You are here

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 2019

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 Requests to Reconsider

Based on the preliminary school and district framework reports, districts must submit the School Accreditation Form indicating the district and local school board’s accreditation ratings for their schools by Wednesday, Oct. 16.

The School Accreditation and Request to Reconsider form was due on Sept. 16 for all districts and schools intending to participate in the Request to Reconsider process. For districts that submitted a draft request, CDE staff will provide technical assistance through the draft review process. CDE staff are available to assist schools and districts with the Request to Reconsider process through the fall. Office hours and guidance on the Request to Reconsider process are posted

For questions on Request to Reconsider submissions, contact Jessica Watson at or 303-866-6778. For questions on the Accreditation form, contact Kirby Stein at or 303-866-6108.

School and District Accountability Committee Training

The Family School Partnership and Accountability and Continuous Improvement offices at CDE will host training sessions in October for district staff supporting their School and District Accountability Committees. The events are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon:

  • Monday, Oct. 7: Garfield Re-2 School District, Rifle
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8: Durango School District, Durango

Register via Eventbrite.

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

EASI Support Fair and Provider Expo

District and school staff can learn about the support and funding available through the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) grant during the EASI Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Arvada Center. The grant is designed for districts with schools identified as in need of improvement through our accountability system (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround, on watch, Comprehensive Support or Targeted Support under ESSA). EASI fair attendees will be able to meet and connect with CDE staff, learn more about support options available to districts and schools, and work with their teams to plan for the application process.

District and school teams can meet with and learn more about support providers at a partner provider expo on Monday, Oct. 14, at the Arvada Center. District leadership and school leadership teams are strongly encouraged to attend a support fair and the provider expo. 

For more information, visit the EASI Application webpage or contact Nate Goss at or 720-682-8535,

Fall Unified Improvement Plan Training and Technical Assistance

CDE Accountability and Continuous Improvement specialists are available to support schools and districts through in-person training and professional development. To schedule an in-person training contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763 or Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642. 

Preliminary Performance Frameworks for Alternative Education Campuses Release

Preliminary school performance frameworks for Alternative Education Campuses (AECs) were released to district accountability contacts via Syncplicity in early September. As in the past few years, due to the public nature of the data, the preliminary results were also be made available on CDE’s website.

What's on the Horizon

PWR Accountability Indicator Stakeholder Feedback Sessions

CDE will meet with education stakeholder groups to obtain feedback regarding future changes to the postsecondary and workforce readiness indicator within the performance framework reports. The changes will result from implementation of SB17-272, SB18-012 and HB18-1019. To schedule an informational or feedback session regarding this work please contact Dan Jorgensen or 303-866-6763.

Final SPF and DPF Ratings

Final ratings for districts and schools that do not participate in the Request to Reconsider process will be adopted by the State Board of Education in November. The ratings for the remaining schools and districts will be adopted by the state board in December. 

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated Unified Improvement Plan by April 15 (note: districts and schools with a Performance plan type may be eligible for biennial submission).  Schools and districts “On Watch” or with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type must submit a UIP for CDE review by Jan. 15. Feedback on the plans will be available in the online system in early March.

Parent Notification Requirements for Districts with Schools on the Accountability Clock

For districts with schools on the Accountability Clock (i.e., priority improvement, turnaround), state law requires parents to be notified of the school’s plan type, UIP process and upcoming public hearing. With the release of the performance frameworks in August, notification must have been sent before Sept. 23. The local school board must hold a public hearing prior to adoption of the school’s UIP at least 30 days after parental notification (i.e., Oct. 23 or later). For schools going through the request to reconsider process, notification can be delayed until plan types are finalized by the State Board of Education. More information and a sample parent notification letter is available.

CDE will monitor the notification process this year. Communications can be emailed to or attached to the school’s UIP by Jan. 15. This will also help CDE determine where further assistance is needed.  Additional information will be made available to districts with identified schools.  

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Oct. 2: EASI Support Fair – Arvada
  • Oct. 7 – SAC/DAC Training – Rifle
  • Oct. 8 – SAC/DAC Training - Durango
  • Oct. 14: EASI Provider Expo – Arvada
  • Oct. 16: Deadline for all districts to submit the School Accreditation Form and Requests to Reconsider submissions for district accreditation rating and/or school plan type assignments, if a district is choosing to submit.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Lisa Medler, Executive Director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, 303‐866‐6993.


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

State assessment training

District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) training for the spring 2020 administration of Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), Colorado Alternate (CoAlt) and ACCESS has been scheduled. Specific details about the sessions, including dates and locations for each assessment, were sent directly to the DACs. All district- and school-level personnel involved in state assessment administration must be trained by district assessment personnel annually. Those who cannot attend the live, in-person training sessions will be able to see webinars of the recorded sessions.

DAC training for the PSAT/SAT program is provided through a three-part series of live webinars. The second session will be held in late October and Part 3 will be in late January. Recordings of each webinar will be posted. Here is information about the training sessions:

  • CMAS Administration Training – CMAS training will cover administration of science, social studies, math and ELA, including CSLA; updates since last year; using PearsonAccessnext; test security; training resources; ordering paper-based tests; selecting administration dates; and the student registration/personal needs profile process.
  • CoAlt and ACCESS Administration Training – These sessions will cover CoAlt science and social studies, CoAlt math and ELA (DLM) and ACCESS for ELLs administration; updates; and registration, ordering and administration systems.
  • PSAT and SAT Program Overview Training for DACs - This training will give DACs an overview of the PSAT and SAT school-day assessments in Colorado, key tasks and deadlines for test administration and changes for the 2019-20 school year. The training will be held in three parts via online webinar in late October and late January.

For more information, please contact Christina Wirth-Hawkins at or 303-866-6979.

What's on the Horizon

Upcoming CMAS Deadlines

By Dec. 15 each year, DACs must notify CDE's Assessment Unit of the following Local Education Provider (LEP) administration decisions:

  • District or school intent to use paper-based testing as the main testing format for CMAS administration. The form will be provided to DACs at regional training.
  • District-selected CMAS and CoAlt administration window. Requests for extended computer-based assessment window for ELA and math, early high school science window or regular state assessment window should be submitted. The process for submitting administration window selections will be provided to DACs at CMAS training sessions.

By Dec. 15, DACs must submit Unique Accommodation Requests (UARs) to CDE's Assessment Unit. UARs are required for accommodations that may change the construct being measured by the assessment (e.g., reading of the English language arts assessment through text-to-speech or oral script and using a calculator on the non-calculator section of the test). Completed 2019-20 UAR forms, together with the appropriate supporting data, are submitted by district staff. UARs must be approved by CDE before the unique accommodation can be assigned and provided to a student.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Sept. 30 – Oct. 10: ACCESS for ELLs and CoAlt regional administration training. (specific details were sent to DACs)
  • Oct. 1-11: CMAS regional administration training for DACs (specific details were sent to DACs)
  • Oct. 23 - Nov. 8: ACCESS for ELLs materials order window open
  • Dec. 15: Deadline for submitting CMAS paper 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, chief assessment officer, 303-866-6760,, or visit


In May 2018, the Colorado Department of Education received approval of its state plan for the implementation of ESSA from the U.S. Department of Education.

What's Happening Now

2019-20 ESSA Consolidated Application

Final approval letters for the Consolidated Application will be emailed from the Federal Programs office to authorized representatives listed in the contacts section of the application. The grant award letter will be shared through Syncplicity. Once final approval is granted, applicants can submit a request for funds to receive reimbursement for activities outlined in the application. View the Request for Funds Form webpage for more information.

The Post Award Revision (PAR) window will open in November. Information on how to complete a PAR is posted on the Consolidated App Training Center webpage.

For more information, contact Joey Willett at or 303-866-6700.

Support and Funding for Schools Identified for ESSA Support and Improvement

All districts were notified of schools that were identified for support and improvement under ESSA. Identified schools are eligible for support and funding through the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) Application, which is due Thursday, Nov. 14. 

For information regarding the EASI application and support, contact Laura Meushaw at or 303-866-6618.           

2019-20 ESSA Comparability

Starting with the 2019-20 school year, districts not meeting comparability either through CDE calculations or the alternative methodology must implement action plans to ensure that their Title I schools are receiving services comparable to non-Title I schools. CDE recommends districts assess comparability using local data and address any non-comparability as early in the school year as possible to avoid any impact or delays on the next year’s Consolidated Application approval. CDE will provide training on how to assess comparability at the local level beginning in October. 

LEAs required to demonstrate comparability accept Title I, Part A funds, have at least 1,000 students, and have at least one Title I school with more than 100 students in a grade-span that includes two or more schools.

For more information or questions pertaining comparability, contact Barbara Vassis at or 303-866-6065 or visit the Title I Comparability webpage.

2019-20 ESSA Monitoring

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have been notified of monitoring during the 2019-20 school year as required by ESSA. LEAs selected for monitoring will receive training and technical support beginning in October to help prepare for submitting evidence.

For questions pertaining to monitoring, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, DeLilah Collins at or 303-866-6850, Joey Willett at or 303-866-6700.

For more information, visit the ESSA Monitoring webpage

Equity and Excellence Conference

Registration is open for the 2019 Equity and Excellence Conference, which will take place Thursday, Oct. 24, to Friday, Oct. 25, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Denver. Teams are invited to attend to collaborate on ways to strengthen historically underserved students’ learning opportunities.

The first four registrants from LEAs, BOCES, and Administrative Units will be given priority for registration approval. Additional registrants will move to the wait list and will be notified as soon as possible as space becomes available.

For more information and to register, visit the conference webpage. For questions, reach out to Jeremy Meredith at or 303-866-3905.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

Data Pipeline is a streamlined approach to efficiently move required education information from school districts to the 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

School Nutrition Unit

Statewide Needs assessment

A statewide needs assessment has been completed to provide insight into the opportunities and barriers for increasing participation in and access to federal child nutrition programs.

The final report is available in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Evaluation Branch. Read the Blueprint to End Hunger Needs Assessment Final Report (PDF).

With an 88% survey response rate, this comprehensive report encompasses the perspective of rural and urban school communities across the state. These report findings will support both the work of the Blueprint to End Hunger, Colorado’s statewide plan to eliminate food insecurity in multiple settings across the state, as well that of CDE's School Nutrition Unit, which will use this information to enhance and bring forth new training opportunities.

Data Pipeline

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year collection is almost complete and closes on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Several reports should be uploaded to the ESSU Data Management System under the Profile tab once the collection is submitted to CDE and must contain all report pages, not just the signature page.

Student End of Year

2018-19 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 snapshots need to be resubmitted and locked by Thursday, Oct. 17. 

The Post Cross LEA validation, which verifies transfers and dropouts within Colorado, will occur between Thursday, Oct. 24, and Thursday, Nov. 21. Only Student Exit types can be changed at that time. The final approval deadline is Thursday, Dec. 5.   

Student October

The Student October snapshot is open. The 2019-20 official Student October count date will be Wednesday, Oct. 2. 

The legislated deadline for snapshot approval is Friday, Nov. 8, at which time the duplicate count procedures will commence. Final approval is due Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Non-public School Directory

Non-public schools may be entered into Data Pipeline beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1. This collection will close Tuesday, Dec. 3.

December Finance

The 2018-19 December Finance collection is open and is due Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Kindergarten School Readiness

The Kindergarten School Readiness data collection provides data for measuring improvement in student knowledge and skills over time and to collect data needed to fulfill statutory requirements for an annual legislative report. The collection will open Wednesday, Oct. 9, and close Thursday, Dec. 5. 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.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be taken beginning Thursday, Oct. 31.

Special Education December Count

Individual Education Plan interchange files and staff interchange files may be uploaded. Snapshots may be taken for the official December Count collection beginning Thursday, Oct. 31.


Districts can access their Migrant Student List through Data Pipeline. Monthly, districts can access a Cognos Report in Data Pipeline entitled “Migrant Student List”, which can be pulled by school year and district and is located under the “Teacher Student Data Link” under the COGNOS reports tab.

The district must have the TSL LEAUSER or TSL LEAVIEWER role in order to see the Teacher Student Data Link folder in Cognos. The COGNOS Migrant List/Report has the following columns:  SASID, Last Name, First Name, Birth Date, School Code, Migrant Arrival Date and Migrant End Date. The report can be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet and imported into the district’s Student Information System (SIS).

Please ensure your district has uploaded a current Student School Association file (SSA) to receive the most up-to-date Migrant List. Should you have questions regarding your Migrant List, please reach out to your local Migrant Education Programs who coordinate and deliver services to migrant students on the Migrant Education Program webpage.


What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 2

  • 2019-20 official Student October count date
  • Special Education End of Year due

Oct. 17:  Resubmission deadline for cross LEA phase of Student End of Year Snapshot

Nov. 8:  ACCESS for ELLs Pre-ID file will be pulled from preliminary Student October data

More Information

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

Postsecondary Readiness

CDE supports the various ways students can enter postsecondary education by working with districts and schools in thinking through the personalization of a pathway through high school and on to college and career for every student.

What's Happening Now

Register to attend a Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Symposium

CDE is partnering with districts, BOCES and community leaders to host workshops that support the implementation of Graduation Guidelines. Join your peers in conversations about how to develop student readiness strategies, capstone frameworks, industry certificate lists, ICAP foundational tools and work-based learning connections.

Consider bringing district partners, teams of administrators, teachers, counselors and other staff to a Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Symposium. Those interested might also consider hosting a symposium next spring. Upcoming dates include:

  • Friday, Oct. 25: South Metro Denver, hosted by Cherry Creek Schools
  • Thursday, Nov. 7: Grand Junction, hosted by Mesa County District 51
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20: Sterling or Haxtun, hosted by Northeast BOCES

For more dates and locations as well as resources and registration links, visit the Graduation Guidelines webpage

For questions, contact Robin Russel at or 303-866-2908.

Last chance to register for National Dropout Prevention Conference

Colorado will host the National Dropout Prevention Conference on Saturday, Oct. 5, through Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Gaylord Rockies Convention Center in Aurora. 

Register for the conference today at the National Dropout Prevention Center’s website. One-day registrations are available. Colorado attendees are eligible to receive 10% off full conference registration with the discount code COED2019. 

For questions, contact Denise Gianforcaro at the National Dropout Prevention Center at 864-712-3703 or

AP Incentives Program applications 

Apply for the Advanced Placement (AP) Incentives Program for the 2019-20 school year. The program is designed to build capacity for increased Advanced Placement participation in rural and small rural school districts across Colorado. The 2019-20 application will be posted on the AP Incentives webpage by Monday, Oct. 7, and will be due to CDE by Friday, Nov. 1. Priority will be given to schools with Free and Reduced Lunch percentages above the state average.

For more information, contact Marina Kokotovic at or 303-866-6267.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Exam Fee Grant Program open

The AP/IB Exam Fee Grant Program is now open. The program is intended to increase the number of eligible students who take one of these advanced course exams by providing funds to high schools to pay all or a portion of exam fees on behalf of eligible students. For the 2019-20 school year, this program will reimburse districts up to $53 per exam taken by eligible students.

Districts and schools that would like to participate in the AP/IB Exam Fee Grant Program must complete the Intent to Participate survey.

For questions or concerns, reach out to Marina Kokotovic at or 303-866-6267.

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, 303-866-6206, or visit

Teaching and Learning

CDE continuously improves Colorado’s education system to provide students with the future skills and essential knowledge needed for success in a globally competitive world.

What's Happening Now

Standards and Instructional Support

Computer Science Teacher Education Grant

Applications are open for the Colorado Computer Science Teacher Education Grant Program, which provides school districts, BOCES and charter schools funds for K-12 computer science teacher professional development. Approximately $880,000 will be awarded, split between two distinct pathways: district-determined and elementary-focused. Both programs will have approximately $440,000 available to support professional development for teachers.

For more information, visit the Computer Science Grants for Teachers webpage.

For questions, contact Chris Summers at or 303-866-6576.

Preschool through Third Grade

Feedback survey on draft rule changes for READ Act 

CDE is conducting an informal stakeholder survey to gather feedback on draft rule changes to the READ Act required by legislation in 2018 and 2019. The survey will focus on administration of assessments identifying significant reading deficiencies and options for districts to demonstrate K-3 teachers have successfully completed evidence-based training in teaching reading. 

Results from the survey will be used by staff to create a draft that will be provided to the State Board of Education in November during the notice of rulemaking for the Rules for the Administration of the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act, 1 CCR 301-92. Stakeholders will have additional opportunities to provide feedback during the formal public comment process for rulemaking, which includes hearings anticipated at the January and February board meetings.

The survey will be open through Friday, Oct. 18. Respondents may provide open-ended comments on each section of the draft rule changes. To participate in the survey, download a copy of the proposed rules, and view a crosswalk between the READ Act, the current rules, and proposed rule changes, visit the READ Act webpage.

For more information, contact Floyd Cobb at or 303-866-6868.

Preschool meetings

The CDE Preschool Team is holding meetings this fall to share information and guidance with Child Find coordinators, Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) coordinators and both general and special education preschool administrators. The meetings will highlight the working groups creating support documents for the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards for Preschool, quality enhancements to CPP and other topics. For more information, visit the Regional and State Preschool Meetings webpage

Meetings are planned for 10 locations across the state. The approximate meeting time for each meeting will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The locations and dates for October include:

  • Denver, West Metro - Wednesday, Oct. 2
  • Denver, East Metro - Friday, Oct. 4
  • Alamosa - Wednesday, Oct. 16
  • La Junta - Thursday, Oct. 17
  • Frisco - Wednesday, Oct. 23

For questions or to register, contact Marcia Blum at 303-866-6319 or

Request for Proposal for READ Act evaluator

CDE is seeking competitive, responsive proposals from organizations that can be an independent evaluator of the Colorado READ Act.

The request for proposal seeks a contractor who will independently evaluate whether grants to local education providers (LEPs) were successful in moving students’ reading growth to standard and whether a district's use of READ Act per-pupil intervention funds and grant program money can result in students making measurable progress.

For LEPs receiving Comprehensive Early Literacy Grant (ELG) Program Funding under the READ Act, this evaluation will be at the individual school level. In addition, a chosen contractor will review CDE's reading assessments, advisory lists of instructional programming in reading and support technologies, and professional development programs to ensure they meet READ Act requirements.

For more information, visit the Colorado READ Act homepage or contact Floyd Cobb at

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 Floyd Cobb, executive director, 303-866-6868,