Weatherbee had hundreds of guests participate in the making of our classroom quilts as well as eating a scrumptious lunch. Featured here are mother and daughter, Mrs. Amel Yousfi and Shams Yousfi.
Northport fifth grade instructor, Melanie Polascak and her students learned about the Survivor’s tree at Ground Zero. Students learned that the pear tree was crushed as the towers collapsed but, like the human spirit, it was repaired, nourished and has regenerated. The tree is now in a precious spot at Ground Zero. Mrs. Polascak’s class made a wonderful analogy about the rebirth of that small pear tree and the healing of the millions of people affected by 9/11. The class constructed a quilt highlighting the healing that has taken place and placed it outside the doors of the school’s 9/11 Children’s Memorial Library! Great job class! Pictured are Melanie Polascak and her fifth grade students in front of the quilt.
Northport K-8 School celebrated Grandparents Day recently with a grand flair and style! Hundreds of grandparents and extended family members celebrated their children and the community efforts of the school by visiting the cafeteria and courtyard and lunching, picnic style. Culinary Arts instructor, Rachel Ellsworth and her students prepared a wonderful salad bar and sweet treats for grandparents to enjoy. The camaraderie and joy was evident and the school was thrilled to host the magnificent opportunity to remember grandparents.
Special thanks to Mrs. Ellsworth, the PTO, kitchen staff and all who helped make the day a joyful one! Northport, a well-rounded community school, offers their families many opportunities to get involved and recognizes that to improve student achievement we must depend on the success of the family connection.
Pictured is 4th grader, Deja Adams and her grandmother, Susie Hope.
September 9th the volunteers at Weatherbee Elementary were given a breakfast and orientation for new prospects. Last year our volunteers donated over 7,000 hours of their time to our classrooms. We look forward to seeing more of them in this coming school year and appreciate all they do for our children. Featured here are Elizabeth Thomas, PTO President, and Donna Pancoast.
Fairlawn Elementary School received a $1000.00 check from the National VFW. The State Commander, T. Wayne Makham, presented the check to Principal Jennifer Hedeen at a faculty meeting with Superintendent Genelle Yost, Dr. Kevin Perry, and Lydia Martin in attendance. This donation to Fairlawn Elementary was a result of Shirley Helton (retired 5th grade teacher) receiving the national honor of VFW Teacher of the Year 2014. Mrs. Helton graciously accepted this award recently in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Helton was nominated by Nell Moyers to the local chapter and then continued on to win at the state and national levels. Shirley Helton encouraged her students to show patriotism. This award was granted for her extensive citizenship activities, including patriotic studies, the constitution, and the continuous support her students gave to the soldiers and the military medics in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sue Keller, Allison Smith from the local VFW and Dr. Rosemary Ayers, VFW Ladies Auxiliary District 11 President, were also present as the donation was presented to the school principal.
The privilege of educating students on vital issues in history, patriotism, the strength and power of music and respect for our military and our veterans is evident at Northport K-8 School. The Northport K-8 School Media Center presented a beautiful and timeless program educating our students on the very somber issues of 9/11. The program began with a welcome from principal, Glenn Rustay and media specialist, Lynne Gruszka. Veteran Partners, teacher veterans on campus and guests were given a hearty welcome to the school. The pledge of Allegiance was led by sixth grader, Bradley Venneau. Kindergarten instructor, Tiffany Tredor played a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem on her violin. Students then heard reflections and viewed a beautiful, educational powerpoint used as a teaching tool to educate about the details of 9/11 and to highlight the children who perished on 9/11. Students were treated to primary source speaker, 9/11 First Responder, Detective Albert Hickey who touched guests hearts with his first hand account of his experiences at Ground Zero. Detective Hickey is truly a community leader who is leaving a great legacy. School Prevention Specialist, Maryanne Warren performed “Spoken Word Poetry” dedicated to the children of 9/11 and Sandra Tyndale-Harvey, Intensive reading teacher sang a heart wrenching rendition of “He Hears Us When We Cry!” The Northport Main Media Center was then dedicated with a large banner to the children of 9/11 by principal, Glenn Rustay, assistant principals, Lorie Monroe and Brooke Wiggington and Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka.
Students moved to the flagpole and small flags were posted for each of the 8 children who were lost. Instructor and United States Army veteran, Nick Carey and his student, Nixon Adea raised the American flag. The flag is so important to Northport K-8 School because it was carried on the back on Alexander Babington, son of former teacher, Thomas Babington as his unit marched into Fallujah. That flag remained on Babington’s back through his entire tour in Iraq. The program was wrapped up with beautiful music, “God Bless America,” “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art!” It is the sincere pleasure of the Northport community to honor and educate together on this anniversary of this momentous and tragic anniversary. Thank you to Marcy Waltz and Suzette Scott, PTO parents for assisting and helping to make the program a wonderful event. Special thanks to our veterans and parents who attended the moving program.
It was not a typical lunch period for the 35 boys delighted by a visit with Dr. David Washington, SLCSB Director of Recruitment and Retention, to kick-off Weatherbee’s monthly Hour-with-a-Positive-Powerful-Role-Model event. This Peer Leadership Program is coordinated by Dr. Jennifer Nelson (5th grade teacher) and Guermithe Ogé (1st grade teacher).
The young men were captivated as Dr. Washington shared the timeline of his life — beginning with 3rd grade when his school, C. A. Moore Elementary, became racially integrated; to the challenges he overcame which made him stronger, the friend for life he made when he was the age of the boys in the audience, up to the present where his grandson is the 3rd generation of Washingtons to attend C.A. Moore.
The Positive Behavior Support and Kids at Hope initiatives at Weatherbee Elementary help students choose behaviors conducive to learning and visualize futures as productive members of their community. To that end, Dr. Washington presented each student with a medal, a pencil to write their goals, a mint to help them focus, an eraser to move forward from their mistakes, a penny — the first cent of the $1,000,000.00 they will earn over their lifetimes – and the challenge to become leaders.
September 9, 2014
First Graders at Allapattah Flats K-8 took their first steps in earning their green thumb! First graders are learning how to create a garden. Our first step was to prepare the garden by adding a fresh layer of soil. Elijah Adorno and Veneah Mussenden used their sense of touch while spreading out the soil. The students will plant vegetable seeds next. We can’t wait!
Tony Boselli, former Jacksonville Jaguar football player #71, spoke to the St. Lucie County school principals on Thursday, September 11th at 8:00 am at the School Board District Office regarding his company, Healthy Schools and the FluMist Vaccination Program. Healthy Schools, in cooperation with the St. Lucie County Public Schools and the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County, is excited to kick off the “Teach Flu A Lesson” program in St. Lucie County. Every year thousands of children miss valuable school days because of the influenza virus. Offering flu vaccinations in the school setting has been proven to be effective in preventing disease and reducing absenteeism. October 2nd and 3rd are the designated days for the FluMist Program in St. Lucie County Schools.
The students in Mrs. Auciello’s Kindergarten class at Mariposa Elementary started the year with a fun activity to practice counting objects accurately with one to one correspondence up to 10.
Pictured is Jessie Hindman who very accurately used his play-dough to make the number 8 and to count out 8 play-dough circles to match. The students are off to a great start this year!
Southern Oaks Middle School’s media center has already been extremely busy with students this year. Ms. Odom and Ms. Aguila started the year off by working with Mrs. Kappler’s 7th grade Civics Class during the first week of school. The students came in for lessons on text features within their Civics Textbook. First, they took an interest inventory and a pre-test. Then the students were given a lesson on text features using a power point presentation. The students came back to the media center and were put into small groups based on their interests and scores on the pre-test. After multiple activities, the students were given a post test. The results were great! The students will be coming back soon for instruction in using the information found in the text feature to actually answer questions.
Then all of the students at Southern Oaks Middle School came to the media center for a brief orientation and book check out. We are looking forward to an amazing year with our students.
Due to a horrific accident with a sidelight window, Steve Shea suffered a laceration from glass in his forearm down to the bone that severed an artery. His daughter, Mackenzie Shea, is a Captain in Port Saint Lucie High School’s JROTC program. She knew from her JROTC training that the bright red blood squirting from his arm was arterial blood and that arterial bleeding is life threatening. Mackenzie took her dad to the car and then she wrapped a seat belt around her father’s bicep that acted as a tourniquet, which ultimately saved his life. Mackenzie rushed to the ER honking and flashing the lights, determined to get help for her father. Even with blood spurting from her father’s arm, Mackenzie stayed calm throughout the ordeal. When they finally arrived at the ER, the doctors cut the seat belt out of the car and it remained on Steve’s arm until the doctors got him into emergency surgery where they tied off the artery. Although Steve lost a couple pints of blood, he is still here with us all thanks to Mackenzie Shea.
Jaguar Battalion’s Mackenzie Shea
Photo taken By: Jaffrey Murankus
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.
4th graders at Frances K. Sweet learn how to make observations and create scientific questions during an ice balloon investigation. The investigation involves a frozen, water filled balloon and the students remove the latex and examine the ice using magnifying glasses, flashlights, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, and paper clips. They then observe what happens when salt and food coloring are added. Throughout the lesson, students document their observations and raise questions about what they see. Pictured here are 4th graders Ansel Espinal and Dona Lima from Mrs. Elish Mancuso’s class.
Ft. Pierce Westwood kicked off the 2014-2015 school year with a celebration of hope. The Tunnel of Hope is a yearly tradition at Westwood. As students came into the school the very first day of classes, staff was assembled in formation, waving banners, singing the “Happy” song and clapping. Mr. Rivera, a reading teacher at Ft. Pierce Westwood explained that each year students depart their buses only to be surprised at the warm welcome they receive. Mr. Rivera stated, it gives the students an understanding that the whole staff shares in the common welfare of each and every Westwood student. “We love what we do here at Westwood and we want the students to know we are here for them.”
St. Lucie Public Schools is working to increase participation in its partnership with South Florida Commuter Services (SFCS), which is a program of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). SchoolPool is a software system that helps to connect interested parents who live near one another so that they can plan such activities as a “walking” school bus, bike pools, car pools, and the like. The target audience for this program is parents in St. Lucie County who live within two miles of their student’s school; however, the program is open to any interested parents or guardians. SFCS’s website includes a page designed for parents to register: http://www.goschoolpool.com/stlucie/
The program will prove beneficial to the schools and to the community in its potential to decrease overall traffic especially in school zones and, of course, in its overall green advantage resulting from less cars on the road.
White City Elementary School Welcomed their Wildcats to the 2014-2015 School Year with their First Tunnel of Hope as a Kids at Hope School!
Northport K-8 Teachers and staff exhibited strong support for the initiatives of the Saint Lucie County Reading Council with an excellent turnout at the collegiate groups very first function. The mission of the SLC Reading Council is ” to promote a district- wide passion for literacy!” Northport is proud to support the exchange of ideas and strategies among other educators from across the district and to help promote positive interactions with literacy leaders from other schools. The first event was a “Meet and Greet” held recently at Johnny V’s restaurant in Saint Lucie West. Other events and initiatives include a “Books and Spirits” event at the Hilton Garden in Saint Lucie West and a “Winter Book Exchange” at Panera Bread in SLW. Northport K-8 School members of this collegiate and professional group include Media Specialist, Lynne Gruszka, Executive secretary, Louise Robinson, Northport Book Keeper, Rebecca Leone, Instructors, Georgia Stone, Lorri Lamm, Dorothy Still, Ann Barbare, Tracy Lejeune, Sandra Tyndale-Harvey, Mindi Slater and support staff member, Sarah Lewis. An excellent cross- spectrum contingency from Northport K-8 School. Many thanks to incoming president, Heather Bolitho and her staff for the excellent camaraderie. Memberships are still available for $15. Please consider joining this group of “literacy leaders!”