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School Code Change Requests


2/5/2024 - 6/28/2024 - School Code Changes for all 2024-2025 school/LEA updates

Applications must be submitted no later than June 28th to be considered for the upcoming school year. Failure to submit before June 28, 2024 could result in a failure to move forward with the request.


A school code (unique 4-digit code) is assigned by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to enable the department and school districts to connect important information with the school. A similar process is used for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) through district codes. The definition of LEAs includes, but is not limited to, school districts, some BOCES, the CSDB, and the Charter School Institute.

School Code Change Request Scenarios

LEAs must submit a request to the School Code Review Committee for any one or multiple of the following events.

New School Code: Districts requesting a New School Code should also submit the Enrollment Calculator. Requests for a new school code will be evaluated based on the above considerations. Scenarios can include and may not be limited to:

  • A new public school
  • A new homeschool options based program (100% of students in this entity are home-based options students)
  • A new school created by splitting an existing school's grade ranges (e.g., K-8 school splits into an elementary and a middle school)

Retiring a school code:  All requests to retire a school code will be evaluated based on the above considerations.  Districts may be asked to submit the Enrollment Calculator.

Grade Range Change: Grade level change requests will be evaluated based on the above considerations. Scenarios can include and may not be limited to:

  • Addition of one or more grade levels to an existing school
  • Removal of one or more grade levels from an existing school
  • Non-contiguous grade levels may need to be issued more than one code (e.g., PK in a high school)

School Name Change: School name change requests are those to specifically change the name of an existing school. Such requests will be evaluated based on the above considerations.

Re-opening School: School re-opening requests are specifically used for schools which closed and are now reopening after that closure. In these cases, the school would retain its previous school code (and school history) upon re-opening.

District/LEA Changes: LEA changes will be evaluated to determine the most appropriate treatment based on the considerations above. See District/LEA Changes section below for specific directions.

Scenarios can include and may not be limited to:

  • An existing school is moving from one LEA to another LEA
  • An existing LEA is changing its name
  • A new LEA is being established
  • An existing LEA is closing
  • Multiple LEAs are consolidating

The School Code Review Committee (SCRC)

The School Code Review Committee (SCRC) reviews all school code change requests in order to maintain accurate information regarding public schools in Colorado and for the purposes of the reasons detailed below. The SCRC is comprised of units from across CDE that understand the impact of school code changes across multiple disciplines.

Departments represented include:

Legal Basis

School-code determinations are necessary to implement the Data Reporting and Technology Act, §§ 22-2-301, et seq., C.R.S.; Part 5 of the Education Accountability Act, §§ 22-11-501, et seq., C.R.S.; and the conditions of federal financial assistance, see § 22-2-108.

The Importance of School Code Information

School codes generally operate in the background to accomplish the following:

  1. Ensure data accuracy and data quality (e.g., connecting different datasets, longitudinal analysis),
  2. Track grant and formula funding,
  3. Operationalize state and federal processes and requirements (e.g., state performance frameworks and accreditation, EdFacts),
  4. Identify sites for awards and supports and,
  5. Assist with all other data reporting requirements.

Where school codes become more visible is when there are changes to schools – e.g., through closures, consolidations, mergers, grade changes, etc. When this happens, the department must evaluate whether an entity constitutes a new school or whether it is a continuation or successor of an existing school. When a public school shifts in some form but continues to be the same public school or a successor school, that public school continues with the same data history and legal rights and responsibilities. This includes the plan type for the school and the accountability history under the Education Accountability Act.

Contact: Jessica Tribbett

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General Considerations for Reviewing School Code Requests Based on Federal Technical Guidance

The SCRC follows the technical guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding changes to school codes. (FS029 – Director v19.2 – Section 4.0)

Under that guidance, a new school code should be created if:

  • The grade span of the school changes by more than three grades, not including pre-kindergarten or kindergarten as grades;
  • The school’s physical location changes and the attendance area changed significantly; or
  • Two schools of about the same size, or with the same grade spans, merge. The codes for the closed schools can be retired and the new entity is eligible for a new code.

A new school code should not be created if:

  • The grade span of the school changed by three grades or less, not including pre-kindergarten and kindergarten;
  • The school or LEA’s physical location or address changed, but the attendance area did not change significantly;
  • A smaller school merged with a larger entity that provides essentially the same grade span;
  • A school changes charter status or magnet status without significantly changing the attendance area or change the grade span;
  • A school undergoes restructuring under provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA);
  • The name of a school changes; or
  • A school changes LEAs without significantly changing the attendance area or changing the grade span.

For mergers, the federal technical guidance provides as follows:

  • When a smaller entity is merged into another school that provides essentially the same grades, the smaller entity’s code is retired and the code for the larger entity continues.
  • When two schools of equal size or with different grade spans are merged or consolidated within an existing building or a new physical location, both entities should be closed and a new entity opened.

When a school splits into two or more entities, the one that retains the most characteristics of the original school retains the school code. The characteristics of the school are related to the student population for school, the grades offered, and the attendance area from which the school draws students.

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Additional Considerations Around Whether a School is a Continuation or Successor School

When the above technical guidance does not clearly answer the question of whether a new or existing school code should be applied to a public school, the SCRC applies the following considerations to determine if something is a continuation or successor school or whether it is a new public school. This analysis applies to both online schools and brick-and-mortar schools.

The SCRC first considers student population. If more than a majority of the student population came from a closed school, that will weigh in favor of finding that the new entity is actually a continuation or successor of the closed school.

After considering student population, the following would weigh against a determination that an entity is a continuation or successor of a former public school:

  • Differences in organizational, curricular, or programming models;
  • Different leadership;
  • Different staffing (e.g. educators from former public school were not transferred automatically to new entity);
  • Different facilities;
  • Differences in grades served; and/or
  • Any other information that demonstrates that this is a new public school versus a continuation or successor of a former public school.

The lack of differences in the above categories would weigh in favor of finding that a new entity is a continuation or successor of a former public school.

If an LEA closes a public school and is not seeking any changes in school code, name, or grade span for the existing school(s) that receive the students from the closed school, the department will not consider the existing school(s) to be successor schools.

However, if an LEA closes or restructures a public school or schools and seeks a new school code or a reassigned school code for the school(s) that receive the students from the closed or restructured school(s), the department will apply the above considerations to determine if the entity is a continuation or successor of a public school.

For a Multi-District Online School (MDOL), please see additional criteria [here] for determining that a newly authorized MDOL may be considered a successor school.

The department will inform the LEA in writing when a public school is deemed to be a continuation or successor school.

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Escalation/Appeals Process

If a requester disagrees with the Committee’s decision regarding the assignment of a school code, the requestor may ask CDE to reconsider. The request for reconsideration shall be reviewed by Department leadership in the Data Operations Unit and the School Quality and Support Division. If the recommendation of the Department’s designees from these units is to uphold the decision of the Committee, the designees will seek final approval from the Commissioner to uphold the decision. The Department will issue a written response regarding its decision on the request.

If the department informs the LEA in writing that a school has been deemed a successor school and the decision impacts the plan type of the public school under the Accountability Act, the LEA may appeal the decision to the State Board of Education by substantially following the Request for Reconsideration appeal process outlined in 1 CCR 301-1, Rule 5.11.

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District/LEA Changes

School changing LEA's 

  • There is no change request form to be completed at this time. However, there does need to be a paper trail of the transition in the form of official documentation. Such documentation will need to be received from both districts. Documentation can include the charter contract, official board meeting minutes in which the change was approved, or written confirmation from the superintendent and district board president. This documentation needs to be submitted to

District Name Change: Districts have two name fields and each will need to be updated as part of district name change process. 

  • Organization Name - the common name appearing on reporting and most frequently used by CDE and district staff. Please use the Request for a School Name Change form. 
  • Legal Name - the name found on the district's W9 and used by CDE's accounting department and cross-referenced with the State Controller's Office. To update this name you will need to submit a new W9 form to CDE Accounting. You will also need to complete a Business Name Change request with the IRS and may do so at Business Name Change | Internal Revenue Service (

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Multiple Related Requests

Complex school changes may require a set of submitted requests. For example, a school closure (School A) could also be related to an increase of grade levels and enrollments at a neighboring school (School B), which may also require a name change. In such a case, the following requests would need to be submitted:

  • Retire school code for School A
  • Grade level change for School B
  • Name change for School B

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School Change Request Application Directions

Applications must be submitted no later than June 30th to be considered for the upcoming school year.

  1. Complete the appropriate School Change Request Form (see Multiple Related Requests above)
  2. Once the application is complete click the 'Will do! Submit Request' button. This will take you to a request confirmation page. SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE AND CLICK 'PRINTPAGE'!
  3. Have your district superintendent or executive director sign the signature page.
  4. Email the completed signature page to

NOTE: Your application will not be considered complete until the superintendent’s/executive director’s signature has been received.

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School Code Change Request Forms

Once you've completed the form(s), linked below, click the ‘Print Page’ button at the bottom of the request confirmation page. This document will need to be signed by your superintendent and the complete document emailed to before your request is considered complete and can be reviewed by the SCRC.

  • School Code Change Forms – direct link
    • This link provides forms based on the request needed.
  • Enrollment Calculator (XLSX) – All districts requesting a new school code, and some districts requesting to retire a school code, will need to submit the completed Enrollment Calculator.

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Additional Resources

Definition of a Public School

CO Rev Stat § 22-1-101 (2017)

(1) A public school is a school that derives its support, in whole or in part, from moneys raised by a general state, county, or district tax.

(2) A charter school is a public school that operates pursuant to a charter contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of article 30.5 of this title. As used in this title, unless the context otherwise requires, "charter school" includes any type of charter school created pursuant to the provisions of article 30.5 of this title.

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Definition of a Local Educational Agency

The term "local educational agency" means a public board of education or other public authority statutorily constituted either administrative control or direction of public elementary schools or secondary schools in a political subdivision of a State, or of or for a combination of political subdivision statutorily recognized as an administrative agency for public elementary schools or secondary schools.

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