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CDE Update

CDE Update

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! Each month, this publication will show you what is happening in key priority areas at CDE and include details on implementation, milestones, deadlines and resources.

This online format allows you to view everything or filter by category and date and will be your go-to source for all Update information.

April 2018

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado survey

More than 35,000 people responded to the Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) survey, or 52.6 percent statewide. And more than 100 districts met the 50 percent participation threshold (and at least five respondents), which will allow them to get data back. This also includes more than 1,100 schools. Data will be released to districts in mid-April and then released publicly by the end of April through the TLCC website.

For more information, contact Lisa Steffen at or 303-866-6676.

Alternative Education Campus status applications

By Friday, May 4, all schools seeking designation as an Alternative Education Campus (AEC) or renewal as an AEC for the 2017-18 school year will need to submit an application or renewal data through Data Pipeline with their district or authorizer’s approval, verifying the school meets or continues to meet eligibility criteria. At this time, districts can also submit new planned measures for consideration through Data Pipeline to CDE for the 2018 AEC SPF that have not been previously approved.

Office hours for both collections are available every Tuesday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. Schedule a session via Signup Genius.

For more information, visit the AEC webpage. For assistance with this process or questions, contact Jessica Watson at or 303-866-6778.

Accountability Work Group

The Accountability Work Group met in March to provide input on decision points for the 2018 and 2019 School and District Performance Frameworks. In addition, the group reviewed the status of the ESSA state plan and provided input on what kinds of communication resources would be most useful for the field. The PowerPoint from the meeting is available on the Accountability Work Group webpage.

What's on the Horizon

2018 School & District Performance Frameworks

No major changes are planned for the 2018 School and District Performance Frameworks. Visit the SPF/DPF resource page for updates throughout the year.

The Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) will begin to explore methodology for including a “growth to standard” measure on the 2019 School & District Performance Frameworks this spring. TAP agendas and recorded presentations can be found on the TAP webpage.

The calculation of matriculation rates for state accountability determinations relies on data provided by the Department of Higher Education and includes community college enrollment, four-year higher education institution enrollment, CTE enrollment and/or certificates or degrees earned prior to graduation. Industry-recognized credentials have been unavailable for inclusion within the matriculation rate calculations based on the lack of available data.

In April, the Accountability & Data Analysis Unit will allow for an optional data submission of Industry-recognized credentials that were earned prior to graduation for the class of 2017.

For more information, see the 2018 DPF and SPF Resources table located on our resource webpage, or contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763.

AEC Selection of Measures

By June 30, all AEC schools must submit measures and aggregated data for optional measures for the 2018 AEC SPF through Data Pipeline, with their district or authorizer's approval. This collection will open Friday, May 4, but new measures for consideration should be submitted during the planned measures collection occurring now.

A webinar for this collection will be help 2 p.m. Thursday, April 12, via Adobe Connect.

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) by Monday, April 16, for public posting. Some programs (e.g., ESSA, Gifted) will review plans to ensure program requirements are met. Districts and schools with a Performance plan type may submit plans biennially. View the 2018 UIP eligibility spreadsheet (XLS).

If a small district of less than 1,000 students enrolled, or between 1,000 and 1,200 students with approval from CDE, is interested in submitting a single combined plan for the district and schools, contact the UIP office at to get that set up in the online system. More information regarding submission is available on the UIP submissions webpage. Contact Lisa Steffen at or 303-866-6676 with any questions.

CDE feedback will be available in the online system by early to mid-March for schools and districts with Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan types that were submitted in January. Feedback will specify if there are any required changes and timelines for revisions.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 16: All school and district UIPs must be submitted to CDE through the online UIP system for posting on SchoolView

April 27: Applications for schools to be qualified as AECs are due to CDE. 

More Information

For more information, contact Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner, 303-866-6855,, or visit


Assessments administered by the unit include the CMAS and SAT suite of assessments as the state’s summative content assessments for measures of college/career readiness, the ACCESS English language proficiency assessments, and CoAlt alternate content assessments for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The Colorado Measures of Academic Success are the state tests in English language arts and math for grades three through eight; science for grades five, eight and 11; and social studies, which is sampled in grades four and seven in 2018. Also, in 2018 Colorado will administer the PSAT to ninth and 10th grade and the SAT to 11th grade.

What's Happening Now

Spring 2018 State Assessment Calendar

Spring 2018 Colorado State Assessment Testing Windows


Content Area


Spring 2018

Testing Window

Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS)



Official Window:

April 9–27

English language arts (including CSLA)



5, 8, and 11

Social Studies*

4 and 7

Colorado Alternate Assessment (CoAlt)


Should be the same as schools’ CMAS windows

Mathematics (DLM)*


Official Window:

April 9–27

English language arts (DLM)



5, 8, and 11

Social Studies*

4 and 7


Mathematics and Evidence-based Reading and Writing

9 and 10

District choice for initial test date:
April 10, 11 or 12

Accommodations window:

April 10–17

Make-up testing window:

April 11–20


College Entrance Exam (Mathematics and Evidence-based Reading and Writing; optional Essay for students who pre-registered)


Initial test date:

April 10

Accommodations window:

April 10–13

Make-up test date:

April 24

* In 2018 and 2019, social studies assessments will be administered on a sampling basis to one-third of elementary and middle schools. Decisions regarding Grade 11 for 2019 will be determined prior to the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Return Assessment Materials

Scorable and non-scorable assessment materials must be returned to the assessment vendor upon completion of testing. Scorable CMAS materials must be picked up by UPS from the district no later than Wednesday, May 2, and non-scorable CMAS materials must be picked up by UPS no later than Friday, May 4. College Board will schedule pickup of PSAT and SAT materials from the school the day after the initial test date; make-up testing materials will be picked up from the school on the day following the make-up test date. All PSAT/SAT materials must be picked up no later than Friday, April 27.

What's on the Horizon

Updates to Assessment Demographic and Invalidation Data

After assessment administration, District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and data respondents can update student demographic data and apply invalidation codes, including parent excusals, to student records. DACs have been provided with specific details about how to provide information for each assessment.

Districts will have two opportunities to update student demographic and invalidation data for assessments managed through PearsonAccessnext (CMAS: mathematics, English language arts, CSLA, science, social studies, and CoAlt: science and social studies):

  • Initial PearsonAccessnext data clean up – Prior to May 11
  • Final PearsonAccessnext data clean up – May 14-16

Demographic and invalidation data (Special Circumstance Codes) for the CoAlt: English language arts and math (DLM) assessments can also be updated in the KITE system during and shortly after the assessment window; however, the vendor’s system cannot be used to update state use fields.*

Districts also have the opportunity to review and make corrections to demographic and invalidation data through CDE’s voluntary Student Biographical Data (SBD) review process. The remaining SBD windows for this year are included in the table below.

Tentative Spring 2018 Assessment Student Biographical Data (SBD) Review Windows


Tentative SBD Window


May 17-24

CMAS (including math, English language arts, CSLA, science, and social studies)

CoAlt: science and social studies

May 21–31

CoAlt: English Language Arts and Mathematics (DLM)*

May 30 – June 6

*Because multiple steps must be taken before a DLM Special Circumstance Code can be applied for a student within the KITE system, CDE recommends that districts apply these codes during SBD.

**PSAT 10/SAT invalidation codes, including parent excusals, can be indicated on the State Use section of the answer document or through SBD.

A one page reference document is available to help districts identify how Parent Excusals should be coded for each assessment. 

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Weekly: Assessment Office Hours for DACs (DACs will receive call-in information.)
    • CMAS from 3–4 p.m. on Thursdays
    • CoAlt from 2–3 p.m. on Mondays
    • SAT/PSAT from 3–4 p.m. on Tuesdays
  • April 9 – 27: Official CMAS and CoAlt testing window
  • April 27: Deadline for shipment of PSAT/SAT materials
  • May 2: Deadline for UPS pickup of scorable CMAS materials
  • May 2: Deadline for entering CoAlt scores into PearsonAccessnext
  • May 4: Deadline for UPS pickup of non-scorable CMAS materials
  • May 4: Deadline for returning district CMAS Post Test Compliance Report to CDE through Syncplicity
  • May 11: Deadline for initial CMAS data clean-up in PearsonAccessnext (district and school levels)
  • May 14–16: Final CMAS data clean-up in PearsonAccessnext (district level)
  • May 17–24: PSAT/SAT Student Biographical Data Review tentatively scheduled
  • May 21–31: CMAS (all content areas) and CoAlt (science and social studies) Student Biographical Data Review tentatively scheduled
  • May 30–June 6: CoAlt DLM English language arts and mathematics Student Biographical Data Review tentatively scheduled

More Information

For more information on assessments, contact Joyce Zurkowski, executive director of Assessment, 303-866-6929,, or visit

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

Seeking Public Comment on Proposed Rules

CDE and the State Board of Education are seeking public comment on recommendations for updates to the following rules:

  • Rules for the Colorado Educator Licensing Act of 1991 (1 CCR 301-37), 
  • Rules for the Administration of Educator Licensure Endorsements (1 CCR 301-101), and
  • Rules for the Administration of a Statewide System to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Licensed Personnel Employed by School Districts and Boards of Cooperative Services (1 CCR 301-87).

Specifically, these proposed changes to the rules address the following:

  1. Educator application submission and English language learner professional development -- Proposed changes include:
    1. Applicants must submit only degree-conferring transcript rather than all transcripts.
    2. Out-of-state applicants may submit active educator credential in lieu of educator preparation approval form.
    3. New English language learner educator pathways established for core content teachers.
  2. Additional and amended endorsements and formatting changes so the rules are easier to navigate -- proposed changes include:
    1. New middle school math endorsement
    2. Updated school counselor pathways
    3. Updated school nurse pathways
  3. Updates to Educator Effectiveness Rules and revisions to teacher quality standards
    1. These rules were adopted in 2012 after passage of S.B. 10-191. After five years of implementation, the state board will consider updates to remove outdated references to initial development and piloting of the state model system and revisions to the teacher quality standards and related elements.

Ways to Provide Feedback

Interested stakeholders have two ways to provide feedback. Review the complete set of rules online, including all other materials presented to the State Board of Education, and provide online input during the formal rulemaking phase on the Educator Talent Rules Feedback website until Friday, April 20. Written comment to the rules can also be provided via email to The recommended deadline for written comments provided by email is Wednesday, May 2, 2018 to allow adequate time for staff to review and incorporate comments into the rules.  However, we will accept written comments at any time up to and including the day of the hearing. 

We also encourage you or members of your staff to attend the rulemaking hearings on Thursday, May 10, beginning at 9 a.m. to provide oral testimony.

For questions about providing Educator Talent rules feedback, contact Jennifer Simons at or 303-866-6793.

Educator Effectiveness Assurances open in April

Each year, by July 1, Colorado districts and BOCES are required to submit assurances of implementing the State Model Evaluation System or another evaluation system that is aligned with Senate Bill 10-191 and State Board Rules.

In an effort to reduce the burden on districts and BOCES the assurances will be collected this year using an online form. The process is mostly the same as last year, except only one year of assurances will be collected: information about the upcoming 2018-19 school year.

Complete the online submission form by Friday, June 29. For a full list of necessary information before filling out the online form, visit the Educator Effectiveness Assurances webpage or review the step-by-step instructions for submitting 2018-19 Assurances.

For questions or assistance with the assurances process, contact Carolyn Haug at or 303-866-6923.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 20: End of Educator Talent Rule Feedback Phase
June 1: RANDA settings need to be released for all schools
June 29: Deadline to complete 2018-2019 Assurances submissions

More Information

For more information, contact Colleen O'Neil, executive director of Educator Talent, 303-866-6822 or or visit


In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replacing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Colorado in May 2017, submitted its state plan to the U.S. Department of Education on how it intends to implement ESSA in Colorado. CDE is in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Education to gain final approval of Colorado’s ESSA plan. Find more information on the state plan on CDE's ESSA webpage.


What's Happening Now

ESSA State Plan Approval Update

In December 2017, CDE received feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on revisions to the state's ESSA plan that were submitted on Oct. 23, 2017. In that feedback, USDE requested additional clarification on a number of points, including technical aspects of Colorado’s proposed ESSA accountability system. In response, CDE made additional revisions to the plan and re-submitted it to the USDE for review in February. CDE had additional communication with the USDE in February and March and submitted what it hopes is the final version of Colorado’s ESSA plan in late March.

For more information, visit the ESSA State Plan Development page.

ESSA Improvement Planning Requirements

Schools identified for support and improvement under ESSA need to develop an improvement plan that addresses reasons the school has been identified. CDE must review and approve improvement plans from schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement (CS) and districts must review and approve improvement plans from schools identified for targeted (TS) or additional targeted (ATS) support and improvement. The school Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs) can be used to meet ESSA improvement planning requirements. CS schools are expected to document ESSA requirements within their UIP. TS schools may also use their UIP to document ESSA plan requirements, but it is an LEA decision.

UIPs are due Monday, April 16. CDE will review the UIPs for those schools identified for CS. CDE will provide ongoing guidance and training on the approval process and criteria through Spring of 2019 when UIP plans must meet ESSA requirements. View more information and a recorded webinar on the ESSA planning requirements webpage.

For questions or assistance, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, or Brad Bylsma at or 303-866-6937.

Supplement not Supplant

ESSA requires equitable distribution of resources, including ensuring that ESSA funds are supplemental to state and local funds. As such, LEAs must demonstrate to CDE that the methodology used to allocate state and local funds to each school receiving assistance under Title I, Part A, ensures that each school is allocated all of the funds it would otherwise get if it were not receiving Title I, Part A assistance. Demonstrations are due Wednesday, May 30. Visit the Supplement not Supplant webpage for guidance and additional information.

For more information about supplement not supplant, contact Colleen Brooks, at 303-866-3897 or

ESEA Office Networking Meetings

The Office of ESEA Programs hosts monthly networking meetings across the state, both virtually and in person, to provide programmatic updates and training. Upcoming meetings will include a work session with ESEA staff available to assist LEAs in planning for 2018-19 Federal Consolidated Applications. Additional information about these networking meetings, including how to register, can be found on the ESEA Networking Meetings webpage.

2018-19 ESEA Allocations

On Friday, March 23, the President signed legislation that provides funding for Title programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for the 2018-19 school year (i.e. State Fiscal Year 2019; Federal Fiscal Year 2018). The U.S. Department of Education will begin the process of calculating state allocations based on these funding levels. Once received, CDE will calculate preliminary allocations for local educational agencies (LEAs) for the 2018-19 school year and post the information on the CDE Grants Fiscal page

Visit the Consolidated Application webpage to view a table comparison of the national funding levels for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 fiscal years.

What's on the Horizon

Planning for the 2018-19 ESEA Consolidated Application

In preparation for the 2018-19 Consolidated Application for ESEA funds, LEAs are asked to engage with stakeholders to determine how best to use and leverage ESEA Title funds to improve outcomes for students. Here are some things to keep in mind as you gear up for application development:

  • Ensure that the needs and outcomes of all students are represented in the team that develops the LEA’s Consolidated Application.
  • Consult with all schools (including charters and non-public schools as applicable) regarding the ESEA funds for which the school may be eligible in the following school year.
  • If applicable, consult with neglected and/or delinquent facilities to ensure formal agreements are in place.
  • Coordinate with early childhood centers to plan transition of preschool students to Title I, Part A schools.
  • Conduct required parent engagement activities.

Please visit the ESSA Consolidated Application page for more information on Consolidated Application planning and future trainings and resources.

For questions regarding the 2018-19 Consolidated Application for ESEA Funds, contact your ESEA regional contact.


Important Upcoming Deadlines

More Information

For more information, contact Patrick Chapman, executive director of Federal Programs, at 303-866-6780 or or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

Report Card March and the AEC Application/Renewal are due in April and the READ collection is officially opening this month. 

What's Happening Now

Report Card March

The Report Card March collection is open until Friday, April 13.

Alternative Education Campus (AEC) Application/Renewal Collection

The AEC Application/Renewal is new to Data Pipeline this year. It will close Friday, April 27.

AEC Planned Measures Collection

The AEC Planned Measures collection is also new to Data Pipeline this year. This collection will close Friday, June 29.


The Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) will be open from Monday, April 2 to July 2. All districts must submit files by Friday, June 15, at which time the cross LEA validation process commences.


LEAs will continue to receive monthly notifications for direct certification of newly identified migrant students through Data Pipeline.


The four-day school week application for 2018-19 closes Friday, May 11.

Districts must request school code changes for the 2018-19 school year. These requests must be made by Friday, June 29. 

Teacher Student Data Link /Statewide Standard Course Codes

The 2017-18 TSDL interchange and snapshot are both open and files may be uploaded throughout the school-year.  A snapshot is expected to be created at least once by Friday, June 1. Webinar training is offered each month on the second Tuesday at 1 p.m. The goal is for LEAs to finalize (“Submit to CDE”) by Friday, June 29, due to student information system rollover, which often occurs in July. However the required deadline is Friday, Aug. 31.

Designated Agency

The 2017-18 Designated Agency collection is open.  Designated agencies may enter 2017-18 candidates into the Data Pipeline until Friday, Aug. 31.

Student End of Year

The 2017-18 End of Year snapshot is now in a soft open phase so that districts can take snapshots. Business rules and documentation will continue to be updated through the spring with updated trainings in May.

What's on the Horizon

The School Discipline and Attendance, Special Education Discipline and Special Education End of Year collections will all also open in May. Districts will have the opportunity to conduct Student Biographical Data review and verification in May for the CO PSAT and SAT, CMAS and CoAlt assessments.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 13:  Report Card March closes

April 27:  AEC Application/Renewal due

May 11:  Four-day school week applications due

May 25: Safe-School Accreditation Report due in Data Pipeline

More Information

For more information on data services, contact Jan Petro, director, 303-866-6838, or visit

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

2018-19 ASCENT Slot Request Deadline is May 1

The Intent to Participate form, upon which districts/charter schools request ASCENT slots for 2018-19, is due Tuesday, May 1. Access the online Intent to Participate form via Survey Gizmo.

Visit the CDE ASCENT Program webpage for information on the 2018-19 ASCENT Program participation process.

For questions, contact Mary Anne Hunter, postsecondary pathway coordinator, at or 303-866-6596.

Complete an ICAP Survey

CDE is interested in learning more about how districts are implementing Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP), and what resources districts would like to access this year. The ICAP Survey was mailed to ICAP coordinators in mid-March. Access it via Survey Monkey. CDE welcomes feedback from other district administrators. The survey closes Friday, April 20.

For questions contact Robin Russel at 303-866-2908 or or Andy Tucker, director of postsecondary readiness at 303-866-2089 or

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Misti Ruthven, executive director of Student Pathways, at 303-866-6206, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now


The 2012 School Finance Act requires CDE to select a contractor to supply an early literacy assessment tool that teachers may use to obtain real-time assessments of the reading skill levels of students in kindergarten through third grade. The Early Literacy Assessment Tool (ELAT) is designed to assist teachers in meeting the assessment requirements of the READ Act. Pending legislative approval during the 2018 session, the department will continue offering the Early Learning Assessment Tool for the 2018-19 school year.

An intent to award the ELAT was announced on March 14 to two vendors:

  1. Amplify Education for DIBELS Next and IDEL and DIBELS Deep PA/WRD Diagnostic Assessment
  2. Istation for ISIP Early Reading and ISIP Lectura Temprana

CDE is accepting applications from districts wishing to participate in the ELAT project. Both new and returning applicants are welcome. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of available licenses, prioritization will occur pursuant to C.R.S. 22-2-14, which are listed in detail on the ELAT webpage.

The application process will follow the timeline listed below:                                                                                      

  • Application webinar 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, April 11. Register via EventBrite.
  • Application opens after the webinar
  • Application closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 11
  • Applicants will be notified of their status in the project by Friday, May 18 

For questions please contact Donna Bright, literacy program director at or 303-866-6002.

Standards Revisions

View final drafts of all proposed revisions

Final drafts of all proposed revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards are now available on the standards review and revision webpage. CDE cautions districts from revising local standards and curriculum until final approval of revisions by the State Board of Education. The state board is expected to take action on all proposed revisions by July 1 in alignment with state law. Districts will have two years to review and revise their local standards as needed with implementation scheduled for the 2020-21 school year.

Anticipated calendar for state board review of proposed revisions

The State Board of Education will hear final recommendations from the standards review and revision committees through its June meeting.

At the April state board meeting, the board will vote on final recommendations from the computer science, the arts and world languages committees. The board will also hear revision recommendations from the mathematics, science and social studies committees.

The schedule for final presentation and voting on revisions will be as follows:

May: Final recommendations for science; reading, writing, and communicating; comprehensive health and physical education. Vote on mathematics and social studies.
June: Vote on science; reading, writing, and communicating; comprehensive health and physical education.

For questions on the standards review and revision process, contact Karol Gates, director, Office of Standards and Instructional Support, at or 303-866-6576.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of Student Learning, at 303-866-6737 or or visit

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Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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