Using the DERS

Continuous Improvement

The DERS can be used in schools and classrooms
as a tool for observation and implementation support


The DERS offers objective, research-based guidelines for observation.  Administrators can use the tool to observe in classrooms, peers can use it for mutual support, and teachers can use it in their own environments.


The DERS gives objective feedback on the presence of elements essential to high quality developmentally based education.  Schools can use the tool for internal assessments of classroom effectiveness.


The DERS can be used repeatedly throughout the school year.  Reports give constructive, positive feedback, driving improved practice and better outcomes for children.

External Assessment

Building Predictive Validity with the DERS/MEFS Network

The Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS)

The MEFS, developed by Reflection Sciences, is a digital version of the Dimensional Card Change Sort, a well-established tool for measuring executive function in children.  Training and certification  in the MEFS is included with the DERS training, and per-child licenses are available at a reduced rate.






The DERS Network

The DERS can be used right away as an internal coaching and assessment tool. Ultimately, it is intended as an external assessment tool by licensing and evaluation bodies, the way tools such as the ECERS and CLASS are used now.  The Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS), a direct assessment of executive function, is being used with the DERS to help schools measure the effectiveness of their environments, and to build predictive validity for the DERS. 

This year, schools using the DERS will join the DERS/MEFS network.  Network members get unlimited access to the DERS, a reduced rate subscription to the MEFS, access to additional tools, monthly webinars, and shared data.  Anonymized shared Network data will help develop the validity necessary to get the DERS recognized as an external assessment tool. (Learn more about  the Network.)