Countering Childhood Obesity With Spark Solutions
 

FAQs

Welcome to SPARK Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Just click on a topic below.  If your question is not asked/answered, contact us directly at spark@sparkpe.org and we’ll respond asap.

  1. SPARK Educational Materials (manual and e-manual, music CD, online content on SPARKfamily.org, SPARKfolio)
  2. SPARK Teacher Training (a component of SPARK Premium and Standard Programs)
  3. SPARK Equipment
  4. SPARK Prices and more
  5. Online ordering and Tracking your order

 

1. SPARK Curriculum

Q:  How does the SPARK curriculum align to our state's PE standards?

A: Take a look!  Click here

Q: May I just purchase a curriculum set (without training and/or equipment)?

A: Yes, purchasing a manual (the "what to teach") is a great first step.  The next steps are to participate in a SPARK workshop (the "how to teach SPARK") and purchase the equipment you need (the "tools you need to teach SPARK") as quickly as possible.  If you only have the curriculum set, you’ve only run the first K in a 3K race.  And when you’re ready to go one more kilometer, a 4th “essential component” is follow up support; and SPARK provides this FREE with curriculum and/or training.

Q:   My administration purchased a SPARK curriculum set for me.  However, I feel my PE program is already excellent. Why should I stop what I’m currently doing and replace it with SPARK?

A: You shouldn't! SPARK is a supplement, a professional growth opportunity, another tool for your ever growing toolbox!

After participating in a SPARK workshop some teachers choose to use SPARK every day because they love the content so much; it’s already organized and sequenced, and it saves a lot of preparation time.  Other teachers select parts of SPARK, hoping to enhance their current programs. It’s always the individual teacher who (once she/he learns more about what SPARK offers) makes the personal decision of how to use SPARK resources.

Q: How does SPARK work with adapted PE/students with special needs?

A: Although we didn’t write SPARK specifically for Adapted Physical Educators, because SPARK is so inclusive (every program has inclusion strategies for each instructional unit/theme/lesson), emphasizes differentiated learning and assessment, and designates activities for individuals, partners, and always small groups, APE teachers tell us it’s a GREAT resource and they use it with their students a lot.

Q: What is the SPARKfolio?

A: It's an easy-access box that stores content downloaded from SPARKfamily.org.  Tabs that align with the units in the manual organize hundreds of color-coded, laminated cards – many in English and Spanish. Purchasing the SPARKfolio saves valuable time and money because SPARK has done all the work for you.  Watch a video on the SPARKfolio here.

Q: May I purchase the SPARKfolio instead of the manual?

A: Honestly, not a good idea. While the Home Plays, task/skill cards, and assessments tools in the SPARKfolio are terrific, most of them are inadequate without the lesson plans from the manual guiding your instruction.  If you cannot purchase the set that gives you both the manual and the SPARKfolio (you save money when you do) we suggest you buy the manual/music CD set first.  Remember, almost everything online at SPARKfamily.org is in the SPARKfolio (except videos and sections like SPARKfit, SPARKdance, SPARKg.ym. and the Resource Center) so you can start to print and use the contents until you save enough to purchase your SPARKfolio.

Q:  How can we incorporate SPARK with our University methods students?

A: Many universities are already using SPARK manuals as a required or recommended text, and the instructors and their students LOVE IT. Click Here to learn more about SPARKuniversity.

Q:  I’m not a member of the SPARKfamily – how do I join?

A: It's easy: Just purchase a SPARK Curriculum Set and you'll get 3 years of access to the SPARKfamily site in your program of interest.  Please Click Here for the curriculum order form.

Q:  How many people can use a SPARKfamily membership?

A: Membership to SPARKfamily.org or SPARKabcs.org provides a license for one user. Each teacher must have her/his own login information; two or more teachers may not share one membership or any benefits of membership. Beware -- sharing memberships infringes the user agreement and copyright law. Click Here to view the full user agreement.

Have more questions about SPARKfamily membership?  Click Here for the SPARKfamily.org FAQs.

2. SPARK Teacher Training

Q:  What does a SPARK Program consist of?

A: To learn more about the Standard and Premium programs, choose your Program of interest and click on "Program Prices".

Q:  Do the SPARK programs, Premium or Standard, include assessments?

A: Absolutely. SPARK provides four evaluation tools and the consultation on how to use them FREE with each training program; Standard or Premium.

Additionally, within each curriculum set there are assessments that demonstrate student outcomes and even a teaching methodology tool we call a Lesson Quality Assessment. Click Here to learn more.

Q: May I invite others to the SPARK workshop we’re hosting?

A: Yes, we accept up to 40 attendees, so if you have slots available, we strongly encourage you to invite others. Not only does it make many of the activities more fun, but you can share the costs.  For example, if 3 schools team up and send their teachers to the SPARK workshop, each school pays only 1/3 of the total.

Q: We only have two teachers and we can’t justify the cost of hosting a SPARK workshop here.  Are there any other options for us?

A: There are a couple of things we can do to help. First, is it possible to invite others to join you from neighboring districts or communities?  They can reduce your costs significantly.

The other option is to send your teachers to SPARK. Each year, we host one Institute (even better than a Premium Training) in each program.  Visit our Institute page and see if the dates work for your colleagues. We'd love to see your teachers in beautiful San Diego, our SPARK home.

Q:  What does it mean to be “SPARK Certified?"

A: To become a SPARK Certified Instructor, you must participate in 12 hours (or more) of SPARK training in a particular program (e.g., 3-6 PE). You earn an award from SPARK and are eligible for a unit of Graduate-level credit from San Diego State University.

Please Note- A SPARK Certified Instructor is different than a "SPARK Certified Trainer". A Trainer is licensed to conduct SPARK workshops for colleagues in their school, district or community. If you ARE interested in becoming a SPARK Certified Trainer, there is a program for that. Contact SPARK for more information on their TT model.

Q: Can I earn a unit of credit for attending SPARK training?

A: Yes! You can earn a Graduate Level Unit of Credit by completing 12 hours of training in a particular SPARK Program (i.e. K-2 PE) within one year.  You can complete 12 hours of training by attending a SPARK Premium Program workshop or a SPARK Institute.  Additional cost applies. Click Here to learn more about the Graduate Level Unit of Credit.

3.  SPARK Equipment

Q: We can’t afford all the equipment we need.  Which items are really necessary to implement the program?

A: Contact a SPARK representative.  She/he will send you a modified equipment list that rank orders the most important, frequently used items.  You can begin there and add-on as your budget allows.  And check the SPARK Grant-Finder tool for grants in your state.  There may be money available!

Q: Do I need to purchase the equipment for the SPARK training I'm hosting?

A: Yes, and we'll make it easy.  Your SPARK Project Coordinator will send you a list of items our trainer will use and chances are, you'll already have some on site. You can either purchase what you don't have from SPARK, or gather/borrow the remaining equipment.  But remember, for a school or agency to actually begin doing SPARK activities when the workshop is over, they must have the necessary items on hand.

Speak with a SPARK representative about your equipment needs. She/he is committed to working with you to meet your time and budgetary requirements.

4. SPARK Prices – and more…

Q: How much does SPARK cost?

A: Glad you asked!  We're proud of how cost-effective and inexpensive SPARK is.  When you see everything we provide as part of a Premium or Standard Program, you will be amazed at the value.

There are a lot of variables regarding pricing (e.g., how many teachers you have, how many training programs you'll need, how much equipment you already have, etc.). From the homepage, find the program you're interested in and click on the Program Prices page for a guesstimate, and/or complete the Request for Proposal form.  A SPARK representative will draft a no obligation work-scope and budget tailored to your vision and needs.

Q:  We'd love to do SPARK but we have no money.  Can you help?

A: Yes – Use our terrific (and FREE) Grant-Finder tool to find $ opportunities and SPARK language ready to insert in your submission. Click Here And, please visit our Grants & Funding page often, it updates frequently.

Q:  How can I see SPARK in action?

A: SPARK presents at conferences throughout the world. For our conference presentation schedule, Click Here.

And don't forget, on this website there are numerous videoclips showing SPARK in action. Click on Institutes, choose your program, and watch a videoclip to see what training looks like in action.

Q: Does SPARK have any FREE resources?

A: Yes, a lot!

5. Online ordering and Tracking your order

Q: How do I order online?

A: You can order SPARK Curriculum Sets and Equipment online on the SPARK Store.  Click Here to access the SPARK Store. To schedule a workshop, please contact SPARK to speak with a Program Consultant at 1-800-SPARK PE or spark@sparkpe.org.

If you have any questions about online ordering, please contact Technical Support at 800-513-2465 or onlinehelp@schoolspecialty.com (Monday-Friday 7:00 am-6:00 pm CST) to help resolve any issues.

Q: How can I track my order?

A: You can track your order using the customer self-service tool.  Click Here to access the Customer Care Service Center.  Then, select Track Your Order to begin. To search for your order, you will need the following: Zip/Postal Code and Customer Purchase Order, Order Number, Cart Number, Quote Number or First Name/Last Name.

If you have any other questions about SPARK, don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-SPARK PE (772-7573) or e-mail spark@sparkpe.org.

Our new Grant Finder Tool will help you find grants specific to your state and type of program. New grants updated daily!

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SPARK exemplifies a high quality physical education program. It focuses on what we should be focusing on, students moving and learning for life! The curriculum is good, it\'s as good as any that I...

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