Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Rating Scales Score Sheet Completed by MSDE-Approved Assessor

Quality programs provide environments that engage children in positive interactions and experiences that develop their skills and abilities. Research-based tools help programs assess children’s interactions, use physical space, and involvement in activities and learning opportunities throughout the day.

Maryland EXCELS uses the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) as research-based assessment tools for assessing the environments that programs provide to children. Results of program assessments become the foundation for a structured program improvement plan.

two boys
Assessing Environments

This section explains the program assessment requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Program Assessment: ACR 2.5. Explore the Requirements tab to gain an understanding of the documentation you will need to submit for your program type.

NOTE: Programs holding current accreditation from an MSDE-recognized organization meet the requirements for ACR 2.5. The Accreditation Certificate submitted for ACR 1.5 is sufficient documentations for meeting the requirements for ACR 2.5.

Requirements

The following interactive shows the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Program Assessment: ACR 2.5. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about what to include in your documentation.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center
ACR 2.5: Program Assessment ERS or CLASS conducted by an approved assessor according to the schedule established by MSDE for at least one classroom from each age group as defined by the scales. Documentation to submit: Rating Scales Score Sheet(s) completed by an MSDE-approved assessor within the past 12 months

Family Child Care
ACR 2.5: Program Assessment FCCRS-R conducted by an approved assessor according to the schedule established by MSDE. Documentation to submit: Rating Scales Score Sheet(s) completed by an MSDE-approved assessor within the past 12 months

School-Age Only
ACR 2.5: Program Assessment SACERS conducted by an approved assessor according to the schedule established by MSDE. Documentation to submit: Rating Scales Score Sheet(s) completed by an MSDE-approved assessor within the past 12 months

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Program Assessment: ACR 2.5, you will upload an ERS or CLASS* assessment score sheet completed by an MSDE-approved assessor within the past 12 months.

The ERS includes a set of assessment tools based on your program type and the ages of the children enrolled:

  • Infant / Toddler Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ITERS-R): ages birth – 2 ½ years
  • Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ECERS-R): ages 2-5 years
  • Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale – Revised (FCCERS-R)
  • School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS)

*CLASS assessments apply to Head Start and preschool programs only.






Program Assessment Conducted by an MSDE-Approved Assessor

Meeting the requirements for ACR 2.5 begins with a request for an onsite visit, or visits, from a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)-approved assessor. MSDE will schedule an onsite assessment visit within two months of receiving the request.

When requesting an assessment visit, programs are asked to submit any dates when they are not in session (for example, field trips, holidays, scheduled closings). Programs are contacted by the assigned assessor to coordinate a date for the onsite visit(s).

Over the course of the visit(s), an assessor will complete a rating scale for each age group enrolled in the program. After a program receives the rating scale scores of the onsite visits, they develop a Program Improvement Plan for any subscale scores below 5.0.

Remember, Maryland EXCELS focuses on continuous quality improvement and supports programs through the process. That support is available from Quality Assurance Specialists (QASs) and Child Care Resource and Referral Centers as programs engage in each step of the program assessment process.

 

What does the documentation look like?

You will upload the rating scale score sheet completed by the MSDE-approved assessor within in the past 12 months.

 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

You are on the right track if your program was assessed by an MSDE-approved assessor and you are ready to upload the rating scale score sheet from the onsite visit(s).

 

Where can you learn more?

The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute provides detailed information about the Environment Rating Scales.

Visit the Maryland EXCELS website to find additional information and resources from Maryland State Department of Education – Division of Early Childhood Development.

Final Touches

Check your document one more time as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

 
 

Use one of these formats:

Scanned electronic version of your rating scale score sheet(s) completed by an MSDE-approved assessor (examples: PDF)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your documentation, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your written document on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

Congratulations! You are ready to submit documentation to meet the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Program Assessment: ACR 2.5. Develop a Program Improvement Plan for any rating scale scores that fall below 5.0.

Plan for Improvement

Set a goal to review your program’s rating scales scores and think about what you learned from the program assessment process. Review the requirements for Accreditation and Rating Scales: Program Improvement Plan: ACR 3.5 to learn about key information to include in your program’s improvement plan.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (ACR 2.5)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your documentation.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation