August 2019 

Dear Sparta Learning Community, 

Welcome to another great school year! Please note some of the exciting developments that are ahead. We spent the better part of last year meeting and developing Vision 2025, our School District Strategic Plan and blueprint for success. It contains four major domains: student achievement, community connections, health and wellness, and facilities. 

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In the area of student achievement, our focus is on creating multiple pathways for students to demonstrate competencies, learn valuable practical experience and gain entrance into their choice of colleges and careers. Within the domain of community connections we seek to enhance and expand partnerships with parents, local organizations, and higher education. In the area of health and wellness, we recognize the critical implementation of character education, social - emotional learning, response to intervention, and the student voice. Ultimately, our facilities must reflect future ready learning spaces, top tier performance environments, and differentiated engagements. 

One significant improvement is the installation of a ‘turf field’ at Sparta High School. Equipped with LED lighting, a new scoreboard, fencing and bleachers, Cassels will be a state of the art, multi-sport venue. Another substantial alteration is how we will manage energy use. We believe there are tremendous potential cost savings in the area of energy consumption. To wit, we have partnered with Cenergistic, a group that will enable us to move monies spent on unused heating and air conditioning back to the classroom. This will require some behavioral adjustments {shutting of lights, PCs}, but will have no impact on instruction. 

To accomplish these goals, we have made some strategic modifications to our staffing and the teaching and learning processes. We have established the position of Supervisor of Pupil Services in an effort to focus on affective domain considerations. We have established the position of Supervisor of College and Career Readiness with an eye towards linkages between student achievement and life after Sparta Schools. A Response to Intervention (RTI) Coordinator will facilitate various student issues related to classroom challenges, positive behaviors, interventions, and supports. We have also added classroom teaching positions, shored up help within custodial maintenance and added an armed security guard so that every school has one full time officer. Additionally, all “Sparta” functions and activities will now have armed security coverage. To coordinate our energy savings program, an Energy Specialist has been hired [salary paid from savings]. 

One key constituent group we seek to enhance connections with are our Sparta High School Alumni. During the 2018-2019 academic term we established an alumni association, alumni website, a ‘where they are now” feature and the upcoming school year will bring with it the first ever Sparta Alumni Scholarship. As we expand relationships with graduates our intention is to ask for feedback as to what we can do to improve the academic, athletic and co-curricular experiences for our current students. Please visit https://alumni.sparta.org/ for more information. 

All of these continued efforts combined with our sustained commitment to excellence, ongoing accomplishments in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in fine and performing arts make Sparta Township School District one of a kind. I am sure you agree that our faculty, staff, and leadership team are second to none in that regard. Please note that while some of you may have heard concerns raised about state monitoring (otherwise known as QSAC), I assure you that has no bearing on the outstanding delivery of instruction our students receive on a daily basis or our reputation as a top flight educational organization among our peers, higher education, and the general workplace. 

Sincerely, 
Michael Rossi, Jr. Ph.D. 

Superintendent of Schools 

Michael A. Rossi, Jr., Ph.D. Superintendent