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CDE Update

CDE Update Special Edition

Special Editions of the CDE Update

Read the latest: July 31

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.

Guidance released to help local public health agencies and schools navigate opening for fall 2020

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released guidance for detecting, reporting and responding to cases and outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools (PDF). The guidance provides specific steps a school should take in response to COVID-19 cases and outlines when classrooms, cohorts and schools should cease in-person learning.

CDPHE, in collaboration with CDE, also released guidance for the fall opening of schools. This guidance will help local public health agencies work with districts and schools to ensure the safest learning environment possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These guidance materials should be referenced along with CDE’s toolkit for the 2020-21 school year and guidance from local public health agencies to provide districts with the information they need to start the school year safely and in a way that makes sense for their local communities.

August 2020

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Accountability and Family Partnership Contacts

The CDE process of registering 2020-21 Accountability and Family Partnership contacts is wrapping up. Districts that have yet to report new contacts are asked to complete the survey as well as the accountability contact form as soon as possible. Doing so will authorize accountability contacts to view student level data for accountability purposes. These contacts will later be viewable online. 

For more information, contact Sharon Walsh at

UIP Online System Upgrade

The UIP Online System has received a system-wide upgrade. While pages may look different, all functionality remains. Guidance is available on the UIP Online System website and an overview of the new layout is available. New system improvements include data visualizations and future access to the Accreditation and Request to Reconsider submission forms. 

For any concerns or questions, contact Kirby Stein at

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0®, Individual Student Growth Reports and Growth Files Released

The 2020 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® student growth detail files, individual growth reports (also known as the ISRs) and a district/school summary file have been released to District Accountability contacts via Syncplicity. 

English Language Proficiency Growth summary results for the state and by district/school are available within the State Accountability Data Explorer visualization tool

For questions related to Syncplicity or the Colorado growth model, contact Dan Jorgensen at

Tune into the next Advisory Committee meeting

The Advisory Committee for Planning for the 2020-21 School Year will meet virtually from 1 – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.

Made up of education stakeholders from across the state who have direct experience in school during the spring of 2020, the committee has met regularly to review and provide feedback for draft guidance for restarting school in the fall. During the upcoming meeting, committee members will be able to share their local plans and discuss what is working well and outstanding challenges and concerns.

To view the meeting live stream, visit the Advisory Committee webpage. A list of committee members and past meeting summaries and presentations are also available on this page.

What's on the Horizon

UIP Submission Dates

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, CDE offered flexibility on the spring UIP posting submission due date, extending the deadline into fall 2020. As a reminder, for any school or district that took advantage of that flexibility, the new submission date is Thursday, Oct. 15. For all other schools and districts, the typical deadlines apply – Jan. 15 for CDE review and April 15 for public posting. Biennial flexibility is still available, as well.

Given the positive response to the fall submission deadline, CDE and the State Board of Education are considering permanently moving the April public posting deadline to Oct. 15 beginning in 2020-21. If you have any feedback, contact Lisa Medler at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 15 - UIP submission deadline for schools and districts taking advantage of flexibility in spring 2020.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Rhonda Haniford, associate commissioner, at


What's Happening Now

SAT and PSAT Fall Administration

College Board has provided updated SAT and PSAT/NMSQT testing dates in response to requests from educators that make-up test dates not be scheduled for the same day of the week as the initial test date(s). In addition, to provide as much flexibility as possible for school scheduling and student participation in the SAT, CDE has added an additional school-day administration test date. 

For districts/schools that are choosing not to provide the SAT during the school day, two additional SAT test dates have been added for students registering for a national administration using a voucher. Additional details and fall testing registration information have been sent to District Assessment Coordinators and identified PSAT/SAT school coordinators.

Updated School Day Test Dates

SAT (12th grade students)

  • Primary test date: Wednesday, Sep. 23
  • Primary test date: Wednesday, Oct. 14 (added)
  • Make-up test date: Tuesday, Oct. 27 (revised)

PSAT (11th grade students)

  • Primary test date: Wednesday, Oct. 14
  • Alternate test date: Thursday, Oct. 29 (revised)

What's on the Horizon

Spring 2021 Tentative Colorado State Assessment Windows

While there is still uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact this year’s instructional settings, a typical state assessment administration season is currently scheduled to resume in spring 2021 as required by state and federal law. As with most aspects of education, state assessments may need to be adjusted in response to COVID-19 conditions. We will continue to monitor state and federal assessment requirements and expectations as the school year progresses across Colorado and as COVID-19 responses evolve this year. As always, District Assessment Coordinators will be the main point of contact for assessment information, including any changes to the schedule. Currently scheduled administration windows are included in the following table.

Spring 2021 Scheduled Colorado State Assessment Windows


Jan. 11- Feb. 12, 2021

CMAS/CoAlt: ELA/CSLA/Math/Science/Social Studies1

April 12 - 30, 20212


Primary Test Date: April 13, 2021
Make-up Test Date: April 27, 2021

CO PSAT for grades 9 and 10

Primary Test Date: April 13, 14, or 15, 2021 (district choice)3
Make-up Test Date: April 27 or 28, 2021 (district choice)

HS CoAlt ELA/Math (DLM) for grades 9-11

Aligned to PSAT/SAT schedule to the extent possible

  1. Per state statute, 4th and 7th grade social studies assessments are administered on a sampling basis.
  2. Consistent with previous years, extended windows to address technology capacity for CMAS/CoAlt and early windows for high school science will be available.
  3. Districts may make a district-wide decision or allow individual schools to select their PSAT initial and make-up test dates.

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

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

Educator Effectiveness MSL/MSO Pause 2020-21 School Year

To support districts and BOCES in planning for educator evaluation in the 2020-21 school year with so many unknown and continuously changing variables, including lack of summative test measures for the 2019-2020 school year, CDE will not be monitoring the measures of student learning/outcomes (MSL/MSO) portion of the Educator Effectiveness requirements for educator evaluation.

CDE will work with a stakeholder engagement group as defined in the School Finance Act, and the State Board of Education, in partnership with the state legislature, on a legislated pause in the 50% growth measure. These actions are in acknowledgment of the critical need for districts and BOCES to focus on the well-being and instructional needs of their students over the coming school year, and because of the absence of summative assessments from the 2019-2020 school year.

The Educator Effectiveness process will be maintained and districts/BOCES should focus their efforts fully on the established professional practices. Therefore, monitoring and reporting of educator final effectiveness ratings will be based 100% on professional practices. Educators can keep building and fortifying their skills for delivering effective instructional practices in remote and online learning environments, and the sole focus of educator effectiveness this year on professional practices will reinforce these efforts.

As noted, CDE is convening a stakeholder group to review the impact of the pandemic and to make recommendations on how to move forward with statewide assessments, the accountability system and educator evaluations for the 2020-21 school year. Additional information regarding the stakeholder group will be forthcoming.

Visit the CDE Educator Talent website on the one year pause of the 50% growth measures to learn more about the specifics of this pause. For additional information and requests for individual support, contact your Regional Specialist, email or Mary Bivens at

Educator Shortage Survey results available

The Educator Shortage Survey is an annual, mandatory survey for all Colorado districts and BOCES. The latest results are available on the Educator Shortage Survey Results webpage through an interactive dashboard that provides statewide and district-level information. Use the interactive dashboard to view 2019-20 school year numbers of positions filled by shortage mechanisms (including hiring long-term substitutes, retired educators, alternative licensure program candidates and those with emergency authorizations) as well as numbers of positions going unfilled. Survey results are provided separately for teaching and special services provider positions and reported by endorsement area, by district type and by district.

For more information, contact Carolyn Haug at 303-866-6923 or

New resources available to support the 2020-21 educator evaluation cycle

Amid planning for a return to school with much still unknown, the Educator Effectiveness Office is offering new resources and support materials focused on educator evaluation in remote/virtual, hybrid and/or in-person learning environments. Although educator evaluations have not been suspended for the 2020-21 school year, a stakeholder group will be convened by Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes to review the impact of COVID-19 on state assessments, accountability and educator evaluations and make recommendations. 

The Educator Effectiveness team will share any recommendations or updates related to the 2020-21 educator evaluation cycle as they become available and is committed to offering support that honors the process of educators receiving meaningful feedback for their professional growth. Visit the 2020-21 Educator Effectiveness FAQs webpage for updated information, and visit the Educator Effectiveness Office homepage to access other resources for the upcoming school year.

For more information, contact Leslie Burkholder at 303-945-1997 or

Principal Leadership Institute applications available

The Principal Leadership Institute is a one-year, remote learning opportunity to explore distributive leadership practices and strategies to create strong climate and culture in schools. Participants will attend seminars and monthly workshops.  Principals will also have the opportunity to work alongside exemplary principals using a coaching framework to sustain and integrate skills and behaviors learned during the seminars.  Additional information, including a sharable information flyer, application form and questionnaire, can be found on the Principal Resources webpage.

Please share this information with your principals. For questions, contact Robyn Hamasaki at

Reminder to submit assurances

Educator Effectiveness Assurances were due July 1. Visit the Assurances for Written Evaluation Systems webpage for details on the revised assurances process and to submit your district's/BOCES's assurances via the online form if you have not already.

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 Colleen O'Neil, associate commissioner of Educator Talent, at or visit


What's Happening Now

Consolidated Application: Narrative Sections

CDE is reviewing and providing feedback on the preliminary applications submitted through the Consolidated Application process. As a reminder, the Cross Program narrative and Titles I - IV narrative sections are due Monday, Aug. 31. 

For questions, contact DeLilah Collins at, Kristen Collins at, or the ESEA Regional Contact assigned to your district. 

Coronavirus Relief Funds allowable use updates

A number of additional clarifications have been added to the Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF)/Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) Allowable Expenses Guidance (PDF), including:

  • Receipt of materials purchased with CRF funds do not necessarily have to be received by Dec. 30. (For more detail see Section 1, Line 2 in the Guidance)
  • Charter school guidance to distribute per pupil funding up front. (For more detail see Section 1, Line 5 in the Guidance)
  • Preschool related expenditures are eligible for CRF allowable uses. (For more detail see Section 1, Line 6 in the Guidance)
  • Records retention is three years for ESSER and five years for CRF. (For more detail see Section 1, Line 11 in the Guidance)
  • Online course enrollment is an allowable expenditure, including course enrollment at Colorado Empowered Learning. (For more detail see Section 2, Line 39 in the Guidance).  As outlined in the Guidance, CRF funds are allowed for one-time purchases for the accrued cost up until Dec. 30. Colorado Empowered Learning offers various options to school district, some of these are priced for a semester and others are priced for an entire school year. The full expenditure for options for the fall semester are eligible for CRF. Only half of the expenditure for options for the entire school year are eligible for CRF; other funding sources must be used to cover the remaining portion of these costs. 

Additionally, an optional sample spreadsheet to calculate increased instructional hours is available on the CARES CRF website.

For additional information, visit the CARES Act webpage. For questions, Adam Williams at

ESSER application update

More than 20 districts have received final approval on their applications to use Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. Districts have until Dec. 31 to submit applications for ESSER funds. The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Programs will continue to provide support and technical assistance to districts on ESSER and COVID-19 Relief Funds through weekly office hours at 1 p.m. on Thursdays. Visit the Resources and Technical Assistance page for more information

For assistance on ESSER, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or the ESEA Regional Contact assigned to your district. 

ESSER Post Award

The ESSER Post Award Revision system is available to any district that received final approval and has identified a need to make changes to its application for use of ESSER funds. In order to submit changes, districts can log back into the platform, edit budget line items, add the justification for the revision, and submit the application to CDE for review and approval. All changes to budgeted line items must still meet the purpose and intent of ESSER funds to prepare for, respond to, or prevent spread of the Coronavirus and must be allowable, reasonable, necessary, and allocable in order to be approved.

For questions about the ESSER revision process, email the

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 31: The Cross Program narrative and Titles I-IV narrative sections in the Consolidated Application due


More Information

For more information on Federal Programs, contact Mark Kirkemier, executive director, at, or visit :

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Integrated Timelines

Due to the extraordinary changes to key implementation work because of the pandemic, CDE will provide updates for superintendents and school leaders on the main tasks associated with implementing the standards, assessments , educator evaluations, the READ Act and accountability requirements on the COVID-19 Policy Guidance page.

Typically, the major activities and expectations have been broken out quarterly and by phase of implementation and listed on CDE’s Integrated Timeline webpage. But that information will not be featured on the Integrated Timeline page for the 2020-21 school year. When any change or adjustment in policy occurs, CDE will notify superintendents and school leaders through a CDE Update email and the information will be posted on the policy guidance page.

For questions, contact Melissa Colsman at

Fall 2020 Communication Resources

CDE has compiled a list of resources to support schools and districts with their communications to parents and teachers about health and safety measures for the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19. Resources are designed in particular to help districts and superintendents who don’t have dedicated communications staff. However, materials are available for all schools and districts use and tailor to meet their local reopening plans. 

This bank of resources includes posters, links to webpages, and ideas for communication and drop-in messages that can be modified to send out about various topics - cohorting, face coverings, mental health, etc.

CDE is working on getting many of the messages for parents translated into Spanish and will share those resources when they are ready. In the meantime, for questions or ideas for resources, contact the CDE Communications Office at at

Data Pipeline


The 2019-20 Migrant Performance Period ends on Monday, Aug. 31. Migrant Regional data for the 2019-20 Performance Period must be complete and accurate as of midnight Monday, Aug. 31. CDE encourages Migrant Regional Programs to complete a Child Count Reconciliation process prior to this date in order to ensure the accuracy of 2019-20 MEP data and resolve data quality issues. 

For questions, contact to Brenda Meyer at


Local Education Agency calendars for 2020-21 must be entered by Tuesday, Sept. 1. 

Student End of Year

Districts are encouraged to submit their 2019-20 Student End of Year snapshots by Thursday, Sept. 3. Thursday, Sept. 10, is the deadline by which LEAs must submit initial Student End of Year snapshot. Cross validation procedures will commence after this date.


The new Attendance snapshot collection is open and due by Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Report Card March

The Report Card March collection is open and is due by Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Special Education Discipline

The Special Education Discipline Interchange and Snapshot are both available. This collection will close on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Teacher Student Data Link - Migrant Data Required

The 2019-20 Teacher Student Data Link is available for reporting data for districts with migrant students. All other districts are also able to report TSDL data; however it is not required.  To clarify, all districts do not need to submit the course instructor file. 

For districts with migrant students:

  1. Local courses codes must be mapped.
  2. Course enrollment file must be uploaded for any 8th-12th grade migrant student receiving partial or full credit.
  3. The snapshot must be created and finalized for migrant students.

​For districts without migrant students: 

  1. Local courses codes do not need to be mapped
  2. No TSDL data file is required to be uploaded
  3. The snapshot does not need to be created or finalized. 

LEAs are asked to have 2019-20 migrant student course mapped and enrollment data reported no later than Wednesday, Sept. 30. The U.S. Department of Education is proposing to collect the Civil Rights Data Collection for the 2020-21 school year. The 30-day comment period will close Thursday, Aug. 6.

Designated Agency

The 2019-20 Designated Agency Data Collection is open, and the deadline has been extended to Wednesday, Sept. 30. Designated agencies are encouraged to submit data earlier. Doing so will allow finalization of the the 2019-20 collection prior to beginning to collect the data needed for 2020-21 and avoid adding tasks to complete during the busy beginning of the next school year.

2020-21 Student Interchange and Student October

  • The Student Demographics and Student School Association files are open for districts to begin uploading in data pipeline.
  • The Student October Snapshot opens at the end of August.

What's on the Horizon

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open. Exception requests should be turned into CDE by Wednesday, Sept. 16. This collection will close Thursday, Oct. 15.

School Discipline

School Discipline is open and the scheduled due date is Dec. 31

December Finance

The 2019-20 December Finance collection will open in August and is due by the end of the calendar year.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 31:  Migrant regions must ensure 2019-20 Migrant Performance Period data is complete and accurate

Sept. 1:  Local Education Agency 2020-21 Calendars due

Sept. 10:  Initial 2019-20 Student End of Year Snapshot deadline.

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

Graduation Guidelines for 2020-21

The State Board of Education in July voted unanimously to provide flexibility to local education providers for Graduation Guidelines in the upcoming 2020-21 school year. This means that local education providers can decide if they would like to implement the guidelines for the Class of 2021 or delay full implementation until the Class of 2022 graduates.

For 2020-21, local education providers may graduate students according to district determined graduation requirements that either include the Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options (PDF) and/or local options, such as courses, for the upcoming school year. Full implementation of Graduation Guidelines is expected to continue for the Class of 2022.

Reporting Graduation Guidelines is part of the Student Interchange File for the Class of 2021. CDE will work with the Education Data Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to determine reporting categories for the upcoming school year. A local education provider may need to work with its local board of education to update the current graduation policy. Local education providers can decide if they would like to implement for the class of 2021 or delay full implementation until the class of 2022.

As a reminder about Graduation Guidelines and the Menu of Options:​

  • Local education providers have aligned their graduation requirements with the state’s Graduation Guidelines in board policy. View examples.
  • The only course required in state law for graduation is civics. Local education providers have the ability to determine how this course requirement is met. Also, local school boards have the authority and flexibility to decide the number of courses required for graduation and the method by which these courses are taught/delivered. 
  • Local education providers also have the authority to provide accommodations to students in meeting the college and career demonstrations necessary to earn a standard high school diploma for English language learners, gifted students and students with disabilities. 

Guidance on Graduation Guidelines Flexibility (PDF) can be found on the CDE website. CDE has also created a reference of FAQs for the Class of 2021 graduation (PDF).

For questions, contact Robin Russel at For more information, visit the Graduation Guidelines webpage.

Nominations open for the 10th anniversary ICAP Awards 

Nominate your district or school for the 10th anniversary edition of the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) Awards.

Awards will be given for:

  • ICAP teams at all of the following levels: elementary, middle, high, charter and district.
  • Promising Practices for individual, career, academic developments as well as "PWRful" Demonstrations of Learning

The awards committee, composed of ICAP facilitators and previous award winners, will review nomination the answers and stories, models and/or examples of the ICAP process submitted through the nomination form. Honorees will be featured in the upcoming PWR Playbook and in ICAP Birthday Showcases on Tenth Birthday Tuesdays, happening through December.

For more information, contact Robin Russel at For full details, visit the ICAP Awards webpage.

What's on the Horizon

Concurrent Enrollment Grant Application available

The Concurrent Enrollment Expansion & Innovation Grant Program provides grants to partnering local education providers and institutions of higher education to expand and innovate concurrent enrollment opportunities to qualified students. The grant awards up to $50,000 per approved applicant to be used through Wednesday, Sept. 30. Application materials are available on the program webpage and are due Monday, Sept. 14.

For questions, contact Michelle Romero at

Host a Postsecondary Workforce Symposium 

Consider hosting colleagues for a virtual PWR Symposium to learn from and engage with peers in conversations about capstone, work-based learning, concurrent enrollment, CTE, Industry Certificates and ICAP. For more information about hosting or for assistance with implementation, reach out to Graduation Guidelines manager Robin Russel at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information on Student Pathways, contact Misti Ruthven, executive director, at or visit