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ESSER Monitoring

What is ESSER?

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds have been awarded to local educational agencies (LEAs) in accordance with the CARES, CRSSA, and ARP Acts to provide emergency relief funds and supports LEAs with addressing the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on education. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is required to monitor and report on the use of these emergency federal funds and the impact they have had in the state.

Timelines Associated with ESSER I, II, and III

(ARP Act)
Award Period
Tydings Period - all funds must be spent by
USDE Award to CDE
CDE Must Make Subgrants to LEAs (90%) – LEAs must have final approval on ESSER I and II and substantial approval on ESSER I and II and substantial approval on ESSER III
Final Approval
Final Approval
Substantial Approval
All awards must be final
LEA Applications Opened by CDE 05/31/20 02/12/21 04/27/21
Preliminary Application (T&A, assurances, GEPA) due
LEA Use of Funds Plan (budget in ESSER I & II; budget/narrative questions in ESSER III)
CDE Application Closed/Closes
PAR Open – Rolling Basis
Date of Final Approval
Date of Final Approval
Date of Final Approval
PAR Closes
Carryover Application Will Open (Unexpended Funds Carried Over to Next Year)
Carryover Application Will Close
Monthly Deadline for Requesting Funds (LEA’s Request for Funds, RFF)
First Day of Month
First Day of the Month
First Day of Each Month
Deadline for Final Spending
Deadline for Final Draw Down of Funds (RFF)
October/November 2022
October/November 2023
October/November 2024

Monitoring Overview

Monitoring the use of Federal funds has long been an essential function of the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).  CDE is committed to collaborating with local educational agencies (LEAs, including BOCES) to use the monitoring process as an opportunity to move beyond compliance and focus on what matters most – improving outcomes for students through implementation of effective practices. CDE aims to help schools and districts understand the requirements associated with accepting federal funds, develop the ability to self-assess against grant requirements, and best utilize these grant funds to improve services for students.  Monitoring is an opportunity to identify the technical assistance and support LEAs need to leverage federal funds in support of better outcomes for all students.

Therefore, in addition to meeting statutory requirements for ESSER compliance, Colorado’s monitoring vision and mission include:

  • Identifying and highlighting LEA areas of strength and effective implementation;
  • Collaborating with LEAs to implement effective programs and practices to improve outcomes for students; and
  • Identifying, disseminating, and learning from exemplary practices within Colorado.

With this in mind, CDE has designed the monitoring system to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Focus on What Matters by ensuring LEAs are making progress toward increased student achievement and improved quality of instruction for all students through implementation of Federal programs;
  • Reduce Burden on LEAs by combining and streamlining monitoring protocols for all ESEA programs and prioritizing LEAs selected to participate in the process based on a set of performance, fiscal, programmatic, and administrative selection criteria;
  • Improve Communication with LEAs by strengthening their constructive partnerships with CDE through continuous feedback and assessment of the CDE monitoring resources, process, and system;
  • Differentiate and Customize Support for LEAs by using the monitoring system to identify technical assistance to support LEA needs as well as areas in which LEAs are making progress and can serve as a model or resource for other LEAs; and
  • Ensure Basic ESEA Requirements Are Met by reviewing program and fiscal requirements, to safeguard public funds from waste, fraud, and abuse.

Program Requirements

Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement (SE)

  • SE 9.11 Annual Consultation

Identification and Delivery of Services (ID)

  • ID 9.1 Use of Fund
  • ID 9.9 Implementation - GEPA

Fiscal Requirements (FR)

  • 1.7 Proportionate Share
  • 9.4 Use of Funds (NPS)    
  • 9.7 Property and Equipment    
  • 9.8 Financial Management    
  • 9.10 Time and Effort Reporting    
  • 9.12 Written Policies    
  • 9.13 Procurement

  • 9.15 Information Management PII    
  • 9.16 Ethical Transparency    
  • 9.17 Internal Controls    
  • 9.18 Cost Principles    
  • 9.19 Revision of Budget and Program Plans
  • 9.20 Indirect Costs  

Additional program requirements will be posted soon, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • ARP ESSER III Indicators
    • Safe In-Person Plan
      • Mitigation strategies to ensure safety and health of students and staff
    • LEA Use of Funds Plan
      • Use of 20% Set-Aside
      • Use of Remainder of Funds
      • Ensuring Academic, Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs of Students are Met with Evidence-Based Interventions

Syncplicity Instructions

The Office of ESEA Programs will use the secure file transfer system, Syncplicity, to collect evidence during the 2021-2022 monitoring cycle.  You will receive an email from Syncplicity letting you know that your folder has been shared with you. Below are the steps to follow when accessing your folder:

  1. Log in to to find your district’s folder. 
  2. Inside of the district folder will be a subfolder for each indicator.  Upload your evidence in the folder that corresponds to the indicator. Please note that LEAs can begin to upload evidence anytime; however, CDE team members will not begin reviewing evidence until October 1, 2021.
  3. As needed, provide a narrative description of evidence or processes that will help reviewers evaluate submitted evidence. This can be done by including a Word document in your evidence folder.
  4. Once all evidence has been uploaded, please fill out this form to notify the CDE monitoring team that your evidence is ready to review.

Contact Us

Kristin Crumley
Cell: 720-660-1369

Jonathan Schelke
Cell: 720-388-0842

Shannon Wilson