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CDE Update

CDE Update Special Edition

Special Editions of the CDE Update

Read the latest: April 16

CDE Update

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! This e-publication will show you what is happening in key priority areas at CDE and include details on implementation, milestones, deadlines and resources.

This online format allows you to view everything or filter by category and date and will be your go-to source for all Update information.

CDPHE graduation guidance available

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has posted guidelines for safely planning graduation ceremonies. The guidance offered allows for discretion based on “best practice” and provides the “how to” in areas that are not in policy or law and can be applied to both PK-12 and higher education.

April 2021

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Unified Improvement Plan Winter Review feedback available

CDE has reviewed and provided feedback on Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs) for identified schools and districts on Performance Watch or ESSA Comprehensive Support. Feedback based on the UIP Quality Criteria Rubric, including program specific requirements, is available through the UIP Online System in the Collaboration Tab.

For additional assistance, contact your Support Coordinator, or send an email to

Accountability Pause

With the passage of House Bill 21-1161, state accountability has been paused for a second year. This means 2020 plan types will be rolled over to the 2021-22 school year. Unlike the pause last year, the state may offer the request to reconsider process to schools and districts on the accountability clock. The department is working with the Accountability Work Group to design a potential request process.  

Colorado is preparing an accountability waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education to pause federal identification of schools (i.e., Comprehensive Support, Targeted Support, Additional Targeted Support). View the draft waiver request and provide comments

UIP Posting Flexibility  

The State Board of Education approved rules in alignment with the COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group’s recommendations, to make the April 2021 public posting window optional. New rules enable districts and schools to carry over the most recent plan to cover 2021. READ Act reporting requirements for districts are still in place, however. Districts and schools are still welcome to submit plans by April 15 through the online UIP system. CDE will post those plans within a couple weeks of receipt. 

For districts that plan to exercise this option to not submit, no action is necessary. CDE will add a note to the website explaining improvement plan status. Schools and districts can determine upcoming UIP deadlines using the UIP Submission Deadlines and Biennial Flexibility Spreadsheet (XLS). Send any questions about this resource to Kirby Stein at

READ Act Reporting Requirements

All districts must submit the new READ Act programming and assessment information by April 15, regardless of UIP flexibility. The reporting expectations include reading assessments, core program, supplemental programs and interventions for each school supporting K-3 students. Furthermore, a professional development plan should be reported for schools accepting READ Act and/or the Early Literacy Grant funds. For more detailed information, visit the UIP READ Act webpage.

Questions about READ Act programming requirements within the UIP can be directed to Susan Barrett ( or Andreia Simon ( 

What's on the Horizon

2021-22 UIP Submission

All school and district UIPs are due for public posting and/or CDE review on Oct. 15. This is the launch of the new permanent timeline shift. CDE recommends that planning for the next school year begins this spring, as your local data becomes available. The state will review plans for identified schools and districts (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround, On Watch, ESSA Comprehensive Support) at that time. Biennial flexibility will be available for eligible districts and schools. For more information, review the UIP Timeline Transition 2021-22 (PDF).

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 15: Deadline to submit UIPs for public posting (voluntary) and 2020-21 READ programming and assessment information (required if not already submitted this school year).

More Information

For more information, contact Rhonda Haniford, associate commissioner of School Quality and Support, at


What's Happening Now

2020-21 state assessment plan conditionally approved by the U.S. Department of Education

Following the direction of House Bill 21-1161, CDE submitted a waiver to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) on March 17 requesting a reduction in the number of federally required CMAS/CoAlt assessments that districts would be required to administer to students this spring. The one-year changes were requested due to the unique circumstances of the school year caused by the global pandemic.

On March 26, the USED approved a plan in which schools and districts will be required to administer the Colorado Measures of Academic Success assessments in English language arts to all students in third, fifth and seventh grades.  CMAS math assessments must be administered to all students in fourth, sixth and eighth grades. This plan for assessments for this year only will provide some relief for students, families, and educators after a challenging year for education amid a global pandemic

Parents and caregivers may opt to have their students take both English language arts and math tests. School districts and schools should notify parents and caregivers about how students may take assessments in both subject areas.

The USED did not approve Colorado’s request to suspend all science tests this year, so schools and districts must administer science tests to students in eighth grade. CMAS science will not be given to students in fifth and 11th grades, as they normally would, but CDE must publicly report the SAT Analysis in Science subscore this year. Social studies tests, which are required only in state law, will not be given this year.

The waiver does not include PSAT/SAT. Districts and schools should continue to move forward with their preparations to administer these exams in April.

CDE has created communications resources that schools and districts can personalize and use to communicate with families about changes for this spring. Access the Assessment Communications Toolkit, including sample parent letters and fact sheets, here.

Spring 2021 State Assessment Windows

The following table includes the spring 2021 state testing schedule.




April 12 – May 14


April 13, 14, 15 or 16 (district choice)

April 27, 28, 29 or 30 - Make-up date (district choice)

April 13-20 - Accommodations window


April 13

April 27 and May 18: Make-up test dates

April 13-16: Accommodations window


Grades 3-8: Aligned to CMAS window

Grades 9-11: Aligned to PSAT and SAT schedules


College Entrance Suite of Assessments RFP

Consistent with state statute, CDE released a request for proposals (RFP) for the college entrance suite of assessments (ninth, 10th and 11th grade exams) on March 10. The intent is for ninth and 10th graders to take the college entrance exam that corresponds to the assessments they are currently scheduled to take. This year’s ninth and 10th graders will continue to take the PSAT/SAT assessments through 11th grade. Next year’s ninth graders will be the first cohort to take the exam procured as a result of the RFP in March. Below is the information shared last spring with the field regarding the cohort approach that is being requested.

School Year

Exam procured by Spring 2021 RFP

Student cohorts that started with PSAT


Ninth Grade Exam

PSAT administered to 10th graders

SAT administered to 11th graders


Ninth Grade Exam

Tenth Grade Exam

SAT administered to Eleventh graders


Ninth Grade Exam

Tenth Grade Exam

College Entrance Exam



Ninth Grade Exam

Tenth Grade Exam

College Entrance Exam



(RFP released for next cycle of exams)

Ninth Grade Exam

Tenth Grade Exam

College Entrance Exam



Tenth Grade Exam

College Entrance Exam



College Entrance Exam



Prospective contractors have until April 12 to submit proposals. Consistent with the review completed in 2015, we are hoping the majority of the reviewers will represent the field. We also know that educators are incredibly stretched this year and we may need to adjust that expectation accordingly. Information on the selected contractor will hopefully be shared in May before the end of the school year.

ACCESS for ELLs Student Biographical Data Review

Student biographical data reviews provide districts with a voluntary opportunity to review and make corrections to assessment data through CDE’s data pipeline. The ACCESS for ELLs SBD window opens on Monday, April 12, and closes on Wednesday, April 21.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Weekly: Assessment Office Hours for DACs (DACs receive call-in information)
    • CMAS from 3 p.m. on Thursdays
    • Testing student with disabilities from 2–3 p.m. on Mondays
    • PSAT/SAT from 3-4 p.m. on Tuesdays
  • Apr. 12-May 14: Official CMAS and CoAlt testing window
  • Apr. 12-21: ACCESS SBD Window
  • Apr. 13: CO SAT primary administration date
  • Apr. 13-16: CO PSAT administration window (district selects test date within this window)
  • Apr. 27-30: CO PSAT makeup administration window
  • Apr. 27: CO SAT makeup administration date
  • May 18: CO SAT makeup administration date

More Information

For more information, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer,, or visit


What's Happening Now

American Rescue Plan Act

Colorado received over $1.6 billion under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed into law on March 11. ARPA brings an additional $123 billion in emergency pandemic relief aid for K-12 schools nationally and like the previous recovery bills, 90% of the funding will flow to districts through the Title I formula with 10% set aside for state-level priorities.  

ARPA emphasis is on addressing the learning impacts of COVID-19 by requiring districts to use at least 20% of funding for this purpose through interventions, summer programming and after-school opportunities. Similarly, states must use their funds for grants or contracts to address the impacts of COVID-19 with at least 5% of their funds for evidence-based interventions, at least 1% for summer programming, and 1% for after school programming.  

Information regarding applying for these funds will be available soon.

2021-22 Consolidated Application

Districts should begin planning for the release of the 2021 Consolidated Application by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, communicating and gathering input from stakeholders, and conducting meaningful consultation with non-public schools within the district boundaries. The application received minor updates and is the second year of district's three-year LEA plan.

Access to the online platform will be available soon. 

ESEA Fall/Winter Regional Networking Meetings

The ESEA Program office will host the annual Consolidated Application training on Monday, April 12. This training will assist applicants through the application process and answer any questions about program activities and the use of funds. Any district or school personnel are welcome to participate in these meetings, which can provide a forum for stakeholders to engage with Federal Programs staff and with other professionals around Colorado to communicate local updates, needs and concerns.

Additional information regarding registration for this and other sessions is posted to the ESEA Regional Networking webpage.

What's on the Horizon

Non-Public School Consultation Form updated

An updated non-public schools consultation form has been posted to the Equitable Services in Non-public School webpage. Consultation forms are due to CDE on Friday, May 29, by email to

Visit the Equitable Services in Non-Public Schools webpage for more information. For questions, contact DeLilah Collins at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Mark Kirkemier, executive director of Federal Programs, at

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

School Transportation

Grant opportunities for transportation stakeholders

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Intermodal Security Training and Exercise Program has created a guide with available FY2021 Department of Human Services (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Transportation-related Grant Programs

$200 million is available through four DHS grant programs focused on transportation infrastructure security activities. DHS/FEMA established three priority areas, including emerging threats. Security exercises can help operators and security partners pinpoint improvement areas and strengthen grant proposals.

For more information, contact Susan Miller at

Data Pipeline

Report Card March  

The Report Card March collection is open until Friday, April 9.


The window for ACCESS for ELLs Student Biographical Data collection is tentatively scheduled to be open April 12-21.

What's on the Horizon

Alternative Education Campus Application/Renewal and Planned Measures Collections   

The AEC renewal collection deadline is Friday, April 30. 

AEC Planned Measures Collections is due Wednesday, June 30.


The Attendance snapshot will open at the end of April and close on Thursday, Aug. 26.

Designated Agency   

The 2020-21 Designated Agency data collection is open in the Data Pipeline to enter 2020-21 candidates until Tuesday, Aug. 31.


  • The four-day school week application for 2021-22 is open until Tuesday, May 11. 
  • Districts may request school code changes for the 2021-22 school year. Requests must be made by Wednesday, June 30.


The Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) data collection will be open April 1 through July 1. All districts must submit files by Tuesday, June 15, at which time the cross LEA validation process commences.

School Discipline  

School Discipline will open at the end of April and will be due Thursday, Aug. 26.

Student End of Year 

The 2020-21 End of Year snapshot is in a soft open phase. Business rules and documentation will continue to be updated through the spring. The official launch is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12.

Teacher Student Data Link   

The TSDL interchange file and snapshot are now open. There is only one interchange file to be uploaded as the collection has been re-designed. The statewide standard course code (SSCC) system is no longer being utilized, instead all data will be uploaded as part of the one interchange file. For the 2020-21 school year, all districts are required to report TSDL data for students in grades six through 12 only. 

With this school year being a reportable Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) year, it is advised to also report all computer science courses as well for the sixth-12th grade students as this subject is required for the CRDC file.  Additionally, all courses are required to be reported for eighth-12th grade migrant students. The TSDL snapshot is open and is due Friday, Aug. 13.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 9:  Report Card March due date.

April 21: Access for ELLs SBD window closes.

April 30:  AEC Application/Renewal and AEC Planned Measures Collections will close.

May 11:  Four-day school week applications due.

More Information

For more information, contact Jan Petro, director of Data Services, or visit

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

2021-22 Concurrent Enrollment Grant Application Available

The Concurrent Enrollment Expansion & Innovation Grant program is a funding opportunity to provide grants to partnering local education providers and institutions of higher education to expand and innovate concurrent enrollment opportunities to qualified students. The 2021-22 grant awards up to $50,000 per approved applicant to be used through June 30, 2022. Applications are due Monday, April 19, and initial notification of award status will be sent the week of May 17.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the Concurrent Enrollment Expansion and Innovation Grant Program webpage. Contact Michelle Romero at with questions.

Inaugural Colorado Virtual Career Fair for Youth

The Colorado State Youth Council and the Colorado Association for Career and Technical Education, in partnership with education and industry partners from across the state, are hosting the inaugural Colorado Virtual Career Fair, April 19-22. This educational event is intended to expose Colorado youth to a broad sampling of career fields and provide opportunities for students to ask questions and learn more. Registration is now open for youth as well as their families and educators, and career panelist sign-ups are open through Tuesday, April 6. For questions, contact

Congratulations to 10th anniversary ICAP award winners

A selection team of former awardees is delighted to announce this year’s 10th Anniversary ICAP Awards. Read the details on each of the award winners on the ICAP Awards webpage and find their practices in the PWR Practices, Tools, and Resources section of the PWR Playbook.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

April 19: Concurrent Enrollment Grant Applications due.

More Information

For more information, contact Andy Tucker, director of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Learning Supports

MTSS Online Academy

The Office of Learning Supports has launched the Multi-Tiered System of Supports Online Academy where participants can receive professional development on universal design for learning, response to intervention, implementation science and family school community partnering. To join the modules, simply visit the MTSS Online Academy site on Moodle.

For more information, contact Kristen Brown at


2020-21 READ data collection reporting window opened

The 2020-21 READ data collection reporting window is open. Districts are required to submit end-of-year READ Act assessment data files by Tuesday, June 15, and the new K-3 Literacy Program and Assessment data file by Thursday, July 1. For information regarding the READ data collection, visit the READ Data Collection webpage.

Contact Whitney Hutton at with any questions.

READ Act 2021 Professional Development Review 

Stakeholder Feedback 
CDE is seeking stakeholder feedback for the rubrics to be used in the upcoming 2021 review of professional development. Stakeholders are encouraged to view draft copies of the rubrics on the 2021 READ Act Review of Professional Development webpage and provide feedback using the related forms.

The two categories of professional development to be reviewed in 2021 will only include:

  • Topic-Specific Professional Development Courses aligned to the READ Act
  • Early Literacy Grant Implementation Consultants

Note that professional development courses designed to fulfill the READ Act K-3 Teacher Training requirement will be reviewed at a later date. Submissions for the K-3 Teacher Training category will not be accepted at this time. 

Intent to Submit
Vendors that plan to submit applications to be considered for inclusion on the Advisory List of Professional Development in the Topic-Specific PD or Early Literacy Grant Implementation Consultant Categories must complete the intent to submit form, linked on the 2021 READ Act Review of Professional Development webpage. The Intent to Submit Window closed on March 31.

For questions regarding the Topic-Specific Professional Development course review, email For questions regarding Early Literacy Grant Implementation Consultant review, contact Laura Stelling at

Standards and Instructional Support

Colorado Academic Standards pre-revision survey

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support is accepting feedback on the social studies, visual arts, music, dance, and drama and theatre arts standards. The feedback received will assist committee members in their work recommending revisions to the standards. Provide feedback by completing the pre-revision survey.

For more information, contact Joanna Bruno at

Standards Revision Committee members selected

Committee members have been selected for the five content areas in Group 1 of the Standards Review and Revision process. Committees will begin their work in May. For complete lists of committee members, go to the Colorado Academic Standards Review and Revision Process - Group 1 webpage and select one of the content areas.

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

For more information, contact Floyd Cobb, executive director of Teaching and Learning, at