You are here

Special Education Directors' Corner

Jump to

Submit Contact Information for Child Find Coordinator

As required in the corrective action plan for State Complaint 2022.549, CDE must publish the name and contact information for each Administrative Unit’s designated Child Find Coordinator by Dec. 30, 2022.

Please use this form to provide the name and contact information for your designated Child Find Coordinator by Dec. 21, 2022. If you have questions, please contact

Quick Links

COVID Quick Links

Important Dates Coming Up

Year-at-a-Glance for SY 2022-2023 (PDF)

January 2023

1-Jan     Federal Application Project Narrative Amendment Window #2 opens

31-Jan   Federal Application Project Narrative Amendment Window #2 closes


1-Feb    2022-23 Budget Revision Window #1 Opens

3-Feb    A complete and error-free December Count Snapshot is due

24-Feb  December Count Student and Staff Snapshot closes

28-Feb  2022-23 Budget Revision Window #1 Closes

New Special Education Director


AU Special Education Director of Record and Fiscal Contact Information

ESSU must have current contact information for all state-level Special Education Directors and Special Education Fiscal Contacts. Our office communicates important updates and information through our listserv, please be sure that we have accurate, updated information. Communications from this listserv will come from CDE_SPED.

ESSU Newsletter

The ESSU e-newsletter is our office's primary form of communication with the field. It is published once a month and contains information from the Office of Gifted and Talented, Office of Facility Schools, and Office of Special Education.

What's New

Notice of State Complaint Decision and Corrective Action Plan for CDE

On Sept. 30, Disability Law Colorado filed a state complaint (2022.549) against CDE concerning IDEA-eligible youth detained in county jails. The complaint contained two allegations.  First, whether CDE exercised its general supervisory responsibility pursuant to ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible youth between the ages of 18 to 21 incarcerated in county jails.  Second, whether CDE has a policy, practice, or procedure in place to monitor county jails or their adjoining school districts to ensure that youth with disabilities have FAPE available to them.

Because the complaint was filed against the Department, CDE contracted with an independent investigator, Lenore Knudtson, to conduct the investigation.  On Nov. 29, the investigator issued a final decision that concluded CDE has not exercised adequate general supervision under IDEA for students, aged 18-21, detained in county jails. Consequently, CDE must complete the activities identified under the “Corrective Action Plan” for State Complaint 2022.549 (attached).

Completion of these activities will require cooperation from each Administrative Unit. Shortly, CDE will be sending out instructions and requests for information related to these mandatory activities. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

2022:549 Amended Final Decision

FAQ on Special Education and UPK Released

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about special education and universal preschool have been released by CDE. The FAQ was developed in response to questions from the field related to preschool special education and universal preschool (UPK). The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is responsible for administering special education, while the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) is responsible for administering UPK. Answers were developed by CDE with consultation from CDEC.

Additionally, CDE Standards for Placement of Preschoolers with IEPS in Educational Programs has been released. These standards were identified by the Colorado Department of Education based on state and federal special education law, rules, and include supportive resources to assist with implementation.

Please share these documents with others in your system, as appropriate. We anticipate that additional questions and answers will be added to this CDE webpage over time.

Questions may be directed to the Early Childhood Special Education team, or Heidi White, Preschool Director, at

New or Reorganization Application & Checklist

*Applications for New or Reorganized AUs are due Thursday, September 1, 2022, for districts seeking to begin operations for the 2023/2024 school year.

Meetings and Conferences

ESSU Spring 2023 Meeting

WHO:  Facility Schools, Gifted Education, and Special Education Leaders

WHEN:  Thursday, April 13 - Friday, April 14, 2023

WHERE:  Denver Marriott West, 1717 Denver West Blvd, Golden, CO 80401

  • Please watch for more information about registration and the agenda in the Exceptional Student Services Newsletter, and emails from ESSU Listservs beginning in early January.


Beginning in 2023, CDE will no longer be reimbursing travel expenses for events, reimbursements will need to be submitted to individual districts.

We have secured a discounted rate for rooms at the Denver Marriott West:

Cost: $159 USD per night

*If you try to book online and are unable to do so because the discounted rooms are full, please email

Other nearby hotels:

For questions or more information, please email

Upcoming – ESSU Meetings

  • Spring 2023 ESSU Meeting - April 13 & 14, 2023

  • Fall 2023 ESSU Meeting - Sept. 14 & 15, 2023

New Directors Orientation (NDO)

2022 Orientation for New (or Near-New) Directors of Special Education 

The 2022 Orientation for New (or Near-New) Directors of Special Education will be held on August 29, 2022. View the New Special Education Directors webpage for more information about Orientation for New (or Near-New) Directors of Special Education.   

Information and materials from past NDO meetings

Access the handouts from the 2021 New Directors Orientation (NDO) at the 2021 New Directors' Orientation Resources.

Memos to AU and Special Education Directors


Supporting Displaced Special Education Students

There are many ways that children and families can be displaced. There are floods, fires, and other types of natural disasters that can destroy homes or make them uninhabitable for periods of time. Families can also experience hardships that result in major home life changes.

Contact Us Icons

Dr. Paul Foster
Executive Director

Email Paul Foster
Phone: 720-926-4033

Having trouble with this webpage?


If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.