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* * CDE will be closed Friday, July 3 for the Independence Day holiday. * *

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.

July 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

Summary of the Impact of New Legislation on Educator Effectiveness

CDE has created a web page about new legislation concerning assessments, H.B. 15-1323 and S.B. 15-56. See how this new law impacts educator effectiveness at Read frequently asked questions on the impact of H.B. 15-1323 on educator evaluations at

Grant Available to Vendors for Recruiting and Supporting Teachers

The Quality Teacher Recruitment Program grant provides funding to assist Colorado districts and BOCES recruit and retain highly qualified teachers in areas of the state that have difficulty with recruitment and retention. 

A total of $2.94 million is available for one or more applicants. Funding may be applied to program costs for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. Vendors applying for the grant must have a documented history of recruiting, training and retaining highly qualified teachers and must demonstrate that teachers it has placed achieve high academic growth from their students. Additionally, applicants must secure no less than 100 percent matching funds for all grant funding awarded.  Applications are due on Sept. 16. To learn more about the application process, visit

What's on the Horizon

Join an Inter-rater Agreement Professional Learning Community 

The CDE Educator Effectiveness team is creating a professional learning community for districts interested in working together as a community of educators to increase understanding of the teacher quality standards.  The Inter-rater Agreement Professional Learning Community for 2015-16 will be a true professional learning environment where members support each other based on individual needs. Discussion, dialogue and feedback is 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. Individuals or teams can participate. Contact Dawn Paré at or 303-866-5926 to get started.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Performance Management System Summer Downtime and Annual Updates

Trainings for districts planning to use the COPMS in 15-16 are being finalized. To see the list of trainings including dates and locations, who should attend and to register for a training visit: For more information contact Joslyn Robich at or 303-866-6221.

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. COPMS users should wait until June 26 to begin updating staff roles and assignments in Identity Management.  Staff updates made after June 26 will be reflected when the COPMS is activated for 2015/16. 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.  Due to the heavy volume of requests during the fall, early request of EDIDs will expedite the process of receiving EDIDs on time. For information about the EDIDs request process visit

Trainings for NEW Users of the Colorado’s Performance Management System (RANDA) 

The Educator Effectiveness team has been providing trainings 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. 

If you are new to COPMS and need training, please let us know and we will add additional trainings for late July/August. All trainings are from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Light breakfast and lunch is provided. For information about the trainings and who should attend, visit  For questions, contact Joslyn Robich, 303-866-6221, or

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

Attend a School Readiness Summer Training Opportunity  

CDE continues to host summer training events for each of the school readiness assessments. No-cost trainings are 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 dates, locations and registration, visit  Questions about the school readiness initiative can be directed to Daryl Gagliano, kindergarten readiness program manager, or 303-866-6971 or Sharon Triolo-Moloney, director of office of early learning, or 303-866-6781.

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

H.B. 15-1323 institutes minor changes to school readiness and READ Act assessment requirements at the kindergarten level and for students who test at the proficient level in reading. 

The law provides a 60-day window at the beginning of the school year for districts to complete the first checkpoint of the school readiness assessment.  Regarding the READ Act, at the kindergarten level, each district must administer an approved reading interim assessment to kindergarteners in the first 90 days of the school year. If a district administers the READ Act assessment in the first 60 days of the school year, it is not required to administer the literacy component of the school readiness assessment. 

For students identified with a significant reading deficiency, the teacher must administer a diagnostic assessment to the student within 60 days of the previous assessment to determine the student’s specific reading skill deficiencies.  Furthermore, if a kindergarten student is identified as having a significant reading deficiency, the district will include the student’s READ plan as a component of the student’s school readiness plan, which is consistent with the READ Act and with past CDE’s guidance. 

Districts are not required to administer READ Act interim assessments for students demonstrating reading competency for their grade level throughout the remainder of the specific school year.  CDE will work over the summer with assessment providers of the approved READ Act assessments to identify cut scores for grade level reading competency to help guide districts in making a decision about whether a student is demonstrating reading competency for his/her grade level.  The department anticipates having guidance to the districts by late summer.

To learn more about changes to READ Act required assessments for first through third grade, see the section below.  A full description of all the changes can be found at  

The READ Act

READ Collection and Fund Distribution 

In July, districts will receive information about the READ Act per pupil fund distribution for the 2015-16 school year, including the amount the district will receive and details on when the distribution is anticipated to occur.  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.  The Rural Flexibility bill (H.B. 14-1204, 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. If you would like more information about the READ Act, visit   

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

Read the full article in Early Learning and School Readiness, above, about the minor changes instituted by H.B. 15-1323 regarding school readiness and READ Act assessment requirements at the kindergarten level and for students who test at the proficient level in reading. 

READing Foundations Academy

For the 2015-2016 school year, the Office of Literacy will again offer no-cost professional development through READing Foundations Academies.  The academies focus 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

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

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

CMAS: Science and Social Studies District and Student Results

CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school science and social studies paper individual student performance reports are scheduled to arrive in districts in mid-July.  Student level and summary data files and reports are currently available in PearsonAccess. For more information about science and social studies assessments, contact Sara Loerzel at or 303-866-3266.

CMAS: PARCC Scores to be Released in Fall 

CDE expects PARCC to release scores for the English language arts and math tests in October for high school students and in November for middle and elementary students. As with any new test, the scores in the first year are taking longer to produce because performance level setting must take place. Performance levels will help students, parents, teachers and policymakers understand how students are performing against the content standards for college and career readiness. PARCC is convening educators and content area experts from each participating state to set performance levels in Denver in late July and August. For more information, visit

CMAS: PARCC English Language Arts and Math PearsonAccessnext Activities

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 EOY records must be resolved in PearsonAccessnext because records that have not been resolved will not be scored. Districts should also complete any not tested and/or void coding for the EOY by July 8.

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

Districts will have the opportunity to review their EOY records and complete the Student Biographical Data Review (SBD) through Data Pipeline from July 17 - July 29. CDE is working with Pearson to investigate the possibility of an extension.  SBD data collections are not mandatory.  Changes that districts have historically made through SBD may be made in PearsonAccessnext through July 8.

A merged summative record file will be available for district review in Data Pipeline through a Cognos report from Aug. 13 – Aug. 19. This will be an opportunity to verify that PBA and EOY records have been merged correctly. Specific information about how districts may access and use this file will be sent to district assessment coordinators and data respondents later this summer.  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 kick-off webinar will be held for district assessment coordinators in place of DAC Academy this year.  Specific information related to time of day and topics to be covered during this session will be distributed to district assessment coordinators.  A recording will be made available for individuals who are unable to attend the live session.  In addition, a recorded DAC orientation webinar for new district assessment coordinators will be available in advance of the webinar.

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 at: 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:

  • First week of August: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school science content and bias item review

  • Fall: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school social studies content and bias item review

  • Fall: CMAS/CoAlt alignment studies

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.  This five modules—six month course allows educators to collaborate with like-minded colleagues in their own school and in other schools around the country.

Participants will develop knowledge and skills in effectively implementing formative assessment practices by trying them out in the classroom during the course. This course will be facilitated by international revered formative assessment experts Margaret Heritage and Nancy Gerzon.

Participants have the opportunity to receive three units of graduate-level course credit from Grand Canyon University for a reduced fee of $300. For more information, visit . To submit interest in participating, visit Registration remains open through Aug. 21. For questions, contact Angela Landrum at 303-866-6931 or

Colorado Spanish Language Arts Educator Meetings

Educators will participate in the following meetings for the Colorado Spanish Language Arts assessment in July:

  • July 7-8: Rangefinding (At rangefinding, educators define the score point ranges that will be used to score open-ended student responses.)

  • July 15-16: Content and bias review

What's on the Horizon

College Preparatory/Entrance Assessments in Grades 10 and 11 

House Bill 15-1323 included provisions to eliminate 11th and 12th-grade PARCC tests and replace 10th-grade PARCC tests with a college-preparatory exam.  According to the legislation, students in 11th-grade will continue to take a college entrance exam.  The new 10th-grade college-preparatory exam and the 11th-grade college entrance exam will be procured through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process this summer. CDE does not know which college entrance exam and its associated 10th-grade exam will be selected for 2015-16 until that process is complete.  Test date selection and ordering processes will be included as part of contract negotiations for the exam selected. CDE will communicate that information to districts when it's available.  For more information, contact Will Morton at or 303-866-6997.

Spring 2016 Testing Windows

PARCC recently announced that the PBA and EOY windows will be combined into a single window next year. The consortium deadline for completing paper testing is April 29, 2016. To test as close to the end of the year as possible, Colorado's testing window for all spring 2016 CMAS assessments is April 11-29. The three week window allows districts to complete testing for all of CMAS, including science, social studies, English language arts and math if they are able to have single groups for each session.  Colorado will move to a sampling approach for social studies, with one-third of schools participating next year. All social studies and science tests must be scheduled and completed between April 11-29, but districts needing more time to complete their ELA and math testing due to device numbers (i.e., the number of computers available will require multiple groups for each test unit) may begin testing those content areas earlier. The maximum test window will be six weeks. Six weeks allows schools that need three groups per unit to complete testing. Please see below for the 2016 assessment windows.

CMAS (science, social studies1, PARCC English language arts2 and PARCC math) CoAlt (science and social studies) CoAlt DLM (English language arts and math)

3 weeks  (science, social studies, ELA and math)    

April 11-29

4 weeks (additional week for ELA and math)     

April 4-29

5 weeks (additional weeks for ELA and math)    

March 28-April 29 or

March 21-March 25 and April 4-29

6 weeks (additional weeks for ELA and math)    

March 14-April 29 with one week of

spring break in the middle3


1Social studies assessments will be administered on a sampling basis to 1/3 of the schools each year.

2Including Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA)

3CoAlt DLM system is not scheduled to open until the March 16

Additional Assessments

ACCESS (K-12th-grade)

Jan. 11-Feb. 12

10th-grade aligned to CAS and to the 11th-grade college entrance exam (TBD)    



11th-grade college entrance exam (TBD)


4These assessments will be procured through a competitive request for proposal process expected to occur during the summer of 2015. Dates for the administration will be determined at the time of contract negotiation.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • June 26 - July 6: DLM SBD window
  • July 8: Deadline for applying all updates to PARCC student records in PearsonAccessnext. An opportunity to make changes through CDE’s Data Pipeline during SBD will follow
  • July 15: DLM SBD window closes
  • July 17-29: CMAS: PARCC ELA and Math SBD
  • Mid-July: CMAS/CoAlt elementary and middle school science and social studies paper individual student performance reports arrive in districts
  • Aug. 13-19: CMAS PARCC ELA and Math summative record file available for district review through a Cognos report in Data Pipeline
  • No later than Aug. 17: ACT District reports will be sent to DACs. CO-ACT student reports are mailed to examinees 3-8 weeks after the CO-ACT

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

Accountability, UIP Tracker and Family Partnership Contacts

Superintendents are asked to confirm and update (if necessary) district accountability, UIP Tracker and family partnership contact information for the upcoming school year. A survey link that allows districts to update all three contacts will be sent via email in July. CDE’s primary means of communication around accountability work is through the accountability contacts. The tracker contact receives improvement planning‐related communications and will also be responsible for submitting improvement plans to CDE. The family partnership contact receives and shares information about resources and support from CDE about family-school-community partnerships for student learning.  

English Language Proficiency Growth Data Release

Student growth percentiles and adequate growth percentiles calculated from ACCESS results are available to districts through CEDAR. Summary school and district ACCESS growth reports are posted here at Additionally, individual student growth reports for English language proficiency growth will be provided to districts this month. For more, visit

Accountability Work Group Discusses Future Options

The Accountability Work Group held its seventh meeting on June 15, where the focus was on the design work group’s recommendations.  Based on the purpose statement and work of the smaller group, the Accountability Work Group provided feedback on the initial design recommendations for the frameworks. In the afternoon, small work groups met individually 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.

A summary of the initial recommendations for changes to the performance frameworks will be shared at the CASE Education Leadership Convention this summer. Additionally, 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 to request Accountability Work Group members to share draft recommendations 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 is available at The next meeting is in September. 

Reminder:  Accountability Impacts of New Legislation

The 2015 district accreditation ratings and school plan types (based on data from the 2014-15 school year), will 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.

What's on the Horizon

Preliminary PrePopulated Unified Improvement Plans

The preliminary school and district unified improvement plans will be available by September. 

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

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

Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options (Menu of Career and College Ready Demonstrations) Adopted by the State Board of Education in May 2013 still in effect

The state board of education did not take action at the May 2015 meeting to update the of career and college demonstrations. These guidelines are in law, which directs districts to 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.  In 2016-2017, school boards should adopt local graduation requirements that align with the state graduation guidelines in order to meet the goal that these graduation expectations are updated for the class of 2021. A copy of the menu of options is available at this link, and on page 13 of the Graduation Guidelines Engagement Toolkit:

This summer, based on the work of hundreds of business and educational leaders, CDE will publish an addendum to the engagement toolkit that further defines each item on the menu, including capstone projects and industry certificates.  The online version will feature draft reports and resources from each of the graduation guidelines work groups and highlight promising practices from more than 30 districts. For more information please contact Robin Russel, graduation guidelines manager,, 303-866-2908.

Concurrent Enrollment Annual Report

In collaboration with the Department of Higher Education, CDE released the Annual Report on Concurrent Enrollment in May with new data highlighting the enrollment and outcomes of Concurrent Enrollment students in the 2013-2014 school year. Highlights include:

  • Concurrent Enrollment and ASCENT continue to see sustained increases in participation, up 15 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

  • Nearly half of students who participated in ASCENT in 2013-2014 were Hispanic, a minority group that is historically underrepresented in postsecondary education.

  • Statewide, 94 percent of districts and 80 percent of high schools offer concurrent enrollment programs.

  • The majority of students – 89 percent – passed all of their concurrent enrollment courses (up from 84 percent in the previous year).

  • Over 950 students in concurrent enrollment or ASCENT programs earned some type of postsecondary credential in 2013-2014.

  • Students who participated in dual enrollment programs in high school had higher first-year credit hour accumulation, grade point averages and retention rates in college.

View the report at:

For more information about postsecondary readiness, visit or contact Rebecca Holmes, associate commissioner of innovation, choice and engagement,, 303-866-6938.

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

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 CMAS: PARCC English Language Arts and Math SBD opens this month.  READ, Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) SBD and CMAS: PARCC English Language Arts and Math SBD have due dates in July.  

What's Happening Now

Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) SBD

A recent change to the DLM reporting dates has provided additional flexibility in CDE’s SBD collection dates.  The new dates for the DLM Student Biographical Data collection are June 26-July 15.  If you have questions about this collection, please contact Jasmine Carey,, 303-866-6634 or Sarah Underwood, or 303-866-6877. 

CMAS: PARCC English Language Arts and Math SBD

This Student Biographical Data collection is open July 17-29

Special Education Discipline 

Districts should continue to collaborate with administrative units to provide needed discipline data.  This snapshot is open until Aug. 26. By Aug.18, administrative units must have generated your 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 are open until Aug. 28

End of Year

Districts must submit 2014-2015 Student End-of-Year snapshots to CDE by 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 Sept. 30.

Special Education End of Year

The snapshot remains open until Oct. 13.  Exit information changes and all other change should be identified and fixed by the interim date of Sept. 18. Administrative unit should also create complete error-free Special Education EOY snapshots.

What's on the Horizon

There are upcoming late August due dates for Special Education Discipline and Teacher Student Data Link. The 2014-15 Finance collection opens in mid-August.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • July 15 Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) SBD closes
  • July 29CMAS: PARCC English Language Arts and Math SBD due

More Information

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

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Quick Links


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

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