School district supports tobacco free activities

School district supports tobacco free activities

Employees of the St. Lucie County School District joined over 1,400 sites nationwide March 19, 2014, to recognize Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. Teachers, youth leaders and health advocates organized events around the country and the world to raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use, encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free, and urge elected officials to take action to protect kids from tobacco. Kick Butts Day is organized nationally by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and sponsored by the United Health Foundation. The school district wellness department organized the activities in school district. Activities were planned at several school sites, and pictured are some of the staff at the district offices displaying their tee shirts, which were donated by the county health department to help promote the school district officially going “tobacco free” last year.

Palm Pointe families enjoy CSI Night

Palm Pointe families enjoy CSI Night

Recently families at Palm Pointe Educational Research School @ Tradition participated in a CSI Family Mystery Night, “The Case of the Missing Pandas.”  Students and families became part of their very own CSI team by completing experiments to eliminate suspects. By using their superior science and deductive reasoning skills, the students would solve the case on who stole the missing pandas from the school. Families also enjoyed a free dinner while they waited for the final results.  Over 600 people came out to enjoy this yearly event! Pictured, from left, are fourth grade student Autumn Eichenlaub, health paraprofessional Michelle DeGarmo, and seconde grade student Jacob Eichenlaub as they work on one of the experiments.

Northport middle grades students express thoughts in writing contest

Northport middle grades students express thoughts in writing contest

Northport K-8 middle grades students participated in a writing contest themed, “What Does Being A Woman Really Mean?” Students from all across the spectrum of writing capabilities wrote beautiful and meaningful essays that were included in the school’s annual Women’s History Program held in the media center recently. The essay contest, spearheaded by New Horizons’ Prevention Specialist Maryanne Warren allowed students to think deeply about female characters in their lives and how each has proven influential. Third place winner is Andrew Moscuzza, second place is Emily Avery and first place winner is Misty Hall, all eighth grade Mariner team members. Each student won Walmart gift cards and many accolades at the school. Offering students varied writing opportunities with significance attached brings out the best in student writing. Misty’s winning line was, “I will not stand in the shadow of a man!” Misty had the great opportunity to read her essay to her peers at the school Women’s History Program. Pictured, from left, are Misty Hall, Maryanne Warren, Emily Avery, Lynne Gruszka and Andrew Moscuzza.

Northport media center offers special empowerment program

Northport media center offers special empowerment program

The Northport K-8 School Media Center offered students an opportunity to showcase their multifaceted talents in a terrific Women’s History and Girl’s Empowerment Program recently. The program highlighted the accomplishments of women role models in history, Northport teachers and staff, mothers, daughters, and students. Students were empowered to shed poor role models like Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears and Beyoncé and to look for strong women who have made important changes in the world. Women’s struggles and successes were highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation that included music, news clips and clips from actress Hilary Swank playing the role of Alice Paul depicting the struggle of Suffragettes in the film “Iron Jawed Angels.” Students performed poems including Maya Angelou’s “Women’s Work” and “Phenomenal Woman” and read thank you notes to women role models written in class. Students sang songs including Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire,” Katy Perry’s, “Roar” and Christina Aguilera’s, “Beautiful!” A resounding rendition of “We Are Family” was sung by instructor Juliette Thelusma and a group of her students. Instructor Georgia Stone spoke of the importance of strong female role models and shedding the images that are portrayed by many modern singers and entertainers. New Horizons Prevention Specialist Maryanne Warren read an open letter to girls about not letting go of the past struggles of women and becoming empowered. The program was wrapped up with a rendition of Helen Reddy’s famous song, “I Am Woman!” Special thanks to media clerk Sarah Lewis, and band and choral directors James Kirk and Brian Hoce for helping to make the program strong, powerful and filled with meaning for the students. Pictured is a gathering of youth and adult women in the media center celebrating the event.

Bayshore Elementary community night a great parent resource

Bayshore Elementary community night a great parent resource

Bayshore Elementary School held its third Annual Community Night recently, bringing together community groups, school staff, and families to learn about available resources. Families received valuable information from many community groups, such as Girl Scouts, Kids at Hope, Port St. Lucie Police Department, St. Lucie County Health Department, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Huntington Learning Center, and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. Pictured, from left, are Principal Lori Anne Reid, Port St. Lucie Mayor JoAnn Faiella, Assistant Principal Edwin Munoz and Janelle Palmer from Nancy Fallon’s second grade class.

Gaines Academy students participate in local Special Olympics event

Gaines Academy students participate in local Special Olympics event

Students in Karen Madalena’s class at Samuel Gaines Academy participated in the recent St. Lucie County Special Olympics Track and Field event at Lawnwood Stadium. This event is part of the new Young Atheletes Program (YAP) that helps children with disabilities develop motor, social, and cognitive skills as well as giving the students the opportunity to learn and have fun! Pictured is Ezekiel Simmens jumping the hurdles as he completes the obstacle course.

Florida Department of Citrus Visits Gaines Academy

Florida Department of Citrus Visits Gaines Academy

Captain Citrus, a program from the Florida Department of Citrus, came to Samuel Gaines Academy to speak with our second graders about Florida citrus.  The second graders were highly engaged, throughout the interactive and energizing presentation.  They learned more about how citrus trees grow, as well as, the nutritional benefits of Florida’s citrus fruits and juices.  Their new knowledge was treated with the opportunity to sample oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and orange juice at the end of the presentation.

St. Lucie West K8 teacher surprised with honor

St. Lucie West K8 teacher surprised with honor

St. Lucie West K8 fourth grade teacher Shannon Tango was surprised recently when representatives of an area radio station visited her class as part of the station’s monthly teacher recognition program. Tango was nominated by a parent of one of her students, who credited Tango with inspiring her students to achieve in the classroom, and for making learning fun! Pictured from left are 93.7 radio host Hamp Elliott, Assistant Principal John Keelor, 93.7 Program Director Darrin Arriens, Parent Shannon Tango, 4th Grade Teacher Nikki DeMaio, Principal Susan Seal, and 93.7 radio host Geoff Moore.

Students benefit from summer internship program

Students benefit from summer internship program

While many might have enjoyed a summer “get-away” at the end of the 2013 school year, Cindy Hill, Fran Casner, and colleagues in the school district’s Facilities Department planned real-world, first job experiences for Career and Technical Education (CTE) summer interns. As in past years, the 2013 Summer Internship Program proved to be a great experience for 17 St Lucie Public Schools students. The program is a partnership between Facilities/Maintenance Department, CTE, and the Workforce Solutions/Hinkles and McCoy group, who create paid, real-world summer jobs for the students.  Team members from the Maintenance Department plan and host a golf tournament each Fall to raise the funds to pay the students. It is an amazing undertaking for the employees of Facilities/Maintenance to complete each year.  Participants in 2013 included Charles Barnes and Josie Osne, Amanda Frederick, Fort Pierce Westwood; Jameel Jackson, Dontrial Durden, Margaret (Lindsey) Matt, Marvella Mundo, Omar Guerrero, Torrence McQueen, Terrance McQueen, Whitney Smith, and Celeste Riley, Fort Pierce Central; Fre’ Sharia Freeman and Dale Dealle, Treasure Coast High School, Diego Garcia and Adia Vernette, Lincoln Park Academy. Each student completed training at Workforce Solutions/Hinkles and McCoy, completed six-week internships, and earned a pay check, the first ever for some. The students were assigned a single work location, learning and supporting the clerical, custodial and administrative staff in various departments and sites.  Appreciation goes to all of the district employees who supported the interns at all school athletic fields, Samuel Gaines Academy, security department, St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Village Green environmental Studies school, publications department, Media Services, Human Resources, West Gate K8, the CTE, food services, Weatherbee Elementary, and Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts. In 2013, Cindy Hill and the Facilities and Maintenance Department were recognized by the State of Florida as one of St. Lucie County Schools’ Business Partners of the Year for their work with the internship program. In addition to the paid internships, the Facilities/Maintenance Department awarded five summer interns with scholarships totaling $3,000 funded by the golf tournament, which will be awarded this Spring to Diego Garcia, Terrance McQueen and Torrance McQueen from Fort Pierce Central, Amanda Frederick from Fort Pierce Westwood, and Adia Vernett from Lincoln Park Academy. Pictured is scholarship recipient, intern program participant and Fort Pierce Central High School senior class president Terrance McQueen.

Northport Student Attends Leadership Conference in California

Northport Student Attends Leadership Conference in California

Northport K-8 School 8th grade Mariner student, Albert Morgan will be attending a very special three day conference in Anaheim, California this month. Albert will be representing the Chuck Hill Unit of the Port St. Lucie Boys and Girls Club on Marion Street. Ten other local students from the unit will be attending with Albert as well as Unit Director, London Reeves. Students raised the money to attend the leadership conference through fundraising. The Keystone Conference attendees are called Keystones. The Keystone Conference has three main goals for the students, community involvement, academic success and career exploration. Students will visit technical schools, fashion schools and University of California at Los Angeles or UCLA as well as attending leadership classes and trainings. This is a wonderful opportunity for Albert and the Northport Community is extremely proud of his achievements through this terrific club.

Autism Speaks: Light It Up Blue Campaign

Autism Speaks: Light It Up Blue Campaign

In support of World Autism Day acknowledged on April 2, a sea of school district employees arrived dressed in shades of blue to support the Autism Speaks: Light It Up Blue Campaign.  Pictured in this  photo with Superintendent Genelle Yost and School Board Chairwoman Debbie Hawley are a sampling of district employees showing off their  “dress blues!”

Too Good for Drugs

Student Assistance Program successfully providing evidence-based prevention curricula in St. Lucie County schools

The Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is a free, in-school prevention program, is in the process of completing another school year of successful substance abuse and violence prevention programming in St. Lucie County.  SAP, a program of New Horizons of the Treasure Coast, Inc., is funded by the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County and DCF’s Prevention Partnership Grant.  SAP’s Prevention Specialists are currently responsible for provided all 5th graders in St. Lucie County with the district-mandated Too Good for Drugs curriculum, which is a 10-week evidence-based substance abuse prevention program.     In addition to the Too Good for Drugs curriculum (which has appropriate curriculum programs for grades K – 8), SAP can provide the following evidence-based prevention programs to students in elementary and middle school:  Too Good for Violence, Second Step and the Peace4Kids curriculum.  Throughout the school year, SAP is in a total of 29 St. Lucie County K-8, elementary and middle schools.

The five main educational components of the Too Good for Drugs curriculum are:  goal setting, decision making skills, bonding with positive peer groups, identifying and managing emotions, and effective communication skills.  SAP began implementing the Too Good for Drugs curriculum in school year 2009-10.  That school year, the curriculum was presented to 931 students in 49 different classrooms.  In school year 2012-13, SAP provided the Too Good for Drugs curriculum to 3217 students in 160 different classrooms.  This school year (2013-14), SAP is on pace to provide the curriculum to even more students.

The four main educational components of the Too Good for Violence curriculum are:  conflict resolution, anger management, respect for self and others, and effective communication.  In school year 2010-11, which is the first year SAP began using the Too Good for Violence in the schools, they provided the curriculum to 272 students in 25 different classrooms.  In school year 2012-13, SAP provided this curriculum to 1839 students in 112 different classrooms.  So far for this school year, SAP has already provided the curriculum to 1929 students (and counting!)

The best news is that for this school year and the past two school years, 100% of the classrooms that received either of these curricula showed an increase on their post-test score averages compared with their pre-test score averages, indicating that the students have increased their knowledge about the life skills and protective factors necessary to help avoid the onset of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, bullying and other high risk-behaviors.

For more information about the Student Assistance Program call 772-467-3010.

Westwood High school World Language Department visits Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Westwood High school World Language Department visits Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Ms. Denski’s along with Ms. Gaudreau’s Spanish and French classes had the opportunity to visit Vizcaya in Miami on March 21, 2014.  The extraordinary estate was built by James Deering.  The European- inspired estate includes a house filled with rare art and furnishings, ten acres of gardens on Biscayne Bay, and a historic village that is currently being restored for public enjoyment.  With its phenomenal man-made and natural resources, Vizcaya introduces visitors to America’s Gilded Age.  The foreign language students were able to experience first hand the historical sights where one of America’s wealthiest industrialist lived in breath-taking opulence inspired by European palaces.

United Way Highest Student Campaign Winners

United Way Highest Student Campaign Winners

At the School Board Meeting on April 8, 2014 Monte Kosoff and Roxanne Wells of the United Way of St. Lucie County presented awards to the schools with the highest student campaigns. Morningside Elementary students collected $1,092, Palm Pointe Educational Research School $832, Treasure Coast High School $500, and Southern Oaks Middle $450. Pictured are the Director of Communications & Work Place Giving Roxanne Wells, Assistant Principal of Treasure Coast High School Henry Sanabria, Principal of Palm Pointe Educational Research School Debra Snyder, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, Campaign Coordinator at Southern Oaks Middle School Brooke Martino, Superintendent Genelle Yost, Principal of Morningside Elementary Cortina Bell Gray, and the Vice President of Development & Marketing for United Way of St. Lucie County Monte Kosoff.

Largest Employee Giving Winners for United Way Campaign

Largest Employee Giving Winners for United Way Campaign

The largest employee giving awards were presented to Treasure Coast High School with a total of $1,920, Morningside Elementary with a total of $1,693, Northport K-8 with a total of $1,165, and Southport Middle School with a total of $864. Each school received a plaque from the United Way of St. Lucie County at the School Board Meeting on April 8, 2014. Pictured are Roxanne Wells of the United Way, Henry Sanabria of Treasure Coast High School, School Board Chairman Debbie Hawley, Lydia Martin of Southport Middle School, Cortina Bell Gray of Morningside Elementary, Lynn Gruszka & Glenn Rustay of Northport K-8, Superintendent Genelle Yost, and Monte Kosoff of the United Way SLC.

United Way’s Largest Campaign Overall (Student and Employee Combined)

United Way’s Largest Campaign Overall (Student and Employee Combined)

United Way of St. Lucie County’s Vice President of Development & Marketing, Monte Kosoff, announced at the April 8th School Board Meeting the winners of the largest campaign overall which included student and employee contributions. The winners are Morningside Elementary with a total of $2,785, Treasure Coast High School with a total of $2,420, West Gate K-8 with a total of $1,272, and Southern Oaks Middle School with a total of $1,172. Congratulations to all our schools. Pictured, from left, are WGK-8 Principal Robert Cranmer, TCHS Assistant Principal Henry Sanabria, Superintendent Genelle Yost (back row), SOMS campaign coordinator Brooke Martino, SOMS Principal Lisa Sullivan, School Board Chair Debbie Hawley, MSE Principal Cortina Bell Gray, Roxanne Wells and Monte Kosoff of United Way SLC.

59th State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida

59th State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida

2014 Statistics:  37 regional fairs held throughout the state representing 67 counties

890 students participated in the State Fair at Lakeland

St Lucie County Results:  12 of the 14 students representing St Lucie Public Schools won awards.

Robert Bacchus 1(Pictured) Robert M. Bacchus  (BIOCHEMISTRY) LPA High School Senior Division

  • 1st  Place Senior Division Biochemistry ($300 cash award)
  • 1 of 8 senior students chosen as BEST IN FAIR-GRAND AWARD YING SCHOLARS to represent St. Lucie Public Schools and the State Of Florida at the International Science Fair ($1,000 cash award)

Stephanie B. Fisher (BOTANY)  SLW Centennial High School Senior Division

  • National Youth Science Camp Award:  camp held in Monongahela National Forest in West Va.  This is an all-expense paid opportunity to include transportation.  This month-long summer, outdoor adventure program honors excellence through lectures, hands-on research opportunities and challenging outdoor activities.
  • New College of Florida: $2000 per year totaling $8000 over four years toward attendance at New College of Florida.
  • University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences:   $2,500 per academic year; this can be  renewed for up to four years.
  • Special Award-Association of Fertilizer and Phosphate Chemists-$100 Award for the students whose research exhibits excellence in research of chemistry, biochemist, botany and/or environmental science.
  • 3rd Place Senior Division Botany

Shreya Redy (ZOOLOGY) LPA-Middle School Junior Division

  • Special Award-Association of Fertilizer and Phosphate Chemists- Second Place $75 Award for the students whose research exhibits excellence in research of chemistry, biochemist, botany and/or environmental science.
  • Florida Agriculture in the Classroom:  $150 cash award and certificates for research involving interdisciplinary articulation.
  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service Agriculture Award- $300 cash award for a project that demonstrates the principles and technical innovations that address a need of Florida agriculture and offer the greatest potential or scientific promise to increase agriculture production or efficiency in Florida.
  • Honorable Mention Junior Division Zoology

Cristin Donaldson (MICRBIOLOGY)-LPA Middle School Junior Division

  • NOAA’s Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award- A certificate and medallion to a student whose research emphasizes NOAA’s mission to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and conserve and mange coastal and marine resources to meet of nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.
  • 3rd Place Junior Division Microbiology

Luke P. Horger (MICRBIOLOGY) LPA High School Senior Division

  • Florida Association of Science Supervisors (FASS) $50 cash award for project’s demonstrating outstanding scientific research.

Koushal Rao (ZOOLOGY) LPA School Seniors Division

  • Honorable Mention-Senior Division Zoology

Zoe Barbeau (ENGINEERING) Home School Senior Division

  • 4th Place Senior Division Engineering

Isabella Daza (ZOOLOGY) Home School Senior Division

  • 4th Place Senior Division Zoology

Rachel Dowell  (PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY) Home Junior Division

  • 2nd Place Junior Division Physics and Astronomy

Haniya Shareef (ZOOLOGY) LPA Middle School Junior Division

  • 2nd Place Junior Division Zoology

Priya Budhai (CHEMISTRY) Oak Hammock Junior Division

  • 1st  Place Junior Division Physics and Astronomy  ($200 cash award)

Hafsa Saeed (ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE) LPA Middle School Junior Division

  • 1st  Place Junior Division Environmental Science ($200 cash award)

Robert M. Bacchus  (BIOCHEMISTRY) LPA High School Senior Division

  • 1st  Place Senior Division Biochemistry ($300 cash award)
  • 1 of 8 senior students chosen as BEST IN FAIR-GRAND AWARD YING SCHOLARS to represent St. Lucie Public Schools and the State Of Florida at the International Science Fair ($1,000 cash award)
FPC French Club Students Visit Paris, “The City of Light!”

FPC French Club Students Visit Paris, “The City of Light!”

Over spring break, a group of seventeen French Club students and three teacher chaperones from Fort Pierce Central High School departed from Miami International en route to Paris, France. Each day the group sampled a variety of cuisines at various restaurants that ranged from traditional French fare to the food of the French Caribbean, West Africa, and others. The trip included stops at the Louvre and Orsay Museums to admire Leonardo DaVinci’s famous “Mona Lisa” and the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Visits to famous landmarks included the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Champs Elysées, the Versailles Palace, the Arc of Triumph and the Moulin Rouge. Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower was definitely the ‘high point’ for the students. On the return trip, the group encountered a few delays due to flight cancellations. However, this gave the group a chance to enjoy stops in London and New York before making it back home with even more memories to share with family, friends, and classmates.

Dan McCarty School – Feeding Our Children in Need

Dan McCarty School – Feeding Our Children in Need

Child hunger is not just a health problem; it is an education problem as well. When a child is hungry they cannot focus on their studies because they do not know where their next meal is coming from, this is called food insecurity. In a recent Feeding America study, St. Lucie County has a food insecurity rate at 26.7%. Grace Packs is a weekly weekend backpack program that provides necessary food items to students in need. Dan McCarty will be starting this program for its students in need this Friday, April 11.

GracePacks

F K Sweet Kindergarten Circus

F K Sweet Kindergarten Circus

The kindergarteners of Frances K Sweet have yet again proved that they can truly perform the Greatest Show on Earth. Students were everything from clowns, lions, elephants, jugglers, to tightrope walkers. Students entertained their families and members of the community. Pictured in the Incredible Growing Machine is Lennon Paquette, assisted by clowns Skye Graham (left) and Tylarith Limear.