The Sparta Language Arts department is committed to offering our students rigorous and challenging curricula that enable them to fully develop critical and creative thinking and communication skills. Through this, we will guide our students to evolve into articulate, global citizens who persevere through challenges and voice their ideas with maturity and sensibility. Our combined efforts will provide them with the tools to transfer these acquired skills to various disciplines and real-world applications to better prepare them to contribute to and succeed in the 21st century.
- Foster an appreciation for reading and writing beyond their schooling
- Build confident, conscientious, independent readers and writers
- Expose students to multiple communication mediums to encourage digital citizenship
- Develop communication skills through the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, word study, and literary analysis
- Respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline
- Guide students through the process from learning to read to reading to learn
- Teach students how to think, not what to think
- Challenge students to broaden their global perspectives and attitudes through open and respectful discourse, collaboration, and analysis
- Stress the value and skill of active listening
- Cultivate a sense of personal responsibility and accountability
- Promote shared responsibility for the education of our youth
- Aim to equip students both to read the world and write the future
- Inspire our students to surpass their own expectations
Supervisor of English/Language Arts Grades 6-12
Ms. Hassenplug serves Sparta School District as the English/Language Arts Supervisor for grades 6-12. Prior to arriving at Sparta in 2011, Ms. Hassenplug taught English for 24 years at High Point Regional High School, while serving as English Department Supervisor for four years. Ms. Hassenplug is the recipient of the Princeton Prize for Distinguished Secondary School Teaching and a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship to Japan. In recent years, she served on the New Jersey Department of Education Model Curriculum Development team, designing assessments based on the Common Core State Standards and PARCC text-based questions. Currently, she serves as a Mentor for the Conference on English Leadership (CEL) Emerging Leaders program. Ms. Hassenplug advocates for literacy across the curriculum, believing that students of Art, Science, Social Studies, Math, and all other disciplines need to be critical readers, writers, and thinkers in order to succeed. She encourages parents and guardians to read to and with their children to celebrate the beauty and power of words.
- BS - Secondary Education, Bloomsburg University
- MA - English Literature, William Paterson University
Supervisor of English/Language Arts Grades PreK-5
Mrs. Tara Rossi began her career in the Sparta Township Public Schools, spending nearly 10 years as an educator and has now returned to the district as the PreK-5 Supervisor of English/Language Arts. Mrs. Rossi earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, where she has acquired certifications in Elementary Education and Teacher of the Handicap. In addition, she holds a Master of Arts in Education from Marygrove College, a Supervisor certification through Centenary College, and after becoming an Orton Gillingham Reading Specialist through Fairleigh Dickinson University, she is now a certified Dyslexia Practitioner recognized by the International Dyslexia Association. Mrs. Rossi has applied this knowledge outside of the classroom as a published children’s author. She has worked closely with distinguished specialists in the field of education and was even featured for her work in the documentary called Re:Thinking, which focuses on the development of critical thinking and metacognition in the classroom. Mrs. Rossi has served as a literacy coach in Green Hills School District and also as the Coordinator of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Andover Regional School District. She is passionate and inspired by literacy development and by our young learners. Mrs. Rossi is committed to enhancing learning for students through authentic and engaging opportunities to explore literacy in order to navigate and understand the world around them.