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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.

August 2015

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

2014-15 State Assessments and Educator Evaluations

Results from 2014-15 state tests cannot be used for educator evaluations for the 2014-15 school year. The “time out” created by House Bill 15-1323 allows more time for educators, schools and districts to gain more experience with the standards and get used to the new assessments before they are incorporated into accountability systems. In future years, state tests will only comprise one part of teacher evaluations.

User’s Guide for Colorado State Model Educator Evaluation System Updated

The updated 2015-2016 User’s Guide for Evaluating Colorado’s Teachers, Principals and Specialized Service Professionals is now available. Important updates include:

  • An expanded glossary to address feedback during the 2014-15 implementation year
  • Revision and clarification on the mid-year review to make it clearer and more complete
  • Integration of the measures of student learning/outcomes

View the updated User’s Guide and review important updates

2015-16 Orientation to the Changes in the State Model Evaluation System

One of the first steps in the state model evaluation process is to orient users to changes in the State Model Evaluation System for the current school year. CDE has created a PowerPoint and recorded webinar to support districts in delivering important updates to teachers, principals and specialized service professionals. The training resources include:

What's on the Horizon

COPMS: Performance Management System Summer Trainings

The Educator Effectiveness team will provide several training opportunities for district/BOCES/charter school level staff that will be using the Colorado State Model Performance Management System (COPMS or RANDA) for the 2015-16 school year. These trainings are intended for district/BOCES/charter school staff new to the COPMS. Current users are welcome to attend; however, these training opportunities are designed for beginners in the system. View full details on the training.

Trainings are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A light breakfast and lunch is provided.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, Centennial BOCES, Greeley
  • Friday, Aug. 7, Pueblo County High School, Pueblo
  • Tuesday, Aug. 11, Morgan County School District Re-3, Fort Morgan
  • Wednesday, Aug. 12, Montrose County School District RE-1J, Montrose

Before you register, please make sure your district/BOCES/charter school has informed CDE of its intent to use the Colorado State Model Performance Management System. Contact Joslyn Robich at or 303-866-6221 if your district/BOCES has not submitted its intent.

Register now. Each participant should bring a laptop to the training.Registration is free, but a minimum of 10 participants are required or the training is subject to cancellation. Please sign up at least one week prior to your training. It’s important that ALL personnel attending the training fill out the registration form.

More Information

Visit the Educator Effectiveness website or contact Toby King, Director of Educator Effectiveness,, 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

Early Learning and School Readiness

School Readiness Training Opportunities

CDE continues to host training events for the school readiness assessments. Three, no-cost trainings are being offered Aug. 3, 4 and 6 for teachers and principals on how to use Teaching Strategies GOLD. TS GOLD is the most widely adopted assessment tool, as a primary formative assessment across multiple child domains as identified in legislation. Trainings for REAL and DRDP, the other two school readiness assessment tools, are being arranged with districts that have adopted these tools. View location and registration information

Assessment subscription reimbursements through the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Fund grant are still available for districts that have not yet applied for 2015-16. View the application through Sept. 30. Because districts contract directly with assessment vendors for subscriptions, CDE recommends districts consult local procurement rules and processes. Additional questions about the school readiness initiative can be directed to Daryl Gagliano, kindergarten readiness program manager at or303-866-6971.

Changes to Required Kindergarten Assessments in H.B. 15-1323

House Bill 15-1323 institutes minor changes to assessment requirements at the kindergarten level. Learn how these changes will affect school readiness assessments for the 2015-16 school year.

The READ Act

READ Collection and Fund Distribution

In July, districts received information about the READ Act per pupil fund distribution for the 2015-16 school year. CDE anticipates distributing funds the week of Aug. 10. Districts should code the distribution with source code 3000 and grant code 3206. The allowable uses for the per-pupil intervention money for students with significant reading deficiencies include: (1) providing full-day kindergarten; (2) purchasing tutoring services in reading; (3) providing other targeted, scientifically or evidence-based intervention services; or (4) operating a summer school literacy program. House Bill 14-1204, the Rural Flexibility Bill, created an additional allowable use of READ funds for small rural districts to purchase the services of a literacy specialist from a BOCES to provide professional development in literacy or other supports for implementation of the READ Act.

Questions about the data collection can be directed to Whitney Westgaard at or 303-866-6421 in the office of literacy. Questions about identification of a significant reading deficiency and allowable uses of per pupil funds can be directed to Alisa Dorman at or 303-866-6016. View more information about the READ Act.

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 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

Test Results Reminder

Scores for elementary and middle school students’ science and social studies tests were released in July, and high school science scores will be released later this month. High school social studies scores will not be released because the state board has not approved the cut scores for those tests.

The math and English language arts scores are expected to be released later in the fall. As districts, schools, parents and students receive the scores, it will be important to remember that CMAS tests are new cannot be compared to the old TCAP or CSAP scores. CMAS tests, including the PARCC-developed math and English language arts tests, are designed to measure the complex thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed in the careers of the 21st century. The new tests will set a new benchmark from which we will measure the future success of Colorado students.

CMAS: PARCC English Language Arts and Mathematics Data Clean-Up

In July, districts reviewed their CMAS: PARCC English language arts and math records and updated information during the student biographical data review through CDE’s Data Pipeline.

A merged summative record file is scheduled to be available for district review in Data Pipeline through a Cognos report from Aug. 13 to 19. This is an opportunity to verify that the performance based assessment component (PBA) and end of year (EOY) records are merged correctly. This is not an opportunity to do another demographic data review. Specific information about how districts may access and use this file will be sent to district assessment coordinators and data respondents. This step in the process will only occur this year. Given PARCC's decision to move to a single window, merging will not be required next year. For more information about PARCC, contact Stephanie Boyd at 303-866-6849 or

District Assessment Coordinator Kick-Off Webinar

A live 2015-2016 school year webinar will be held for district assessment coordinators on Thursday, Aug. 20. District assessment coordinators will receive specific information related to time of day and topics to be covered during the session. A recording will be made available for individuals who are unable to attend. In addition, a recorded webinar for new district assessment coordinators will be available in advance of the kick-off webinar.

Formative Assessment

CDE is partnering with WestEd to offer a FREE online course, Formative Assessment Insights. This digital learning experience for teachers is designed to improve their use of formative assessment practices to support deeper learning for all students. To submit interest in participating, visit Registration is open through Friday, Aug. 21. For questions, contact Angela Landrum at 303-866-6931 or

Assessment Office Hours for DACs

CMAS: Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts and Math

Based on feedback from district assessment coordinators, CDE will resume monthly webex office hours for district assessment coordinators (DACs) from September through December. Weekly webex office hours will be held from January through May. More frequent opportunities will be available as needed. Details about the office hours will be shared directly with DACs.

CoAlt: Science and Social Studies/English Language Arts and Mathematics (DLM)

Beginning in September, CDE will host monthly office hours for DACs on administration of the alternate state assessments. Specific details about dates and session topics will be sent to DACs.

CMAS: Science and Social Studies Educator Meetings

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. For more information on educator meetings, contact Katie Schmidt at 303-866-6808 or

The following meetings will be held over the next few months:

  • Aug. 3-5: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school science content and bias item review
  • Sept. 2-3: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school social studies data review
  • Sept. 15-17: Elementary and middle school social studies content and bias review
  • Fall: CMAS/CoAlt alignment studies

District Assessment Coordinator and District Technology Coordinator Appointments

District assessment coordinators and district technology coordinators for each district are appointed by the superintendent. District assessment coordinators are responsible for the overall coordination of test administration. District technology coordinators ensure that testing environments are ready to deliver online assessments.

View district assessment coordinators of record for each district. If a new district assessment coordinator needs to be appointed for a district, the superintendent may email a completed district assessment coordinator appointment form to Margo Allen at When selecting a new district assessment coordinator, please remember that the individual will have access to personally identifiable information (PII).

View the district technology coordinator of record for each district. If a new district technology coordinator needs to be appointed for a district, the superintendent may email a completed district technology coordinator appointment form to Margo Allen at

What's on the Horizon

Instructional and Assessment Accommodations Training

This year’s assessment accommodations training for special education directors, district assessment coordinators and district or school personnel involved with determining and providing instructional accommodation and accommodations used on state assessments will be held via videoconferencing on Thursday, Sep. 17. Specific training details, including a list of remote videoconference participation sites around the state will be sent to special education directors and district assessment coordinators. This training will be jointly hosted by CDE’s Exceptional Student Services Unit and Assessment Unit. For more information, contact Mira Monroe at 303-866-6709 or or Linda Lamirande at 303-866-6863 or

Assessment Administration Trainings

CDE will host multiple regional 2016 assessment administration trainings for district assessment coordinators around the state this fall. Recorded webinars will be available for individuals who are unable to attend in-person trainings. Specific information about training dates, times and locations will be sent to district assessment coordinators. Trainings are currently scheduled for the following months:

  • ACCESS for English learners: October/November
  • CMAS: Science and social studies/English language arts and math (PARCC): November

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Aug. 17: ACT reports in district
  • Aug. 19: CoAlt: DLM required test administrator training modules for 2015-2016 available
  • Sept. 10: CoAlt: DLM software release with new KITE client and KITE apps
  • Sept. 17: Instructional and assessment accommodations video conference
  • November: CMAS: PARCC English language arts and math results available to districts

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

School and District Accountability in 2015-16

House Bill 15-1323 included adjustments for Colorado’s school and district accountability system for the 2015-16 school year. Specifically 2015 district accreditation ratings and school plan types (based on data from the 2014-15 school year), will not be calculated or assigned. Districts will not receive School or District Performance Frameworks this fall, like usual.

Because new ratings will not be assigned, a request to reconsider process will not occur this fall. To support submission of a request to reconsider in fall 2016, CDE staff from the Accountability and Data Analysis Unit will be available for technical assistance this fall for districts and schools that collected local assessment data during the 2014-15 school year. For more information, contact Jessica Knevals at or 303-866-6778.

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 2016, the accountability clock will continue, as a consecutive year.

Schools and districts will continue with the Unified Improvement Planning process and timelines during the 2015-16 school year. However, some modifications (e.g., updating trend statements) may need to be made in the planning process because of the state assessment transition. Guidance will be available on the UIP webpage by mid-August. View more information on the website or contact Lisa Medler at or 303-866-6993.

Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses

The Colorado State Board of Education will review and approve applications for school designation as an alternative education campus (AEC) at its August meeting. The approved list will be published on the CDE website. As with traditional School Performance Frameworks, AEC School Performance Frameworks will not be created for 2015 (based on 2014-15 data), per H.B. 15-1323. AECs will continue to implement their 2014 plan types in the 2015-16 school year. Visit the AEC webpage for more information.

Accountability Work Groups

The Accountability Work Group will meet Monday, Aug. 31. The group shared initial recommendations and asked for feedback at the summer CASE Convention. The Accountability Work Group will share recommendations and ask for feedback around the state at regional superintendent and other stakeholder meetings this fall. If you would like a member of the Accountability Work Group to share draft recommendations at a specific convening, please contact Alyssa Pearson at or 303-866-6855. View more information about the Accountability Work Group. The group will meet again in September.

CDE has created a work group to focus on the Alternative Education Campus School Performance Frameworks. The group will address the statutory requirements listed in H.B. 15-1323.The group met for the first time on July 27. More information about this work will be posted on the website in the next few weeks.

District Accountability, UIP Tracker and Family Partnership Contacts

Superintendents were emailed a survey link in July to confirm and/or update their district’s accountability contact, UIP tracker and family partnership contact information. Please confirm or update (especially if your district email server has changed) by the end of September. If you need the link to the survey again, please contact Kelly Stritzinger at

As a reminder, CDE’s primary means of communication around accountability work is through the accountability contacts. The department wants to ensure that all districts are receiving the necessary information.

  • Tracker contacts receive improvement planning‐related communications and are responsible for submitting improvement plans to CDE.
  • Family partnership contacts receive and share information about resources and support from CDE about family-school-community partnerships for student learning. (Note: H.B. 15-1321 provides small, rural districts (1,000 or less students) additional flexibility, including not identifying a family partnership contact.)

As in previous years, improvement plans may be submitted to CDE via the C‐FIRS Tracker system in addition to the new online system. CDE understands that in some cases, the district’s accountability contact and tracker contact may be the same individual.

Unified Improvement Planning (UIP) Templates Posted

View the 2015-16 district and school level Unified Improvement Planning MS Word templates and addenda forms. View a summary of the changes. The online UIP will transition to the 2015 template by the end of July. Small, rural districts and schools that maintain a Performance Plan type or higher may submit their UIP biennially (every other year) to CDE for public posting.

What's on the Horizon

State Data Resource Report

In the absence of the performance frameworks, CDE will release the State Data Resource Report, which includes post-secondary and workforce readiness indicators (graduation rates, dropout rates and ACT), ACCESS English language proficiency growth results and elementary and middle school CMAS science and social studies achievement results. The report will be available through the School and District Dashboards at the end of August or beginning of September.

Unified Improvement Planning Pre-Populated Report

Rather than receiving a unique URL through an email, districts will be able to access their reports in the online system by the end of August. However, updating the UIP in the online system is still optional in the 2015-16 school year. Users log in through the Identity Management System. View more information on how to sign up, resources and guidance documents.

UIP Fall Trainings

The UIP Team is offering regional online UIP work sessions in September and October. The training includes relevant updates on the UIP process and an overview of the online system, followed by a work session. Trainings are offered in regions across the state. View more information.

In addition, general UIP trainings will be offered throughout the fall. If you’d like a customized UIP training (e.g., half-day work session, facilitating root cause analysis, refining progress monitoring measures) in your region, please let your field manager know or contact Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642.

School and District Accountability Committee Trainings

CDE, in collaboration with the State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education, is offering trainings for school accountability committees and district accountability committees in the fall. Training dates and locations will be available soon. For more information, contact Darcy Hutchins, family partnership director at or 303-866-5921.

More Information

Visit the Accountability website or 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

Apply for the AP Incentives Pilot Program

The Advanced Placement Incentives Pilot Program is designed to assist with the implementation and/or expansion of advanced placement programs in order to build capacity for increased participation in rural and small rural school districts. Download the application and learn more about the program. Applications are due Sept. 1 to Marina Estrada at 303-866-6267, or High schools with higher than average free and reduced lunch (42 percent or higher) receive funding priority.

Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options Adopted in May 2013 in Effect; New Resources Available

The state board of education did not take action at the May 2015 meeting to update the menu of career and college demonstrations from May 2013. During the 2015-16 school year, districts should engage employers, community leaders, students and families in conversations about local graduation requirements and how they reflect the values and priorities of each school community. Then, local school boards should adopt local graduation requirements that meet or exceed the state graduation guidelines in order to meet the goal that these graduation expectations are in place for the class of 2021.

An addendum to the engagement toolkit is available now and includes four new fact sheets based on the work of hundreds of business and educational leaders who helped further define each item on the menu, including capstone projects and industry certificates. View the new fact sheets. The online version features draft reports and resources from each of the graduation guidelines work groups and highlights promising practices from more than 30 districts. For more information please contact Robin Russel, graduation guidelines manager,, 303-866-2908.

What's on the Horizon

2015-16 Charter Schools Program Grant; Expected RFP Release and Training

CDE’s Schools of Choice Office anticipates announcing a request for proposal for the 2015-16 Charter Schools Program (CCSP) Grant in August, with grant boot camp planned for Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be one application round this fall for the 2015-16 CCSP Grant.

This grant program provides up to $645,000 over a two- to three-year period for planning, design and implementation of a new charter school or a significant expansion of an existing high-performing charter school. CDE has approximately $3.9 million for five to six new 2015-16 awards from remaining funds from the federal 2010-2015 Charter Schools Program SEA grant. CDE has also recently applied for additional funds for a new 2015-2018 federal award, which if approved may fund an additional 16 to 20 awards. Full eligibility rules will be outlined in the RFP, but in summary, grant funding is available for:

  • New charter schools planning for a 2015-16 or 2016-17 start that submit a charter application by Oct. 28 (though approval can still be pending)
  • Existing, high-performing charter schools (Performance on three-year SPF) that are expanding two or more grade levels, or increasing their student population by 50 percent or more
  • Applications require a district/authorizer/LEA to serve as fiscal agent

Please pass this information along to any new or significantly expanding charter schools. View more information on the website, or contact Gina Schlieman, schools of choice manager at or 303-866-6790.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Aug. 26, 11 a.m. - CCSP grant intent to submit and eligibility forms due
  • Oct. 28, 11 a.m. - CCSP grant application due

More Information

Visit the Schools of Choice website or contact Gretchen Morgan, Executive Director of Innovation, Choice and Engagement,, 303-866-6740.

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Organizational Effectiveness

The 2014-15 Finance collection opens this month. Districts have an opportunity to review their PARCC summative file. Special Education Discipline and Teacher Student Data Link have due dates in August. Most 2015-16 interchanges will be open in August. Collection leads will communicate when districts can begin submissions. Local education agencies should request new student and staff identifiers and the directory should be updated prior to schools opening.

What's Happening Now

Note about CDE’s Identity Management System and local access manager roles

The Colorado Department of Education Identity Management system provides local education agencies with a means of administering and maintaining user access to integrated CDE data systems. The IDM system separates certain district data access functions into separate roles to strengthen the protection around the data: a user manager, a local Access manager (LAM) and a user role. For more information on how to add or update these roles, view the quick reference guide.

PARCC Summative File Review

Districts have an opportunity to review this file in Data Pipeline from Aug. 13 to 19.

Special Education Discipline

Districts should continue to collaborate with administrative units to provide discipline data. This snapshot is open until Wednesday, Aug. 26. AUs must generate a complete Special Education Discipline Snapshot dataset by passing all interchange and snapshot validations in preparation for report review by Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Teacher Student Data Link

Both the interchange and snapshot are open until Friday, Aug. 28.

End of Year

All districts must submit 2014-2015 Student End-of-Year snapshots to CDE by Thursday, Sept. 10.

Math Science Partnership

This collection will be conducted through the Automated Data Exchange one last time for the 2014-15 school year. The collection is due Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Special Education End of Year

The snapshot is open until Tuesday, Oct. 13. All changes, specifically exit information changes, are identified and fixed and the administrative unit creates complete error-free Special Education EOY snapshot by the interim date of Friday, Sept. 18.


Collection liaisons should enter 2015-16 key personnel and calendar updates into this year-round application.


Submit requests for student and staff identifiers as soon as possible for the 2015-16 school year. Early submissions will ensure that needed SASIDS and EDIDS are available for applicable collections.

2014-15 Finance

This collection opens Aug. 15. The due date is Dec. 31.

What's on the Horizon

There are upcoming September due dates for End of Year and Math Science Partnership. The 2015-16 Student October snapshot opens in September.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Aug. 26 – Special Education Discipline closes
  • Aug. 28 – Teacher Student Data Link deadline

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