Superintendent Notes

Dear Northport Public School Families,

The 2016-17 school year is coming to a close.  It is amazing how quickly this school year went.  One of my goals moving forward is to have better communication.  Please let this letter serve as the first step towards meeting this goal.

Although the school year may be wrapping up for students, our focus is already on how to improve our school and academic experience for our students next year and in the years beyond.  I’m excited to announce a few of the improvements here:

  • High school honors program
  • Exhibitions projects for kindergarten – 5th grade
  • 6th – 8th culminating STEM projects
  • 9th – 11th personalized research projects
  • High school band
  • Enrichment block

Of all the changes listed above, the high school honors program excites me the most.  This is a significant step forward in helping to challenge our students who are prepared to successfully complete more than a normal class while simultaneously improving the learning experience for all students.  For next year, at least 14 of our high school classes will have an honors option verses just one AP class this year.  The honors option will push students, expect them to be more independent, and will be valuable on their transcripts for college admissions.  In addition to honors, we will still offer 21 online AP, NCAA approved courses.  As always, we will continue to support Early College and dual enrollment.

The three sets of projects mentioned above will allow for students of all grades to pursue topics of individual interest and push them to do their personal best.  These projects will help students learn to research, write, and present.  The projects will build and prepare our students for one of Northport’s proudest traditions – the Senior Project.

In addition to these changes, I am excited to announce that we will offer a high school band class for the first time in approximately 15 years.  The medium term goal is to build a band program with students from late elementary through high school.

The final change is the addition of a daily intervention and enrichment block for all middle and high school students.  This time will allow for students to work with teachers towards their individual needs, interests, and passions.

With all of these changes, I’m also pleased to report that we have plans to continue and grow our robotics team.  We will continue to partner with the Grand Traverse Lighthouse for our remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) and shipwreck hunting project.  In order to grow the hoop house and learn from the community that surrounds us, we will continue to work with T-45, LifeSPAN, SEEDS, and Farm to School.  All of these outside organizations help to make our school a unique and amazing school.

I’d like to leave you with our vision statement because it succinctly states what we believe in and what we are working towards.

Through collaboration and student produced evidence of learning, the students of Northport Public School will understand the world around them and be able to use their skills and knowledge to be successful citizens in the 21st century and beyond.

If you have any questions, comments, thoughts, or concerns about anything, my door is always open, and I am happy to talk.


Neil Wetherbee