The School Board of St. Lucie County has demonstrated support of Kids at Hope and the belief that “all children are capable of success – no exceptions.” The Kids at Hope organization has designated November 13, 2013 as “Kids at Hope Day – Day of a Million Treasures,” and the St. Lucie County School Board recognized and proclaimed the date during its November 12, 2013, meeting. This is an opportunity to recognize the amazing treasures that exist in all children. The goal of this day is to discover a MILLION treasures in children across the US and Canada. Pictured, from left, are Kids at Hope school district liaison Jarrett Stephens, School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Genelle Yost, and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mark Rendell.
As October was International Walk to School Month, students from St. Lucie Public Schools participated October 24th for Walk and Bike Safety Day. Students received a fun worksheet reminding them of the rules to follow to make it home safely. Pictured are students from Lakewood Park Elementary leaving the school by walking or biking.
In celebration of Veteran’s Day, Fairlawn Elementary School students had a nice surprise when a Mystery Reader came to school and read to them about Moina Belle Michael, The Poppy Lady. Students learned about Moina Michael’s work to establish the red poppy as a symbol to honor and remember soldiers. After reading, the students created lapel pins of red poppies to wear in honor of our soldiers. Pictured, from left, are Abi Padon, Christina Wilson, Sabrina Pepito and Josh Boyd.
The Port Saint Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion proudly supported the Port Saint Lucie Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park recently. Jaguar cadets preformed a variety of functions, from providing an Honor Formation during the ceremony, Color Guard, and TAPS ceremony. The Jaguars worked in unison with other JROTC units and various civic organizations for the posting of the colors. TAPS is a series of armed drill movements which was commanded and executed by Cadet Captain Tyler Lynn. After the main portion of the ceremony, the Jaguar Battalion formed an Honor Cordon to honor veterans as they moved to the unveiling of the city`s new Fallen Soldier Memorial at the park. Jaguars salute all veterans, both past and future. Photo by Cadet First Lieutenant Robert Gallimore.
Third grade students at Allapattah Flats K8 School continue to demonstrate their scientific minds. Recently, students had an opportunity to travel to other classrooms and participate in five different experiments related to matter. Students did experiments with oobleck to demonstrate the states of matter. Another experiment demonstrated the chemical change when a penny is dipped in a vinegar and salt solution. Students made connections relating the Statue of Liberty’s copper material to the copper in a penny. Pictured, from right, are Raul Andrews, Mea Quinones, and Miguel Sanchez.
Allapattah Flats K8 recently held its annual Hispanic Heritage Night. Guests who attended were treated to an authentic Hispanic dish, student performances from band and chorus, a student dance performance that crossed grade levels, and a student PowerPoint presentation on a notable Hispanic figure. Guests were also taught how to create a PowerPoint in 12 simple steps from technology instructor John Koch. The event was very student-oriented, as behind the scenes students were video recording the performances and running the lights and sound. Pictured are students and families enjoy the musical performance.
After reading a fictional text of their choice, students at Fairlawn Elementary created a 3-D character model and an accompanying interview in class. Students composed questions for the main character, and then answered the questions from the character’s perspective. Next, they created a 3-D model of the main character out of either a pumpkin or a two-liter bottle of soda. The models and interviews were put on display for all to enjoy at the school-wide Harvest Festival. Pictured are Maddie Moynagh, left, and Ashlee Irizarry creating their pumpkin model.
Northport K-8 School fourth graders in Carissa Berkley’s RTI or Response To Intervention class are using their higher level thinking skills to compile articles researched online, compose questions and use talking and listening skills to interview campus administrators, teachers and staff, write book reviews, research and write directions on “how-to” projects such as “How To Build a Bird House,” write articles about clubs and activities that are occurring at Northport and to incorporate research into articles on bullying and cyberbullying, as well as making cartoons and puzzles for fourth graders to enjoy as an addition to the newsletter. The newsletter project offers students an excellent opportunity to polish reading, writing, language as well as listening and speaking skills. Pictured are class journalists, from left, Addison Searcy, Kalani Walk, Erin Simberlund, Nathalie Desir, Tony Otero and Diego Lopez.
Each year, Northport K-8 School participates in the St. Lucie County School District History Fair, which this year will be March 1 at Palm Pointe Educational Research School at Tradition. The history fair is a wonderful opportunity for students in grades six and eight to not only hone research skills and techniques, but is also an excellent opportunity for students to cultivate and frame their own interests. Researching topics in history can unlock interests and encourage students to become deeper, more authentic learners. The topic this year is broad and the scope allows students to explore and appreciate many different areas, whether it’s art, sciences, politics, education or biographies. The National History Day topic for 2014 is Rights and Responsibilities in History. Students are displaying a much deeper interest in history and are making connections with reading materials and programs offered at the school. Some of the topics that students have been excitedly researching are the Declaration of Independence, the Korean War and America’s Responsibility to Offer Assistance, Power of the Press, Cherokee Removal: The Tragic Trail of Broken Promises, The G.I. Bill of Rights, and Solidarity: The Polish Spirit! Students are following a rubric and the research and discussions have become intense at the school. The Northport K-8 School History Fair will take place from January 27-31, 2014 under the direction of coordinator Bob Burdge. The school-based winners will represent Northport at the district fair. Pictured are middle grades researchers, from left, Sydney Kelley, Edo Cabrera, Anthony Elliot, Jenna Lieberman and Ariana Clayton-Kimbleton.
Northport K-8 School instructor Rachel Ellsworth, along with a group of excited students and parents, took an educational jaunt to a local grocery store to price shop and to learn about the skills need to work in different areas of the store. Students learned about the butcher shop, the floral department and the bakery, as well as sanitation practices, cross-contamination and food safety. Students learned about careers and the application process and were thrilled to be able to participate in some of the skilled tasks at the store. Pictured is a member of the bakery staff with eighth grade culinary student O’Briana Joseph learning to make an icing rose.
St. Lucie County Commissioner Kim Johnson helped kick off the Samuel S. Gaines Academy K8 School annual 100 Book Challenge recently. Johnson spoke to the middle school students about the importance of reading and its connection to one’s future success in life. Johnson is pictured, center, with Assistant Principal Mallissa Hamilton, left, and Principal Tracy Wilke.
Students at Mariposa Elementary recently invited local veterans, firefighters and police officers to a Hero’s Breakfast in their honor. After the breakfast, students honored the local heroes through songs from the Mariposa chorus directed by Mary McCartney, a “Thank You” presentation from Michelle Smith’s first grade class, poem readings from second grade students and thank you cards from the entire school. The heroes were thrilled to receive the hugs and thank you cards from the students! Afterwards, the local police and fire department invited students outside to view the emergency vehicles and learn about safety. Pictured are Jonah McCrory, from left, Noah Corsiglia and Daymon Boatswain enjoying spraying the fire hose. Students from grades Pre-K through first sat in the back of a fire engine and learned about the computers in the front of police vehicles. It was a fabulous day and a tradition that will continue.
Learning to write authentically and with focus is a key part of the performance mission at Northport K-8 School. Students have many opportunities to plan, organize, learn how to write supporting details, elaborate on ideas, use good conventions and learn how to turn off the fog lamps in their brains and write with laser-like focus, using dramatically intense and dynamic writing tools. Among the writing opportunities at Northport are the school-wide Young Author’s program, a generous amount of authentic essay writing assignments with focused feedback, journal writing, newsletter writing collaborations, learning to write research papers, using writing response techniques and strategies. A tool that fourth and eighth grade instructors have at their disposal is a program called Writescore! Students take a practice writing prompt each month in preparation for the statewide test held in February. The test is then submitted and the practice prompt is checked holistically and analytically for focus, organization, support and conventions. Students and writing instructors then collaborate to compare growth from month to month. Pictured are eighth grade writing instructor Susan Smith, left, with students Katelyn Anguish, center, and Chloe Taylor, who have mastered the art of writing.
Northport K-8 School Veteran Partner in Education Bill Arnold returns frequently to campus to bring information, news and gifts of American flags, pins and other articles to bring smiles to students of all ages. Mr. Arnold recently returned shortly after a classroom visit to third grade teachers Megan Castiglia and Susan Poveromo’s classes for a Veteran’s Day Commemoration. His gifts were framed photographs of each student sporting his own military jacket and beret from the Vietnam War era. Students were so thrilled to receive the photographs that they could take home as mementoes of his many visits to the classes. Northport K-8 School welcomes veterans on an ongoing basis, and they have become part of the persona that makes Northport K-8 School a welcoming, community based school that appreciates and promotes American History and patriotism. Pictured are instructor Susan Poveromo, left, Mr. Arnold and students, from left, Fabiana Cabrera, Ashley Revange and Jay Briggs.
Southern Oaks Middle School recently hosted a Parent Night for sixth grade families. Parents were given a passport and traveled to six different information sessions, with topics including classroom routines, expectations, note-taking, staying organized and a preview of the tablets that sixth grade students will be receiving. Parents enjoyed the night and found the information sessions to be very helpful. Pictured speaking with parents is language arts teacher Steve Barrish.
A group of local Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 566 visited Lakewood Park Elementary School recently to speak with students. The veterans also decorated a display case filled with helmets, books, dog tags, hats of the different branches of the military, old photos and model helicopters of the UH-1Huey and the AH-64D Apache Longbow. The group, spearheaded by Joe Lusardi, discussed the importance of freedom and about parts they played in the Vietnam War. Thevets also donated a new American flag to the school. Principal Dianne Young presented the group with a plaque from Lakewood Park Elementary School as a thank you for their dedication to the students. The students gave the vets 27 boxes filled with donated items to be sent to U.S. military troops serving overseas. Students also made cards, poems, letters, and art work for troops to enjoy. We are thankful for the freedom that our servicemen have given to us here in America. Pictured, Principal Dianne Young presents a plaque to Joe Lusardi, Aris Atoa, Scott Bartal, Myles Gill, Dave Cameron, Mike Bradley, Mike Kiper, and Wally Wallentiny.
Pictured from left, Southern Oaks Middle School students Anthony Cannon, Mackenzie Troha, Gianna Gutierrez, Isabellah Hariharan and Eric Bejarano in Maureen Davis’s science classes are using their math, language and science skills in a lab project making toothpaste. The students create, color, flavor, and name their product, and create a jingle or slogan and prepare a short commercial to sell their product. Each member of the group was responsible for one of the tasks to be completed and they must collaboratively agree on each step. Several district representatives were on hand to observe and learn.
St. Lucie County Public Schools will be open on Monday and Tuesday November 25-26, 2013, for students and staff. District offices will be open Wednesday, November 27, and all school operations will be closed November 28-29 for the Thanksgiving holiday. For more calendar information, please check the district calendar posted on the district web site.
Representatives from Florida Institute of Technology’s Lunabotics team recently visited Southern Oaks Middle School to meet with the students whose team took fifth place last spring among 50 international teams competing in the fourth annual NASA Lunabotics Mining competition. The team came to Southern Oaks and put on three presentations: the first session involved dissecting an edible asteroid, where students looked at all the layers and were then able to eat it; next session, students were given characteristics of a creature and based on those characteristics they then had to draw what it looked like; and last, students were shown the robot that was used at the competitions. Florida Institute of Technology’s Lunabotics Team built this robot from the ground up. After the presentation students were given an opportunity to navigate the robot around the room.
Floresta Elementary School took top honors this year as the school that collected the most donations for the 2013 Bowl for Kids Sake event held in September. Floresta Elementary raised $1,775.00 this year, made possible through the concerted efforts of individuals who are passionate about a cause. Bowl for Kids’ Sake is the nation’s largest bowling event that raises critical funds to support the mentoring relationships of Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS). Floresta Elementary School has stood strong in its commitment to be a part of the important work BBBS continues to do for children in the area. Over the last ten years, Floresta Elementary School has raised $24,775.00 for BBBS, and continues to do whatever possible to advocate for children. A huge thank you to Cemera Clancy for organizing the event at the school level, and to everyone who supported these efforts through participation and/or donations for this worthwhile cause. Pictured is the group from Floresta Elementary at the event. Submitted by Suzanne Diaz.