My kids loved Sparks elementary school. Teachers truly care about the students and put in alot of unpaid time for before and afterschool activities/clubs. PTA is well organized and goes above and beyond. Everyone including admin, janitors and bus drivers take care to ensure safe and happy kids.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!