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February 2023 CDE Update

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Welcome to the CDE Update! This monthly publication for district superintendents and BOCES directors will show you what is happening in key priority areas at CDE and include details on implementation, milestones, deadlines and resources. 

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Leadership News

Following the announcement that Commissioner Katy Anthes will be stepping down this July, the State Board of Education issued a Request for Proposals for an executive search firm to support the efforts to hire a new commissioner. The RFP is available on ColoradoVSS, which is the state's system for posting and accessing solicitations. View the RFP by clicking on the "Click here for VSS system" icon, and on "Public Access." Search for the RFP number 2023000209 or Commissioner Search Firm Solicitation.



  • As required by state statute, CDE released a request for proposals on Dec. 1 for the next five-year contract cycle for the high school college entrance suite of assessments. The CDE Assessment Division is convening a review committee to evaluate vendor proposals, with an announcement of a selected vendor to be made prior to the end of the school year. The vendor chosen through this procurement will begin administering a new computer-based college entrance suite of exams to students in ninth, 10th, and 11th grades starting in spring 2024.

For more information on state assessments, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer,, or visit the Assessment webpage.

  • CDE's communications team created a toolkit to help schools and districts communicate about the coming spring statewide assessments. The toolkit features drop-in letters that you can adapt for your own use with messages about the assessments, including the times and dates and the duration of each test. Additionally, there are fact sheets for parents and students that explain the purpose and value of the statewide assessments, documents that provide quick glances at what is in store and others that have more detailed information. All these documents can be used at your convenience or can be sliced and diced for whatever use you need.  All materials will be translated into Spanish. You can find the communications toolkit here: Family-centered materials, including a FAQ, can be found here:

Questions about the toolkit can be sent to Jeremy Meyer, communications director, at

Federal programs

Federal Programs & Support



District operations

District Operations

Data Pipeline

For more information on Data Pipeline, contact Annette Severson, manager of data services, at or view The Data Pipeline webpage.

Health and Nutrition

Nutrition & Health


Postsecondary Readiness

Postsecondary Readiness

Teaching and learning

Teaching and Learning




  • A Frequently asked questions document about special education and universal preschool has been released. CDE is responsible for administering special education, while the Colorado Department of Early Childhood is responsible for administering UPK. Answers were developed by CDE with consultation from CDEC.
  • CDE Standards for Placement of Preschoolers with IEPs in Educational Programs has been released. These standards were identified by CDE based on state and federal special education law, rules, and include supportive resources to assist with implementation.
  • Additional questions and answers will be added to the Special Education and Universal Preschool in Colorado webpage over time. Questions may be directed to the Early Childhood Special Education team, or Heidi White, preschool director, at
  • The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood have completed the memorandum of understanding required in statute for preschool special education. The agreement addresses the roles and responsibilities of both CDE and the CDEC. CDE will be responsible for federal data reporting, compliance monitoring, and serve as the primary point of communication for issues related to special education related topics, training, technical assistance, and guidance. CDEC will be responsible for establishing licensing rules and regulations that require local coordinating organizations and preschool program providers to comply with special education regulations. CDEC will also ensure participation of LCOs and preschool program providers in special education related trainings, cooperate with CDE and Administrative Units to ensure proper implementation of special education programs, and confidentially transmit data to CDE as required by law. The agreement will be reviewed annually to support technical changes as necessary. Contact Heidi White for more information about CDE's role in preschool special education. Contact Dawn Odean for more information about CDEC's role.