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Significant Support Needs (SSN)

COVID-19 and Special Education

View information for educators and parents to support students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 resources for special education

Office Hours

The Significant Support Needs Network Team and the Significant Support Needs Task Force Members will be offering SSN Office Hours during the 2021 School Year. Office Hours will be offered on the following Wednesdays from 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM: 

  • August: 18, 25
  • September: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • October: 6, 20
  • November: 3, 17
  • December: 1, 15

  • January: 12, 26
  • February: 2, 16
  • March: 2, 16
  • April: 6, 20
  • May: 4

SSN Office Hours

Registrations must be completed by 10:00 am the day before (Tuesday) for each Wednesday office hours session.

COVID-19 Resources

The SSN Network has compiled a list of resources to support children with significant support needs during this time. 

View COVID-19

Students with significant support needs are highly diverse learners with extensive needs in the areas of cognition and/or learning, communication, movement and social/emotional abilities. The individual may also have concurrent health, sensory, physical and/or behavioral disabilities.

Students with significant support needs require:

  • a wide variety of approaches and supports to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
    intensive instruction in literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills in order to acquire and generalize knowledge
  • substantial adaptations (modifications and accommodations) and/or ongoing supports in order to access grade level curriculum
  • access to assistive technology tools to communicate, learn and demonstrate their knowledge
  • progress to be measured by observation, data collection, assessment, and work samples
  • individualized levels of support across major life activities in home, school, and community.

Book Study Opportunity

The Colorado Department of Education SSN Network announces this exciting opportunity. We will be holding a weekly Virtual Book Study on the book, Comprehensive Literacy for ALL: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver, 2020. This is an amazing opportunity to learn and network with your colleagues across the state.

This book study group is for school personnel who provide literacy instruction (planning, preparation, delivery) for students who are working towards the alternate achievement standards or EEOs.

Days & Times

The Virtual Book Study will begin the week of September 13 and end in mid-December. We are offering 5 different sessions and you can choose the day and time based on your schedule.

  • Mondays 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Secondary Focus)
  • Wednesdays from 7:00 am - 8:00 a.m.
  • Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m - 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


In order to participate, you must agree to a few assurances/requirements listed on the application.

You are invited to apply for a spot in one of these sessions and commit to attending each session. Space is limited.

This application does not guarantee acceptance. You will be notified if you are accepted to participate and the time of your session on September 3. CDE will ship the book to you on that date so that you are ready for the first session.

Apply for Book Study

Book Study Flyer (PDF)

SSN Trainings

SSN Trainings

  • Current Trainings
  • Archived Trainings

Quality Indicators

SSN Quality Indicator Guides and Video

The Quality Indicators offer guidance to educators and administrators when developing, implementing and evaluating quality programs and services for students with the most significant needs.


SSN Resources

  • Archived SSN Trainings
  • Connect Listserv
  • Extended Evidence Outcomes (EEOs)
  • SSN Teacher's Corner


2020 Extended Evidence Outcomes (EEO)

This Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) subweb is dedicated to the Extended Evidence Outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards. The EEOs are written for students with significant cognitive support needs.

Significant Support Needs Advisory Council

The SSN Advisory Council is comprised of teachers, administrators, and related service personnel, professors from Institutions of Higher Education and parents from throughout Colorado. This group advises the Colorado Department of Education on the statewide needs of this population and those who serve them. Their expertise is utilized for work groups to develop trainings and products to assist educational teams in meeting the needs of this very diverse population.

CONNECT Listserv

The CONNECT (Connect to Networking, News and Encouragement for Caring Teachers) listserv is a place for teachers and service providers working with students with significant support needs (e.g. physical disabilities, autism, multiple disabilities, etc.) to find information, encouragement and networking opportunities.

We know that many times those working with students with significant needs may be isolated and lack the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues or find the expertise they need in a timely and safe setting. This is a place to ask questions, have discussion and share ideas with those in the field that are having the same experiences. To subscribe, send your contact information to Gina Herrera at

For more information about Significant Support Needs, contact:

Gina Herrera
Email Gina Herrera
Phone: (303) 866-6605

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