SPARK Jargon

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!

Academic Bulletins: These are the weekly reports issued by teachers on what topics have been covered the week prior.

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.

Art Show: 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.

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 one of the new buildings; it is adjacent to the parking lot and houses the gymnasium and front office.

CAAS (Computer Adaptive Assessment S?): This is a state-mandated computer adaptive test in reading, language arts, math, and life science for all students to allow for accurate corrective or enrichment placement.

Career Day: This event is organized by the PTO and brings in volunteers to discuss career options to children.

 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.

Classé: 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.

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 and celebrates the achievement of the students. Parents are invited to attend.

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.

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 one week in the Spring, with additional make-up days, and tests the students’ knowledge and skills in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. It includes open-ended questions with composition 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 buildings on the campus. It houses some of the special services offered to students.

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.

K Open House: This is a parent-only event in the early Spring for rising Kindergarten families. It is an opportunity to hear from the Kindergarten teachers and Principal Brown. There is generally a Q&A session.

K Playground: This is a specially-dedicated area between the Briarcliff and Olmstead Buildings only for Kindergarten students.

May Day: This is a PTO-run event that takes place on a weekend toward the end of the school year. There are activities and games.

New Parent Orientation: This adult-only event occurs days before the start of the school year. It is a basic orientation to how SPARK operates and allows for new parents to pose questions or get clarification on any issues prior to the start of school.

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.

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. Although basic membership is $5, the PTO asks for more 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 Principal Brown’s office, the nurse, 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 night before school opens. It allows students to meet fellow classmates and 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.

SPARKet: The 5th graders offer a bi-weekly (every other Friday mornings) mini-store of SPARK regalia for purchase.

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.

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.

Wahsega Trip: This is an over-night adventure for 5th graders in early May.