USDA scientists recognized at school board meeting

USDA scientists recognized at school board meeting

Scientists from the Horticultural Research Laboratory at the USDA location at the Research Park were recognized at the August 28, 2012, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for their support of STEM (Science, Technology, Enginerring and Mathematics) education programs at Port St. Lucie High School during the 2011-12 school year. Scientists at lab hosted field trips, and served as Science Fair advisors and judges. The lab also provides summer employment and enrichment opportunities for students. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Erin Rosskopf from USDA, Port St. Lucie High School biology teacher Leslie Taylor, St. Lucie School Board chairman Carol Hilson, Port St. Lucie High School principal Bridgette Hargadine, Deputy Superintendent Sandy Wolfe, Dr. Earl Taylor and Dr. Gavin Poole of USDA, and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell.

Savannas Preserve staff recognized at school board meeting

Savannas Preserve staff recognized at school board meeting

Staff from the Savannas Preserve State Park was recognized at the August 28, 2012, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for their support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programs at Port St. Lucie High School during the 2011-12 school year. The personnel at the Savannas Preserve hosted field trips and provided community service opportunities for students. Pictured, from left, are Merle Townsend, Friends of Savannas president Merle Townsend, Florida State Parks AmeriCorps member at Savannas Mary Bennett, park manager Dylan Gavagni, Friends of Savannas Education Committee Member Jim Stewart, Friends of Savannas Education Committee chairman Henry Maursey, Tessa Roberts, Park Services Specialist Tessa Roberts, Deputy Superintendent Sandy Wolfe, Port St. Lucie High School principal Bridgette Hargadine, St. Lucie School Board chairman Carol Hilson, Port St. Lucie High School biology teacher Leslie Taylor, and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell.

F. K. Sweet students become scientists

F. K. Sweet students become scientists

Fourth grade students Kayla Ceasar, left, and William Nelson in Nardi Routten’s class at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School became scientists last week as they explored ice balloons. Students used their observation skills to explore the surface of ice balloons after salt and food coloring were added.They then wrote down questions their observations inspired. Questions were sorted and new investigations were designed to answer some of those questions.

Students work with numbers at F. K. Sweet

Students work with numbers at F. K. Sweet

Fourth grade students Janyla Rolle, left, and Caleb Militello in Nardi Routten’s class at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School worked together to create large numbers. They then wrote those numbers in three different ways: standard form, word form, and expanded form. This was a fun way to practice place value.

Forest Grove Middle students get to know each other

Forest Grove Middle students get to know each other

Students in Charlene Carter’s reading classes at Forest Grove Middle School got to know each other recently using a series of activities meant to gather information about classmates as well as build knowledge of thinking maps, note taking techniques, Kagan structures, and cloze sentence templates. Pictured, from left, are Cicilio Ramirez and Enoc Lopez.

F. K. Sweet students work on writing

F. K. Sweet students work on writing

Isabella Lott in Kasey Ascani’s second grade class at Frances K. Sweet Elementary School is building “work-on-writing” stamina as a part of the Daily 5 reading block. Students have the freedom of choosing what they want to write about during this independent practice time.

Southern Oaks Middle students learn to use media center

Southern Oaks Middle students learn to use media center

Sixth grade students at Southern Oaks Middle School have been coming to the media center for an orientation and a scavenger hunt using the Dewey Decimal System.  After a brief orientation, the students were instructed on how to use the Dewey Decimal System to find non-fiction books. Students were placed on teams of two and given three slips of paper with types of books written on them, such as basketball, poetry, or cooking. When media specialist Cathy Odom and clerk Kim Johnson gave the signal, the students moved through the library to find their books. When the students found a book, they raised their hands and Ms. Odom or Ms. Johnson checked to see if they had the correct book. The first three teams to find all of their books won prizes.

Palm Pointe students enjoy bar code scavenger hunt

Palm Pointe students enjoy bar code scavenger hunt

The eighth grade Algebra 1 Honors students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition were getting their chapter one test review via QR Codes.  QR Codes are the square barcodes that have more product information. QR codes were created free on line and when scanned came back to the student, on their device, with the questions the students needed for their review.  Students used the codes through a scavenger hunt activity.  Once they solved the question they had scanned, students had to find the next question with the answer they got and continue until they completed all questions on the hunt.  Students were using their own devices (cell phones, tablets and IPods) to scan the barcodes with free apps available.  Student were paired up to make sure there were enough devices to go around, this pairing also provided them a buddy to help if they needed support with a question.  Students enjoyed the scavenger hunt and were engaged in their learning for the entire class period. Pictured, from left, are Edwin Bustamante, Alexander Emmert, Michael Smythe and Adriana Jacques.

Palm Pointe deans talk with kindergarten students about making choices

Palm Pointe deans talk with kindergarten students about making choices

Dean Deborrah Estrada and Dean Christopher Pierre at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition have been talking to kindergarten students about making good and safe choices. The deans reminded students about Palm Pointe T.E.A.M. expectations:  T – Take Responsibility, E – Engage in your Learning, A – Act Respectfully and M –Make Safe Choices. They also explained about the reward system with “rocket fuel” and consequences for not following rules. Great job listening, kindergartners!

Grandparents Day celebrated at Palm Pointe

Grandparents Day celebrated at Palm Pointe

Melissa Bonet’s “Busy Bees” kindergarten students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently welcomed their grandparents to school in celebration of Grandparent’s Day. Students and grandparents worked on a craft together to show their love and appreciation for each other and enjoyed spending quality time together. Pictured is Christian Locascio and his grandfather Mr. Locascio.

It’s alligator story time at Allapattah Flats K-8

It’s alligator story time at Allapattah Flats K-8

First grade students in Ann Hartman’s class at Allapattah Flats K8 have been practicing the rules and expectations in learning areas, and one of the most favorite is the reading area. Jacob Garcia is pictured reading one of his favorite books, “Egad, Alligator” to the classroom alligator.  First graders are off to a fabulous start with demonstrating their love of reading on a daily basis! 

Northport students compare and contrast two famous speeches

Northport students compare and contrast two famous speeches

Northport K-8 Northstar students in Mala Woessners gifted and enriched middle grades classes used the tragedy of 9/11 to listen to two famous presidential speeches of hope, renewal and triumph over enemies of the United States. Students listened to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt address members of the U.S. Congress when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and compared and contrasted the speech of President George Bush addressing the nation when Muslim extremists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. Students cited evidence and made inferences using the primary sources and made note of several important characteristics. Both presidents implored the American people to work together, persevere and be a beacon hope. Some of the famous quotes were Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “This day will live in infamy!” and George Bush, “America is the brightest beacon for freedom in the world!” This exercise was an excellent use of primary sources for examining similarities and differences and
for processing new information.

Northport K8 enjoys rousing, thoughtful memorium

Northport K8 enjoys rousing, thoughtful memorium

Northport K-8 School honorably commemorated the tragedy of September 11, 2001, with a program in the gymnasium recently. The program included veterans clubs and chapters from across the county as well as Donna Carlsen, Veteran Services Coordinator for St. Lucie County. Students listened as first responder, Albert Hickey, a New York detective, spoke about his first hand knowledge and his response at Ground Zero. Mary Toto, ESOL instructor from Northport, spoke about her recollections that terrible morning and how the teachers, parents and students reacted. Veteran Bill Arnold called the names of the four doomed airplanes, and eight flags were posted for the eight children who perished on September 11. American Legion Post 318 did a flag folding ceremony that was so interesting and wonderful for the students to watch and hear. The Northport middle grades choir, under the direction of James Kirk, sang a rendition of America the Beautiful and seventh grader Tenaj Dobson sang the National Anthem. Teachers and students remembered the day with the raising of the flag that was dedicated to Northport K8 School by Thomas Babington, who carried the flag into battle in Iraq. Another special flag was donated by Harold Trieber, KW 60 Ambassador from the Department of Defense with the names of all September 11, 2001, victims. The program was wrapped up with Taps and a rousing launch of the Vietnam Veterans motorcycle chapter firing their engines for students. Pictured are Dr. Laura Woodworth and sixth grader Lindsey O’Sullivan placing a flag near the flagpole.

Northport third graders construct hope quilt

Northport third graders construct hope quilt

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!

St. Lucie earns award for healthy initiatives

St. Lucie earns award for healthy initiatives

The St. Lucie County School District has been recognized by Florida Coordinated School Health Partnership and Florida Action for Healthy Kids for achieving the status of a Florida Healthy School District at the Silver level. The criterion for recognition as a Florida Healthy School District is the Florida Healthy School District (FHSD) Self Assessment Tool developed by experts from state agencies, school districts, and community partner organizations working together through the Florida Coordinated School Health Partnership. The self-assessment is based on the eight component areas of the Coordinated School Health model and focuses on district infrastructure, policy, programs, and practices identified from national and state guidelines, best practices, and Florida statutes. St. Lucie County School District is performing as a leader in the state as a result of the well established district infrastructure and component area strengths. Pictured, from left, are Eric Stern from Florida Action for Healthy Kids, district Wellness Manager Carlye Fabrikant, School Board chairman Carol Hilson and Superintendent Michael Lannon as the district was recognized at the September 11, 2001, St. Lucie County School Board meeting.

2012 outstanding district administrators named

2012 outstanding district administrators named

Parkway Elementary School principal Ucola Barrett-Baxter and Fort Pierce Central High School assistant principal Susan Seal were recognized at the September 11, 2012, St. Lucie County School Board meeting for earning district designations for their respective administrative roles. Ms. Barrett-Baxter was named the 2012 Outstanding Principal and Ms. Seal Outstanding Assistant Principal for their exemplary contributions to our students, school and community. Pictured, from left, are St. Lucie School Board chairman Carol Hilson, Ms. Barrett-Baxter, Ms. Seal, and Superintendent Michael Lannon.

Food service employee recognized in state association magazine

Food service employee recognized in state association magazine

An article about the accomplishments of Southern Oaks Middle School food service assistant Patricia Johnson will be published in the Florida School Nutrition Association Magazine Fall edition. Ms. Johnson has worked with St. Lucie County Public Schools for five years. In 2008-2009, she successfully completed all requierements for the district’s Management Intern Program, in 2009-2010 served as president of the Florida School Nutrition Association and received the President’s Gold’s Award at the FSNA state conference. In 2011-2012, she received a scholarship from FSNA, in 2012 received the Train the Trainer Certification and assisted at the 2012 Foodservice Employees Summer Training program.

Character is rewarded at Northport K8 School

Character is rewarded at Northport K8 School

Northport K-8 second grader Breanna Guillaume and her classmates learned an excellent lesson in character development recently. One day, U. S. Army veteran Bill Arnold was visiting the school, and he lost his keys.  Breanna found the keys, and ran up to Mr. Arnold to return them. Mr. Arnold was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he returned to the school to award Breanna with an American flag pin and a good lesson that character counts to the students in Denise Fields’ second grade class.  Pictured are Mr. Arnold, Breanna,and Ms. Fields.  Northport students are rewarded for good character as well as achievement in their lessons.

Windmill Point students learn about first responders

Windmill Point students learn about first responders

Windmill Point second grade students commemorated Patriot Day by making a special “thank you” for the Port St. Lucie Police Department. The students have been learning about the roles of community members and the importance of first responders. Officer David Caniello was presented with a “thankful wreath” during a visit to Caryol Hallahan’s classroom on September 11th. He discussed the roles and duties of police officers with the class. He also took time to read the story, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, by Mordicai Gerstein.

Two St. Lucie science teachers spend summer conducting research

Two St. Lucie science teachers spend summer conducting research

Manatee Academy pre-veterinary science teacher Lisa Friend and Port St. Lucie High School biology teacher Michael Mimnaugh spent their summer conducting STEM related research at formal research institutions. Ms. Friend spent six weeks at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, actively experimenting with superconducting magnets and spectral equipment to test crystals for magnetic properties. She co-authored a published scientific article as a result of the experience. “Bringing back insights into how scientific inquiry is conducted to the classroom will result in my students having more realistic and beneficial learning experiences,” she remarked. Mike Mimnaugh spent eight weeks at Torrey Pines working alongside scientists who were testing the side effects of newly created medications on mice. His work consisted of observing and documenting whether trained mice, after receiving prescription medicines, had changes in dexterity and motor skills. “I’m going to allow more time in the lab, and make sure they have good data that can be retested. With high-tech companies in our backyard, the possibilities are endless for students who want to pursue a career in science,” Mimnaugh said. Pictured are Ms. Friend, left, and Mr. Mimnaugh.