What is CLASS?

CLASS is an acronym of Teachstone’s observation tool, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System®. It measures what matters most to children’s learning and development: interactions among educators and children. 

But CLASS is more than a measurement tool. It also provides a specific descriptions of impactful educator-child interactions, based on research. These descriptions are a shared language for educators to use as they improve their practice. With CLASS at the center of continuous improvement, educators can focus on the interactions that impact children most.

The CLASS Framework

Continuous quality improvement is a cyclical journey. To make real progress, you need to be intentional and systematic. CLASS is unique in two ways: 

  • It offers a framework and resources that align with a plan-do-study-act approach.
  • It empowers an ongoing journey toward improvement with flexible offerings that meet your needs

The CLASS Framework is comprised of 3 tools:


0-12 months


12 months-24 months


3-5 years

Frequently Asked Questions

Certified CLASS observers use the CLASS tool to capture the quality of the educator-child interactions they see in a classroom or program across 3 Domains. These observers look for certain behavioral markers. They then assign scores across each dimension.

As long as funds are available, and as long as both the ECE program and apprentice continue to be eligible, T.E.A.C.H. will award scholarship contract renewals so the apprentice can continue taking courses. At the conclusion of the Apprenticeship Program, the apprentice and sponsoring program will have the option of rolling into a T.E.A.C.H. Associate Degree Scholarship.

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Low-range scores (1–2): the behaviors were lacking, rarely present, or of low quality

Mid-range scores (3–5): the behaviors were somewhat present or a part of just some children’s experience

High-range scores (6–7): the behaviors were consistently present and reflect every child’s experience

The Vermont Early Childhood Education Apprenticeship Program (VECEAP) is managed in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Labor, through the efforts of VTAEYC (Vermont Association for the
Education of Young Children).

VTAEYC provides funding and counseling for the T.E.A.C.H. scholarships and provides supports for the Vermont Department of Labor aspects of VECEAP.

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® VERMONT pays for 100% of tuition and books, provides an access stipend each semester, reimburses the program for a portion of the release time given, provides a $400 contract completion bonus for apprentices and provides counseling and administrative support for the program, including:

  • conducts outreach & orientation
  • provides materials for apprentice/mentor teams, maintains files
  • collects monthly documentation for apprentices & mentors
  • offers support to all participants throughout the course of the apprenticeship program

To learn more about how you can implement CLASS into your program, view the webinar.

As scholarship recipients, apprentices must attend classes and successfully complete 9-12 credits during the contract year toward an Apprentice Certificate in Early Childhood Education. At the end of the scholarship year, apprentices are required to remain employed at their sponsoring program for one additional year.

Programs must agree to sponsor a scholarship apprentice by giving apprentices paid release time each week and agreeing to award the apprentice a 1.5% raise upon completion of each one-year scholarship contract. T.E.A.C.H. will reimburse programs for a portion of the cost of release time.

Programs must be a Vermont licensed child care or Agency of Education setting, with no unresolved violations within the last 12 months, or history of recurring violations, as defined by Child Development Division licensing regulations. Programs wishing to make a commitment to teacher education and compensation by meeting the terms of the scholarship contract can participate.

CLASS and Coaching

As you implement CLASS, you will:

  • Focus on high-quality interactions and create a shared understanding of quality in your program
  • Measure the quality of interactions to create a system that enables data-driven improvement
  • Improve teaching quality through tailored and individualized supports

SPARQS and the Quality Support Specialists will be able to provide training, coaching, mentoring, and technical assistance on the CLASS Tools and CQI plans especially as they relate to CLASS.

Request an Assessment

The SPARQS Team will be able to conduct both scored and unscored CLASS Assessments.

All registered early childhood education programs and afterschool programs can schedule a CLASS program assessment by clicking the button below.

Introduction to CLASS
Training Series

Caring for children goes beyond only meeting their physical needs. Current developmental theory confirms that nurturing relationships and responsive interactions are the quality markers of effective learning environments. During each training, we will explore the CLassroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) tool to better understand how we can make more meaningful connections. Participants will examine specific CLASS domains, dimensions and indicators, explore simple ways to incorporate learning interactions throughout the day, and discuss practices that foster positive growth and development.

How Do I Learn More?