History of SHS

SPARTA HIGH SCHOOL
"Home of the Sparta Spartans"

Spartan Head.Right

Sparta High School opened its doors in September of 1959 with a student population of about 420 in three grades representing three towns. Those towns included not only Sparta, but Hopatcong and Byram as well. Eventually Ogdensburg would also send its students to Sparta. Township students, until the late 1950's, had attended Newton High School, first by train and later by bus, but as the town grew, Newton could no longer handle the large numbers of students and requested that the sending district relationship be severed.

When the new school opened in 1959 it had just four pods, 28 teachers, and four major sports, football, basketball, wrestling and baseball. It was the first electric school to be built in the state. The curriculum and the co-curricular activities were very different from those of today. There were shops and home economics rooms, there was behind the wheel driving and there were gym suits for girls and to show how rural we were, there were cows on the athletic fields. In fact it was the job of two history teachers, Dick Cassels and Herb Orel, to chase them off the field every third period. In 1963, Sparta graduated the first group of students who had attended the school for four years. There were approximately 160 students in that class.
 
In the early 1970's, due to burgeoning enrollment, it was necessary to institute split sessions. The town supported a building referendum and the annex opened in 1973. This addition added a new cafeteria, media center and many open classroom spaces.

In the early 1990's due to changing educational guidelines, the open spaces of the annex had become obsolete and new spaces were created from the old. The annex was renovated and the open spaces enclosed. The student body at this time had risen to over 1000 and Hopatcong, Byram and Ogdensburg were no longer sending districts.
By the late 1990's, the high school added still another addition. This time a state of the art science wing was built and many new technology upgrades were installed. In September of 2006, the community passed a 72.5 million dollar referendum to reconstruct our high school. This reconstruction project, which was started during the summer of 2007, has provided our students and staff with a state-of-the-art school facility which inlcludes a new auditorium, cafeteria, gymnasium, media center, science and computer laboratories, and 24 new classrooms. The reconstruction project was completed during the 2010-2011 school year. Today, Sparta High School is home to approximately 1200 students, and about 100 faculty members and a myriad of sports and co-curricular activities. We are justifiably proud of both our academic and athletic tradition.

 

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