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CDE Update

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About the CDE Update

Welcome to the new CDE Update! Each month, this snapshot will show you what is happening in key priority areas at CDE and include details on implementation, milestones, deadlines and resources. This new online format will allow you to view everything or filter by category and date and will be your go-to source for all Update information. The Update will also still be sent via email but in a condensed format.

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October 2016

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Preliminary School and District Framework Release

The preliminary School and District Performance Frameworks will be available at the beginning of October. Results will be sent to district accountability contacts and superintendents through Syncplicity. If you did not receive this information, or need to assign a new accountability contact, please email Kelly Stritzinger at or 303-866-6108.

SPF/DPF Training

CDE will host a two-part training session in Golden on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The morning session will provide an overview of the 2016 School and District Performance Frameworks (SPF/DPF) and related connections to the improvement planning process. The afternoon session will be dedicated to guidance around the Accountability Clock for schools and districts receiving preliminary Priority Improvement or Turnaround ratings on the 2016 frameworks. For more information and to register for these training sessions in Golden please visit:

There will be additional training sessions on the frameworks in the coming weeks, including one in Steamboat Springs on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Northwest BOCES; in Greeley, Thursday, Oct. 20, at Centennial BOCES; and in Limon, Wednesday, Nov. 9, at East Central BOCES. View details on the Unified Improvement Plan fall trainings page. Additional customized regional and district training sessions are available upon request.

For more information, contact Dan Jorgensen at 303-866-6763 or email

Webinar training sessions

CDE staff will host two webinar training sessions on Thursday, Oct. 6. One is on understanding the growth model and the other is about learning the basics of the DPF/SPF and changes for the 2016 release. Click here to participate:

For more information, contact Dan Jorgensen at 303-866-6763 or email

School and District Request to Reconsider Process in 2016-17

CDE staff are available to assist schools and districts with the request to reconsider process. Draft requests to reconsider will be due to CDE on Monday, Oct. 17, with final request due on Nov. 7. If you need assistance or have questions about the process, please sign up for office hours here or contact Jessica Knevals directly at 303-866-6778 or Guidance on the request to reconsider process is available on the request to reconsider webpage.

ESSA Accountability Spoke Committee/Accountability Work Group

The ESSA Accountability Spoke Committee/Accountability Work Group has been meeting to discuss the ESSA accountability requirements and decision points. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 19. More information about the ESSA Accountability Spoke Committee/Accountability Work Group, including agendas, minutes and PowerPoint presentations, is available on the work group webpage.

Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses (1 CCR 301-57) Notice of Rulemaking

A rulemaking hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in the State Board room to update the rules to align with changes in HB 16-1429. The notice of rulemaking can be found here. CDE encourages written comments be sent via email to The State Board of Education is also seeking feedback on whether the board rules should refer to the state statute, C.R.S. 22-7-604.5 for definitions of the high risk indicators or if it is important to explicitly repeat these high-risk indicators in board rule again with the same language as state statute. The recommended deadline for written comments is Wednesday, Oct. 5, to allow adequate time for staff to review and incorporate comments into the rules.

Preliminary Pre‐Populated Unified Improvement Plans

Unified Improvement Plans (UIP) template for the 2016-17 school year is available online. The pre-populated reports (Section I) will be available by mid-October. UIPs can be accessed through the Identity Management System after the district Local Access Manager (LAM) has assigned the appropriate user role. As a reminder, all schools and districts are expected to use the online UIP system moving forward. CDE is no longer providing the MS Word template, and the Tracker system is no longer available.  More information is available on CDE’s UIP website. For questions, please contact Kelly Stritzinger at or 303-866-6108.

Fall Unified Improvement Plan Technical Assistance

For districts on Priority Improvement or Turnaround and for schools receiving a Tiered Intervention Grant (TIG), CDE is offering 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 Oct. 15 through the Online UIP System. A more detailed submission timeline is also available on the UIP website.

UIP Fall Trainings

The UIP Team is offering regional online UIP work sessions in October. The training will include relevant updates on the UIP process and an overview of the online system, followed by a scaffolded UIP work session. Trainings are offered in locations across the state. For more information click here. If you’d like a customized UIP training, please let your field manager know or contact Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642.


What's on the Horizon

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated UIP by Apr. 17, 2017 (note: districts and schools with a Performance plan type may submit plans biennially). The deadline for schools and districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type is Jan. 17, 2017. For more information regarding UIP submissions, visit the UIP process page

Accreditation Contracts

On Sept. 14, the State Board of Education board voted unanimously to approve the revised Section 3.05 of 1 CCR 301-1 Rules for the Administration of Accreditation of School Districts to include the assessment participation requirements included in HB15-1323. Specifically, the rules now require districts to sign an assurance that they will not impose:

  • Negative consequences on the student or parent if the parent excuses his or her student from participating in the state assessment; and
  • An unreasonable burden or requirement on a student that would discourage the student from taking a state assessment or encourage the student’s parent to excuse the student from taking the state assessment.

As a result, accreditation contracts will be updated and all districts will be asked to sign the contracts in summer 2017. A pre-populated contract will be sent to districts in the spring, due back with the superintendent and local board chair’s signature by the beginning of June. For the amended accreditation rules, please visit the statute and regulation webpage . 

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Mid-October: Pre-populated reports (Section I) will be available by mid-October. The online UIP system is accessible through the Identity Management System
  • Oct. 17: Due date for request to reconsider drafts for CDE rechnical assistance.
  • Oct. 17: (Optional) Deadline for districts Accredited with Priority Improvement and Turnaround plans and Tiered Intervention Grant (TIG) schools to submit UIPs through the UIP Online System for a fall UIP (Data Narrative) review from CDE.
  • Oct. 17: (Optional) Deadline for districts and schools to submit 2015-16 revised UIPs through the UIP Online System for the fall public posting on
  • Nov. 7: Due date for final requests to reconsider.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner of accountability, performance and support at 303-866-6855 or, or visit


What's Happening Now

State assessment trainings

This fall, the Assessment Unit will host in-person training sessions across Colorado in preparation for the 2016-17 state assessment administrations. Training is required on an annual basis for all personnel involved in any aspect of Colorado’s state assessments. District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) are invited to participate in the CDE regional trainings so they may then provide up-to-date and accurate training to individuals in their districts and schools. DACs will be sent registration information in the near future and may register one additional participant from the district for each session. These will be full-day sessions and lunch will be provided by CDE.

ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Training

This training will cover administration for ACCESS for ELLs for the 2016-17 school year.  A WIDA staff member will be presenting all trainings. Policies, procedures and requirements will also be covered.

  • Oct. 17 – Golden
  • Oct. 18 – Greeley
  • Oct. 20 – Limon
  • Oct. 21 – Pueblo
  • Oct. 24 – Montrose

CoAlt Administration Trainings

This training will cover administration of the alternate science and social studies assessments and the DLM ELA and math assessments. Student registration/data management will also be discussed.

  • Oct. 27 – Greeley (Northeast Region)
  • Oct. 28 – Golden (Metro Region)
  • Nov. 2 – Alamosa (Southwest Region)
  • Nov. 3 – La Junta (Southeast Region)
  • Nov. 4 – Colorado Springs (Pikes Peak Region)
  • Nov. 7 – Grand Junction (West Central Region)
  • Nov. 8 – Glenwood Springs (Northwest Region)
  • Nov. 10 – Limon (Northeast Region)

CMAS Administration Trainings

This training will cover CMAS science and social studies and CMAS: PARCC English language arts and mathematics administration, using PearsonAccessnext, test security, training resources, ordering paper-based tests and the student registration/personal needs profile process.

  • Nov. 8 – Grand Junction (West Central Region)
  • Nov. 9 – Carbondale (Northwest Region)
  • Nov. 11 – Brush (North Central Region)
  • Nov. 14 – Alamosa (Southwest Region)
  • Nov. 15 – La Junta (Southeast Region)
  • Nov. 16 – Colorado Springs (Pikes Peak Region)
  • Nov. 17 – Limon (Northeast Region)
  • Nov. 18 – Golden (Metro Region)

New and improved Formative Assessment Insights course available for 2016-17 school year 

CDE has partnered with WestEd to offer a course that helps teachers improve their use of formative assessment practices to support deeper learning for all students. This digital professional learning experience can benefit local education agencies (LEAs) looking to build coherence and shared understanding of assessment for learning. The total cost of this course is $120 per teacher, which includes:

• Access to the course for the school year
• Leaders’ Lookout, an online resource to support leaders in their learning
• Technology support
•Certificate of completion process

Click here for more information about this course or contact Angela Landrum a or 303-866-6931.

What's on the Horizon

Pre-ID extracts from Data Pipeline

In preparation for the spring assessments, CDE will pull student demographic information from Data Pipeline for the pre-ID extracts. Data for the ACCESS for ELLs general and alternate assessments will be pulled on Thursday, Nov. 10, and data for all other assessments for the 2016-17 school year will be pulled on Friday, Dec. 16. Please see the Student Biographical Data (SBD) Manual for more information on the pre-ID extract and the SBD process in general. Contact Melissa Mincic, or 303-866-6281, or Jasmine Carey, or 303-866-6634, with questions.

Unique Accommodation Requests

Districts should be aware that Unique Accommodation Requests (UARs) are due to the CDE Assessment Unit by Thursday, 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 human reader, using a calculator on the non-calculator section of the test). Completed 2016-17 UAR forms, together with the appropriate supporting data, will be 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.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Nov 10 – Pre-ID extraction for Data Pipeline - ACCESS for ELLs

Dec. 15 – Unique Accommodation Request due to CDE

Dec. 16 – Pre-ID extraction for Data Pipeline - CMAS, CoAlt, SAT, PSAT

More Information

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

Educator Effectiveness

Classroom teaching and school leadership are the strongest school-based factors impacting student achievement. CDE supports the state’s 178 school districts to attract, prepare and assist great educators as a part of meeting the requirements of S.B.10-191, the Great Teachers and Leaders Act.

What's Happening Now

Use of State Data in Educator Evaluations in the 2016-17 School Year

As you begin your work on Measures of Student Learning (MSL), please remember that 2015-16 state data must be included in this year’s evaluation for educators who taught the subjects in grade levels where state assessments were administered. According to HB 15-1323, Section 10, 2016-17 state data must also be included in an educator’s evaluation for this year if it is received at least two weeks prior to the last day of class. Currently, WIDA ACCESS status data is the only assessment that falls into this category for 2016-17. All other state data used in educator evaluations for the 2016-17 school year will come from assessments administered in the 2015-16 school year. 

For more information or assistance in constructing Measures of Student Learning, please contact Sed Keller at or 720-666-2307. 

Specialized Service Professionals' Training Sessions on Measures of Student Outcomes 

The Educator Effectiveness team will provide an opportunity for specialized service professionals and their evaluators to collaborate and learn from each other to create and implement quality measures of student outcomes. This training collaborative is intended for any specialized service professional, evaluator or district leader in charge of supporting the evaluation process. Attendees will discuss how to set rigorous, yet attainable, success criteria for use in evaluation and implementation challenges.

Upcoming Collaborative Training Dates

All training sessions are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please click on the date you would like to attend to complete a quick registration form. The Educator Effectiveness Unit is in the process of confirming additional training opportunities, including more dates in October. All dates will be posted here as they are confirmed.

For additional information or questions about these opportunities, please contact Courtney Cabrera at or 303-866-2332. 

Announcing a Colorado Rubric Review Process

As the Educator Effectiveness Unit begins work on the rubric review process, that will start with the Colorado teacher rubric, a webpage has been created to help communicate about this process. Check out the rubric review webpage for more information and a detailed timeline. The EE team is working with WestEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development and service agency to develop a timeline for benchmarks and establish a focus group protocol to gather input from the field. The intent is to learn as much as possible this school year to revise the rubric for a pilot in the 2017-18 school year. For questions about this project or to express interest in participating, contact Dawn Pare at or 303-866-5926.

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 on Educator Effectiveness, contact Dawn Pare, director of Educator Effectiveness, 303-866-5926, or visit


In December 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replacing the No Child Left Behind Act. States, including Colorado, are tasked with developing a state plan. 

For more information on the continuing work of developing Colorado's ESSA State Plan, click here.

What's Happening Now

ESSA Hub Committee September Meeting

The Hub committee assigned to oversee development of the state’s plans for the new federal education law, ESSA, met on Monday, Sept. 12, to begin delving into the finer details of the implementation of the law. The committee heard presentations about the law's requirements, opportunities and decision points regarding school accountability and school improvement outlined in the federal law. The Hub's next meeting is noon Monday, Oct. 10, in the State Board of Education board room, 201 E. Colfax Ave., Denver.

You can view the Hub Committee presentation on CDE's ESSA State Plan Development webpage.

Proposed Regulations for ESSA – Title I Supplement, Not Supplant

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) recently released proposed regulations for the Title I, supplement not supplant provision of ESSA. The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register on Sept. 6, and are available here. These proposed rules are subject to a 60-day public comment period, with comments due by Nov. 7. To comment on the rules, go to Or mail them to James Butler, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W246, Washington, DC 20202.

Proposed Changes to Reporting Requirements under ESSA

With the transition to ESSA, ED has released proposed changes to the EDFacts reporting requirements.  The proposed revisions pertain to the EDFacts Data Collection for school years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The proposed revisions were published in the Federal Register on Aug. 24, and are available here. Comments regarding the proposed rules must be submitted by Oct. 24.  To email your comments, go to Or mail them to Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-349, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

Please visit this webpage for more information on submitting comments or contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or (303) 866-6205 with any questions.

ESSA Listening Tour Report Released

Thank you to the hundreds of educators, parents, and students who took the time to attend and provide feedback at the ESSA listening tour events, listening tour webinar, and through our ESSA blog and email inbox. A final report based on the feedback received was released on Sept.16.

You can find the full report here.

CDE’s ESSA E-Newsletter

For updates on ESSA and for notifications of future opportunities for involvement, please subscribe to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) E-Newsletter - "ESSA in Colorado"

As Colorado works on drafting the state's plan to implement the federal ESSA, this periodic e-newsletter will provide updates on major developments, including information about the work of the hub and spoke committees, as well as important actions by the Colorado Department of Education, State Board of Education and U.S. Department of Education.

What's on the Horizon

ESSA Hub Committee October Meeting

The hub committee will meet again on Monday, Oct. 10, to begin delving into the finer details of the implementation of the law. The meeting will be held in the State Board of Education board room, 201 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver.

The committee will hear presentations about the requirements, opportunities and decision points regarding effective instruction and leadership and assessments as outlined in the federal law. The committee also will be provided information about the title programs that will be a part of Colorado’s ESSA. The meetings are open to the public audio will be streamed live. Click on the "Listen Live!” button on the ESSA webpage.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

The official Student October count date is Wednesday, Oct. 5. Special Education End of Year will close this month.

What's Happening Now

End of Year

The Student End of Year snapshot for 2015-16 is open. The cross local education agency (LEA) validation process that reclaims dropouts from prior collection years will occur between Sept. 26 and Oct. 20. The post cross LEA validation that verifies transfers and dropouts within Colorado will occur Oct. 27 through Dec. 1. Final approval deadline is Dec. 7.

Special Education End of Year

The duplication process is complete and administrative unit final data file approval and report submission will occur Thursday, Oct. 6.

2015-16 December Finance

This December finance collection is now open and will be due by Saturday, Dec. 31.

Student October

Note that the 2016-17 official Student October count date is Wednesday, Oct. 5. This rare instance has occurred because the first of the month is on a Saturday, and Monday and Tuesday are a part of Rosh Hashanah, a religious holiday. The snapshot is now open and the legislated deadline for snapshot approval is Nov. 10, at which time the duplicate count procedures will commence. Final approval is due Nov. 29.


The majority of school year 2016-17 migrant rollover enrollment records must be entered into the New Generation System (NGS) by Oct. 31.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files are open and snapshots may be taken beginning Nov. 3.

Special Education December Count

Individualized Education Plans and staff interchange files may currently be submitted. On Nov. 3 the official December Count collection opens. 


Non-public school forms should begin arriving at district offices in October for entry. Newly elected school board members may be updated starting Nov. 1. Both collections will close Dec. 2.

What's on the Horizon

The legislated deadline for Student October snapshot approval is Nov. 10, followed by the duplicate process, which will be completed Nov. 29. The ACCESS for ELLs pre-ID extract will occur Nov. 10. Please complete any desired data updates in Data Pipeline by close of business on that date.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 5:  Official Student October Count date

Oct. 6:  Special Education End of Year due date

Oct. 31:  Most SY 2016-17 migrant rollover enrollment records entered in NGS

Nov. 10:  ACCESS for ELLs pre-ID extract

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

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application opens Oct. 1

More than $150 billion is available in federal student aid each year. To access these funds students and families must complete the FAFSA form. The FAFSA provides financial assistance for postsecondary options, including certificate and credential programs, two-year and four-year degrees, and beyond. The completion of the FAFSA is the most accurate predictor of student enrollment and persistence in college with 90 percent of high school seniors who complete a FAFSA going on to postsecondary education within 12 months. FAFSA application, timely follow-up and completion shows families the potential for postsecondary affordability and the greatest return on their educational investment.

For more resources and information about the 2017-18 FAFSA, the Oct.1 opening date and how to support your students in postsecondary access and success please contact Stephanie Ricker from the Colorado Department of Higher Education at or 303-996-1324

P-TECH applications for 2017-18 due Dec. 1

Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) applications for 2017-18 are due Dec. 1 for schools that plan to open for fall 2017. P-TECH is an innovative partnership between a school district, a community college(s), and one or more local high-growth industry employer(s) intended to prepare thousands of Colorado students for high-skill jobs of the future. Please visit the CDE P-TECH web page for details. 

For more information, contact Mary Anne Hunter, postsecondary pathways coordinator at 303-866-6596 or 

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Misti Ruthven, executive director of postsecondary readiness, 303-866-6206, or

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now


Learn About the ESSA Standards Spoke Committee 

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support is supporting the Standards Spoke Committee for Colorado’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan. The first draft of the standards section of the state plan is available for review on the Standards Spoke webpage.

For more information about the spoke committee, contact Melissa Colsman, 303-866-6737 or

Access More Sample Standards-Based Curriculum Units

New units are available on the District Sample Curriculum Project (DSCP) resources page. The units were written for teachers by teachers for high school social studies and elementary arts integration for grades kindergarten (visual arts and mathematics), second grade  (music and reading, writing and communicating) and fifth grade (dance, physical education and science). These units are highlighted on the main DSCP resource page.

For more information, contact Karol Gates, director of standards and instructional support, 303-866-6576 or


Early Learning and School Readiness

Request Kindergarten School Readiness Training

Customized training and support is available for kindergarten teachers and elementary principals for the kindergarten school readiness initiative from CDE staff. The Kindergarten School Readiness team at CDE consists of experienced early childhood and early elementary educators who are available to provide support to teachers across the state through the duration of the state’s Early Learning Challenge grant. 

For more information, contact Emily Kielmeyer, Kindergarten School Readiness program manager, 720-822-0640, or visit the School Readiness webpage

Participate in Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Office Hours

CDE’s kindergarten school readiness team will host virtual office hours in October. The office hours will include support for finalizing the Teaching Strategies GOLD kindergarten entry assessment (KEA) survey or fall checkpoint, running reports and time for participants to ask questions. Office hours will be held for one hour on the following days at the following times:

  • 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct.13
  • 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17
  • 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26

No registration required. To participate, click here

For more information, contact Emily Kielmeyer, Kindergarten School Readiness program manager, 720-822-0640, or visit the School Readiness webpage

The READ Act

Schedule a READing Foundations Academy

CDE is offering a no-cost, high-quality professional development opportunity in K-3 reading. The Office of Literacy offers READing Foundations Academies focused on research-based K-3 reading instruction with an emphasis on reading skills found in the Colorado Academic Standards. 

For more information about scheduling a READing Foundations Academy, contact Marissa Calzadillas, literacy projects coordinator, 303-866-6189, or visit the Colorado READ Act webpage.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 19 - Applications for State Personnel Development Grant due

Contact: Scott Ross, director of learning supports, 303-866-6853,

Oct. 21 - Applications for Bullying Prevention Grant Program due

Contact: Adam Collins, bullying grant coordinator, 303-866-6632,

More Information

For more information, contact Melissa Colsman, executive director, teaching and learning, 303-866-6737, or visit

Quick Links


Contact Us

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

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Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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