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* * CDE will be closed on Monday, February 18 for the President's Day holiday. * *

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.

February 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

UIP Winter Review Process

CDE will review and provide feedback on nearly 200 Unified Improvement Plans throughout the winter for districts and schools on the Accountability Clock (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround).

The department uses the UIP Quality Criteria to guide the reviews. Feedback based on this rubric, including program-specific requirements, will be made available through the UIP Online System in the Collaboration tab as it becomes available.

For more information and to view a copy of the UIP Quality Criteria rubric, visit the UIP Resources webpage.

What's on the Horizon

House Bill 18-1355 rulemaking

A notice of rulemaking for House Bill 18-1355, which modifies Colorado's accountability law, is scheduled to occur at the March 2019 State Board of Education meeting.

For more information, including key changes, read the HS 18-1355 Fact Sheet (PDF). Public hearings will be held at the May and June meetings. The provisions of this bill will go into effect in this fall. 

Visit the State Accountability - Statute and Regulation webpage for more information. For questions, contact Ashley Piche, director of Accountability and Data Analysis, at or 303-335-5731.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

March 6: Alternative Education Campus renewal/application collection opens. Contact B Sanders ( or 303-866-2865).

April 15: All school and district revised/updated UIPs must be submitted to CDE for posting on SchoolView. Districts and schools with a performance plan type may submit plans biennially.

More Information

For more information, contact Alan Dillon, associate commissioner, 303-866-6202,, 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 Testing Window

The ACCESS for English Language Learners testing window closes on Friday, Feb. 15.

Assessment Administration Preparation Activities

Before spring testing, District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) and District Technology Coordinators (DTCs) should refer to the information provided during training, documented in manuals and communicated by CDE’s Assessment Unit to ensure that districts are prepared for administration. DACs and DTCs should contact the Assessment Unit with any questions.

Weekly office hours are available to assist District Assessment Coordinators as they prepare for state assessment administration. Office hours focus on the following topics:

  • Testing students with disabilities
  • PSAT/SAT administration
  • CMAS administration

Online access and call-in information for office hours are sent directly to DACs.

Upcoming College Board Important Dates and Registration Windows

SAT Essay Student Registration Window

The SAT essay student registration window is open through Tuesday, Feb. 12. This is the only opportunity for students to add the optional essay to their April school day test registration. Students may add the essay to their registration through their online College Board account or by calling the College Board. Schools will not receive extra essay materials for test day changes, therefore please be sure students who want to take the optional SAT Essay register during the window.

College Board Approved Accommodation Requests

College Board approved accommodations are designed for students with documented disabilities and must be approved in advance by the College Board. Students who are approved for accommodations by the College Board will receive college- and scholarship-reportable scores. Once approved for accommodations, with limited exceptions, a student remains approved for all College Board tests. College Board approved accommodation requests must be submitted through College Board’s online system by Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Accommodation Requests – State Allowed

State-allowed accommodations (SAAs) are specific accommodations defined by the state. The available SAA’s align to the College Board accommodation types and must be documented in a student’s IEP or 504 plan. SAAs will result in scores for the student, but scores received are NOT reportable to colleges or scholarship programs. SAA requests must be submitted through College Board’s online system by Monday, March 4.

SAT Vouchers

Vouchers for students who plan take the national SAT on March 9 in place of the April school day administration were sent to schools in November. Students who are exercising this option must use the voucher to register for the national test by Friday, Feb. 8. As a reminder, a student is only eligible to use a voucher to take the SAT on the Mar. 9 national test date if he or she is an 11th grade student attending a public school in Colorado and meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Attends an online school full-time which is unable to establish a secure testing site; or
  2. Is unable to take the college entrance exam on either of the Department-designated school dates due to religious holidays; or
  3. Is unable to take the college entrance exam on either of the Department-designated school dates due to conflicts with legitimate instructional, curricular, or other activities, as determined by CDE.

Commercial PSAT/SAT Preparation Solicitations

We are aware of districts and schools receiving emails from companies marketing PSAT and SAT preparation activities and materials.  While some of these reference Colorado’s school day test administration, we want to be clear that these programs are not endorsed by CDE. We encourage you to review the student preparation resources already publicly available for free through College Board and Khan Academy before determining whether to invest in additional materials.

What's on the Horizon

Spring 2019 Colorado State Assessment Windows

Colorado's state testing window for all spring 2019 CMAS and alternate assessments will be April 8-26. The three-week window will allow districts with the ability to have single groups for CMAS test units to complete all CMAS and alternate science, social studies, math and English language arts testing while also allowing schools to test as close to the end of the school year as possible. 

More information and testing dates are posted on the General Assessment Information webpage.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Starting Feb. 1: Districts create CMAS test sessions after indicating all special forms in PearsonAccessnext

Feb. 8:

  • Last day of ACCESS for ELLs additional materials order window
  • Deadline for students to register for the Mar. 9 national administration of the SAT using a voucher.

Feb. 12:  Deadline for students to add the optional essay to their SAT school day registration through the College Board online system

Feb. 15: Last day of ACCESS for ELLs testing window

Feb. 19: 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. 25: Before testing, districts finalize CMAS computer-based test preparation activities

March 4:

  • Deadline for School Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinators to submit PSAT and SAT State Allowed Accommodation requests through the College Board’s online system
  • Districts may begin proctor caching CMAS math, ELA, and high school science content

Mar. 18 – 27: Access for ELLs Student Biographical Data Review (SBD) tentatively scheduled

Mar. 25: Districts may begin proctor caching CMAS elementary and middle school science and social studies content

More Information

For more information, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer, 303-866-6929,, or visit


During the 2018-19 school year, CDE will continue to implement its State ESSA Plan that was approved by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2018. Accordingly, schools have been identified for support and improvement under ESSA and districts have been notified of their identified schools. Several ESSA requirements go into effect this year, and the CDE Update will be used to inform superintendents of these requirements.

What's Happening Now

2018-19 Consolidated Application     

The 2018-19 Post-Award Revision (PAR) system is now open for adjustments and revisions to activities and budgets that were approved through the 18-19 Consolidated Application.

The PAR system will be available through Tuesday, April 30. All PAR requests for 2018-19 will be submitted through the Consolidated Application. After revisions have been submitted, regional contacts will lead the review and respond with approval or follow-up questions.

Review guidance and watch a recorded webinar via Adobe Connect regarding the process prior to submitting any revision requests to CDE.

Reach out to your ESEA regional contact for questions, including assistance with login information. View the 2018-19 Consolidated Application PAR webpage for helpful resources.

ESEA Regional Network Meetings - Series 2

The second series of ESEA Regional Network Meetings will focus on planning for use of 2019-20 ESSA funds.

EventBrite registration links for the following meeting dates are posted on the ESEA Regional Networking Meetings webpage.

  • Metro Region - Wednesday, Feb. 6, Denver
  • Northwest Region - Wednesday, Feb. 13, Grand Junction
  • Northeast Region - Thursday, Feb. 14, Greeley
  • Southeast Region - Tuesday, Feb. 19, Colorado Springs
  • Southwest Region - Friday, Feb. 22, Durango

For additional information, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, or DeLilah Collins at or 303-866-6850.

Upcoming WIDA Workshops

Professional learning opportunities for content and classroom teachers are available through WIDA:

More dates and registration links can be found on the Statewide Support Professional Learning Opportunities webpage.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 30: PAR system closes

More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Health and Wellness

Summer Food Service Program

Help Ensure all Colorado Children Have Access to Summer Meals

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), administered by the CDE School Nutrition Unit, ensures that children have access to healthy meals during the summer, which is critical for their health and well-being. The SFSP provides free meals and snacks to youth 18 years and younger when school is not in session. School Food Authorities already participating in the National School Lunch Program can use the federal reimbursement funding from any other child nutrition program to support their operation of summer meals and vice versa.

A successful summer meals program relies on collaboration with school and community stakeholders. Please work with your Food Service Director to help support or start a summer meals program.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit the program webpage or contact Ashley Moen, or 303-866-6653.

Data Pipeline

Student Information System

CDE is investigating the potential of a statewide Student Information System as a tool that could streamline data collection and reporting processes for local education providers. Because data system management and maintenance requirements affect districts differently depending on size, geographic location and student needs, CDE would like feedback from as many local education providers as possible on the benefits and challenges of a possible statewide system. 

Two brief surveys (no longer than 20 minutes) will be sent to LEPs interested in participating. Learn more by visiting the project webpage.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be taken. The collection will close Thursday, Feb. 21. Districts are required to have their snapshot error free and finalized by this date.

Special Education December Count

By Thursday, Feb. 14, all Administrative Units must resolve any duplicates and a snapshot must be recreated that reflects these duplicate data changes. Final approval is required by Thursday, Feb. 21.


  • The four-day school week application for 2019-20 is open. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, May 10.
  • Districts may request school code changes for the 2019-20 school year by June 30.

Designated Agency

The 2018-19 Designated Agency collection is open. Designated agencies may enter 2018-19 candidates into the Data Pipeline until Aug. 31.


The 2018-19 Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) is open and available for reporting data for districts with migrant students. All other districts are also able to report TSDL data, however it is not required. To clarify, all districts do not need to submit the course instructor file. 

For districts with migrant students:

  1. Local courses codes must be mapped,
  2. Course enrollment file must be uploaded for any eighth-12th grade migrant student receiving partial or full credit and; 
  3. The snapshot must be created and finalized for migrant students. 

For districts without migrant students:

  1. Local courses codes do not need to be mapped,
  2. No TSDL data file is required to be uploaded and;
  3. The snapshot does not need to be created or finalized.

Student End of Year

The 2017-18 End of Year snapshot will enter a soft open phase beginning in February. Business rules and documentation will continue to be updated through the spring.

What's on the Horizon

Report Card March and the Alternative Education Campus application/renewal collection will open early next month. 

The ACCESS for ELLs SBD review window will be open from mid- to late-March as well.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Feb. 14:  Administrative units must resolve duplicate issues

Feb. 21: 

  • Human Resources collection closes
  • Special Education December Count final due date

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

Standards and Instructional Support

Computer Science in Education Grants

CDE has $500,000 available to provide grants for computer science professional development for elementary teachers this spring.

Districts must apply by Thursday, Feb. 28, for one of two training opportunities:

  1. Training through a partnership with the Colorado School of Mines – Applications from districts must include the number of teachers who will attend the training. All regions across the state will have at least one training in their area. Participating teachers will qualify for up to a $250 stipend. 
  2. District-determined professional development -- BootUp and mindSpark Learning are professional development providers that have already met qualifications for the Colorado Computer Science Education Grant. Districts may choose to engage with these organizations directly or choose other providers better suited for their district needs. Districts may request teacher stipends or substitute pay in their application.

For details and resources, visit the Computer Science Grants for Teachers Program webpage. Contact Joanna Bruno, director of Standards and Instructional Support, at 303-866-6571 or with any questions.

Standards Implementation Modules

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) has developed 16 learning modules to build leader and educator standards literacy in an effort to support understanding of the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards (CAS). These modules were intentionally designed to be delivered at the local level to support smaller and rural districts that may not have district-level content specialists. However, educators from systems of any size are encouraged to interact with the training materials. The SIS team designed each learning module to be delivered in sequence using dedicated time available and relying on the learning leader of the school as the facilitator.

February marks the release of the second set of modules. These modules will assist districts in evaluating local curriculum and resources for alignment to the 2020 CAS. Visit the 2020 CAS Implementation webpage to view these modules.

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

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Feb. 28: Applications for each Computer Science elementary teacher grant option due.

More Information

For more information on Teaching and Learning, contact Floyd Cobb, executive director, 303-866-6868, or visit

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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