ERS Project & Community Resources

ERS Project at Clayton

The Environment Rating Scales (ERS) project at Clayton started in 2004 as part of the Research and Evaluation Department and is now part of the Quality Assessment Services Department. The Inter-Rater Reliability (IRR) Team are state anchors for the Environment Rating Scales-they are your local ERS experts!

The IRR Team is trained annually by The Environment Rating Scale Institute (ERSI) in North Carolina (authors of the scales). Click here to learn more about the authors of the scales and view additional resources on their website. ERSI provides national-scale resources, while the IRR Team provides state-specific information. 


ERS Virtual Certification

Want to deepen your knowledge of the Environment Rating Scales? ERS Certification is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the scales with the support of our state anchors. ERS Full-Day and Cultural Awareness training are a requirement before becoming certified and must have been completed within the last year. Certification in the Environment Rating Scales provides early childhood professionals with a live opportunity to use the skills gained in training. Being certified shows that you are capable of observing in classrooms using the Environment Rating Scales and that you have additional expertise. Participants wishing to go through the certification process should email the IRR Team at Clayton to set up a date for each scale they want to certify. The participants will have a full week to complete a virtual certification, and will have a one-hour consultation upon completion with a highly trained IRR Team member, who will answer questions about the virtual certification process. This certification is valid for one year, and participants must go through the process every year to maintain certification. If your certification lapses, re-training on the Environment Rating Scale and Cultural Awareness will be required. For more information, or to schedule a certification, contact the IRR Team here.


Support for Coaches Conducting Virtual ERS Observations

Due to the pandemic and the Colorado Shines Rating going virtual, we realize that coaches may be seeking guidance on how to conduct Environment Rating Scale observations virtually to support providers across the state. If you are a coach wanting to observe virtually, we recommend following the process developed for the Colorado Shines Virtual Rating. The resources below will provide you with the information you need to conduct a virtual observation. If you have additional questions, reach out to the IRR Team. To review all Colorado Shines Virtual Rating Resources (key ones for coaches are provided below), click here

Here are a few important things to note:

  • During the pandemic, virtual observations completed by a certified coach will be accepted for Demonstrated Competencies. This is a temporary approved process through PDIS to provide flexibility during the pandemic.
  • We do not recommend conducting third edition Environment Rating Scale observations virtually. However, revised versions of the Environment Rating Scale could be conducted virtually, as they are currently for the interim Colorado Shines Rating.
  • Since we were planning to transition to the third editions prior to the pandemic, obtaining certification in the revised versions is no longer possible. However, PDIS will accept the observation for Demonstrated Competencies if the coach is certified in the third edition(s) of the scale. But, this must be aligned with the appropriate scale. For example, a coach certified in ECERS-3, can only conduct ECERS-R observations and a coach certified in ITERS-3, can only conduct ITERS-R observations, etc.

External Training & Services

The IRR Team offers a variety of training related to the Environment Rating Scales, playground safety, Cultural Awareness, CLASS® and best practices. During COVID, we have transitioned most of our training to virtual formats. In virtual training, you will experience an interactive training that is engaging and content-rich. Trainings are offered throughout the year for the community, see the button below to see the training offerings and how to register. Want a customized training? Want to schedule a training for your next professional development day or staff meeting? Contact Linda Franklin to get more information about scheduling training. 

In addition to training, the IRR Team provides a variety of services to the community upon request. To learn more, see the button below to view the external QI services we offer. 

Inter-Rater Reliability Team

Linda Franklin (top left), Connie Haberman (top right), Laura Lerner (bottom left), Malie Visser (middle), Connie Norton (bottom right)

Meet the IRR Team

Linda Franklin. Manager, Inter-Rater Reliability, QAS. Linda is a Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program graduate, 2016. She has 30 years of experience in ECE, 13 years of experience using the Environment Rating Scales, and 10 years of experience training adult learners. Some of her former positions held include ECE Teacher, Center Director, Assessor, Manager of Resource and Referral State Network, State Anchor for ERS, and Quality Assessment Services Manager. 

Connie Haberman. Associate, Inter-Rater Reliability, QAS. Connie is a Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program graduate. She has 15 years of experience in ECE, 10 years of experience using the Environment Rating Scales/CLASS®, and 5 years of experience training adult learners. Some of her former positions held include ECE Teacher, Assessor, Profesional Development Coach, and ERS trainer.

Laura Lerner. Associate, Inter-Rater Reliability, QAS. Laura has 11 years of experience in ECE, 4 years of experience using the Environment Rating Scales, and 2 years of experience training adult learners. Some of her former positions held include ECE Teacher and Assessor. 

Malie Visser. Associate, Inter-Rater Reliability, QAS. Malie has over 30 years of experience in ECE, over 15 years of experience using the Environment Rating Scales, and over 15 years of experience training adult learners. Some of her former positions held include ECE Teacher, Coach, ECE Consultant, Assessor, and Family Child Care Provider. 

Connie Norton. Associate, Inter-Rater Reliability, QAS. Connie has over 35 years of experience in ECE, 13 years of experience using the Environment Rating Scales/CLASS®, and 6 years of experience training adult learners. Some of her former positions held include Infant/Toddler Supervisor, Preschool/school-age Teacher/Educational Coordinator, Center Director, and Assessor.


ERS Health and Safety Resources

Click on the links below to access Environment Rating Scale health and safety resources. The IRR Team has collaborated with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to create some of the resources below. 

Environment Rating Scale Resources

Click on the links below to access Environment Rating Scale resources developed by the IRR Team! 

Coaches Meetings

Twice a year, the Quality Assessment Services Department provides Coaches Meetings that are free to early childhood professionals across the state. These meetings provide information about the Environment Rating Scales, Colorado Shines, child development, innovations from the field, licensing regulations, and more

Click the date below to view recorded Coaches Meetings from previous sessions held and reference the agenda to see what was discussed. 

  • Topics for this meeting include: Respect, Reflect, Relate: Strength-Based Coaching for Every Provider, Coaches Consortium updates, Trauma-Informed Inclusion, New ERS Notes for clarification reveal, and Ask-A-Rater.


Announcing Virtual ERS certifications! We have developed a virtual ERS certification process for coaches wishing to obtain Clayton ERS Certification in ECERS-3 and ITERS-3. Please click the button below to see a flyer with more information. The FCCERS-3 virtual certification is in development and we will share more information soon!

ERS Questions? Want to schedule your certification? Contact the IRR Team here