Northport students explore Native American cultures

Northport students explore Native American cultures

Northport K-8 fifth grade students in Carla Caldwell’s class demonstrated critical information learned through intensive studies of Native American tribes from different geographic regions of North America. Students compared and contrasted the different interactions each had with their geographic region and how this affected their lifestyle and their dwellings. Students identified cliff dwellers and Pueblo people of the Desert Southwest, coastal tribes of the Pacific Northwest, nomadic nations of the Great Plains and Eastern Woodlands tribes found east of the Mississippi River. Students constructed replicas of dwellings and tribal regions for display in the media center. The construction supported the integral assistance offered for Special Education students as well as meeting the diverse needs of English language learners. All students engaged in the excellent hands-on opportunity for deeper instruction and learning. Students visiting the media center had their interests tweaked when viewing the projects and were encouraged to check out resources to assuage the intellectual opportunity for growth. Pictured are the fifth graders as well as instructor Carla Caldwell and assistant principal Brooke Wigginton, far back right.

Northport Students Host School Board Member Deborah Hawley for Leadership Summit

Northport Students Host School Board Member Deborah Hawley for Leadership Summit

Northport K-8 Media Services program held the student’s fifth monthly Leadership Summit recently in the school’s Media Center. The Leadership Summit is an opportunity for middle grades students to become aware of leadership skills, to learn about leadership style and to learn how to step forward and use the skills learned in their own lives. The Leadership Summit’s are progressively becoming more and more student- driven as children become more comfortable with the open format of learning and the ability to pose critical focus questions. The questions that students pose to community leaders are authentic and often times, hardball questions. Students have amassed a list of leadership qualities that each can aspire to including, loving the people that you lead, flexibility and organizational skills, respect the people that you are leading, capable of seeing the “big picture,” giving much positive feedback, the ability to delegate and not micromanage, humor, being a constant learner and most importantly, according to the students, integrity.

The community leader to guest the fifth Leadership Summit was Saint Lucie County School Board member, Debbie Hawley. Mrs. Hawley answered focus driven questions that students had prepared beforehand and then answered extemporaneous questions with equal attention. The students questioned Mrs. Hawley on a wide array of topics such as dress code, bus stop safety, school lunches, computer access and the use of cell phones in the classroom.. Examples of student driven, deeper level questions were, “Can you explain the new test that will replace the FCAT?”, “Why do students have so many tests, including Easy CBM, Classworks and all aspects of the FCAT?”, “Why did you choose to become a school board member?”, “Why can’t we talk about God in school?”, “Students need time to rest, Why can’t we have short recesses? After all, we are just kids,” Can you please explain what a Charter School is,” “What do you think are the most important qualities of a leader?”, “What is your best recollection about Northport?” and “As a school board member, what are you most proud of about our schools?”. Mrs. Hawley answered each question with patience, good information and a style that encouraged each student to get involved in the open conversation. Students opened up and really brought authentic and engaging questions to the format. Mrs. Hawley spoke about “integrity” and her definition of the word, “to act the same way when you are alone as when you do in public!” She challenged students to define the word and to bring integrity to their own lives. Mrs. Hawley gave forthright, well thought out answers to student questions and gave each student equal opportunity ask their burning question.

Previous community guests included, Florida State Representative, Gayle Harrell, City of Ft. Pierce Deputy Manager, Nick Mimms and a group of fourteen local veterans. The next Leadership Summit will be held in January.

Northport Students Innovate Using Java Script!

Northport Students Innovate Using Java Script!

Technology Education is alive and thriving at Northport! As part of the National Hour of Code celebrated worldwide each December, Kevin Fess and his technology classes are trying their hand at coding pictures, animations, and character movements. Students as young as first grade are engaging in coding enterprises at Northport this month. The National Hour of Code is an initiative by Code.org, which aims to get students of all ages interested in computer science.

Pictured is 6th grade student Riley Orr from the Northstar Team.

Great job Mr. Fess by sparking innovation within our student population.

Northport Students Join in Recycling Service Effort!

Northport Students Join in Recycling Service Effort!

Students across the Northport campus are working to do their part and conserve our earth. Fifth grade teacher, Melanie Polascak, spearheaded a campaign to bring recycling to the school. Students interested in the effort meet in Polascak’s classroom on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to organize and to work together to get twenty bins from Waste Pro. Every Tuesday morning before school, twelve interested students go across campus and bring the bins to the front of the school then they meet again on Thursday to bring the empty bins back to their designated spots. Northport is very proud of the efforts of these students and their teacher sponsor, Mrs. Polascak. Lessons like these are invaluable and service projects help instill citizenship in our students and help them learn to become good stewards of the earth and their own community.

Northport Students Learn about Cancer and Relay For Life

Northport Students Learn about Cancer and Relay For Life

Northport K-8 students are preparing to participate in the annual Relay for Life to benefit cancer research this year with a variety of activities. Students in grades K- five participated in a Valentine’s dance with music, food and their finest dress up clothes recently. A wonderful time was had by all students, parents and staff that attended the evening dance. Students in grades K-2 were visited by representatives from the American Cancer Society. Lori Finkel and Robyn Young discussed cancer and what it means to have cancer and several things that can be done to protect against the dangers of cancer for example, wearing sunscreen, exercising, staying away from second hand smoke and eating a healthy diet. Students listened to primary source, Tameka Walker, a face that is familiar to them, discuss her own fight with cancer and what it means to be a “Survivor!” Mrs. Walker is one of the school’s Americorps tutors. She comes to school every day to assist in the K-2 area and tutor students who need help with reading and writing. Americorps works hand in hand with Big Brothers, Big Sisters program of Saint Lucie County in helping to better serve our children. Pictured is Mrs. Walker, the American Cancer Society representatives and Northport teachers learning and teaching about cancer in the school’s Media Center. Special thanks to teacher, Tiffany Tredor for organizing the Northport Relay for Life benefit programs.

Northport students learn about Mardi Gras traditions

Northport students learn about Mardi Gras traditions

Northport K-8 Northstar team students and their instructors Mala Woessner, Laura oodworth, Mary Ellsworth, Kathy White, Mehgan Drost and Angel Bracero brought the excitement and history of Mardi Gras to the school recently. Students decorated hand made floats, wore Mardi Gras adornments and threw beads as the younger students cheered them on their parade route. Northstar team band and chorus students led the parade playing their instruments and singing the grand old tune, “When the Saints Go Marching In!” Students  participated in a Mardi Gras dance with a DJ. Mardi Gras is a great mix of parades, music, floats and beads. Students learned that the colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and
gold and the parades take place on Bourbon Street, Canal Street and more streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Students will take a trip to New Orleans later in the school year to view historical sites and visit the famed area.

Northport students learn about primary source interpretation

Northport students learn about primary source interpretation

Northport K-8 students in Dorothy Still’s seventh grade class and Tracey Healy and Nichole Robinson’s fifth grade classes participated in a primary source lesson given by retired Army 1 helicopter pilot Bill Shaw. Shaw invoked his experiences as a pilot for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Nixon and Johnson and gave students specific and historical data on Army 1, Camp David and types of jets and helicopters he piloted. He also gave specific advice on what type of classes to take for careers in different military interests. Also, Korean War veteran Peter Popolizio, Vietnam era veteran Bill Arnold, World War II veterans John Holdorf and Ray Carter spoke to the students for a few minutes on their careers. The Northport Media Center hosted the program offering lessons on deducing important information from primary sources. Pictured are students from Nichole Robinson’s and Tracey Healy’s fifth grade classes and the veterans.

Northport Students Learn and Reflect on “Constitution Day!”

Northport Students Learn and Reflect on “Constitution Day!”

Northport seventh grade students in Andrew Mackenzie’s class are diligently processing new information on the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Students are learning that there are twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution and are participating in deep discussions about each Amendment to select which two Amendments they think that they can live without. Students conducted research and identified evidence-based reasons to support their point of view on this topic. They are really looking at the Constitution and familiarizing themselves with important American issues. Mr. Mackenzie planned his lesson collaboratively with all seventh grade Civics instructors at Northport.

New instructor, Andrew Mackenzie, who recently graduated from the University of Arizona says, “The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are foundations of American society. Getting students engaged as early as possible in understanding the Bill of Rights will give them a better appreciation of why America is so unique.” Students learned that the delegates to the Continental Congress signed the Constitution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787 and each September 17th is commemorated as “Constitution Day.” Great job Mr. Mackenzie and class!

Northport Students Learn Coping Skills to Become Better Students!

Northport Students Learn Coping Skills to Become Better Students!

It was a wonderful morning of real learning and listening when James English visited select students at Northport. Students from Boys to Men and Girls to Women clubs learned a lot about how to deal with the really stressful events that happen in their lives without turning to drug, alcohol and other things that cause them to bring pain to themselves. Learning how to deal with emotions is paramount to being a healthy student ready to learn. Some kids just have too many stressors for their young minds to handle and turn to unhealthy outlets. This halts the learning process. It was a real pleasure to host Mr. English from Ambrosia Treatment Center in Port Saint Lucie. He shared many golden nuggets, but one that stands out was, “We are only as sick as our secrets, and our secrets keep us sick!”  We urge our kids to talk to an adult, mentor, or counselor to learn coping skills and go into young adulthood with a healthy attitude, ready to accomplish goals. Thanks to Coach Daryn Ploeckelman for finding Mr. English for the kids!

Northport Students Make Huge Impact and Help Change Policy!

Northport Students Make Huge Impact and Help Change Policy!

This year has been a year of achievement and success at Northport. The accomplishments of our students have been stunning. On the final day of school, Edie Majewski, City of Port Saint Lucie Sidewalks Projects Manager, visited the school along with the news crew from channel 20. Channel 20 is the government channel for the city of Port Saint Lucie.

Mrs. Majewski brought great news to our students who worked on their seventh grade civics project this year with such gusto. Students researched, delved into the subject, spoke with SLPS Project Manager Marty Sanders, and checked incident reports on Curtis Street. Curtis Street runs parallel to Northport.

Students felt that Curtis needed sidewalks desperately for the safety of the students. Their hard work paid off! The city took a hard second look, applied for a TAP grant and was approved for Curtis Street sidewalks. Students were elated that they could bear witness and be a part of city government in action.

The impact of intensive student work can indeed change policy. The sidewalks on Curtis Street will be moved up and built between October 2021 and September 2022. Northport students will be able to safely hurry to school and stroll home on Curtis Street in the very near future. Elation does not cover the feelings of the Northport community!

Great job students, teachers, Thomas MacDonald and Elizabeth Montilla and parents. THRILLED!

Northport students make unique commercials

Northport students make unique commercials

Northport K-8 School sixth grade students in Georgia Stone’s class learned the six types of persuasive techniques and put each to good use making their own commercials in the classroom. Students created commercials selling items such as a magic Santa hat that grants wishes to a “spectacular sponge,” and an “extreme latreme” face cream that keeps users young and beautiful. Students portrayed techniques such as testimonials, repetition, bandwagon, snob appeal and name calling in the unique lesson. Students learned the techniques, viewed examples of the different techniques, then made the commercials. The lesson was very effective and extremely engaging! Pictured at left is Mrs. Stone with students in her classroom.

Northport Students Move Forward to State History Fair

Northport Students Move Forward to State History Fair

Northport eighth graders Lily Swantic and Rebekah Papsidero from Andrew Mackenzie’s history class will participate in the state of Florida History Fair in Tallahassee this weekend. The girl’s project was titled “Asylum Reform of 1840.”

Congratulations to our girls and best wishes ❤

Northport Students Participate in an Act of Courage and Learning!

Northport Students Participate in an Act of Courage and Learning!

Wonderful morning recently in the Northport Media Center as we work through our “Gold Star Family Education Week!” Two courageous Gold Star moms, Linda Schuman and Karen Zook who both lost sons in recent years visited the Media Center to help educate our students about key qualities that help our community and families instill attributes that make awesome citizens. The women gave solid examples of the words: integrity, sacrifice, empathy, service, commitment, honor and teach. Ian Zook, Karen Zook’s son, gave the “Ultimate Sacrifice” for our country in Iraq and Jordan Schuman, Linda Schuman’s son, gave the “Ultimate Sacrifice” in Afghanistan. Both women used the time to educate and to bring awareness to our children. The program will continue with two more sessions available on designated days from 9:35-10:15 am. It is notable that Ian Zook was a Northport alumni. There was no greater honor than to listen to these moms and understand the courage that it took for them to talk to our children. Special thanks to Mrs. Wilson, Dr. Woodworth, Ms. Hamblin, Mrs. Kovich and Ms. Lusardi for bringing the students to the sessions.
Students are learning that Gold Star Families are families who have lost a loved one during active military duty. These families are made up of someone’s son, daughter, husband, brother, or sister and its incredible the number of students who are responsive to this program and know someone who serves our country in the military. A memorial is being built in Veteran’s Memorial Park in Port Saint Lucie to serve the Treasure Coast families who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Teaching our children is the only way for them to comprehend the magnitude of what many sacrifice for our way of life. Our teachers have collected nearly $300 by wearing jeans on two designated days. On the first of December, Northport, Chili’s, local veterans and Gold Star Mothers will form a coalition with a special dinner at Chili’s restaurant in SLW. Ten percent  of each tab will be donated to the Gold Star program.

Some of the children are called to get involved. Pictured is 3rd grader, Rashad St. Louis who dug deep and gave the first $1 towards the Gold Star Memorial. All were overwhelmed when he stood up to dedicate his donation to Gold Star Families.

Northport Students Participate in Writing Event to Celebrate MLK!

Northport Students Participate in Writing Event to Celebrate MLK!

It is with pleasure that Northport announces the winners of our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Writing contest.

Eighth Grade Winners

First Place – Yaneisha Martinez from Susan Smith’s class

Second Place – Jailaire Garcia from Susan Matteson’s class

Third Place – Xochith Romo from Susan Smith’s class

Eighth Grade Runners Up: Anthony Nguyen, Jonathan Cales and Daniel Ramos

Fifth Grade Winners

First Place – Jaden Diago from Tiffany Tredor’s class

Second Place – Ranjiv Sundersingh from Mr. Madorma’s class

Third Place – Breyanna Robinson from Deanna Cameron’s class

Fifth Grade Runners Up: Benet Hill and Joseph Black

Teachers selected their top four papers, and the winning essays were selected from those papers. Northport Dr. Martin Luther King Events Coordinator Diane Reynolds appreciates the time and effort from both teachers and students as we celebrate student writing. Activities this year for MLK events incorporate the theme, “Renewing a Spirit of empowerment, engagement and non-violence!” We are thrilled to participate in related activities.

Northport students prepare for disability and history awareness expo

Northport students prepare for disability and history awareness expo

Northport K-8 students in Rose Rumer’s K-5 Autism classes have been working diligently for over a year to put together a fabulous work of art! The piece, depicting Egyptian pyramids and a panorama of stars, was created using sand, water and glue. Palm trees made of layer upon layer of tissue paper frame the bottom of the art.  The piece and many others like it will be on display at the Disability History and Awareness Expo on Saturday, September 29 at Indian River State College from 8:15 am until 12:20 pm.  The Expo is an opportunity for the community to learn about services and resources available. For more information, visit www.stlucieschools.org.  Pictured are Ms. Rumer, classroom assistants Donna Buttafuoco and Nevis Bowe, and students in the class.

Northport Students Promote Praiseworthy Information at SLPS District History Fair!

Northport Students Promote Praiseworthy Information at SLPS District History Fair!

Northport K-8 history instructor, Bob Burdge, and eleven Northport middle grades students represented Northport at the SLPS District History Fair held at Indian River State College recently. Students explored and presented exciting and informative topics such as, “How Did the Women of the 1920’s Explore Their Rights and Encounter Change?” “The Significance of the California Gold Rush,” and “Amelia Earhart’s Exploration of Aircrafts: The Development of New Ideas.”

Mr. Burdge is celebrating his last year as not only a colorful and unparalleled history instructor for thirty-five and a half years, but as a History Fair Coordinator for at least twenty of those years. Bob Burdge has been an asset to Northport and to the “Art and Science” of teaching history. He will be sorely missed and the profession will be lacking due to the loss of his expertise.

Pictured with Mr. Burdge from top left are: Keyla Pocheco, Dallas Persick, Claudia Almanza, Haley Hensley, Dana Barcomb and Alicia Morrow.

Pictured bottom left are: Kiara Badalo, Rosette Garcia, Estefany Medina, Chastine Maharaj and Melanie Giachetti.

Great job and well done students. Via Con Dios, Mr. Burdge!

Northport Students Prove the Lessons Learned at All-American School!

Northport Students Prove the Lessons Learned at All-American School!

The lessons of patriotism, love of country and American flag and a healthy respect for our military are lessons that are taught over and over again at Northport VPK-8 School. Every morning, a different student signs up to recite the Pledge of Allegiance over the school intercom. Veteran Partners In Education are a strong component of the fabric of the school and local veterans are involved in many of the programs and activities that happen at the school. Students make posters that line the hallways of Northport and recite a special “American Children’s Pledge” on notable days such as POW/MIA Remembrance, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day and the 9/11 Commemoration among many other special days. The school community takes pride in their student alumni who have gone on to serve the country in the military, especially notable is Sgt. Xiovani Guanill who has become an elite Army Ranger. Alumni serving in the military have their pictures in uniform displayed at the school.

Out of the blue, sometimes, as teachers, we are taken aback and our breath catches because we realize that our lessons are coming to fruition. Recently, Northport students, Jay Antheny, Billy Tzul, Joshua C., Dominic A. and Joshua Rhyant, Northport third, fourth and fifth graders, completed a monument at home, all on their own, depicting soldiers beneath a waving American flag. The monument to the American Flag and the Fallen soldiers is displayed in the school media center for all children and families to enjoy. Northport truly is an All-American school and the children understand that message. Excellent job boys! You make us all very proud of your demonstration of lessons taught by parents, school and community. Pictured is third grader, Joshua Rhyant holding the monument.

Lynne Gruszka

Northport Students Reading For Pleasure!

Northport Students Reading For Pleasure!

Third graders from Mrs. Kemp and Miss Schrader’s class visited the Media Center recently. Students selected two or three free books donated by a parent and then selected a library book. Students learned how to use the library and follow the library norms. It was a GREAT visit. 67% of all children from ages 6-17 get their pleasure reading books from the school library. We are reading for PLEASURE this year. BIG TIME! Students from across the school are scheduled to visit the center to choose books that they can challenge themselves with by reading for the sheer joy of reading. We are promoting JOY in the Northport Media Center.

Northport students reap rewards for cooperation

Northport students reap rewards for cooperation

Northport K-8 students work diligently to achieve common core standards and the bar for student expectations has been set high. Students are rewarded for results with high grades, good behavior and cooperative learning. Positive Behavior Support, or more commonly known as PBS, is utilized every day at the school. Students recently were rewarded with orange wrist bands and tee shirt day on the sixth grade Dolphin team and the eighth grade Mariners team held a PBS field days event. Students were rewarded for achievement in their behavior and willingness to
cooperate with teachers and other students. Pictured is Northport eighth grade Mariner Javonte Bennett reaping his reward. The school is continually progressing in all avenues of student achievement!