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Special Education Directors' Corner

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Meetings and Conferences

2024 Special Education Law Conference
The 2024 Colorado Special Education Law Conference will be held on Friday, April 12, 2024 at the Denver Marriott West in Golden Colorado. This one-day conference will cover current issues concerning the education of students with disabilities with updates on both the state and national levels. This event is for Educators and administers, and Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers of students with disabilities in the State of Colorado. Registration is open until March 14, 2024. Register here! Please note that we may have to limit registration space by district.

For more information contact Claire Burbank.

Important Dates Coming Up

Year-at-a-Glance for SY 2023-2024 (PDF)

June 2024

1st           2023-24 Federal Application Project Narrative Amendment Window Opens

1st           2023-24 Federal Application Budget Window Opens

15th        2023-24 Federal Application Project Narratives (NEW) Window Closes

30th        Parent Survey data collection window closes

30th        2023-24 Special Education Fiscal Assurances/Certifications

July 2024 - None

Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP)

Address Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) questions to:

Katherine Rains                  

Submit form via FAX to:


Mail form to:

Colorado Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services Unit, ESP Assignments
1560 Broadway, Suite 1100
Denver CO 80202

New Special Education Director



AU Special Education Director of Record and Fiscal Contact Information

ESSU must have current contact information for all state-level Special Education Directors and Special Education Fiscal Contacts. Our office communicates important updates and information through our listserv, please be sure that we have accurate, updated information. Communications from this listserv will come from CDE_SPED.

ESSU Newsletter

The ESSU e-newsletter is our office's primary form of communication with the field. It is published once a month and contains information from the Office of Gifted and Talented, Office of Facility Schools, and Office of Special Education.

What's New

PPRA Requirements for the Annual Review and Annual Restraint Review Report
Since 2009, Protection of Persons from Restraint Act (PPRA) has required each school district and institute charter school to establish a review process for restraints, conduct the review process at least annually, and document the results of the review process in a written report.  The purpose of the annual review process is to ascertain that the school district or institute charter school is properly administering restraint, identifying additional training needs, minimizing and preventing the use of restraint by increasing the use of positive behavior interventions, and reducing the incidence of injury to students and staff.

HB 22-1376 now requires that the written report, referred to as the Annual Restraint Review Report, be submitted to CDE beginning June 30, 2024, and every June 30 thereafter. Please note that the review is conducted at the school district level, not at the administrative unit (AU) level.  Each individual school district must submit a separate Annual Restraint Review Report.

(posted 4/26/24)

HB 22-1260 and Access to Medically Necessary Services
HB22-1260 amended the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) to require each administrative unit in the state to adopt a policy that addresses how a student who has a prescription from a qualified health-care provider for medically necessary treatment receives such treatment in the school setting as required by applicable federal and state laws.

(Posted 4/25/24)

ML Enrollment Scenarios Flowchart

It is the Administrative Unit's responsibility under Child Find to locate and identify all students with disabilities including Multilingual Learners (MLs) with disabilities.   School teams must not identify MLs with disabilities when linguistic and cultural differences or lack of instruction in literacy and math are the determinative causes for their difficulties in school.  When parents or staff members report concerns about a student's academic, social-emotional, functional, or behavioral concerns, IEP teams including educators who are knowledgeable in language acquisition and acculturation should work to investigate these concerns before the special education evaluation referral.


Memos to AU and Special Education Directors


Supporting Displaced Special Education Students

There are many ways that children and families can be displaced. There are floods, fires, and other types of natural disasters that can destroy homes or make them uninhabitable for periods of time. Families can also experience hardships that result in major home life changes.

Contact Us Icons

Dr. Paul Foster
Assistant Commissioner, ESSU

Email Paul Foster
Phone: 720-926-4033

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