SPARQS Frequently Asked Questions

This post compiles real, detailed questions early childhood educators ask about SPARQS: Vermont’s System for Program Access to Resources for Quality Supports. For an overview of SPARQS, visit and see our SPARQS Overview webinar recording from January 2024. 

This FAQ is regularly updated.


Where can I find my STARS renewal date?

The renewal or “Expiration” date is printed on a program’s STARS certificate, to the right of the “Effective Date.” Note that the CDD manages STARS. Scroll down for other questions about how STARS and SPARQS intersect.


What is the process for state agencies to make a referral for a program to work with a Quality Support Specialist?

The program itself needs to be active in the process. Agencies should send the program to the SPARQS intake portal at to initiate the process. The agency can then send Emily Hough an email to flag the intake ( 


Are the CLASS (CLassroom Assessment Scoring System) trainings open to community partners?

Yes! You can find all of the trainings here:


Can you talk about how involvement in Early MTSS (Vermont Multi-Tiered System of Supports) bypasses the CLASS assessment?

Early MTSS programs have to participate in TPOT (Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool for Preschool Classrooms) and TIPITOS (Teaching Pyramid Infant–Toddler Observation Scale for Infant–Toddler Classrooms) assessments on a regular basis, so they do not need further assessment to create goals in Arena 1 of the STARS system.


Can programs access the CLASS assessment guidelines free of charge before an assessment visit?

My best answer for this is to attend one of our introductory sessions of the CLASS tools.  Teachstone, the parent company for CLASS, charges fees to purchase overviews of the Infant, Toddler and Pre-K tools. If you are interested in purchasing something, please look at the Dimensions Guide (there is one for each tool) on Teachstone’s website:

See VTAEYC’s Youtube playlist of CLASS overview videos here.


What about TPOT?

If programs use the TPOT or TIPITOS for their program as an Early MTSS site, then programs do not need to go through the CLASS assessment process offered through SPARQS.


How do I earn more STARS? It’s been hard to get info.

In order to increase in STARS levels, programs need to create a portfolio for the level they desire, and submit that portfolio to the Child Development Division. The CDD will award STARS Levels based on the portfolio submitted.

If you need assistance creating a STARS portfolio, reach out to our Quality Support Specialists through the intake portal on (Note that the intake portal will be ready in winter 2024: if it is not available, use this survey form to start the process)


Can CLASS be used to evaluate part-day programs?

Yes. A CLASS observation lasts for 2 hours per classroom.


Will there be trainings related to creating a CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) plan for programs after having a CLASS assessment?

This is something that we can discuss with the Child Development Division. If you need assistance creating a CQI plan, you can reach out to the Quality Support Specialists at to request assistance.


For Pre-K CLASS assessments, will the 2008 version or the second edition be used?

We are using the Second Edition of the CLASS tool.


Is there still space for programs to sign up for early MTSS?

Early MTSS is offered through the Agency of Education. Contact Amy Murphy:


Will our Quality Support Specialist be able to support us through the actual STARS application process? It seems daunting.

Yes, we are happy to support programs as you navigate STARS.


I represent an agency that oversees numerous early childhood education programs across a regional area. Will I work with multiple Quality Support Specialists?

It is possible that you will work with one Quality Support Specialist at one or more sites, and another at one or more sites. We’re happy to discuss it with you. 


How do I get involved with my area’s Vermont Early Childhood Network?

Please email Meg Atwood will be happy to connect you with the right network.


Is SPARQS mandatory if your program is a Universal Pre-K (UPK) partner?

SPARQS is a tool that you can use to assist in creating a CQI plan for the STARS process. An assessment through the SPARQS team will be necessary to maintain UPK status.


If assessments are scheduled six months out, what do we do if our STARS renewal is due before then?

Renewal dates are a prioritization factor. We will make space for you!