SPARTA, NJ- It may be a tough subject to discuss at home, nonetheless Sparta High School students have reading to do. There is required reading for all English classes, AP Literature and AP Language classes. Honors and AP classes have more than one book to read. According the school officials, the English classes will have in-class assessments within the first two weeks of school. For students in ninth, tenth and eleventh grade these assessments will serve as benchmark grades against which progress will be measured as the year progresses.
Other subjects and high level classes have summer assignments as well. Students taking AP Chemistry are required to read sections and complete assignments in their text book.
There are three parts to the assignment for ninth grade Honors World History students including completing a written worksheet to prepare for an in-class essay, reading Beyond the Beautiful Forevers Life, Death and Hope in Munbai Undercity and reading five world news articles in the New York Times with a commensurate assignment.
As for tenth grade Honors US History, they must read the first three chapters of A People’s History of the United States and write two essays. AP US History students have several summer assignments based on reading Conflict and Consensus in Early American History and Standing at Armageddon.
AP Art History students have an assignment based on reading Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis due on the first day of school. AP European History students have their choice of three book to read. Their assignment is not due until the second Friday after they return.
AP Psychology has several books to choose from for their summer reading. There is an assignment based on the book and a separate assignment as well. Both assignments will be due on September 12.
All of the AP Art students have multi-faceted summer assignments that include new creations and revisiting previous works.
In the World Language department AP German, AP Spanish and AP French all have summer reading and assignments. There are no AP courses available for Russian or Mandarin.
“Sparta embraces the concept of summer assignments to try to stem the tide of learning loss throughout the summer. While many countries have year-round schooling, the U.S. continues to use the traditional model. While we all enjoy the break, as educators we have to find ways to keep our students up to speed even while they are on vacation,” said Dr. Melissa Varley, Assistant Superintendent for Director of Curriculum and Staff Development.
All of the assignments, reading lists and worksheets can be found at http://shs.sparta.org/information/summer_assignments
At the elementary level, Laura Trent Mohawk Avenue School and Guiseppe Leone at Alpine School have issued their Principal’s Challenge for their students over the summer. http://thealternativepress.com/towns/sparta/articles/summer-principals-challenge-for-alpine-and-mohaw