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CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! This monthly publication for district superintendents and BOCES directors will show you what is happening in key priority areas at CDE and include details on implementation, milestones, deadlines and resources. 

If you have any feedback regarding the CDE Update, email CDE_Communications_Office@cde.state.co.us.

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June 2024:

Dear superintendents and BOCES directors,

Congratulations on another successful school year! It has been a pleasure to get to spend time with so many of you learning about how your teams are focusing on improving academic outcomes for Colorado students. 

Last month marked the close of the legislative session; you can find our 2024 End of Session Report to the State Board of Education on our website. Of course, of the many education-related bills passed this session, the bills that are front of mind for all of us are SB 24-188 and HB24-1448 which create a new school finance formula, increase school funding by $500 million and eliminate the Budget Stabilization factor. 

I know that you are eager to have your district’s school finance projections for FY25-26 and beyond, and we are working to get those to you as soon as possible. I ask for your patience and partnership as the school finance team works to close out FY23-24 payments and prepare FY24-25 payments. Our priority is to ensure accurate and timely payments for current-year needs before shifting to building out-year projections. Funding allocations using the new at-risk measure will be determined based on 2024 Student October Count data. 

Additionally, I want to make sure you are aware of the new ESSER III Rapid Request grant opportunity available to your district/BOCES. The grant provides funding for ESSER-eligible expenses that either:

  • Occurred between July 1, 2023, and now; or 

  • Have yet to occur but will occur before Sept. 30, 2024.

You can visit our website to view last month’s webinar about this grant program. Applications are due by Thursday, June 13. 

In addition to supporting you during preparations for the coming school year, the CDE team’s summer work will focus on strategic planning. I am pleased to share that we have a new theory of change grounded in our commitment to serving, guiding, and elevating our school districts and BOCES. I’ll be presenting more details about the strategies we will use to increase student engagement, accelerate student outcomes, strengthen the educator workforce, and provide operational excellence during the State Board of Education’s June meeting

I look forward to continuing to work with and learn from you as we work toward a strong start to the 2024-2025 school year, and I am excited to engage with you on our new strategic plan this fall.

 

Thank you for all that you do,

Susana

Accountability, Performance & Support

  • Elevate Your Communications Practices at Camp COSPRA from Wednesday, June 5, to Friday, June 7. Superintendents, secretaries, technology team members and all front or central office staff are invited to Camp COSPRA. Learn to navigate the wilderness of school communications with confidence at the Colorado School Public Relations Association’s annual conference in Breckenridge. 


Assessments

  • Updates on state assessment results: 
    • Schools and districts will have access to CMAS data files and preliminary student reports in June. Additional CMAS reports will be available in July. 
    • Educators can access PSAT and SAT scores through College Board’s K-12 score reporting portal beginning on Friday, June 7. PSAT and SAT scores have been available to students through their online accounts since May. 
    • State assessment results are embargoed. Do not publicly disseminate, distribute, or publish until the results are publicly released by the state. 
    • Districts and schools may share confidential individual student performance reports with parents and may use aggregated and individual student level results internally for informational and planning purposes.

District Operations

  • The deadline for applications to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize is Thursday, June 13. The prize is a $180 million investment to fund energy-efficient and clean energy infrastructure improvements in K-12 public schools across the country to help districts build capacity, perform energy audits, and implement energy improvement projects.

Educator Talent

  • Do you want to support school leaders in empowering their teachers, building stronger climates and cultures, and optimizing systems for collaboration? We hope you will  encourage your principals to apply to our Principal Leadership Institute. Applications for the 2024-25 Principal Leadership Institute are due by Friday, June 14.
  • Nominations are open for the Colorado Educator Talent Pool. Nominees must be classroom teachers or principals with at least five years of experience. Talent pool educators are invited to statewide opportunities such as advisory boards, task forces, and special recognition programs. Nominations are due by Tuesday, June 18.
  • The deadline for assurances for educator evaluation systems is Monday, July 1. By July 1 each year, Colorado districts and BOCES must submit assurances that they are implementing the State Model Evaluation System or another evaluation system that is aligned to the requirements in statute C.R.S. 22-9-106 and Colorado State Board of Education rules (1 CCR 301-87) for teachers, principals, and special services providers. The 2024-25 assurances are the same as the 2023-24 assurances. Visit the Assurances for Educator Evaluation Systems webpage for more information.

Federal Programs & Support

  • We are hosting (virtual) ESEA and ESSER office hours in June. These sessions will focus on answering frequently asked questions about the Consolidated Application for ESEA funds. We will also provide time for any questions you may have about the Consolidated Application, which is due by Sunday, June 30. Register via Zoom for office hours at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 or Thursday, June 20.

Nutrition & Health

  • Applications for the 2024-25 Local Food Program are due by 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 6. The Local Food Program pilot funds the purchase of locally grown, raised, or processed products. Applications are open to school districts that served a maximum of  2.15 million lunches in the 2023-24 school year. Contact Becca Boone at boone_r@cde.state.co.us or 720-450-4357 for questions.
  • Applications for the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program are due by Friday, June 28. The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program provides elementary students access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Contact Vivien Skrupskis at skrupskis_v@cde.state.co.us or 720-672-4243 for questions.
  • The Joint Budget Committee passed a bill amending the Healthy School Meals for All program for the 2024-25 school year. The amendment addresses the need for more funding for meal reimbursements caused by increased participation in the program. View House Bill 24-1390 for details. Contact Jenny Herman at herman_j@cde.state.co.us or 750-812-3119 for questions.

Teaching and Learning

  • Register for our Enhancing School Safety Regional Training 
    • Westminster: Thursday, June 20 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Front Range Community College
    • Alamosa: Friday, Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Adams State University 
    • Grand Junction: Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at R-5 High School
    • Sterling: Friday, Sept. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Northeastern Junior College
  • Districts or schools that would like free access to Zearn Math can learn more and opt in on the Zearn Math for Colorado website. Schools and districts can begin using Zearn Math immediately and continue throughout the 2024-25 school year.
  • Annual restraint review reports are due by Sunday, June 30. HB 22-1376 now requires submitting the Annual Restraint Review Report to CDE by June 30 annually, starting this year. Note that the review is conducted at the school district level, not at the administrative unit level. Each individual school district must submit a separate Annual Restraint Review Report.
  • Applications are open until Thursday, August 1 for youth advisors, to inform the Colorado Academic Standards revision process. Nominees must be ages 14-19 and able to serve from  2024-2026. Nominators should notify nominees using this template, which includes a link to the application that nominees will need to complete. Youth advisors must be committed and active participants. For more information email messier_s@cde.state.co.us.