Sparta School District

April 2018



Empower all students to be lifetime learners who are responsible, productive citizens in a changing, global society.


Rocky Valentine, Superintendent

Board of Education News

Congratulations to Betty Braden and Jacob Finney for being elected to three-year terms of service to the Sparta Board of Education. Thank you to outgoing board member Dennis Lilly for his service over the past three years. Our regular monthly board of education meeting will be held April 12th. Regular meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of each month. The public is welcome to attend open session.

Summer School

The district is excited about summer school 2018. Sparta summer school is available to students who want to be engaged in fun and unique learning activities. In the Sparta Elementary and Sparta Middle School, we have partnered with Summer’s Journey. This partnership allows us to utilize courses that are enrichment based and full of hands-on projects and activities. At the 9th-12th level, students will have multiple course selections to fit their schedules. Traditional seated classes will be offered as well as online courses through Launch. Drivers Education will be offered on a limited seating basis. High school courses are set up in half and full credit options depending on the time available for each student’s summer schedule.

As we do each year, summer school students will have free breakfast and lunch every day. Bus transportation will be provided and routes will be similar to last school year. Summer school is open enrollment for all students, so students out of the Sparta school district can attend free of charge.

Last year’s perfect attendance incentives were such a hit that we have partnered with Summer’s Journey to provide $100 gift cards. This incentive will be available for K-8th grade students with perfect attendance. Please check out the information included in this eNewsletter for the exciting plans we have for summer school 2018.

Summer School Information


  • Students entering kindergarten through entering 8th grade

  • Students entering 9th through 12th grade


  • K-8: Summer’s Journey

    • Core content classes in the morning

    • Journey (PBL) projects in the afternoon

  • 9-12: HS Credit-Earning Courses

    • Seated options

    • Online options


  • May 21st - June 14th

  • 7:30 - 3:00


  • Students entering kindergarten through 5th grade @ Sparta Elementary

  • Students entering 6th - 12th grade @ Sparta Middle School

How do you enroll?

  • K-8: Informational packets will be coming home in the next few days to get your student enrolled.

  • 9-12: Students will be scheduling the next week for summer and fall coursework

We hope to see you all this summer!!


Gerald Chambers, Principal

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4th Grade Library News

4th grade is finishing up rotations that included Makey Makey, 3D pens, Stikbot stop-motion videos, Sphero robots, Dash and Dot robots, and Little Bits. During the rotations, the students have to use problem-solving and critical thinking skills to figure out how to use the new technologies and learn from their mistakes. We are not shooting for perfection with our first attempts but rather learning through the process.

3rd Grade Library News

3rd graders had fun and creative ideas for taking green screen pictures. The imagination from our students never ceases to amaze me!
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2nd Grade Library News

Second graders have been working really hard on learning correct keyboarding skills. They have specifically been working on using their home row and not looking at the keys. First graders are learning the very basics of keyboarding such as where to find each key and how to capitalize them. Kindergarten has been working on using fine motor skills with the mouse, other basic computer skills and technology vocabulary. We have also spent some time doing construction and engineering challenges. The students are doing an excellent job of collaborating with one another. The excitement they have is contagious!

Sparta middle school

Dave Baker, Principal

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Fantastic Academic Team Season

Congratulations to our academic team members: Brock Smith, Zane Wigton, Shayln Morris, Hannah Roller, Ryan Bumgarner and Cade Johnson. They took 1st place at the 12th annual Clever Academic Tournament this past Saturday. It has been a fantastic year!

  • UNDEFEATED Regular Season
  • 1st Place SWCL Tournament
  • 1st Place Clever Tournament
  • 3rd Place Small Schools State Level Tournament

MAYHEM UNDER THE BIG TOP ~ Under Production ~

Over 20 middle school students are in the process of working toward the upcoming show, running May 3 and 4. Their script is a comical murder mystery set in the realm of the circus world. The production is a colorful, zany show where the audience will get to predict "whodunnit" during intermission. Circus-themed snacks and drinks will be available during the evening performance, which will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 3 on the middle school stage/little gym. This performance is free to the public. Come support these incredible young performers for an evening filled with Harrietta Moustache', the bearded lady; Reggie Rigaletti, Ringmaster Extraordinaire; MiDi and Chaw Ray, Siamese twins; Jianrui, knife throwing magician; Tatiana Artisse, the tattooed lady and many more exciting characters! The MS Drama team is directed by Mrs. Rhonda Sexton.


5th Graders Gabbi Wilson and Penelope Hansen won top honors in the recent grade level spelling bee. Gabbi will be representing Sparta MS in Willard, MO at the upcoming LAD (Language Arts Department) Fair where she will compete with other fifth grade students from around Southwest Missouri on April 28. Penelope will serve as an alternate in case Gabbi becomes unable to compete.

Other students showing well during the recent class competitions of oral spelling were:

BLOCK 1--Dalton Johnson, Levi Dorman, Sami Jo Walker

BLOCK 2--Erica Todd, Layla Klinger, Jada Cornelison, Hailey Maxwell

BLOCK 3--Layne Forgey, Janessa Murdock, Penelope Hansen

Striking it Rich!

Students in Samantha Johnson’s 8th grade social studies classes got the chance to get their hands dirty while panning for gold. This activity allowed the middle school miners to compare and contrast their experience to those of actual gold miners during the 1800s. Before digging in, the students studied westward expansion, the Mexican-American war and read articles pertaining to the California gold rush. Upon completion of the panning activity, students compared and contrasted their experience to actual gold miners during the 1800s.
Sparta high school

Michael Wright, Principal

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Spring is upon us and in full swing with Sparta FFA as contests are keeping the aggies busy with livestock, gloriculture, and dairy cattle teams. They have participated in several contests while learning and having fun at the same time. Contest districts are Monday, April 9th, so be sure and wish them good luck!

In March Brooke Wiggins ran for an Area 12 FFA officer position and was selected for Area 12 FFA sentinel. Meghan Wilson and Billy McHaffie represented our chapter as delegates.


The greenhouse is thriving, and the plant sale will be April 30th to May 3rd from 3:00-6:30 pm. The greenhouse will also be open during the school day beginning the 30th. Hope to see you there!


The high school/8th grade band traveled to Bolivar on March 29 to participate in the MSSBDA Large Group State Festival. The band earned a 1 rating which is considered exemplary and the highest rating you can earn. There are 3 judges for the actual performance and 1 judge for sight-reading which means the band has to play a piece they have never seen and get judged on how well they do. They received all 1s from the judges which is hard to do. Mrs. Nichols is so proud of their hard work and the excellent performance. Congratulations band!!

Spring Music Concert is April 26th at the High School

Cody Browning and Julia Scherer will be participating in the MSHSAA State Solo/Ensemble Contest on April 28th on the campus of the University of Missouri. They both performed at the district level at the beginning of March and earned 1 ratings giving them the opportunity to attend state. Both are working hard so they are able to perform at a high level for the judges. Cody plays clarinet, with his piano accompanist Cheryl Loftland, and Julia plays piano. Let’s wish both of these young musicians good luck at state!


The freshmen class came back after spring break ready to go! They put the finishing touches on their Romeo and Juliet projects and did a fantastic job of presenting them to other students, teachers, parents and community members. Their projects answered the question, "How is Romeo and Juliet still relevant to modern day society?" through a variety of ways including podcasts, student-designed games, videos, websites, posters and brochures.


After several days spent inside for softball practice, Liz Yeager, Tori Asebedo, Kassidy Watts and Alyssa Diers decided to get resourceful. They gathered tarps and cinder blocks to tarp the main sections of the softball field after an indoor practice. The girls said they were tired of indoor practice and really wanted to play! A leaf blower was used to blow the standing water off the field before laying down the tarps. The Lady Trojans were able to play the next day and defeated Chadwick in a 3 inning game, 19-4.
Curriculum & Instruction

Nicole Humble, Curriculum Director

As the 2017-18 school year comes to an end, we are beginning to prepare for 2018-19. We are excited about the opportunities ahead for our students K-12. We have spent some time reflecting on this past year and have noted areas in which to improve. We have shared ideas with our staff about specific areas of focus for 2018-19. In K-8 we will be focusing on how to increase student engagement with exploratory activities, writing effective essential and guiding questions for our units and improving our assessment and intervention processes. In 9-12 grades our students are going to be provided with a wealth of opportunities to expand options for scheduling. As with any year, 2018-19 is coming with changes, but we are excited about the potential for Sparta R-III as we are working to constantly make what we do great!