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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.

October 2015

Provide Feedback on the CDE Update

The CDE Communications Division would like your feedback on this publication. Please fill out this six-question survey to let CDE know what information is most useful to you, how you like to receive the information and how this publication can be improved.

Select a Category:

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

Measures of Student Learning (MSL) Guidance for Teachers Version 3.0 Now Available

The MSL Guidance for teachers provides approaches for selecting and using multiple measures of student learning in teacher evaluations. This new version highlights possible approaches for districts and BOCES to consider when constructing their approach to selecting measures of student learning for use in educator evaluations. CDE will collect ongoing feedback to improve these documents. Click here to see the latest version:

Measures of Student Learning - Professional Learning Community

The Educator Effectiveness Unit is planning a Professional Learning Community where districts can collaborate with like-minded peers in developing a better understanding of Measures of Student Learning for use in educator effectiveness systems. This will also provide an opportunity to work with other educators to identify problems of practice and collaborate to find solutions and share expertise and best practices. If you're interested in joining this professional learning community and getting more info, please contact Sed Keller at

Practical Ideas for Evaluating General Education Teachers of Bilingual Learners

The Colorado Department of Education has developed a set of Practical Guides for Evaluating Educators with the State Model System. These guides provide practical ideas for applying the State Model Evaluation Rubric to teachers and their evaluators to help them use the rubric for to their specific instructional context. The purpose of these documents is to highlight possible approaches for districts and BOCES to consider when constructing their approach to evaluating educators that may not be typical classroom teachers. Click below to view:

Questions about the Colorado State Model Evaluation System, Answered

The Colorado State Model Performance Management System is an optional tool that supports districts in the implementation, data collection and effective use of the Colorado State Model Evaluation System. The performance management system includes electronic interfaces and data collection-tools that help principals and district leaders provide useful and actionable feedback and possible professional development opportunities for educators. For more information, view the Colorado State Model Evaluation System Fact Sheet:

View an Inter-rater Agreement PLC Invitation Webinar

The Educator Effectiveness unit is offering an opportunity for educators to participate in an Inter-rater Agreement Professional Learning Community to deepen understanding of the Teacher Quality Standards. This opportunity is available to individuals, teams, schools or districts to share expertise and learn together in a risk-free environment. Learn more about this opportunity by viewing a recorded webinar, available at Contact Dawn Paré at 303-866-5926 or for further information.

What's on the Horizon

Educator Effectiveness Leader's Retreat on Nov. 12

Join CDE’s Educator Effectiveness team and others who are responsible for implementing components of S.B. 10-191 for an opportunity to network and learn from each other. The EE team will share upcoming plans for supporting implementation, new tools and resources and facilitate discussions around what you need to support quality implementation in your schools. To learn more and to register, visit:

More Information

Sign up for the Educator Effectiveness newsletter.Visit the Educator Effectiveness website or contact Toby King, educator effectiveness evaluation systems and support director, 303-866-6964.

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Now is a good time for educators to refocus on the opportunity high-quality standards provide for Colorado’s children. Student learning is at the heart of Colorado’s education improvement initiatives. The Teaching and Learning Unit offers schools and districts resources and supports to enhance student learning and achievement.

What's Happening Now

Standards: New Sample Curriculum Units Available

In response to district requests, CDE enlisted comprehensive health and physical education teachers across the state to develop additional secondary comprehensive health instructional units for grades six through 12. These highly anticipated units will available on CDE’s District Sample Curriculum Project webpage by mid-October: The units can be a complement in any class or subject area interested in underscoring the strong concepts, skills and content students need (e.g., decision-making, goal setting, advocacy, communication, responsibility, cooperation) to set a foundation to become successful, well-rounded individuals. For further information, please contact the comprehensive health and physical education content specialist Phyllis Reed at or 303-866-6593.

Kindergarten School Readiness Initiative

In response to technical issues regarding Teaching Strategies GOLD 2.0, Teaching Strategies will initiate weekly town hall meetings for Colorado subscribers, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 6. The meetings provide Colorado subscribers with an opportunity to communicate implementation challenges directly to Teaching Strategies, hear from Teaching Strategies about efforts to rectify issues and learn about ongoing product development timelines.

It is import to note that there is no state requirement to submit any compliance or outcome data regarding kindergarten school readiness in 2015-16. Districts are encouraged to use this year to continue learning to use the assessment tools and to work through implementation planning. Information about participating in the town hall meetings can be found at:

A recording of an informational webinar for users of the Teaching Strategies GOLD 2.0 platform is available at The Office of Early Learning and School Readiness conducted the webinar for users to address technical issues regarding the platform and provide information related to implementation of the school readiness initiative for the 2015-16 school year.

READ Act English Learner Guidance

The 2015-16 guidance for implementing the READ Act with English learners is available at The guidance includes information about identification of significant reading deficiencies for English learners and recommendations for READ plans. For more information, contact Alisa Dorman, executive director of literacy, at or 303-866-6016.

READ Act Rulemaking Notice

At the October Colorado State Board of Education meeting, the board will vote regarding the notice of rulemaking for the Colorado READ Act. The changes to the rules are necessary to bring the READ Act into alignment with H.B. 15-1323. The recommended rule revisions will be posted on the READ Act webpage when the state board meeting agenda is posted: For more information, contact Alisa Dorman, executive director of literacy, at or 303-866-6016.

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 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 are the new state tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies that will be administered in one window from April 11 to 19 in the 2015-16 school year. CDE will allow districts to begin testing one to three weeks early if they cannot complete testing within the window due to limitations on the number of computers or other devices needed for testing. . 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). For a quick at-a-glance reminder of what tests students will take and when the tests will be given for the 2015-16 school year, visit

What's Happening Now

Assessment Administration Trainings

CDE will host multiple in-person 2016 assessment administration trainings for district assessment coordinators (DACs) this fall. Recorded webinars will be available for individuals who are unable to attend in-person. Specific information about training dates, times and locations will be sent to DACs.

CoAlt (science and social studies/English and math (DLM):

  • Oct. 1 – Pueblo
  • Oct. 6 – Steamboat Springs
  • Oct. 8 – Grand Junction
  • Oct. 13 – Limon
  • Oct. 15 – La Junta
  • Oct. 23 – Denver (Jefferson County)

ACCESS for English learners:

  • Oct. 12 – Greeley
  • Oct. 13 – Aurora
  • Oct. 20 – Pueblo
  • Oct. 27 – Steamboat Springs
  • Oct. 29 – Grand Junction
  • Nov. 5 – Limon
  • Nov. 10 – Live Webinar

CMAS (science and social studies/English and math (PARCC):

  • Nov. 2 – Alamosa
  • Nov. 3 – La Junta
  • Nov. 4 – Colorado Springs
  • Nov. 6 – Aurora
  • Nov. 9 – Grand Junction
  • Nov. 10 – Glenwood Springs
  • Nov. 12 – Limon
  • Nov. 13 – Brush

TestNav Desktop Application Available for CMAS Assessments

TestNav Desktop is available at: This installable application is an optional solution that reduces dependency on the Java plug-in used by internet browsers.Districts may continue to use supported versions of the Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari internet browsers in place of the TestNav Desktop Application.

State Assessment Educator Meetings

The Assessment Unit is often asked how educators who administer state assessments can influence test development. The best way to directly influence assessment content is through participation in the variety of educator meetings that are held throughout the development cycle. Attend an upcoming meeting:

  • Nov. 9-10: CMAS Alignment Study
  • Nov. 12: CoAlt Alignment Study

Science and Social Studies Educator Meetings: To be added to the educator pool, interested educators should submit information via: Educator Pool ( Contact Katie Schmidt at or 303-866-6808 for more information.

English and math Educator Meetings (PARCC): Interested educators should contact Stephanie Boyd at or 303-866-6849 to be added to the educator pool.

Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA) Educator Meetings: Interested bilingual educators should contact Heather Villalobos-Pavia at or 303-866-6118 to be added to the educator pool.

What's on the Horizon

PARCC Score Release & Supporting Materials

The department plans to release state-level results from the new state assessments in English language arts and math as part of the Colorado State Board of Education meeting on Nov. 10 and 11. District and school results will be shared under an embargoed basis a couple of weeks after the release of the state-level results. These results will also be shared with the media a few days later, also under embargo, and then made available to the public. This is CDE’s normal process for releasing state assessment results. As you know, these assessments are often referred to as the “PARCC assessments” because they were developed by a consortium of states called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The assessments are part of the state’s overall assessment system, the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), which also includes assessments in science and social studies.

The Communications Division is creating tools to help superintendents, principals and teachers communicate with parents about the CMAS “PARCC Scores” and what they mean. These tools will be available soon and include:

  • CMAS “PARCC Score Card” Explainer (for teachers and parents)
  • Prezi Presentation: “Understanding the NEW Score Reports for English and Math”
  • Drop-in Articles and sample letters for parents
  • CMAS “PARCC Score Card”- Key Messaging

All CMAS “PARCC Score Card” materials will be available at:

10th-Grade Exam and 11th-Grade College Entrance Exam

The Request for Proposals for the 2015-2016 for the 11th-grade college entrance exam and aligned 10th-grade exam that is also aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards, will be released this fall. Identification of these assessments is expected to be available in November after the completion of the competitive RFP process and selection of a test vendor. For further information, please contact Will Morton at 303-866-6997 or

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.Due to changes to state law per H.B. 15-1323 and new state assessments, there are changes to school and district accountability for 2015. More details are below.

Accountability and Improvement Planning Resources

The Accountability Handbook is updated and available.The biggest shifts in the document reflect the state assessment transition and the accountability clock pause (H.B. 15-1323).The handbook provides districts and schools with a description of the state accountability process, stakeholder roles (e.g., local boards, districts, accountability committees), coordination with ESEA requirements, improvement planning expectations, timelines and related resources. View the handbook here:

The school and district data dashboards, which provide visualizations of demographic, performance and accountability data, have been updated. Due to the accountability clock pause, performance frameworks will not be released in 2015-16. Data that is typically shared through the frameworks (e.g., postsecondary workforce readiness indicators) are available this year through the state data resource report embedded within the dashboard. Other displays were updated with recent data, as possible. These resources should be valuable to district and school teams in updating their unified improvement plans. Visit to view the dashboard.

In addition, view recently released resources:

Accountability Work Group

The Accountability Work Group will share recommendations for the next iteration of School and District Performance Frameworks (to be released in fall 2016) and ask for feedback at regional superintendent and other stakeholder meetings this month. If you would like a member of the Accountability Work Group to share draft recommendations and collect input at a specific convening, contact Alyssa Pearson at or 303-866-6855. More information about the Accountability Work Group, including agendas, minutes and PowerPoint presentations are available at The next meeting is Nov. 16.

Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses

The Alternative Education Campus Accountability Work Group, charged with looking at revisions to the AEC School Performance Frameworks and related accountability, has its fourth meeting on Oct. 21. For more information regarding the Alternative Education Campus Accountability Work Group, visit:

Unified Improvement Planning Templates and Pre-Populated Reports

All pre-populated UIP reports are in the online UIP system. Guidance for accessing pre-populated UIPs is available here: If you need further assistance accessing the files in the online system, contact Lisa Steffen at or call 303-866-6676.

Fall Unified Improvement Plan Submissions and Technical Assistance

The first 2015-16 submission cycle for submitting UIPs for public posting on SchoolView is Sept. 30 to Oct. 15. Submission is optional and open to all districts to submit any district and/or school plans that have been revised and may replace the currently posted plan on SchoolView.

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 Tracker. Submission reminders will be sent via email to district tracker contacts throughout the year, as submission windows approach. A more detailed submission timeline is also available at:

UIP Fall Trainings

The UIP Team is offering regional online UIP work sessions in October. The training includes 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: If you’d like a customized UIP training, please let your field manager know or contact Erin Loften at or303-866-6642.

What's on the Horizon

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated UIP by April 15 (note: small, rural districts and schools with a Performance plan type may submit plans biennially).Schools and districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type (2014) must submit by Jan. 15, 2016 as well as April 15, 2016. For more information, visit

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Oct. 15 - (Optional) deadline for districts Accredited with Priority Improvement and Turnaround plans and Tiered Intervention Grant (TIG) schools to submit UIPs through the online UIP system or the Tracker system for a fall UIP (Data Narrative) review from CDE.
  • Oct. 15 - (Optional) deadline for districts and schools to submit 2014-15 revised UIPs through the online UIP system or the Tracker system for the fall public posting on SchoolView.

More Information

Contact Alyssa Pearson, interim associate commissioner of accountability, performance and support, 303-866-6855.

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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

View a New Revised Menu of Options for Graduation Guidelines

At the September board meeting, the Colorado State Board of Education adopted a revised menu of options for Colorado Graduation Guidelines, beginning with the class of 2021.The new menu provides 12 options for students to demonstrate competency – or show what they know in English and math – in order to graduate from high school. View a copy of the revised menu, a timeline and descriptions of implementation strategies for the menu items.

This fall, districts are forming committees to engage school and business communities in conversations that identify values and priorities for district graduates and that align local requirements with the state guidelines for policy and practice. Refer to the Engagement Toolkit for guiding questions and resources

By May 2017, districts should adopt revisions to local graduation requirements that meet or exceed one or more of the options approved by the state board. This will ensure that local graduation requirements are in place before the class of 2021 is in ninth-grade. For more information, contact Robin Russel, or 303-866-2908.

More Information

Visit the Schools of Choice website or contact Gretchen Morgan, interim associate commissioner of innovation, choice and engagement, 303-866-6740.

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Organizational Effectiveness

This month’s Organizational Effectiveness update focuses on Data Pipeline.Special Education End of Year is due this month. The 2015- 16 staff interchange opens this month.

What's Happening Now

Special Education End of Year

Administrative units should resolve all duplicates and review reports for finalization. The snapshot is open until Oct. 13.

End of Year

The cross LEA validation process, reclaiming dropouts from prior collection years, occurs until Oct. 22. Please contact Duncan Anderson,, to have your districted unlocked to make these adjustments. The post cross LEA validation, verifying transfers and dropouts within Colorado, begins Oct. 29. Please do not send superintendent signatures until December collection finalization.

Migrant Data

Migrant regions must enter 2015-16 rollover enrollment records into the New Generation System. Regions are required to complete the 2014-15 FTE Staff Tables by Nov. 30.

2014-15 Finance

Local education agencies should continue to submit files through Dec. 31.

Student October

The 2015-16 snapshot is open and local education agencies must submit by Nov. 10.

Staff Interchange

Local education agencies can submit staff files beginning Oct. 1.

IEP Interchange

These files may be submitted by administrative units beginning Oct. 19.

What's on the Horizon

There is an upcoming November due date for Student October. The Student End of Year post cross LEA validation, verifying transfers and dropouts within Colorado, will wrap up next month and local education agencies will update school board membership, if applicable. ACCESS for ELLs Pre-ID pull of untagged data occurs Nov. 12. Special Education December Count, Human Resources and Teacher Student Data Link snapshots open next month. Migrant regions will need to report 2014-15 staff in November.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Oct. 13 Special Education End of Year snapshot deadline
  • Oct. 22 Dropouts from prior years must be reclaimed for the End of Year collection
  • Oct. 31 Migrant regions must enter 2015-16 rollover enrollment records into NGS
  • Nov. 10 – Student October due date

More Information

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

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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

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