The Florida Department of Education released the Grade 3 ELA Scores, and the percent of Grade 3 students in St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) continues to rise with scores increasing another three percent this year.
Eighteen SLPS had a higher percentage of students with satisfactory scores over last year’s results. Allapattah Flats K-8, Floresta Elementary, Lawnwood Elementary, Mariposa Elementary, and Palm Pointe Research School at Tradition realized double-digit gains, and almost half of the schools exceeded the State average with students scoring in the satisfactory range.
“The gauge is moving in the right direction for early literacy, and we recognize the significant impact it has on our students’ overall success in school, college, and the world of work. St. Lucie Public Schools’ dedicated teachers and administrators are committed to the continued improvement of proficiency rates for all students, and we will maintain this as a priority area for progress,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent.
Floresta Elementary had the greatest gain in the District over last year with a 15 percent gain in satisfactory range scores. Other schools with large increases in the area included Lawnwood Elementary and Palm Pointe Research School at Tradition with 13 percent increases; Allapattah Flats K-8 and Mariposa with 12 percent increases; and St. Lucie Elementary, Windmill Point Elementary, and Mosaic Digital Academy with eight percent increases. Following these schools, St. Lucie West K-8 increased by seven percentage points, and five schools increased by six percentage points. These include Bayshore Elementary, Westgate K-8, CA Moore Elementary, Fairlawn Elementary, and Manatee K-8. Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts and Rivers Edge Elementary each increased by five percentage points. Samuel S. Gaines Academy and Savanna Ridge Elementary also showed increases with a three and two percent gain respectively.
The Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion recently participated in a Dreamfest held by Discovery Church at the Port Saint Lucie Civic Center. As part of the ceremony, the church honored veterans by having the cadet Color Guard present the national flag while members of the church sang the National Anthem and America the Beautiful. The four cadets that presented the colors were Cadet First Sergeant Arlene Mabry pictured holding the national flag, Cadet Staff Sergeant Tyler Lynn holding the state flag, and Cadet Staff Sergeant Robert Hopkins and Cadet Sergeant First Class Jose Cumba standing as the guards. Pictured, from left, are Jose Cumba, Arlene Mabry, Tyler Lynn, and Robert Hopkins.
On Saturday November 5th, Caleb Pottorff won the 2A Cross Country State Meet. Caleb ran the fastest 5K of the 728 male and female runners who participated. Congratulations to Caleb! Your Lincoln Park Academy family is very proud of you.
Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition had a school-wide event sponsored by P.B.I.S. (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support). Students in grades K-8 participated in a Power Hour to raise money for their teachers’ classrooms. All the proceeds from the event will be used in the classrooms for rewards for students with positive behavior. Teachers buy items that their students can purchase with rocket fuel they have earned. The event was a lot of fun for the students; the theme was a luau and there were games, music, limbo, photo booth, snacks and small trinkets for everyone! Pictured are fifth grade students dancing at the event!
Southport Middle School students, their siblings and parents have the opportunity to receive a lifetime boating license at the school. The basic aspects and skills of boating, including boat handling, fire safety, rules of the water, radio use, water rescue and much more are being taught by a licensed captain in the school’s media center. Those who pass the exam will receive a Florida lifetime boating license which is required to operate a boat in Florida waters. The course is free and lasts for eight weeks. Pictured, from left, are Jamil Abram, Captain Dana Kaiser, Summer Muscanera, Brandon Wayne, John Shaw and Captain George Hehner discussing the importance of wearing safety vests while on a vessel.
The Coordinator of Accountability, Pete Zsiga, PhD, for St. Lucie Public Schools, shares how the district uses actionable data from PowerSchool Performance Matters Assessment and Analytics to support teachers and drive student success.
Palm Pointe’s Junior Beta members attended the State Convention where they competed in many different areas such as visual arts, robotics, academics, team competitions, and even club competitions.
Junior Beta Club is divided into two different groups. Division I is 4th and 5th graders and Division II is 6th-8th graders. National Beta is the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America.
Committed to recognizing high academic achievement, rewarding and nurturing worthy character, National Beta fosters leadership skills and encourages service to others. Palm Pointe is proud of the hard work and dedication that Rockets put into the convention. Students who placed include: Division I
Science: 1st Place Alyxandria HanleySocial Studies: 3rd Place Gavin Lunsford
Language Arts: 3rd Place Esteban Gomes-Lopez
Math: 3rd Place Nachbi Pierre
Recyclable A rts: 3rd Place Gabby Albritton
Black/white Photography: 3rd Place Hannah Dorval
Robotics: 2nd place Annie Kelly, Ava Borgella, Josslynn Withrow, Victoria Zaravelis, Isabella Perez
Special Talent: 3rd Place Dominique Thomas She also received the “Golden Ticket” to perform at the opening ceremony at National Convention in Savannah, GA.
Essay: Dominique Thomas
Robotics: 3rd Place Nico Tovar, Newman Crews, Jackson Willette, Kai Boxer, Laney Keys
As a reward for staying on task and completing assigned computer activities, students in Elizabeth Sands’ VPK class at Weatherbee Elementary were recently visited by Cassandra Dillard and her special friend, Curious George. As Ms. Dillard read the Curious George Christmas Book, the children munched on chocolate chip cookies and giggled as Curious George acted out the parts in the story. Before leaving, Ms. Dillard and Curious George presented the students a plaque and a Barnes and Noble gift certificate. Pictured are the students, their teacher and special guests.
At Mariposa Elementary, Mrs. Bonilla’s Pre-Kindergarten class answered the following focus question during literacy centers: How do we build sentences?
The students spoke about sentences being made up of words and how some can be short, and some can be long. Students were shown a photograph where they needed to use vocabulary to explain what was happening in the photo. Afterwards as a team, they would agree on a sentence and Mrs. Bonilla would then write each word on a post it. Each child would then put a “post it” on a building block. The blocks represented each word. The students then read the sentence out loud, and Mrs. Bonilla also had them mix the blocks around and had them determine whether the sentence still made sense. Melody Kinder, Nia Johnson, and Isabella Chave built their sentence to say “The mom and daughter are planting the flowers.” While Liam Bailey, Louis Toth, Julani Hernandez, and Thatcher Hettema built their sentence to say “Two girls are growing flowers.”
It was a lot of fun and great strides were made during literacy.
Fort Pierce Central High School’s JROTC presented colors at the Fort Pierce Farmers Market to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July holiday. The color guard marched onto the square while the National Anthem played. Afterwards, they presented the colors.
At an emergency meeting scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board members will consider a recommendation from Mr. Jim Huge, consultant for the superintendent search, to postpone the superintendent candidate interviews currently scheduled for August 29, 2013. This action is being recommended to accommodate Board consideration of the Interim Superintendent for the position of Superintendent of Schools.
At the next regularly scheduled Board meeting set for August 27, 2013, Mr. Huge will bring forth a recommendation to suspend the current search for a new superintendent and name Genelle Zoratti Yost as Superintendent of Schools. Mrs. Yost was not originally considered for the superintendent position because she is only eligible to serve until June of 2015. However, Mr. Huge states that Mrs. Yost has engendered exceptional excitement and focus among the staff and community in just a few short months of her tenure as Interim Superintendent, and it is his opinion that the continued leadership of Mrs. Yost is the best option for the district at this critical time. This appointment would also save one additional transition in the short term and would allow all to benefit from her strong leadership. Mr. Huge will also suggest to the Board that the search for Mrs. Yost’s replacement resume in the fall of 2014 with the expectation that a new superintendent will report for duty in June of 2015. The Board will take action on the recommendation at the August 27, 2013 meeting scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at the St. Lucie County Public Schools District Offices.
Wide smiles and tributes to the efforts of their school teams were the remarks that echoed from St. Lucie West Centennial High School Principal Andrea Popwell and Dan McCarty Middle School Assistant Principal Samantha Piscopo as they were surprised with the news that they are, respectively, this year’s Outstanding Principal and Assistant Principal for St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS).
“Outstanding school leaders set the pace for positive student achievement,” said Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. “Both administrators have a proven track record for supporting collaborative school cultures and sustaining positive academic growth for their students.”
Popwell and Piscopo are both veteran educators in St. Lucie Public Schools and have been recognized for outstanding achievement and service throughout their careers. They are also no strangers to professional learning as they have a passion for being on the forefront of the latest educational research and best practices.
Both nominations from St. Lucie Public Schools will be shared with the Florida Department of Education’s statewide pool of nominees. State winners will be announced later this academic year.
The Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership was established in 1988 to recognize Florida principals for their contributions to their schools and communities. The Outstanding Assistant Principal Achievement Award was established in 1997 to honor assistant principals that have utilized teamwork and leadership to increase student achievement and greatly improved school environments.
The Board recognized West Gate K-8 Principal Robert Cranmer for efforts involving Autism Awareness Month (April) and his continued support. Pictured are, Genelle Yost, Robert Cranmer, Valentia Whyte, Lisa Landis, Esther Guzman, Donna Mills, and Bill Tomlinson.
Principals from St. Lucie County Public Schools annually donate toys for the holidays for the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County clubhouses. The annual campaign was initiated by retired longtime principal Charles Cuomo many years ago. Pictured, from left, are Parkway Elementary School principal Ucola Barrett-Baxter, St. Lucie West Centennial High School principal John Lynch, Boys and Girls Club executive director Norm Penner, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Christine Taylor, and Jennifer Jock with Boys and Girls Club.
Fort Pierce Westwood began a new, school-wide PBIS event with their students this year. The Principal’s Panther Praise 200 Club (100 Club for MOA campus) requires randomly chosen teachers and staff to identify students who meet our ROARS expectations in and out of class each day. Ten tickets are given out each day to be distributed to students for R-respect, O-on task, A-accountable, R-responsibility, S-safety.
The identified students pick a number at random and their tickets are placed on the Principal Panther Praise board which is located in a heavy traffic area for all adults and students to see. Phone calls go out to share the great news with the families and they sign a “Celebrity Book”. Once ten tickets in a row are on the board, each of those ten students win the “mystery envelope.” Once rewards are given out, it starts all over again. This is an individual-team PBIS event and all students are eligible to win. The event will continue all year long.
Three St. Lucie principals were selected to participate in the Florida Department of Education’s Commissioner’s Leadership Academy conducted by the Council for Educational Change. The Academy is made up of 25 of the highest performing principals in the state of Florida. The intent is to build upon the skills of proven leaders so that they can serve as role models and coaches for others. Participants will return to their districts able to expand their area of influence and improve others’ ability to increase student achievement. Southport Middle School Principal Lydia Martin and Palm Pointe Educational Research School Principal Debbie Snyder are participants in the Academy, and Fort Pierce Central High School Principal Todd Smith is an alternate. Pictured with the principals are School Board Chair Debbie Hawley and Superintendent Genelle Yost.
St. Lucie Public Schools obtained a Math/Science Partnership (MSP) grant focused on increasing science content knowledge. This grant provided twenty-five teachers with the opportunity to participate in the U-Futures program. Nine of these teachers continued, and through the grant along with the generosity of the University of Florida, they completed their Master of Arts in Education (MAE) in Science Education free of charge.
This cadre of professional educators worked diligently to complete the rigorous coursework required for this degree. Superintendent E. Wayne Gent and School Board Members celebrated their accomplishment at the January School Board Meeting.