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GreatSchools Rating

Sparks Elementary School

Public | K-5

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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10 reviews of this school


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Posted September 1, 2014

We moved to Sparks in large part because of all the good things we heard about the elementary school. It's a beautiful campus, and the county buses are really convenient. My child started 2nd grade, coming from a charter school in the city, with test scores in the high 90th percentiles and loving school. This is a child who gets angry on snow days because she enjoys school so much. By the time December came around she was systematically unlearning all the things she had learned, and worst of all she was starting to really dislike school. The Common Core curriculum is terrible and I found the teachers and administrators to be poorly responsive. I had to put my child in Sylvan to make up for the educational deficiencies at Sparks, and this year I've moved her to private school. She finished 2nd grade with worse test scores and with a poorer outlook on school than what she started. I can only hope that with the extra effort we put in at Sylvan and at home she won't have lost out too much in the long run. Parents, be warned.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 27, 2014

Sparks Elementary School is a great school it has wonderful teachers and a great principal they are always happy and the school is filled with happy students and delight
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 4, 2011

My son attended Kindergarten at this school a while ago. He had a great teacher. The administration was very professional and it definitely showed that they knew what they were doing. It was difficult for us as an international family though... We were both grad. students at that time living in an appartment and not in a million dollar house. We felt we were not accepted in the community. I am talking about parents here, not teachers and school administrators.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 11, 2010

Our daughter is fortunate to attend Sparks. The principal and administrators at this school are strong and effective leaders. It's been a joy to watch our daughter grow and evolve in a nurturing environment. Although we originally planned to send our children to private schools, we've been pleasantly surprised with Sparks Elementary. Our daughter is receiving a high quality education at Sparks (without a $20K+ yearly tuition bill). This school is an excellent investment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 15, 2010

Sparks is a socially competitive school for parents and kids. PTA meetings held during work hours prevent working parents from being involved. In the lower grades, students are shifted back and forth in leveled reading classrooms as a means to address students' reading difficulties. There are amazing, well experienced and energetic teachers at this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 12, 2010

Very very disapointed I thought since this was a blue ribbon school it would mean it was a better school but that's not the case here. I transfered my little girl to sparks from padonia but once we got there the teachers were fake happy. You could tell they greatly disliked the children. Should have left her were she was.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 12, 2010

Sparks was horrid. I simply thought that my little girl would get more out of it because it was a blue ribbon school but that was not the case. When she arrived the teachers were smiling as if they did not want to be there. They were crude. And not too intelligent. I should have left her at padonia now that was a great school where she could learn about numerous amounts of info and learn about different races and cultures.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 8, 2005

Sparks Elementary School makes me feel like the luckiest parent in the country. It is a National Blue Ribbon School that sits on 60 acres in the beautiful horse country of the greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area in Baltimore County, just 30 minutes from downtown. My daughter can get exposure to more global concerns and how to become a conscientious citizen of the earth through their environmental program for 4th and 5th graders. Academically, Sparks is among the strongest in the nation. The teachers and staff are wonderful, the school full of natural light, the children happy, and best of all Art and Music are so valued that they are the first classrooms in the front of the building. Stream walking, tree planting, soccer, birdhouse building, ice cream socials, and community service, reaching for the best...this is what Sparks is all about. Top rate parent involvement, too! Love it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 2, 2005

I will have to agree, Sparks is a great school. My girls are in the 1st grade this school year and they love it. I noticed last year that the parnet involement was very strong.I am looking forward to put my part in the school the next couple years . It's really nice to walk in a school and everyone knows your name & they know who your children are. I can't give credit to just one person because at Sparks everyone works together, the staff the parents & the children. What I really liked last year , is that my children were able to go to another class for reading, as they are doing this year as well Great Job Sparks Sharks!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 13, 2005

Sparks Elementary is a terrific school. The staff are dedicated, the parent involvement is unprecendented and the principal, Barbara Bisset, is a master at making parents and children alike feel well known and cared for. The teachers of each grade level work as 'teams' and the students change classrooms & teachers for different levels of reading and math so that all learning levels are aptly addressed. I couldn't be more pleased with the progress of both of my children there -- one advanced and one with special learning needs. Sparks Elementary meets both ends of the spectrum exceptionally well. I highly recommend this school, as long as Barbara Bisset is at the helm.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 82% in 2013.

110 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
>=95%

2010

 
 
>=95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 83% in 2013.

110 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
>=95%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 89% in 2013.

95 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
>=95%

2010

 
 
>=95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 88% in 2013.

95 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
>=95%

2010

 
 
94%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 81% in 2013.

95 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
>=95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 88% in 2013.

95 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
>=95%

2010

 
 
>=95%
Science

The state average for Science was 67% in 2013.

95 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
91%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 84% 42%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 6%
Hispanic 4% 12%
Black 3% 35%
Two or more races 3% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 6%N/A42%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

This school has not yet provided program information.


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601 Belfast Rd
Sparks, MD 21152
Phone: (410) 887-7900

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