Curriculum Currents

Sparta School District -Office of Curriculum and Instruction

Message from Dr. Johnson

Dear Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s)


As hard as it is to believe, we have quickly found ourselves at the end of the school year. What a great and unusual year it was. It was unusual as we went through a whole winter without one major snow storm and without one school closing. I cannot recall another winter that this has ever occurred. Great because our students have continued to excel. We have introduced a Summer Academy for our students in the upper grades. Our STEM Academy had a tremendous first year, and we look forward to next year when we introduce Engineering and Design into the Academy. Our extra-curricular and athletic programs continued to make their mark in the State, winning numerous awards.


As summer approaches, we have also begun to plan for the 2016-2017 school year. This year, we will post our summer work on the sparta.org main page, making it easier for our community to find the assignments. If you have questions regarding your child's courses for next year, please feel free to reach out to his/her guidance counselor.


The coming weeks have so many exciting things for our students and community to enjoy. From Awards Ceremonies to Field Days, Graduations to Concerts, the end of the year is filled with so many ways to celebrate our students and their achievements. Make the most of these times, they create lasting memories for us all.


Yours in Education,


Dr. Johnson

SPARTA SCHOOL DISTRICT END OF YEAR EVENTS

As we start to wind down the school year, there are a number of events that we have coming up. To help our community plan for these events, we offer the following schedule of events for you to utilize as a guide.


May 16th SCHOOLS CLOSED - EMERGENCY DAY MAKE-UP DAY

May 20th SCHOOLS CLOSED - EMERGENCY DAY MAKE-UP DAY

May 24th 2nd Grade Field Trip to NJPAC

May 25th Sparta High School Monogram Dinner

May 25th Sparta Middle School Orchestra Concert

May 26th Sparta High School Top Ten Dinner

May 30th SCHOOLS CLOSED - MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE

May 31st Summer Reading Book Fair at Alpine School

June 1st 2nd Grade Art Show

June 2nd 5th Grade Moving Up Assembly

June 3rd SCHOOLS CLOSED - EMERGENCY DAY MAKE-UP DAY

June 6th Helen Morgan 5th Grade Activity Day

June 6th PreK and Kindergarten Field Day at Alpine

June 7th Mohawk Avenue Field Trip to Waterloo

June 8th 1st and 2nd Grade Field Day at Alpine

June 8th Helen Morgan School Battle of the Books

June 8th Sparta High School Underclassman Awards

June 8th Mohawk Avenue Book Fair

June 9th Helen Morgan 4th Grade Activity Day

June 9th Mohawk Avenue Field Trip to Waterloo

June 9th Sparta High School Academic Awards

June 13th Sparta High School Final Exams Begin

June 13th HALF-DAY FOR STUDENTS 9-12 (Finals)

June 13th Mohawk Avenue Field Day

June 14th HALF-DAY FOR STUDENTS 9-12 (Finals)

June 15th Mohawk Avenue Grade 3 Concert

June 15th HALF-DAY FOR STUDENTS 9-12 (Finals)

June 16th HALF-DAY FOR STUDENTS K-12

June 17th SCHOOLS CLOSED - EMERGENCY DAY MAKE-UP

June 20th Mohawk Avenue Grade 3 Fun Day

June 20th HALF-DAY FOR STUDENTS K-12

June 21st HALF-DAY FOR STUDENTS K-12

June 21st LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

June 23rd Sparta Middle School Graduation

June 24th Sparta High School Graduation

SUMMER WORK...

But Mom, I thought school was over...

As a parent, I have heard from my own children how they wish that they did not have to complete assignments over the summer. As an educator, I know that I can count on my friends asking me the same questions, "Why do schools make the kids do work over the summer?" Well...there is a legitimate reason why we ask our students to do work over the summer months:



  • All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer (White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004).

  • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996).


  • Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

  • Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do (Duffett et al, 2004).



The Sparta School District will be sending home our Summer Work information in the coming days. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the programs that have been put together to help your students continue to access the knowledge they acquired throughout the school year.


In addition to our Summer Work, there are things that you can do around your home that will assist your students as well. Please watch the following:

Summer Brain Drain
The Sparta School District is proud to offer a comprehensive educational program during the summer months. Our program allows students to remediate, enrich, or accelerate their course work. Offerings range from credit recovery courses, original credit courses, bridge courses, and enrichment courses. All courses will take place at Sparta High School.

The Sparta Summer Academy welcomes students from the Sparta School District, as well as students from surrounding school districts. Out-of-District students should work with their Guidance Counselor and Guidance Department regarding the transfer of course credits.

The 2016 Summer Academy will run from July 5th through August 5th. Please scroll down, or click the link below to see the dates and times of courses in the course descriptions. If you are interested in registering for a course, click the "Register" button next to the course. If you are interested in registering for multiple courses, please use the Eventbrite Registration Page link below.


For more information, please click on the title above (Sparta Summer Academy)