SPARTA, NJ - The Sparta Board of Education is promoting the opportunity for the community to be involved in the process of developing a long term strategic plan. This is a brand new initiative for Sparta. So new that many are asking what it is and why should they attend.  

Elementary school parent David Acker asked, "Is it worth getting a babysitter?"

Superintendent Dennis Tobin explained.  "This is an opportunity to have families and residents be a part of a discussion about what our schools are doing, what we would like them to be and how to get there. As much as it is a process to develop a plan, it is a chance to have some community members become active and involved stakeholders in the Sparta schools."  

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This effort is a scaled-down version of the Community Facilities Task Force that came together to investigate the district's needs as they pertained to facilities. That initiative drew more than a hundred of the community's parents and residents. They divided into task specific committees and met over a period of six months.

The LRFP is a much smaller commitment. It will be held on three evenings in the Media Center at Sparta High School. Discussions will be facilitated by representatives from New Jersey School Board's Association.

“Our school district provides an excellent, comprehensive educational program where our students experience success in all areas; academically in the classroom as well as in athletics, co-curricular activities, music and the arts," Tobin said. "Recently Sparta has been recognized in various media forums as being a high performing school district.  This is something that our students, staff and entire school community should be most proud of.  More importantly, our students graduate and move on to the very best colleges and universities across the country and are able to continue their personal success.

“It is easy to see why the community would not feel the need to participate in this activity. I hope, however, that they do come out. I hope they understand the need to have this discussion because there is always room for improvement. We want to continue to move ahead."

The areas that will be discussed are:

  • demographics,
  • funding,
  • community factors and
  • political environment. 

 These topics will be related to educational program, staff, facilities, technology, finance and community relations.

The participants will break into small discussion groups where they will have parallel conversations on the same topics.

The meetings will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 23; Wednesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. You need not commit to all three meetings. 

While not required, the district is requesting that participants email webmaster@sparta.org or call 973.729.2155 to let the administration know they will attend.