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Significant Support Needs (SSN)

Students with significant support needs are highly diverse learners with extensive needs in the areas of cognition and/or learning, communication, movement, and social/emotional abilities. The individual may also have concurrent health, sensory, physical, and/or behavioral disabilities.

Students with significant support needs require: 

  • a wide variety of approaches and supports to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • intensive instruction in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills in order to acquire and generalize knowledge
  • substantial adaptations (modifications and accommodations) and/or ongoing supports in order to access grade-level curriculum
  • access to assistive technology tools to communicate, learn and demonstrate their knowledge
  • progress to be measured by observation, data collection, assessment, and work samples
  • individualized levels of support across major life activities in the home, school, and community.

SSN Power Hour (Office Hours)

The Significant Support Needs Network Team and the Significant Support Needs Task Force Members will be holding monthly office hours.  The SSN Power Hour will be the first Wednesday of each month from 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM. 

  • September 27, 2023 - Individual Student Score Reports (DLM) Accessing Student Data

  • October 4, 2023

  • November 1, 2023

  • December 6, 2023

SSN Power Hour

All participants must register no later than two weeks in advance for each power hour session/conversation.

2020 Extended Evidence Outcomes (EEO)

This Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) sub-web is dedicated to the Extended Evidence Outcomes of the Colorado Academic Standards. The EEOs are written for students with significant cognitive support needs.

SSN Trainings

Quality Indicators

SSN Quality Indicator Guides and Video

The Quality Indicators offer guidance to educators and administrators when developing, implementing, and evaluating quality programs and services for students with the most significant needs.


SSN Resources

  • Archived SSN Trainings
  • Connect Listserv
  • Extended Evidence Outcomes (EEOs)
  • SSN Teacher's Corner

SSN Trainings

  • Current Trainings
  • Archived Trainings

Book Study Opportunity

The Colorado Department of Education SSN Network announces the return of this exciting opportunity. We will be holding a weekly Virtual Book Study on the book, Comprehensive Literacy for ALL: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Read and Write by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver, 2020. This is an amazing time to learn and network with your colleagues across the state.

This is an opportunity for school personnel who provide literacy instruction (planning, preparation, delivery) for students who are working towards the alternate achievement standards or Extended Evidence Outcomes (EEO).

The virtual book study will begin the week of September 25th and end in mid-December. We are offering 3 different sessions and you can choose the day and time based on your schedule.  

Check out the flyer for further details     

Book Study Application

**All participants must register no later than September 11, 2023 to be considered.

Significant Support Needs Advisory Council

The SSN Advisory Council is comprised of teachers, administrators, related service personnel, professors from Institutions of Higher Education, and parents from throughout Colorado. This group advises the Colorado Department of Education on the statewide needs of this population and those who serve them. Their expertise is utilized for work groups to develop trainings and products to assist educational teams in meeting the needs of this very diverse population.

CONNECT Listserv

The CONNECT (Connect to Networking, News, and Encouragement for Caring Teachers) listserv is a place for teachers and service providers working with students with significant support needs to find information, encouragement, and networking opportunities.

We know that those working with students with significant needs often may be isolated and lack the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues or find the expertise they need in a timely and safe setting. This is a place to ask questions, have discussions and share ideas with those in the field that are having the same experiences.

To subscribe to the CONNECT listserv:

  • Please complete the online listserv subscription request, CONNECT Listserv Subscription.
  • Once you have been added, you will receive a confirmation email

For more information about Significant Support Needs, contact:

Gina Herrera
Email Gina Herrera
Phone: (303) 253-0451

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