Northport K-8 teachers, staff and students went head to head recently in a playoff basketball game in the school gymnasium. Students participated in an FCAT pep rally and wrapped the afternoon up with a basketball game that thrilled not only the middle school students but the staff and teachers as well. The students drove hard but could not beat the teachers. A rematch will be held after the final FCAT test is wrapped up and shipped. The school has worked extremely hard to instruct, teach and encourage the use of test taking strategies and to motivate their students to do well on the test as well as to have their “head in the game” all year long. Pictured is Northport principal, Glenn Rustay being guarded by eighth grader Evan Laplant during the hard fought game!
Northport Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka and Austistic Spectrum Disorder or ASD instructor Lisa Richetti-Reynolds selected two girls: 8th grader, Kristina Bartley from the 7/8 Stingrays team and Briana Antoinetti, from Mrs. Richetti’s class and took them out to a Women’s Learning Lunch at McDonalds recently. The girls found out that they have so much in common and talked about school, their lives, future plans, goals and dreams. It was a wonderful experience and we hope to keep promoting positive interactions and building mentorships for students who can really assist one another. GREAT EXPERIENCE!
Northport teachers are participating in an intensive book study led by Assistant Principal Meghan Drost using Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind. Teachers are learning and putting into action steps for making the teaching and learning experiences more real and authentic for our Title 1 school and for our students.
“When teaching in a Title 1 school, every single weakness that a teacher has is exposed. If we don’t learn to adapt, build relationships, and bring our A-game every single day, our classes will suffer.” The book integrates all the positive attributes of Northport and all the goals that we want to accomplish with our students. We want to raise that bar, teach childen and teachers correct responses and learn to enhance our culture that “We Are Family!”
Excellent book that promotes our school motto’s of “Every student in school would rather be engaged by an energetic, caring teacher than be bored by someone going through the motions. Kids deserve a great day everyday. They need role models. They need caring adults. They need savvy risk takers who aren’t afraid to fail!” That’s US! That’s NORTHPORT!
Northport K-8 teachers are celebrated by administration, staff and students for the month of May during Teachers Appreciation Week! Teachers will be treated to a special luncheon provided by the PTO and a special board was made by parent volunteer Jackie Weir to honor teachers. Students wrote notes to teachers to be put into a mosaic of appreciation for all to see and enjoy. Some of the notes read, “Mrs. Polascak, you are so nice, funny and pretty!” “Mr. Fallon, you are helpful to every student!” “Mrs. Caren Boyd, you are an amazing and caring teacher!” “Mrs. Lankow is always keeping track of everything we do!” and “Mrs. Thelusma, you are wonderful, inspiring and competitive!” The special board is filled with student commentary on how much the teachers are cared for and respected! Pictured are Northport seventh grade
students promoting the Teacher Appreciation board.
Northport teachers are amazing! The seventh grade Stingrays team include Tracey Lejeune, Kat Black, Tony Mancini, Jeffrey Bennett, Angela Elliott and Heath Degiovine. Tiffany Tredor, 5th grade Rising Stars teacher, Lorri Lamm, second grade teacher along with NP Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka are enjoying a priceless friendship and an admiration for colleagues that is not often replicated. Northport is noted for high quality, reputable and fun-loving teachers who bring out the best in their students. Northport is a great place to “make the magic happen!”
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
This is a quote by Dale Carnegie. Greatness in teaching is rare. To be a great teacher, a combustion of assorted qualities both inborn and learned have to occur. A teacher has to be willing to put in time. That is time over and beyond the call of duty. Great teachers must love the age group and the subject that they are teaching and have an effective management style. Great teachers also are willing to learn new techniques, take advice, be flexible and have a huge capacity for growth. Another important quality of a teacher of excellence is to be consistently excellent. Our children depend on us to be excellent, caring, concerned and on point every single day. It’s a difficult and complex act.
Teaching is just not for everyone. There is no greater feeling than being a great teacher at the top of his or her game. It’s amazing and it’s rare. In this day and age, many times, teachers get a bad rap. Teachers are sometimes called “too liberal” or “not of good character.” Northport teachers are taking a stand! The teaching staff is qualified, supportive, funny, caring, and good communicators. We are people of character and we find the humor in the daily “tour of duty.” We are colleagues, but more importantly, we are friends.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Northport to all our active duty military personnel and veterans! One percent of the strongest, bravest and most fierce protect the other 99% from harm so we can sleep safely. We especially want to thank our Northport alumni who are serving, our parents, brothers and sisters who are serving, and our Veteran Partners in Education.
You are thought of this Christmas season!
Many, many thanks to First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie on Prima Vista Blvd. from the entire Northport community.
The children are in awe of all the 1,005 books, the many choices of books, and the idea of starting their summer reading. You have done a magical and wonderful thing for all the children. You REALLY made a difference! You all really have walked the walk!!!!!!!
Many thanks to our partners in education, First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Lucie. They brought 400 Christmas cookies for Northport teachers and staff. They support our children and staff in so many ways. The congregation, along with Rad and Pat Orlandi, are true blessings to us all.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone ❤ 🎄,
Pictured is Rad Orlandi with his grandson, Adrian, and Northport PTO member, Erica Richardson.
Each year, every Northport student participates in the Young Author’s program. The program is a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate that each can use the complete writing process effectively. Writing and editing the books and then publishing the final, revised book is a commitment to engaged learning. The Young Author’s writing process focuses directly on student curriculum for all grade levels in English/Language Arts and reading. Standards are applied to student organization, draft, reflection, revision, correction and then finally, publication and presentation. Working on the Young Author’s is common ground for all grade levels and a terrific platform for common language among students, teachers, and parents.
Every year at Northport, we set up our books by class or by team in the media center for optimal display. Parents, grandparents, administration, community members, and classes are invited to the media center to tour and peruse the books and observe student achievement first hand. Each year a different theme is used to showcase the books. This year the theme is “Big Heroes!” The entire library will be decorated in a Hero theme. Teachers and students will decorate their assigned display tables using a superhero, veteran, police officer, deputy sheriff, first responder, or an every day hero. The key words are “integrity,” ” service,” “empathy,” “sacrifice,” ” honor,” “commitment,” and “family.”
Students follow a common rubric and use handmade decorations and illustrations. Writing can be fiction, non fiction, poetry, or research. Any genre is acceptable. Northport may select seven students who promote the best overall achievement expected from Northport students. The District Young Author’s event will be held at Oak Hammock on May 21, 2016 at 10:00 am.
Pictured are Northport third grade teachers Jennifer Lusardi, Deb Day, Janine Wiecks, Michelle Kemp, Lorena Wilson, Sharon Nelson and Megan Castiglia. Teachers are wearing matching “Teacher Superhero” tee shirts! We can’t wait to see the fruition of our Northport Young Author’s program.
Northport VPK-8 School third grade students in Susan Poveromo’s class learned all about the life of Helen Keller recently in a heartfelt lesson in commemoration of Disability Awareness Month. Students read all about Helen Keller who lived her life in virtual darkness. They learned that Helen was born in 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama and that Helen was born a bright and lively baby but at nineteen months old contracted scarlet fever which left her blind, deaf, and unable to speak. Students learned about the special touch of Helen’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, and they also learned that “kindness is the language that the blind can see and the deaf can hear.” Student discussions included talks about personal strengths, limitations, and ways of communication. Students viewed clips from the movie version of The Life of Helen Keller and related what they read to what they visualized. The third graders learned introductory sign language and wrote five W’s summaries about lessons learned from the story of Helen Keller. Students were thrilled with the first-rate lesson and were so excited to discuss their newly discovered appreciation for people with disabilities. Great job, Mrs. Poveromo!
Northport third graders in Melanie Polascak’s class contructed a quilt for hope to learn about the history of September 11, 2001. Ms. Polascak used a PowerPoint slide show to tell the students all about the Survivor Tree at Ground Zero, the story of one small pear tree that survived the devastion of that day. The instructor encouraged the students to have hope for the future and like the pear tree, America will survive tough times. The third graders were extremely proud of their quilt, and Ms. Polascak’s lesson allowed students to digest elaborate
information in a concrete yet simple manner!
Northport K-8 third graders in Linda Beidler, John Fallon, Janine Wiecks, Diana Lankow, Melanie Polascak, Glenda Taylor and Tiffany Tredor’s classes took the stress out of their first FCAT test by taking whacks at a homeade pinata on Friday in the school’s courtyard. As each student took a whack and showed who was boss, they were urged to shout out a learned test taking strategy. Stategies called out were read the entire passage before attempting to answer, consider key words, underline the key words, cross out distractors, read the questions first, answer from the last question to the first, substitute words for vocabulary questions and the biggest strategy was “think before you answer!” Students have worked on basic test taking strategies all year but were given an intense course in strategies by literacy coach, Deb
Mock using a program called Get Smart. Pictured is third grader Christopher Cabrera from Janine Weicks class taking a swing at the pinata.
Northport K-8 School third grade students in Melanie Polascak’s and Glenda
Taylor’s classes have been working on a combined unit of study to determine
learning data and to evaluate the effectiveness of class rotations on the study
of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Students and instructors used a variety of
resources to bring the unit of study full circle. Culminating activities to
bring resolution to the unit occured recently in the teachers’ classrooms such as
making pinatas from Mexico, making moose antlers from Canada and learning to
play dominos and how to do the limbo from the Caribbean. Students also enjoyed
a variety of food and drink samples from each country. Pictured are third grade
students from both classes enjoying the lesson!
Northport K-8 third grade teacher Melanie Polascak organized a Space Walk for her third grade team as a culminating activity on a space/solar system unit of study. Students and teachers used flags to mark the sun and then made a live scale model of the solar system. Each step between flags represented 30 million miles in the real solar system. Students marked 36 million miles as the first step in the solar system. Students took six steps to Mercury from the sun. Students and teachers then counted footsteps using the scale model to reach all planets. The final planet, Neptune, is 3.7 billion miles from the sun. Students were able to learn knowledge from the scale model and were able to connect this knowledge to their unit of study and their trip to the planetarium. The live scale model presented vital information in a new and intriguing lesson format for third graders.
There was the most wonderful visit to the Northport Media Center with Mrs. Kemp and Ms. Lusardi’s 3rd graders recently. The students buddy read holiday books from the huge basket of book collections in the Northport Media Center, read holiday and Christmas stories by themselves and then listened to “Twas the Night Before Christmas” read by Mrs. Gruszka, Northport Media Specialist. and teachers sang “Jingle Bells,” “Silver Bells,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Then the students sang “Hot, Hot Chocolate,” a song that they sang together at the Holiday Christmas Concert held at Northport as a gift to Mrs. Gruszka! The children and their smiling faces were the best gift! They were so happy! The Christmas trees and lights were ablaze, the stuffed Christmas and holiday teddy bears were hugged, and the fireplace was glowing. Beautiful season at Northport!
Students in Northport K-8 Janine Ferro Weicks’ third grade RTI class accepted their teacher’s challenge and guidance and produced top of the line PowerPoint presentations recently. Students declared the main concept and provided plenty of rich supporting details when building their presentations. Students worked cooperatively, with Mrs. Weicks serving as coach and mentor through the process of completing slides. Students presented information about some of their favorite topics such as wrestling, soccer, music and the author, Rick Riordan. Students also presented information about themselves, including their likes, dislikes, favorite teachers and favorite types of music. Students presented their slide shows using correct volume, good pacing and were equal contributors in the group discussions. Parents, grandparents, administration and teachers were extremely impressed with the informational and clearly well organized presentations. Pictured are Mrs. Ferro Weicks, principal, Glenn Rustay,
assistant principal, Doug Shook and plenty of parents and grandparents.
Northport 3rd graders recently enjoyed the IRSC Hallstrom Planetarium. This was a wonderful learning experience for a group of really awesome students, teachers and parent chaperones. ❤ 🌟 🌟 🌟
Northport K-8 School third graders received a special visit from Sunset Rotary club member Joe the Biker recently. Joe Wojcik, known as Joe the Biker, gave a dynamic introduction in the use of the dictionary integrating words and information from a bullying presentation that has made his name synonomous with
an anti bullying message. Joe the Biker demonstrated how to look up words and information in the dictionary and also donated a class set of a books written by Joe the Biker called “Call Me Yubby!” The students were thrilled with the presentation and many thanks go to the Sunset Rotary Club.
Northport was so proud and thrilled to host the Speakers Bureau with Dr. Donna Mills recently. The Speakers Bureau is now in seven SLC schools and the guests who are invited to speak and interact with students are meant to help inspire, motivate, encourage and teach students how to make good choices. Each guest selected by Dr. Mills is a person who is willing to stand up for what is right and one who is a model for inspiration.
At Northport recently, students were engaged and inspired by several guests. Along with Dr. Mills and Dr. Kenneth Mills, guests included recent Fort Pierce Central graduate Antravious Soleyn. Antravious performed Spoken Word for the eighth grade students and told students about his plan to go to IRSC, become a teacher, and return to SLPS under the A Promise is a Promise program to teach and return his life lessons to the youth of our community. Big thumbs up to Antravious Soleyn for being a great role model for Northport students.
The keynote speaker in Northport’s Media Center was SLPS Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. Mr. Gent’s invaluable discussion and interaction with the students was greatly appreciated. Right off the bat, he gave the students an assignment. The assignment was to tell a teacher how much he or she is appreciated. Students listened intently as Mr. Gent spoke about his life story and their ears perked up when he told students that his role model in school was his eighth grade history teacher. Students at Northport could relate to this because an in-depth look at American History and lessons on patriotism are embedded in the culture and fabric of Northport. Mr. Gent spoke about setting goals, staying focused, being strategic, never giving up, and making good choices. He offered students a challenge: “Define Yourselves!” He said, “Nobody can take away your value!” Mr. Gent told students that the highlight of his life is to shake students’ hands at graduation. The Superintendent’s message and delivery were authentic and he skillfully wove the pattern of his life and gave students the beginnings of a map to build their own lives.
Northport has had the golden opportunity to work with the Mills and with others who inspire, offer challenges, and encourage students to rise to every occasion. Our students and teachers are blessed to be part of the Speakers Bureau. Many thanks from Principal Glenn Rustay and from the Northport community of learners.