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CDE Update

CDE Update Special Edition

Special Editions of the CDE Update

Read the latest: Oct. 19

CDE Update

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! This e-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.

Draft recommendations from COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group

The stakeholder group continues to meet and discuss recommendations for assessments, accountability, and educator effectiveness that will be shared with the Colorado Commissioner of Education and state legislators. Legislators will consider the recommendations as they make decisions in these areas. 

View meeting materials and current draft recommendations on the stakeholder group webpage.

October 2020

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

School and District Accreditation

Due to the accountability pause, 2019-20 plan types are being rolled over to 2020-21 for continued implementation. Therefore, districts will not need to complete the accreditation form for this year unless opening a new school. CDE is reaching out to districts with new school plans to provide more direction on next steps.

The Request to Reconsider process is not available this year. While CDE will formalize the district accreditation through the State Board of Education, local boards still hold responsibility for accrediting schools. Although plan types will not change this school year, it will be a local decision on how to formalize school accreditation.

For questions about the accreditation process during the accountability pause, contact Lisa Medler at or Lisa Steffen

Improvement Planning Updates 

Submission Timeline

Schools and districts that took the flexibility to delay publicly posting their UIP this spring (April/May 2020) must submit their plans for public posting and/or CDE review by Thursday, Oct. 15.  Districts/schools not using this flexibility may also submit their UIP at that time. However, typical deadlines will remain (e.g., Priority Improvement, Turnaround, On Watch and schools identified as Comprehensive under ESSA submit by Jan. 15) for the 2020-21 school year. If you would like to check the submission deadlines and eligibility for biennial flexibility, view your prepopulated report within the Online UIP System or visit: 

CDE is working with the state board to consider moving the UIP submission timeline to Oct. 15 permanently beginning in the 2021-22 school year. The accountability rules were noticed in August and will be voted on in October. Additional information is available on the UIP Timeline Shift webpage. Feedback in the meantime can be sent to Lisa Medler at

New READ Act Requirements in the UIP

In 2019, the Colorado legislature passed several updates to the READ Act through SB 19-199. One change requires districts to report information about K-3 reading assessments, curricula and instructional programs, as well as intervention services and supports beginning in 2020-21. Districts that receive and use per-pupil intervention funds or Early Literacy Grant program funds on professional development must also include information about their K-3 reading professional development plan.

For more information, visit the UIP Resources site or contact Susan Barrett at

Small Systems and Combined UIPs

As a reminder, small districts can write one combined plan that incorporates planning for the district and all schools within the district. Districts with fewer than 1,000 students do not need to request permission to write a combined plan but must be sure to incorporate all planning requirements for the district and member schools. Districts with student enrollment between 1,000 and 1,200 students may also request to write a combined plan for the district and schools. Requests can be sent to Kirby Stein at Once district enrollment grows greater than 1,200 students, the district is no longer eligible for this flexibility. 

Accountability and School Improvement Supports Available 

The school improvement and planning team has resources to support districts and schools for the 2020-21 school year planning expectations. This includes a COVID-19 Impacts quick reference guide, the 2020-21 Changes Document, School Accountability Committee trainings and resources, and the Accountability Handbook. Webinars, office hours and other supports will be posted on the UIP homepage.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 15 – UIP Submission deadline for schools and districts taking advantage of flexibility from spring 2020. 

More Information

For more information, contact Rhonda Haniford, associate commissioner of School Quality and Support, at, or visit


What's Happening Now

CDE supports optional SAT administration 

As previously announced, CDE has sponsored an optional SAT administration for 12th grade students and a PSAT/NMSQT administration for 11th grade students enrolled in Colorado public schools this fall. These state-sponsored fall administrations will provide eligible students an opportunity to take, for free, the SAT or PSAT/NMSQT in place of the spring 2020 SAT and PSAT 10 tests that weren't administered due to school closures resulting from COVID-19.

SAT School Day for public school students in 12th grade:

  • Primary Administration - Wednesday, Oct. 14
  • Makeup administration  - Tuesday, Oct. 27

SAT Weekend Administrations for public school students in 12th grade registering with a voucher will take place on the following Saturdays: Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5.

PSAT/NMSQT School Day Administrations (for public school students in 11th grade):

  • Primary administration - Wednesday, Oct. 14
  • Alternate administration - Thursday, Oct. 29. 

As a reminder, districts with schools participating in fall SAT weekend administrations need to distribute vouchers to students. For help, call the Colorado Educator Hotline at 866-917-9030 and choose option No. 1 or email

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 Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer, at or visit


What's Happening Now

Districts assistance for connectivity needs

Two programs have been created to provide broadband access to Colorado students with remote learning needs for the 2020-21 school year. 

Currently, district leaders can apply directly to T-Mobile’s nationwide Project 10Million program, which aims to provide 34,000 low-income student households in Colorado with a free WiFi hotspot, 100 gigabytes of free annual data and at-cost Internet-enabled devices. Charter schools apply through their districts, or via the Colorado Charter School Institute as appropriate.

Local Education Agencies can apply for the Connecting Colorado Students Grant, which has $2 million available to help school districts provide broadband access to low-income families and school staff. These funds will be distributed through a competitive grant process. Priority will be given to applicants with a high number of students eligible for free or reduced lunch and a high percentage of students with little to no access to broadband. Funds must be expended between October 2020 through Sept. 30, 2022. 

Both of these efforts are made possible due to the strong support of multiple partner organizations building on survey information through a partnership between CDE and the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) in April that found that approximately 66,000 students lacked the internet access necessary for remote learning.

For more information, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or DeLilah Collins at

ESSER Application

The online ESSER application has been adapted to include additional funds allocated to districts, BOCES and Tribes and was made available on Oct. 1 and will remain open until Dec. 31. As with the initial ESSER funds allocated to districts, the additional funds are made available on a reimbursement basis. CDE provided training on the application process , and the PowerPoint and the Zoom recording are available on the Federal Programs Resources and Technical Assistance webpage.   

For more information, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205.

Equitable Services for Non-public Schools 

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) regarding equitable services under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion and an order vacating the IFR. The USDE has indicated that it will abide by the court’s ruling. Accordingly, the IFR is no longer in effect and the process for calculating equitable services described in the CARES Act has been restored.

Because the IFR is no longer in effect, LEAs must calculate proportionate share  “in the same manner as” Title I funds  in order to be in compliance with the CARES Act.  

CDE's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) application previously allowed LEAs to calculate proportionate share using the total student enrollment in the district and non-public schools (per IFR) or to calculate the proportionate share based on the Title I process called for in the CARES Act. The application has been updated in alignment with court ruling and will allow districts to calculate the proportionate share using low income students.

If an LEA used any of the methods allowed under the IFR while it was in effect between July 1 and September 4 and has already obligated funds for equitable services, the LEA does not need to change the calculations or consult again with the non-public schools.  If an LEA has not yet obligated funds, the LEA must consult with its non-public schools again and recalculate equitable services using the procedure in the CARES Act.  If an LEA used the CARES Act method, no changes are required. 

Districts will need to consult with non-public schools to determine support available and collect the necessary information to perform the proportionate share calculation. 

Allocation of ESSER Funds

Colorado received close to $121 million in ESSER funds through the CARES Act. The CARES Act requires 90 percent of ESSER funds to be allocated to districts through the Title I distribution methodology. The remaining 10% of funds may be retained by the state to use for additional emergency needs and administrative costs. CDE will distribute $4.6 million of the state set aside funds to school districts, BOCES and Tribes that received little or no relief funding in the initial distribution. An additional $2 million of the state set aside is being directed to enhance broadband connectivity through the Connecting Colorado Students Grant Program. 

This additional distribution for districts, BOCES and Tribes was calculated using factors related to needs of at-risk students. Considerations for additional funds for districts was based on needs of Native American students as well as a consideration of free and reduced lunch (FRL) eligibility. Each Colorado Tribe was allocated $35,000 to support needs of students, and some districts received additional funding for Native American students using the Title VI allocation process. Also, some districts received additional funds based on their percent of FRL eligible students compared to the state average and corrections to past inaccurate FRL calculations. Funding for BOCES was determined by analyzing gaps among BOCES in special education funding with a per pupil distribution going to BOCES operated schools. 

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 Mark Kirkemier, executive director of Federal Programs, at or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Special Education End of Year  

The Special Education End of Year collection is almost complete and will close Thursday, Oct. 15. Several reports should be uploaded to the ESSU Data Management System under the “Profile” Tab once collection is submitted to CDE and must contain all report pages, not just the signature page.

Student End of Year

2019-20 End of Year snapshots are now in the Cross LEA phase of the collection. Snapshots will be unlocked if there are additional errors the district needs to resolve or by request if corrections to data are needed. The Cross LEA opened at the end of September and snapshots need to be resubmitted and locked by Thursday, Oct. 15. The Post Cross LEA validation that verifies transfers and dropouts within Colorado will occur between Thursday, Oct. 22, and Thursday, Nov. 19. Only Student Exit types can be changed at that time. The final approval deadline is Thursday, Dec. 3.   

2020-21 Student October  

The Student October snapshot is open. The 2020-21 official Student October count date will be Thursday, Oct. 1. It is important to note that there is new guidance for the student October count due to the impacts of the pandemic.

Learn more about the new guidance and access the 2020-21 Audit Resource Guide here: The legislated deadline for snapshot approval is Tuesday, Nov. 10, when the duplicate count procedures will commence. Final approval is due Wednesday, Nov. 25. Board secretary sign off sheets are due Friday, Dec. 4.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be taken beginning Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Special Education December Count 

Individual Education Plan interchange files and staff interchange files may be uploaded. Snapshots may be taken for the official December Count collection beginning Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Teacher Student Data Link

The teacher student data link interchange file is opening this month. There is now only one interchange file to be uploaded as the collection has been redesigned. The statewide standard course code (SSCC) system is no longer being used, instead all data will be uploaded as part of the one interchange file. For the 2020-21 school year, all districts are required to report TSDL data for students in grades 6–12 only.  


Districts can access their Migrant Student List through Data Pipeline. Monthly, LEAs can access a Cognos Report in Data Pipeline entitled “Migrant Student List,” which can be pulled by school year and district and is located under the “Student Profile” under the COGNOS reports tab. The district must have the STD LEAUSER or STD LEAVIEWER role to see the Student Profile folder in Cognos.

The COGNOS Migrant List/Report has the following columns: SASID, Last Name, First Name, Birth Date, School Code, Migrant Arrival Date and Migrant End Date. The report can be downloaded into Excel and from there imported into the district’s Student Information System (SIS).

Please ensure your district has uploaded a current Student School Association file (SSA) to receive the most up-to-date Migrant List. Should you have questions regarding your Migrant List, please reach out to your local Migrant Education Programs that coordinate and deliver services to migrant students by accessing this link:

What's on the Horizon

  • The legislated deadline for Student October snapshot approval is Tuesday, Nov. 10, followed by the duplicate process which will be completed Wednesday, Nov. 25. 
  • ACCESS for ELLs Pre-ID file will be pulled Tuesday, Nov. 10.  
  • Directory’s school board membership will open in November.
  • Non-public schools may be entered until Friday, Dec. 4.
  • The 2019-20 December Finance collection is open and is due by Thursday, Dec. 31.
  • 2019-20 School Discipline is open and the extended due date is Thursday, Dec. 31.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 1:  2020-21 official Student October count date  

Oct. 15: 

  • Special Education End of Year due  
  • Resubmission deadline for cross LEA phase of Student End of Year Snapshot  

Nov. 10:  ACCESS for ELLs Pre-ID file will be pulled from preliminary Student October data

More Information

For more information on Data Pipeline, contact Jan Petro, director of data services, 303-866-6838, or visit

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

Annual Report on Concurrent Enrollment in Colorado

The recently released Annual Report on Concurrent Enrollment in Colorado (PDF) shows participation increased by 11% statewide, with 34,519 students participating. Other highlights of the report include:  

  • Participation in Concurrent Enrollment increased among students of color.  
  • More than 40% of students who participated in ASCENT in 2018-19 were Latinx or Hispanic, a racial/ethnic group historically underrepresented in postsecondary education. 
  • Two-year institutions saw the biggest percentage increase in Concurrent Enrollment participation with a 10.8 percentage point increase.

Read the full press release here.  For more information, email Michelle Romero at

TalentFOUND Network Conversation

Rural Educators are invited to join the TalentFOUND network and local workforce centers for a conversation about partnership and aligning efforts for student success and career development. The meeting will take place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8. Register via Google Forms.

For more information, contact Kelly Mitchell, consultant with the Colorado Workforce Development Council and CDE at

Work-based Learning Incubator Webinar

Join the team from CDE’s Office of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness, in partnership with the Colorado Workforce Development Council, for the Work-based Learning Incubator webinar series. The next webinar, Engaging with Business, will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8. Register via Zoom. A list of upcoming webinars can be found online here.

Postecondary and Workforce Readiness Playbook available

Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) practitioners have announced the launch of the next generation ICAP implementation guide, the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Playbook. Join students, school and district leaders, teachers, counselors, and other staff for a mini-celebration of the 10th anniversary of ICAP and take a peek into the Playbook. The event will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 13, with sessions at 10 a.m.  and 2 p.m.

Contact Robin Russel at for more information.

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 Misti Ruthven, executive director of Student Pathways,, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Office of Standards and Instructional Support

Holocaust and genocide studies added to Standards

Each school district's Board of Education and charter school board must incorporate academic standards about the Holocaust and genocide into an existing course that is a condition of graduating high school by July 1, 2023. This is a result of legislation passed this year and signed into law by Gov. Polis. These standards must be adopted, on or before July 1, 2021, by the State Board of Education and should identify the knowledge and skills that students should acquire related to Holocaust and genocide studies, including but not limited to the Armenian genocide. In addition, CDE shall create and maintain a publicly available resource bank of materials pertaining to Holocaust and genocide courses and programs no later than July 1, 2021. 

For more Information, contact Stephanie Hartman at

Preschool Through 3rd Grade Office

Evidence-based teacher training

Registration for state-provided evidence-based teacher training for teachers who support grades K-3 is now available. CDE is providing the training at no cost to K-3 teachers. Participants can sign up for a virtual synchronous or an online asynchronous option on the K-3 Teacher Evidence-Based Reading Training Requirements webpage. Statute requires K-3 teachers to complete the training by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

Options for teachers to meet the professional development requirements in the READ Act can be found on the Teacher Training webpage.

For more information or questions, contact Melissa Ahlstrand at

Kindergarten School Readiness Assessments

During its September meeting the State Board of Education voted to relieve districts of the requirement to submit aggregate results of kindergarten school readiness assessments for the 2020-21 school year.  The board made this decision due to the variability in the administration of the observational assessments while students are learning remotely. This decision affects reporting requirements only and not the administration of the assessment. 

CDE will continue to support districts with best practices surrounding formative assessment and would encourage teachers to use the assessment for the purposes of providing teachers and families information on the strengths and needs of kindergartners and to inform individual school readiness plans. For additional resources and support on implementing this assessment, please visit the KSR Assessment Support webpage.  For more information about Kindergarten School Readiness please contact Megan Rogers, Kindergarten School Readiness consultant, at



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, at or visit .