Sparta Public School District News

February 2019

A Message from Dr. Michael Rossi, Jr., Superintendent

Over the last several months, our community has come together to develop a long-term strategic plan for the school district. Vision 2025 will be presented at the March 25th Board of Education meeting. The four major areas of Vision 2025 include student achievement, health and wellness, facilities and community connections. Specific goals, objectives, target outcomes and timelines will be identified during the meeting. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more. Click here for BOE meeting dates and agendas.

Telling Stories Through Its Halls

Alpine Elementary School has seen a big transformation recently thanks to our creative staff, parents and local businesses. The Alpine Mural Committee, comprised of Alpine Elementary School teachers and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) members, came together to create a welcoming school environment that would offer visual stimulation into the educational experience while reinforcing positive self-esteem. The murals are an on-going project throughout the school to promote connections to subject matters such as reading math, music, art, health and character education.

Robotics Club Recap

The Helen Morgan School LEGO Robotics program came to an exciting conclusion with this year's inter-squad exposition. Three teams, comprised of more than 20 fourth and fifth grade students, raced, programmed, designed and engineered their way through five robot courses and challenges. The LEGO Robotics program is led by a dedicated group of volunteer parent-coaches who meet before or after school from September through November. Specific tasks, or missions, are designed by the First Lego League, and each team must design and program their LEGO Mindstorm robots to complete as many missions as possible. Through this hands-on experience, students gain valuable exposure to programming, engineering, the design process and working on and with a team.

Mohawk Makes a Difference

The "Mohawk Avenue School Makes a Difference" initiative was created to give students an opportunity to learn the importance of giving back to their community. The projects focus on “students helping students” and support the learning standard of explaining roles of philanthropy, volunteer service, and charitable contributions, and analyze their impact on community development and quality of living. The first project for the 2018-2019 school year was the "Note in a Coat" program that had the students partner with Pass It Along to collect gently used coats and write notes of kindness and warmth and place them in the pockets of each coat. For the next project the students will be collecting donations for Father John’s Animal Shelter and O.S.C.A.R. This program goes hand-in-hand with the character education program at Mohawk Avenue School. Monthly character education themes are taught and practiced and celebrated throughout the year.

Senior Spotlight: Simon Levien

Simon Levien, Sparta High School Senior, was recently recognized for his outstanding writing in the realm of science. Simon is a self-proclaimed "science junkie" who was instrumental in garnering a Sparta Education Foundation grant for CRISPR/Cas9 classroom kits as part of an Advanced Placement project. Simon took his interest in science and entered several writing contests. From a pool of over 1,700 entries, Simon's essay on the impact of global currents on climate change was selected as a Judge's Pick Award in the 2018 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest Prose Category. Additionally, Simon's review of a New York Times article was selected as one of the ten best from over 1,900 student entries.

Picatinny Arsenal Field Trip

Students from Sparta High School’s Engineering, STEM Academy and Architecture & Design classes visited Picatinny Arsenal for a tour of the engineering facilities. Students were able to observe and discuss the engineering and design of weapons simulations, innovation, 3-D printing, and robotics with experts from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC). Students interacted with various ARDEC bomb retrieval and diffusing robots, remote controlled weapons vehicles, large weapon systems, viewed training simulations and completed the military experience with an MRE (meal-ready-to-eat) lunch.

Sparta HS Guidance Department

As we begin to prepare for the 2019-2020 school year, students can view the new online course catalog here. We hope this provides a more user-friendly and informative catalog highlighting all we have to offer in our curriculum here at Sparta High School. Check the Guidance Department webpage for more information.