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CDE Update

Need Assistance?

Please get in touch with your CDE field service manager.

  • John Condie, field services manager for the Northwest, West Central and Pikes Peak regions, 303-866-6630
  • Jhon Penn, executive director of field services and field services manager for the Northeast, North Central and Metro regions, 303-866-6632
  • Tina Goar, field services manager for the Southeast and Southwest regions and the Rural Council, 303-866-6608

About the CDE Update

Colorado is implementing significant education improvements aimed at ensuring all students graduate college- and career-ready. While much research and discussion has gone into the policy development, we're now putting those policies into action. Here's a brief snapshot of our strategic priorities including implementation milestones, supports now available and a look of what to expect ahead.

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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 support great educators as a part of meeting the requirements of S.B.10-191, the Great Teachers and Leaders Act.

What's Happening Now

Annual Assurances Due July 1 for Written Evaluation Systems

All districts must provide CDE with an assurance that each district/BOCES is implementing the Colorado State Model Evaluation System or another evaluation system aligned with S.B. 10-191 and state board rules by July 1, 2015.

Thank you to the more than 80 districts/BOCES that have already submitted their 2015 assurances. If your district/BOCES has not submitted its 2015 assurances, please do so as soon as possible. View the Assurances web page to learn how to submit them. For more information, contact Toby King at or 303-866-6964.

What's on the Horizon

Join an Inter-rater Agreement Professional Learning Community for 2015-16

The CDE Educator Effectiveness team is creating a professional learning community for districts interested in working together as a community of educators to develop better understanding of the teacher quality standards. The Inter-rater Agreement Professional Learning Community will be a true professional learning environment where members will support each other based on individual needs. Discussion, dialogue and feedback will be at the heart of the work whether it’s face-to-face or via webinar. Educators can receive CDE professional development credits for this work.

Participants will have a variety of resources available to them including a video using the Elevate Colorado platform, the Resource Guide for Deepening the Understanding of Teachers’ Professional Practices, and the Practical Ideas Guides. Walk-throughs and networking with others engaged in teacher quality standards can also be incorporated.

Individuals or teams are welcome to participate. Please contact Dawn Paré at to get started.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Important Upcoming Deadlines for CURRENT Users of Colorado’s Performance Management System (RANDA):

Performance Management System Summer Downtime and Annual Updates

Trainings for districts currently using RANDA are being planned for late summer/fall. Additional information will be included in the next update. Please let Joslyn Robich know if your district would be willing to host a training (using the train-the-trainer model). You can reach Joslyn at 303-866-6221 or The educator effectiveness team will determine the geographic locations based on district/BOCES need and staff capacity.

To make the necessary updates to the Colorado State Model Performance Management System (COPMS or RANDA) for the new academic year, a system downtime is planned from June 26 – July 19, 2015. If you have staff changes for the new year, all updates should wait until June 26. This includes changing buildings, positions and adding or removing users to the system for 2015-16. If you make these changes prior to June 26, it may impact the reports as well as assign unintended rubrics/evaluations. Detailed instructions have been sent to districts and BOCES through the system. Please contact Joslyn Robich at for more information.

As districts/BOCES/charter schools prepare for the new year, please request Educator Identifications (EDIDs) for new employees as soon as possible to expedite the process of receiving EDIDs due to the heavy volume of requests during the fall. View information about the EDIDs request process.

Important Upcoming Deadlines for NEW Users of the Colorado’s Performance Management System (RANDA)

The Educator Effectiveness team will provide several training opportunities for district/BOCES/charter school staff slated to use the Colorado State Model Performance Management System (COPMS) for the 2015-16 school year. These trainings are for staff new to COPMS.

Dates and locations are listed below. Additional trainings will be added for late July/August. All trainings are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

  • June 5, Pikes Peak BOCES, Colorado Springs
  • June 9, Eagle Valley Schools, Eagle
  • June 11, Uncompahgre BOCES(UnBOCES), Ridgway
  • August 5, Centennial BOCES, Greeley

View more information about who should attend the trainings and how to register . For questions contact Joslyn Robich, 303-866-6221, or

More Information

Visit the Educator Effectiveness website or contact Katy Anthes, Executive Director of Educator Effectiveness,, 303-866-6654.

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This year educators are taking a closer look at how high quality standards ensure that students are prepared to succeed after high school graduation. The Teaching and Learning Unit offers schools and districts resources and support to enhance student learning and achievement.

What's Happening Now

Standards and Instruction Support Office Launches New Webpages

This month the Standards and Instructional Support office unveiled its newly designed webpages. The pages are more user-friendly and easier to navigate. Also, each content-specific page (dedicated to supporting the implementation of all 10 areas of the Colorado Academic Standards) has additional instructional resources, professional development opportunities and connections to community partners across Colorado. The new pages provide easier access to the standards, curriculum samples, family guides and all the support tools available for educators and community members. Check out the new pages. Please send your feedback or questions about the new pages to Brian Sevier at

Summer Training Opportunities Offered for School Readiness Assessments

CDE is hosting summer trainings for each of the school readiness assessments. No-cost training will be offered for teachers and principals across the state throughout the summer in Teaching Strategies GOLD, the most widely adopted assessment tool. Trainings for REAL and DRDP, the other two school readiness assessment tools, are being arranged with the districts that have adopted these tools. For information about dates, locations and registration, please visit the school readiness website.

Questions about the school readiness initiative can be directed to Daryl Gagliano, kindergarten readiness program manager at or 303-866-6971; or Sharon Triolo-Moloney, director of office of early learning at or 303-866-6781.

READ Collection and Verification Timeline Revised

To expedite the notification and distribution process for READ Act funds for the 2015 school year, CDE has revised the READ collection and verification timeline. Districts must submit READ files by June 16. CDE will work with districts between June 16 and July 1 to resolve any duplications, and final files must be resubmitted by July 1. CDE will inform districts of funding levels by the end of July, one month earlier than in past years. Total state allocation for READ Act funds will remain the same for the 2015-16 school year. The per-pupil funds are based on the number of students identified with a significant reading deficiency within the READ collection. An informational webinar and an updated data collection timeline are posted on the READ Act webpage. Please contact Whitney Westgaard at or 303-866-6421 with questions.

State Board Approves Changes to READ Act Rules

At the May State Board of Education meeting, the board voted to accept proposed changes, as amended, to the READ Act rules related to students who receive their literacy instruction in Spanish and English. The rulemaking process was conducted in response to a recent opinion by the Attorney General’s Office to allow for the use of Spanish assessments in the determination of a significant reading deficiency for students who receive literacy instruction in Spanish and English. More information about this issue can be found on the READ Act webpage.

View resources for English learners in relation to the READ Act. Questions can be directed to Alisa Dorman, Executive Director of Literacy, at or 303-866-6016.

Professional Development Available for K-3 Reading Instruction

It’s not too late to schedule high quality professional development in K-3 reading for the 2015-16 school year. The Office of Literacy offers no-cost professional development through READing Foundations Academies focused on research-based K-3 reading instruction with an emphasis on foundational reading skills found in the Colorado Academic Standards. Any district or school interested in hosting a session should contact Donna Bright at or 303-866-6002.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

None at this time.

More Information

Visit the Standards and Instruction website or contact Melissa Colsman, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning,, 303-866-6737.

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Assessments administered by CDE include the Colorado Measures of Academic Success in English language arts, math, science and social studies; English language proficiency assessments, college/career ready assessments and alternate content assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success are the new state tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies that were given to Colorado students in the 2014-15 academic year. The science and social studies tests were developed just for Colorado students, while the math and English language arts tests were developed in collaboration with other states through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC).

What's Happening Now

Updates due in PearsonAccessnext

Final updates in PearsonAccessnext must be made by July 8. Rejected Student Test alerts appear in PearsonAccessnext if a student’s information from the paper book does not match the student’s information in PearsonAccessnext. Rejected Student Test alerts for the End of Year (EOY) records must be resolved in PearsonAccessnext because records that have not been resolved will not be scored.

PARCC Announces Next Year’s Tests Will Be Shorter

The PARCC Governing Board, made up of the state education commissioners and superintendents, voted recently to reduce total test time for the English language arts and math tests by about 90 minutes for each grade beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The board also agreed to consolidate the two testing components – Performance-Based (PBA) and End-of-Year (EOY) – into one window near the end of the school year. The new state testing schedule is being developed, and details about next year’s testing windows will be distributed to district assessment coordinators (DACs).

Educators Can Influence State Test Development: Learn How

CDE welcomes educator involvement in assessment development through participation in a variety of meetings held throughout the development cycle. CDE would like to have educators from across the state represented at several upcoming educator meetings. Participants are reimbursed for travel expenses, and districts are reimbursed for substitute teacher costs. Teachers interested in participating should visit the Educator Pool.

The following meetings will be held this summer:

  • June 3-5: Elementary and Middle School Rangefinding Part 1 (At rangefinding, educators define the score point ranges that will be used to score open-ended student responses.)
  • June 17-19: Elementary and Middle School Rangefinding Part 2
  • June 11-12: High School Content and Bias Review
  • Alignment Studies (TBD)

Assessment Unit Office Hours

Assessment unit office hours will not be held in June and July. Office hours are set times in which department staff are available for phone calls with questions. Office hours will resume in August.

What's on the Horizon

Assessment Data Clean-Up

This summer, districts will have opportunities to participate in Student Biographical Data (SBD) clean-up processes for many state assessments. Specific information about SBD windows will be distributed to district assessment coordinators and data respondents. SBD data collections are not mandatory. The following SBD collections are scheduled to be held during the summer months:

  • Colorado ACT
  • PARCC English language arts and mathematics
  • The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) English language arts and mathematics

Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA) Educator Meetings

Educators from around Colorado will participate in the following meetings for the Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA) assessment in July:

  • July 7-8: Rangefinding (Educators will define the score point ranges used to score open-ended student responses.)
  • July 15-16: Content and Bias Review

Important Upcoming Deadlines

District Activities:

  • Now - June 10: DLM clean-up of data in Kite
  • June 17 - 26: ACT SBD window
  • June 26 - July 6: DLM SBD window
  • July 8: Deadline for applying all updates to PARCC student records in PearsonAccess next . An opportunity to make changes through CDE’s Data Pipeline during SBD will follow.

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • Mid- to late-June: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school Science and Social Studies student level and summary data files available on PearsonAccess
  • Early July: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school Science and Social Studies Electronic Reports scheduled to be available on PearsonAccess
  • Mid-July: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school Science and Social Studies Paper Individual Student Performance Reports scheduled to arrive in districts
  • CO-ACT student reports are mailed to test-takers 3-8 weeks after the CO-ACT. ACT District reports will be sent to DACs no later than August 17.

More Information

Visit the Assessment website or contact Joyce Zurkowski, Executive Director of Assessment,, 303-866-6760.

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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

Safe Schools Checklist for Accreditation is Coming Up

The annual safe schools checklist for accreditation is due by June 5. The assurance checklist has been distributed to district superintendents and BOCES directors, (if the BOCES operates a school), via their respective field services manager. If you have questions, contact Jhon Penn at or 303-866-6632.

Accountability Work Group Discusses Future Options

The Accountability Work Group held its sixth meeting on May 18 and spent time learning about CDE, recent legislation and Colorado’s ESEA waiver. The group confirmed a purpose statement for school and district accountability in Colorado. Small work groups shared initial recommendations with the larger work group. And finally, small groups met to continue researching and discussing various recommendations in the areas of growth/improvement; equity/disaggregation; communication and purpose; design, post-secondary and workforce readiness; and accountability pilot.

View information about the Accountability Work Group, including agendas, minutes and PowerPoint presentations. The next meeting is June 15.

Accountability Impacts of New Legislation

HB15-1323 included adjustments for Colorado’s school and district accountability system for the 2015-16 school year. Specifically, the bill states that 2015 district accreditation ratings and school plan types (based on data from the 2014-15 school year), would not be calculated or assigned. Schools and districts will continue to implement their official 2014 rating in the 2015-16 school year. Additionally, the accountability clock will not move forward on July 1, 2016. When district accreditation ratings and school plan types are again assigned in fall 2016, the accountability clock will continue to advance on July 1, 2017, as a consecutive year.

Schools and districts will continue with the Unified Improvement Planning (UIP) process during the 2015-16 school year. However, some modifications will need to be made in the planning process because of the state assessment transition. More guidance and training will be made available this summer. Schools and districts with a 2014 priority improvement or turnaround plan type must still meet the Jan. 15, 2016 deadline for CDE review. The April 15, 2016 deadline will still stand for all schools and districts for public posting. Note that the biennial submission for schools and districts in rural areas that have a performance plan type or higher will still be available during the transition.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • June 1: Accreditation contracts are due to CDE for districts accredited with turnaround, priority improvement or improvement plans
  • June 5: Safe schools checklist for accreditation is due
  • June 30: New school and closed school code requests for 2015-16 due to CDE

More Information

Contact Keith Owen, Deputy Commissioner,, 303-866-6099.

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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

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

What's on the Horizon

Revised Menu of State Graduation Guidelines Rejected

In May 2013, the state board adopted graduation guidelines and directed the department to gather further feedback from educators and community members. Based on the feedback, the department proposed revised guidelines. During its May 2015 meeting, the board voted against the proposed revisions to the guidelines. This means that the 2013 adopted graduation guidelines remain in effect for local school districts as they set their graduation policies.

Online School and Program Pupil Enrollment Count

Online programs are required to adopt policies beginning in the 2015-16 school year for tracking student enrollment, attendance and participation. To support student learning, programs may also document students’ attendance and participation in educational activities. Acceptable forms of documentation can include things like assessment, orientation and induction activities, in-person educational instruction; and synchronous and asynchronous internet-based educational activities. A copy of the new board-approved policies, along with an assurance form signed and dated by the chief financial officer and superintendent, must be submitted by authorizers to">*** in the office of blended and online learning no later than September 10, 2015. The assurances form is available at ***. For more information contact Renee Martinez, 303-866-6864.

New Program Offers Students the Opportunity to Experience College Life

Just passed in the 2015 legislative session, the Colorado Student Leaders Institute, an affiliate of the National Conference of Governor's Schools, provides 9th and 10th grade students an opportunity to live on a college campus July 6 -31. Students will earn three hours of college credit, explore one of two majors (International Studies or STEAM), complete a Colorado Capstone Project through National History Day, and work in cross discipline teams to solve real time problems in Colorado. On the weekends they camp, rock climb, attend cultural events, and volunteer.

Students do not have to pay tuition. The program strives for a socioeconomically diverse population and works to make sure 50 percent of the population is eligible for free and reduced lunch or the first generation in their family to attend college. There are spots for 75 kids this year, and the application deadline has been extended to June 10. For a student application, visit for more information or contact Celeste Archer, 720-891-0060,

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Feedback on Revised Charter School Sample Application Guidebook and Rubric, due June 15

The CDE Schools of Choice Office has been working over the past year with the Colorado League of Charter Schools, in consultation with attendees at our quarterly meetings for charter authorizers, to update and revise the Colorado Charter School Sample Application Guidebook and Rubric, last published in 2011, to reflect changes in statute and best practice. This work is near completion, and a draft copy of the revised document and a corresponding rubric tool are available for review and comment. Please submit any comments to by June 15, 2015. A finalized version of the document will then be subsequently posted on the same webpage.

If you have specific questions on this resource or the comment process, please contact Gina Schlieman at or 303-866-6790.

More Information

Visit the Schools of Choice website or contact Rebecca Holmes, Associate Commissioner of Innovation, Choice and Engagement,, 303-866-6938.

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Organizational Effectiveness

This month's Organizational Effectiveness update focuses on Data Pipeline.

The 11th Grade Alternate Assessment for Colorado ACT testing window is this month. The READ collection opens in April. Both Access for ELLs SBD and Report Card March collections have finalization dates in early April.

What's Happening Now


The Colorado ACT Student Biographical Data collection will be open between, June 17 and June 26. School Discipline and Attendance – This new Data Pipeline collection will close June 26. The data is much the same as in the previous ADE, however, it is provided in a different format.


School district calendars reporting will be open from June 1 to July 15. Also, 2015-16 school code change requests will be accepted until Tuesday, June 30.


The Reading to Ensure Academic Development collection will be open until July 1.

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) SBD

This Student Biographical Data collection will be open between June 26 and July 6.

Special Education Discipline

Districts should continue to collaborate with administrative units on providing the needed discipline data. This snapshot will be open until Aug. 26. Aug. 18 is the date by which AUs must have generated their complete Special Education Discipline Snapshot dataset by passing all interchange and snapshot validations in preparation for report review.

Teacher Student Data Link

Both the interchange and snapshot will remain open until Aug. 28.

Student End of Year

Districts must create a 2014-2015 snapshot by June 5. The 2014-2015 student interchange and Title I interchange files have zero errors by June 25. All districts submit their 2014-2015 Student End-of-Year snapshots to CDE by Sept. 10.

Special Education End of Year

The snapshot will remain open until October 13. Friday, September 18 is the interim date by which all changes, specifically exit information changes, are identified and fixed and the administrative unit creates complete error-free Special Education EOY snapshot.

What's on the Horizon


PARCC English Arts and Math SBD is scheduled for late June/early July. Dates will be announced as soon as they are finalized. The Math Science Partnership will be conducted through the Automated Data Exchange one last time for the 2014-15 school year.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • June 26: CO ACT SBD closes
  • June 26: School Discipline and Attendance is scheduled to close
  • June 30: School code change requests are due
  • July 1: READ collection is scheduled to close
  • July 6: Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) SBD closes

More Information

Contact Jan Rose Petro, Director of Data Services,, 303-866-6838. Submit questions and suggestions to

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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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