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Special Education Office Overview

This office administers both the state's Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for children with disabilities.  It is a resource to teachers, administrators, and parents of students with exceptional educational needs due to disability, or learners who are culturally and/or linguistically diverse or have some other special need. The Office of Special Education is one of three offices under the Exceptional Student Services Unit.

Office of Special Education 



Address: 1560 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202
Room Number(s): 1100

Unit Supervisor: Dr. Paul Foster, Executive Director
Administrative Lead: Suzy Shotts
Lead Email Address:
Lead Phone Number: 303-866-6124

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Office Responsibilities

This ofice supports students with exceptional educational needs, their families and personnel providing education support to them. Technical assistance and programming support are available for students who have disabilities, are gifted and talented, and/or who are culturally or linguistically diverse.


Major Projects


  • The Access Learning and Literacy (ALL) team is committed to building supportive learning environments and ensuring effective instruction for ALL students with disabilities.  For additional information on eligibility of students with disabilities, accessible assessments, core content and specially designed instruction, accommodations, assistive technology, Colorado Academic Standards/Extended Evidence Outcomes, mental and physical health supports, the Achievement and Literacy Grants and literacy expertise specific to students with disabilities, please contact Tanni Anthony
  • Dispute Resolution provides parents and administrative units with information, guidance and training on IDEA Dispute Resolution Procedures. For more information, please call 303-866-6694 and ask to speak to someone from the Dispute Resolution Team
  • Fiscal and Operation Services is responsible for all financial aspects of the Unit, including the use of federal funds, and approval of Administrative Units' and State Operated Programs' federal application narratives and performance reports.  All general operations for the Unit are also the responsibility of this team.  For additional information, please contact Kim Boylan
  • Preschool Special Education and Child Find provides technical assistance to early childhood personnel and programs serving preschool aged (3-5) children with disabilities. For more information, please contact Heidi McCaslin
  • Results Driven Accountability encompasses the analyses of performance data, data collections for state and federal reporting, implementation of the IEP Interchange for the Data Pipeline, monitoring the implementation of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and family-school partnering to ensure family engagement in the education of students with disabilities.  For questions regarding Results Driven Accountability, contact Toby King
  • Secondary Transition is the team who provides training and technical assistance to educators, parents and community agencies in the process of preparing students, ages 15 – 21, for adult life after they leave high school and also serves as a bridge between school programs and the opportunities of adult life, including higher education or training, employment, independent living and community participation. For more information, please call 303-866-6106 and ask to speak to someone from the Secondary Transition Team. For more information, please contact Fran Herbert
  • Statewide Professional Learning Initiatives Team is responsible for developing and providing professional learning options to Administrative Units, districts, and educators throughout Colorado.  The Team oversees the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), the State Identified Measurable Result (SiMR)Project, the CEEDAR Project, the Directors of Special Education Mentor Project, and a number of literacy initiatives.  We maintain effective relationships with Institutions of Higher Education and support efforts in leadership and educator preparation.  For additional information or to discuss a professional learning opportunity, please contact Faye Gibson


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Contact Us

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

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing 

WCC Access