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Special Education Directors' Corner
New or Reorganization Application & Checklist
*Applications for New or Reorganized AUs are due Wednesday, September 1, 2021 for districts seeking to begin operations for the 2022/2023 school year.
Answers to frequently asked questions such as Compensatory Services, Prior Written Notice and Special Education Evaluations can be found in Special Education FAQ's.
CDE's Office of Special Education has gathered resources to help answer questions around the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to special education.
Supporting Displaced Special Education Students
There are many ways that children and families can be displaced. There are floods, fires, and other types of natural disasters that can destroy homes or make them uninhabitable for periods of time. Families can also experience hardships that result in major home life changes.
We are excited to announce the successful launch of Colorado’s new State-Sponsored IEP system, Ascend. All deliverables in the contract were met on time, and the system went live on July 1. Ascend Colorado is the new, customized Individualized Education Program (IEP) system developed with the Colorado Department of Education by AnLar LLC. Please visit the Colorado Ascend website for more information.
The contract for the Ascend Colorado IEP System is linked below. The contract was signed on Sept. 22, 2020, which is approximately three months later that the anticipated date of July 1. As a result of the later date, the projected schedule included in the RFP was condensed. The revised schedule, including completed milestones, is also linked below as well as on the Ascend Colorado IEP System's webpage.
- The fully executed contract between AnLar LLC and the Colorado Department of Education. (PDF).
- The Project's Schedule. (PDF)
- Enrich to Ascend Presentation
2 2021-22 IEP Record Reviews open for review through June 1, 2022, for all age groups in the Data Management System, Compliance Tab
19 A complete SPED Discipline Snapshot is due (must have passed interchange and snapshot validations
26 SPED Discipline Final Report must be reviewed, signed, and submitted to CDE
27 A complete and error-free SPED EOY Snapshot is due
30 SPED EOY Final Snapshot Approval due to CDE
30 2020-21 End of Year (EOY) expenditure submission is due
30 Post-School Outcomes (2019-20SY) interviews complete and data submitted
ESSU must have current contact information for all state level Special Education Directors and Special Education Fiscal Contacts. Our office communicates important updates and information through our listserv, please be sure that we have accurate, updated information. Communications from this listserv will come from CDE_SPED.
The ESSU e-newsletter is our offices primary form of communication with the field. It is published once a month and contains information from the Office of Gifted and Talented, Office of Facility Schools, and Office of Special Education.
American Rescue Plan IDEA Fund Webpage
Information related to the American Rescue Plan IDEA Fund is now available at http://www.cde.state.co.us/caresact/arp-idea.
FFY 2020 SPP/APR Stakeholder Involvement
Every 6 years, the CDE must reset baselines and targets for Performance Indicators in the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report as required by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Between June 2021 and February 2022 (submission date), the CDE will be engaging in several layers of internal and external stakeholder meetings to ensure we meet the reporting requirements as set forth by OSEP. SDLT and Special Education Directors at large will be involved in this process in October – December, 2021. You can read more information in the FFY 2020 SPP/APR Stakeholder Involvement document posted on the Directors’ Corner webpage.
Given the implementation of H.B.19-1066, students with disabilities who complete the graduation requirements and continue the services must be reported as “graduates” the year in which the students complete the graduation requirements. The reporting changes have been made to the Student End of Year (EOY) data collection to reflect this new requirement. Please see this guidance document for how these students should be reported starting in the SY2020-21 Student EOY.
Please review this document for more information on the ECEA Funding and December IEP Completion Policy for the 2020-21 Academic Year only.
2020-2021 Standard Record Review
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) recognizes that educators, students, and families are facing unprecedented circumstances and challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, however, the U.S. Department of Education has not granted waivers related to monitoring of the compliance of IEPs, and we must therefore proceed with the annual IEP review process for SY2020-21. Historically, AUs reviewed IEPs that amount to 3% of the December count IEP enrollment with a minimum cap of 10 and the maximum cap of 50. In SY2020-21, the maximum cap was reduced to 30 to reduce the burden on AUs during this time. AUs must complete IEP file reviews for all age groups by June 2, 2021. Details of the number of reviews required in each age category and directions for completing the reviews can be found in a document labeled, “IEP Record Review Directions SY2020-21” located in the Attachments List of the Compliance tab in the Data Management System (DMS).
Changes in reporting educational environments for 5-year-old kindergartners
- 5-year-old kindergartners must be reported with school-age educational environment categories starting in December Count 2020 (School Year 2020-21). Please see the memo below for details.
2021 New Directors’ Orientation
The 2021 New Directors’ Orientation (NDO) is scheduled for August 25-26, and September 2, 2021. This meeting is for new and near-new directors of special education and will cover information regarding fiscal responsibilities, legal issues, dispute resolution, general supervision and monitoring, and much more. Registration will open on July 19th and will close on August 10th. For more information email Faye Gibson, Gibson_F@cde.state.co.us or Brittany Deyoe, Deyoe_B@cde.state.co.us.
2020 New Directors' Orientation
Access the recordings and handouts from the 2020 New Directors Orientation (NDO) at the 2020 NDO webpage.
Fall Directors of Special Education Meeting
The Fall Directors of Special Education meeting is scheduled for October 14-15, 2021 and will be in a virtual format. Registration will open on September 1st and close on September 28th, 2021. Please watch for a registration announcement. Because we will be meeting virtually, directors are welcome to invite assistant directors, special education coordinators, and general education leadership personnel. Late registrations cannot be accepted. For more information email Faye Gibson, Gibson_F@cde.state.co.us or Brittany Deyoe, Deyoe_B@cde.state.co.us.
2020 Fall Directors of Special Education Meeting Information
View session information from the November 2020 Directors of Special Education Meeting.
- Potential Impact of the Family First Prevention Services Act on Special Education Students (PDF)
- Questions and Answers On Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations, and Reevaluations (PDF)
- Letter to State Directors of Special Education (PDF)
- Non-Regulatory Guidance: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care U.S. (PDF)
- Memo Notice of Change in Reporting Requirements and CDE Guidance for Measuring Indicator 13 Compliance (PDF)
- CMAS ELA Accommodation Policy Updated to Align with Colorado Academic Standards Expectations
- Standard Record Review Instructions 2021 (PDF), Please contact Cindy Petersen if an alternate version of this document is needed.
- 2020-2021 Standard Record Review Including Early Childhood and Transition Age Students
- Comprehensive Plan Documents:
- Uploading Documents for Review
- 2017 Conference - Expand Your Equity Toolkit
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