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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.

October 2017

Accountability, Performance and Support

CDE supports schools and districts in the continuous improvement process through its focus on implementing quality school and district support systems, accountability measures, improvement plans, federal programs and data analysis.

What's Happening Now

School accreditation forms and request for reconsideration

Districts must submit an accreditation category for each of their schools to CDE by Monday, Oct. 16, through the accreditation form. Districts have the opportunity to request that CDE reconsider their district accreditation category or any of the assigned school plan types by submitting additional evidence through the request to reconsider process (as noted in the accreditation form).

For districts that submitted a draft request to reconsider, feedback will be provided in early October. Final request to reconsider submissions are due on Monday, Oct. 16, and are considered part of the public record.

Resources for the request to reconsider process, including how to sign up for individual help, can be found on the school accreditation and request to reconsider webpage.

For more information, contact Jessica Knevals at or 303-866-6778.

Preliminary pre‐populated Unified Improvement Plans

The pre-populated accountability reports (Section I) are now available within the UIP online system. For questions, contact Lisa Steffen at or 303-866-6676.

Fall Unified Improvement Plan technical assistance

For districts on Priority Improvement or Turnaround and for schools receiving a Tiered Intervention Grant (TIG), CDE offers additional support by providing an optional UIP review. Eligible districts/schools can submit a draft of their UIP (even if it is just the updated data narrative) by Monday, Oct. 16, through the Online UIP System. View a detailed submission timeline (PDF). For questions, contact Lisa Medler at or 303-866-6993.

Family and School Partnership in Education Month kick-off event 2017

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has proclaimed October to be Family and School Partnership in Education Month for the sixth straight year. CDE and the State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education are hosting a kick-off event on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Tivoli on the Auraria Campus in Denver. Former state Sen. Evie Hudak will be the Master of Ceremonies and State Rep. Janet Buckner will be the keynote speaker. Light refreshments, mingling and resource sharing will follow a brief formal program.

For more information, view the event flyer (PDF) or contact Darcy Hutchins, family partnership director, at or 303-866-5921.

What's on the Horizon

Final SPF and DPF ratings

CDE will present the district accreditation categories to the State Board of Education at its November meeting. The state board will approve the school plan type assignments at its December meeting. After the December presentation, the 2017 School and District Performance Frameworks will be available in SchoolView.

Student course-taking report

Colorado has one of the largest achievement gaps in the country and the gap has been a persistent issue. In an attempt to ensure concrete steps are taken to address this gap, the state legislature passed HB 14-1376, which lays out expectations for the state, districts and schools to consider student course-taking patterns and the impact on achievement. CDE is required to create a report showing course participation for different groups of students, and in addition, the achievement levels of students on the state assessments, in relationship to the courses they are taking. CDE has worked to create two reports in order to provide the most relevant and useful data possible for different purposes: (1) a password protected report for authorized district users to dig into the data to understand any disparities that might exist in course-taking and (2) a public-facing report that provides an overview of the data. 

In November 2016, CDE released only the password-protected report for district users and a course offering report was posted publicly. CDE will release the district-level private report and the public-facing report in November 2017. More information about the report is available on the student course participation and achievement report webpage.

For more information, please contact Lisa Medler, executive director of Improvement Planning, at or 303-866-6993 or B Sanders, accountability senior consultant, at or 303-866-2865. 

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 16- All districts to submit School Accreditation Form and requests to reconsider district accreditation ratings and school plan type assignments.

Oct. 16 - Priority Improvement and Turnaround Districts may submit a revised UIP for an early review and feedback. Note: this does not take the place of the required winter review.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner of Accountability, Performance and Support, 303-866-6855,, or visit


Assessments administered by the unit include summative content assessments, English language proficiency assessments, college/career ready assessments, and alternate content assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The Colorado Measures of Academic Success are the state tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies.  In 2017-18, Colorado will administer the PSAT to 9th-graders and 10th-graders and the SAT to 11th-graders.

What's Happening Now

High School Social Studies Assessments

Given that the State Board of Education will adopt revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards in July 2018, CDE has determined that administering the high school social studies assessment in 11th grade for the first time this spring is not in the best interest of Colorado high school students. Therefore, the high school social studies assessment will again be deferred in 2018. However, CMAS Social Studies assessments will be administered in fourth and seventh grades in sampled schools in 2018 as scheduled.

State assessment training

The Assessment Unit is conducting in-person assessment training for District Assessment Coordinators and District Technology Coordinators across Colorado. After the final in-person sessions, recorded webinars will be posted for those who are unable to attend live training. Specific details, including training dates and locations for each assessment, were sent directly to District Assessment Coordinators and District Technology Coordinators.

  • CMAS Administration Training - This training covers CMAS science, social studies, mathematics, and English language arts/literacy (including Colorado Spanish language arts) administration, using PearsonAccessnext, test security, training resources, ordering paper-based tests, and the student registration/personal needs profile process.

  • CoAlt Administration Training - This training covers administration of the alternate science and social studies assessments and the DLM ELA and math assessments. Student registration/data management is included.

  • ACCESS for ELLs Administration Training - This training covers administration for ACCESS for ELLs for the 2017-18 school year. Policies, procedures, and requirements are covered.

  • PSAT and SAT Administration Training - This training for school test center supervisors covers an overview of the PSAT and SAT school-day assessments in Colorado, key tasks and deadlines for school coordinators, and changes for the 2017-18 school year. The training will be held via online webinar in late October. Specific training dates and online registration information will be sent to District Assessment Coordinators and school test center supervisors.

What's on the Horizon

Upcoming CMAS Deadlines

  • By Friday, Dec. 15, DACs must notify CDE of the following:

    • District or school intent to use paper-based testing as main testing format for CMAS administration (form provided to DACs at regional training).

    • District-selected CMAS and CoAlt administration window (i.e., extended computer-based assessment window for ELA and math, early high school science and social studies window, or regular state assessment window)(form provided to DACs at training sessions).

  • Districts should be aware that Unique Accommodation Requests (UARs) are due to the CDE Assessment Unit by Friday, Dec. 15. UARs are required for accommodations that may change the construct being measured by the assessment (e.g., reading of the reading assessment through text-to-speech or oral script and using a calculator on the non-calculator section of the test). Completed 2017-18 UAR forms, together with the appropriate supporting data, are submitted to the CDE Assessment Unit by district and school staff. UARs must be approved by the CDE Assessment Unit before the unique accommodation can be assigned and provided to a student.


Pre-ID labels for ACCESS for English Language Learners (ELLs) will be pulled in November. Additional information will be provided soon.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Sept. – Oct. 26: ACCESS for ELLs Administration trainings sessions for DACs

Oct. 2 – Oct. 19:  CoAlt Administration Training Sessions for DACs

Oct. 2 – Oct. 20:  CMAS Administration Training Sessions for DACs 

Oct. 25 through Nov. 10: ACCESS for ELLs materials order window open

Dec. 15: Deadline for submitting CMAS testing mode and CMAS and CoAlt administration windows to CDE

Dec. 15: UAR requests due to CDE

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

“HELP ME, RANDA” Tips and Tricks - Use your LAM for login support

The most common question we receive is regarding logging into the system. Please remind your educators that bookmarking any webpage other than "" will likely result in system error. Additionally, districts and BOCES are responsible for their user management, so educators should first reach out to district/BOCES LAMs if they are having difficulties entering the system. Please be sure to communicate these reminders to all educators to avoid frustration accessing the system.  

RANDA MSL/O template reminder and supporting videos

While educators are busy completing their self-assessments and creating goals for the new school year, it is also the time for districts/BOCES to establish the Measures of Student Learning/Outcomes that will be used for 50 percent of an educator’s evaluation. The Educator Effectiveness team has created three separate webinars outlining the process of creating MSL/Os within the system, each outlining a different way to approach releasing MSL/MSO templates (can also be found on the Help tab within RANDA):

You may also review some local examples of sample MSLs used around the state. As a reminder, per HB15-1323, state assessment data used in MSL/Os may be incorporated into an evaluation only if it is received prior to the end of this school year. If state assessment data is not available by this time, it should be the first point of data in an educator’s evaluation the following year. Keep in mind, all educators should receive their final effectiveness rating two weeks prior to the end of the school year.   

State Model Evaluation System pilot information and website

Fifty districts/BOCES/charter collaboratives are piloting changes to the State Model Evaluation System, including a revised teacher rubric, changes in scoring professional practice, and changes in scoring the overall effectiveness rating. Visit our State Model Evaluation System pilot website for information about our 50 districts, access to the revised teacher rubric, and support documents detailing all changes to the system.  Educators are also encouraged to provide feedback on these changes through an online feedback form, also available on this website.  

Register for HR eLicensing educator lookup

In order to access the eLicensing lookup for potential educator candidates, you will need to apply for eLicensing Verification Access. This access will provide real-time, comprehensive information related to the licensing status and background check status of all candidates. You can also obtain information about candidates and current educators who are in enforcement or in active investigation for potential disciplinary actions as required by state statute. Please visit our website, for details and application directions for the eLicensing Verification Access. For technical assistance, please contact Erin Burns at or 303-866-6216.

All superintendents – Mandatory educator reporting

Colorado school districts are required to report to the Colorado Department of Education if an employee is dismissed or resigned as a result of an allegation of unlawful behavior involving a child, including unlawful sexual behavior, which is supported by a preponderance of evidence. The superintendent is delegated the responsibility for notifying CDE as soon as possible but no later than 10 business days after the employee’s dismissal. The superintendent shall provide any information requested by CDE concerning the circumstances of the dismissal. The district also shall notify the employee that information concerning the dismissal is being forwarded to CDE unless such notice would conflict with the confidentiality requirements of the Child Protection Act.

Annually, CDE reminds districts and superintendents of this mandatory reporting requirement. To learn more or access information about mandatory reporting and the required reporting forms, visit the mandatory reporting webpage. For questions or concerns about educator ethics please contact Darrin Bacca at or 303-866-6854.

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 Colleen O'Neil, executive director of Educator Talent, 303-866-6945 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 submitted its state plan to the U.S. Department of Education on how it intends to implement ESSA in Colorado.

Find more information on the state plan on CDE's ESSA webpage.

Subscribe to the ESSA E-Newsletter - "ESSA in Colorado."

What's Happening Now

ESSA Accountability - Comprehensive or targeted support schools

In mid-September 2017, CDE notified districts that have schools identified for Comprehensive or Targeted support under ESSA. Notifications to school districts included information regarding funding, requirements, timelines, as well as services available to schools and districts.

Districts with identified schools are required to work with community stakeholders to develop an improvement plan as part of their Unified Improvement Process during the 2017-18 school year for implementation in 2018-19.

Find more information on the process, timeline, and identification criteria on CDE’s CSI/TSI page, For questions, please contact Pat Chapman at 303-866-6780 or

District applications for ESSA funds

CDE is reviewing the complete and submitted 2017-18 Consolidated Applications for ESEA Funds. As a reminder, districts and BOCES that requested additional time to submit narrative responses must have already submitted a complete Consolidated Application.

For more information, please visit the ESSA Consolidated Application website or contact Colleen Brooks at 303-866-3897 or

ESEA Office network meetings

Federal Programs will continue to provide an opportunity for targeted local support in the form of bi-monthly network meetings in different locations throughout Colorado. The purpose of these meetings will be to provide a forum for stakeholders to engage with Federal Programs staff and with other professionals from the region, to communicate local updates, needs, and concerns. Any district or school personnel are welcome to attend these meetings.

Registration and additional details are available on the ESEA Networking Meetings Page.

Please contact Shelby Schaefer for more information.

ESSA monitoring

The ESSA Monitoring Workgroup meets quarterly to provide input on CDE tools and processes regarding ESSA Monitoring and is seeking 10 more representatives from all regions and roles within schools and district. District and school leaders, teachers, staff welcome! Workgroup participation hours count toward required professional development hours for educator license renewal.

For more information, please visit the ESSA monitoring website or contact Lindsay Swanton at 303-866-6298 or  

What's on the Horizon

ESSA state plan approval

At its monthly meeting, the Colorado State Board of Education considered options for reconciling state policies and federal education laws regarding how to consider participation on state assessments for the purposes of school accountability.

The ESSA accountability stakeholder group and ESSA hub committee met last month to discuss and provide feedback on the matter. The state board will consider the feedback and then provide direction on the issue at its October meeting. CDE anticipates resubmitting the revised plan in late October. More information and updates will be posted on CDE’s main ESSA webpage.

ESEA virtual networking meetings

These bi-monthly webinars will be hosted in the months between network meetings. CDE staff will provide in-depth responses to frequently asked questions received during and after the in-person meetings. Attendees also will have the opportunity to receive information that will prepare them to participate in workshop sessions occurring in upcoming networking meetings. Registration and a full schedule are available on the ESEA virtual networking meetings page.

ESSA reporting

State and District Report Cards must be published and made widely accessible on a single web page each year for the previous school year. The Federal Programs Unit is developing guidance and technical support for districts to meet federal reporting requirements, including templates and processes for linking to the State Report Card and/or CDE’s website to fulfill components of the District Report Card. Online training sessions will be offered in the fall to prepare districts for meeting federal reporting requirements.

Visit CDE’s page on Changes to Federal Reporting under ESSA for more information and contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at 303-866-6205 or  

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 4: Denver and Grand Junction Networking Meetings

Oct. 5: Pueblo Networking Meeting

Oct. 13: Durango Networking Meeting

Nov. 2-3: Equity & Excellence conference in Englewood

More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

Data Pipeline is a streamlined approach to efficiently move required education information from school districts to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). Data Pipeline reduces data redundancy, captures closer to real-time data, streamlines the data collection process and allows districts to exchange information on transferred students. 

What's Happening Now

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open to Administrative Units and will close Thursday, Oct. 5.

End of Year

The 2016-17 End of Year snapshots are now in the Cross LEA phase of the collection. Snapshots will be unlocked if there are additional errors the district needs to resolve or by request if corrections to data are needed. The Cross LEA opened at the end of September and snapshots must be resubmitted and locked by Thursday, Oct. 19. The Post Cross LEA validation, which verifies transfers and dropouts within Colorado, will occur between Tuesday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Nov. 30. Only Student Exit types can be changed at that time. The final approval deadline is Thursday, Dec. 7.   

2016-17 December Finance

This collection is open and is due Dec. 31.

Student October

The 2017-2018 official Student October count date will be Monday, October 2. The legislated deadline for snapshot approval is Friday, Nov. 10 at which time the duplicate count procedures will commence. Final approval is due Tuesday, Nov. 28.


The majority of SY 2017-18 migrant rollover enrollment records must be entered into the New Generation System (NGS) by Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Kindergarten School Readiness

The new Data Pipeline Kindergarten School Readiness data collection to provide baseline data for measuring improvement in students' knowledge and skills over time and to collect data needed to fulfill statutory requirements for an annual legislative report will open Wednesday, Oct. 11, and close Thursday, Dec. 7.  Data reported to CDE will be from the initial fall assessment window. The initial assessment is to be completed within the first 60 calendar days of the school year as required by HB 15-1323.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be taken beginning Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Special Education December Count

Individualized Education Program interchange files and staff interchange files may be uploaded. The official December Count collection opens, in that snapshots are available, on Wednesday, Nov. 1.


Non-public schools may be entered into Data Pipeline beginning Monday, Oct. 2. This collection will close Friday, Dec. 1. Newly elected school board members may be updated starting Wednesday, Nov. 1

What's on the Horizon

The legislated deadline for Student October snapshot approval is Friday, Nov. 10, followed by the duplicate process which will be completed Tuesday, Nov. 28. Pre-ID labels for ACCESS for ELLs will be pulled in November.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 2:  Official Student October Count date

Oct. 5:  Special Education End of Year due date

Oct. 19:  Resubmission deadline for Student End of Year Snapshot phase B

Oct. 31:  Most SY 2017-18 migrant rollover enrollment records entered in NGS

Nov. 17:  Pre-ID labels for ACCESS for ELLs will be pulled

More Information

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

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Early Learning and School Readiness

Kindergarten school readiness data reporting

Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), requires the annual reporting of the kindergarten levels of school readiness. The data collection is open for the 2017-18 school year and will close on Thursday, Dec. 14. Online training and virtual support is available. Information about the kindergarten school readiness data collection and training can be found on the school readiness webpage.

For more information about the School Readiness Initiative, contact Emily Kielmeyer, Kindergarten Readiness program manager at 720-822-0640 or

The READ Act

READ Act rulemaking process 

The State Board of Education voted in August to notice the rulemaking process for the Colorado READ Act. This is necessary to bring the READ Act rules into alignment with HB 17-1160 relating to assessment of English Learners. The proposed rule revisions are posted on the READ Act webpage. Written comments are being accepted through the State Board of Education: A public hearing is scheduled at the next state board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 10:30 a.m.

For more information about the READ Act rulemaking hearing, contact Alex Frazier, senior literacy consultant, at 303-908-1096 or


Participate in the October webinar

Monthly webinars keep educators and stakeholders updated on the standards review and revision process. The next webinar will be 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. October's webinar will include an orientation to all public feedback opportunities for proposed standards revisions. To participate, visit the standards review webinar webpage.

First draft of revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards released on Monday, Oct. 16

The first draft of revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards and Colorado English Language Development Standards will be released on Monday, Oct. 16, for public feedback. CDE’s online standards feedback system enables all Coloradans to provide feedback on each and every proposed revision to the Colorado Academic Standards. All feedback will go directly to the committees that will make final recommendations for State Board of Education consideration.

For questions or more information about standards, contact Karol Gates, director 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, 303-866-6737,, or visit

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