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February 2023 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.
Following the announcement that Commissioner Katy Anthes will be stepping down this July, the State Board of Education issued a Request for Proposals for an executive search firm to support the efforts to hire a new commissioner. The RFP is available on ColoradoVSS, which is the state's system for posting and accessing solicitations. View the RFP by clicking on the "Click here for VSS system" icon, and on "Public Access." Search for the RFP number 2023000209 or Commissioner Search Firm Solicitation.
As required by state statute, CDE released a request for proposals on Dec. 1 for the next five-year contract cycle for the high school college entrance suite of assessments. The CDE Assessment Division is convening a review committee to evaluate vendor proposals, with an announcement of a selected vendor to be made prior to the end of the school year. The vendor chosen through this procurement will begin administering a new computer-based college entrance suite of exams to students in ninth, 10th, and 11th grades starting in spring 2024.
CDE's communications team created a toolkit to help schools and districts communicate about the coming spring statewide assessments. The toolkit features drop-in letters that you can adapt for your own use with messages about the assessments, including the times and dates and the duration of each test. Additionally, there are fact sheets for parents and students that explain the purpose and value of the statewide assessments, documents that provide quick glances at what is in store and others that have more detailed information. All these documents can be used at your convenience or can be sliced and diced for whatever use you need. All materials will be translated into Spanish. You can find the communications toolkit here: http://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/tools-assessments. Family-centered materials, including a FAQ, can be found here: http://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/factsheetsandfaqs-assessment
Questions about the toolkit can be sent to Jeremy Meyer, communications director, at email@example.com.
- The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $6.5 million to four Equity Assistance Centers to provide technical assistance or training to any local educational agencies that need support with ensuring schools have welcoming and safe environments free from discrimination, harassment or bullying. Colorado is in Region IV, assigned to WestEd. Interested LEAs can submit a request for services directly to Niki Sandoval, project director for the Region IV EAC, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Federal Programs and Supports Unit will hold winter Regional Network Meetings to support LEAs in planning and preparing their 2023-24 Consolidated Application. See the RNM website for dates, times, and registration links.
- The U.S. Department of Education released an updated ESSER and GEER Frequently Asked Question document in December.
- The new ESSER Report, a blog about the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Funds and their connections to Colorado, is available. The blog will feature stories about the distribution of the federal funds, where the money went and what it is doing for the students of Colorado.
- The Colorado Department of Education has created the ESSER Convening for Pandemic Recovery Grant to ensure that districts across the state have the opportunity to learn from colleagues facing the same challenges as the districts they lead. Submit an Intent to Apply form by Friday, Feb. 24. Applications close Saturday, March 8.
An application webinar will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, via Zoom. All materials, including a recording of the webinar, will be posted on the ESSER Convening for Pandemic Recovery Grant webpage following the webinar.
- The completed and signed Staff and Student Data Validity Certification Reports are due Friday, Feb. 3. The final Special Education December Count snapshot, including resolved student duplicates, must be completed by Friday, Feb. 24.
- All errors in the staff interchange files and Human Resources snapshot should be resolved by Thursday, Feb. 16, which includes completing the Educator Shortage Survey. The final approval of the HR snapshot must be completed by Friday, Feb. 24.
- The four-day school week application for 2023-24 will open Monday, Feb. 13. Districts may also request school code changes for the 2023-24 school year by June 30.
- The teacher student data link interchange file and snapshot are open. All districts are required to report TSDL data for students in grades six through 12 for the 2022-23 school year. Additionally, all courses are required to be reported for eighth through 12th grade migrant students.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently launched the Clean Air for Schools program to provide free HEPA filter portable air cleaners and associated supplies to improve schools' indoor air quality. The program is open to all public, private, charter, parochial, facility and Tribal K-12 schools. Schools are encouraged to apply by spring break to ensure timely delivery of the air cleaners.
To learn more, visit Carrier West's webpage about the program.
- The 2023-24 School Counselor Corps Grant Request for Applications are due Wednesday, March 15. The SCCG provides funds to increase the availability of effective school-based counseling and support work-based learning awareness, education and opportunities.
- The application for the Financial Aid and FAFSA/CASFA grant has been reopened through Wednesday, March 15. Funds can be used to develop and distribute financial aid information, train educators, host financial aid and FAFSA/CASFA completion events, and update the Individual Career and Academic Planning process.
- The four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2022 increased 0.6 percent to 82.3% from the previous year. Visit the Graduation Statistics webpage to view graduation statistics for state, district and school levels.
- Intent to Apply forms for CDE's High-Impact Tutoring Program Grant are due Wednesday, Feb. 15, and applications are due Wednesday, March 1. email HITP@cde.state.co.us with questions.
- The deadline to apply for CDE's Computer Science Grants Program is Wednesday, Feb. 15. The CSEd program provides funding to increase enrollment or participation of traditionally underrepresented students in computer science education activities.
- In addition to K-3 teachers, fourth through 12th grade reading interventionists must complete evidenced-based training in teaching reading to meet the requirements of the READ Act by Aug. 1, 2024. View the READ Act Teacher Training webpage for information on training requirements.
- The Office of Elementary Literacy and School Readiness will host monthly live informational webinars to provide updates on READ Act teacher and school administrator training options and requirements.
- Registration for the "Keys to Beginning Reading" summer training schedule is available for new teachers and 4-12 grade reading interventionists. For questions about training requirements and options, email ReadActTraining@cde.state.co.us.
CDE has concluded the evaluation of proposals to provide an Early Literacy Assessment Tool and based on the evaluation factors posted in the solicitation, it intends to award the contract to Amplify Inc for the DIBELS 8 assessment. CDE is working through the contracting process with Amplify, and anticipates that the contract will be in place within the next few months.
- A Frequently asked questions document about special education and universal preschool has been released. CDE is responsible for administering special education, while the Colorado Department of Early Childhood is responsible for administering UPK. Answers were developed by CDE with consultation from CDEC.
- CDE Standards for Placement of Preschoolers with IEPs in Educational Programs has been released. These standards were identified by CDE based on state and federal special education law, rules, and include supportive resources to assist with implementation.
- Additional questions and answers will be added to the Special Education and Universal Preschool in Colorado webpage over time. Questions may be directed to the Early Childhood Special Education team, or Heidi White, preschool director, at email@example.com.
- The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Early Childhood have completed the memorandum of understanding required in statute for preschool special education. The agreement addresses the roles and responsibilities of both CDE and the CDEC. CDE will be responsible for federal data reporting, compliance monitoring, and serve as the primary point of communication for issues related to special education related topics, training, technical assistance, and guidance. CDEC will be responsible for establishing licensing rules and regulations that require local coordinating organizations and preschool program providers to comply with special education regulations. CDEC will also ensure participation of LCOs and preschool program providers in special education related trainings, cooperate with CDE and Administrative Units to ensure proper implementation of special education programs, and confidentially transmit data to CDE as required by law. The agreement will be reviewed annually to support technical changes as necessary. Contact Heidi White for more information about CDE's role in preschool special education. Contact Dawn Odean for more information about CDEC's role.