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Parent and Family Resources
- information about the state tests?
- information about a school or school district?
- achievement results or homework help?
- information about the school and district performance frameworks?
The resources listed here are selected to assist parents and students in their school-related needs.
For late-breaking news and announcements, be sure to sign up for news from the department’s Communications Division.
2020 State Tests
The administration of statewide assessments - including CMAS, PSAT and SAT - for the 2019-20 school year were canceled due to the suspension of in-person learning in Colorado schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Colorado public school 12th graders would be able to take the SAT test on a school day in the fall of 2020 for no cost under an agreement the Colorado Department of Education is pursuing with the College Board, the organization that administers the test. Under this agreement, CDE expects it would be able to offer vouchers for interested students who are unable to take the SAT on the designated school day to participate in a national administration on a Saturday in the fall of 2020. Additionally, options for offering the PSAT tests that are normally taken by ninth and 10th graders are being investigated.
The ability to read is perhaps the most important skill we can teach in school. The READ Act creates a system to identify students experiencing challenges with reading, to engage parents in the development of reading improvement plans and to provide quality support for those most at risk.
By challenging our state to move more students toward grade-level proficiency in reading, we believe collectively we can increase overall student achievement here in Colorado. Early student success is a roadmap to everyone's future success. It all begins with reading.
The Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (Colorado READ Act) was passed by the Colorado legislature in 2012, giving the state the guiding philosophy, structure and resources to get children reading at grade level by the time they enter the fourth grade.
READ Act Video - English:
READ Act Video - Español:
Key Facts About the Importance of Early Literacy
- Graduation, college and career preparedness are more likely possibilities for students who master reading skills by fourth grade.
- Reading to learn enables a student to comprehend facts in social studies and science, understand word problems in math and interpret increasingly complex concepts in language arts.
- A student who misses the opportunity to learn to read proficiently before fourth grade almost never catches up.
- According to the Annie. E. Casey Foundation, students who cannot read by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school, and high school drop outs make up 75 percent of citizens receiving food stamps and 90 percent of the Americans on welfare.
How to Support Reading at Home
- Be an Advocate: Keep informed about your child's progress in reading. Ask the teacher about ways to help.
- Talk Often: The more words children hear, the better they will be at reading. Narrate your day. Talk about everything you and your child do throughout the day. Converse with your child over meal times and other times you are together. Introduce new and interesting words.
- Read Together: Read books together, spend time talking about the stories, pictures and words. Listen to audiobooks. Ask your child questions about the content. What was the subject, what did they like or not like about the book?
- Be an Example: Children learn from the habits of those around them. Read, write, listen to audiobooks and show your child the benefits of both.
- Visit the Library: Story times, special events, books, magazines, computer access, homework help and other exciting opportunities and activities await the entire family at your local library.
Talking to your Child's Teacher About Reading Progress
- If your child is At Level/On Target: If your child gets this designation from their school, it means your child is on track for meeting reading targets. You will want to ask your child's teacher about daily reading instruction. What does classroom instruction look like? What skills are they working on? What home activities can support instruction?
- If your child is At Some Risk: If your child gets this designation from their school, it means he or she has some reading skills but not all of them. Supplemental supports are needed in addition to grade-level instruction to help get your child on track. You will want to ask your child's teacher about supplemental supports. What does classroom instruction look like? What skills are they working on? What skills should my child need to have supported? What types of home activities can support instruction?
- If your child is At High Risk: If your child gets this designation from their school, it means he or she has limited or no reading skills. Intensive intervention is needed in addition to grade-level instruction to support your child to get on track. You will want to ask your child's teacher about the READ Act plan for your child and intervention services being provided. What does classroom instruction look like? What skills need to be supported for my child to be on track? What type of intervention services is being provided and how frequently? What types of home activities can support instruction?
- READ NOW Colorado
This parent-friendly website support families to better understand what the Colorado READ Act is and tips for supporting your child's literacy journey.
- Tips for Cultivating Readers at Home
Just like adults, children learn best when they are involved and having fun! Check out ideas from the National Center for Families Learning. These guides share great ways cultivate your child's reading in a playful way from ages birth to 8. These tips can become part of your everyday routine and your child will learn without even realizing it!
- Checklists for Literacy Ideas at Home P-3 Grade (PDF)
The National Institute for Literacy has developed age focused literacy ideas for home for parents of children in preschool through grade three who are getting ready or learning to read.
- Partnering with Your Child's School
Literacy is the ability to read and write well. You and the school share responsibility for your child's language and literacy learning. Collaborate with your school to make decisions about your child's literacy education right from the start.
Other Information By Topic
- Colorado Academic Standards
Finding a School
- School Choice Options
Early Learning and School Readiness
- READ Act information for parents
- Early Learning home page
- Colorado Preschool Programs
- School Readiness home page
Graduation and Postsecondary Readiness
- Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Concurrent Enrollment
- Dropout Prevention and Student Re-Engagement
- Graduation Guidelines / Graduation Requirements:
- Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs)
- Postsecondary Readiness home page
English Language Development
- Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP)
Family, school and community resources and support for parents and children with disabilities
- Parents / Families of a Child with a Disability
- Mental Health and Special Needs
- Special Education home page
Family and School Partnering
- Bullying Prevention and Intervention
- Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
- State Personnel Development Grant – Family, School, and Community Partnering
Councils and Committees
- Colorado Special Education Advisory Committee (CSEAC)
- Gifted Education State Advisory Council
- Migrant Education Program Advisory Council
- State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE)
Other CDE Programs
- Adult Education
- Award and Recognition Programs
- Data Privacy and Security
- Educator Licensing Office
- Federal Programs
- High School Equivalency (GED) Testing
- Health and Wellness
- Homeless Children and Youth
- Acronyms Used by CDE
- Colorado State Board of Education
- Library Services for the Public
- National Education Association (NEA)
- Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
- U.S. Department of Education
Please Contact CDE with any questions or concerns.