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Preschool through 3rd Grade Planning for the 20-21 School Year

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Preschool

Questions related to Colorado Preschool Program, Preschool Special Education, and Child Find for children from birth through age 5.

Jump to a Preschool topic:

  • Child Find
    • Timelines
    • Evaluations
    • TBPA2
    • Transitions
    • IEP Delays
    • Technical Assistance
  • CPP Requirements
    • CPP/ECARE Positions
    • Hour Requirement
    • RFPs
  • General Support
    • Current group sizes
    • Operations
    • Face Coverings
    • Community Partners
    • Remote Learning
    • Screenings
    • "Ready" for Kindergarten
    • Resources

Child Find

What guidance and technical assistance about Child Find is available related to COVID-19 and are timelines for initial evaluations waived due to the suspension of in-person learning?

The 3/21 guidance from OSERS (PDF) clarifies evaluation timelines and the expectation to continue to follow IDEA timelines. Additionally, CDE and CDHS recently sent out joint guidance on Part C and Part C to B child find activities to directors of special education and Child Find Coordinators. The guidance from each of these documents clarifies that timelines for initial evaluation have not been waived and administrative units (AUs) are encouraged to explore virtual means to conduct child find activities, including initial evaluations. With this said, AUs may work with parents to reach mutually agreeable extensions of time to allow for the completion of a sufficiently comprehensive initial evaluation. It’s important to note any agreement with parents (to proceed with initial evaluation virtually or to extend the timeline) needs careful documentation that is shared with the parent(s). Joint guidance from CDE and CDHS about Child Find related activities (including initial evaluation) will continue to be updated and all new guidance will go out to the Directors of Special Education and Child Find Coordinator’s listserv. Please also reference our Office of Special Education at CDE for updated COVID-19 and Special Education related guidance.

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Is there guidance on conducting hearing and vision screening during COVID 19? Are we able to send home a Parent questionnaire for a child find referral? 

State experts on hearing and vision from CDE and EI CO have collaborated on a guidance document for the field related to hearing and vision screening birth to 21 years old, as part of the early intervention or special education evaluation process. 

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Are we continuing to do evaluations face to face or do they have to be virtual?

Though formal screening cannot be conducted through virtual means during this time, there are credible and recommended options for gathering and reviewing other data related to a child’s hearing or vision, which may inform the initial evaluation for eligibility determination.

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How should we conduct evaluations virtually and are there ways to do this effectively?

Joint guidance from CDHS and CDE pertaining to Part C and Part C to B activities was sent out to the field and made available on our respective websites a few weeks ago. Here are a few important takeaways:

  • OSEP does not have the authority to remove timeline requirements related to the initial evaluation and IFSP/IEP development and therefore IDEA initial evaluation timelines remain in effect. In turn, activities related to Part C and Part C to B can continue to be conducted during COVID-19 through remote methods. This includes referral, initial evaluation, and transition activities.
  • All activities should occur collaboratively between the Special Education Administrative Unit (AU) and the Community Centered Board. These activities will likely need to occur using virtual methods. Mailing parent questionnaires to families through standard or email format should allow for the gathering of many types of important information.
  • Potential methods for effective virtual activities are listed within the guidance document. It’s important to note that all activities should occur in alignment and communication with your Child Find Coordinator and Director of Special Education.
  • Finally, federal and state guidance makes clear that any in-person activities related to special education and early intervention are not safe at this time. Our understanding at this time is that all in-person activities have been suspended and resuming these activities will need to occur in alignment with expectations from your Director of Special Education and local Department of Health.

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Is there guidance on conducting TPBA2 virtually?

In order to give further and more specific guidance on virtual means for conducting evaluation activities, CDE in conjunction with Dr. Toni Linder will host a webinar about Guidance for the TPBA2 Virtual. Toni Linder, the developer of TPBA2, Dr. Jeanine Coleman from the University of Denver, and Dr. Christopher Miller from CDE have worked together to produce guidelines for how TPBA2 can be modified to be done virtually.

This webinar will discuss modification of the various components of the TPBA2 process, including

  • Obtaining Preliminary Information,
  • Planning with families,
  • Options for conducting the video assessment,
  • Debriefing, and,
  • Having a team discussion.

New forms that have been created to help teams work through the process more smoothly will be presented and explained. There will also be time for participants to ask questions and share any helpful suggestions they can contribute as well.

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As children transition from Part C to Part B services are we expected to have the child's IEP in place by their third birthday?

Yes, similar to evaluation timelines, OSEP has not waived or changed this IDEA requirement related to Indicator 12. Subsequently, as children transitioning from Part C to Part B are evaluated and found eligible during this time, it is the expectation of AUs to complete those activities and start the IEP services on or before the child's third birthday. Keep in mind that instances in which parents choose to delay the evaluation or IEP start date constitute allowable use of delay codes.

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The IEP process (e.g., evaluation, IEP start date) was delayed due to a COVID19-related school closure. How should an AU report the delay in the participation file which will be reported in Special Education SY2019-20 data collection?

If the delay was due to a request from a parent (e.g., the parent would rather wait to have an implementation meeting until the COVID 19 school closure is over) or based on mutual agreement between the AU and parent to delay the timeline, please report such delay with a delay code 45 – parent reasons. If the IEP team was determining the existence of specific learning disability, and the COVID 19 school closure disrupted the progress monitoring necessary to evaluate the child (300.309(C)), please report such delay with a delay code 43 – mutual written agreement was made between parents and a group of qualified professionals to extend time for SLD identification. For any other delays related to the COVID-19 school closure, please report with a delay code 61 – NOT VALID – COVID19 School Closure. Because IDEA does not provide a waiver for a delay of IEP process due to any type of school closure, use of delay code 61 will be considered as not compliant. Because delay reasons in codes 45 and 43 are allowable in IDEA, the state would count as acceptable delays and would not be considered non-compliance.

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Could CDE provide specific technical assistance or calls specific to Child Find related needs and adjustments?

Continue to let Chris know what your needs are and he will work to develop a more specific time for focused support related to child find activities, as requested. Send Child Find Questions to Chris Miller, Child Find Specialist.

Resources:

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CPP Requirements

Will our school district receive our current base allocation of preschool positions, including any positions returned in the current school year, next fall for the 20-21 school year?

Districts will return to their base allocations for the 20-21 school year. 

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Will the annual amount of contact hours be changed or lowered for CPP in the 2020-2021 school year? 

At this time, no decisions have been made to reduce or waive contact time for next school year.  The need for this is broad for all grade levels, not preschool specific. To that end, CDE is working on guidance, while considering any legislative or state board changes that may need to occur to allow for flexibilities in contact hours.  We understand the urgency of getting this information to you. We will communicate with the field as soon as we can.

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Our council was supposed to review RFPs. What should we do now?

Do what is practical and reasonable for you at this time. One thought might be to go ahead and conduct those reviews of RFPs if you are still in process or if those are coming in. Perhaps the timing might need to shift or the process might need to shift (e.g. review online, extend timelines, etc.).

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General Support

What are the current group size requirements?  

On June 3, 2020,  Governor Polis announced that certain child care providers in Colorado may return to regular group sizes and licensed capacity as stated in Colorado child care licensing rules beginning Thursday, June 4. 

This guidance is applicable to child care centers, family child care homes, and building-based school-age child care programs only. It does not include school-age day camps, license-exempt youth programs, or children’s resident camps. This guidance does not apply to preschools located in school buildings. We are working with other departments to further define this guidance. 

More information about current guidelines in child care facilities can be found on CDPHE's COVID-19 website

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What is the current guidance for child care operations?

Providers and the children in their care must stay healthy and safe in order for care to continue. Group size, social distancing, screening for signs of illness, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, and disinfecting remain essential for keeping child care safe, opened, and operating. Child care facilities should keep a distance of 6 feet as much as possible and not mixing groups of children. This means not combining groups of children at the beginning or end of the day or between activities throughout the day.  Please see the Safer at Home: Child Care Facilities guidance for more information. 

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What is the guidance regarding face coverings? 

Children under the age of 3 within the child care should not wear masks and no child should wear a mask while napping. Children between the age of 3 and 5 should be supervised if they are wearing a mask. If the mask is creating discomfort or resulting in the child touching their face frequently, reconsider whether a mask is appropriate for that child. 

You may also find more information on the Divisions of Early Care and Learning Frequently Asked Questions, COVID-19 as well as the face-covering guidance from CDPHE.

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What advice or guidance is there concerning screenings?

Many communities use the same screening tools for all children as part of a comprehensive developmental screening/application process. The results are used to determine eligibility for a variety of programs, such as CPP, Title I, and Head Start.

Some suggestions for districts to consider:

  • Conduct an interview with families on the phone or zoom to complete the developmental screening as a family interview, when this is a valid component of the screening tool.
  • Subscribe to an online developmental screening tool such as the ASQ Family Access online screening tool.
  • Consider asking families if their child has recently completed a developmental screening at a well-child visit and ask permission for that to be shared with the school district.
  • If your district engages in a spring preschool round-up day for developmental screenings, enrollment and hearing /vision screenings, consider working with your Child Find team and local agencies that support this event to reschedule the preschool round-up for August.
  • Ideally, hearing and vision screening should be conducted prior to enrollment but when hearing and vision screening cannot be conducted prior to enrollment as is the case currently, they should be completed within a short time (e.g. up to 30 days) after enrollment next fall

It will be important to collaborate with the Child Find team and your District Advisory Council to create a plan that works best for your school district and community.

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Are there resources for supporting children's well-being during COVID-19?

The following guidance, recommendations, and resources are provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts.

What should be considered for supporting parents who are supporting their children to be at home throughout the day?

First communication and outreach to families could ensure that families’ and children’s basic needs are met. Then families may be encouraged to set up a basic routine. A daily routine may not necessarily be of "academics" but outdoor playtime, storytime, preparing lunch together, etc. We don't necessarily want to communicate to parents that it is now their responsibility to serve as their child's teacher, but we do want to support parents to meet their child’s developmental needs and to offer activities and suggestions about how to help them support their children’s learning. During this time, it’s practical to offer advice and ideas about how families may spend more one on one time together.

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Will my students be "ready" for kindergarten?

Preschool is not a required prerequisite to enter kindergarten. The only requirement for children to enter kindergarten is to turn age 5 by the school district cut-off date. You may want to offer parents the opportunity to access the resources on the CDE Standards page.

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What are the most applicable resources for us to consider at this time?

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Preschool Special Education

Is Preschool Special Education guidance during COVID-19 aligned with ESSU guidance? 

The Preschool team consults with ESSU on all of the preschool and child find specific questions and answers and coordinates in the distribution of the information. We encourage you to review the ESSU Special Education Guidance, including new information on changes to delay codes due to COVID19.

 
What are good ways to meet the service needs of preschoolers on IEPs?

Special Education providers should review the IEP goals with the family, identify the skill and the outcome desired and then support the family at home via technology, or low-tech measures (for example, if an adaptation of toys is needed, they can be provided by curbside drop off). When IEP goals have been written with family input, and meet the needs of the family as well as the needs of the child, working with families virtually in the home setting should be easier. This podcast (with written transcript) about support for children on IEPs when their Pre-K program is closed for an extended time may be a helpful resource.

Resources:

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How can we support behavioral and social-emotional goals that rely on peer interactions?

While peer interactions with classmates are currently not an option, encouraging adult interactions with children that promote strong, secure attachments can be a focus.

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Many IEP goals relate to following a classroom routine. Since we won’t be in a classroom, how should we address those?

Work with families to set up routines at home that are important for family life during quarantine. If accommodations, such as visual schedules, are used in school then they should be provided for home after the routine has been identified. An example of this could be:

  • Wash Hands
  • Breakfast
  • Read a Book together
  • Play with one toy for xx minutes
  • Go outside for a walk

Check out the Embedding Schedule at Home for ideas. 

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Many of our goals are written "in the classroom setting..." as routines based goals. How do we address those in terms of service times and settings?

Consider practices such as distance instruction, teletherapy and tele-intervention, meetings held on digital platforms, online options, and low-tech strategies for data tracking, and documentation. Review the IEP goals with the family to determine how the goals can be addressed at home with support from special educators and related services providers.

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Are parents able to request changes to an IEP during this time?

Yes. Parents can still request an IEP meeting or request changes (or not) at this time. In any case, the main message is to work with families. Contact the family, review the IEP, and collaboratively discuss the child’s learning priorities and how best to address them. If the IEP needs to be amended, then determine the next steps for this process.

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Is this the responsibility of the classroom teacher or the special education team like BOCES?

It is the responsibility of whoever provides the service delivery, as outlined in the IEP. In other words, it's the responsibility of the special education service providers noted in the IEP to provide specialized instruction and related services.

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How are services going to be delivered?; I would like specifics on how the state visualizes preschool services being provided within the parameters of doing a web-based model; Can you offer specific examples for both individual IEP services and whole class services?

Video conferencing in early childhood is not new. Here are different terms that have been used: tele-intervention, tele-health, tele-medicine, tele-practice, tele-therapy, tele-EI. The Exceptional Students Services Unit will be using "Tele-Practice"

Services do not necessarily need to be web-based. Families with children who have AAC devices may need help with programming vocabulary that is home-centered rather than school-based. This can be done through drop off and pick up (which is an essential activity allowed for with the stay at home order). Families may need picture schedules and other visual accommodations which can be accomplished through email if there is a printer at home.

We encourage LEAs to collaborate creatively with families, educators, and administrators to meet the needs of preschool-aged children with disabilities

How FAPE is provided may need to be different in the time of a national emergency. IEP teams must make individual determinations on how services will be provided during this time and whether compensatory services are necessary after schools return to normal circumstances. Work in collaboration and alignment with your local Special Education Director. Refer to the Supplemental Fact Sheet of March 21, 2020 (PDF) from OSERS.

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How do service providers (ECSE, SL, & OT) collect data on IEP goals?; How do we collect data on children when we cannot see them interacting with the environment? Can you give specific examples?

Create a system for families to be involved in collecting information and data. For example, if a child is to be able to complete a 3 step routine such as washing hands, help the family set up situations where the child can access soap, water faucet, and towel, describing to them the type of adult support and scaffolding they may need and how to document. Another example would be for a child to tell one thing that they played with (recall) during free play. If this is to be done by pointing at a picture board, create a picture board for them with the toys and materials they have at home. You can print this and mail it or drop it off curbside for the family to use.

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How do service providers document services?

The same way they always would - in a log. Now they will be documenting emails, phone contact, virtual activities directly with children or a family member (zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.)

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My district is not providing educational services to preschool children, what about services outlined in IEPs for preschool-aged children?

The March 2020 Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak Document (PDF) from the US Department of Education states that if an LEA closes schools and does not provide any educational services to the general population, then it would not be required to provide services to students to disabilities at this time. Once school resumes, in the case of schools in Colorado with e-learning opportunities requested by the governor, the LEA must make every effort to provide special education and related services.

It is our recommendation that you provide the IEP services to preschool-aged children as there are educational opportunities being offered within the LEA. During these exceptional circumstances, the services provided may need to be different. Working with families to individually determine what children's needs are during this time and what services will look like in the context of the Governor’s suspension of in-person learning in the time of the COVID 19 emergency is an appropriate next step for Special Education Service Providers in Preschool. If it is determined that services are impossible to deliver, then compensatory services may be required when the LEA resumes "normal" operations after this pandemic.

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Remote Learning

What types of alternative learning opportunities could be provided for preschool-aged students?

CDE has curated a list of best practices for remote learning and teaching including free web-based resources to help keep children academically and emotionally engaged. 

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What resources are districts using with regard to remote or alternative learning?

  • Direct, planned, routine, 1:1 contact with each child’s family (e.g. phone calls, emails, text messages, FaceTime, Duo, Facebook Messenger) Give parents and caregivers a call each day (or week) for their own support and comfort. This will have a significant impact on parent’s well-being which will have a direct impact on children’s well-being.
  • Providing  markers, crayons, glue sticks, blocks, puzzles, books,  etc. for children to use at home
  • Virtual circle time or whole group connections on a daily or another frequent basis. Ensure 1:1 technology devices for all children
  • Live or recorded storytimes
  • Suggested activities for families (preferably hands-on) that build on the curricula to expand classroom learning. Provide hard copy curriculum materials to families at no cost.

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What recommendations should be considered related to screen time of preschoolers?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen use for ages 2 to 5, to just 1 hour a day of high-quality programming.

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Results Matter

What may need to be done within the Results Matter tools to ensure that the data is complete for the year or for Indicator 7 exit reporting?

It is not anticipated that the suspension of in-person learning and the Spring checkpoint will affect the end of year procedures. It is still recommended by the vendors to wait until after the OSEP deadline of July 15 to archive portfolios. Exit dates, consistent with the last date of school, will need to be entered for children who are transitioning out of preschool special education services.

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What will we be using for OSEP data since we are not completing the spring checkpoint?

When preschool students leave special education this year as they are transitioning into kindergarten for the next school year, they will most likely have an exit date in the system as the last day of school, GOLD will default to the most recent finalized checkpoint. We expect this to be the winter checkpoint, understanding that students with disabilities should have this checkpoint finalized as it occurred prior to the COVID 19 emergency. The exit date will still need to be inputted into the vendor system.

School districts may voluntarily complete Spring checkpoint data prior to the child's exit date from preschool if they feel this is appropriate and they have the information they need.

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Will we complete the OSEP exits as we normally would in May?

Yes, you will enter the school year exit date

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State Preschool Funding

How should we handle payments to contracted child care providers during the school closures?

Generally speaking, payments to contracted providers may be based on enrollment rather than attendance. To the extent possible, we would encourage you to ensure payment of community providers, regardless of whether state-funded preschoolers are in attendance. Districts should follow contracts that are in place with partner providers and should review and amend those contracts, as necessary.

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If we can continue to pay community sites when children are not in attendance, how can they use that money?

Providers can utilize the funds they receive in accordance with your contract with them. Remember that these businesses have committed to paying their staff while they are closed or doing online learning. The CPP funds received may help keep some providers employed and getting a consistent paycheck.

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Collaborative Projects

Questions related to Early Literacy Grants, Early Literacy Assessment Tool (ELAT) and school readiness.

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 Early Literacy Grants (ELG)

What are the current timelines for the ELG Sustainability and Annual Professional Development grants and the new Comprehensive ELG cohort opportunities?

CDE is temporarily suspending all competitive grant program applications and review processes until further notice. This impacts the planned releases of the ELG Sustainability and Annual Professional Development grant opportunities. The department will reassess the timing for competitive grant program applications and reviews in the coming weeks to determine the best way forward. If this changes, we will communicate in the following ways:

  • Sustainability Grant - Cohort 3 contacts will be emailed directly.

  • Annual Professional Development grant & Comprehensive ELG - The READ Act listserv and Scoop will be the primary channels for communicating any updates or releases. 

Update 4/14/20: Early Literacy Grant Program: Professional Development – Now Accepting Applications

This grant opportunity is geared to support Colorado educators in the implementation of scientifically and evidence-based reading programming and strategies for K-3 students. These funds are specifically intended for early literacy professional development for elementary educators. Applications are due Thursday, May 14, 2020, by 11:59 pm.

2020 application information and materials

 

 

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What are the expectations for external ELG implementation consultants contracted by current comprehensive ELG cohorts?

During this time, please be in contact with your ELG sites to learn what support may be needed. Please keep the CDE informed of ongoing support. More official communication will be shared with external ELG implementation consultants directly around end of year (EOY) documentation and funding goals. Please be sure you have documented and supported each site with middle of year (MOY) data review including progress towards this year’s funding goals. 

 

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What are the expectations for progress monitoring at this time?

 The CDE has reached out for guidance on how to best utilize the Acadience Reading assessment during this unprecedented time. Amplify and Acadience Learning have both shared guidance, please see below:

Submit additional questions for ELG 

Resources:

 Early Literacy Assessment Tool project (ELAT)

What are the spring assessment requirements?

CDE is suspending spring K-3 READ Act and CPP Results Matter assessment requirements for state reporting purposes. If in-person instruction resumes this spring, teachers should exercise their judgment on the feasibility of giving the spring assessments in order to provide information to parents and to inform their instructional planning. 

The department will not collect spring reading assessment data and instead will base per pupil intervention funding for the 2020-21 school year on 2019-20 information. At this time, the department is determining what it will require to be submitted in the spring READ collection beyond a budget and narrative for use of READ funds in the 2020-21 school year, and will be extending the submission deadline. 

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What guidance can the department provide around progress monitoring during this time?

CDE reached out to the ELAT vendors, Amplify and Istation, to seek their guidance on how to best use their tools during this unprecedented time. Please refer to their websites below or to the CDE ELAT page for their COVID-19 resources in PDF form.

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Where can I find the most recent updates from ELAT vendors? 

 Amplify and Istation provide monthly newsletters with resources and announcements. Please contact your Amplify or Istation representative for a copy of the most recent newsletter or to be added to the listserv for monthly communications.

Submit additional questions for ELAT
Resources:

School Readiness

When will the changes to the Kindergarten School Readiness data collection take place?

The State Board of Education voted to provide named domains as part of the Kindergarten School Readiness data collection on March 11, 2020. CDE will work to implement this change for the Fall 2021-2022 school year.

Submit additional questions for school readiness
Resources:

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Data and Decision Sciences

Questions related to Results Matter, READ Act and Kindergarten School Readiness assessments.

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READ Act Data Collection

Are districts still required to submit spring 2020 READ Act assessment data through Data Pipeline?

No, the Department will not collect spring 2020 reading assessment data and instead will base per-pupil intervention funding for the 2020-21 school year on 2019-20 SRD counts.

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Will the overall state funding for the READ Act be the same as last year, $26.2M?

Yes, the total READ allocation amount for FY2020-21 will be approximately $26 million with a per-pupil amount of $639.21. To see how many funds your district received in FY2019-20, please visit the READ Act Per-Pupil Funding Document on the School Finance website.

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Since districts are not submitting READ data this year, how will CDE monitor FY2019-20 3rd grade students who are identified as having an SRD and/or a READ plan as they move into 4th grade?

CDE is still working on guidance to resolve this issue. Districts are encouraged to track these students internally so that READ plan data is not lost for these students. CDE is going to determine whether or not we can manually add these Cohort students back into the data collection next spring. More information on that to come.

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READ Act Budget Submission

Are districts still required to submit FY2020-21 READ budget projections this spring?

Yes, districts are still required to submit FY2020-21 READ budget projections this spring. The budget submission window opens today, April 1st.

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Are READ budget submissions still due on May 15th?

No, given the continuing situation with COVID-19, we’ve extended the deadline. Districts must have first round budgets submitted by June 30, 2020.

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Since the deadline for budget submissions has been extended, what is the new submission timeline?

The new submission timeline can be found on the READ Budget Submissions website.

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How do we login to the READ budget submission web application?

First, your Local Access Manager (LAM) will need to assign someone in your district the appropriate role in the Identity Management System (IDM). There are three different roles within IDM for the READACTBUDGET group: submit, contributor and reviewer. You’ll want to make sure that the person submitting the budget is assigned the submit role.

Second, please visit the READ Budget Submission Website to log into the budget web application. You will need to follow the prompts to reset your password.

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Will there be a READ Act Budget Survey template?

Yes, there is a READ Budget Submission Guidance Document (PDF) on the READ Data Collection website. There is also budget submission information on the READ Budget Submission Website.

 

No, given the current circumstances with COVID-19, there’s been an executive order that allows for districts to carry over more than the currently allowed 15% of unexpended READ funds into next year. 

 

Districts will not be required to report FY2019-20 carryover amounts in the spring 2020 budget submission. FY2019-20 carryover amounts will be available in spring of 2021.

 

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Results Matter Assessment Data

What are CDE’s expectations around the Spring Checkpoint for Results Matter?

The Spring Checkpoint for Results Matter has been suspended. This means that CDE is not requiring data be input, starting from when that school is not in session through the end of the Spring Checkpoint period. For more guidance and information, please reach out to your CPP Regional Specialist or read more here.

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What may need to be done within the Results Matter tools to ensure that the data is complete for the year, or for Indicator 7 reporting?

It is not anticipated that the suspension of in-person learning and the Spring checkpoint will affect the end of year procedures. It is still recommended by the vendors to wait until after the OSEP deadline of July 15 to archive portfolios. Exit dates, consistent with the last date of school, will need to be entered for children who are transitioning out of preschool special education services. Please also refer to the Results Matter section of the Preschool Team FAQ page.

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Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Literacy

Questions related to the READ Act.

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K-3 Evidence-Based Training in Teaching Reading

With the disruptions caused by COVID 19, will the deadline for training K-3 teachers in scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction be revised?

This has not yet been decided.  Senate Bill 19-199 requires that all K-3 teachers demonstrate that they have met the scientifically or evidence-based practice training requirement under the READ Act by the fall of the 2021-22 school year. The law provides districts the ability to request a one-year extension from CDE to comply with this requirement. Depending upon the length of the impact of COVID-19, the department may consider a blanket one-year extension for all school districts.

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What professional development will CDE offer for the K-3 Teacher Training?

Independent review committees selected Keys to Literacy to provide face-to-face training and Public Consulting Group Inc. to provide online training. CDE anticipates the online training will be available this summer after the contracting phase is complete. CDE will provide this information as soon as it becomes available.

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Do districts need to apply to be approved to receive the CDE provided teacher training? What will the process be to receive the training?

No.  Districts will not be required to apply and gain approval for the CDE provided teacher training. We are currently developing processes for districts to register for and participate in the CDE provided training. When the processes are finalized, they will be shared with districts on our website, during webinars and through our listserv.

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Can districts create their own professional development program to satisfy the requirements of the K-3 Teacher Training?

Yes. A district can choose to provide their own professional development. District-provided PD must meet the same requirements as vendors for the required K-3 Teacher Training. The PD plan must be submitted to CDE, reviewed, and approved. This submission process does not have a deadline.

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Is there a cost for the CDE provided training?

No.  There is no cost to the district for the CDE provided training.

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Are districts responsible for keeping track of teacher completion of the training?

If a district provides the training to their teachers, the district will report teacher completion to CDE. The process for reporting this information is currently being developed. The process for tracking completion of the CDE-provided training is also currently being developed.

When the processes for reporting/tracking teacher completion of the required training are finalized, they will be shared with districts on our website, during webinars, and on our listserv.

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 When do you anticipate the release of the application for districts who wish to submit a district created professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement?

The anticipated release of the application for districts to submit professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement is no later than early May. This will be a rolling application and will be posted on the CDE website.

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Is there a way for teachers to “test out” of the requirement for evidence-based teacher training?

On April 8th, 2020, the State Board of Education determined that teachers who score at least 159 on the ETS Praxis Teaching Reading Elementary assessment (5205) will have met the evidence-based teacher training requirement established in SB-19 199.

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Does the Praxis have to be combined with an approved course to fulfill the requirement?

No.  Passing the ETS Praxis Teaching Reading Elementary assessment with a score of at least 159 can serve as a standalone fulfillment of the requirement.

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Can districts use READ Act funds to pay for teachers to take the Praxis? 

No.  The cost for teachers to take the Praxis is not an allowable expense for READ per pupil funds.

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Which CDE endorsements will count toward being trained in evidence-based reading instruction? 

Teachers who have a Colorado Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist endorsement meet the training requirement.

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Are SPED teachers and interventionists also required to complete the required K-3 Teacher Training? 

Yes.  The READ Act rules define ‘teacher’ as the professional responsible for the literacy instruction of the student(s) and may include the main instructor for a class, an instructional coach, reading interventionist, special education teacher, Title I teacher or other personnel who are identified as effective in the teaching of reading.

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Is the CDE-provided K-3 Teacher Training limited to only K-3 teachers? Can pre-school, 4th/5th grade teachers, ELD teachers, administrators, etc. attend as well?

The state provided training for K-3 is limited to teachers in those grades.  At this time we are only enrolling teachers who provide reading instruction in those grades.  CDE will consider expanding participation at a later date. 

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With the disruptions caused by COVID 19, will the deadline for training K-3 teachers in scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction be revised? What is the process for applying for the year extension?

Senate Bill 19-199 requires that all K-3 teachers demonstrate that they have met the scientifically or evidence-based practice training requirement under the READ Act by the fall of the 2021-22 school year. The law provides districts the ability to request a one-year extension from CDE to comply with this requirement. Depending upon the length of the impact of COVID-19, the department may consider a blanket one-year extension for all school districts.

 

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Per-Pupil Funds/Budget

Will there be some flexibility of carryover of district read funds in light of COVID 19?

Yes. On April 1, 2020, Governor Polis issued an executive order that allows for districts to carry over more than the currently allowed 15% of unexpended READ funds into next year.

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Do we include this year’s carry over in the budget submission?

No.  The budget is based on last year’s numbers. CDE is considering a separate process for the carry over as we had put together this process before COVID 19.

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Can we use READ funds to pay a teacher stipend to participate in a required K-3 teacher training?

No.  The allowable use provisions for the READ Act do not allow teachers to be paid stipends to participate in the required K-3 teacher training.

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Advisory Lists: Instructional Programs & Professional Development

Where is CDE with the instructional program advisory lists?

The most current advisory list of approved instructional programming is now posted on the CDE website, linked here. This includes approved core, supplemental and intervention programming. Notices have gone out to vendors, and vendors whose programs were not approved during the review will have the opportunity to appeal. Because of the disruption caused by COVID 19, some submitted programs have not yet been reviewed. We are working to complete the process, and additional approved programs will be added to the list as reviews are completed.

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When do you anticipate a full list of approved professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement will be posted?

The application for vendors to submit professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement was released on March 16, 2020, and complete submissions are due from vendors on April 17, 2020. CDE will begin reviewing submissions for professional development after the application deadline and anticipate the review process to take several weeks.

Note: The restrictions brought about by COVID 19 may cause some disruptions to the review process. Access to vendor provided materials and the inability to pull together groups of people to complete the professional development reviews may change the way the reviews are completed. CDE is currently working to create a plan that addresses these challenges.

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If a school continues to use a core program that was not approved, will there be guidance on how to best supplement the program?

If a district has already selected a program that was on a previous advisory list but is no longer approved, CDE can support the district with guidance to help supplement the program for an interim period. Guidance will not be provided for programs that have never been on the advisory list and are not currently approved.

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Some core programs on the list are only approved for certain grades (K-2 or K, 2, 3). Why are some grades not approved?

The rubric for instructional program review contains specific criteria for each grade, based on the continuum of skills learned at each grade level in each area of reading. Each submitted program was reviewed at each grade level. Some programs met rubric criteria at certain grade levels and not at other grade levels.

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What is the process for an off-cycle review of an instructional program?

If an instructional program was not submitted for review during an official review window, or the vendor makes dramatic changes to a program between official review windows, vendors can submit the information for a review of their programming for use in an individual district. The district would request the review via email to CDE, and the district should communicate this request with the vendor. Then the vendor would submit their program for an off-cycle review. If a program has been already reviewed and was not approved/accepted, CDE will not conduct an off-cycle review.

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Can a district use READ funds on a program that is currently under review or may be submitted for review in the future based on the assumption that it may be approved?

READ Act funds cannot be used on a program that is not approved and on the Advisory List of Instructional Programs. If the program has not yet been reviewed or approved, this is not an allowable use of READ Act funds.

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Does CDE have recommendations for teachers seeking a Reading Endorsement through a university program? Are there certain programs that teachers should explore?

CDE does not make recommendations of this nature. The content knowledge and skills requirements for the K-3 teacher training can be made available for teachers to use in considering university programs.

Does core literacy programming in 4th and 5th grades have to be on the approved list? 

READ Act statute addresses instructional programming for Kindergarten through Third Grade.

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Will CDE be publishing the reasons particular programs were not approved as core curriculum for the updated advisory lists?


Completed rubrics will not be posted to the website. Once the review process is complete, including the window for vendor appeal, districts can request to review a completed rubric on a specific program

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Assessment

Are schools responsible for progress monitoring students on READ plans during this time when they're providing remote learning?

Schools and teachers are encouraged to do the best they can to provide services to students during this unprecedented time, which could include developing a plan to continue progress monitoring. This may or may not be an option, depending on the technologies available in a particular district. Districts may contact the vendor of its approved READ Act assessment for ideas on how progress monitoring might occur through remote learning.

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READ Plans and Services

What are the guidelines or legal obligations for delivering read plan interventions during this remote learning time?

COVID 19 has created unprecedented challenges for schools in meeting the needs of students. The remote learning environment impacts the ability of schools to deliver instruction in the way they would in a regular classroom. At this time, schools and teachers are encouraged to work to provide learning opportunities for students on READ plans aimed at accelerating reading growth to the extent practicable by the constraints of the current learning environment.

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Parent Communication

What is the guidance for parent communication regarding READ Plans, retention, and other READ Act related topics during this time?

School districts need to make decisions in how they are communicating with parents during this remote learning time. READ Act statute requirements for parent communication are still in place. Clear communication via phone, email, etc to discuss READ Plans, retention, and other READ Act related topics is important. Follow local school board policy in alignment with READ Act statute when considering retention as an option for specific students.

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