Monday, January 30, 2017

Broadway Night Preparations Underway

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On Tuesday, January 31, students of Sparta High School’s performing arts will come together to perform some of their favorite show tunes at this year’s Broadway Night.

The Sparta High Choirs have been practicing for some time in order to make their songs as perfect as they can. Other soloists also have joined the event, and have brought some very great talent to the table. Some of the productions being reproduced on S.H.S.’s stage include West Side Story, Rent, Guys and Dolls, and so much more!

The event is focused on raising money for the Mark Inga Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to students in school choirs who go above and beyond with their talent. Tickets are going to be on sale at the door, so be sure to get yours there. This night will be full of performances you'll have to see to believe!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

#WomensMarch Takes Over The World

Written by: Kanita Tariq 

On January 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, a worldwide protest known as the Women’s March took place in the United States and 81 other countries. The protest, originally organized as the Women’s March on Washington, primarily attempted to boldly support the importance of women’s rights to spread a message of “women’s rights are human rights” to the new administration. As the movement grew, it advocated for immigration and healthcare reform, environmental protection, LGBT+ and workers’ rights, racial justice, and religious freedom.

Worldwide participation was recorded to be 4.8 million. A total of 408 marches were planned in the United States, the largest being Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Famous public figures including Gloria Steinem, Madonna, Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Moore, and even New Jersey Senator Cory Booker all actively participated. Globally, there were 673 marches, most prominent in London, Paris, and Berlin.

Map of all the marches that took place globally.

The Women’s March is the largest peaceful, political protest since the anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960’s and 70’s.

A hearty congratulations to the remarkable women responsible for organizing such a successful protest, and to the people, who united - regardless of gender, race, class, religion, and orientation - to exercise their right to fight for what they believe in. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SAT Survival Guide

          Seniors can forget it with a smile, juniors get stress lines thinking about it, and underclassmen? You should have started studying yesterday. As our juniors begin to plan for their futures, taking and preparing for the SAT is on our minds. I'm stressing out too, friends! I'm being proactive. Preparing for the SAT is important to getting a high score. Think of the SAT as the academic version of the playoffs. You wouldn't go into the big game without practicing, would you? Here's what I do and I suggest for all of you!

Know This.
       The College Board updated the SAT so it is now out of 1600. It is vital for you to do well! We're a bright bunch, we can do it. You must be committed and motivated - don't bother buying books and downloading apps if you are only looking to commit for 10 minutes. I know it is not fun and you will want to give up (or break down) but the score and your future college will appreciate it! Hard work always pays off.
      On the old SAT, 1/4 of a point was deducted for every answer wrong, but now NO points are deducted for a wrong answer - don't be nervous to guess! The new SAT will present you with your raw score.
      The English sections are now much more involved with not just understanding, but analysis and supporting that analysis - don't sweat. Our English and History teachers are doing a phenomenal job preparing us with these skills in the classroom. Practice, practice, practice! While the essay is now optional, I highly recommend writing it! Many colleges will be impressed of your willpower and will be looking at the essay score. It could be an admissions decision between you and another student!
     Unlike the old SAT and more like the NJASK (remember those days?) our math section will have a 'calculator' and 'no calculator' section.

Suggested Apps - Not Social Media.

Yes, I'm a super geek for having a folder of SAT apps on my phone, but hey, it's inevitable. We are always on our phones. Next time, skip refreshing your Instagram feed and download these free apps. You're only helping yourself!

The app begins by taking a diagnostic test (13-18 minutes). For students who prefer to reference to the text as they go through the questions, this app may not be "it" for you. In order to view the questions, you must exit the passage. Besides this, the app is not the easiest to navigate. It is not one of my favorites, but if you are seeking for the most assistance as possible like myself it is still an app to consider having. The app does, however, let you know when you achieve mastery on a certain topic, such as Evidence-based Reading. This app allows you to have an online tutor for an additional paid cost.

2. Ready4SAT
Ready4SAT is an app that really gets to know you as a student. They allow you to build a custom profile of yourself academically - adding colleges you're interested in (to compare academic information, such as average SAT/ACT scores and GPAs) and inputting your desired score on the test.

Again, you must take an assessment test built of nine questions. There is a section of 175 vocabulary words - you must master 25 before moving on to the next set for constant repetition. The app allows you to take tests on math, reading and writing or both, and you can set the length of the test from 8 to 100 questions. The app sends a notification daily to continue practicing your skills through a "map" and once you do enough practice, there is a quiz! This app is very involved with the individual as a student.

3. SAT Pocket Prep
I found this app to be less engaging and effective. While its features include practice questions, a countdown until your SAT test day and some methods for test taking, it is primarily concerned with getting you to purchase the paid version.
4. Visual Vocab
For all of you visual learners and those who like to be entertained when learning, this is for you! With a large library of vocabulary words, there is first a picture with the word to prompt you. You can then tap the screen and find the definition of the word. Swipe your screen to see more words, and you can even hear the word. Perhaps the funny visuals will entice some to truly get into their studying. There is also a quiz available at your convenience based on the words you have been studying.

5. SAT Flash 
I highly recommend this app! You may input the score you wish to achieve, and after daily practice sessions, it updates itself to what your estimated score would be if you were to take the SAT that day. So you don't forget, the app sends a notification - and another one, if you don't do your practice within a couple of hours!

6. SAT 
More of a cutesy app than anything, this app provides approximately 120 of the top SAT vocabulary words. The game is fun and can help with retaining definitions.

The Internet, At Your Service
Again with my inner nerd, I'm hooked on Khan Academy! I have heard about it for years and now i swear by it. I have not been on for long, but I'm completely obsessed with its service. Once you sign into your Khan Academy account, you can link it with your College Board account to allow access your PSAT scores - for juniors, this will show the scores from sophomore and junior year. Khan Academy is also able to pinpoint exactly which skills you were weak on on the PSAT to work hard towards achieving mastery in the subject. Input the date you anticipate to take the SAT and set a schedule for yourself - be realistic. You can set which dates and for how long you want to practice each day - they recommend 15 minutes as an average starting point. 14 weeks before the official test date, be prepared to set aside an hour for full practice tests. A week or two before your official SAT test date, there will be an Official SAT Practice Test - set aside three hours. As I said, you must be motivated! Watch it pay off.
The questions do mimic those that would be expected on the SAT, as do most of the apps, just as you would hope and expect. I guarantee Khan Academy will lead Spartans to SAT success!

Books are another helpful source. I have not divulged deep enough to review any of them, but ask any teacher who will gladly assist you. Having a book, or a few, is great prep because you can annotate and write inside it to get yourself acquainted in a hands-on manner. Do your research! Expensive doesn't always mean best, and you would want your purchase to be beneficial.

   I don't expect any of us to begin chanting "standardized tests!", but it is something we have to face and with effort, we deserve and we will achieve a grade we can be happy with. We are Spartans, after all.

Trends To Look Out For In 2017

Written by: Mallory Collins

While taking a pre-college styling course last fall at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, my class studied the idea of trend forecasting and how designers know two years in advance what the new styles will be. While researching, we discovered a trend book from a year ago telling us what the Spring 2017 season style trends would be. Here to share, the upcoming trends for 2017!

1. Stripes - Tired of being a prisoner to your wardrobe? Break free with stripes this season!

Dresses, Kittens and Color….Oh My! || Bliss: Daily Cristina | Stripped | Riscas | Inspiration | Fashion | Moda | Inspiração | Trends | Tendências | Street Style:

2. Wide Leg Trousers -  Say goodbye to your skinny jeans, this is the year of baggy pants!

Pinterest: @paytonlabadie: Wear Argent's Cropped Trouser in Plaid with the Coolmax Blouse:

  • 3. Flatforms –  These shoes are the perfect way to add a few inches to your height without the pain of heels!

    Intentionally Blank Alex Platform Sandal - Urban Outfitters:
    Desejando:+oxford+plataforma                                                                                                                                                                                 Mais:

    4. 80’s Glam - From oversized shoulders, cone shaped heels, nylon, bright colors, all the way to your favorite pair of mom jeans, these fashion trends are making their comeback. (Don’t you wish your mom thought to save all of her old high school clothes?)

Blake. love this fit. Specially the shoulder pads!: just bought a pair of mom jeans, trying to figure out how to wear them.:

5. Mules - Did somebody say Rachel Green? These iconic shoes are the perfect way to embrace your inner Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe.
These Are The Coolest Embroidered Loafers Of The Season:
All pictures taken from here    Easy-breezy summer livin' with a classic colour palette, lots of denim, oversized shirts an...:

6. Underwear as Outerwear? -  The bandeau makes a public appearance this year as it no longer stays hidden under tops but willfully exposes itself as fashion. Save this one for the runway, not the hallway!

Tory Burch; Victoria Beckham; Altuzarra (ImaxTree)

7. All Things Pink! – On Wednesdays we wear pink, and so can you!  Showing your girl power will be easier than ever as this color trend will be making a strong appearance in shops this spring season.
Rien de tel qu'un pull-over couleur chamallow pour pallier nos envies de guimauves ! (pull H&M - photo Polienne): Sieh dir dieses Instagram-Foto von @andicsinger an • Gefällt 3,292 Mal:

8. 50 Shades of Blue - Feeling a little blue? Not to worry, so are all the other fashion moguls. You’ll find this color will be popping up in all shades this spring
Chic and Easy Looks to Inspire Your Best Memorial Day Outfit Ever: Your favorite fashion Instagrammers are giving you all the outfit ideas you need for your best dressed Memorial Day ever.: Looks like she had no clothes. She just cut up some old denim and wrapped it around her waist.:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

You Know You're From Sparta When...

Written by: Lauren Groff

We love Sparta- we couldn't see life any other way, and frankly… we don't want to. Living in our own little bubble is satisfying enough, and although we may not willingly admit it, the over-abundance of bagels, pizzerias, and nail salons has become part of who we are today. Here are tell-tale signs that our community has taken you under its rule

  1. Panera is the go to
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2. You had at least one birthday party here
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3. Every post-elementary school sports event was spent at Sparta Dairy
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4. The German Christmas Market is the only “reason for the season”
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5. You've tried to jump off this bridge
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6. You secretly hope Mugs Media shows up at your game
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7. French toast bagels… enough said
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8. You`ve spent all afternoon sweating it out at Sparta Day
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9. You hike to the top of the Sparta take a photo for your Instagram account.

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10. “Yeah white!”
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11. You're never too old…
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12. “OMG yeah, I'm like really into the whole fitness thing now”
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13. Post-win team dinner, anyone?
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14. Chances are, you spent at least one summer at Camp Sacajawea
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15. The best weekend before summer break…
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16. Driving out to Vernon for a night at Mountain Creek was totally worth it
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17. You've hosted a team carwash here
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18. You've referred to SMS as “the jail”
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19. “Are you going down the shore?”
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