WestGate students build and erupt volcanoes

WestGate students build and erupt volcanoes

Students in Christopher Calvo’s third grade class at WestGate K8 School have been studying the history of Costa Rica for Hispanic Heritage Month. The students’ main focus was the volcanoes of Costa Rica.  Students created volcanoes constructed using cardboard and plastic water bottles, covered with paper mache and painted. Pictured, standing from right, are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell, WestGate Principal Robert Cranmer, and Mr. Calvo with students watching in awe as the six volcanoes were erupted in the hallway.

Families enjoy Southport Middle School’s literacy event

Families enjoy Southport Middle School’s literacy event

Southport Middle School’s recent literacy event was well attended by teachers, parents, and students, including approximately 60 parents and student attendees. In addition to the Scholastic Book Fair, there were eight other wonderful activities for students and parents to participate in, as well as cookie decorating, pizza, popcorn, snow cones, and candy sales. Pictured are sixth grade literacy teachers Andrea Levin, left, and Larry Haynes displaying a fun style of learning called “Reading Rocks.”  Southport seventh grade literacy teacher Jim Saunders created the game to engage students by promoting reading with a fun activity! The event brings families, students, faculty and staff together to promote literacy with a variety of relevant and cool activities for everyone to participate in!

Rivers Edge students, staff and parents enjoy Gardening Day

Rivers Edge students, staff and parents enjoy Gardening Day

Gardens are brimming over with blooms at Rivers Edge Elementary School! Students in Denise Ward’s second grade class worked tirelessly in the welcoming entry garden. Generous donations of mulch and new blooms from Lowe’s, along with students and parent contributions, helped spruce up all the beautiful campus and classroom gardens. Gardening day at Rivers Edge was a tree-mendous success! Pictured, from left, are Jacob Emrich, Lance Eaton, Michael Skinner, teacher Denise Ward, and parent Mrs. Skinner.

Oak Hammock students celebrate special week

Oak Hammock students celebrate special week

Oak Hammock students recently celebrated Red Ribbon Week with support from the local Elks Lodge and Kids at Hope. The theme for the week was “A Healthy Me Is Drug Free.” Students took part in a door decorating contest, participated in presentations from the local Elks Lodge, and wore red each day in creative ways to represent their commitment to a drug-free life. Pictured are sixth graders Katelyn Dorvilus, Jasmin Ramos, Vicenza Giraldo, Giavanna Bolf, and Mya Williams decorating their pod bulletin board for Red Ribbon Week.

Northport offers dynamic reading mentor program

Northport offers dynamic reading mentor program

Northport K-8’s reading leadership team, consisting of 36 teachers and administrators, is offering students a variety of enrichment programs to extend the classroom learning experiences. One of the opportunities offered to students is a Reading Mentorship program. Students are learning all about the program on the morning announcements and are actively engaging in informal reading mentorships. Media specialist Lynne Gruszka, literacy coach Deb Mock, and math coach Josie Bailey are urging the students to forge ahead and join the mentorships, which meet informally to talk about books that are being offered. For example, Mrs. Gruszka is providing students an opportunity to talk about the book as she does her morning patio duty. Students stop on their way to class to discuss the previous night’s reading! Northport is offering an exciting opportunity for students to read and move forward by becoming involved in the mentorships. Deb Mock is offering the book, “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, Josie Bailey is offering “Eggs” by Jerry Spinelli and Lynne Gruszka is offering “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper. It is an exciting period of growth for the reading leadership team and an excellent opportunity for students to belong to a dynamic and encouraging Reading Mentorship Program. Pictured is Mrs. Gruszka and one of her reading mentor students, sixth grader Jaelen Walters.

Bayshore Elementary students demonstrate positive behavior

Bayshore Elementary students demonstrate positive behavior

Bayshore Elemenary School is a Positive Behavior Support award winning school.  As part of the positive approach to behavior, students have the opportunity to earn jazzy cash by demonstrating their SPOTS.   Pictured, from left, are fifth grade students from Paulette Seay-St. Louis’ class Kaitlyn Carlisle, Paul Comperchio, Kris Simmons and Hannah Friend using their jazzy cash to participate in a school-wide bingo game.

Mariposa Elementary students investigate their senses

Mariposa Elementary students investigate their senses

Students in Maria Nunez’s fourth grade class at Mariposa Elementary School have been exploring their senses and how to describe what they interpret with them. Pictured, from left, Anthony Serrano, Joshua Pierre, Devon Barbour, Joslyn Patterson and Faith White were presented with four centers:  listening, smelling, touching, and seeing. The students had to describe the objects using ONLY their senses. It was an enthralling activity that will help them both in writing and science. Students were engaged and so excited about tying in science lessons previously taught and applying them to their writing.

Bayshore Elementary families participate in fun learning event

Bayshore Elementary families participate in fun learning event

Bayshore Elementary School recently held a “Minute to Win It” event for students and their families. This was an exciting evening of learning combined with the fun of “Minute to Win It” activities. Families learned many strategies to help their children be successful with reading and math skills. Pictured is fifth grade teacher A.J. Bevacqua monitoring students while they try to keep balloons afloat for one minute, without using their hands!

Southport Middle School student group hosts annual food drive

Southport Middle School student group hosts annual food drive

Members of the Southport Middle School National Junior Honor Society sponsored an annual food drive to collect non-perishable food items for the school’s food pantry. Students were asked to donate an item in exchange for a dress code pass for the day. Due to the enormous response, school staff was able to fill the pantry, which is available anytime for Southport families in need. Pictured, front row, is Hannah Spurr. Standing, from left, are Myrria Roux, Megan Edmunds, Alaura McGonnell, Anastacia Kastis, Fabiola Barco-Garcia, Quinn Tucker, Ryan Downing, Eden Varney, Jade Greco, Brianna Wayne, and Gabrielle White.

St. Lucie’s outstanding administrators honored at school board meeting

St. Lucie’s outstanding administrators honored at school board meeting

Frances K. Sweet Elementary School principal Juanita Wright and Treasure Coast High School assistant principal Henry Sanabria were recognized and congratulated at the October 22, 2013, St. Lucie County School Board meeting. The administrators have been selected as the 2013 Outstanding Principal and Outstanding Assistant Principal, respectively, for St. Lucie County Public Schools as part of a Florida Department of Education recognition program. Both of these administrators are applauded for their exemplary contributions to our students, school and our community. Pictured, from left, are Superintendent Genelle Yost, Principal Wright, St. Lucie School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Assistant Principal Sanabria, and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Perry. These administrators’ applications will be sent on to the state DOE for consideration for the state award.

Hispanic Heritage Month recognized at school board meeting

Hispanic Heritage Month recognized at school board meeting

The St. Lucie County School Board approved a resolution recognizing October as Hispanic Heritage Month at their October 22, 2013, school board meeting. The month is set aside in Florida to recognize the proud history and rich culture of Hispanic Americans. This year, 2013, marks the 500th anniversary since Juan Ponce De Leon’s arrival in Florida’s East Coast, a significant milestone unlike any other state in the United States. The resolution encourages all St. Lucie school district students and employees to participate in activities that recognize the Hispanic community’s significant influence in St. Lucie County’s past, present and future. Pictured, from left, are Title l Migrant Coordinator Yvonne Johnson, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Indian River State College student Antonio Chavez, Jr., School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, and Lincoln Park Acadamy students Lizett Chavez and Cinthia Jaramillo.

Science support team provides Hispanic community tips about science studies

Science support team provides Hispanic community tips about science studies

The St. Lucie County School District Science Support team was a guest at the local Spanish language radio station La Gigante 1330 AM to discuss the importance of science in the curriculum. The experts discussed STEM, science projects, the Parent Tips website, and future science brochures in three languages. They also talked about three Hispanic high school students who attended last year’s international science fair, two of whom earned full scholarships, as well as a three-session Science Project Family Night recently at Forest Grove Middle School. The team members provided crucial information to the Spanish-speaking community on science-related academic resources. Pictured, from left, are team members Beth Bonvie, Paul Reif, radio show host Irma Cabriales, support teacher Michelle Baretto, Maria Schwarz-Gilabert, a volunteer from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and science curriculum support specialist Teri Barenborg.

Northport students electrified by powerful lesson

Northport students electrified by powerful lesson

Northport K-8 middle grades students were electrified, enthused and inspired to learn more about the Korean War recently. Northport students paid tribute to the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice by an integration of interactive learning, an informative and moving PowerPoint presentatioin, guest speaker Peter Popolizio, current Commander of local chapter 106 of the Korean War Veterans Association as a primary source, and were also treated to renditions of music of the time period by Northport choral students under the direction of James Kirk. Student Brandt Wrench sang a sweet version of Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” and the girl’s choral ensemble, the Velvet Bluebirds, dedicated the song, “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to the St. Lucie County School District Senior Volunteer of the Year, Commander Popolizio. Students learned who the power players were during the war, the time period of the war and all about the draft. Students entered the media center that was divided into North and South Korea. Students made flags marking each country, and the Demilitarized Zone was marked for non- admittance. Students each received envelopes upon entering the center, some containing official draft notices, which were opened at the end of the program. Students learned five key vocabulary words: armistice, demilitarized zone, Communism, capitalism and draft. Student surveys and exit slips were utilized to collect learning data. Student comments received after the presentation were very telling. Sixth grader Gianna Ritacco wrote, “I will never,ever forget this program because you guys inspired me to want to learn more!” and sixth grade Jordan Miller wrote, “Thank you so much for teaching us about the Korean War. I have never heard about this before, let alone a war!” and Melanie Giachetti wrote, “You guys put on a spectacular presentation! Those five words are now imbedded in my brain!” Pictured are Media Specialist Lynne Gruszka and students presenting the new vocabulary words.

Palm Pointe students bite into healthy eating

Palm Pointe students bite into healthy eating

The last full week of October, St. Lucie Public Schools celebrated Apple Crunch, where everyone was encouraged to bite into an apple at noon. This activity was part of Food Day 2013, which is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Employees and students alike enjoyed the activities, and teachers planned lessons around it to educate about the nutritional value of apples. Cafeteria managers arranged for apples to be donated to any classroom that wanted to participate. From Mikki Watson’s second grade class at Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition, are pictured, front row from left, Matthew King, Jacob Hadley, Hunter Darville, and Kenzie Kemberson. Middle row, from left, are Emily Clarke, Sara Boulais, Dakota Hawthorne, Bridline Aureline, and Abigail Solari. Back row, from left, are Shelby Kay Sigmon, Christopher Heelan, Joshua Volcin , Christopher Young, Christian Arisi, Jeano Dyer, Alejandro Azcon, and Levi Lobban.

Health occupations students savor healthy food choices

Health occupations students savor healthy food choices

Students in Samantha Jackson’s health occupations classes at Fort Pierce Central High School enjoyed a healthy apple slice and peanut butter snack in observance of National Apple Crunch Day recently. Students discussed the nutritional value of apples, including added fiber, vitamin C and potassium, and that when combined with peanut butter, which is full of protein and multiple vitamins, they are a healthy filling low calorie snack! Pictured is Brianna Jennings as she participates in the activity, part of Food Day 2013, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Employees and students alike in St. Lucie County Schools enjoyed the activities, and teachers planned lessons around it to educate about the nutritional value of apples. Cafeteria managers arranged for apples to be donated to any classroom that wanted to participate.

Mariposa Elementary celebrates new outdoor amphitheater built by special volunteers

Mariposa Elementary celebrates new outdoor amphitheater built by special volunteers

A dual purpose ceremony was enjoyed at Mariposa Elementary School recently to honor Carl Andor, the St. Lucie County School District Adult Volunteer of the Year nominated by mariposa Elementary, as well as formally dedicate the school’s new outdoor amphitheater which Andor and his son, Logan, built during the summer with materials from Lowe’s purchased with a grant from the school’s music teacher Mary McCartney. During the ceremony, students sang a song written by Ms. McCartney for Mr. Andor’s efforts. Pictured are the celebrants.

Gaines Academy students learn about electricity

Gaines Academy students learn about electricity

Students in Catie Smith’s science resource class at Samuel S. Gaines Academy have been exploring energy while learning about conductivity and electricity! Students learned content with the use of interactive notebooks, and then explored energy through this inquiry lab. Pictured, from left, are Shawn Vega, Grayvon Compere, Shanell Sullivan, and Keishon Polycarpe.

Northport celebrates third annual unity day

Northport celebrates third annual unity day

Northport K-8 celebrated its third annual Unity Day recently with a loud and clear message about the effects of bullying, especially cyberbullying. Students wore orange to signify unity and made posters, signs and banners to send their powerful messages that bullying will not be tolerated on the school campus. Joe Wojcik, better known as Joe the Biker, spoke to students on the morning announcements to kick off the day-long event, and students walked a mile-long trail marked out by school custodians. The school has been designated as a nature preserve by the National Wildlife Federation. Students walked the trail with the coaches, resource teachers and classes as part of an organized Positive Behavior Support activity. The very successful event supported the school’s unified message that bullying will not be tolerated. Pictured is Coach Daryn Ploeckelman with a group of students preparing for the walk!

Palm Pointe students learn to construct atoms

Palm Pointe students learn to construct atoms

Eighth grade students at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition recently showed off their skills in building atoms using a Bohr model when they created an atom of one of the first 13 elements on the periodic table.  Throughout the past two weeks, students have worked hard to understand atomic structure, the periodic table and the behavior of matter. Students then created edible atoms using M and Ms as subatomic particles and cookies as the nucleus to show they are understood how an atom was structured. Pictured, from left, are Jordi Munoz, Raphael Alexis, and Leo Fernandez.

Lawnwood Elementary students prepare for a harvest

Lawnwood Elementary students prepare for a harvest

The third graders from Lela Studivan’s class at Lawnwood Elementary School have finished their unit on recycling, and as a capstone project, they are  making compost from last year’s garden. This compost consisted of rocks, egg shells, apple and orange peels, which the students mixed and prepared for the 2013-14 growing season. They are ready to plant this year’s crop of vegetables and flowers and are eager to harvest this year’s bounty. Pictured is Ms. Studivan with students working with their garden.