Handbooks

STUDENT HANDBOOK

SPARTA MIDDLE SCHOOL
“A MICHIGAN BLUE RIBBON EXEMPLARY SCHOOL”
Office Telephone:  616 -887-8211
Voice Mail:  616-887-7505
Attendance Office:  616-887-1079
Fax:  616-887-1080
Office Hours:  M-F: 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Web Site:  www.spartaschools.org

 

Dear Students:

Welcome to Sparta Middle School.  Please take time to review our student handbook.  It has many helpful pages describing our school and the system of rules we use to establish a SAFE, CARING, and ORDERLY environment.  There is a certification form at the end of this document.  Please review the information, sign the certification form, and return it to your Advisory teacher.

 Best wishes to you for a successful school year.

 Sincerely,

 Mr. Stoner, Principal

SPARTA MIDDLE SCHOOL'S MISSION STATEMENT

THE SPARTA MIDDLE SCHOOL STAFF, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR STUDENTS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THE SPARTA COMMUNITY, WILL ENSURE A SAFE, CARING, AND ORDERLY ENVIRONMENT, DESIGNED TO FOSTER THE GROWTH OF EVERY CHILD.

ACCEPTING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND LEARNING STYLES, THIS PARTNERSHIP RECOGNIZES THE ABILITY OF ALL STUDENTS TO LEARN.  THROUGH TEAMWORK, MOTIVATIONAL LEADERSHIP, AND THE UTILIZATION OF APPROPRIATE RESOURCES, WE WILL CHALLENGE ALL STUDENTS TO LEARN TO THEIR POTENTIAL.

 SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS' MISSION STATEMENT

THE SPARTA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT IS COMMITTED TO WORK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH STUDENTS, FAMILIES, AND THE COMMUNITY. OUR GOAL IS TO INSURE THAT ALL STUDENTS MASTER THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND DEVELOP THE ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS NECESSARY TO FUNCTION SUCCESSFULLY IN A CHANGING WORLD. THIS PARTNERSHIP IS COMMITTED TO GUARANTEE AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT DESIGNED TO CHALLENGE ALL STUDENTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR HIGHEST POTENTIALS.

 SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS' DISTRICT EXIT STANDARDS

TO IMPLEMENT THE MISSION STATEMENT, STUDENTS OF SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE:

  • Self-directed learners who anticipate, gather, arrange, analyze, and employ data to cope with a changing world.
  • Productive citizens who promote activities for the health and welfare of self and others.
  • Creative thinkers who use varied strategies and resources to solve problems.
  • Effective communicators who listen, speak, write, and read proficiently in a variety of situations.
  • Cooperative workers who function effectively in groups to solve problems.
  • Quality producers who create intellectual, artistic, and useful products reflecting high standards and modern technologies.

 EQUAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY

It is the policy of Sparta Area School District that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity and in employment.

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

·         A student has the right to be educated in a safe, caring and orderly environment.
·         A student has the right to be educated in a climate of high expectations for success.
·         A student has the right to an environment offering a variety of opportunities to learn.
·         A student has the right to receive frequent reports of his or her progress in school.
·         A student has the right to open communication between the school and their home.

 Along with their rights, Sparta Middle School students have a set of responsibilities.   These responsibilities help students learn important behaviors which will train them for their future. These responsibilities are:

  • Each student is responsible for being in school daily and on time for his or her classes.
  • Each student is responsible for producing quality work in class and for class participation.
  • Each student is responsible for dressing in appropriate attire respecting the learning environment.
  • Each student is responsible for his or her behavior in the classroom, hallways, cafeteria and all areas of the building and school property.
  • Each student is responsible for school issued books and materials.  Students will be charged for them if they are lost or damaged.

 

DRESS CODE

Students must take pride in their appearance and dress while attending Sparta Middle School. A student who is well groomed and chooses to wear neat, clean, and well-fitting clothing to school generally has a positive attitude about school and contributes to a good learning environment. It is recognized that a student’s attitude and behavior is reflected in his/her appearance.  Student appearance and dress should not disrupt the learning environment.

 

Examples of the types of clothing that are not appropriate to be worn to school include, but are not limited to:

  • spaghetti strap, tube, halter, bare midriff tops, or backless shirts
  • tank tops less than three (3) fingers width or large arm openings
  • excessively tight-fitting articles of clothing
  • tight stretch style pants may only be worn under other fingertip or longer shorts or skirts
  • low cut necklines
  • low rise jeans, sagging pants, or any pants and/or shirts that have large or inappropriate holes 
  • hats, hoods, ‘do-rags’, and bandanas are not permitted to be worn during the school day.  Any student wearing a hood in school may not be allowed to wear hooded clothing in the future.
  • Wheels on shoes

 

Also not permitted are articles of clothing that contain questionable language, slogans, messages, or promote products and/or attitudes that are not appropriate for middle school students as determined by an Administrator.

All shorts and skirts must be beyond fingertip length when wearing.

 Use of face paint is considered inappropriate for school.  Large chains such as jewelry and wallet chains are not allowed.  Students who write or carve words or figures on their bodies will be asked to remove such insignia.  Parents will be contacted if this self-effacing behavior continues. 

Bandanas, jewelry, specific symbols and colors that have gang related identification will not be tolerated at Sparta Middle School.  Parents will be notified if gang identification is suspected of their child.

 

The use of headphones, CD players, MP3 players, cell phones, or any other like electronic device is not allowed during the school day (7:35-2:50) without the permission of school personnel.  The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen articles.

The consequence for violation of the student dress code will result in a conference with the school administrator/counselor, a request for the student to abide by the dress code the day of the violation, and the parents may be contacted.  Additional violations will initiate progressive discipline. 

 GUM POLICY

Students are permitted to chew gum as long as it does not disrupt the educational process. Students are expected to demonstrate respectful behavior when they chew gum. Examples of respectful behavior include chewing with one's mouth closed, no gum snapping, no blowing bubbles, and disposing of the gum and wrappers in the proper receptacles.

Students who are disruptive with their gum or dispose of it improperly may lose their gum chewing privilege. All staff reserves the right to prohibit gum chewing in their classroom if improper use and/or disposal of gum become chronic.

Gum chewing is not allowed in the Media Center, computer labs, gym, or band room. Students chewing gum in these areas will be issued a lunch detention. A second offense will result in an after school detention. The detention slip will be sent home with the student to be signed and returned the next school day. Additional offenses will result in consequences following progressive discipline.

 

DISCIPLINE POLICY GUIDE

In order to be:

SAFE

We need to keep ourselves under control.

CARING

We need to treat each other with respect and courtesy.

ORDERLY

We need to follow directions.

TOGETHER we can promote an environment of school pride.

 

DISCIPLINE VISION STATEMENT

The discipline policy at Sparta Middle School teaches, rather than punishes, resulting in improved student conduct.  It provides fair and logical consequences for misconduct, determined by our knowledge of the child, in order to preserve student dignity. 

 DISCIPLINE PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Sparta Middle School discipline is designed to maintain the dignity of the student.  Consequences for poor choices will be designed to provide a learning experience for the student. Consequences are given based on the poor choice the student makes. Consequences will be designed to fit the students and the situations where problems have occurred. Parent support is required for the school to be effective in helping students learn from their mistakes. 

 DISCIPLINE PROCESS & CONSEQUENCES

The school administration and teaching staff design consequences to fit the actions or reactions of the student. We will assess each situation, looking carefully at the facts of the incident as well as the circumstances in which the incident occurred.

 Our main goal is to work with the student and parent to keep incidents from escalating to a serious nature. We want all of our students to be successful and to feel comfortable in school so they can learn the skills they need to function in today’s society.

 The process being used at Sparta Middle School to assist with this goal is the Responsible Thinking Process (RTP).

 The Responsible Thinking Process (RTP) is a discipline process that teaches students how to think through their behavior and accept responsibility for their actions.  The key component of this process is its focus on teaching students how to achieve their goals without getting in the way of others trying to do the same thing.

The Responsible Thinking Center (RTC) is where students are referred when they continue to violate the rights of others.  In the RTC, students work on a plan to learn how to achieve what they want without interfering with the rights of others.  If a student chooses to disrupt the learning process in the classroom, the teacher will initiate a series of questions that are designed to allow the student to think about his/her actions and respond appropriately.  If the student chooses to continue to disrupt, then he/she has made the choice to go to the RTC.

In the RTC, the student will create a written plan regarding the disruption.  The plan must be negotiated and discussed with the teacher/person in charge before returning to class.  Each visit to the RTC is documented and kept in the student’s discipline file.  Additional consequences may be forthcoming for students who cause frequent disruptions to the classroom, exhibit a pattern of misbehavior, or participate in serious acts of misconduct.

Students who do not follow rules and procedures of the RTC meet with a building principal and will be given an out of school suspension (OSS).  A parent meeting will be scheduled for any student whose behavior led to an out of school suspension (OSS).

All Sparta Middle School teachers and staff are expected to use the Responsible Thinking Process in all environments of the school.

ADDITIONAL CONSEQUENCES

Discipline at Sparta Middle School is progressive.  If a student continually fails to respond to interventions, the consequences will increase in severity.  Parental support can help deter students from a pattern of continual misbehavior.  An intervention may be called for, involving parent, teacher, counselor, administrator, and student.  Some incidents of misconduct may result in a conference with a school administrator and an assignment of an ISS or OSS. An In-School Suspension (ISS) takes place in the RTC and is designed to allow the student to remain in school and do his/her school work within a supervised setting.  In the case of an Out-of-School Suspension (OSS), the student is not allowed on school property while suspended.  Arrangements may be made to provide school work for the student given an OSS. 

Consequences include: informal talk with teacher, formal talk with teacher and an administrator, removal from class to write an action plan, formal conference with parent and teacher, individualized behavioral contract, detention during lunch, after school detention, community service, in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension.  Alternate consequences may be designed in order to provide individuality and flexibility to the discipline process.  After School Detentions may be given by the teacher for:

  • Classroom disruption while under the instruction of a guest teacher
  • 4 Tardies for class and each tardy, thereafter.
  • Not having important school documents returned and signed
  • Gum chewing after a warning has been given
  • Other situations as determined by administration

After school detentions are served on Wednesday and Thursdays, from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Parents must provide transportation.  Failure to attend an After School Detention may result in an Out of School Suspension.

In cases where suspensions do not change a student’s behavior, a recommendation for expulsion from school may be filed with the superintendent of Sparta Area Schools. A request for a school board hearing will then be made. Under Board Policy #5610, a student will receive his/her Due Process Rights for such situations. 

Incidents that cause a serious threat to students and/or school property will be handled immediately.  In such instances, parents as well as law enforcement agencies may be contacted.  Such incidents include, but are not limited to, possession, personal use, distribution, sale or attempt to sell mood altering substances or look-a-like mood altering substances, possession of dangerous weapons, lighters, matches, fireworks, laser pens/pointers, toys that cause shocks, drugs, alcohol and pornography. An attempt to sell drugs, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or extortion of money will also be treated as serious threats. Other areas of grave danger would be physical threats of violence, assault and battery to another student or staff, formation of gangs or gang related activity. The use of video recording devices or filming on school property is not permitted without approval by staff. The personal use or distribution of tobacco lighters, matches, or illegal substances at Sparta Area School buildings or on property belonging to Sparta Area Schools is prohibited.  Tobacco or other illegal substances will be confiscated and destroyed or turned over to the authorities if necessary.

obviously, the school attempts to handle discipline when it is of a minor nature; however, a plan is necessary for cases that present serious dangers to others. Our list is not all-inclusive, but the above-mentioned incidents can help parents reference the type of actions available to the school.

BULLYING AND OTHER AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR TOWARD STUDENTS

The Board of Education is committed to providing a safe, positive, productive, and nurturing educational environment for all of its students.  The Board encourages the promotion of positive interpersonal relations between members of the school community.  Physical, verbal and/or psychological abuse based on race, religion, sexual orientation will not be tolerated.  Aggressive behavior toward a student, whether by other students, staff, or third parties is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.  This prohibition includes physical, verbal, and psychological abuse such as bullying and hazing.  The Board will not tolerate any gestures, comments, threats, or actions to a student which cause or threaten to cause bodily harm, reasonable fear for personal safety, or personal degradation.  Students who have knowledge of events that my cause harm to others and do not report that knowledge to school officials may receive consequences. 

This policy applies to all activities in the District, including activities on school property and those occurring off school property if the student or employee is at any school-sponsored, school-approved or school-related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events where students are under the school’s control, or where an employee is engaged in school business. 

 SEXUAL/RACIAL HARASSMENT

It is the goal of Sparta Middle School to foster an environment where students feel safe and cared for by their teachers and other students.

In the event students report incidents of sexual/racial harassment, the situations will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken toward the individuals involved in the harassment.  When a situation warrants it, law enforcement will be contacted and a report filed regarding the harassment situation.

If you feel you are being sexually harassed:

  • Let the person know that you do not like their behavior or comments and that you want them to stop.
  • Tell someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing the information and who will support you.
  • Write the incident in your own words.  Include who was involved, who witnessed the incident, what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and how it made you feel.
  • See a school official: teacher, coach, counselor, or administrator.

The District encourages any student who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment to report his/her concerns directly to any building principal or guidance counselor.  Board Policy 5517 addresses sexual harassment. 

Complaints or reports of sexual harassment shall be handled as confidentially as possible.  However, in certain circumstances, the District may be required by the Child Protection Law to report child sexual abuse to the Department of Social Services or other designated law enforcement agency.

All reports or complaints of sexual harassment will be promptly investigated by appropriate District representatives.  Any student who violates this policy will be subject to appropriate corrective action, including suspension or expulsion.

The District prohibits retaliation against students who file or make such complaints.  Filing of a complaint or otherwise reporting sexual harassment will not reflect upon an individual’s status nor will it affect a student’s grades or work assignments.  However, the District will take appropriate action if it finds that a student has deliberately filed a false complaint.

 COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL/STATE LAWS/BOARD POLICIES

A weapon-free school zone exists at every public and private K-12 school in Michigan and includes school grounds and school vehicles, which transport students. Federal/State law requires boards of education and school administrators to impose expulsion as the penalty when a student possesses dangerous weapons in a weapon-free school zone or commits or attempts arson, physical assault or rape in a school building or on school grounds.

Within three days after a student is expelled for possession of a dangerous weapon, for arson or for rape, the school will refer the student to the Kent County Department of Social Services or Kent County Community Health Department as required by law.

Board Policy 5500 describes Sparta Area Schools’ expectations for student conduct as follows:

“Respect for law and for those persons in authority shall be expected of all students. This includes conformity to school rules as well as general provisions of law regarding minors.  Respect for the rights of others, consideration of their privileges, and cooperative citizenship shall also be expected of all members of the school community.

Respect for real and personal property; pride in one’s work; achievement within the range of one’s ability; and exemplary personal standards of courtesy, decency, and honesty should be maintained in the schools of this District.”

Board Policy 5600 describes Student Discipline as follows:

 “…the best discipline is self-imposed and that students should learn to assume responsibility for their own behavior and the consequences of their actions.”  This policy further states that students are required to follow rules and submit to disciplinary measures assigned for infraction of those rules.

Policy 5600 states school rules shall require that students:

  • Conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior
  • Respect the person and property of others
  • Preserve the degree of order necessary to the educational program in which they are engaged
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Obey constituted authority and respond to those who hold that authority

 BEHAVIOR AT ATHLETIC EVENTS

Student attendance at athletic events is encouraged.  To ensure the enjoyment of all spectators, students who are disruptive, disorderly or otherwise do not exemplify good citizenship will be given consequences for their choices.  The first offense will be a warning.  The second offense any time thereafter is restriction from the current season’s attendance of events.  The third offense is restriction from all remaining home athletic events for the year. 

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY

It is recognized that regular attendance in school is essential to the continued academic success of students at Sparta Middle School.  Parents are encouraged to see to it that their children are in attendance on a daily basis.  If a student is often tardy or frequently absent from school, or if a pattern of absenteeism is noted, the attendance office will notify parents of this concern through a phone call or letter.  The middle school administration will make every effort to assist parents in developing a strategy to improve a student’s attendance pattern.  However, if problems continue, it may become necessary to contact the Kent Intermediate School District Truancy Office to intervene if noncompliance with the Compulsory Attendance Laws of the State of Michigan occurs.  By law, the school must report absences that are excused and unexcused. 

The following will occur:

                Trimester One                                                                                    Trimester Two

                Letter at five (5) absences                                                                 Letter at ten (10) absences

                Letter at ten (10) absences                                                                 Letter at fifteen (15) absences

                Truancy at fifteen (15) absences                                                     Truancy at twenty (20) absences

Trimester three

Letter at fifteen (15) absences

Letter at twenty (20) absences

Truancy after twenty (20) absences

 

All absences are counted per the year, not the trimester.  Absence totals will be reviewed at the beginning of each month.  Some consideration will be given to extenuating circumstances before a truancy referral is reported.

 

EXCUSED ABSENCES

A student’s absence may be excused if a parent/guardian calls the attendance line at 887-1079 by noon of the day the student is absent.  This is a voice mail system available 24 hours a day.  When students are absent from school for part of the day for doctor, dental, or other appointments, it is requested that they return with a notice from their doctor.

 

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

If no phone call is received, the absence will be considered unexcused and treated as a truancy situation.

PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCES

Students who know in advance that they will be absent may request a pre-arranged absence form from the office.  Before the pre-arranged absence date, the students are required to return the form to the office complete with a parent signature and make-up work instructions from each teacher.  Parents may also choose to phone or email the teachers to request homework at least two weeks in advance of the absence.

HOMEWORK FOR EXTENDED ABSENCES

Parents may call the office to request homework after the student has been absent two or more days in a row.  Please call before 8:30 a.m. to be able to pick up work for your student.  Students are responsible to make up absent work in a timely manner.  Failure to do so may result in a failing grade.

 TARDINESS

Sometimes circumstances occur that prevent students from being to school or in class on time.  Tardiness will only be excused if it is due to an appointment or extenuating circumstances as communicated to the administration.  A note from the parent/guardian is required to verify the circumstances.  All other tardiness will be considered unexcused.  On the third unexcused tardy of each trimester, the student will report to the RTC room to complete a plan.  Upon the fourth unexcused tardy an after school detention will be assigned.  Additional violations may result in other disciplinary measures.

 NOT PREPARED

At times a student may come to class with out the materials necessary to work.  If a student needs to leave the room to gather materials the student may earn a not prepared (NP).  On the third not prepared for the same class the  student may be sent to the RTC to create a plan for success.  The fourth, and any other, not prepared for the same class may result in an after school detention. 

 EARLY DISMISSAL

Early dismissal passes can be obtained from the office on the day the student needs to leave school early for an appointment.  Students must bring a note from the parent/guardian to the office when they arrive to school to obtain the pass.  If students leave early and will be returning to school, they must check in at the office when they return.  Parents/guardians MUST sign their child out in the office before the student is allowed to leave.

 STUDENT VISITORS

There may be times during the school year when students need to bring a visitor to class. Visitations are to be requested one week before the planned visit.  We ask that students plan ahead by getting a special permission slip for the visitor.  Approval must first be granted by a building administrator.  This slip must be completed by the student and signed by teachers, as well as parents, and an administrator. 

 GRADING

Our goal is for students to successfully complete the current grade level content before they move to the next grade level.  Students who have not mastered a standard are provided additional time and opportunities to achieve mastery.  These opportunities include, but are not limited to, Saturday School and Summer School.

 

The grading scale is as follows:

                                A             90%-100%

                                B             80%-89%

                                C             70%-79%

                                D             60%-69%

                                I              59% or lower with a good faith effort OR extenuating circumstances.

                                E             59% or lower with no good faith effort

 

A "Good Faith Effort" is shown when a student follows the directions, completes the work, and submits the work on the due date, or when a student solicits help before the due date to accomplish the task.

Students receiving an I or a D on a standard will go through a reteach loop to increase their content mastery.  These students will not be excluded from participating in events such as field trips and Eighth Grade Recognition Night. 

If a student shows a good faith effort, and completes the reteach/retest loop but does not reach 70% mastery of the standard, this standard will be averaged with other trimester grades.  A Saturday/Summer school invitation will be sent and the student may choose to participate in order to increase standard mastery. 

Students will receive an E if they do not show a good faith effort.  This E will be made up in Saturday/Summer School only.

 ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

In the event that a student attempts to take credit for another’s thoughts ideas or work, the student will be given the chance to redo the work, and parents will be contracted.  The grade for the work will remain a 0 until the work is made up.  A second office will also result in parent contact and further action may be taken.

 REPORT CARDS

Report Cards are given to students at the end of each trimester.  Students take Report Cards home in an envelope that parents must sign and return within three school days.  Parent signature on the envelope indicates that they have received the Report Card.  Students who do not return their signed envelope may receive a detention.  The last Report Card of the year will be mailed home.

 

PROGRESS REPORTS

With our trimester report card procedures, progress reports will be sent home at the midway point of each trimester.  Parents may access their student’s grades through a Powerschool link found on the district’s website, www.spartaschools.org.  You must use your student’s login and password to access grades.  You can obtain a parent login and user password by contacting the middle school office.

 CITIZENSHIP GRADES on the REPORT CARD

The Middle School Report Card contains a section for teachers to indicate student citizenship, as demonstrated in their classroom.  The citizenship grades are as follows:

O) OUTSTANDING

S) SATISFACTORY

N) NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

U) UNSATISFACTORY

 

HONOR ROLL

Students who have earned all "A" and "B" grades on their Report Cards, and have received satisfactory Citizenship marks will be recognized by having their names on the Honor Roll.  The Honor Roll is computed for each trimester; only students who have "A" and "B" grades at that time are placed on the Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is displayed in a showcase in the main lobby.

 

SCHOOL NURSE AND MEDICATION INFORMATION

The school nurse has responsibilities within the school district that require her to visit each building on a daily basis. Because of this, she spends only a portion of her day in the Middle School. The best time to reach the nurse at the Middle School is between 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. daily, except Tuesday.

 

Should you be required to take daily medication during the school year, a form signed by your doctor must be on file in the school office.  State law requires that all medication be brought to school and stored at school in the original container in which it was purchased.  All students are required to take their medication in the office.  We will only dispense medications accompanied by a doctor’s prescription or written permission from the parent for over the counter medications such as aspirin, Tylenol, Benadryl, etc.  Students must bring medication to the office upon their arrival to school.  Parents need to be responsible of keeping track of when your students need prescription refills.

 STUDENT LOCKERS

Lockers are the property of Sparta Middle School.  Inspections/Searches may occur to promote cleanliness and to ensure safety or comply with school rules.  Each locker is equipped with a combination lock.

 Each student is issued a hallway locker to store coats, books, and other school related supplies. It will be necessary in most cases for a student to share a locker with another student. All locker assignments are made by the student’s advisory teacher.

Students should refrain from keeping valuables such as jewelry, CD players, MP3’s and money in their lockers.  The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  It is the student's responsibility to keep the locker locked at all times and refrain from sharing locker combinations.

 

For the safety of everyone at the Middle School, students are not allowed to carry bags of any kind throughout the day.  Students may use their bookbags to transport items to and from school, but must leave them in their lockers during school hours. 

 

LOST/DAMAGED TEXTBOOK POLICY

Students are provided textbooks and library books as a service to support their educational growth.  With this comes the inherent responsibility of taking due care to insure the books are returned in comparable condition in which they were initially provided to the student.  The appropriate amount of wear and tear is assumed.  Using a book cover for the textbooks is expected to help protect the binding and cover from unnecessary damage.  In the event that damage occurs beyond the expected wear and tear, students will be fined for the damage up to and including the replacement costs for the book.  All fines are expected to be paid prior to receiving the next year's textbooks or library books.  This includes students who move on to the high school.

 

TELEPHONE USE

Students should not use the phones in the classroom.  In case of an emergency, phones may be used in the office.  Emergencies do NOT include:  forgotten items such as homework, lunch money, clothes, or plans for after school.  

 Students are not permitted to have walkie-talkies in school.

 The use of cell phones or any other electronic device is not allowed during the school day (7:35 – 2:50) without the permission of school personnel.  Students who choose to bring cell p hones or other electronic devices to school must have their devices turned off.  Students may store their devices in their pockets as long as the devices are out of view.  The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen articles. 

 STUDENT ACTIVITIES

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Each month all Middle School staff will have the opportunity to recognize students for outstanding achievements. The "Student of the Month" for each staff member will receive a certificate and a coupon for a dessert of their choice from the Spartan Cafe'.  Parents will also receive a letter recognizing their child's achievements. "Student of the Month" names are posted in the café.

 

STUDENT GOVERNMENT

Sparta Middle School has a student government organized by the assistant principal and a teacher/advisor.  The government is organized to help students understand the process of working together to help make their school a better place to learn. Student government gives students the opportunity to take an active role in the programs and projects within the school.  It is modeled after the United States Government with a Senate, House of Representatives, and a Cabinet.  It promotes leadership and encourages good citizenship among the student body. It is also designed to promote community involvement through service projects.  Some of the activities offered are seventh and eighth grade school dances and sixth grade mixers.  These activities are held after school from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 DANCE PROCEDURES

All normal school rules apply during dances.  (gum, cell phones, dress code…).  All belongings should be left in your locker.  You may return to your locker after the dance to pick up needed items.  You will not be allowed to go to your locker during the dance.  If you plan to leave early, you must have a parent note or be picked up by a parent, no exceptions.  Dances are for 7th and 8th grade only (unless otherwise noted).  All students may attend unless they have had a detention, ISS, or OSS, during the week of the dance, or as determined by an administrator.  No public displays of affection.  Be safe, caring, and orderly.  Making a choice to violate the above rules may result in removal from the dance and exclusion from future dances.

 DRAMA CLUB

There is a Drama Club, which gives students a chance to learn creative expression through theatre productions.
Students participate in all phases of the production from set designs to the student manager and individual acting
roles. Our Drama Club has been an outstanding group, and they have been invited to perform at the Women's
Literary Guild in Grand Rapids each year as a tribute to their excellent work.

 

SCIENCE OLYMPIAD

The Science Olympiad program is open to students in grades six through eight. Students compete to construct
projects and participate in science activities. Competition with other schools occurs each year.

 

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY

NJHS gives students the opportunity to take an active role in programs and projects within the school.  It promotes leadership and encourages good citizenship among the student body.  It is also designed to promote community involvement through service projects.  Information will be given to students at the beginning of seventh grade.

 

INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS

All seventh and eighth grade students have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics.  Sixth graders may also participate in Cross Country.  Sports programs that are offered include:

                                             Girls                                                                                      Boys

FALL:                      Basketball                                                         78er Football 

                           Cross Country                                                      Cross Country

                                                  Girls                                                                                      Boys
WINTER:                    Volleyball                                                           Basketball
                                                                                                         Wrestling
 

                                                    Girls                                                                                      Boys
SPRING:                      Track                                                                    Track

 7th and 8th grade students are able to participate in the above sports.  A current physical must be on file for the student to participate.  

The requirements for students who choose to participate are to do their best, to be a “team player”, to follow the directives of the coach, and to meet the academic eligibility requirements.  Other activities are offered through our Community Education office.  The Community Education office number is 887-7321.

 LETTER TO STUDENT ATHLETES ON SPORTSMANSHIP

Student athletes who are good sports are positive role models within our school and community.  A good sport knows that athletic competitions build character and shape lifetime attitudes.  You, in turn, experience additional educational and leadership benefits that come from participation in sports.  When you are a student athlete, you will receive an Athletic Code of Conduct Handbook from your coach, which all student athletes must abide by.

 

SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY

Students participating in athletics will be evaluated on a weekly basis to ensure that they are receiving passing grades.  Every athlete is given a grace period the first time a teacher marks them below a 70%.  This gives the student time to raise his/her grade.  Students will be considered ineligible if they acquire non-passing grades for two weeks in a row in the same class.

 

Students who receive an In-School Suspension (ISS) or Out of School Suspension (OSS) will also receive an athletic penalty, at the discretion of the coach and/or athletic director (and/or lose a portion of their game participation based on the seriousness of the infraction).

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

If any person has a question or concern regarding Sparta Area Schools, compliance with the principles and/or regulations of (1) Title VI of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, (2) Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, (3) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, he/she may contact the superintendent’s office at:

 

Sparta Area Schools
465 S. Union Street
Sparta, MI. 49345
(616) 887-8253 

 

Notice of Nondiscrimination -

 The Sparta Area Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in its programs and activities.  In order to protect these rights and assure compliance, the Sparta Area School District has appointed Mr. Joe Droski as Coordinator of Title IX, Mr. Mark Kasmer as Coordinator of Title II, VI, and the Age Discrimination Act and Mrs. Susan Gates as the Coordinator of Section 504.

 

Sparta Area Schools

Internet/Computer Use Policy

 

In exchange for the use of the Sparta Area Schools' computers and Internet connection, I understand and agree to the following:

 

The use of the Sparta Area Schools' computers is a privilege for educational purposes only that may be revoked by the administrators of the system at any time for abusive conduct.  Such conduct would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Disclose my password
  • Physically abuse any hardware (case, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) or lab furniture/equipment
  • Login as anyone else for any reason
  • Use another login with or without permission
  • Install/remove any software
  • Make illegal copies of any software owned by Sparta Area Schools
  • Delete any files but your own
  • Alter any settings (desktop, screensavers, etc.) without permission from a staff member
  • Access programs, files or any other information without permission
  • Interfere with someone else’s computer

 

The use of the Sparta Area Schools' Internet connection is a privilege for educational purposes only that may be revoked by the administrators of the system at any time for abusive conduct.  Such conduct would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Download and/or install any program or file on a hard drive or network drive without permission from a staff member
  • View, download, e-mail any pornographic, objectionable or questionable material
  • Use an email account other than the account provided by Sparta Area Schools
  • Send inappropriate e-mail messages
  • Use any chat or instant messaging software
  • Create and/or post any web pages except for class requirements
  • Play computer-based games
  • Any conduct that embarrasses, harms, or in any way detracts from the good reputation of Sparta Area Schools
  • Use the Internet when expressly told not to

 

Sparta Area Schools have the right to view all material stored in files on the network and reserve the right to edit or delete all materials that it finds objectionable.

In consideration for the privilege of using the Sparta Area Schools’ Internet connection and in consideration for having access to the information contained on it, I hereby release the Sparta Area Schools’ Internet connection and its operators and sponsors, Sparta Area Schools’ and its faculty and staff, and all organizations, groups and institutions with which the Sparta Area Schools’ Internet connection is affiliated for any and all claims of any nature arising from my use, or inability to use, the Sparta Area Schools’ Internet connection.

My access to and use of the Sparta Area Schools’ Internet connection is subject to such limitations as may be established by the administrators of the system, and may be changed from time to time.

I will not provide my full name, address, phone number, picture or anything else which will personally identify me anywhere on the Internet. The Internet connection is to be used for educational purposes only.

The staff of the Sparta Area Schools will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes unacceptable use or behavior as listed above.

Penalties for not observing Internet/Computer Use Policy may result in loss of all computer privileges to be determined by a school administrator.


COMPUTER/INTERNET AGREEMENT

I have read and understand the guidelines listed for computer and Internet use.  I acknowledge that this contract will be in effect for the current school year.  Any changes during the year must be submitted in writing.

Please check the box that best reflects your wishes:

Network computer use along with Internet access for educational purposes and under close supervision.

network computer use (lab and individual) only.  No Internet access.

 Sparta email account (grades 6-12 only).

 

                No computer access at any time.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Print Student Name                                                                                                                             Date

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Student Signature                                                                                                                                                Date

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature                                                                                                                                Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPARTA SCHOOL DISTRICT MEDIA RELEASE FORM

 

 

I give permission for _______________________________ to be filmed, photographed, or interviewed by the news media on issues pertaining to school-related activities and/or educational issues.  The Sparta School District also has permission to film, photograph, or interview my child for use in district-sponsored publications, media/cable productions, and the district website.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature                                                                                                                                Date

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Student Signature                                                                                                                                                Date

 
This copy will be kept on file.

 

  

 

 

FIELD TRIP PERMISSION SLIP

 I give my child, _____________________________________, permission to attend any scheduled field trips arranged through Sparta Middle School.  I release Sparta Area Schools and their agents from all liability in connection with scheduled field trips.  I also accept all liability and responsibility for my child’s actions.  I understand that this permission slip may be changed or determined void by written notification to the Sparta Middle School office.

 Parent/Guardian ______________________________________, Date ____________________

 

NOTE:  Please list below any medical conditions or medications that you feel we should know about before taking your child on a field trip.

 

 

 

 

STUDENT HANDBOOK CERTIFICATION FORM

 

We, ________________________________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian

and

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Student

 

have received and read the Sparta Middle School Student Handbook. We understand the rights and responsibilities pertaining to students and agree to support and abide by the rules, guidelines, procedures, and policies of the School District.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature                                                                                                                                Date

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Student Signature                                                                                                                                                Date

 

 PARENT HANDBOOK

 

SPARTA MIDDLE SCHOOL
“A MICHIGAN BLUE RIBBON EXEMPLARY SCHOOL”
Principal:  Mr. Joel Stoner         Asst. Principal:  Mr. Stephen Johnson
Office Hours: M-Th: 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Office Telephone: 887-8211     Voice Mail: 887-7505
Attendance Office: 887-1079     Fax:  887-1080
www.spartaschools.org

 

Dear Parents and Guardians:

 

Welcome to Sparta Middle School.  One of our school’s and district’s goals is to improve family involvement.  Family involvement is critical to the success of your child and involves communication between home and school, learning at home, positive parenting, volunteering at school, and decision making in regards to your child’s education and your participation in school decisions. 

As we work together to educate your child, I welcome you to be involved in your child’s education at Sparta Middle School.  Let us know how, together, we can continue to provide a Blue Ribbon education for your child.

Sincerely,

 

Joel Stoner, Principal

2010 – 2011

Sparta Area Schools 
 

Administration Office                                                                                  887-8253
Superintendent                                   Kent Swinson
Asst. Superintendent                           Mark Kasmer

Food Service                                                                                             887-1744
Director                                               Tim Kleaveland                                                                                                                                

Transportation/Operations                                                                          887-0136
Assistant                                                D’Arcy Mengel

Community Education                                                                                 887-7321
Assistant                                                Pam Kik

Athletics
Director                                                  Joe Droski                                     887-2098

 

SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS' MISSION STATEMENT

THE SPARTA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT IS COMMITTED TO WORK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH STUDENTS, FAMILIES, AND THE COMMUNITY. OUR GOAL IS TO INSURE THAT ALL STUDENTS MASTER THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND DEVELOP THE ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS NECESSARY TO FUNCTION SUCCESSFULLY IN A CHANGING WORLD. THIS PARTNERSHIP IS COMMITTED TO GUARANTEE AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT DESIGNED TO CHALLENGE ALL STUDENTS TO ACHIEVE THEIR HIGHEST POTENTIALS.

 SPARTA MIDDLE SCHOOL'S MISSION STATEMENT

THE SPARTA MIDDLE SCHOOL STAFF, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR STUDENTS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THE SPARTA COMMUNITY, WILL ENSURE A SAFE, CARING, AND ORDERLY ENVIRONMENT, DESIGNED TO FOSTER THE GROWTH OF EVERY CHILD.

ACCEPTING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND LEARNING STYLES, THIS PARTNERSHIP RECOGNIZES THE ABILITY OF ALL STUDENTS TO LEARN.  THROUGH TEAMWORK, MOTIVATIONAL LEADERSHIP, AND THE UTILIZATION OF APPROPRIATE RESOURCES, WE WILL CHALLENGE ALL STUDENTS TO LEARN TO THEIR POTENTIAL.

Due to allergies in the building, we ask you do not bring LATEX balloons in the building.  Thank you!

 STAFF DIRECTORY (2010 –2011)

   Administrators                                                 Secretaries                                           Aides

Mr. Joel Stoner - Principal                         Mrs. Brenda Kline                      Mrs. Cheryl Pierson
Mr. Stephen Johnson – Asst Principal          Mrs. Kim Pfeffer                      Mrs. Sara Shaw
                                                             Ms. Denise Sheneman               Mrs. Lori Whalen
                                                                                                           Mrs. Jill Wilde
                 

         Counselors                                                         Social Workers                                   Café Aides
 Mrs. Karyll Russell                                            Mr. Jon Long                                   Mrs. Jane Garlotte
 Mrs. Kathleen Shook                                                                                              Mrs. Cam Lynema

                                                                                                                                                                 Speech Therapist                                              ESL                                                        School Psychologist
Mrs. Cindy Bos                                  Ms. Wendy Allen                                 Dr. Katie Bolt

                                                                                                                                                               

  School Nurse                            Hearing Impaired Teacher Consultant          Parent Involvement Voicemail/Hotline
Mrs. Amy Roelse                                   Mrs. Mosher                                         887-7505, Ext. 214

                                                                                                                                                               

                  Media Specialist                                                          

                  Mrs. Ann Hahn                                                                                                         

                       

                               

Teaching Staff

If you would like to leave a voice message for a teacher you may do so by dialing

887-7505 followed by the extension number.  Their planning times are listed in parenthesis.

 

                             6TH                                                                          7TH

                      (8:25 - 9:09)                                                           (11:55 – 12:38)

                   Mr. Busse, ext. 2304                                                Mrs. Bradford, ext 2347

                  Ms. Eisenga, ext. 2320                                             Ms. Eisenga, ext. 2310

                  Mrs. Frazier, ext. 2310                                             Mr. Frasier, ext. 2321

                  Mrs. Kitson, ext. 2303                                             Mrs. Higgins, ext. 2328

                  Mrs. Ley, ext. 2308                                                  Mrs. Koning, ext. 2336

                  Mrs. Owen, ext. 2360                                              Mrs. Peters, ext. 2329

                  Mrs. Pfahler, ext. 2305                                            Mr. Thocher, ext. 2322

                  Mrs. Spencer, ext. 2302                                           Mr. R. Toole, ext. 2342

                  Mr. Tidey, ext. 2301                                                Mr. Welch, ext. 2346

                                                                                                   

 

 

                             8TH                                                                         ENCORE

                     (1:22 – 2:06)                                                                 (9:53 – 10:37)

                   Mrs. Fix, ext. 2335                                                    Mrs. Berwald, ext. 2251

                  Mrs. Ondrusek, ext. 2337                                         Ms. Goodenow, ext. 2325

                   Mrs. Ortman, ext. 2331                                             Mrs. Harris, ext 2312

                  Miss Poel, ext. 2332                                                  Miss Homan, ext 2334

                   Mr. Putnam, ext. 2349                                              Mrs. Knauf, ext. 2315

                  Mrs. Switzer, ext. 2350                                             Mr. McDowell, ext. 2307

                  Mrs. A. Toole, ext. 2339                                           Mr. Palma, ext. 2351

                  Mr. B. Toole, ext. 2341                                             Mr. Schroeder ext.  2254                      

                                                                                                    Mrs. Zimmer, ext. 2324

                                                                                                     Mr. Zwarensteyn, ext. 2351

                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                           

Sparta Middle School

Supply List

 

As a part of our cost saving measures, Sparta Area Schools encourages parents to supply their children with the following items:


Sixth Grade 

(4) Spiral notebooks  (70 sheet)
(1set) Dividers for binders - 5 tab
(2) Binders - 1.5
(2) Boxes of #2 Pencils
(12) Pencil cap erasers
(2) two pocket folders (red and Blue)
(1) Colored Pencils (12 pk)
(1) Book Cover – Jumbo Stretchable


Seventh Grade

(4) Binders - 1.5 inch
(4) Dividers for binders - 8 tab
(1) 12 Pack of #2 pencils



Eighth Grade

(1) 12 Pk # 2 Pencils
(5) Spiral Notebooks (70 sheets)
(1) Sprial Notebook, 1/4 quad (50 sheets)
(1) ruler, 12”, inch and cm
(3) one inch, three ring binder
(1) set of dividers, 5 tab, colored
(1) pack each of colored pencils
(1 ) narrow tip markers (8pk)
(5) folders, 2 pocket/prong (assorted colors)
(2) red pens
(2) glue sticks
(12) pencil cap erasers
(1) hand held pencil sharpener
(1) ¼ “ Graph Paper

 2010/2011

DISCIPLINE POLICY GUIDE

In order to be:

SAFE

We need to keep ourselves under control.

CARING

We need to treat each other with respect and courtesy.

ORDERLY

We need to follow directions.

TOGETHER we can promote an environment of school pride.

DISCIPLINE VISION STATEMENT

The discipline policy at Sparta Middle School teaches, rather than punishes, resulting in improved student conduct.  It provides fair and logical consequences for misconduct, determined by our knowledge of the child, in order to preserve student dignity. 

DISCIPLINE PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Sparta Middle School discipline is designed to maintain the dignity of the student.  Consequences for poor choices will be designed to provide a learning experience for the student. Consequences are given based on the poor choice the student makes. Consequences will be designed to fit the students and the situations where problems have occurred. Parent support is required for the school to be effective in helping students learn from their mistakes. 

DISCIPLINE PROCESS & CONSEQUENCES

The school administration and teaching staff design consequences to fit the actions or reactions of the student. We will assess each situation, looking carefully at the facts of the incident as well as the circumstances in which the incident occurred.

Our main goal is to work with the student and parent to keep incidents from escalating to a serious nature. We want all of our students to be successful and to feel comfortable in school so they can learn the skills they need to function in today’s society.

 The process being implemented at Sparta Middle School to assist with this goal is the Responsible Thinking Process (RTP).

The Responsible Thinking Process (RTP) is a discipline process that teaches students how to think through their behavior and accept responsibility for their actions.  The key component of this process is its focus on teaching students how to achieve their goals without getting in the way of others trying to do the same thing.

The Responsible Thinking Center (RTC) is where students are referred when they continue to violate the rights of others.  In the RTC, students work on a plan to learn how to achieve what they want without interfering with the rights of others.  If a student chooses to disrupt the learning process in the classroom, the teacher will initiate a series of questions that are designed to allow the student to think about his/her actions and respond appropriately.  If the student chooses to continue to disrupt, then he/she has made the choice to go to the RTC.

In the RTC, the student will create a written plan regarding the disruption.  The plan must be negotiated and discussed with the teacher/person in charge before returning to class.  Each visit to the RTC is documented and kept in the student’s discipline file.  Additional discipline consequences may be forthcoming for students who cause frequent disruptions to the classroom or if a pattern of misbehavior exists.

Students who do not follow rules and procedures of the RTC meet with a building principal will be given an out of school suspension.  A parent meeting will be scheduled for any student whose behavior led to an out of school suspension (OSS).

All Sparta Middle School teachers and staff are expected to use the Responsible Thinking Process in all environments of the school.

ADDITIONAL CONSEQUENCES

Discipline is progressive and if a student continually fails to respond to consequences, the next step will be more severe.  Parent support can help deter students from a pattern of continual misbehavior.  An intervention may be called for, involving parent, teacher, administrator, and student.  Some incidents of misconduct may result in a conference with a school administrator and an assignment of a detention or OSS.  In-case of an OSS, the student is not allowed on school property while suspended.  Arrangements may be made to provide work for the student given an OSS. 

Consequences include: informal talk with teacher, formal talk with teacher and an administrator, removal from class to write an action plan, formal conference with parent and teacher, individualized behavioral contract, detention during lunch, after school detention, in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension.  Alternate consequences may be designed in order to provide individuality and flexibility to the discipline process.  After School Detentions may be given by the teacher for:

  • Classroom disruption while under the instruction of a guest teacher
  • Four (4) Tardies for class and each tardy, thereafter.
  • Not having important school documents returned and signed
  • Other situations as determined by administration and teachers

After school detentions are served on Wednesday and Thursdays, from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.  Parents must provide transportation.  Failure to attend an After School Detention may result in an Out of School Suspension. 

 In cases where suspensions do not change a student’s behavior, a recommendation for expulsion from school will be filed with the superintendent of Sparta Area Schools. A request for a school board hearing will also be made. Under Board Policy #5610, a student will receive his/her Due Process Rights for such situations.

Incidents that cause a serious threat to students and/or school property will be handled immediately, and parents as well as law enforcement agencies will be contacted.  Such incidents include, but are not limited to, possession of dangerous weapons, lighters, matches, fireworks, laser pens/pointers, toys that cause shocks, drugs, alcohol and pornography. An attempt to sell drugs, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or extortion of money will also be treated as serious threats. Other areas of grave danger would be physical threats of violence, assault and battery to another student or staff, formation of gangs or gang related activity. The personal use or distribution of tobacco, lighters, matches, or illegal substances at Sparta Area School buildings or on property belonging to Sparta Area Schools is prohibited.  Tobacco or other illegal substances will be confiscated and destroyed or turned over to the authorities if necessary.

 Obviously, the school attempts to handle discipline when it is of a minor nature; however, we do have to have a plan for cases that present serious dangers to others. Our list is not all-inclusive, but the above-mentioned incidents can help parents reference the type of actions available to the school.

SEXUAL/RACIAL HARASSMENT

It is the goal of Sparta Middle School to foster an environment where students feel safe and cared for by their teachers and other students.

In the event students report incidents of sexual/racial harassment, the situations will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken toward the individuals involved in the harassment.  When a situation warrants it, law enforcement will be contacted and a report filed regarding the harassment situation.

If you feel you are being sexually harassed:

  • Let the person know that you do not like their behavior or comments and that you want them to stop.
  • Tell someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing the information and who will support you.
  • Write the incident in your own words.  Include who was involved, who witnessed the incident, what happened, when it happened, where it happened, and how it made you feel.
  • See a school official: teacher, coach, counselor, or administrator.

The District encourages any student who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment to report his/her concerns directly to any building principal or guidance counselor.  Board Policy 5517 addresses sexual harassment. 

Complaints or reports of sexual harassment shall be handled as confidentially as possible.  However, in certain circumstances, the District may be required by the Child Protection Law to report child sexual abuse to the Department of Social Services or other designated law enforcement agency.

All reports or complaints of sexual harassment will be promptly investigated by appropriate District representatives.  Any student who violates this policy will be subject to appropriate corrective action, including suspension or expulsion.

The District prohibits retaliation against students who file or make such complaints.  Filing of a complaint or otherwise reporting sexual harassment will not reflect upon an individual’s status nor will it affect a student’s grades or work assignments.  However, the District will take appropriate action if it finds that a student has deliberately filed a false complaint.

COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL/STATE LAWS

A weapon-free school zone exists at every public and private K-12 school in Michigan and includes school grounds and school vehicles, which transport students. Federal/State law requires boards of education and school administrators to impose expulsion as the penalty when a student possesses dangerous weapons in a weapon-free school zone or commits or attempts arson, physical assault or rape in a school building or on school grounds.

 Within three days after a student is expelled for possession of a dangerous weapon, for arson or for rape, the school will refer the student to the Kent County Department of Social Services or Kent County Community Health Department as required by law.

Board Policy 5500 describes Sparta Area Schools’ expectations for student conduct as follows:

“Respect for law and for those persons in authority shall be expected of all students. This includes conformity to school rules as well as general provisions of law regarding minors.  Respect for the rights of others, consideration of their privileges, and cooperative citizenship shall also be expected of all members of the school community.

 Respect for real and personal property; pride in one’s work; achievement within the range of one’s ability; and exemplary personal standards of courtesy, decency, and honesty should be maintained in the schools of this District.”

Board Policy 5600 describes Student Discipline as follows:

 “…the best discipline is self-imposed and that students should learn to assume responsibility for their own behavior and the consequences of their actions.”  This policy further states that students are required to follow rules and submit to disciplinary measures assigned for infraction of those rules.

 Policy 5600 states school rules shall require that students:

  • Conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior
  • Respect the person and property of others
  • Preserve the degree of order necessary to the educational program in which they are engaged
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Obey constituted authority and respond to those who hold that authority

 GRADING

Our goal is for students to successfully complete the current grade level content before they move to the next grade level.  Students who have not mastered a standard are provided additional time and opportunities to achieve mastery.  These opportunities include, but are not limited to, Saturday School and Summer School.

The grading scale is as follows:

                                A             90%-100%

                                B             80%-89%

                                C             70%-79%

                                D             60%-69%

                                I              59% or lower with a good faith effort OR extenuating circumstances.

                                E             59% or lower with no good faith effort

 

A "Good Faith Effort" is shown when a student follows the directions, completes the work, and submits the work on the due date, or when a student solicits help before the due date to accomplish the task.

 Students receiving an I or a D on a standard will go through a reteach loop to increase their content mastery.  These students will not be excluded from participating in events such as field trips and Eighth Grade Recognition Night. 

 If a student shows a good faith effort, and completes the reteach/retest loop but does not reach 70% mastery of the standard, this standard will be averaged with other trimester grades.  A Saturday/Summer school invitation will be sent and the student may choose to participate in order to increase standard mastery.  Students will receive an E if they do not show a good faith effort.  This E will be made up in Saturday/Summer School only.

REPORT CARDS

Report Cards are given to students at the end of each trimester.  Students take Report Cards home in an envelope that parents must sign and return within three school days.  Parent signature on the envelope indicates that they have received the Report Card.  Students who do not return their signed envelope may receive a detention.  The last Report Card of the year will be mailed home.

PROGRESS REPORTS

With our trimester report card procedures, progress reports will be sent home at the midway point of each trimester.  Parents may access their student’s grades through a Powerschool link found on the district’s website, www.spartaschools.org.  You must use your student’s login and password to access grades.  You can obtain a parent login and user password by contacting the middle school office.

CITIZENSHIP GRADES on the REPORT CARD

The Middle School Report Card contains a section for teachers to indicate student citizenship, as demonstrated in their classroom.  The citizenship grades are as follows:

O) OUTSTANDING

S) SATISFACTORY

N) NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

U) UNSATISFACTORY

 HONOR ROLL

Students who have earned all "A" and "B" grades on their Report Cards, and have received satisfactory Citizenship marks will be recognized by having their names on the Honor Roll.  The Honor Roll is computed for each trimester; only students who have "A" and "B" grades at that time are placed on the Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is displayed in a showcase in the main lobby.

 PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES

Sparta Middle School holds student-led conferences.  You and your students are welcome to arrive anytime prior to 10 minutes before the end of the posted time frame to discuss your student’s progress.  The teachers will be available if you have any questions or comments.  You may also ask to arrange a private conference with teachers if you feel the need to.

 NEWSLETTER

A monthly newsletter goes home at the end of the month to the youngest and only children in the building.

DISTRICT RESPONSE TEAM

Sparta Area Schools has an active and ongoing District Response Team.  The team is multidisciplinary and represents all levels of Sparta Area Schools.  The duty of the team is to:

                                Develop and implement a district Crisis Plan

                                Coordinate all responses to crisis situations that affect Sparta Area Schools and students

Research, plan and educate all employees and students on any crisis

 A Crisis Response Plan is located in the Principal’s office, and procedures are practiced on a regular basis.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

It is recognized that regular attendance in school is essential to the continued academic success of students at Sparta Middle School.  Parents are encouraged to see to it that their children are in attendance on a daily basis.  If a student is often tardy or frequently absent from school, or if a pattern of absenteeism is noted, the attendance office will notify parents of this concern through a phone call or letter.  The middle school administration will make every effort to assist parents in developing a strategy to improve a student’s attendance pattern.  However, if problems continue, it may become necessary to contact the Kent Intermediate School District Truancy Office to intervene if noncompliance with the Compulsory Attendance Laws of the State of Michigan occurs.  By law, the school must report absences that are excused and unexcused. 

The following will occur:

                Trimester One                                                                    Trimester Two

                Letter at five (5) absences                              Letter at ten (10) absences
                Letter at ten (10) absences                             Letter at fifteen (15) absences
                Truancy at fifteen (15) absences                      Truancy at (20) absences

               

                                                                                Trimester Three

                                                                           Letter at fifteen (15) absences
                                                                           Letter at twenty (20) absences
                                                                           Truancy after twenty (20) absences

               

All absences are counted per the year, not the trimester.  Absence totals will be reviewed at the beginning of each month.  Some considerations will be given to extenuating circumstances before a truancy referral is reported.

EXCUSED ABSENCES

A student’s absence may be excused if a parent/guardian calls the attendance line at 887-1079 by noon of the day the student is absent.  This is a voice mail system available 24 hours a day.  When students are absent from school for part of the day for doctor, dental, or other appointments, it is requested that they return with a notice from their doctor.

 UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

If no phone call is received, the absence will be considered unexcused and treated as a truancy situation.

PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCES

Students who know in advance that they will be absent may request a pre-arranged absence form from the office.  Before the pre-arranged absence date, the students are required to return the form to the office complete with a parent signature and make-up work instructions from each teacher.  Parents may also choose to phone or email the teachers to request homework at least two weeks in advance of the absence.

 HOMEWORK FOR EXTENDED ABSENCES

Parents may call the office to request homework after the student has been absent two or more days in a row.  Please call before 8:30 a.m. to be able to pick up work for your student after 2:30 that same day.  Students are responsible to make up absent work in a timely manner.  Failure to do so may result in a failing grade.

 TARDINESS

Sometimes circumstances occur that prevent students from being to school or in class on time.  Tardiness will only be excused if it is due to an appointment or extenuating circumstances as communicated to the administration.  A note from the parent/guardian is required to verify the circumstances.  All other tardiness will be considered unexcused.  On the third unexcused tardy of each trimester, the student will report to the RTC room to complete a plan.  Upon the fourth unexcused tardy an after school detention will be assigned.  Additional violations may result in other disciplinary measures.

NOT PREPARED

At times a student may come to class with out the materials necessary to work.  If a student needs to leave the room to gather materials the student may earn a not prepared (NP).  On the third not prepared for the same class the student may be sent to the RTC to create a plan for success.  The fourth, and any other, no prepared for the same class may result in an after school detention.

 EARLY DISMISSAL

Early dismissal passes can be obtained from the office on the day the student needs to leave school early for an appointment.  Students must bring a note from the parent/guardian to the office when they arrive to school to obtain the pass.  If students leave early and will be returning to school, they must check in at the office when they return.  Parents/guardians MUST sign their child out in the office before the student is allowed to leave.

TELEPHONE USE

Students may not use the phones in the classroom.  In case of an emergency phones may be used in the office.  Emergencies do NOT include: forgotten items such as homework, lunch money or clothes, or plans for after school.  Students are not permitted to have walkie-talkies in school.

 The use of cell phones or any other electronic device is not allowed during the school day (7:35 – 2:50) without the permission of school personnel.  Students who choose to bring cell phones or other electronic devices to school must have their devices turned off.  Students may store their devices in their pockets as long as the devices are out of view.  The school is not responsible for any lost or stolen articles.  

 GUM POLICY

Students are permitted to chew gum as long as it does not disrupt the educational process. Students are expected to demonstrate respectful behavior when they chew gum. Examples of respectful behavior include chewing with one's mouth closed, no gum snapping, no blowing bubbles, and disposing of the gum and wrappers in the proper receptacles.

Students who are disruptive with their gum or dispose of it improperly may lose their gum chewing privilege. All staff reserves the right to prohibit gum chewing in their classroom if improper use and/or disposal of gum become chronic.

Gum chewing is not allowed in the Media Center, computer labs, gym, or band room. Students chewing gum in these areas will be issued a lunch detention. A second offense will result in an after school detention. The detention slip will be sent home with the student to be signed and returned the next school day. Additional offenses will result in consequences following progressive discipline.

STUDENT MESSAGES

The number of “end of the day messages” from parents for their children has increase significantly over the past few years.  Please refrain from calling the office to leave a message for your child for the end of the day.  We will, however, notify your child of a change of transportation home as we know that the arrangements you made with your student earlier in a day may change.  We will not be able to pass messages along to your child for situations other than transportation changes.  We apologize for any difficulty this may cause.  Thank you for your understanding.

 

LOCKERS

Lockers are the property of Sparta Middle School.  Inspections/Searches may occur to promote cleanliness and to ensure safety or comply with school rules.  Each locker is equipped with a combination lock.

Each student is issued a hallway locker to store coats, books, and other school related supplies. It will be necessary in most cases for a student to share a locker with another student. All locker assignments are made by the student’s advisory teacher.

Students should refrain from keeping valuables such as jewelry, CD players, MP3’s and money in their lockers.  The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  It is the student's responsibility to keep the locker locked at all times and refrain from sharing locker combinations.

For the safety of everyone at the Middle School, students are not allowed to carry bags of any kind throughout the day.  Students may use their bookbags to transport items to and from school, but must leave them in their lockers during school hours. 

SCHOOL NURSE

The school nurse has responsibilities within the school district that require her to visit each building on a daily basis. Because of this, she spends only a portion of her day in the Middle School. She is on call for any emergencies that may occur in any of the school facilities during the school day. The best time to reach the nurse at the Middle School is between 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. daily.

It is requested that any non-school related medical problems or conditions that your child has, be attended to by medical personnel other than the school nurse.

 School secretaries are not trained to analyze or care for medical concerns. Should a member of the office staff determine a problem exists that requires medical attention, every attempt will be made to contact the school nurse to advise her of the situation.

If a student becomes ill and reports to the office, parents will be notified to make arrangements to have the child taken home. It is important that each student have an emergency number on file for cases when a parent cannot be reached.

MEDICATION

Should your child be required to take daily medication during the school year, a form signed by your doctor must be on file in the school office.  Forms can be picked up in any school office.  State law requires that all medication be brought to school and stored at school in the container in which it was purchased.  All students are required to take their medication in the office.

Please be advised that we do not keep aspirin, Tylenol or other medications on hand for student use.  We will only dispense medications accompanied by a doctor’s prescription or written permission from the parent.

The Board of Education has a policy regarding the administration of medication by school personnel.  If you would like a copy, please stop in at any school building.

STUDENT PROGRAMS/ACTIVITIES

SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Sparta Middle School provides a wide variety of Special Education Programs within the building. Students here are given speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social worker assistance and teacher consultant services. There are also a variety of academic options such as the Resource Room Program,

 Sparta Area Schools does formal evaluations to determine when a child is eligible for special education services.  Mrs. Sue Gates is the director of special education.  The secretary of special education is Mrs. Rose Hunter-Faurot. Feel free to contact the special education office at 887-7359 if you have questions or concerns.

COUNSELING DEPARTMENT

Mrs. Russell and Mrs. Shook are the Middle School counselors who are available to meet with students. They will help students deal with the daily problems and scheduling of the Middle School routine. They are here to help support students and to assist them with concerns and relationships as they grow from pre-adolescents to teenagers ready for high school. Please feel free to contact them to discuss your child’s progress. 

Lunch Program

Sparta Area School students have a debit card system and are assigned a lunch card number.  Students can bring cash or checks to turn in to Mr. Kleaveland to add money to their account.  At the middle school, students have several lunch choices.  This includes several entrée options and the opportunity to purchase snack type items.  Money left over will be carried over in the next year, even to the high school. 

ADVISORY GROUPS

School should be a place where close, trusting relationships with adults and peers create a climate for personal growth and intellectual development.  Each sixth, seventh, and eighth grade student is assigned to an advisory group that meets each day.

Every student has a teacher advisor who is a special advocate for that child and a small group of other advisees. Advisor and advisees meet together to talk, listen, read, write, and act.

The advisory period improves communication within the school and creates a feeling among students that they contribute to their school in meaningful ways.

Media Center 

The Media Center is a multi purpose area with a computer lab.  Students can access reference materials through the Internet and books.

ACCELERATED READER

A.R. is a program that is designed to motivate students to read.  Each student is tested to find his/her reading range.  Students then choose a book in their reading range to read.  When finished they may take an A.R. quiz in the Media Center.  The quiz determines how well the student understood the book.

SPECIAL GRADE – LEVEL TRIPS AND ACTIVITIES

Sixth graders participate in a camp experience as a special addition to their educational program.  They spend two days and two nights participating in team-building and outdoor education.  Students must earn some of the money to cover the expense of going to camp.  They must also meet specific behavioral criteria to be eligible for the camp experience.  Teachers will notify parents with specific details.

 Eighth graders will participate in an end of the school year trip to Michigan Adventure.  The eighth grade staff establishes the criteria and eligibility for those students who wish to attend this outing.   Parents will receive information regarding cost and criteria for this trip.  Eighth graders celebrate the beginning of the school year with "Unity Games," a day of activities and competitions within advisory classes.

 

SPORTS

(Some sports are offered through Community Ed.  That phone number is 887-7321.)

                                                Girls                                                                                      Boys

FALL:                          Volleyball                                                        78er Football   
                                  Cross Country – Includes 6th graders                  Cross Country – Includes 6th graders

                                                 Girls                                                                                      Boys

WINTER:                       Basketball                                                        Basketball
                                    Competitive Cheer                                             Wrestling

                                     Girls                                                                                      Boys

SPRING:                        Track                                                              Track

 

7th and 8th grade students are able to participate in the above sports.  A current physical must be on file for the student to participate.  

Eligibility – Students involved in athletics are evaluated weekly to ensure they keep their grades at 70% or higher.  Each class is reviewed individually.  If a student receives a grade of 69% or below in one class, they will be given a one week grace period to raise that grade to a7-% or higher.  If the grade is not raised to 70% after their grace period, they will be ineligible until they do raise the grade. 

CLUBS

Club                                                    Grade Levels              Advisor                       EXT.

Science Olympiad                    6-8                       Richard Toole          2342
Drama                                   6-8                        David Oudbier         Appleview
Student Government                6-8                         Mar Higgins            2328
National Junior Honor Society     7-8                         Wendi Berwald        2251

 STUDENT GOVERNMENT

Student Council gives students the opportunity to take an active role in the programs and projects within the school.  It promotes leadership and encourages good citizenship among the student body.  It is also designed to promote community involvement through service projects.

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY

NJHS gives students the opportunity to take an active role in the programs and projects within the school.  It promotes leadership and encourages good citizenship among the student body.  It is also designed to promote community involvement through service projects.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH

Each month all Middle School teachers will have the opportunity to recognize students for outstanding achievements.  The “Student of the Month” for each teacher will receive a certificate and a coupon for an ice cream treat of their choice from the Spartan Café.  Parents will receive a letter recognizing their child’s achievements.  The “Student of the Month” names are posted in the café. 

DANCES/MIXERS

The Student Council mainly organizes these events.  Dances are for 7th and 8th graders only and are held in the café.  Mixers are for 6th graders only and activities are held in different parts of the school and school grounds.  Generally they are from 3:00 – 4:30.  Announcements and information will be sent home.  All school rules apply. 

PARENT VISITORS/VOLUNTEERS

Parents are always welcome to visit the Middle School during school hours.  If you would like to visit or volunteer in your child’s classroom, please notify the teacher in advance of your visit.

 All visitors, volunteers, and parents must go directly to the main office when entering the building.  You will need to sign in and pick up a visitor‘s badge if you have business other than in the office.  After you have finished your business in the building, return to the office to sign out and return the visitor‘s badge.  Because of the size of the building and the number of students in attendance, it is necessary to account for all non-school personnel who are in the building.  This requirement is to ensure the safety and well-being of all Middle School students during the time when the school is responsible for them. Your cooperation and involvement with our program are greatly appreciated.

STUDENT VISITORS

There may be times during the school year when your child has the need to bring a visitor to class.  On these occasions, we ask that your child plan ahead by getting a special permission slip for the visitor.  This slip must be completed by your child and signed by teachers, as well as parents, and an administrator.  Your signature on the information sheet indicates that you are accepting full responsibility for the visitor while he/she is at Sparta Middle School.  Please be advised that our district cannot be responsible for the liability of visitors.  We believe this system assures a safe, caring and orderly environment for your child and the visitor.

SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS' DISTRICT EXIT STANDARDS

TO IMPLEMENT THE MISSION STATEMENT, STUDENTS OF SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE:
 

  • Self-directed learners who anticipate, gather, arrange, analyze, and employ data to cope with a changing world.
  • Productive citizens who promote activities for the health and welfare of self and others.
  • Creative thinkers who use varied strategies and resources to solve problems.
  • Effective communicators who listen, speak, write, and read proficiently in a variety of situations.
  • Cooperative workers who function effectively in groups to solve problems.
  • Quality producers who create intellectual, artistic, and useful products reflecting high standards and modern technologies.

 

 SPARTA AREA SCHOOLS' VALUES

Sparta Area Schools believes in the importance of having values in our district.  Each month we celebrate a different value with our students.  The list is as follows:

September   -    Respect
October       -       Pride
November   -      Compassion
December   -      Integrity
January      -       Quality
February     -     Positive Humor
March         -       Honesty
April            -      Trust

 

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION is to be disseminated at least annually to students, parents, employees, and the general public:

The Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its program, activities, or employment.

Further, it is the policy of this District to provide an equal opportunity for all students, regardless of race, color, creed, age, disability, religion, gender, ancestry, national origin, place of residence within the boundaries of the District, or social or economic background, to learn through the curriculum offered in this District.

  

6TH GRADE HANDBOOK

Sixth Grade Staff

 

Teacher                         Subject                                             E-Mail_______

 

Mr. Busse                                Science                                    greg.busse@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Frazier                             Resource Room                    jenny.frazier@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Kitson                             L. Arts                                   leann.kitson@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Ley                                  L. Arts/Science                     katherine.ley@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Owen                              Math/L. Arts                         karen.owen@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Pfahler                            L. Arts/S. Studies               marcy.pfahler@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Spencer                           Math                                    becky.spencer@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. Tidey                                S. Studies                            keith.spencer@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Aitken                             Advisory (Art)                                   Julie.aitken@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Knauf                              Advisory (L. Skills)                sue.knauf@ staff.spartaschools.org

 

  

Due to allergies in the building, we ask that you do not bring latex balloons in the building.

Sparta Area Schools does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs, activities or employment. In order to protect these rights and assure compliance, the Sparta Area .School District has appointed Mr. Joe Droski, Coordinator of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and Title II.

Welcome to the Sixth Grade

Welcome to the 2010-2011 school year and the world of sixth graders. This booklet will

provide general information about sixth grade and some suggestions in helping to make a

smooth transition to this new and exciting experience.

 

All sixth graders in Sparta Middle School are team taught. The Travelers team is Mr. Tidey, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Kitson and Mr. Busse. The Explorers team is a triad made of Mrs. Ley, Mrs. Owen, and Mrs. Pfahler. Mrs. Frazier and  provide special services for the whole grade. In addition, the students participate in Advisory and Encore classes.  Through daily communication, teaming allows us to get to know all students and to better meet their needs. It also allows for integration of the core curriculum and the sharing of ideas and expertise.

 

We also believe in the importance of building a positive self concept and responsible

behavior in our classroom. Therefore, we will use a classroom management system

based on a safe, caring, and orderly environment. Students will be rewarded within

individual classrooms in various ways for their positive efforts. Violations of rules will

result in logical consequences.

 

Lunch for sixth grade is at 11:55 - 12:30 p.m. this year. Please send a nutritional snack

to be eaten in the late morning. Fruit, carrot sticks, granola bars, etc. are examples of

appropriate snacks. Try to avoid snacks high in sugar. Water bottles are allowed in the

classroom. For ease of cleanup, please send only water to drink in the classroom.

 

What We Know About Sixth Graders

Sixth graders are active learners. They are social beings that need to be involved in their

learning. Not yet teenagers, they are also not one of the "little kids" anymore. They are

trying out different styles of behavior to see which ones fit them best. They love to

question, explore and test the boundaries. At Sparta Middle School, we are in tune to the

unique academic, emotional, and social needs of sixth graders and enjoy the challenges

they often present.

 

Getting Ready For Sixth Grade

Sixth graders are expected to take on a greater degree of responsibility than they have in

the past as we prepare them for seventh grade and beyond. For this reason, it is very

important that your child is able to handle life skills such as completing assignments on

time, keeping track of due dates, preparing for tests, coming to class fully prepared, and

general organizing of school papers. If you know your child struggles in these areas, it

would be a good idea to spend some time throughout the school year working on them.

 

Planners

To help your student to take responsibility for his or her own schoolwork, we will

provide each individual with an academic daily planner. Students are expected to carry

this book with them at all times for record keeping and for use as a hall pass. (Lost

copies may be purchased for a small fee in the office.) Please use this book as an

opportunity to share in your child's school day. Students need to have a parent signature in their planner once a week. This allows the students to participate in Game Day, a Friday

Advisory class activity.  Students who do not have a parent signature may receive a consequence.

Academic Expectations

Students not reaching 70% or better on a unit assessment will have a two week window

to successfully complete the assessment. Students not reaching 70% mastery will need to

complete the work during Saturday school.

 

Homework

Homework is an important part of your child's learning process and will be recorded

daily in your child's academic planner. Most of the homework your son/daughter will

have is work that has not been finished at school. Occasionally, assignments such as

long term projects or research papers will need to be done mainly at home. Nightly

independent reading is a great way to build reading and comprehension skills and is a homework expectation for language arts.  Homework is useful in reinforcing what has been learned in class, preparing students for upcoming lessons, teaching responsibility, and helping students develop positive study habits. However, if your child is consistently bringing home more than an hour of daily work, you may want to see if he/she is using his/her school hours wisely or putting off projects until the last minute.

 

Behavioral Expectations

We all learn best in an environment that fosters positive safe behavior. To achieve that

goal Sparta Middle School is a safe, caring, and orderly building. The following rules

will be applied in every area of the building:

  • Allow teaching and learning to take place at all times.
  • Be responsible for all books, assignments, and materials.
  • Respect all people and property of Sparta Middle School.

 

Use of Classroom Telephones

Each classroom is equipped with a telephone. Students may use the classroom and office

telephones for emergencies only! Arrangements for after school activities should be

made in advance at home. Since one of the important life skills sixth graders need to

work on is the ability to organize and be responsible for their work, students will not be

allowed to call home for forgotten items. Missing homework, projects, backpacks, etc.

are not considered emergencies. To contact your students’ teacher, please feel free to email

them. You will find the teachers e-mail addresses at the front of this handbook.

 

Getting Things to Your Child During The Day

If you would like to bring items to school for your child, please feel free to do so. The

best time to drop things at the office is between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. The office will call

your child to pick up their belongings.  Please remember that in the lower grades it is often necessary for parents to intercede to make sure school work is being done. However, by sixth grade your child should be working toward being responsible for his or her own schoolwork. Sometimes students need to learn from their mistakes and experience the consequences of their choices. As they grow and learn it will become easier to face future responsibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixth Grade Curriculum

Language Arts

The Language Arts curriculum is focused around our national standards, the Common Core.  These standards focus on the skills and strategies used in listening, speaking, viewing, reading, and writing.

 

Reading Focus Areas:

Vocabulary, analyzing narrative and informational texts, reading comprehension strategies, author’s craft, and independent reading goals

 

Writing Focus Areas:

Essays, informational text structures, narratives, using the writing process to produce all types of writing, research projects, writing in response to text, and writing for a specific audience

 

Speaking, Listening and Viewing Focus Areas:

Present information using speech mechanics and discuss texts

 

We are also committed to developing lifelong learners who love to read. To help accomplish this, we ask students to create and try to reach multiple reading goals throughout the school year.  Students choose their own books for reading practice to enhance instruction.

 

Science

The science curriculum covers four different units. They include Science Process-understanding of potential and kinetic energy, Physical Science-matter and energy, Life Science-Ecosystems, Earth Science-Composition, properties and changes of the earth - Plate tectonics and fossils

 

Math

Students will focus on Fractions, decimals and percents, Algebraic reasoning, Coordinate graphing, Geometric Figures, Integers, Probability

 

Social Studies

The social studies curriculum focuses on the regions of Canada, the United States and

Latin American. Student will explore the physical and human geography of these regions. The textbook, Geography Alive, has a geography emphasis while incorporating the other strands of History, Civics, Economics, Individuals and Groups in Society in lessons and activities.

 

The students will be learning about the following social studies concepts.

  1. The tools of geography.
  2. Seeing the world like a geographer and using a variety of maps to understand it.
  3. Settlement patterns and ways of life in Canada.
  4. Urban sprawl in North America.
  5. Consumption patterns in the United States.
  6. Migration to the United States.
  7. Spatial inequality in Mexico City.
  8. Indigenous cultures of Latin America.
  9. Land use conflict in the Amazon Rainforest.

10.  Life in the central Andes Mountains.

 

7TH GRADE HANDBOOK

Seventh Grade Staff

 

Teacher                         Subject                          Email_______________

 

Mrs. Bradford                         Science/L. Arts     wendy.bradfrod@staff.spartaschools.org 

 

Ms. EisengaResource Room           cathy.ezinga@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. Frasier                               Resource Room           jack.frasier@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Higgins                           L. Arts/S. Studies       mar.higgins@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Koning                            Math                              sue.koning@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Peters                              L. Arts                    margaret.peters@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. Thocher                            S. Studies                   dave.thocher@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. Toole                                Math/Science              richard.toole@staff.spartaschools.org


Mr. Welch                               Science                        mike.welch@staff.spartaschools.org

           

Mrs. Zimmer                           Advisory (Computer)    pat.zimmer@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. Zwarensteyn                     Advisory (Band)   jim.zwarensteyn@staff.spartaschools.org

 

 

 

Due to allergies in the building, we ask you not bring Latex balloons in the building.

 

 

Sparta Area Schools does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs, activities or employment. In order to protect these rights and assure compliance, the Sparta Area .School District has appointed Mr. Joe Droski, Coordinator of Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and Title II.

 

Welcome to 7th Grade

Information You Need To Know

 

Grading: In general, 7th grade teachers use the following grading scale implemented for all students in 6th – 8th grades at Sparta Middle School.

 

Mastery:  As = 90%-100%;    Bs = 80% - 89%;    Cs = 70% - 79%.

No mastery, with passing:  Ds = 60% - 69%.

No mastery, without passing:  I = 59% or below, In Progress; good faith effort is evident.

             E = 59% or below; no good faith effort evident.

 

Good Faith Effort: A good faith effort is defined as quality work completed by the due date.  Quality means that work has been satisfactorily attempted in a neat and organized manner. Examples of lack of good faith effort include assignments that are not attempted, unreasonable answers, illegible assignments and lack of preparation for tests.  Our curriculum is designed to challenge students in such a way that a definite answer to a particular problem is not always immediately obvious to the students.  In these situations a good faith effort is made if the student makes their best attempt to complete the work, and asks questions to help themselves better learn the material.  

 

Tests & Assessments: Students demonstrating a good faith effort earn the opportunity to revise sections of a test or assessment if necessary to reach the minimum level of mastery.  Unfortunately, students who decide not to make a good faith effort may earn an "E" grade that must be resolved in Saturday school. Students in this situation have the burden and responsibility to recognize the fact that a passing grade was not earned for this required material during regular school time. Students who receive a "D" grade may choose to attend Saturday or summer school to improve the grade, although it is not required. It is our goal to treat students fairly and to reward those who make an honest effort. Students who do so should experience success in their classes this year. 

 

7th Grade Core Teachers:

Blue Team: Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Koning, Mr. Thocher, Mr. Welch, Mr. Frasier

White Team: Mrs. Higgins, Mr. Toole, Mrs. Bradford, Mr. Frasier

 

 

Content Standards for Science:

  • Explore how all energy on Earth is produced by the sun and how that energy is converted to the various forms of energy used on Earth.
  • Investigate how all matter is made of atoms and molecules resulting in the specific physical and chemical properties of elements and compounds.
  • Explore the changes in matter that occur as a result of chemical reactions.
  • Investigate how the characteristics of living things are passed on through generations by production.
  • Explore how plants make, store, and use food through photosynthesis.

Content Standards for Mathematics:

  • Apply ratios, rates, and proportions in problem-solving situations.
  • Solve problems involving operations with integers and rational numbers.
  • Understand and apply linear relationships of the form y = mx +b.
  • Use the associative, commutative, identity, inverse, zero, and distributive

properties.

  • Demonstrate the principles of indirect measure by using similarity and

congruence.

  • Interpret and create data in various graphs and plots.

 

Content Standards for Language Arts:

  • Exploring, through reading and writing, a variety of genres including mystery, poetry, memoir, drama, myths, and legends.
  • Discussing and writing about antagonists, protagonists, internal and external conflicts, abstract themes and how authors’ use them.
  • Learning about text structures and using them in a research project.
  • Polishing our public speaking skills.
  • Using comprehension strategies to understand and summarize fiction and non-fiction.
  • Analyzing the structure of words and sentences to help with both comprehension and spelling.

 

Content Standards for Social Studies:

  • Explore a brief history of the Middle East, Europe Asia and Africa.
  • Explore maps and the information that can be interpreted from them.
  • Use Geography Alive series to study the modern countries in the Eastern

Hemisphere

  • Assessments will include labeling blank maps, multiple choice questions, short

answers and essay. Formal paper(s) and project(s) will assess student knowledge

as well.

 

 

 

8TH GRADE HANDBOOK

Eighth Grade Staff

 

Teacher                         Subject                                    Email__________

 

 

Mrs. Fix                                   L. Arts/S. Studies            karen.fix@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. McDowell                        Advisory/PE, Health          clint.mcdowell@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Ondrusek                                    Math                          erin.ondrusek@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Ortman                            L. Arts                       kathy.ortman@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Ms. Poel                                  Resource Room               barb.poel@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. Putnam                             Science                        lynn.putnam@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. Switzer                            Science/S. Studies       julie.switzer@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mr. B. Toole                            S. Studies                        bob.toole@staff.spartaschools.org

 

Mrs. A Toole                           Math/S. Studies          andrea.toole@staff.spartaschools.org

 

 

The most effective way to reach us is via e-mail.

 

 

 

Due to allergies in the building, we ask you do not bring latex balloons

in the building.

 

 

 

Sparta Area Schools does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, sex,

disability or age in its programs, activities or employment. In order to protect": these rights and assure

compliance, the Sparta Area School District has appointed Mr. Joe Droski, Coordinator of Title VI,

Title IX, Section 504, the Age Discrimination Act, and Title II.

Welcome to Eighth Grade!

 

Welcome to the 8th grade! This is a year of exciting challenges and transitions as

students prepare to enter their high school years. We believe that every child can learn,

and it is our goal to see each student take on the responsibility of his/her own education.

We know how important it is that the students, parents, and teachers work together to

facilitate the development of independence and responsibility in each student. We hope

the policies and procedures outlined in this handbook will be a resource for you as we

work together to attain this goal for each child. We are looking forward to sharing a great

year with you and your child.

 

Success

Students will be successful in eighth grade if we all take our partnership seriously. When

teachers, students, and parents work together toward goals of excellence, everyone will

succeed. Please help your child with:

  • A quiet place at home to study
  • A consistent time after school or in the evening set aside for only homework
  • Help quiz them for tests using notes and study materials provided
  • Read their planners often and discuss the entries with them
  • Check your student's progress through Powerschool
  • E-mail or call us if you have questions

 

Team Schedules

"A" Alpha Team is Miss Poel, Mrs. Ortman, Mr. Putnam, Mrs. Ondrusek,

Mrs. Toole, Mr. B. Toole

 

“Beta Team is Miss Poel, Mrs. Fix, Mrs. Switzer, and Mr. Welch

 

Advisory                                             7:50 - 8:25 a.m.

                        1st Hour                                              8:25 - 9:26 a.m.

                        2nd Hour                                             9:26-10:27 a.m.

3rd Hour                                             10:27-11:28 a.m.

4th Hour                                               11:28-12:30 p.m.

5th Hour           LUNCH                      12:30-1:05 p.m.

6th Hour          CHANNEL ONE       1:05-1:22 p.m.

7th Hour                                              1:22-2:06 p.m.

8th Hour                                              2:06- 2:50 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Content Areas

Mathematics

  • Estimate and solve problems related to square roots
  • Apply the concepts of zero and negative integer exponents to solve problems
  • Solve problems in real-life situations involving percent increase or decrease,

simple interest, and ratio units

  • Identify and represent linear functions, quadratic functions, and other

simple functions using tables, graphs, and equations; describe how changes

in one variable affect variables; and solve problems

  • Create, graph, and solve applied problems of simultaneous linear equations

and linear inequalities involving one and two variables

  • Understand the difference between rational and irrational numbers and

apply the concepts of real numbers to solve problems

  • Use formulas for the circumference and area of a circle and solve applied

problems for area and perimeter of complex figures

  • Apply formulas to determine surface area and volume of common three- dimensional shapes
  • Visualize, draw, and construct two-dimensional representatives of three dimensional geometric shapes to develop spatial sense involving

transformations and symmetry and to solve problems

  • Justify conclusions based on data, determine which measure of central

tendency best represents a data set, and recognize potential bias in

presenting or analyzing data

  • Compute relative frequencies, explain the relationship of probability to

relative frequency, and apply the Basic Counting Principle to find total

number of possible outcomes for independent and dependent events

  • Use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve applied problems
  • Find the distance between two points on a coordinate plane using the distance formula

 

Language Arts

Reading 

  • Read selected fiction to analyze author’s craft and role of minor characters
  • Read and summarize informational selections
  • Read different types of informational texts to explore issues, support arguments with evidence and identify with a universal theme.
  • Fluently read beginning grade-level text

 

Writing

  • Write a piece of historical fiction using the writing process, which includes relevant historical information
  • Write a persuasive speech and present it to the class
  • Correctly spell and define a selected list of words appropriate for the 8th grade

 

Listening

  • Critically listen to an oral presentation and respond to it

Research

  • Use multiple resources to research a topic and present the information

 

Science

  • Students will understand the nature of science and demonstrate an ability to

practice scientific reasoning by applying it to the design, execution, and

evaluation of scientific investigations. Students will demonstrate their

understanding that scientific knowledge is gathered through various forms of

direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods

including, but not limited to, experimentation. They will be able to distinguish

between types of scientific knowledge and become aware of areas of active

research in contrast to conclusions that are part of established scientific

consensus. They will use their scientific knowledge to assess the costs, risks, and

benefits of technological systems as they make personal choices and participate in

public policy decisions. These insights will help them analyze the role science

plays in society, technology, and potential career opportunities.

  • Students describe the interactions within and between Earth systems. Students

will explain how both fluids and solids move within Earth systems and how these

movements form and change their environment. They will describe the

relationship between physical process and human activities and use this

understanding to demonstrate an ability to make wise decisions about land use.

  • Students explain how scientists study and model the interior of the Earth and its

dynamic nature. They use the theory of plate tectonics, the unifying theory of

geology, to explain a wide variety of Earth features and processes and how

hazards resulting from these processes impact society.

  • Students explain how the ocean and atmosphere move and transfer energy around

the planet. They also explain how these movements affect climate and weather

and how severe weather impacts society. Students explain how long term

climatic changes have shaped the Michigan landscape. They also explain features

and processes related to surface and groundwater and describe the sustainability

of systems in terms of water quality and quantity.

  • Students explain theories about how the Earth and universe formed and evolved

over a long period of time. Students predict how human activities may influence

the climate of the future.

  • Describe what biologists consider to be evidence for human relationships to

selected animal groups; explain how a new species or variety may originate

through the process of natural selection.

 

Social Studies

History

  • Identify and describe the impact of important people, events, institutions, and

inventions that characterized the eras for United States history from 1788 to

1900

  • Use primary and secondary resources to analyze significant events that shaped

the development of the United States between 1788 to 1900

  • Show that historical knowledge is tentative and subject to change when new

information is discovered

Geography

  • Identify why people lived or worked as they did in different regions of the

United States between 1788 to 1900

  • Identify and describe how and why people, goods, services and information

moved within and between regions of the United States from 1788 to 1900

 

Government

  • Identify and describe how the federal government of the United States served

the purposes set forth in the Preamble to the Constitution

  • Identify and describe how the Constitution is maintained as the supreme law

of the land

 

Economics

  • Describe how business practices, profits, and the willingness to take risks

enable an entrepreneur to operate

  • Identify and describe the roles of the various economic institutions which

comprise the American economic system such as business firms, households,

labor unions, banks, and the government

 

Inquiry and Decision Making

  • Explain how culture and experience shape positions that people take on an

issue

 

Special Education Supports

Resource room support is provided to students who are eligible and have a current

Individual Educational Plan (IEP).  Ms. Poel works with eighth grade students and teachers on both teams.  Resource room services provide academic, emotional, and behavioral support as prescribed by the IEP

 

Student Planners

The student's planner is a required and valuable tool. This spiral bound notebook contains a calendar, school policies, procedures, and reference information that the students use all school year. It is a great source of communication. The students will be expected to write their assignments in their planner. They will be given opportunities in class to do so.

Homework will generally be given on a daily basis. Students will also use the planner as

a hall pass to leave the classroom.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is taking credit for another's thoughts, ideas, or work. It is written or

electronic sources (websites, cd/dvd, books, magazines, etc.) in a report, project or

presentation without giving credit to the original creator. Plagiarism is cheating, and it is

illegal. Plagiarism is not limited to copying written work word for word. It also includes

"borrowing" a paper or project already created by someone else, allowing someone else

to write a paper, create a project, or complete an assignment, as well as copying someone

else's work or ideas without documentation. Plagiarism could result in loss of credit or

additional disciplinary consequences. Please help your child understand this concept.

Thank you.

Activities

There are three separate activities for eighth graders. Below are brief descriptions of each.  More details regarding each will follow at a later date.

 

The Unity Games

The Unity Games is a fall intra-advisory competition filled with outdoor activities.

Advisors rotate with their group through a variety of cooperative games. Each station is

introduced and refereed by an adult. A picnic lunch is served outside by parent volunteers. Unity Games include: Beachball Volleyball, Capture the Flag, Ultimate Frisbee, Magnum Softball, Dodgeball, Soccer, and Tug o War. Games are subject to change, but fun is guaranteed!

 

Michigan Adventure Trip

A long time tradition at Sparta Middle School has been the eighth grade trip in June.

This year we will be going to Michigan Adventure.  School buses filled with students and staff will embark in the morning for a day of fun, sun (hopefully), and junk food.  Michigan Adventure is known for roller coasters as well as a water park.  Attendance is based on the student's behavior during 8th Grade. Look for details regarding exact cost, time, and specific procedures at a future date.

 

Recognition Night Ceremony and Dance

Recognition Night is a celebration of students’ efforts throughout their middle school career.  All students are invited to attend.  In addition, there are recognition given to students for their academic achievement.  Following the ceremony, students are invited to attend a dance.  There is a dress code for the attire for this evening.  The date for this evening will be announced later in the year.

 

 

 


Art | Computers | Foreign Language | Life Skills | Physical Education | Health | Teachers

 

ART

Course Descriptions & Objectives:

Sixth Grade Art

This class will be twelve weeks long.  The primary focus will be to review elements and principles of art and incorporate them into original works of art.  This class will provide the students with hands on experiences with a variety of art mediums.  Students will continue to make connections with art and the subjects they study.  Students will learn about various artists and periods throughout history.  Students will learn to write about, critique, and interpret art.
Projects may include: Clay - Coil Pottery and Sculpture / Painting / Chalk/Pastels / Pencil Drawings / Design / Projects focusing on Latin American Culture / Projects focusing on Math Concepts / Papier-mâché mask making

Course Objectives

Students will continue to learn and practice art making skills and procedures in drawing, painting, clay and sculpture. / Students will continue to create unique, original, mature pieces of art. / Students will continue to practice fine craftsmanship on art projects. / Students will continue to learn proper safety, care and cleanup of tools and materials. / Students will continue to critique a piece of artwork by using the elements of art and principles of design. / Students will learn a selection of art history by viewing artist’s works and their movements.

Seventh Grade Art

This class will be twelve weeks long.  The primary focus will be to incorporate the elements and principles of art within students’ original artwork.  Students will continue to make connections with art and the subjects they study.  Students will learn about various artists, techniques, and periods throughout history.  Students will write about, critique and interpret art.
Projects may include: Clay - Slab construction, Pottery, and Sculpture / Painting / Chalk/ Pastels / Pencil Drawings / Design Compositions Projects focusing on Ancient Cultures

Course Objectives

Students will master new and prior learned art skills. / Students will master safety, care and cleanup of tools and materials. / Students will learn to design and create art in a small team setting. / Students will be able to create unique, original, mature, designs and execute these designs in to a finished project. / Students will understand and implement the elements of art and principles of design within their artwork. / Students will be able to apply knowledge about artists and art movements to and principles of design their own original work of art. / Students will be able to critique, interpret, analyze, and compare and contrast works of art to their own artwork. / Students will be able to recognize and describe the connection of art to careers and other subjects in school.

Eighth Grade Art

This class will be twelve weeks long.  The primary focus will be to incorporate the elements and principles of art within students’ original artwork.  Students will continue to make connections with art and the subjects they study.  Students will learn about various artists, techniques, and periods throughout history.  Students will write about, critique, analyze, and interpret art.
Projects may include: Clay - Pottery, Press molds, and Sculpture
Painting / Chalk/Pastels / Pencil Drawings / Design Compositions
Papier-mâché Sculptures / Projects focusing on Modern American Artists

Course Objectives

Students will master new and prior learned art skills. / Students will master safety, care and cleanup of tools and materials. / Students will learn to design and create art in a small team setting. / Students will be able to create unique, original, mature, designs and execute these designs in to a finished project. / Students will understand and implement the elements of art and principles of design within their artwork. / Students will be able to apply knowledge about artists and art movements to and principles of design their own original work of art. / Students will be able to critique, interpret, analyze, and compare and contrast works of art to their own artwork. / Students will be able to recognize and describe the connection of art to careers and other subjects in school.

Eighth Grade Sculpture Class:

This class will be twelve weeks long.  The primary focus will be to introduce students to various forms of sculpture.  Students will incorporate the elements and principles of design within their artwork.  Students will learn about various artists, cultures, sculpture techniques, and periods throughout history.  Students will write about, critique, analyze and interpret art.
Projects may include: Clay/ Papier-mâché Sculptures/ Assemblages/ Plaster Sculptures/Wire Sculptures/ Relief Sculptures/ Nature Sculpture.

Course Objectives

Students will master new and prior learned art skills. / Students will master safety, care and cleanup of tools and materials. / Students will learn to design and create art in a small team setting. / Students will be able to create unique, original, mature, designs and execute these designs in to a finished project. / Students will understand and implement the elements of art and principles of design within their artwork. / Students will be able to apply knowledge about artists and art movements to and principles of design their own original work of art. / Students will be able to critique, interpret, analyze, and compare and contrast works of art to their own artwork. / Students will be able to recognize and describe the connection of art to careers and other subjects in school.

Grading Scale:

80% Art Projects

Each project has a rubric, which has various elements and principles of art, which need to be implemented in the students art work.  Most projects are worth 100 points.  Craftsmanship, or quality, and effort are always worth half of the 100 points possible.

20% Written Assignments

Written assignments could be from the following categories: Poetry,
Creative Stories, Descriptions (or artists statements), and
Compare/Contrast critiques.  Writing is primarily graded on content,
Proper paragraph and sentence structure.

There is no homework in Art class.  All projects are to be completed during Art Class.  Work is to have first and last name, grade, hour, and advisory teacher, written on the back.  Any projects handed in without a name receive a 10% grade reduction. Make-up work is to be done during Homework days during advisory time or at home if materials will allow. Students have approximately one school week in class to work on projects. Students will receive one week, outside of class, to complete their artwork without any grade reductions.  After two weeks assignments turned in will be graded on an 80% scale.  After three weeks assignments turned in will be graded on a 70% scale.  After four weeks the maximum allowable points would be 50%.

Miss Homan’s Art Room Rules

Come to class prepared with a pencil and student planner / Follow Directions/ Respect the Art Room, Materials, Tools, Art Work, and your fellow classmates.
Keep the Room Safe, Caring, and Orderly. / Follow Art Room Safety Rules / Work at assigned seats at all times (No wandering) / Use tools safely and for intended purposes. / If you spill, wipe it up. / Do not throw ANYTHING!  (Throwing of clay results in automatic detention and loss of clay privileges, a written assignment will take the place of the project.) / Do not touch the paper cutter / Inform me immediately if injury occurs / Clean up area and tools / Return tools to proper areas / Do not leave the room without permission and a written pass / Do not touch other student’s artwork and the art tools and materials not being used for your art project

Computers

Sixth Grade Computers - In this 12-week class, students will continue improving their keyboarding and word processing skills. Projects will become more detailed as students learn correct format for different types of documents. Students will continue their use of Hyperstudio and Inspiration for multimedia presentations and organizational skills. Students will learn more detailed uses of the Internet and how to use it safely and correctly.

Sixth Grade Computer Elective - Students in this 12-week class will explore the creation and uses of multimedia for educational purposes.  Students will use the Internet, Powerpoint, Hyperstudio, and digital cameras to complete their projects.

Seventh Grade Computers - In this 12-week class, students will learn the basics of spreadsheet and database. Terminology and techniques for both will be covered, with an emphasis on real-world applications. Students will continue expanding their keyboarding and word processing skills with a variety of projects. Students will continue their use of the Internet, especially with in-class assignments.

Eighth Grade Computers - Students in this 12-week class will expand on their knowledge of the Internet, specifically with search techniques and safety/privacy issues. The Internet and its impact on our world will be an area of study, including the history of its development. Students will learn basic research skills. Students will learn the basics of web page design.

Desktop Publishing (Elective: Grade 8) - Students in this 12-week elective class will explore the elements and uses of desktop publishing. Students will produce a variety of projects while learning about layout, graphics, digital photography, and the insertion of text. An ongoing project will be the development of the school yearbook.

Video Production/Web Page Design (Elective: Grade 8) - Students in this 12-week elective class will learn the basics of video editing and web page design. Students will produce newscasts and commercials pertaining to school activities. Students will also maintain the school website as well as construct and maintain other school related web pages.

General Statements for all grade levels:
All students in Sparta Middle School must sign the computer use agreement that applies to all school computers. This agreement covers correct and appropriate use of the computers and of the network itself. Specifically, students must sign in under their own user ID, only go to approved programs, and may not reconfigure the computers in any way. Any student who does not follow this agreement may lose his or her computer privileges.

Sparta district policy allows no food or drinks in any of the computer labs.

Foreign Language Classes

Foreign Language Classes at the middle school level are devoted to introduction of basic language skills and cultural exploration. Time is also spent on language learning strategies.

7th Grade - Spanish
These classes focus on oral language abilities and giving an exposure of foreign culture to the students. We begin with basic conversational vocabulary and, through units such as family, food and school, explore cultural differences.

8th Grade - Spanish
These classes are similar to the 7th grade classes in that they focus on conversational skills. However, the units cover different vocabulary, such as calendar, weather and clothing, so that the class is appropriate for both those that have had a 7th grade class and those that have not.

Grading and Classroom Rules
In all foreign language classes, assessment is done through vocabulary quizzes and oral testing. This counts for 50% of a student's grade. An important component of language learning is practice, here through class work and homework and this is 30% of the grade. The other 20 % is participation, a key to being a successful language student. The grading scale used is that of Sparta Middle School. Classroom rules revolve around the respect of all people and property.

LIFE SKILLS

Writing is a part of all life skills classes. Please refer to the Student Handbook for Student Rights and Responsibilities and grading policies. Any rules necessary to establish a SAFE, CARING, and ORDERLY environment for all students will be enforced.

6th Grade
Machine/Hand sew pillow: Parts of the machine, Using machine safely, Review/practice hand sewing, Machine sewing practice
Cooking: Review kitchen equipment, Follow recipes, Follow kitchen safety, Teamwork
Using money wisely: Consumer vocabulary, Spending tips, Saving tips, Checkbook practice

7th Grade
Choosing and caring for clothes: Signs of quality, Needs vs. wants, Laundry tips (Reading care labels, Sorting)
Choosing food wisely: Food Guide Pyramid, Eating disorders, Eating healthy, Reading labels, Food safety
Machine sew shorts/pants: Review machine parts, Sewing safety, Machine sewing practice
Cooking: Follow recipes, Teamwork, Kitchen safety

Physical Education

Welcome to physical education class. It is our hope that this class will help you learn more about yourself by teaching you how to take care or your body, both now and throughout your lifetime, and have some fun while doing it.

Every grade level will have 12 weeks of physical education. Depending on the electives you choose, you may have an additional 12 weeks of physical education. Activities will include daily warm-up exercises, cardiovascular fitness days, sports activities and written work. Key factors in completing this class successfully are participation, effort and attitude.

We hope that these guidelines will provide a safe, caring and orderly environment where everyone will have the opportunity to benefit from and enjoy physical education class.

Staff Members:
Mrs. Berwald
Mr. McDowell
Mr. Zwarensteyn

Procedures:

  1. Uniform
    1. Loose fitting shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes
      1. May not wear clothes worn to school that day
      2. If clothes are forgotten/loaner clothes are handed out a maximum of 6 times per trimester
      3. No dangling jewelry or watches
      4. No street shoes or flip flops
    2. Lockerroom before class
      1. Change into gym clothes
      2. Lock up belongings
      3. Walk into gym
    3. Gym
    4. Sit in tight squad formation
      1. Take attendance
      2. Warm-ups
      3. Daily activity
      4. Dismissal
    5. Lockerroom after class
      1. Change into school clothes
      2. Lock locker
      3. Wait quietly in appropriate area until dismissal 

 

Basic Rules:

  1. Be on time (5 minute rule)
  2. Be respectful to other people.
  3. Don't touch equipment (unless instructed by the teacher)
  4. Give your best effort.
  5. Follow directions.

Grading System:
Everyone starts out with an "A" in a physical education class. Your grade will be based on a point reduction system. Approximately 80% of your grade is based on participation, 10% written work, tests and quizzes, and 10% skills tests.

Point reduction system:
Dressing 2 points
Attendance 2 points (any missed class after 6 - in a 12 wk
Time frame)
Warm Ups 4 points
Daily Activity 4 points
Effort 4 points

** A teacher reserves the right to decide if a students actions deserve additional points reduced.

Grading Scale (for 12 wks):

0-10 pts off A
11-16 A-
17-24 B+
25-32 B
33-40 B-
41-48 C+
49-56 C
57-64 C-
65 or more

Activity Units:

6th Grade: Required
Ball Skills
Basketball
Skills (ball handling, dribble, pass)

Lay Ups, Form Shooting

Rules/Terminology

Modified Games

Football

Skills (catch, handoffs, pass routes, throw)

Pass defense

Positions

Rules/Terminology

Flag Football Game

Soccer

Skills (dribble, pass, score)

Positions

Team Strategies

Rules/Terminology

Full Games

Volleyball

Skills (pass, underhand serve)

Rules/Terminology

Receiving Serve

Positions & Movement

 
Sport Skills & Strategies (Elective)
Hockey, Tennis, Track & Field, Whiffleball, Aerobics
7th Grade
Required Physical Education
Basketball
Skills (dribble, pass, pivot, shoot)
Lay Ups (right & left)
3 on 3 games (offense/defense)
Football

Skills (catch, pass, pass routes)

Games

Rules/Terminology

Plays
Indoor Racquet Games
Softball

Skills (catch, throw, hitting, fielding)

Rules/Terminology

Strategies

Soccer/Speedball

Skills (dribble, pass, score)

Rules/Terminology

Positions

Volleyball

Skills (overhand serve, pass, set)

Rules/Terminology

Rotation

Scoring

 
Lifetime/Activities (elective)
Golf, tennis, softball, rollerblading, walking, aerobics

 

8th Grade

Required Physical Education

Basketball

Skills (dribble, pass, shoot)

3 on 3 games

Fastbreaks, picks, rebounding, defense

Bowling

Skills (approach, delivery, grip)

Score Keeping

Fitness Testing

Presidential Fitness Test

Football

Skills (catch, pass, pass routes)

Defense/Strategies

Rules/Terminology

Plays

Golf

Skills (grip, swing)

Terminology

Scoring

Tennis

Skills (forehand, backhand, serve)

Rules/Terminology

Rotation

Scoring

 

Recreational Sports (elective)

Golf, tennis frisbee golf, whiffleball, obstacle baseball, softball, capture the flag

 

Health

During the 8th grade health class, students will engage in activities based on three subject areas. Those areas are alcohol, s.t.i.'s (sexually transmitted infections), and fitness and wellness.

Alcohol Unit

  • Prevention
  • Consequences
  • Peer Pressure
  • D.U.I.
  • Binge Drinking

*There will also be a D.U.I video group project.

S.T.I.'s

  • Consequences
  • Prevention
  • Emotional Stress
  • Relationships
  • Abstinence

*All information and activities are abstinence based
*Guest speaker, Kelly Haight, from the Pregnancy Resource Center

Fitness and Wellness

  • Target Heart Rate
  • Lifetime Activities
  • Body Fat
  • Healthy living
*There will be a fitness lab once a week Grading Scale
See Student Handbook

*Grades are based from the following areas
1) Homework
2) Test
3) Quiz
4) D.U.I project
5) Participation

Encore Teachers

Mrs. Berwald - P.E., Intramurals, Health
Ms. Goodenow - Computers, Video Editing
Ms. Homan - Art, Teen Leadership
Mrs. Knauf - Life Skills, Health
Mr. McDowell - P.E., Health, Computers
Mr. Palma - Band
Mrs. Harris - Spanish
Mrs. Zimmer - Computers, Desktop Publishing
Mr. Zwarensteyn - Band, P.E.

Encore planning time is from 9:53 - 11:20.  Lunch is from 11:20 - 11:55.

You can leave a message for any of these teachers on our automated line. That number is 887-7506. When the auto attendant answers, even if it states that all lines are busy, simply press that teacher's extension and wait for his or her greeting. Then leave your message after the tone. Your message will be posted to that extension within 3 - 6 hours, so please be patient for a response. Remember to leave your full name, your child's name and grade, your concern or question, and your telephone numbers where you can be reached. These teachers work with students of all grades, so please give as much detail as possible so they can respond effectively.

If you have an immediate concern, please call the school office at 887-8211 and ask to speak with the teacher during his or her planning time. It is difficult for a P.E. teacher to get to a telephone when classes are in the gymnasium or outdoors, so they will need to return your call later. Thanks for keeping calls to a minimum during instruction time.

 
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