center at 2195 Airoso Blvd. on Monday evening May 7 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. These students were selected throughout the year to represent kindness, good citizenship, leadership, growth and maturity and perhaps for being an overcomer!
We thank our community partners, David Gornitzky and James Monds who make up the Giveback2kids, Inc. partnership for hosting this special evening.
Our Northport Giveback2kids for the 2017-18 school year are:
These are wonderful children who have given their best to Northport this year!
The month of October has been designated “Bullying Prevention Month” and is recognized by Northport K-8 School as well as Saint Lucie Public Schools. Northport is thrilled to take part in such an important and vital issue. Bullying can become pervasive if left unchecked. The Saint Lucie Public Schools and the Northport community are taking the bull by the horns and working in conjunction with parents, community members, bullying specialists, deans, teachers, school staff and administration to fight against the scourge of bullying in schools. Every October at Northport, students make posters, listen to guest speakers, consult with school deans and teachers and work in clubs such as “Boys to Men” and “Girls to Women” to help get a firm grasp on bullying in the school and to stop it in its tracks. Northport recently hosted “Joe the Biker” to discuss bullying and especially cyber bullying in the middle grades area.
In recognition of Bullying Prevention Month, an anti- bullying assembly will be held Friday, October 9th for grades K-5 in the gymnasium. The presenter will be the enthusiastic, Joe Wojcik, better known as “Joe the Biker” who visited recently with middle school. Joe is a wonderful presenter and we are looking forward to his visit! Times are grades 3-5 9:45-10:30 and grades K-2 10:45-11:15.
On Wednesday, October 28, all students will participate in the school’s 5th Annual Unity Day Walk Against Bullying. Students walk with physical education instructors, resource instructors, classroom teachers, administration, community members, parents and support staff on a marked path around the school perimeter. Students make signs to carry that depict messages to stamp out bullying and chant anti-bullying messages as they participate in the Walk. Students wear orange or blue shirts to present a unified team against bullying. All are welcome to participate in the Northport Unity Day Walk.
Northport K-8 School and our community partners, GiveBack2Kids, Inc., are pleased to present our GiveBack2Kids Student of the Month for October. Students are selected for leadership, perseverance and citizenship. Our community is so pleased to present these highly coveted awards to Daniel Robinson and Lucky Pierre Louis. Great job, young men!
Northport K-8 School and Big Brothers, Big sisters of Saint Lucie County have formed an excellent working partnership to bring the very best services to the students. Not only are targeted students the recipient of a terrific mentoring program under the direction of Lauren Fowler, but the AmeriCorps tutoring branch of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of SLC supports our Kindergarten through second grade targeted learners with in depth and strategically intensive lesson plans. The plans are designed in collaboration with the classroom teacher to bring each student to grade level and beyond. The tutors plan and then meet with individual children to bring the most powerful instruction to each child. AmeriCorps Director, Jenna Stinnett assists tutors in lesson planning, scheduling students, collaborating with specific instructors and keeps the program moving along at a lively pace. Many thanks to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters programs for their part in increasing the Northport K-8 school grade for 2013-2014 and purposefully helping students meet their highest potential. Pictured are the tutors this year who will service 30 targeted students this year from grades K-2 from left, Azzam Abdur-Rahman, Barbara Heller, Tameka Walker and Jenna Stinnett.
Northport K-8 School, several years ago, was designated a “Wildlife Sanctuary” after the diligent work of the school administration and several teachers. The school staff, known for its care and kindness towards local wildlife and their natural habitats, have developed a club that can be called on when wildlife emergencies occur or a rescue is needed on campus. The club, known as the “Northport Paws and Claws Kindness Club” is spearheaded by longtime Northport instructor, Mary Toto. The club including, Mrs. Toto, who has been a lifelong supporter of the care of animals, both in school and personally, Melanie Polascak, Judy Fowler, Mirta Cepeda, Kara McNair, Jim Burgoon, Marilyn Rodriguez and Barbara Wiggans have rescued a plethora of creatures including turtles, cats and kittens, birds, possums and squirrels. The club went into action recently when teacher, Melanie Polascak heard the cries of several baby squirrels who had fallen our of their nest. Teacher, James Burgoon rescued one baby hanging from the top of a wall as well as two babies on the ground. Animal Control was called immediately and the babies were then transported to All Creatures Wild Life Sanctuary to be cared for and eventually released. Northport also is the home to a wonderful and colorfully protected Butterfly Sanctuary that is cared for by instructor, Jennifer Carey and many other instructors and students. Northport K-8 School community understands that learning about kindness and actually following through, making sure that each animal is safe helps children become better, more well rounded students and better human beings. It is wonderful to witness teachers and students caring for all creatures, great and small. Special thanks to the Paws and Claws Kindness club at Northport! Pictured from left are Northport staff, Jim Burgoon, Mirta Cepeda, Melanie Polascak, Judy Fowler, Marilin Rodriguez and Barbara Wiggins.
Northport VPK-8 School media specialist, Lynne Gruszka, seventh grade instructor and brand new teacher, Kendal Jo Hamblin and Maryanne Warren, student support specialist from New Horizons who is stationed at the school, collaborated recently to present a program for seventh grade Stingray students. The program was a culmination of the school’s Leadership Summit programs for middle school students that have been ongoing all year. Students have been building a list of leadership skills for the entire school year that include integrity, flexibility, passion, looking at the “big picture” and many other skills to be a great leader. Past guests have included Fl. State Representative, Gayle Harrell, Deputy City Manager of Ft. Pierce, Nick Mimms, a group of military veterans, school board member Debbie Hawley, Port Saint Lucie mayor, Greg Oravec and Ashley Mock, communications coordinator of Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County.
The most recent program held in the media center included a group of officers from the Port Saint Lucie Police Department including, Officer Toppin, Officer Brown, Officer Lushbaugh and Officer Garcia, nurse, Alicia Lange, Saint Lucie County Fire and EMT specialist, Karen Kozac, Publix store manager, Marc Waldbauer, Civil Engineer, Amanda Hanks and Children’s Services Manager of New Horizon’s of the Treasure Coast, Heather Roberts. The program was a phenomenal experience for the seventh graders who learned that the most important accomplishment is an education. To experience all that life has to offer, education is vital. Students learned that its important to find your passion but that passion can come through a variety of career experiences. Students learned about the word “integrity” and how very important that that word is for a rich and vital life well lived. Special thanks to all who have assisted in bringing these very memorable experiences to our students. Pictured are the students from Miss Hamblin’s homeroom class and the very special community leaders and guests as well as Miss Hamblin, Mr. Rustay, Northport principal and Mrs. Gruszka.
It is with distinct pleasure and pride that Northport K-8 School commemorate Veterans Day with a flourish. The morning of November 10 started with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Kids at Hope Pledge. Students then recited the “Northport American Children’s Pledge.” The media center filled up quickly with at least fifteen local veterans from all different branches of the military and students from the 6, 7 and 8 grade Northstars and the grades 7 and 8 Stingrays teams. Students from the Northport Choir under the direction of Thomas Conner sang the National Anthem with thrilling tones that had the entire audience humming and singing too. Second graders from Mrs. Ploeckelman, Mrs. Calo, Ms. Schrader and Mrs. Lamm’s classes wrote moving tributes to our veterans and read their essays directly to the vets. The children were inspiring and the older students were moved by the clear display of Americanism. A brief history of Veterans Day was given by Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka and students were given a wonderful welcome by Northport Principal Glenn Rustay. Veterans introduced themselves and gave a brief synopsis of their branch and career. Students then, using Northport Leadership Summit format, directed a Question and Answer session. Students stood, introduced themselves, loudly and clearly asked their question and then remained standing until their question was answered. Also, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Americorp, each veteran was pinned with a special “Partnership” pin from AmeriCorps and Northport K-8 School. The program was all encompassing and praiseworthy as students learned all about World War I, Armistice Day and why we commemorate the 11th minute, the 11th hour, the 11th day on the 11th month as Veterans Day. Special thanks to local Veteran Partners in Education who helped educate well over 200 students about the importance of education, civic responsibility and Americanism.
Northport K-8 School presented a noteworthy performance at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade held recently in Ft. Pierce. The weather was beautiful and the students, parents, and staff were thrilled to participate in such a wonderful and traditional event to help enhance community relations and mark the day with a flourish. Special thanks to the Northport MLK committee members for working so diligently to make sure that Northport was represented and Martin Luther King’s theme for 2016, “Dream Forward: Choose Peace, Equality, and Change” was uplifted in true Northport fashion. Thanks to Debra Allen, Diane Crumpton, Valerie Hill, Megan Hill, Michelle Kovich, Marie Solide and Christine Davis as well as the Northport Band Director Brian Hoce and everyone else who helped in any way. We had a first-rate float, and the cheerleaders and band students offered a stellar performance. The performance can be viewed on the Northport K-8 School Face Book page. Northport truly promoted the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, “We must keep moving. It you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means, keep moving!”
Northport K-8 School principal, Glenn Rustay accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge recently to not only donate much needed funds to help find a cure for ALS, but to also help educate his students on the horrible disease. Mr. Rustay accepted the challenge from Northport music instructor, Brian Hoce.
Students were thrilled to watch as Principal Rustay first used a tiny bucket filled with ice then, at the behest of his students, dumped the big bucket over his head! Although all in fun, the seriousness of the cause filled the overwhelming picture at Northport K-8 School recently. Students learned that thirty thousand patients each year are diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gerhig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who succumbed from the disease.
To date, $53 million dollars has been raised to help fund global research in finding a treatment and cure for ALS. The funds also help to support the patient and family who are suffering from the effects of the terrible disease. That is more than quadruple the funds raised in the entire year last year. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has proven to be a much needed boost in the pocketbook to help raise not only funds but awareness of the urgency to find a cure for this debilitating disease. Way to go Mr. Rustay!
If you would like to learn more, would like to donate or would like to participate in your own ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, visit www.alsa.org.
Northport K-8 School will participate in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Saint Lucie County’s special fundraiser, Bowling For Kid’s Sake on September 21 at 5:00 pm at Superplay in Saint Lucie West. Each year, Northport promotes a Hat Day and other fundraisers to earn enough money to support the cause of caring for all children in our community. We are pleased and proud to be a unified team who will assist in community events that make our school and our community stronger and more powerful. We will have a contingency of at least ten teachers and staff who will Bowl For Kid’s Sake as well as plenty of staff on hand to serve as cheerleaders. Pictured enjoying the school Hat Day fundraiser are from left, Kathleen Egan, Sir’on Bembry, DeLacy Barr, Danny Diaz, Kay Egan, Lynne Gruszka and Finn Carey.
Northport was so pleased to host Ary De Latorre from Dr. Cook’s Dental Office. With February being National Dental Health Month, students learned all about healthy sneezing, correct hand washing techniques, and how to brush their teeth properly. Students also learned not to share toothbrushes, how to floss, and how to eat to deter bacteria. It was a great learning experience, and we appreciate all the time spent educating our youngest students on proper teeth brushing. Thank you very much to Dr. Cook’s Dental Office!
Mrs. Madorma and Mrs. Cameron’s 5th grade class have been working on Growth Mindset this week. Positive and healthy thinking will be a year long project that the teachers hope to build into a lifetime habit. Great job!
Northport K-8 School is vigorously promoting community connections and positive support from our local business partners, veterans, Children’s Services Council, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, AmeriCorps, parents, grandparents and families. We realize that for a total and well-rounded education for all students, No Exceptions, we need support and open doors. This is Fall Book Fair time at Northport and we invite the community to join us to encourage reading for pleasure for all our students. Thank you to the many, many parents and grandparents who have to come to shop with their children, but we also give a standing ovation to our community members who come and purchase books for children who might not otherwise get a book.
The Book Fair causes a hum of excitement in the school for reading and it is a sheer pleasure to watch all the children get excited over books. What really causes teachers’ breath to catch and their hearts to beat faster are the kindergartners who visit the Book Fair for the very first time. Pictured are Merritt, Taylor and M.J. Lakin, a family of Northport children from the lower school and Azzam Abdur-Rahman one of the AmeriCorps tutors as Clifford. Clifford did an awesome job promoting the Fall Book Fair.
Northport Media Center and some of our sixth graders served as hosts to our community partner, Step Up America. John McIntosh spoke to our students about the three branches of Government and understanding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He reviewed the 1st Amendment which is Freedom of Speech. John also spoke about the importance of service to your community and volunteering. He spoke about the importance of our military and first responders and taking care of each other. He interacted with students and gave scenarios about ” See Something, Say Something” and to be mindful of surroundings, trust your instincts and if something is out of the ordinary, tell more than one adult — tell every adult.
The mission of Step Up America is to educate our children about becoming responsible and engaged citizens. Mr. McIntosh was a splendid speaker who challenged our students to help in their own community and volunteer. Student Allyssa Lewers said, ” It was a great learning experience, and I found out that some jobs are actually fun and worthwhile. Mr. McIntosh inspired me to help others.”
Northport K-8 School is pleased to present our 2016 Annual Science and Engineering Fair award recipients. Our students competed in numerous fields of science. All awarded scientists based their experimental research on trying to answer and solve real world problems. They showed creativity in scientific thinking and a desire to help mankind by providing solutions to real issues. First, second, and third place awards were given in each category of science.
First place recipients are: Addison Searcy, rosette Garcia, Dana Barcomb, Alicia Morrow, Alexis Bowes, Joseph Jackson, Jaden Rosenberg, Chastine Maharaj, Riley Orr, Taygen Pannella, Estefany Medina, Matthew Pinto and Evence Eliassaint.
Second place recipients are: Jennifer Lugo, Melanie Giachetti, Nixon Adea-Swanston, Dallas Persick, Tristan Castiglia, Jared Lowrie and Illah Sasso.
Third place recipients are: Sierra Molinary, Sasha Levine, Trevor Walk, Brandon Quijada, Kristopher Taylor, Haley Hensley, Justin Forbes and Aaliyah Gutmann.
Wonderful job to Dr. Laura Woodworth, Northport Science Fair Coordinator, participating students and parents. Thank you is not adequate! WONDERFUL JOB!
Northport K-8 School Media Services program, under the direction of Lynne Gruszka, along with students, faculty, administration and staff are assisting Northport alumnus Sgt. Xiovani Guanill of the U. S. Army. Sgt. Guanill, who administers Morale, Welfare and Recreation at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, requested assistance for the 80 men and women in his company. His request included shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, magazines and other items. Not only did Northport students and families assist as a school community that filled 20 boxes, but many teachers offered with a generosity of spirit that included mailing all 20 boxes to Afghanistan. Special thanks to Dr. Laura Woodworth, Linda Walker, Glenda Taylor, Louise Robinson, Charlotte Tombline, Georgia Stone, Daryn Ploeckelman, James Hebb, Mirta Cepeda, Ann Barbare, Judy Fowler, Mary Toto, Diane Carvalho, Pam Crum, Lisa Cash, Lynne Gruszka and Lorie Monroe who quickly offered to mail a box filled with the donated items. Sgt. Guanill is also part of the community of veterans who speak to Northport students on a regular basis. This is Sgt. Guanill’s second deployment to the Middle East, and Northport is very supportive and proud to help the military. Pictured are students from Juliette Thelusma’s and Jennifer Gomez’s fourth grade class along with Mrs. Thelusma with boxes of donated items.