Welcome to the Sparta Area School District!

Residents of the Sparta Area School District will be asked to vote on an important referendum question on Tuesday, Nov. 4. The District is asking permission to increase its revenue restrictions for operating funds by $750,000 for each of the next four years. The purpose of the referendum is three fold: To support the District's 21st Century Community Learning Centers, to improve safety and security in our schools and to improve access to technology and educational resources.

Wisconsin law establishes for each Wisconsin school district an amount that is needed to provide a basic education for its students. School districts that want to go beyond this revenue cap must go to referendum for permission as our District did in 2012. Funding from this ballot financed facility improvements, were used to establish our Community Learning Center at Southside Elementary and begin our one-to-one technology program at Meadowview Schools.

Access to funding from the 2012 referendum will end with the current school year budget. Without approval in the upcoming November referendum, the District will lose this additional levy and accompanying state aid. It is important to understand that an approved referendum in November would replace the existing referendum with the same dollar commitment. It will not require an increase in property taxes.

The safety and security of students and staff is always our first concern. The projects that would be funded by an approved referendum will likely include the installation of controlled entrances to each of our schools, replacement of classroom door locking mechanisms in several schools, improving the safety of pickup and drop off areas at Southside, Lawrence Lawson and Maplewood Schools, and increasing the use of video security systems.

Referendum funds would also be used to continue to support our very successful Community Learning Center (CLC) programs at Lawrence Lawson Elementary, Southside Elementary, Maplewood Elementary and Meadowview Schools. Hundreds of students benefit from the program's emphasis on homework help, healthy activities and nutrition - while providing a safe place for students. Approval of the November referendum will ensure the continuation of all of our current centers and allow us to open a CLC to serve students at Cataract Elementary School.

Finally, referendum funds will allow us to continue to grow our one-to-one technology program. Currently, students in grades four through eight have access to their own iPad or Chromebook. These devices extend the learning day, provide ready access to educational content and programming, and are excellent motivators for student learning and involvement. It is important that this level of access to technology be expanded into the high school grades. Referendum funds will also be used to improve programming in our career and technical education department and replace major curricular materials such as our current reading/language arts materials.

The District's Referendum Information Committee is working to educate the public about the November referendum. A fact sheet will be mailed to all box holders in October. An information page is being developed for our website and presentations will be held throughout October. Three presentations intended for the general public are scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m., Sparta High School Cafeteria, 506 N. Black River St.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Barney Community Center, 1000 E Montgomery St.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m., The Parenting Place, 201 E. Franklin St.

Residents are also welcome to attend presentations at parent organization meetings held in October. A complete list can be found on the referendum page at www.spartan.org/referendum.

I urge you to become familiar with the purpose and the impact of the November referendum. And please take time to vote on Nov. 4. If you have any questions about this issue, or other District matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.

John Hendricks, District Administrator

The Spartan Way

Bullying

What's Happening?

Oct. 28: Board of Education meeting, 7 p.m., AEC Conference Center

Oct. 29: Referendum Presentation, 7 p.m., The Parenting Place, 201 E. Franklin St.

Nov. 6: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," presented by The Sparta Excalibur Players, 7 p.m., Sparta High School auditorium

Nov. 7: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," presented by The Sparta Excalibur Players, 7 p.m., Sparta High School auditorium

Nov. 8: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," presented by The Sparta Excalibur Players, 7 p.m., Sparta High School auditorium

Nov. 9: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," presented by The Sparta Excalibur Players, 2 p.m., Sparta High School auditorium

Check out the full Sparta Area School District Calendar by clicking here.

Past Sparta Area School District Newsletters are available here.

Click here to view the 2013-14 Sparta Area School District Calendar.

Click here to view the 2014-15 Sparta Area School District Calendar.

To view highlights of the 2014-15 Sparta Area School District Calendar, click here. *Please note, the Cataract Open House date has been changed to 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 26.

Information on enrolling your child in the Sparta Area School District is available here.

Blog