What does that mean?
Have you ever felt completely lost talking with someone is using terms, acronyms, and abbreviations that you don’t recognize or fully understand? Have you not been able to find words commonly used at SPARK in searches of Internet Slang or on Urban Dictionary? Well, search no longer. We have compiled an alphabetized explanation of the most commonly used words in the SPARK vernacular. Please email us at Communications Team if you have more to add!
AR (Accelerated Reading): This is the reading program used for K-5 students. There is an online tracker so you can monitor their progress. Children are tested at the beginning of both semesters and are given a reading range to select appropriate reading level books and to be tested for comprehension on. These tests can only be done in class.
AR Party: This a party that occurs twice per year to celebrate the achievements of children who have met their reading goals.
Back to School Night: This adult-only event takes place within a month after school opens and is for parents to be briefed by the teacher on how the classroom operates. It is generally where Room Parents are recruited.
BagTags: These are green, hard plastic luggage tags that are required on every student to ensure s/he returns home via the correct route. It also provides emergency contact information should a student miss a mode of transit. Hang tags are also now required for car poolers and walkers.
BoxTops: These are the small, pink certificates found on many foodstuffs. The PTO collects them three times per year in class-base contests and raises funds for SPARK.
Briarcliff Building: This is the building located closest to Briarcliff Road; it is adjacent to the parking lot and houses the gymnasium, front office, 4th and 5th grade homerooms, Specials and our Gifted Department.
CEP: This stands for Cultural Experience Project. The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs schedules on field trip per grade for APS schools every year.
Challenge: This is the name given to SPARK’s pull-out gifted and talented program.
The Club - This is the after-school program that offers both after-school care and after-school clubs. There are two sessions of 10-weeks of various clubs; offerings and registration can be seen on the school’s website. You can access the club website by clicking on this link https://www.theclubafterschool.com/
DineOut: If a restaurant is a Partner, the PTO will organize an evening where SPARK families are encouraged to patronize that establishment. It is a fun way to visit and socialize with the school community.
End of Year Award Ceremony: This is run by the faculty and held during the last week of school. This is an opportunity to celebrate the achievement of the students. Parents are invited to attend at all grade levels.
Family STEAM Night: This is an after-school event for families to sign up for various Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programming offered by various volunteers.
Fifth Grade Basketball Challenge: This is a friendly competition between 5th graders and adults (mostly parents and teachers). It is open to anyone to attend. Entrance fees and concessions raise funds for their Wasegah trip.
Field Day: This program is teacher-run and takes place during school. Children participate in various activities and games.
Fine Arts Night: This is a joint-effort program between the PTO, and the Art & Music departments. Art work from children is displayed at SPARK while students also showcase their talents.
Georgia Milestone testing: This is a state-mandated comprehensive testing period for our 3-5 graders. There are no visitors allowed in the area during the tests. It is approximately two weeks in the Spring, with additional make-up days. The GA Milestones tests the students’ knowledge and skills in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. It includes open-ended questions with constructed and extended responses.
Grady Cluster: This is a grouping of public schools that matriculate to Grady High School. It includes: SPARK, Mary Lin, Morningside, Hope-Hill, and Inman Middle School.
Hat Days: This is a program organized by the 5th graders wherein all students may wear hats to school for a $1 fee. This is a fundraiser for their Wasegah trip.
Hirsch Building: This is the smallest building on the campus. It houses some classrooms and offices.
Infinite Campus: This is the parent portal in which you can access all your child’s academic standings (grades, attendance, schedule, etc.)
K Lunch: SPARK invites rising Kindergarten students and their parents to visit the school’s cafeteria to experience and become familiar with the space and the processes. There is no school tour at that event. When possible, the Nurse and Assistant Principal visit, and the children may also play on the playground.
Kindergarten Experience: This is a rising Kindergartener and their parents event in the early Spring for rising Kindergarten families. It is an opportunity to hear from the Kindergarten teachers and Principal Harness. There is generally a Q&A session, followed by snacks in the cafeteria, a visit to Kindergarten classrooms, playground playdates and school bus tour.
Olmstead Building: This is the central building where most classrooms, the cafeteria, and the Rooftop Garden are located.
Parent Work Day: In the lead-up to the start of school, this multi-day event pairs volunteer parents with teachers who would like help getting classrooms set up. This can also involve unpacking, delivering, and storing Supply Kits.
Principal’s Coffee: This is a monthly meeting, hosted by Principal Harness, to notify parents of any school-related developments and to engage with the parents. Principal’s coffees are held the first Thursday of every month.
PTO (Parent Teacher Organization): This is very similar to the more commonly known PTA. A PTO, however, is a formal membership organization to which members must pay dues to the state and national organizations and abide by state and national group rules and in return receive lobbying and advocacy services and draws on nationwide members. A PTO is more independent, more locally-oriented, and maintains its own bylaws.
PTO Board/Officers: This term refers to the elected, volunteer members of the PTO. They may serve for up to two years as Officers.
PTO Dues: These are the funds raised by PTO Supporters contributing to the annual budget. The PTO asks for $200 donations per family per child to be able to provide the programming and curriculum that has become engrained in SPARK.
PTO General/Supporter Meetings: These are the two meetings per year that are open to the entire, dues-paying PTO membership. Meetings generally take place in the cafeteria in the evenings.
Room Parents: Each class has two volunteer parents – one is for Communications, one is for Parties – to assist the teacher. These parents may send informative emails to the class parents on class and school events and may request certain items that the teacher needs. They also raise class funds for teacher gifts.
Rutland Building: This is the building that houses the principal’s office, the school secretary, instructional coaches office, SST/RTI Coordinator, Special Ed Lead Teacher offices and the Media Center.
Saxon Phonics: This is the phonics program provided to every student by the PTO.
School Tours: There are multiple tours arranged throughout the year for prospective families to see the facilities.
SILT (School Instructional Leadership Team): This is the term for the grade-level head. Each grade has one team lead.
Sneak Peek: This event occurs the Friday before the first day of school. It allows students to meet fellow classmates and their teacher and allows for the parents to see the classroom and deliver any school supplies.
SPARK (Springdale Park Elementary School): This is your school’s nickname.
SPARK After Dark: This is the premier fundraising event for the school. It is an adult-only off-site auction and fete.
SPARK-e: This is the name of our electronic newsletter, which you can subscribe to from the school’s website, and it is delivered weekly.
SPARK Partners: Partners are entities in the community that have donated funds to the PTO to help run the school.
SPARK Supporters: Supporters are individuals who have contributed to the PTO.
SPARKY: This is the name of the dragon, our school mascot.
Supply Kits: This is an online ordering service, organized by the PTO in conjunction with the teachers, to allow parents to order school supplies for the following year and have the kits delivered directly to school.
Teacher Appreciation Week: This is the first full week of May, wherein the PTO organizes daily events to show the teachers our gratitude for their hard work. Individual classes may also organize gifts through the Room Parents.
The Turf: This is a specially-dedicated area between the Briarcliff and Olmstead Buildings only for Kindergarten and 1st grade students.
Volunteer Appreciation Night: In early May, the PTO sponsors an adult-only, after-school event at a Partner location to celebrate the achievement of the volunteers. This is also when the new Board is announced for the following year.
Ocoee Trip: This is an over-night adventure for 5th graders in mid May.