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CDE Update

CDE Update Special Edition

Special Editions of the CDE Update

Read the latest: Nov. 19

CDE Update

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! This e-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.

December 2021

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Accountability and School Improvement Supports Available 

The school improvement and planning team has resources to support districts and schools for the 2021-22 school year planning expectations. This includes a COVID-19 Impacts Quick Reference Guide, the 2021-22 Changes Document, School Accountability Committee trainings and resources, and the Accountability Handbook. These resources as well as webinars, office hours and other supports, will continue to be posted on the Unified Improvement Planning webpage.

Improvement Planning Updates

Thank you to all schools and districts that submitted their UIP by Oct. 15. Feedback on UIPs for schools and districts on the accountability clock (i.e., priority improvement, turnaround, on watch) and schools identified for comprehensive support under ESSA will be released as it is completed. Emails will be sent to district accountability contacts when feedback is available.

Extension of Colorado Multi-Tiered System of Supports Implementation Grant application deadline

The 2021-26 Colorado Multi-Tiered System of Supports  Implementation Grant application deadline has been extended to Friday, Jan. 7. The decision to extend the application deadline was based on feedback regarding the timeline for applying for this opportunity and in the interest of serving as many schools and districts as possible with these funds. Visit the State Personnel Development Grant webpage for more information. For questions, email

What's on the Horizon

Teaching and Learning Conditions Colorado 2022 coming soon

The Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) is an anonymous, voluntary statewide survey of school-based educators to assess teaching conditions at the school, district and state level. House Bill 21-1087 authorizes the inclusion of education support professionals for the 2022 iteration. Survey results will provide rich information about staff perceptions along with statewide comparisons and are intended to support school and district improvement planning and inform local and state policy and research efforts. 

The survey will be available on Wednesday, Jan. 19, and remain open through Friday, Feb. 18. The estimated time to complete the survey is 15 minutes. District and school leaders are encouraged to build time into the workday for educators and ESPs to respond to the survey. District human resources respondents and accountability contacts have been asked to verify the number of eligible educators in school buildings by Friday, Dec 3.

For resources and up to date information, visit the TLCC website. For questions, contact Lisa Steffen at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 3: Deadline for district HR respondents and accountability contacts to verify the number of eligible educators in their school buildings who can respond to the TLCC 2022.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Rhonda Haniford, associate commissioner, 303‐866‐6202 or


What's Happening Now

Assessment Pre-Identification Data

Pre-identification data for state assessments are pulled from the October Count collection. WIDA ACCESS for ELLs data were pulled from students reported as English Learners (NEP and LEP) after the snapshot soft deadline during the first week of November. Demographic data for all other assessments will be pulled in January from the final approved Student October Snapshot data.

Upcoming CMAS Deadlines

By Wednesday, Dec. 15, District Assessment Coordinators must notify CDE's Assessment Division of the following LEP administration decisions:

  • District or school intent to use paper-based testing as the main testing format for CMAS administration. The form was provided to DACs during last month’s administration 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 was provided to DACs during the November CMAS training sessions.

Also by Dec. 15, completed 2021-22 Unique Accommodations Request forms, together with the appropriate supporting data, must be submitted to the CDE Assessment Division by the DAC. UARs are required for accommodations that may change the construct being measured by the assessment (e.g., using a calculator on the non-calculator section of the test). UARs must be approved by CDE before the unique accommodation can be assigned in the vendor assessment systems and provided to a student. As a reminder, auditory presentation of the CMAS English language arts assessments would change what CMAS is intended to measure and is not available as an accommodation.

What's on the Horizon

ACCESS for ELLs Administration Window

The ACCESS for ELLs test administration window is scheduled to open on Monday, Jan. 10, and close on Friday, Feb. 11.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 1:

  • ACCESS for ELLs Unique Accommodation Requests due to CDE.
  • Access for ELLs test set-up available in WIDA AMS.

Week of Dec. 13: ACCESS for ELLs materials arrive in districts.

By Dec. 13: SAT vouchers should be received by schools that requested them during the establishment process.

Dec. 15:

  • Deadline for submitting CMAS paper testing mode for inclusion in initial registration file and CMAS and CoAlt early/extended administration window requests to CDE.
  • CMAS Unique Accommodations Requests due to CDE.

Dec. 16: ACCESS for ELLs additional material ordering window opens.

Dec. 17: Deadline for schools to submit PSAT/SAT offsite testing plans to College Board if needed.

Jan. 10: ACCESS for ELLs test administration window opens.

More Information

For more information on assessments, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer,, or visit

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

Educator Licensing and Educator Recruitment and Retention rules approved

On Nov. 10, the Colorado State Board of Education approved revisions to the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991 (1 CCR 301-37) and the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Recruitment and Retention (ERR) Program (1 CCR 301-113). 

Created by Senate Bill 21-185, the ERR Program will support members of the armed forces and nonmilitary-affiliated educator candidates entering the education profession and local education providers to recruit, select, train and retain highly qualified educators across the state. Qualified applicants may apply to receive up to $10,000 in financial assistance toward educator preparation program costs if they commit to teaching in a rural district for three years. The application process will open by February 2022. Visit the Recruitment and Retention webpage for more information and updates.

Revisions to the licensing rules, 1 CCR 301-37, include the incorporation of professional development requirements established during the 2020 legislative session and changing the duration of professional teacher, special services, principal and administrator licenses from five to seven years. SB 21-185 also allowed the expansion of content areas for which an adjunct authorization may be issued. Previously, adjunct authorizations were only issued in content areas not available on a teacher or special services license. Now, adjunct authorizations may be issued in any content area for which a person holds a bachelor’s or higher degree or has five or more years’ full-time experience. Details are available on the adjunct authorization application checklist.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Colleen O'Neil, associate commissioner, 303-866-6945, or visit


What's Happening Now

CARES Act FAQ webpage available

CDE has created a webpage to help answer questions districts may have about CARES Act funding. The webpage features FAQs about ESSA Programming Requirements, ESSER funding, remote learning needs, federal fund management and the RISE education fund.

For more information or further questions, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at

ESEA Fiscal Waivers

In response to continued extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented challenges schools and districts are facing, the U.S. Department of Education has allowed state educational agencies to seek waivers from certain statutory requirements. Colorado has been approved to waive the following fiscal requirements for local educational agencies:

  • The 15% carryover limitation in ESEA section 1127(a) for FY 2020 Title I, Part A funds. Therefore, any LEAs that have a greater than 15% carryover can apply to have the limit waived. 
  • CDE has the authority to extend the period of availability of Fiscal Year 2019 funds for ESEA/ESSA programs in the state’s approved consolidated plan until Sept. 30, 2022.

For questions about these waivers, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at, or Jennifer Austin at

CDE designates $25 million in ESSER III funding for underserved populations and LEAs that received limited federal funding for COVID relief

Similar to the use of state set-aside funds from ESSER I and II, CDE designated almost $25 million in ESSER III funding to support underserved populations and local educational agencies that have received limited federal funding to respond to issues created by the coronavirus pandemic.

In November, Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes determined this portion of the state set-aside funds for ESSER III will be allocated for these purposes: 

  • Districts that did not receive an allocation, or received a very small allocation, from the 90% ESSER III LEA allocation, as well as funds for districts to support Native American students.
  • The two Colorado Tribes, to support educational needs.
  • Administrative Units, to provide supplemental special education funding.
  • BOCES, to provide operational support for all BOCES as well as additional funds for BOCES with brick-and-mortar schools.
  • Facility schools, to provide operational support.

The funding will be available via the online ESSER III application. Eligible districts, BOCES, Administrative Units, Tribes and facility schools will be notified by next week when the online application system has been updated to include these awards. More information is available on the Federal COVID Education Funding webpage.

ESSER III Use of Funds Plan

LEAs are required to submit a plan for the use of funds by Thursday, Dec. 16, and one for providing safe in-person instruction by as soon as possible if the safe in-person plan was not submitted as part of the preliminary application prior to May 23, 2021. Completion of the narrative question and the budget will satisfy the use of funds plan requirement. If the narrative question located on the Narrative, GEPA and Assurance webpage is incomplete, respond to this question on or before Dec. 16. LEAs are also required to post the use of funds plan on their districts website. 

For questions, contact Kristin Crumley at, Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at, or DeLilah Collins at

2021-22 Post-Award Revision System Open

The 2021-22 Post-Award Revision (PAR) system is open for revisions to activities and budgets that were approved through the 2021-22 Consolidated Application. Review guidance on the Consolidated Application PAR webpage regarding the process prior to submitting any revision requests to CDE.

All PAR requests for 2021-22 will be submitted through the Consolidated Application online system. The PAR system will be available through Thursday, June 30. Once revisions have been submitted, regional contacts will review changes and respond with approval or follow up questions within two weeks of the submission date.

For questions about the PAR system or process, contact your CDE regional contact. Contact information is located on the ESEA Regional Contacts webpage.

U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual School District Review Program

The U.S. Census Bureau is conducting the annual School District Review Program. The SDRP enables state officials to review the Census Bureau’s school district information and update Federal School District Local Education Agency ID numbers, school district boundaries, names, levels and grade ranges. District leaders are encouraged to view their district boundaries online, using the TIGERweb application, to determine if they accurately reflect school district boundaries effective on or before Jan. 1

To report an error in the district boundaries online, districts should take a screenshot of the current boundaries and then annotate the updated boundary location on the same screenshot. Districts should notify CDE as soon as possible to report any errors, and all annotated screenshots must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Dec. 15, to ensure information is successfully uploaded in the Geographic Update Partnership Software by Friday, Dec. 31.

For questions or to report an error and submit annotated screenshots, contact Tina Negley at

For more information regarding the annual School District Review Program, visit the Census Bureau's website.

Coronavirus Relief Fund Reporting

The final deadline for either reporting expenditures from CRF funds - grants 4012, 5012 or 6012 - or adjusting previous reports, is Friday, Dec. 17. The last reporting period for expenditures from CRF funds ends this day and, as such, all CRF expenditures must be entered in your general ledger by that time.

Email questions to the Grants Fiscal team at

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 15: Annotated screenshots for corrections to U.S. Census Bureau School District Review Program submission due.

Dec. 16: ESSER III Use of Funds Plans due.

Dec. 17: Deadline for either reporting expenditures from CRF funds or adjusting previous reports.


More Information

For more information, contact Megan Allen, director’s assistant of Federal Programs, at

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Student Supports

Application deadline for formula funding to support McKinney students extended

The applications to apply for the U.S. Department of Education section 2001(b)(1) of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding to help support school districts in serving students experiencing homelessness has been extended. The purposes of this funding include increasing the identification of homeless children and youth, providing wraparound services considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing assistance needed to enable homeless children and youth to attend school and participate fully in school activities. Applications must be submitted online by Tuesday, March 1.

Additional information is available on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education webpage. For questions, contact Paula Gumina at

Data Pipeline

Kindergarten School Readiness

The Kindergarten School Readiness data collection provides data for measuring improvement in students' knowledge and skills over time and to collect data needed to fulfill statutory requirements for an annual legislative report. The collection will close Thursday, Dec. 2. Data reported to CDE will be from the initial fall assessment window. The initial assessment is to be completed within the first 60 calendar days of the school year as required by House Bill 15-1323.

Student End of Year

The 2020-21 End of Year collection closes with the final deadline to submit Superintendent Certification page on Thursday, Dec. 2. Districts should work to review their rates prior to that deadline.

Student October

While the Student October Count collection is completed, local board secretary signature pages are due Friday, Dec. 3.

Non-public School Directory

Non-public schools must be entered into Data Pipeline by Thursday, Dec. 2.  


Newly elected school board members also must be entered into Data Pipeline by Friday, Dec. 3. 

CMAS, CoAlt ELA/Math (DLM), CoAlt Sci/SS, and CO SAT/PSAT

The pre-ID extract for CMAS, CoAlt ELA/Math (DLM), CoAlt Sci/SS, and CO SAT/PSAT assessments will occur in December once Student October is finalized. Data will be pulled from approved Student October files so local education agencies do not need to alter Data Pipeline files on or near this date. 


Districts can access their Migrant Student List through Data Pipeline. Monthly, LEAs 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 “Student Profile” under the COGNOS reports tab. The district must have the STD LEAUSER or STD LEAVIEWER role to see the Student Profile 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 Excel and from there 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.

For questions, contact your local Migrant Education Programs who coordinate and deliver services to migrant students.

December Finance

The 2020-21 December Finance collection is due by Friday, Dec. 31. Districts unable to complete by this deadline must request an audit extension through the Office of the State Auditor. If approved, extensions are due Tuesday, March 1.

Special Education December Count

IEP interchange files and staff interchange files are being uploaded by districts and administrative units. Many AUs have already begun taking their December Count Snapshots. Friday, Dec. 17, is the deadline to have all Staff and IEP Interchange errors resolved. A complete Snapshot prior to the duplicate phase is due Thursday, Jan. 27.

Human Resources  

Staff interchange files are currently being uploaded by LEAs. Many have also started creating their Human Resources Snapshots and completing the Educator Shortage Survey. All errors in the Staff Interchange are set to be resolved by Friday, Dec. 17, and the Human Resources Snapshot created at least once no later than Friday, Jan. 14. The Educator Shortage Survey and Human Resources Snapshot is due Friday, Feb. 25. 

What's on the Horizon

Teacher Student Data Link

The teacher student data link interchange file is open. For the 2021-22 school year, all districts are required to report TSDL data for students in grades six through 12 only. With this school year being a reportable Civil Rights Data Collection year, 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-12th grade migrant students. The TSDL snapshot will open Wednesday, Jan. 26, and will close Friday, Aug. 12.

Designated Agency

The 2021-22 Designated Agency data collection is open in the Data Pipeline to enter 2021-22 candidates until Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 2: 

  • Final Student End of Year superintendent certification deadline
  • Non-public School Directory is due

Dec. 3: 

  • Student October local board secretary signature pages due
  • Newly elected school board members must be entered into directory

Dec. 15:  Migrant regions should enter data for all eligible migrant students recruited, counted and served in SY 2020-21

Dec. 31:  2020-21 December Finance is due

Jan. 11:  2020-21 Student End of Year release 

Jan. 19:  Public release of the 2021-22 Student October count

March 1: Extended application window closes for formula funding to support McKinney-Vento.

More Information

For more information on data pipeline, contact Annette Severson, manager of data services, 303-866-6824, or visit

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

2021-22 Concurrent Enrollment Grant application due Dec. 8

The Concurrent Enrollment Expansion & Innovation Grant Program is a federally funded opportunity to provide grants to partnering local education providers and institutions of higher education to expand and innovate concurrent enrollment opportunities to qualified students. Applications for the grant are due Wednesday, Dec. 8. The 2021-22 grant awards up to $100,000 per approved applicant for allowable, reimbursable expenses to be used through June 30, 2022. It is possible these funds may be extended beyond that time. If the deadline is extended and funds are available, approved grantees will have the opportunity to apply for additional funds.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant Program webpage. For questions, contact Michelle Romero at

2022-23 Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot Program application process open

The application for the 2022-23 Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot Program is now available. This program enables participating LEAs to offer high school students a variety of learning experiences that usually occur outside of the classroom. These learning experiences should be designed to enrich students’ education and support them in successfully transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or the workforce.

This program application involves a two-step process. First, those interested must submit an Intent to Apply by Friday, Dec. 10. After filling out an Intent to Apply, a secure Syncplicity folder will be shared with each applicant. Applications must be then be submitted to the Syncplicity folder by Friday, Dec. 17.

More information, as well as a recorded webinar about the application and process, is available on the program webpage.

For questions, contact Andy Tucker at

Automatic Enrollment in Advanced Course Grant Program application due Dec. 15

The John W. Buckner Automatic Enrollment in Advanced Courses Grant Program is intended to increase the number of students enrolled in advanced courses for subjects in which the student has demonstrated proficiency. Applications for the 2021-22 school year are now open. Applicants must complete the Smartsheet online application by Wednesday, Dec. 15

Visit the program webpage for more information, to access the required application materials, and to watch an informational webinar recording.

Contact Alena Barczak at with questions.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 8: Concurrent Enrollment Expansion & Innovation Grant applications due.

Dec. 10: Innovative Learning Opportunity Pilot Program Intent to Apply due.

Dec. 15: Automatic Enrollment in Advanced Courses Grant applications due.

Dec. 17: Innovative Learning Opportunity Pilot Program applications due.

More Information

For more information, contact Andy Tucker, director, 303-866-2089, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Update on Colorado Department of Early Childhood

Colorado’s Early Childhood Leadership Commission has approved a transition plan for the new, unified Department of Early Childhood (PDF). This is a critical milestone in Colorado’s commitment to efficiently and effectively serving young children and their families. It is also the first step in developing and implementing the state’s voter-approved, voluntary, universal preschool program by 2023. The executive summary of the plan is available in EnglishSpanish and Arabic

To learn more about the recommendations for universal preschool and to engage in the planning process, visit the ECLC website.

Preschool through 3rd Grade Office

READ Act requires all Local Education Providers to use scientifically based reading instruction programs

There has been some confusion regarding the use of programs from CDE's Advisory List of Instructional Programs. While all LEPs are required to use programming that is scientifically and evidence based regardless of funding source, only LEPs using READ per pupil intervention or early literacy grant funds to purchase core, supplemental or intervention programming must use a program from CDE’s advisory list. LEPs may use other evidence- and scientifically based programs using other funding sources as long as the programs meet the statutory requirements within the READ Act.

In October, CDE began contacting districts regarding core elementary reading instructional programs in use in their schools to assist them in coming into compliance with the READ Act.  Under the READ Act, all local education providers (LEPs) in Colorado are required to use instructional programs in reading that are evidence- and scientifically based and that focus on reading competency in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency including oral skills, and reading comprehension (section 22-7-1204 C.R.S.).

The 2020-21 school year was the first year that LEPs were required to provide information regarding the reading assessments, core and supplemental reading instructional programs, and targeted reading intervention programs and services provided in each school. 

Following the department’s work with districts to ensure their core programs are in compliance with the law, the focus will shift to intervention and supplemental reading programs. For questions, contact Floyd Cobb at

READ Act Instructional Programming Review

The CDE Preschool through Third Grade Office is seeking volunteers to take part in the process of reviewing instructional programming aligned to the READ Act. Reviews will be conducted virtually on multiple days in January. The volunteer reviewer application will close Wednesday, Dec. 15. Visit the 2021-22 READ Act Instructional Programming Review Process webpage for additional information.

For questions, contact Tammy Yetter at

Communications toolkit available to help ensure K-3 educators complete training required by the READ Act

CDE has created a communications toolkit to help district leaders work with their staff to ensure that all K-3 educators complete the required training in teaching evidence-based reading prior to the 2022-23 school year and districts receive their READ Act funding on time in November 2023. View the READ Act Teacher Training resources.

Colorado school districts, BOCES and charter schools are required to ensure all K-3 teachers complete evidence-based training in teaching reading as a result of changes to the Colorado READ Act in SB 19-199 (PDF). The requirements were put into place to ensure students are being taught with scientifically proven methods on reading instruction in an effort to dramatically improve early literacy in Colorado. Teachers who have completed the training report seeing improvements in student outcomes and a renewed appreciation for the science behind how children learn to read.

Office of Standards and Instructional Support

Colorado Academic Standards Feedback open for social studies and the arts

Public feedback is now open for recommended revisions to the academic standards from the Arts and Social Studies standards revision committees. The feedback window will be open until Saturday, Jan. 1. For more information and a link to the public feedback online system, visit the Colorado Academic Standards Review and Revision Process webpage.

For questions, contact Joanna Bruno at

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 15: Volunteer applications due for READ Act Instructional Programming Review.

Jan. 1: Deadline to provide feedback on committee recommendations for revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards for social studies and arts.

More Information

For more information, contact Floyd Cobb, executive director,