Programs must select either the Environment Rating Scale (ERS) and/or the Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ (CLASS) observation tool and complete the required training for that tool.
CLASS is an observation tool that measures the effectiveness of classroom interactions among teachers and children, including emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support. These daily interactions promote children’s social and cognitive development.
CLASS observation tools have been developed for Infant, Toddler, Pre–K, K–3, Upper Elementary and Secondary age groups. At every age level, CLASS focuses on interactions that support learning.
The CLASS Self-Assessment Form can be used by directors and teachers to internally identify strengths and focus on changes the program plans to make:
Introduction to the CLASS (4 hours)
This session provides a basic understanding of the CLASS (Infant, Toddler, or PreK-3rd), its various uses, the domains, and the teacher-child interactions that support children’s learning, including additional time for guided video observations to deepen CLASS knowledge. This session does not prepare participants to complete observations in classrooms.
This two- or three-day session provides a deep understanding of the CLASS (Infant, Toddler, or PreK-3), the domains and the teacher-child interactions that support children’s learning, and how to code using video observations. Completion of the online reliability test allows participants to conduct CLASS observations in classrooms per Teachstone guidelines but not for Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) needs. Note: Attending the Introduction to the CLASS session is not a prerequisite. Attending the CLASS Observation training can be taken in place of the Introduction to the CLASS training.
ERS is an observation tool that assesses the quality of interactions between adults and children, including classroom schedules, materials and spaces available and accessible to children. The use of ERS is a widely accepted method of evaluating and improving the quality of home– and center–based programs.
Environment Rating Scales is broadly defined and currently includes the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Third Edition (ECERS-3), the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Third Edition (ITERS–3), and the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale–3 (FCCERS–3).
Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales (4 hours)
This session provides a basic understanding of the Environment Rating Scales (ECERS-3 and ITERS-3 or FCCERS-3). ECERS-3 and ITERS-3 Introduction training are typically held together while the Introduction training for FCCERS-3 is usually a separate training. Participants learn some of the important concepts in the ERS and the scoring process and understand how using the ERS can impact the quality of the early childhood program.
A Closer Look (6 hours)
This session is a facilitated discussion to provide a deeper understanding of the items in each of the Environment Rating Scales. Participants should have already attended the Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales.
Item Analysis (7 hours)
This full day session is a facilitated discussion of each item to provide an in-depth understanding of the items in a specific scale. This session is designed specifically for persons who will be conducting observations and is required for individuals interested in contracting with NDE Office of Early Childhood.
Practice Using the Environment Rating Scales
This one- or two-day session is for participants who have already attended the Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales and will find it beneficial to have also attended the Closer Look training for the scale they wish to practice with. Participants are assigned to small groups to observe in local early childhood programs and practice the observation and scoring process. Participants can practice using one scale for one day or two different scales each of two days. If you are interested in attending a Practice Using the Environment Rating Scale training, please complete our training request form.
The Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood is recruiting individuals to join a cadre of early childhood professionals to conduct observations for Step Up to Quality in community child care programs, family child care homes, school district programs, Head Start programs and for Results Matter in public school district early childhood programs.
Tools used for observations will be Environment Rating Scales (ERS) for preschool (ECERS-3), infants and toddlers (ITERS-3) and family child care homes (FCCERS-3) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) for Pre-K, Toddlers and Infants.
Observers must meet the following qualifications:
To apply to be an Environment Rating Scale or CLASS observer, complete the Coach & Observer Application and submit to the Nebraska Department of Education.
For questions about becoming an Environment Rating Scale or CLASS observer, contact Jenny Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 531-530-9028