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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.

August 2017

Accountability, Performance and Support

CDE supports schools and districts in the continuous improvement process through its focus on implementing quality school and district support systems, accountability measures, improvement plans, federal programs and data analysis.

What's Happening Now

CMAS Growth Data Release

CMAS growth results will be released along with achievement results on Thursday, Aug. 17, at the State Board of Education meeting. Student-level CMAS PARCC growth data will be released to district assessment coordinators prior to the public release. CDE would like to release the PSAT to SAT growth at the same time, if feasible.

For additional questions regarding CMAS PARCC or PSAT/SAT growth, please contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6736.

Preliminary Performance Framework Release

Based on current assessment timelines, the preliminary school and district performance frameworks are expected to be available to districts by the end of August. Information regarding 2017 updates to the performance frameworks is available online (PDF). The request to reconsider process will begin after the release of the preliminary frameworks.

For more information, please contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763.

Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses

The State Board of Education will review and approve applications for schools designated as Alternative Education Campuses (AEC) at its August meeting. The approved list will be published on the CDE website. For the AEC School Performance Frameworks, the department is reviewing submitted measures, metrics and cut-points, and will follow up with districts as needed. Visit the AEC website for more information.

Accountability and Family Partnership Contacts Reminder

An email request was sent to superintendents with a link to update Accountability and Family Partnership Contacts by Tuesday, Aug. 15. Additionally, for 2017, superintendents are asked to submit a signed permission for the Accountability Contact to receive student-level information pertaining to the accountability framework calculations. We know that with transitions of staff, there may still be district contacts that need to be updated. If so, superintendents should submit updated contact information as soon as possible, and contact Jessica Knevals at or 303-866-6778 with any questions.

What's on the Horizon

UIP and Accountability Fall Training

CDE will offer training sessions on the 2017 School and District Performance Frameworks, the UIP process and support around the Accountability Clock. CDE is committed to ensuring schools and districts receive assistance as needed; these sessions can be customized and delivered regionally upon request.

To start, the Improvement Planning and Accountability teams will offer two, half-day sessions on Thursday, Aug. 31, in the Denver Metro area and Tuesday, Sept. 12 in the Pikes Peak region. Registration information and exact locations will be issued soon through The Scoop weekly newsletter. One half-day session will be focused on updates for Improvement Planning and Accountability and the other half will be a how-to for district-level users of the UIP Online system for navigating tools, generating reports and more information.

We would like to customize and provide the training regionally. If you are interested in scheduling a training, please contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763, or contact Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642. View additional details on sessions and dates.

Family Partnership newsletter

This fall, Family Partnership Contacts will begin receiving a monthly newsletter, the Family School and Community Partnership (FSCP) Key, with strategies, upcoming events and supports for engaging families in education. For more information, contact Darcy Hutchins, at or 303-866-5921, and visit the Promising Partnership Practices webpage.

Preliminary Pre‐Populated Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs)

The school and district pre-populated reports, containing state and federal expectations within the UIP, will be updated in the UIP online system approximately two weeks after the release of the preliminary performance frameworks within section I of the UIP online system.

Accreditation Forms and Requests to Reconsider

Based on the preliminary DPF and SPF reports to be released in late August, districts must submit (1) the School Accreditation Form indicating the district and local school board’s accreditation ratings for their schools, and (2) Requests to Reconsider for any district that wishes to appeal its accreditation rating or any of its school plan type assignments, by Monday, Oct. 16.

CDE staff will be available to assist schools and districts with the request to reconsider process this summer and fall. Draft request to reconsider submissions are due to CDE by Friday, Sept. 15, so CDE staff have enough time to provide adequate technical assistance. Office hours and guidance on the request to reconsider process are posted online.

Questions can be directed to Jessica Knevals at or 303-866-6778.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 15: Deadline for districts to update or confirm Accountability and Family Partnership contacts.

Aug. 17: Public release of CMAS Achievement and Growth results at state board meeting.

Mid to End of August: Release of preliminary 2017 District and School Performance Framework reports to districts for review.

Early September: Release of preliminary pre-populated 2017 Unified Improvement Plans (Section I) in the UIP online system.

Sept. 15: Deadline for districts to submit draft Request to Reconsider submission.

Early October: Release of preliminary 2017 AEC School Performance Framework reports to districts for review.

Oct. 16: Deadline for all districts to submit the School Accreditation Form and (if desired) Requests to Reconsider of district accreditation ratings and school plan type assignments.

Oct. 16 - Districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type may submit revised UIPs for early feedback. Schools with a TIG grant may also submit a plan.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner, 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 are the state tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies. 

In 2017-18, Colorado will administer the PSAT to 9th- and 10th-graders and the SAT to 11th-graders.

What's Happening Now

Communication materials for assessment release available 

Along with the release of state-level, district-level and school-level assessment scores on Thursday, Aug. 17, at the State Board of Education meeting, CDE’s communications division will offer a toolkit with communications materials on what to expect for state tests this year. The toolkit will include information on how to understand the CMAS, PSAT and SAT scores, how the scores are used and how to use scores to support your student. These materials are designed to help districts and schools communicate with parents about the CMAS, PSAT and SAT scores.The materials are meant to be flexible. You can use them as is or copy and paste the pieces that are most useful to you into your own branded materials. The materials will be available at this website upon the release of the scores.

For additional questions regarding the communications materials, please contact Jeremy Meyer, director of the communications unit, at or 303-866-2334.

Educators Needed for State Assessment Development

The Colorado Department of Education is seeking educators to participate in several assessment development activities. Please share the following recruitment information with educators in your district.

The Assessment Unit is often asked how educators who administer state assessments can influence test development. The best way to directly influence assessment content is through participation in educator meetings held throughout the development cycle. We are seeking Colorado 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. We are also seeking educators with expertise in special education and in working with English learners.  

To be added to the educator pool, interested educators should submit information through the following link:

The following educator assessment development meetings will be held over the next few months:

  • Aug. 7-9: CSLA Item Review
  • Sept. 11-15: CMAS English Language Arts Content and Bias Review
  • Sept. 11-14: CMAS Mathematics Content and Bias 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 Katie Schmidt at or 303-866-6808 for more information about educator meetings.

What's on the Horizon

2017-18 Assessments at a Glance



CMAS and CoAlt (DLM): Math and English language arts (including CSLA)

Grades 3-8

CMAS and CoAlt: Science

Grades 5, 8 and 11

CMAS and CoAlt: Social Studies

Grades 4 and 7 (sampling basis with approximately 1/3 of schools participating)

Grade 11 (all schools currently scheduled to participate)


Grades 9 and 10


Grade 11


Grades K-12

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 17: Public release of embargoed state assessment results

More Information

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

Educator Talent

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

News & Updates

New Educator Talent Area Launched

The Educator Talent Unit is pleased to announce the launch of its NEW Educator Talent web area! This new web area was developed to reflect the creation of the Education Talent Unit that combines the Educator Effectiveness and Educator Preparation, Licensing and Enforcement areas. This new web area incorporates the changes and improvement to the support this unit provides to educators, districts/BOCES, institutions of higher education and other educational entities.  The web area is “audience focused” and has been designed with our main audiences in mind to help them easily and quickly navigate and find the content and services we offer.  

View the Educator Talent website at

The Educator Talent Unit now has four offices:

  • Preparation Office
  • Licensing Office               
  • Educator Effectiveness Office
  • Development Office 

The mission of this new unit is to develop, deploy and support educators, schools and districts/BOCES across Colorado with the goal of having the most effective leaders and educators in every school and classroom and all students prepared for college, career and life.

To better serve Colorado we are excited to continue, and further enhance, the work of the Colorado Department of Education on behalf of our talented Colorado educator workforce! 

Educator Effectiveness

Regional Specialists added to the Educator Effectiveness Office

The Educator Effectiveness (EE) Office is shifting how it will provide support to the field. Based on feedback, new regional specialists have been added to the EE team and will be deployed to support districts/BOCES as they work to enhance their evaluation practices. The regional specialist model will aid districts/BOCES as they continue supporting educator practice and building an integrated, systematic approach to educator evaluation.

This transition provides an opportunity for districts/BOCES to engage with Educator Effectiveness regional specialists to create or refine an evaluation system that honors their local values. These specialists are invested in forming partnerships with districts/BOCES and supporting continuous improvement in the evaluation system and technical assistance.

As the 2017-18 school year begins, members of the team will be available to meet with districts/BOCES to discuss local needs. Please use the chart below to help identify your Educator Effectiveness regional specialist. Also, visit the contact us page which contains a detailed region map to ensure you are contacting the correct regional specialist

Regional Specialist 

Assigned Region



Curtis Garcia



Lynn Kintz

West Central and Ute Pass BOCES


Ann Pearce

Metro and North Central


Rachel Paul

Northeast, Pikes Peak, Southeast


Karin Reynolds




2017-18 School Year Educator Effectiveness Orientation Training Materials

The 2017-18 Orientation PowerPoint will provide schools, districts, and BOCES all the information needed to share changes to the Colorado State Model Evaluation System for the 2017-18 school year with staff. Stakeholders are encouraged to use the notes contained below each slide for additional context, information, and support when delivering this information to educators.

Visit EE's Training Resources and Tools webpage for a full list of training resources and tools.

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

Educator Licensing

Background Check Updates

If an educator consistently maintains an active CDE-issued educator authorization or license, he or she likely will need only to submit a set of fingerprints for licensure purposes once. However, if all of an individual’s credentials have lapsed for one year or more—or if no credential was issued within one year of CDE’s receipt of a background check—then that person will be required to submit a new set of fingerprints to CBI so CDE can receive a complete and current background check.

Due to system restrictions, we are limited in our ability to identify many of these individuals ahead of time. Upon submission of an application, however, anyone needing to submit a new set of fingerprints will be contacted. More information can be found on the Licensing Office's Fingerprints webpage. Additional questions may be sent to

New District Hiring Requirement – U.S. and Colorado Constitutions

Under current law, public school teachers are required to take a verbal oath or affirmation swearing or affirming that they will uphold the United States and Colorado constitutions. Under SB 17-296, this requirement can now be met by signing a written pledge. Hiring officials at the local level must make sure that all educators hired to teach in public schools pledge either orally or in writing to uphold the United States and Colorado constitutions. This can be done at the time of hiring and/or during the signing of contracts. Signed educators oaths are only collected at the district level. 

Educator's Sample Oath 
The State of Colorado 
County of [Enter County Name]
I solemnly (swear)/(affirm) that I will uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado, and I will faithfully perform the duties of the position upon which I am about to enter. 

For more information please contact Colleen O’Neil at or 303-866-6945.

What's on the Horizon

News & Updates

NEW Educator Talent web area live in August! 

As part of the CDE's consolidation of key educator services into the new Educator Talent Unit and a new e-newsletter, a new Educator Talent web area has also been under development to reflect these changes. The new web area will be ‘audience focused’ and has been designed to keep our key audience in mind and help them:

  • easily navigate the content and services we offer
  • quickly find what they are looking for

The web area launch date is expected for early August. Look for communications about the Educator Talent web area going live or visit  

Educator Effectiveness

Save the Date for Educator Effectiveness Leaders' Retreat Monday, Sept. 18

The Educator Effectiveness team is excited to offer a full day of learning and collaborating with educators from across the state. Come learn about the revisions to the State Model Evaluation System, including the revised teacher rubric, scoring for professional practice, and an overall effectiveness rating, being piloted in approximately 30 districts in Colorado. This day is devoted to non-pilot districts interested in learning about these system changes and the process for making these changes at the state and local level.

The Educator Effectiveness Leaders’ Retreat will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, at the River Run Village located in Keystone. This event is free to attend; however, should lodging be required, it must be paid for at the participant’s expense. The registration link below will ask participants to indicate if they will require lodging and if they indicate “yes”, a logistical email will be sent with room reservations details. 

Register early as space is limited. Registration for the retreat will close Friday, Sept. 1, and room reservations will need to be made by Friday, Aug. 4.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information on Educator Talent, please contact Colleen O’Neil, executive director, at or 303-866-6945.


In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replacing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Colorado in May submitted its state plan to the U.S. Department of Education on how it intends to implement ESSA in Colorado.

Find more information on the state plan on CDE's ESSA webpage.

Subscribe to the ESSA E-Newsletter - "ESSA in Colorado."


What's Happening Now

District/BOCES ESSA Consolidated Application Review and Approval

ESSA Consolidated Application reviews began in July and will continue through October 2017. LEAs that opted to take additional time to submit completed LEA Plan narrative responses or requested an extension will be reviewed when the completed application is received by CDE.

Applicants will receive a response from CDE within 30 days of the receipt of a completed application and will have 30 days to respond to any comments and/or required changes made by CDE. Once all comments or required changes from CDE are addressed and approval is granted, applicants can submit a request for funds to pay for activities outlined in the application.

For more information on the consolidated application visit the Federal Programs Applications. Contact Brad Bylsma, director of the Office of ESEA Programs, at 303-866-6937 or

What's on the Horizon

ESSA Accountability

CDE will notify districts that have schools identified for Comprehensive or Targeted improvement under ESSA early in the 2017-18 school year. Districts with identified schools are required to work with community stakeholders in developing an improvement plan as part of their regular UIP process during the 2017-2018 school year for implementation in 2018-19.

Comprehensive schools are Title I schools in the lowest performing 5 percent and any high school with a graduation rate below 67 percent. Improvement plans for schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement will likely be due in April 2018 as part of the annual UIP submission process The notification to school districts will include information regarding funding, requirements, timelines, support, and services available to schools and districts.

For more information on ESSA Accountability or reporting, please visit the Data, Program, Evaluation and Reporting (DPER) webpage or contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson, director of the Office of DPER at 303-866-6205 or

Process and timeline for monitoring under ESSA

CDE has continued to work with a stakeholder group over the summer and will do so throughout the upcoming school year to develop a new monitoring protocol for ESSA. The new protocol will be piloted in the 2017-18 school year and fully implemented in the 2018-19 school year.

If you are interested in having your district participate in the pilot program during the 2017-18 school year, please contact Lindsay Swanton, Title I program specialist, at or 303-866-6298.

Updates will be posted, as available at the Federal Programs Monitoring website.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Sept. 15: Proposals to present breakout sessions at the third annual Equity & Excellence Conference are due. The conference will be Nov. 2-3 in Englewood.

Sept. 30: Consolidated Application narrative responses due (if more time was requested).

More Information

For more information, contact Patrick Chapman, executive director for federal programs, at 303-866-6780 or or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

Data Pipeline is a streamlined approach to efficiently move required education information from school districts to the CDE. Data Pipeline reduces data redundancy, captures closer to real-time data, streamlines the data collection process and allows districts to exchange information on transferred students. 

What's Happening Now

Superintendent and Principal Integrated Timelines 

The Superintendent and Principal Integrated Timelines that give district and school leaders a month-by-month timeline of important implementation dates is available for the 2017-18 school year. The timelines can be accessed at this link. 

Special Education Discipline

Administrative Units and districts must work collaboratively to generate a complete Special Education Discipline Snapshot dataset by passing all interchange and snapshot validations in preparation for report review by Tuesday, Aug. 15. This collection will close Wednesday, Aug. 23.


The Teacher Student Data Link collection is open until Friday, Aug. 25. As a reminder, TSDL data collected this year will populate public reports due out Wednesday, Nov 1.


The last day to enter SY 2016-17 Enrollment Records into the New Generation System (NGS) for regular and summer school is Thursday, Aug. 31.

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open to Administrative Units. All exception requests need to be submitted by Thursday, Sept. 7, and all errors resolved by Tuesday, Sept. 12. This collection will close Thursday, Oct. 5.

End of Year

2016-17 End of Year snapshots are available for submission. Summer school graduates can be reported through Thursday, Aug. 31. All districts must submit their End of Year snapshots and approve initial data summary reports by Thursday, Sept. 14, as required by Colorado Administrative Rules.

Record Integration Tracking System (RITS)

RITS Pipeline now shows the 2017-18 school year drop down. Local Education Agencies, if they haven’t done so already, may begin requesting State Assigned Student Identifier Number (SASIDS) for the 2017-18 school year. Requesting SASIDS early will help expedite the process. Be sure to use RITS READ in Pipeline if submitting large batches for new incoming students. For existing students use RITS Batch in Pipeline. If using the RITS Web for smaller numbers of students, be sure to do a student search first so as not to create duplicate SASIDS. Trainings will be offered in mid-August for district respondents. 

2017-18 Student Interchange

The Student Demographics and Student School Association files are now open and districts may begin uploading in data pipeline for the school year when they are ready. Information on changes for the 2017-18 school year can be found on the Student Interchange webpage.

What's on the Horizon

All districts submit their End of Year snapshots and approve initial data summary reports by mid-September.  In the same timeframe, administrative units must identify and fix all errors in preparation for duplicate checks for Special Education End of Year. The Student October snapshot will open in September.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 23:  Special Education Discipline collection closes

Aug. 25:  Teacher Student Data Link collection deadline

Aug. 31:  SY 2016-17 Migrant Enrollment Records entered into NGS for regular and summer school

More Information

For more information on Data Services, contact Jan Petro, director, 303-866-6838, or visit

Postsecondary Readiness

CDE supports the various ways students can enter postsecondary education by working with districts and schools in thinking through the personalization of a pathway through high school and on to college and career for every student.

What's Happening Now

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

What's on the Horizon

Advanced Placement Incentives Program

Apply for the Advanced Placement (AP) Incentives Program for the 2017-18 school year. The application will be posted on CDE's AP Incentives webpage on Friday, Sept. 1, and will be due to CDE by Saturday, Sept. 30.

The intent of the AP Incentives is to expand and implement AP programming in rural and small rural high schools. Priority will be given to those with a Free and Reduced Lunch percentage above 42 percent state average.

For questions, contact Cori Hunt, program support, at 303-866-6528 or

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information on Postsecondary Readiness programs, contact Misti Ruthven, executive director, 303-866-6206, or visit

Teaching and Learning

CDE continuously improves Colorado’s education system to provide students with the future skills and essential knowledge needed for success in a globally competitive world.

What's Happening Now

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.

Districts can submit their request for reimbursement after they have purchased portfolios for the 2017-18 school year.  All requests for reimbursement for the 2017-18 school year must be received by the end of September to receive reimbursement.

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

Kindergarten school readiness data reporting

Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), requires the annual reporting of the levels of kindergarten school readiness. In March 2016, the State Board of Education approved the data reporting elements for kindergarten school readiness. The first data collection is set for the fall of the 2017-18 school year. Online training and virtual support will be available this fall. Information about the kindergarten school readiness data collection and training can be found on the school readiness webpage.

For more information about the data collection, contact Whitney Westgaard, data analyst, 303-866-6421, or visit the READ Data collection webpage.

The READ Act

READ collection and fund distribution

In July, districts received information about the READ Act per pupil fund distribution for the 2017-18 school year. CDE anticipates distributing these funds the week of Monday, Aug. 14. The district should code the distribution with source code 3000 and grant code 3206.

The allowable uses for the per-pupil intervention moneys for students with significant reading deficiencies include:

  1. Providing full-day kindergarten;
  2. Purchasing tutoring services in reading;
  3. Providing other targeted, scientific- or evidence-based intervention services; or
  4. Operating a summer school literacy program. 

HB14-1204, the Rural Flexibility bill, created an additional allowable use of READ funds for small rural districts to purchase the services of a literacy specialist from a BOCES to provide professional development in literacy or other supports for implementation of the READ Act. 

2017 READing Conference

The CDE Office of Literacy in partnership with the Exceptional Student Services Unit is hosting the second annual READing Conference Oct. 10-11, at the Marriott Tech Center in Denver. This two-day conference is designed to support educators in using scientifically based reading research and assessment practices to guide early literacy instruction for all students in kindergarten through third grade. Presenters will share best practices in teaching the foundational skills of early reading including differentiating instruction for students with disabilities and English learners within a response to intervention framework.  

For more information about the READ Act, contact Alisa Dorman, executive director of Literacy, 303-866-6016, or visit the READ Act homepage.   


Provide feedback on updates to Colorado’s 21st century skills

In August 2017,CDE is launching an opportunity for feedback on updates to Colorado’s 21st century skills as part of the standards review and revision process. The 21st century skills are the essential skills students should develop to be successful in the post-secondary education and the workplace, such as initiative and innovation. A link to an optional online feedback process is available on the standards review and revision webpage.  


CDE staff will present the draft essential skills and gather feedback from a variety of business groups in August and September, including the standards review and revision committees, parent groups, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council.

Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), provides the state with requirements for the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). Specifically, CAP4K requires that in addition to required content area, the CAS should enable students to develop a number of skills which were termed  “21st century skills” during the 2009 standards development process.

Attend the August Standards Review and Revision webinar

Each month the Office of Standards and Instructional Support offers a webinar to provide progress updates about the standards review and revision process. This webinar will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24. It will focus on public engagement; feedback windows, outreach updates, and September committee meetings. Dates and links to participate in future webinars can be found on the CAS webpage.

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 Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of Student Learning, 303-866-6737, 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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