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CDE Update

CDE Update

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.

September 2019

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Accountability communications resources

CDE has developed templates and materials to help districts and schools communicate with parents about Colorado's accountability system. Fact sheets with high-level explanations about school and district performance frameworks, school plan types and district ratings, along with other resources, are available on the Accountability Toolkit webpage.

Preliminary Performance Frameworks for Alternative Education Campuses release

Preliminary school performance frameworks for Alternative Education Campuses (AECs) will be released to district accountability contacts via Syncplicity in mid-September. The preliminary results will also be made available on CDE’s website.

AECs approved for the 2019-20 School Year

The State Board of Education reviewed and approved applications for schools designated as AECs at its August meeting. Download the approved list (PDF).

Visit the AEC webpage for more information.

School Accreditation Forms and Requests to Reconsider

Preliminary school and district performance frameworks (SPFs and DPFs) were released to district accountability contacts via Syncplicity on Aug. 21. Based on the preliminary DPF and SPF reports, all districts must submit the School Accreditation Form indicating the district and local school board’s accreditation ratings for their schools by Wednesday, Oct 16.

Districts wanting a different accreditation rating or any of its school plan type assignments changed must notify CDE of its intent to submit a request for reconsideration by Wednesday, Sept. 18. These districts will still need to complete the accreditation form and submit their complete request for reconsideration by Wednesday, Oct. 16. If a district would like specific feedback on a draft Request to Reconsider, those draft submissions will be due to CDE by Wednesday, Sept.18 for CDE staff to provide adequate technical assistance. 

Accreditation ratings for schools and districts that are not participating in the Request to Reconsider process will be approved at the November board meeting.  Ratings for schools and districts who participate will be approved at the December board meeting.

CDE staff members are available to assist schools and districts with the Request to Reconsider process this summer and fall. Office hours and guidance is posted on the Request to Reconsider webpage.

For questions on the submission process, contact Jessica Watson at or 303-866-6778.

For questions on the accreditation form, contact Kirby Stein at or 303-866-6108.

School and District Accountability Committee training sessions

The Family School Partnership and School Improvement and Planning offices will co-host training sessions on School and District Accountability Committees (SAC and DAC) for district staff in September and October. The events are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on the following dates:

  • Monday, Sept. 23: Adams 12 Training Center, Thornton
  • Thursday, Sept. 26: Douglas County School District, Castle Rock
  • Monday, Sept. 30: Pueblo City School District, Pueblo
  • Monday, Oct. 7: Garfield Re-2 School District, Rifle
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8: Durango School District, Durango

Register for any of the dates via EventBrite.

For more information, contact Lisa Steffen at or 303-866-6676.

Submit accountability and family partnership contacts

If your district will have a transition with the assigned Accountability or Family Partnership contact for the 2019-20 school year, remember that CDE needs information for the new representative. These contacts receive important updates from CDE throughout the year. Note that  contacts will be viewable online. For more information, contact Kirby Stein at or 303-866-6108.

EASI Support Fair

District and school staff are invited to attend an event designed to highlight support and funding available through the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) grant process. The EASI application is intended for districts with schools in need of improvement as identified through the state's accountability system (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround or on watch, Comprehensive Support or Targeted Support under ESSA).

District leadership and school leadership teams are strongly encouraged to attend a support fair and the provider expo.

These events are scheduled as follows:

EASI Support Fair

  • Monday, Sept. 16: San Luis Valley BOCES, Alamosa
  • Friday, Sept. 27: Tesla Center, Colorado Springs
  • Monday, Oct. 2: Arvada Center, Arvada

EASI Provider Expo

  • Monday, Oct. 14: (Provider Expo): Arvada Center, Arvada

For more information, contact Nate Goss at or 720-682-8535.

Preliminary pre‐populated Unified Improvement Plans

The school and district pre-populated reports, containing state and federal expectations within the Unified Improvement Plans (UIP), will be updated in the UIP online system in early September (two weeks following the release of the preliminary performance frameworks) within section I of the UIP online system.

Fall UIP training sessions and technical assistance

For districts with schools on Priority Improvement or Turnaround, CDE is offering additional support by providing an optional UIP review. Draft UIPs (even if it is just the updated data narrative) should be submitted by Tuesday, Oct. 15, through the Online UIP System. 

CDE will also offer training sessions on the 2019 School and District Performance Frameworks and the UIP process in addition to support around the Accountability Clock. CDE is committed to ensuring that schools and districts across the state receive assistance as needed; these sessions can be customized and delivered regionally upon request. Information about upcoming training sessions and webinars is posted on the UIP training webpage.  

To schedule an in-person training contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763 or Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642.

Identified schools receive notification, information about supports

On Monday, Aug. 26, CDE sent letters to superintendents regarding schools identified for support by Colorado’s accountability system through the state (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround) and ESSA (i.e., Comprehensive, Targeted or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement) methodology. These schools and districts are eligible for a variety of supports and resources to meet the unique context and needs. With identification, the districts and/or schools have additional responsibilities. 

For high level information on how the identifications were made, see Colorado’s System for Identifying Schools for Support and Improvement. For a more detailed description and resources, visit the Accountability Communications Toolkit. For an explanation of ESSA identification and requirements, visit CDE’s webpage on the methods for identifying schools for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement.

For more on supports and resources please review the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) grant application. This is a one-stop shop for districts to apply for state and federal funds that are focused on school improvement strategies.

For more information regarding state accountability, improvement planning and supports, contact Lisa Medler at or 303-866-6993. For information pertaining to ESSA identification, requirements, and supports, contact Pat Chapman at or 303-866-6780.

What's on the Horizon

Parent Notification Requirements for Districts with Schools on the Accountability Clock

For districts with schools on the Accountability Clock, state law requires parents to be notified of the school’s plan type, UIP process and upcoming public hearing. With the release of the performance frameworks on Wednesday, Aug. 21, notification must be sent to parents before Monday, Sept. 23. 

The local school board must hold a public hearing prior to adoption of the school’s UIP at least 30 days after parental notification (i.e., Oct. 23 or later).

For schools going through the request to reconsider process, notification can be delayed until plan types are finalized by the State Board of Education. A sample parent notification letter is available. CDE will monitor the notification process this year. 

Communications can be emailed to or attached to the school’s UIP by Jan. 15. This will also help CDE determine where further assistance is needed. Additional information will be made available to districts with identified schools. View the 2019-20 Parent Notification and Public Hearing Requirements (PDF).

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • September:
    • Release of 2019 AEC School Performance Framework reports to districts for review.
    • Release of preliminary pre-populated 2019 Unified Improvement Plans (Section I) in the UIP online system.
  • Sept. 16: EASI Support Fair – Alamosa
  • Sept. 18:
    • Deadline for districts to submit intention letter to participate in Request to Reconsider process
    • Deadline for districts to submit optional draft Request to Reconsider submission.
  • Sept. 23: SAC/DAC Training – Thornton
  • Sept. 26: SAC/DAC Training – Castle Rock
  • Sept. 27: EASI Support Fair – Colorado Springs
  • Sept. 30: SAC/DAC Training - Pueblo
  • Oct. 2: EASI Support Fair – Arvada
  • Oct. 7: SAC/DAC Training – Rifle
  • Oct. 8: SAC/DAC Training - Durango
  • Oct. 14: EASI Provider Expo – Arvada
  • Oct. 15:  Districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type may submit revised UIPs for early feedback.
  • Oct. 16: Deadline for all districts to submit the School Accreditation Form and Requests to Reconsider submissions for district accreditation rating and/or school plan type assignments, if a district is choosing to submit.

More Information

For more information, contact Alan Dillon, associate commissioner, 303‐866‐6202, or visit


What's Happening Now

Fall Assessment Responsibilities for Districts

Districts should conduct the following assessment-related activities at the beginning of the school year:

  • Ensure that all 2019 state assessment results have been distributed to parents and educators. Colorado statute requires local education providers to ensure that appropriate personnel provide and explain assessment results to the parent or legal guardian of each student enrolled in the school district or the institute charter school (C.R.S. §22-7-1006.3 (8)(a)).
  • Post district testing windows, testing times, manner in which assessment results will be used, and assessment requirements (federal law, state law, or locally selected) on websites §22-7-1013(7)(a).
  • Ensure that district paper-based testing policies are in place and posted on websites §22-7-1013(6), §22-7-1006.3(1)(d-e).
  • Update and post district parent excuse policies on websites §22-7-1013(8)(a-c).

Appointment of new DACs and DTCs

Each year, district personnel changes may require the appointment of new a District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) or District Technology Coordinator (DTC). To ensure that CDE’s Assessment Unit distributes information to the appropriate district staff, a formal appointment process has been established for each role.

To update DAC or DTC information, the superintendent should complete a DAC Appointment Form or a DTC Appointment Form. The forms must be signed by the superintendent and returned to Sara Loerzel at or faxed to 303-866-6680. When appointing a new DAC, please remember that this individual will have access to Personally Identifiable Information.

The forms are available through the following links on CDE’s website:

DAC Appointment Form:

DTC Appointment Form:

Educators needed for state assessment development

CDE seeks educators to participate in several assessment development activities on an ongoing basis. Please share the following recruitment information with educators in your district.

The best way for educators who administer state assessments to influence assessment content is through participating in educator meetings held throughout the development cycle. CDE seeks educators with expertise in the concepts and skills reflected in the Colorado Academic Standards in mathematics; reading, writing, and communicating; science; and social studies at the assessed grade levels. Educators with expertise in special education and in working with English learners are also needed.

To be added to the educator pool, interested educators should submit information through the Pearson Colorado Educator Database

The following educator assessment development meetings will be held in September:

  • Sept. 4-6: CSLA Content, Bias and Sensitivity Review
  • Sept. 9-13: ELA Content, Bias and Sensitivity Review

Participating educators will be reimbursed for travel expenses to the meeting site. Those traveling more than 35 miles will be provided with hotel accommodations. Breakfast, snacks and lunch will be provided during the meeting, and participants staying overnight will receive a per diem for dinner. Schools will be reimbursed for the cost of substitute teachers needed to cover classes for participating educators. If a substitute is not needed because school will be out of session during the meeting, the participant will be paid an honorarium of $120 per day. Participating educators are also eligible to receive professional development credit.

Contact Nathan Redford at or 303-866-6849 for more information about educator meetings.

What's on the Horizon

State Assessment Training

CMAS, CoAlt, and ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Training for District Assessment Coordinators will be held across Colorado during September and October. After the final in-person sessions, recorded webinars will be posted for those who are unable to attend live training sessions. In addition, the College Board will be conducting a series of PSAT/SAT fall regional workshops for District Assessment Coordinators and school Test Coordinators in September and October. Specific details including training dates and locations for each assessment will be sent directly to District Assessment Coordinators.

2019-20 Assessments at a Glance



CMAS Mathematics and English language arts (including CSLA)*


CMAS and CoAlt: Science

5, 8 and 11

CMAS and CoAlt: Social Studies

4 and 7**


9 and 10





 *Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities take the CoAlt English language arts and mathematics (DLM) assessments in grades 3-11.

**Social studies assessments are administered on a sampling basis with the expectation that schools participate once every three years. Social studies assessments are currently expected to be administered to 11th grade students in spring 2021.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Sept. 30 – Oct. 10: ACCESS for ELLs and CoAlt regional administration training. (specific details will be sent to DACs)

Oct. 1-11: CMAS regional administration training for DACs (specific details will be sent to DACs)

More Information

For more information, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer, 303-866-6760,, or visit


What's Happening Now

Fall Directors’ Meeting

A series of new directors and regional networking meetings across five locations - Littleton, Glenwood Springs, Alamosa, La Junta and Limon - will be held this month. Local federal program directors, facilitators and staff will learn about program expectations for the school year and have the opportunity to engage with federal program representatives from the state as well as other districts. 

In each region, a half-day meeting for new directors will provide an introduction to ESEA program requirements, with a glance of the work to be done over the school year. This session is designed for any new directors, coordinators or facilitators, as well as any district staff who would like a refresher. 

An adjoining full-day meeting will provide a deeper understanding of program requirements and opportunity to network with other districts to learn how they are implementing program requirements and delving into evidence-based strategies, interventions and activities that leverage use of funds. 

For locations, dates and registration, visit the meeting webpage

2019-20 ESSA Consolidated Application

Applicants are receiving final approval of their Consolidated Application. The grant award letter will follow. Once final approval is granted, applicants can submit a request for funds to receive reimbursement for activities outlined in the application. View the Request for Funds Form webpage for more information.

The Post Award Revision (PAR) window will open in November. Information on how to complete a PAR is posted on the training Center

2019-20 ESSA Comparability

Comparability under ESSA requires that local education agencies (LEAs) demonstrate compliance by submitting documentation biennially. Statute says that LEAs must annually provide services in Title I schools that are comparable to those in non-Title I schools prior to receiving Title I funds. Each year, districts sign an assurance in the Consolidated Application that their schools are comparable prior to receiving funds.

CDE is no longer collecting comparability data using the online platform and will use the Human Resources Collection to annually verify compliance or flag non-compliance of comparable services. LEAs identified as not comparable via the HR collection for the current school year will be notified and asked to submit demonstration of compliance (via the Alternative Calculators).

CDE will conduct analyses in late spring of each year. Starting with the 2019-20 school year, districts not meeting comparability either through the CDE calculations or the alternative methodology must implement action plans to ensure that Title I schools are receiving services that are comparable to non-Title I schools. CDE recommends districts assess comparability using local data and address any non-comparability as early in the school year as possible to avoid any impact or delays on the next year’s Consolidated Application approval.

For more information or if you have questions pertaining comparability, contact Barbara Vassis at or 303-866-6065 or visit the Title I Comparability webpage.

What's on the Horizon

School Identification for ESSA Support and Improvement

CDE is in the process of using student performance data from the preceding three years to identify schools for support and improvement under ESSA. Superintendents should have received a notification letter in late August of their schools identified for improvement and eligibility for school improvement support and funding through the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) application. The application will open mid-September and will remain open until mid-November. 

For questions about the methodology, data used and timeline for ESSA identification, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, or Tina Negley at or 303-866-5243. 

For information regarding the EASI application and available supports, contact Laura Meushaw at or 303-866-6618.

2019-20 ESSA Monitoring

The Federal Programs Unit is identifying local educational agencies for monitoring during the 2019-20 school year. LEAs have been notified if they have been selected and will receive training and technical support to help prepare.

The monitoring process will begin in January, via an online system for submitting documentation and evidence, and onsite visits will be collaboratively scheduled and developed in the spring of 2020.

For questions pertaining to monitoring under ESSA, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, DeLilah Collins at or 303-866-6850, Joey Willett at or 303-866-6700,

For more information visit the ESSA Monitoring webpage

Equity and Excellence Conference

Registration for the 2019 Equity and Excellence Conference is open. District teams are invited to the conference at Oct. 24-25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Denver and collaborate on ways to strengthen historically underserved students’ learning opportunities.

The first four registrants from LEAs, BOCES, and Administrative Units will be given priority for registration approval. Additional registrants will move to the wait list and will be notified as soon as possible as space becomes available.

For more information and to register, visit the conference webpage. For questions, reach out to Jeremy Meredith at or 303-866-3905.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

More Information

For more information on Federal Programs, contact Patrick Chapman, executive director, at 303-866-6780,, or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Student End of Year

Districts are encouraged to submit their 2018-19 Student End of Year snapshots by Thursday, Sept. 5. The deadline for LEAs to submit their Student End of the Year snapshot as required by Colorado Administrative Rules is Thursday, Sept.12. Cross validation procedures will commence after that date.

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open. Exception requests should be into CDE by Wednesday Sept. 4, and all errors resolved by Tuesday, Sept. 10. This collection will close Thursday, Oct. 3.

December Finance

The 2018-19 December Finance collection is now open and is due Dec. 31.

Student October

The Student October snapshot is open. The 2019-20 official Student October count date will be Wednesday, Oct. 2. The legislated deadline for snapshot approval is Nov. 8, at which time the duplicate count procedures will commence. Final approval is due Nov. 27.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be submitted to the Data Pipeline beginning Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Special Education December Count

2019-20 IEP and staff interchange files may be submitted beginning Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Non-public School Directory

Non-public schools may be entered into Data Pipeline beginning Oct. 1. This collection will close Dec. 3.


Districts can access Migrant Student Lists through Data Pipeline. Monthly, LEAs can access a Cognos Report in Data Pipeline entitled “Migrant Student List”, which can be pulled by school year and district and is located under the “Teacher Student Data Link” in the COGNOS reports tab. The district must have the TSL LEAUSER or TSL LEAVIEWER roles in order to see the Teacher Student Data Link folder in Cognos. The COGNOS Migrant List/Report has the following columns:  SASID, Last Name, First Name, Birth Date, School Code, Migrant Arrival Date and Migrant End Date. The report can be downloaded into Excel and imported into your Student Information System (SIS). Ensure your district has uploaded a current Student School Association file (SSA) to receive the most up-to-date Migrant List. Should you have questions regarding your migrant list, contact your local Migrant Education Programs that can coordinate and deliver services to migrant students by accessing this link Colorado Migrant Regional Contacts.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Sept. 12: Initial Student End of Year snapshot due date as required by Colorado Administrative Rules 

Oct. 2: Official Student October count date

Oct. 3: Special Education End of Year due

More Information

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

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

2019-20 Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant Program

The new Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant will provide $1.5 million to help local education providers partner with postsecondary institutions to expand concurrent enrollment and credential attainment opportunities for Colorado students.

If interested in applying for this funding opportunity, submit the Letter of Intent by 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, via Survey Monkey. An application training webinar will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16. Access this technical webinar via Zoom. For questions or issues regarding registration, email Applications will be due Monday, Oct. 7.

View the grant program webpage for more information and application materials.

What's on the Horizon

Commissioner Anthes to host special session Oct. 7 at National Dropout Prevention Conference

For the first time Colorado will host the National Dropout Prevention Conference on Oct. 5-8, at the Gaylord Rockies Convention Center in Aurora. 

Commissioner of Education Katy Anthes will moderate a session on Monday, Oct. 7, about TEACH Colorado. TEACH Colorado is a statewide, cross-sector effort from education institutions, business, government, philanthropy and nonprofit stakeholders to improve the perception of teaching and recruit the next generation of teachers in Colorado.

Register for the conference today at the National Dropout Prevention Center’s website. One-day registrations are available. Colorado attendees are eligible to receive 10% off full conference registration with the discount code COED2019. 

For questions, contact Denise Gianforcaro at the National Dropout Prevention Center at 864-712-3703 or

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Sept. 20 - Letter of interest for Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant due

Oct. 7 - Application for Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant due


More Information

For more information, contact Misti Ruthven, executive director of Student Pathways, at 303-866-6206, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Office of Standards and Instructional Support (SIS)

Family and Community Guides

Family and community guides to the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards have been created to help families and communities across Colorado better understand the goals and outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards. The guides provide overviews of the learning expectations for each of the content areas of the standards and offer examples of educational experiences that students may engage in, and that families could support, during the school year. Access these guides online.

For questions, contact Joanna Bruno at or 303-866-6571.

Coming Soon: Applications for the Computer Science Teacher Professional Development Grants

The Colorado Computer Science Teacher Education Grant Program provides local education providers (LEPs), including school districts, BOCES and charter schools, funds for K-12 computer science teacher professional development. The goal is to increase computer science learning opportunities for students in order to develop their interest in this exciting area.

Approximately $880,000 of grant funding will be available for K-12 awards, as well as elementary-focused awards for the 2019-20 school year. Similar to the last school year, the grant will be distributed in two parts. Part one of the grant allocates $440,000  for elementary teachers professional development, and part two of the grant includes $440,000 to focus on K-12 teachers. Part one of the grant has two options: a district determined professional development and a CDE-sponsored regional training in which districts apply for individual teacher slots.

The grant application will be available early September, to check on updates and get more information, visit the Computer Science Grants for Teachers webpage or contact Chris Summers or 720-648-3909.

Personal Financial Literacy Financial Innovation Awards Luncheon

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support in collaboration with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office is hosting an awards luncheon to honor students, teachers and schools for outstanding contributions to Personal Financial Literacy Education. The luncheon will be 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Grand Hyatt Downtown, 1750 Welton St., Denver. This event is open to all who would like to join. Register via Wufoo forms.

For questions, contact Alyssa Wooten at or 303-866-6875.

Preschool through Third Grade Office


Meetings will be held this fall to share information and guidance to Child Find coordinators, Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) coordinators and both general and special education preschool administrators.

Space is limited to the following: 

  • Up to two Administrative Unit administrators who are responsible for Child Find for birth to 5-year-olds and/or preschool special education services. This is usually the designated Child Find coordinator, or a representative, and a preschool special education administrator.
  • One CPP coordinator and/or one preschool director for each school district. 
  • Special education directors are welcome.

Meetings are planned for 10 locations across the state. The approximate meeting time for each meeting will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Locations and dates for September are Telluride on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and Rifle on Thursday, Sept. 26. View more information and all upcoming locations and dates.

For questions or to register, contact Marcia Blum at 303-866-6319 or


The Fifth Annual READing Conference is set for Thursday, Oct. 10, and Friday Oct. 11, at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. Registration is free and will be prioritized for current Colorado district literacy leaders, administrators and educators. Registration will be announced in the coming weeks.

For questions, contact Alex Frazier at 303-866-6016 or, or Marisa Calzadillas at 303-866-6189 or

Data Collection

Webinars will be available to assist the district data respondents with the upcoming Kindergarten School Readiness (KSR) data collection open from Oct.9 to Dec.5. 

  • First-Year Data Respondents webinar for the KSR Collection and Walk Through for GOLD®, 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.
  • Data Respondent Webinar on the DRDP-K Assessment, 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

For questions, contact Tara Rhodes at or 303-866-6243.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Floyd Cobb, executive director, 303-866-6868,, or visit