SPARTA, NJ - Sparta schools started up last week.  There were several new faces in the classrooms, not just students but new teachers as well.  Some facilities changes also greeted students, parents and staff last week as well. 

"The 2017-2018 academic term brings with it exciting new developments and new faces.  We are thrilled to have expanded our Robotics footprint at SHS, continue to create current and relevant learning opportunities, such as in the MRC in both the high school and HMS and are very eager to launch our new K-5 language arts program.” Superintendent Michael Rossi said.  “Coupled with a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, we believe Sparta continues to engage students in a variety of meaningful approaches.  On the personnel front we have brought back two world language faculty K-5 and a guidance counselor 9-12, added a full time tech, and established a full time life skills position.  Additionally, there are several security enhancements getting under way that should be completed prior to the New Year."

The new staff:

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Alpine Elementary School

  • Nicole Kennedy  - Spanish
  • Susan Brusberg - special education Leave of Absence replacement
  • Victoria Coe - Kindergarten Leave of Absence
  • Stephanie Dykes - special education
  • Kyla Kelly - physical education
  • Elizabeth Roche - first grade
  • Gloria Zurlo - Special Education

“At Alpine Elementary School we are very excited for a new school year and to welcome our new Kindergarten class, the future graduating class of 2030’” Principal Giuseppe Leone said. “With the new school year we are especially excited about the implementation of our new ELA resource and 1:1 initiative.”  

Mohawk Avenue School

  • Lauren Burdick -third grade
  • Becky McKean - third grade

“Mohawk Avenue School is off to a great start,” Principal Laura Trent said. 

Helen Morgan School

  • Nathalia Faisca - special education
  • Allison Rudoph – art third, fourth and fifth grade
  • Elizabeth Frister - special education Leave of Absence
  • Heather Raquet - fifth grade
  • Amanda Spence - fourth grade
  • Alexandra Brex - Spanish third, fourth and fifth grade
  • Matthew Grogaard - special education

Principal Doug Layman said, "We are excited to introduce to students and our school community to several new programs, initiatives and teachers. Specifically we have a new Spanish program, a major remodeling of our media center, and thanks to the district's 1:1 Chromebook initiative, a Chromebook for every student to use during the school day.  In addition, we are very excited to introduce eight teachers that will be new to HMS this year." (including the world language teacher)

Sparta Middle School

  • Michael Malakuskie - biology -  eighth grade
  • Daniel Rasmussen - special education - social studies
  • Alexandra Jasinski - math Leave of Absence
  • Kelly Kiff - media specialist
  • Judith Price – German

Principal Michael Gregory said thanks to the PTO, the school has a new digital sign.

Sparta High School

  • William Chadwick - special education - English
  • Brain Franks - math
  • Amanda Sachenski - Spanish
  • James Phillips - special education
  • Allison Pollison - art - Leave of Absence
  • Sally Snelson - math
  • Susanna Allison - guidance
  • Jill Deardorff  - special education

“Over the summer months there have been a handful of exciting projects in the high school.  The media center is getting a make-over as it is transformed into a learner active center.  The robotics room has doubled in size and can now accommodate a growing program with state of the art technology,” Principal Janet Ferraro. “New staff are settling in, and as always we welcome them to the Spartan family. Once again, we have attracted some of the best teachers in the state as they join us at the high school. The start of the school year has been busy with the 1:1 initiative.  We had a successful back to school night, and look forward to settling into a routine as the school year moves into high gear.”

Some of the facility changes were big, others small and some ongoing.  At the high school the robotics room was expanded and the media center was reconfigured.  The robotic room was made larger by opening a wall into the adjacent rooms.  The stacks in the media center were moved against the walls, opening the center of the room to allow for more students to be able to use the room.  New furniture will be arriving within the next few weeks to augment the students use of the space.

The middle school PTO donated an electronic sign that has been installed on the wall outside the building.

Helen Morgan also has changes made to the media center.  The rugs were removed tile installed.  New paint on the wall makes it a lighter brighter space for the students. As with the high school new furniture will be arriving in a few weeks to make it a more friendly, usable space for the fourth and fifth grade students.

Alpine school had a fence installed around the perimeter of the property and the modular classrooms to enhance safety on that campus. There are also new signs to encourage safer driving on the campus.  Parent Kate Matteson asked for signs to be installed at the July board of education meeting after seeing cars speeding in the driveway and parking lots.

All high school and middle school students and staff received their new laptops last week as part of the district’s 1:1 initiative.  In order to get their machines, students had to complete an online digital driver’s license course.  Students in the three elementary schools have classroom sets of laptops that stay in school. 

This initiative in linked to the G-Suite initiative to use google apps for classroom to support and enhance learning in Sparta. 

The newly founded Sparta High School Hall of Fame is currently being constructed to receive the first class of inductees in October.

Back to school nights are underway.  

The Sparta High School had their event on Thursday night.  Sparta Middle School greeted parents on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Helen Morgan School has two nights:

  • September 27 - fourth grade
  • September 28 - fifth grade 

Mohawk Avenue School - September 18  

  • 6 p.m. - Miss Delpome, Miss Reigstad, Mrs. McKean, Mrs. Sullivan, Mrs. Weir
  • 8 p.m. - Miss Burdick, Mrs. Lukich, Mrs. Nademus, Mrs. Amy Smith, Mrs. Suzanne Smith

Alpine Elementary School holds two back to school nights: 

  • Sept 19; pre-kindergarten and kindergarten parents at 5:30 p.m.  first grade parents at 8 p.m.,
  • Sept 26 second grade parents at 5:30 p.m.