Bayshore Elementary students participate in Odyssey of the Mind

Bayshore Elementary students participate in Odyssey of the Mind

Bayshore Elementary students and staff are excited to be participating in Odyssey of the Mind.  Odyssey of the Mind is an enrichment program that provides participating students with an opportunity to be creative problem solvers.  Pictured is third grade student Kyle Ingleton painting a prop that will be used during the state-wide competition.

Local businessman recognized for his foundation contributions

Local businessman recognized for his foundation contributions

Local businessman and philanthropist Larry Lee was recognized at the January 10, 2012, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for his Lighthouse Foundation’s contributions, particularly a specific event where 250 students, 25 teachers and 25 other chaperones and principal D. David Washington from Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts were able to go to a Miami Marlins baseball game and meet Marlins player and fomer Westwood High School standout Charles “C.J.” Johnson. Pictured, from left, are Elker Harris of Fort Pierce Magnet, Superintendent Michael Lannon, school board chairman Carol Hilson, Larry Lee, foundation member Olivia Watkins, and principal Dr. David Washington with two of his students.

Fourth grade at Allapattah Flats is looking back at history

Fourth grade at Allapattah Flats is looking back at history

Fourth graders at Allapattah Flats K8 have been working together on Social Studies projects based on Florida history. They spent time researching their topic, as well as creating a timeline and poster board, complete with a description, pictures and an oral presentation. From left, Riley Franklin, Gabriella Maimone, Alexis Allen, and Chyna Nazario proudly display their work.

St. Lucie Schools take the lead in nutrition and exercise initiative

St. Lucie Schools take the lead in nutrition and exercise initiative

The St. Lucie County Nutrition and Food Services department has been the driving force for eight local schools to earn grants from the Florida Dairy Council and the NFL’s Play 60 initiatives. The schools must be committed to healthy eating plus activity promoting exercise. The schools include Mariposa, Lakewood Park, F. K. Sweet elementary schools, Manatee Academy K8, St. Lucie West K8, and Port St. Lucie, Treasure Coast, and St. Lucie West Centennial high schools. Pictured is the team from F. K. Sweet with their mock check.

St. Lucie West K8 student earns scholarship

St. Lucie West K8 student earns scholarship

Congratulations to Jonathan Burgos, eighth grade St. Lucie West K8 student who was selected as a recipient of the 2012 President’s Challenge/Take Stock in Children Scholarship. The Deerbrook Charitable Trust, St. Lucie County Education Foundation, Fort Pierce Sunrise Kiwanis Club, Indian River State College Foundation and many other local businesses and organizations sponsor this program to recognize and encourage student achievement. The scholarship covers two years of study at IRSC and two years at a Florida public college or university.

Students learn to use PowerPoint at Mariposa Elementary media center

Students learn to use PowerPoint at Mariposa Elementary media center

Students visiting the media center at Mariposa Elementary School are learning how to use Powerpoint to help present their research projects.  Students are taught by media specialist Charlotte Pennington on how to create powerful slide presentations by using photos, clipart, music, audio recordings, text, and animation to help make their research project come alive.  Many of the projects created in the media center will be used in the morning news show, WingsTV, for all to view. 

 

Teachers go to Saturday school

Teachers go to Saturday school

Gifted teachers in St. Lucie County schools went to Saturday school recently at Morningside Elementary to learn how to solve the Rubik cube and utilize it in their classrooms. Morningside Elementary teacher Brad Culbertson, whose lessons have been featured in US News and World Report magazine, shared the engaging standards-based curriculum with 10 fellow teachers as they learned how to harness the cube for b ehavior management, creative problem solving, logical thinking skills, and that relic — delayed gratification! Lessons were discussed and modeled, and teachers were given opportunities to develop lesson plalns utilizing the cube in math, science and in classroom management. The workshop was presented by the school district’s ESE and Curriculum and Instruction departments. At the top of the picture is Culbertson, with colleagues Jo Ann Gregory and Debra Tedder from Lawnwood Elementary.

Eight recognized as model PBS schools at school board meeting

Eight recognized as model PBS schools at school board meeting

Eight St. Lucie Public Schools have been recently recognized by the University of South Florida and Florida Department of Education as outstanding Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Response to Intervention B model schools by meeting specific criteria and utilizing innovative, creative, and functional ways of supporting PBS behavior approaches in their respective school. The PBS process results in the creation of effective intervention plans that will impede problem behaviors, teach new skills, and create support systems for the student. The PBS process is a team-based approach that relies on a strong collaboration between families and professionals from a variety of disciplines regardless of the level implemented. Pictured, from left, are Bayshore Elementary principal Lori Reid, St. Lucie Elementary principal Bernadette Floyd, district PBS coach Dawna Guiel, Superintendent Michael Lannon, Allapattah Flats K8 principal Jonetha Maness, Weatherbee Elementary principal Mike Hitsman, school board chairman Carol Hilson, Lawnwood Elementary principal D’Jion Jackson, Garden City PBS coach Lisa DeCosa, Student Services director Barbara Casteen, Forest Grove Middle dean Beth McGee, Dale Cassens principal Ellen Harden, Assistant Superintendent Bill Tomlinson, and Garden City principal Teri Barenborg.

St. Lucie County schools that are recognized at the Gold level are Forest Grove Middle School, Garden City Early Learning Academy, and Lawnwood and Weatherbee elementary schools. Silver level model schools include Allapattah Flats K8 and St. Lucie Elementary schools, while Bayshore Elementary and Delaware School have attained bronze status. As one of the annual leading PBS school districts in Florida, the transition from PBS to the more comprehensive RTI:B initiative has been more easily developed because the PBS models are so firmly entrenched in school operations.

 

The Florida Department of Education initiated the PBS Response to Intervention initiative during the 2009-2010 school year with two specific components: RtIA for academic improvement, and RtIB for behavior interventions. Specific characteristics of PBS:RtIB Model Schools are their consistent methods of utilizing  data to better serve the students and staff,  teaching PBS:RtIB to new students throughout the school year, creative and engaging reward systems, extending PBS:RtIB throughout the campus and partnering with the community and parents, and including PBS:RtIB into daily activities across all available teaching opportunities.

 

Bronze level model schools report a comprehensive system of support at Tier 1. Critical elements of Tier 1 PBS:RtIB are implemented with fidelity, and data are utilized within a problem-solving framework in order to improve the outcomes of students. Bronze level schools have developed innovative, creative, and functional ways of implementing Tier 1 PBS:RtIB that set them apart from other schools.

Silver level schools report all of the characteristics of bronze level schools and implement with higher levels of fidelity. Visibility, political support, parent involvement, and funding strategies are in place to ensure continued success with their implementation efforts. Silver level schools “drill down” into their data to ensure that their Tier 1 system is effective for all groups of students, and have taken steps to build systems of support for behavior at Tier 2.

 

Gold level schools report all of the characteristics of bronze and silver level schools, implement with the highest levels of fidelity, and have developed systems of support at Tiers 2 and 3. Gold level schools exceed their peers in both the quality and depth of implementation across all three tiers of support. Practices that are consistent with positive behavior support are evident in decision making, and steps are taken to ensure PBS:RtIB systems are supported. Positive outcomes for students are evident at the Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 levels of behavior support.

 

Windmill Point Elementary celebrated holidays around the world

Windmill Point Elementary celebrated holidays around the world

The Windmill Point Elementary School kindergarten classes enjoyed holidays from around the world.  Each class “traveled” to a different teacher so that they could learn about a specific country.  Shown in the photo are students from Carmela Innamorato’s class, from left,  Adrian Andrade, John Paul Gorman, Thomas Coleman, Omari Fenn, and Nirayana Rodriguez.

Parents flock to multi-cultural feast at Mariposa Elementary

Parents flock to multi-cultural feast at Mariposa Elementary

Second graders in Lisa Green’s class at Mariposa Elementary School invited parents and family members in for an annual Multi-Cultural Feast.  After students presented a reader’s theatre, recipes from across the globe were shared by all.  It provided the unique experience of trying foods from other cultures without actually going anywhere!  It was fantastic to see that so many parents were able to attend or send in authentic cuisine from their culture!Pictured, are Carmen Mendoza (William’s mother), William Biffle, and Ashley Mendez-Hernandez.

 

Gaines Academy students get inspired to continue education

Gaines Academy students get inspired to continue education

 The anxious, edge-of-seat reaction from my students when Kevin Moore,  Alan Damisse , and Kevin Parkes volunteered their free time to speak to 7th graders at Samuel S. Gaines Academy in Fort Pierce was a proud moment. Keeping the undivided attention of thirteen- year –olds is quite the daunting task. Most people would be intimidated by ninety teenagers gawking at them, but these confident, accomplished young men definitely played it cool. Not only were they well-spoken, but they were charming, funny, and engaging.

Kevin Moore, a paramedic student at Indian River State College, was the first to take the floor. He shared his own personal learning style which is writing rap songs to help him memorize facts of over sixty drugs. When the kids heard him rap, “Acetylsalicylic acid/ It is used when your weak heart is gaspin’/ But never fear/ We can please it/ With this anti-platelet analgesic,” their jaws dropped and eyes opened from the excitement of the moment. He then used his rap to segue into an inspiring conversation about rap stars with college educations.

 Next up was Alan Damisse, a business student at Florida Atlantic University. He spoke of his dreams of becoming a basketball star, and how he used his athletic talent as more than a chance to play a game. He told students to use their athletic abilities as a means to pay for higher education. Clearly, his words were a message of true inspiration.

 Last to speak was Kevin Parkes, a firefighter and paramedic for Martin County. He clued the teens into the realities of real-life expectations. He shared pictures of events he experienced on a daily basis and preached how school expectations are quite easy compared to managing life as an adult. His point was that, as a firefighter, there are no second chances; if a mistake is made, it could mean someone’s life. It was truly an eye-opening message for the youth in front of him.

In truth, these men were incredible. From their efforts, it’s clear to recognize that they understand the importance of investing in our nation’s future. After speaking, they posed for pictures and answered individual questions. They were local celebrities for a glimpse of time. As an observer, it was a great moment to see students learning so much from role models and members of our very own community. It was truly what the teacher ordered.

Pictured are speakers, top left, Alan Damisse, Kevin Moore, Desalen Bourjolly, Kerwens Fils-Aime (slightly behind Desalen), and Kevin Parkes.

 

 

 

Bottom left: A’Treyanna Moore, Cristian Hernandez, Tyrelle Holyfield, and Beina Jerome

 

 

 

 

Newest members of the Book Buddies and Beyond Club greet guests

Newest members of the Book Buddies and Beyond Club greet guests

Southport Middle School’s “Book Buddies and Beyond” club members recently greeted residents from The Palms Retirement Community of St. Lucie West. The students performed a Reader’s Theater version of “Finding Neverland” for their guests.  Greeting guests, from left, are Chris Yates, Bryon Peralta, Myrria Roux, Rebecca Moore, and Tiara Perch. 
Northport K8 receives visit from sheriff deputy and K9

Northport K8 receives visit from sheriff deputy and K9

Northport K-8 third grade students in Linda Beidler, John Fallon, Tiffany Tredor, Diana Lankow, Glenda Taylor, Melanie Polascak , Becky Reuther and Janine Wiecks classes received a special visit from sheriff’s deputy Boger and his K9
partner Molly recently.  Third graders read an informational text about police dogs and then learned first hand how deputies locate drugs.  Molly is a seven year old canine and is an aggressive finder.  When Molly sniffs drugs, she paws,
claws and becomes excited to reveal the hidden contraband.  The community lesson was an extension of previously learned knowledge utilizing complex text and was an effective scaffold for deep learning.

Palm Pointe guests join the morning news show

Palm Pointe guests join the morning news show

Kailey Alford and Jasmine Choung, first grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition were guest weathermen (women) on the Morning Show which airs each morning at the school.  The girls earned the privilege by turning in their earned rocket fuel which is a positive behavior support (PBS) program used at the school.  Keep up the great work girls!

 

Palm Pointe first graders learn about friendship

Palm Pointe first graders learn about friendship

First grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition learn about friendship.  The students were asked what qualities they would like in a friend and then they wrote “wanted posters” advertising for a friend.  Pictured from left are Michael Brown, David Sanchez, Jessica Jean-Baptiste and Taylor Bush.  Way to go Rockets!

 

Palm Pointe students enjoy a day at the theater

Palm Pointe students enjoy a day at the theater

Emma Allen, Aishwariya Kalluri, Madison Baker and Ani Ramsingh in Laurie Boyer and Melissa Efron’s third grade classes at Palm Pointe Educational Research @ Tradition enjoyed a day at the theater.  They went to the Sunrise Theater to see the Nutcracker Ballet and all the students were excited about the show