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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.

Census 2020

January 2020

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Final 2019-20 school plan types and district accreditation ratings approved

The final school plan type ratings as required by the Education Accountability Act were approved by the State Board of Education. CDE staff made recommendations for changes in preliminary plan types due to request to reconsider submissions. Visit the Request to Reconsider homepage for a summary of decisions.

Now that all plan types and accreditation ratings are final, the school and district performance frameworks are available on SchoolView. Excel flat files with performance framework results by year are posted on the results page here.

For questions, contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763, or Jessica Watson at or 303-866-6778.

Unified Improvement Planning submissions dates

Schools and districts “On Watch” or with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type must submit a Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) for review by Wednesday, Jan. 15, through the UIP Online System. Feedback on the plans will be available in the online system in early March. All districts and schools must submit a revised/updated UIP before April 15 for public posting. Note that districts and schools with a Performance plan type may submit plans biennially. Schools identified as ESSA Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS) but that are not on the accountability clock are encouraged, but not required, to send in plans for review this month. These schools will be required to submit in January 2021.

Small Systems and Combined Unified Improvement Plans

Districts with fewer than 1,000 students 
Districts with fewer than 1,000 students have the option to write a combined plan that incorporates planning for the district and all schools within. These districts do not need to request permission to write a combined plan but must incorporate all planning requirements for the district and member schools. For example, if a school within the district is assigned to a Turnaround plan, the combined UIP must include the turnaround requirements for that school. All combined plans should be written using the district level template with the pre-populated report (Section I) for each school attached.

Districts with fewer than 1,200 students
Districts with enrollment between 1,000 and 1,200 students may request to write a combined plan for the district and schools. These districts must request permission from CDE each year to write a combined plan. Requests can be sent to Kirby Stein at Once district enrollment grows greater than 1,200 students, the district is no longer eligible to submit a combined UIP.

UIP winter review process

This winter, CDE will review and provide feedback on nearly 200 UIPs for districts and schools on Performance Watch (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround, On Watch). CDE uses the UIP quality criteria to guide the reviews. Review the guide on the UIP resources webpage. Feedback based on the UIP quality criteria rubric, including program specific requirements, will be available through the UIP Online System in the collaboration tab.

Parent notification requirements for districts with schools on the Accountability Clock

Districts with schools on the Accountability Clock are required to send parents information about the school’s plan type, UIP process and the public hearing. CDE will monitor the notification process. Communications can be emailed to or attached to the school’s UIP by Wednesday, Jan. 15. This will also help CDE determine where further assistance is needed. Additional information will be made available to districts with identified schools. 

Schools that are “On Watch” are not required to notify parents nor hold a public hearing.

Review the parent notification and public hearing requirements (PDF) document for more information. Questions can be directed to Lisa Medler at or 303-866-6993.

Unified Improvement Plan training and technical assistance

CDE Accountability and Continuous Improvement specialists are available to support schools and districts on the performance frameworks and UIPs through in-person training and professional development.

To schedule training contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763, or Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642.

TLCC Survey 2020

The Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) educator perception survey will be available to all school-based staff beginning Wednesday, Jan. 22.This anonymous online survey of all school-based licensed educators (including non-licensed professionals in charter schools) promotes discussions in schools and districts about instruction, planning time, professional development, school improvement and related policy issues.

CDE collected updated head count information from HR directors in November. The survey will remain open through Friday, Feb. 21. For updates, access to previous survey results and guidance, visit

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

Alternative Education Campus (AECs) first-time status designation notification deadline

Schools applying for an Alternative Education Campus (AEC) designation for the first time or after a lapse in status must contact B Sanders at or 303-866-2865 by Friday, Jan. 31. Notification can be sent by email with the CDE school code included in the body of the email. Once notified of intent to apply for AEC designation, CDE can ensure schools have access to the AEC Data Pipeline collections opening in March.

For more information, visit the AEC Collections webpage.

What's on the Horizon

PWR accountability indicator stakeholder feedback sessions

CDE will meet with education stakeholder groups to obtain feedback regarding legislated changes to the postsecondary and workforce readiness (PWR) indicator within the performance framework reports. Changes will result from implementation of Senate Bills 17-272 and 18-012 as well as House Bill 18-1019. 

To schedule a session regarding this work, contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 15 

  • Deadline for schools and districts with a Priority Improvement, Turnaround or On Watch plan type to submit UIPs through the online UIP system for winter UIP review from CDE.
  • Deadline for districts with schools on the Accountability Clock to send parent notification communication to CDE.

Jan. 31: Deadline to indicate a school is seeking AEC designation.

Late January: Request to reconsider survey available for districts that participated in the process.

Jan. 22. - Feb 21:  TLCC survey open

More Information

For more information, contact Lisa Medler, executive director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, 303‐866‐6993 or 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 (CMAS) are the state tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies. The PSAT and SAT are administered to high school students in grades 9-11.

What's Happening Now

ACCESS for ELLs assessment window

The ACCESS for English language learner assessment window opens on Monday, Jan. 13, and closes Friday, Feb. 14.

Confirm CMAS (all content areas) and CoAlt (science/social studies) student registrations in PearsonAccessnext

CDE registered students for CMAS math, English language arts, science and social studies and CoAlt science and social studies assessments in PearsonAccessnext based on October count data in Data Pipeline. Districts can update and make changes to student registrations within PearsonAccessnext until Friday, Jan. 24. Initial material orders for districts and schools will be automatically created based on student registrations in PearsonAccessnext as of that date. Orders for accommodations requiring special materials (e.g., Colorado Spanish Language Arts and oral scripts) should be indicated by that time as well.

Optional essay for the SAT

House Bill 15-1323 provides 11th grade public school students with the opportunity to take the optional SAT essay at state expense this spring. Students choosing to take the SAT with optional essay will do so on the school test date, Tuesday, April 14, or make-up date, Tuesday, April 28. Adding the optional essay to the SAT exam is a student choice; schools and districts should not make policy decisions that would either encourage or discourage student participation in the SAT essay.

Students who want to take the SAT essay will need to add it to their school-day registration using their College Board online account beginning Monday, Jan. 20, and no later than Tuesday, Feb. 18.

College Board will provide specific directions for schools to share with students. In the meantime, schools should ensure that students know how to set up their free online College Board accounts. A variety of student planning resources, including the link to create or log in to their College Board account, can be found on

Vouchers for online high school students to take SAT

In December, Colorado public online high schools that are not establishing test centers for the state-sponsored SAT received vouchers for their 11th grade students to take the SAT on the March 14 national test day instead of the state school-day administration in April.

To use the voucher, students will register for the SAT via their College Board online student account. The voucher can be used to register for the SAT or for the SAT with essay and is valid only for the March 14 national test date. Students must have a College Board online account in order to register. The deadline for students to register for the national SAT using a voucher is Friday, Feb. 14.

Vouchers will not be required for students attending brick-and-mortar public schools who opt to take the SAT with the optional essay. These students will take the SAT during the school day administration. All schools, including those online, are required to establish testing centers for the PSAT in grades nine and 10.

Assessment office hours

CDE hosts online office hours for District Assessment Coordinators (DACs). Weekly office hours focusing on the following topics are available to assist DACs as they prepare for state assessment administration: Testing students with disabilities, PSAT/SAT administration and CMAS administration. Online access and call-in information are sent directly to DACs.

What's on the Horizon

Assessment administration preparation activities

Before spring testing, DACs and District Technology Coordinators (DTCs) should refer to the information provided during training sessions, documented in manuals and communicated by CDE to ensure that districts are prepared for administration.

DACs and DTCs should contact the appropriate Assessment Unit specialist with any questions.



Phone Number


CMAS and PearsonAccessnext

Sara Loerzel



Jared Anthony


ACCESS for ELLs and accommodations for English learners

Heather Villalobos Pavia


Technology, NAEP and international assessments

Collin Bonner


Important Upcoming Deadlines

Now through Feb. 7: ACCESS for ELLs additional materials order window open

Jan. 6-24: Confirm student registrations in PearsonAccessnext for initial CMAS (all content areas) and CoAlt (science and social studies) orders

Jan. 13 - Feb. 14: ACCESS for ELLs testing window

Jan. 20 - Feb. 18: Window for 11th grade students to add the optional essay to their SAT school day registration through their College Board online student account

Jan. 27 - Feb. 7: School coordinators review SAT material order counts

Now through Feb. 24: PSAT/SAT accommodations request window leading to college reportable scores

Jan. 6 – Prior to Testing - Districts create CMAS test sessions after indicating all special forms in PearsonAccessnext

Feb. 14: Deadline for online students to register for the Mar. 14 national SAT using a voucher

Feb. 24: Deadline for School Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinators to submit PSAT and SAT accommodations requests through the College Board’s online system

Starting Feb. 24: Districts finalize CMAS computer-based test preparation activities before testing

More Information

For more information, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer, 303-866-6760,, or visit


What's Happening Now

Program evaluation training

Training is available to help districts conduct program evaluations on the effectiveness of federally funded programs at the local level. The training is designed for district personnel who would like to conduct evaluations at the local level or who want to become partners in local evaluations conducted by program evaluation experts to help them maximize the impact of their federal funds. The training was created in partnership with CDE's Federal Program Unit and the Regional Educational Laboratory assigned to Colorado by the U.S. Department of Education. Districts are encouraged to send a team of ESEA program leads (e.g., Titles I, II or III) and other key users of program evaluation results, as well as any staff responsible for conducting local program evaluations.  

Training sessions will be provided online. For additional information, visit the Data, Accountability, Reporting and Evaluation website.   

For questions regarding the program evaluation training or to request additional information, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205.

Comprehensive and Targeted Improvement Planning​

A webinar has been posted on ESSA improvement planning requirements in preparation for the 2019-20 Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) review cycle. The webinar includes information on the ESSA Improvement Plan Rubric and lessons learned from past reviews. The webinar is recommended for Consolidated Application authorized representatives, district accountability coordinators, UIP contacts and any staff who support schools identified as needing Comprehensive Support (CS) in the development of their UIPs. 

For questions, contact Tammy Giessinger at or 303-866-6992, Laura Meushaw at or 303-866-6618, or Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205.

2019-20 ESSA Consolidated Application

The Post-Award Revision (PAR) process is an opportunity for districts and BOCES to adjust and revise the activities and budget that were approved in the initial consolidated application. The PAR window is open through April 30. Guidance about when to submit a PAR and guidance about how to do so is available on the PAR webpage.

For more Information, visit the Consolidated App Training Center webpage. For questions, reach out to your Regional Contact

What's on the Horizon

2019-20 Local ESSA Report Cards

Each school and district within the state is required to develop and publish an ESSA Report Card on the school’s website that includes a number of required data elements. CDE must collect all of these report cards and publish them on CDE’s website. The department develops and publishes reports that meet ESSA requirements on behalf of Colorado schools and districts. Unless districts and schools are creating their own reports, the requirement is met by posting a link to the CDE report card. The most recent local report cards can be found on the ESSA Local Report Cards webpage.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 15 - UIPs are due from schools that have earned a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type and have also been identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement under ESSA.


More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Teachers and principals asked to help promote the census

Teachers and principals are trusted voices in the community and are encouraged to begin helping families understand the importance of responding to the U.S. Census. Census Day is April 1, 2020. By this date, every home will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.  CDE has created a toolkit to help principals and teachers communicate with parents about the importance of responding to the census. This includes drop-in articles and flyers to share at back-to-school events.

Teachers can also use the census as a teaching opportunity to help students understand the U.S. Constitution, history, social studies and math and statistics. CDE has compiled a toolkit for teachers with links to online free resources that are searchable by grade, school subject, topic and education standard. For more information, contact Jeremy Meyer in the communications unit at or 303-866-2334.

Student End of Year

The 2018-19 Graduation and Dropout rates will be publicly released Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Student October

Student October information will be released Thursday, Jan. 23.


Regional programs are refrained from entering student information into SMART until after Friday, Jan. 10. Migrant regions should complete first-level data quality checks of school year 2018-19 data by reviewing each regional CSPR data summary report and providing an explanation for any increases, or decreases from last year in the number of students reported for any categories greater than 10% by Friday, Jan. 10. 

By Friday, Jan. 17, second-level data quality checks should be completed. Once your report has passed all edit checks, it will receive final approval. By this date all regional CSPR data summary reports must be at final approval.  

Districts can access Migrant Student List through Data Pipeline. Monthly, LEAs can access a Cognos Report in Data Pipeline called Migrant Student List, which can be pulled by school year and district. The report can be downloaded into Excel and imported into the district’s Student Information System. Ensure your district has uploaded a current Student School Association file (SSA) to receive the most updated Migrant List.

For more information, visit the Migrant Education Program webpage.

Special Education December Count

Administrative Units (AUs) and districts should no longer have errors at the interchange-level and should be working to correct snapshot errors in preparation for the Thursday, Jan. 23, deadline. The first report review week wraps up on Thursday, Jan. 30, leading into the duplicate phase of the collection. AUs will be notified of duplicates by Wednesday, Feb. 5, and must have duplicates resolved by Thursday, Feb.13. The final report review week will conclude Thursday, Feb. 20, when finalized snapshots and all required reports should be signed and uploaded to the Data Management System.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be created. The Educator Shortage Survey may also be completed at this time. The collection and Educator Shortage Survey will both close Thursday, Feb. 27. This is the date by when districts are required to have an error-free snapshot finalized. 

Teacher Student Data Link

The Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) interchange file is open. All districts are required to report TSDL data for students in grades six through 12 as well as their teachers for all courses in mathematics, English language arts/literacy, science and social studies. 

This school year is eligible for Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), it is advised to also report all computer science courses as well for sixth through 12th grade students as this subject is required for the CRDC file. Additionally, all courses are required to be reported for eighth to 12th grade migrant students. 

In preparation for the TSDL collection, all previously mapped local course codes have been replicated for each district in the State Standard Course Code System (SSCC). These courses can be deleted, modified or added to within the SSCC system. The TSDL snapshot opens this month and is due Thursday, Aug. 13.

Designated Agency

The 2019-20 Designated Agency data collection is open in the Data Pipeline to enter 2019-20 candidates until Monday, Aug. 31.

What's on the Horizon

Directory school code change requests, the four-day school week application process and 2018-19 End of Year interchange will open in February.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 14:  2018-19 Student End of Year release

Jan. 23:  2019-20 Student October release

Feb. 20:  Special Education December Count final due date

Feb. 27:  Human Resources collection close date

More Information

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

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

School Counselor Corps Grant Applications

The 2020 School Counselor Corps Grant (SCCG) request for application (RFA) will be available to LEAs on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The grant is for funding to increase the availability and implementation of effective school-based counseling. This RFA is contingent upon appropriations to the SCCG program for the 2020-21 school year. If the funding is not appropriated to the program, new grant awards will not be made for the 2020-21 school year. 

Approximately $500,000 will be available for about 15 grant awards. Within the first year of the four-year grant individual awards will range between $25,000 and $50,000. The first year will focus on program development, needs assessment and direct services. In the second, third, and fourth years of the grant, successful grantees will receive up to $80,000 per funded school. Priority consideration will be given to LEAs that have not been previously funded. Elementary schools must apply with their feeder schools. Middle and high schools are encouraged to apply with their feeder school(s) if applicable.

For more program information, visit the SCCG webpage. For questions, contact Eve Pugh at 303-866-4123 or

10th Anniversary of Individual Career and Education Plan

In 2020, Colorado will celebrate the evolution and success of Individual Career and Education Plan (ICAP) over the last decade. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 14, join ICAP advocates and dignitaries for informational interviews and storytelling, and connect with schools and districts for digital showcases of promising practices. Sign up to attend these 10th  Anniversary Tuesdays at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month of 2020. Visit the ICAP 10th Anniversary webpage throughout the year for updated information.

For information about the 10th anniversary festivities, go to the ICAP website, or contact Robin Russel at or 303-866-2908.

ICAP Implementation Survey

Complete the bi-annual ICAP Implementation Survey. Share ICAP implementation practices and tell CDE what you want to see and learn about for the 10th anniversary. The survey will be mailed to ICAP coordinators on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Feedback from other district and school practitioners is welcome. Access the survey online here.

For information about the ICAP Survey, visit the ICAP webpage, or contact Robin Russel at or 303-866-2908.

What's on the Horizon

2020-21 ASCENT training and webinar

CDE’s offices of School Auditing, October Student Count and Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness will host a training and webinar for the 2020-21 Accelerating Schools through Concurrent Enrollment slot process from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The webinar will cover important deadlines, slot request procedures and student coding. 

Visit the ASCENT Slot Request Process webpage for webinar and call-in access information.

For questions, contact Mary Anne Hunter, 303-866-6596 or


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

Standards and Instructional Support

Resources available for 2020 Colorado Academic Standards

Sixteen learning modules are available to leaders and educators to support understanding of the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards. These learning modules were designed to be delivered in sequence. Access the modules here

Family and community guides to the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards are also available and intended to assist with communicating expectations within the standards for all students. Access the guides here.  

For more information, contact Joanna Bruno at or 303-866-6571.

Preschool through Third Grade Office

CDE seeks feedback on READ Act rules

The Rules for the Administration of the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act were noticed by the State Board of Education in December.  This rulemaking process has been initiated due to substantial changes that occurred to the READ act during the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions. Hearings are scheduled for the state board meeting in February. The board is accepting public comment on the rules.

For more information on submitting public comment, visit the board homepage.

For more information on the READ Act, contact Floyd Cobb at or 303-866-6868.

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 from the Teaching and Learning Unit, contact Floyd Cobb, executive director, 303-866-6868,