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CDE Update

CDE Update Header

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! Each month, this publication will show you what is happening in key priority areas at CDE and include details on implementation, milestones, deadlines and resources.

This online format allows you to view everything or filter by category and date and will be your go-to source for all Update information.

May 2017

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Alternative Education Campus (AECs) Selection of Measures

By June 30, all Alternative Education Campus (AEC) schools must submit a selection of accountability measures form via Syncplicity with their district or authorizer's approval, indicating any optional supplemental accountability measures, metrics, and cut-points they are requesting to be used in their AEC School Performance Framework report. This form will be released Friday, May 5.

The Accountability team will host a webinar with guidance on Selection of Measures at 2 p.m. Wednesday,  May 17. This webinar will feature live closed captioning to increase accessibility. No RSVP required. A link to the webinar, closed captioning information and other AEC resources are available.

CDE staff are also hosting office hours to answer questions about the Selection of Measures process on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, May 9
  • Friday, May 26
  • Tuesday, June 6
  • Monday, June 22

Sign up for a 30-minute session here. For assistance with this process or questions, please contact Jessica Knevals, 303-866-6778 or, or Melissa "B" Sanders at or 303-866-2865.

What's on the Horizon

UIP Template Rollover

The Unified Improvement Planning (UIP) online system will roll over from the 2016-17 template to the 2017-18 template at the beginning of June. Schools and districts will be able to begin drafting their 2017-18 UIP at this time. Program requirements and grant information will be added to Section 1 on a rolling basis.

Accreditation Contracts

Districts, BOCES and the Charter School Institute that are Accredited with Turnaround, Priority Improvement or Improvement Plans must sign an annual accreditation contract. CDE will send pre-populated accreditation contracts for 2017-18. The contracts must be signed by the superintendent and local board president and returned to CDE by Thursday, June 1, in order for the State Board of Education to sign the contracts at the June meeting. Please contact Rachael Lovendahl at or 303-866-3256 with any questions. Additional information about accreditation contracts is available in the Priority Improvement and Turnaround Supplement (PDF).

Accountability, UIP and Family Partnership Contacts

If your district will have a transition with the assigned Accountability, UIP or Family Partnership contact for the 2017-18 school year, please remember that CDE will need information for the new representative. We will send out information via CDE's e-publications on the process for districts to update their contacts by June.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

June 1: Accreditation contracts are due to CDE for districts Accredited with Turnaround, Priority Improvement or Improvement Plans

June 30: All school code submissions for 2017-18 due

June 30: Alternative Education Campus schools must submit a selection of accountability measures form via Syncplicity

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner of Accountability, Performance and Support, 303-866-6855,, or visit


Assessments administered by the unit include summative content assessments, English language proficiency assessments, college/career ready assessments, and alternate content assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) are the state tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies that were given to Colorado students in the 2016-17 academic year. The science and social studies tests were developed by Colorado, while the math and English language arts tests were developed in collaboration with other states through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC).

In 2017, Colorado administered the Colorado PSAT 10 to 10th-graders and the Colorado SAT to 11th-graders.

What's Happening Now

Updates to Assessment Demographic and Invalidation Data

After assessment administration, District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and data respondents can update student demographic data and apply invalidation codes, including parent excusals, to student records. DACs have been provided with specific details about how to provide information for each assessment.

Districts will have two opportunities to update student demographic and invalidation data for assessments managed through PearsonAccessnext (CMAS: math, English language arts, science, social studies, CSLA, and CoAlt: science and social studies):

  • Initial PearsonAccessnext data clean up: Prior to Friday, May 12
  • Final PearsonAccessnext data clean up: May 15-17

Demographic and invalidation data (Special Circumstance Codes) for the CoAlt: English language arts and math (DLM) assessments can also be updated in the KITE system during and shortly after the assessment window; however, the vendor’s system cannot be used to update state use fields*. 

Districts also have the opportunity to review and make corrections to demographic and invalidation data through CDE’s voluntary Student Biographical Data Review (SBD) processes. The remaining SBD windows for this year are included in the table below. 

Tentative Spring 2017 Assessment Student Biographical Data (SBD) Review Windows


Tentative SBD Window


May 15 – 24


(including math, English language arts, CSLA, science, and social studies)


CoAlt: science and social studies

May 22 – June 1

CoAlt: English Language Arts and Mathematics (DLM)*

June 19 – 27

*Because multiple steps must be taken before a DLM Special Circumstance Code can be applied for a student in the KITE system, CDE recommends that districts apply these codes during SBD.

**PSAT 10/SAT invalidation codes, including parent excusals, can be indicated on the state use section of the answer document or through SBD. 

A one-page reference document is available to help districts identify how parent excusals should be coded for each assessment

CMAS Request for Proposals

In March, CDE issued a request for proposals (RFP) for state assessments. The RFP is required because the current contracts for CMAS and CoAlt science and social studies assessments is expiring this summer and the CMAS English language arts and math contract is expiring next year.

The State Board of Education has required the following specifications in the RFP:

  • The English language arts and math average standard testing time for the operational assessments shall not exceed four hours in length, with a maximum of eight hours combined.
  • Individual student-level results shall be available to school districts within 30 days of receipt of all tests.
  • The department shall have decision-making authority over test design, form development and test administration policies.

Depending on the result of the request for proposals, the CMAS and CoAlt: science and social studies assessments may move to another contractor next year, and the CMAS: English language arts and math assessment may move to a new contractor in the following year. Despite a potential contractor shift for the science and social studies assessments next year, the content of these assessments will remain the same in spring 2018. CDE is committed to working with districts to minimize any disruption these changes may cause. Proposals will be evaluated in May and the intent to award a contract is expected to be announced in June. 

What's on the Horizon

2017 state assessment results are expected to be available according to the timeline in the table below.

2017 Targeted Reporting Dates

Student Data Files

CMAS and CoAlt: Science and Social Studies

Mid-June (6/9)

CMAS: Mathematics and ELA (final) 

End of June (6/26)

PSAT 10 and SAT      

Mid-June (6/17)

District and School Summary Files and Reports

CMAS and CoAlt: Science and Social Studies

End of June  (6/23)

CMAS: Mathematics and ELA (final)

End of July (7/24)

PSAT 10 and SAT      

Mid-June (6/17)

Individual Student Reports (electronic)

CMAS and CoAlt : Science and Social Studies

End of June (6/23)

CMAS: Mathematics and ELA (final)

End of July (7/24)

PSAT 10 and SAT

Mid-June (6/15)

Important Upcoming Deadlines

May 3: Deadline for pickup of all scoreable CMAS materials

May 5:  Deadline for pickup of all nonscorable CMAS materials

May 12: Initial PearsonAccessnext data clean up ends

May 15-17: Final PearsonAccessnext data clean up

May 15-24: SBD review window for CO PSAT 10/CO SAT assessments

May 22-June 1: SBD review window for CMAS (science/social studies, CoAlt science/social studies, ELA/math (PARCC), and CSLA) assessments

More Information

For more information on assessment, contact Joyce Zurkowski, executive director of Assessment, 303-866-6929,, or visit

Educator Effectiveness

Classroom teaching and school leadership are the strongest school-based factors impacting student achievement. CDE supports the state’s 178 school districts to attract, prepare and assist great educators as a part of meeting the requirements of S.B.10-191, the Great Teachers and Leaders Act.

What's Happening Now

Educator Effectiveness Leaders’ Retreat

The Educator Effectiveness Leaders’ Retreat will be Monday, June 26, and Tuesday, June 27, at River Run Village in Keystone. The focus will be on planning and continuous improvement of evaluation system implementation for the 2017-18 school year. We encourage registration as a district or school team as the agenda will include opportunities to dig into evaluation data, reflect on lessons learned, problem solve and network with other teams from around the state.

This event is free, however, lodging is not included and must be completed at the participant’s expense. Lodging at the Keystone Resort fills up quickly so be sure to make accommodations as soon as possible. For room rates and reservations please call 1-800-258-0437 (reference group code CN8EEC) or visit the online reservation page. The deadline for registration has been extended and will close Friday, May 5

As you consider attending the EE Leaders’ Retreat, please note that the CEI Showcase is June 28-30 at the Keystone Resort. Those interested can attend two events at the same location and take advantage of cost-saving opportunities.

Assurance Process for 2017

Each year by July 1, Colorado districts and BOCES are required to submit assurances they are implementing the State Model Evaluation System or another evaluation system that is aligned with Senate Bill 10-191 and state board rules.

There are a couple significant changes to the process this year:

  • It is now a one-step submission where the completed signature page is uploaded within the online form.
  • For this year only, districts and BOCES will submit two years of assurances:
    • Information about the current 2016-17 school year
    • Information about the upcoming 2017-18 school year

In the future, only assurances regarding the upcoming school year will be collected. This is a transition year to allow CDE educator effectiveness staff to provide more meaningful and timely support to districts. View the Assurances web page for more information on this year’s process and how to submit.

What's on the Horizon

Educator Talent launch

In January, Commissioner Katy Anthes announced organizational structure updates, including modifications to the Office of Professional Services and Licensing which will merge with the Unit of Educator Effectiveness. The Colorado Department of Education team strives to ensure that as a department it honors the work that educators do every day.

As such, CDE announces the launch of the unit as the Educator Talent Unit. The mission of this merged unit is to develop, deploy and support talent management and human capital development strategies for districts and schools so that the most effective educators are in every school and classroom and all students are prepared for college, career and life.

The Educator Talent Unit includes the following services and support:

  • Educator and Leadership Preparation Pathways (preparation)
  • Educator Certification and Investigation (licensing and enforcement)
  • Educator Effectiveness, Development, Coaching and Support
  • Induction, Mentoring and Ongoing Professional Learning
  • Educator Pipeline Development through Recruitment, Retention and Career Pathways

To better serve Colorado, the creation of this new unit will combine the different resources, tools and services that CDE offers to educators, districts/BOCES, institutions of higher education and other educational entities. We are excited to continue, and further enhance, the work of CDE on behalf of our talented Colorado educator workforce.

This organizational structure change is a process. More information, including a new website, will be available soon.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information on Educator Effectiveness, contact Mary Bivens, director of educator development, 303-866-5926, or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now


  • The four-day school week application for 2017-18 is currently open and will be due Friday, May 12. 
  • School code changes for the upcoming school year must be requested by Friday, June 30.

Student Biographical Data

Districts will have the opportunity to conduct Student Biographical Data (SBD) review and verification in May. The SBD for CO PSAT 10 and CO SAT will be held May 15–24.  The SBD for CMAS: science & social studies; CMAS: PARCC English language arts, and math; CoAlt: science and social studies; and Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA) will be held Monday, May 22, through Thursday, June 1. CoAlt: English Language Arts and Mathematics (DLM) SBD will occur June 19-27.

School Discipline and Attendance

The School Discipline and Attendance collection will open Wednesday, May 3, and close Wednesday, July 12. Webinars will be held Tuesday, May 9, and Monday, May 15.

Special Education Discipline

  • The Discipline Action file is available for districts to submit discipline incidents. Administrative Units may take snapshots after the Special Education IEP child and participation files have been updated. This collection will close Aug. 23.
  • The Safe Schools Act Accreditation Report must be submitted to Kelly Stritzinger,, by Friday, May 26. Download and fill out the form (PDF).

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is now available to Administrative Units. This collection will close Oct. 5.


The Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) will be open until June 30. All districts must submit files by June 16, at which time the cross local education agency validation process commences.

2015-16 December Finance

The FY 2015-16 financial data that districts posted to their websites will be used for the financial transparency public website that goes live on July 1.


The 2016-17 Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) interchange and snapshot collections are open for submission. Districts are encouraged to review and submit their statewide standard course codes as soon as possible and before beginning the TSDL submission process. For TSDL, districts are encouraged to approve snapshots by June 30; however, the collection is open until Aug. 25. Just a reminder, TSDL data collected this year will populate public reports due out Nov 1.

End of Year

2016-17 End of Year snapshots are available for submission. Webinar training will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, May 1; 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 3; and 9 a.m. on Friday, May 5. Each training is identical and will last one hour. Initial snapshots are due by June 1 and the error-free deadline is Sept. 14.  

What's on the Horizon

The Student Biographical Data (SBD) collection for CoAlt: English Language Arts and Mathematics (DLM) will occur in June. Migrant regions will begin to enter summer enrollment records into the New Generation System (NGS) in June. School Code change requests, School Discipline and Attendance (SDA) and READ have due dates at the end of June. There is a recommended deadline of June 30 for the Teacher Student Data Link as well.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

May 12: Four-day school week applications due

May 24: CO SAT and CO PSAT 10 SBD closes

May 26: Safe Schools Act Accreditation report due 

June 1: CMAS SBD closes

June 16: READ files must be submitted

June 30: School code change requests due

More Information

For more information on data pipeline, contact Jan Petro, director of data services, 303-866-6838, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now


Committees for the standards review process announced

The membership of the standards review and revision committees was announced in April and the committees will begin their work this month. Thirteen committees representing each of the content areas in the Colorado Academic Standards, Colorado English Language Proficiency Standards and computer science will be meeting to review the public feedback and benchmarking reports to develop initial recommendations for revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards. The committees’ recommended revisions to the standards will be made public for feedback in October.

Committee membership and resources that committees will use will start being posted to the review and revision webpage.

The review and revision process is required by Senate Bill 08-212, known as Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K). The law requires a review and revision of the Colorado Academic Standards on or before July 1, 2018, and every six years thereafter.

For more information about the Standards Review and Revision process, contact Karol Gates, director of Standards and Instructional Support, at or 303-866-6576.

Early Learning and School Readiness

Kindergarten School Readiness Assessment Funding Available for 2017-18

For the final year of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, CDE will be able to reimburse district-purchased kindergarten school readiness assessment subscriptions for the 2017-18 school year. The reimbursement process will be different from past years due to the approaching end of the grant. The grant will reimburse the full cost of the same number of student portfolios that were active for the 2016-17 school year. Districts are asked to make note of the shortened timeline for this final reimbursement. In June, district fiscal managers and school readiness contacts will receive a Grant Award Notification (GAN), and Request for Funds from CDE’s Grants Fiscal Office. The award amount will be based on the number of kindergarten student portfolios from the 2016-17 school year. Districts can submit their request for reimbursement after they have purchased portfolios for the 2017-18 school year. All requests for reimbursement must be received by the end of September to receive reimbursement. Information about the process and timeline has been sent to School Readiness Contacts and District Fiscal Managers. Information is also available on the Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans webpage.

Prepare for the New Kindergarten School Readiness Data Reporting

The kindergarten school readiness data reporting file layout has been posted to support school districts' preparation for the 2017-18 school year. The file layout and a sample template are available on the Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans webpage.

Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), requires the annual reporting of the kindergarten levels of school readiness. In March 2016, the State Board of Education approved the data reporting elements for kindergarten school readiness. The first data collection is anticipated in the fall of the 2017-18 school year. 

Kindergarten Summer Training Opportunities

The Kindergarten School Readiness Team will host regional Kindergarten Summer Learning Labs to support teachers in learning about the MyTeachingStrategies™ upgrade, school requirements and kindergarten Best Practices and Play. More information about the Summer Learning Labs as well as dates for each region is available. For dates and details, view the flyer (PDF).

For more information about the School Readiness Initiative, contact Emily Kielmeyer, Kindergarten School Readiness program manager, at 720-822-0640, or visit the School Readiness webpage.  

The READ Act

READ Data Collection is Open

The READ data collection remains open through June 30. This deadline to submit and verify data will enable CDE to inform districts of funding levels by the end of July. With this year’s collection, CDE will be implementing a budget planning and reporting requirement from the READ Act as part of the annual READ data collection. The READ Act requires districts to provide the department with a plan for how they intend to use READ funds prior to receiving funds (section 22-7-1210(5)(c) C.R.S.). For districts intending to use READ funds for summer school or intervention services, information related to how the programs are based on scientific or evidenced-based research is necessary. The Office of Literacy has posted an informational webinar and an updated data collection timeline on the READ data collection webpage.  

For more information the READ data collection or budget reporting requirements, contact Whitney Westgaard, Literacy Data Analyst, at or 303-866-6421.   

READ Data Dashboard Available for Review by Districts

CDE will launch a new web-based dashboard for analyzing state, district and school level READ data. The dashboard allows district and school leaders, parents, educators, community members and other interested stakeholders to review annual and longitudinal state, district and school data related to percent of students identified with significant reading deficiencies, including student characteristic groups.

The dashboard containing data through the 2015-16 school year will be available for districts to use beginning Friday, May 5. The Office of Literacy will collect feedback from districts through June 30 and incorporate recommended changes prior to public release. In July, the dashboard containing data through the 2016-17 school year will be made public.

For more information, contact Whitney Westgaard at or 303-866-6421.

Schedule a No-Cost READing Foundations Academy for Summer Professional Development

The Office of Literacy offers no-cost professional development focused on high quality K-3 reading instruction with an emphasis on foundational reading skills based in the Colorado Academic Standards.

For more information about scheduling a READing Foundations Academy, contact Marisa Calzadillas, literacy projects coordinator, 303-866-6189 or, or visit the READ Act homepage.

Exceptional Student Services

2017 District/BOCES determinations for special education now available

Starting in 2017, CDE's office of Exceptional Student Services Unit (ESSU) is using both compliance and results matrices for the first time in making determinations for each Administrative Unit (AU) under section 616(d) of the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Using the Result Matrix developed by the Result Matrix Workgroup and the preexisting Compliance Matrix, we consider the totality of the information we have about an AU. Please see the resources below for more information about AU Determinations. View 2017 determinations.

Below are some resources to support you in understanding how determinations were calculated.

For questions about a determination or how CDE can support a district/BOCES/AU please contact Toby King, or 303-866-6964, or Fran Herbert at or 303-866-6604.

For technical questions about how determinations are calculated please contact Dr. Miki Imura at or 303-866-6976.

Colorado Teacher Appreciation Week

Colorado Teacher Appreciation week is May 8-12, which is also National Teacher Appreciation Week.

During this week, share a post, image or video with a sign thanking a teacher on any social media site using the hashtag #ThankATeacherCO. Tell everyone why you appreciate teachers or give a shout-out to your favorite teacher with a Teacher Thank You Tweet or Facebook post. Tag a friend and challenge them to also show appreciation to Colorado's deserving educators.

To help you spread the word and support celebration efforts, CDE has created a Teacher Appreciation Week toolkit that includes:

  • 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year, Sean Wybrant, video
  • Social Media images
    • Twitter & Facebook headers
  • #ThankATeacherCO downloadable template (WORD)
  • Sample social media posts
  • Sample e-newsletter or website content
  • Sample internal staff engagement email
  • Sample content with PTA’s and NEA’s Teacher Appreciation Week resources on how to engage parents

View more information about Colorado Teacher Appreciation Week and the full list of resources. For questions, contact Gladis Gee at or 303-866-6800.

What's on the Horizon

Applications for 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year due June 1

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher in any state-approved or accredited K-12 school. This person will represent the entire profession in Colorado.

The 2018 application is due Thursday, June 1 (WORD). Nominee requirements are listed on the Word document application.

View more information on the current Colorado TOY and details about the award. For questions, contact Lynn Bamberry, director of competitive grants and awards, at or 303-866-6813.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

June 1: Applications for Teacher of the Year due

More Information

For more information about the standards revision process, contact Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of Student Learning, 303-866-6576, or visit

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Colorado Dept. of Education
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Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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