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FAQs and P-3 Guidance During COVID-19

This guidance was prepared for Stay-at-Home (high level of COVID-19) orders. New Opening of School 2020-21 Guidance from the Preschool Through 3rd Grade Office is available.

Opening of School 2020-21 Preschool Through 3rd Grade

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Collaborative Projects

Questions related to Early Literacy Grants, Early Literacy Assessment Tool (ELAT) and school readiness.

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 Early Literacy Grants (ELG)

What are the current timelines for the ELG Sustainability and Annual Professional Development grants and the new Comprehensive ELG cohort opportunities?

CDE is temporarily suspending all competitive grant program applications and review processes until further notice. This impacts the planned releases of the ELG Sustainability and Annual Professional Development grant opportunities. The department will reassess the timing for competitive grant program applications and reviews in the coming weeks to determine the best way forward. If this changes, we will communicate in the following ways:

  • Sustainability Grant - Cohort 3 contacts will be emailed directly.

  • Annual Professional Development grant & Comprehensive ELG - The READ Act listserv and Scoop will be the primary channels for communicating any updates or releases. 

Update 4/14/20: Early Literacy Grant Program: Professional Development – Now Accepting Applications

This grant opportunity is geared to support Colorado educators in the implementation of scientifically and evidence-based reading programming and strategies for K-3 students. These funds are specifically intended for early literacy professional development for elementary educators. Applications are due Thursday, May 14, 2020, by 11:59 pm.

2020 application information and materials



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What are the expectations for external ELG implementation consultants contracted by current comprehensive ELG cohorts?

During this time, please be in contact with your ELG sites to learn what support may be needed. Please keep the CDE informed of ongoing support. More official communication will be shared with external ELG implementation consultants directly around end of year (EOY) documentation and funding goals. Please be sure you have documented and supported each site with middle of year (MOY) data review including progress towards this year’s funding goals. 


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What are the expectations for progress monitoring at this time?

 The CDE has reached out for guidance on how to best utilize the Acadience Reading assessment during this unprecedented time. Amplify and Acadience Learning have both shared guidance, please see below:

Submit additional questions for ELG 


 Early Literacy Assessment Tool project (ELAT)

What are the spring assessment requirements?

CDE is suspending spring K-3 READ Act and CPP Results Matter assessment requirements for state reporting purposes. If in-person instruction resumes this spring, teachers should exercise their judgment on the feasibility of giving the spring assessments in order to provide information to parents and to inform their instructional planning. 

The department will not collect spring reading assessment data and instead will base per pupil intervention funding for the 2020-21 school year on 2019-20 information. At this time, the department is determining what it will require to be submitted in the spring READ collection beyond a budget and narrative for use of READ funds in the 2020-21 school year, and will be extending the submission deadline. 

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What guidance can the department provide around progress monitoring during this time?

CDE reached out to the ELAT vendors, Amplify and Istation, to seek their guidance on how to best use their tools during this unprecedented time. Please refer to their websites below or to the CDE ELAT page for their COVID-19 resources in PDF form.

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Where can I find the most recent updates from ELAT vendors? 

 Amplify and Istation provide monthly newsletters with resources and announcements. Please contact your Amplify or Istation representative for a copy of the most recent newsletter or to be added to the listserv for monthly communications.

Submit additional questions for ELAT

School Readiness

When will the changes to the Kindergarten School Readiness data collection take place?

The State Board of Education voted to provide named domains as part of the Kindergarten School Readiness data collection on March 11, 2020. CDE will work to implement this change for the Fall 2021-2022 school year.

Submit additional questions for school readiness

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Data and Decision Sciences

Questions related to Results Matter, READ Act and Kindergarten School Readiness assessments.

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READ Act Data Collection

Are districts still required to submit spring 2020 READ Act assessment data through Data Pipeline?

No, the Department will not collect spring 2020 reading assessment data and instead will base per-pupil intervention funding for the 2020-21 school year on 2019-20 SRD counts.

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Will the overall state funding for the READ Act be the same as last year, $26.2M?

Yes, the total READ allocation amount for FY2020-21 will be approximately $26 million with a per-pupil amount of $639.21. To see how many funds your district received in FY2019-20, please visit the READ Act Per-Pupil Funding Document on the School Finance website.

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Since districts are not submitting READ data this year, how will CDE monitor FY2019-20 3rd grade students who are identified as having an SRD and/or a READ plan as they move into 4th grade?

CDE is still working on guidance to resolve this issue. Districts are encouraged to track these students internally so that READ plan data is not lost for these students. CDE is going to determine whether or not we can manually add these Cohort students back into the data collection next spring. More information on that to come.

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READ Act Budget Submission

Are districts still required to submit FY2020-21 READ budget projections this spring?

Yes, districts are still required to submit FY2020-21 READ budget projections this spring. The budget submission window opens today, April 1st.

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Are READ budget submissions still due on May 15th?

No, given the continuing situation with COVID-19, we’ve extended the deadline. Districts must have first round budgets submitted by June 30, 2020.

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Since the deadline for budget submissions has been extended, what is the new submission timeline?

The new submission timeline can be found on the READ Budget Submissions website.

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How do we login to the READ budget submission web application?

First, your Local Access Manager (LAM) will need to assign someone in your district the appropriate role in the Identity Management System (IDM). There are three different roles within IDM for the READACTBUDGET group: submit, contributor and reviewer. You’ll want to make sure that the person submitting the budget is assigned the submit role.

Second, please visit the READ Budget Submission Website to log into the budget web application. You will need to follow the prompts to reset your password.

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Will there be a READ Act Budget Survey template?

Yes, there is a READ Budget Submission Guidance Document (PDF) on the READ Data Collection website. There is also budget submission information on the READ Budget Submission Website.


No, given the current circumstances with COVID-19, there’s been an executive order that allows for districts to carry over more than the currently allowed 15% of unexpended READ funds into next year. 


Districts will not be required to report FY2019-20 carryover amounts in the spring 2020 budget submission. FY2019-20 carryover amounts will be available in spring of 2021.


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Kindergarten through 3rd Grade Literacy

Questions related to the READ Act.

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K-3 Evidence-Based Training in Teaching Reading

What professional development will CDE offer for the K-3 Teacher Training?

Independent review committees selected Keys to Literacy to provide face-to-face training and Public Consulting Group Inc. to provide online training. CDE anticipates the online training will be available this summer after the contracting phase is complete. CDE will provide this information as soon as it becomes available.

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Do districts need to apply to be approved to receive the CDE provided teacher training? What will the process be to receive the training?

No.  Districts will not be required to apply and gain approval for the CDE provided teacher training. We are currently developing processes for districts to register for and participate in the CDE provided training. When the processes are finalized, they will be shared with districts on our website, during webinars and through our listserv.

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Can districts create their own professional development program to satisfy the requirements of the K-3 Teacher Training?

Yes. A district can choose to provide their own professional development. District-provided PD must meet the same requirements as vendors for the required K-3 Teacher Training. The PD plan must be submitted to CDE, reviewed, and approved. This submission process does not have a deadline.

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Is there a cost for the CDE provided training?

No.  There is no cost to the district for the CDE provided training.

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Are districts responsible for keeping track of teacher completion of the training?

If a district provides the training to their teachers, the district will report teacher completion to CDE. The process for reporting this information is currently being developed. The process for tracking completion of the CDE-provided training is also currently being developed.

When the processes for reporting/tracking teacher completion of the required training are finalized, they will be shared with districts on our website, during webinars, and on our listserv.

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 When do you anticipate the release of the application for districts who wish to submit a district created professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement?

The anticipated release of the application for districts to submit professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement is no later than early May. This will be a rolling application and will be posted on the CDE website.

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Is there a way for teachers to “test out” of the requirement for evidence-based teacher training?

On April 8th, 2020, the State Board of Education determined that teachers who score at least 159 on the ETS Praxis Teaching Reading Elementary assessment (5205) will have met the evidence-based teacher training requirement established in SB-19 199.

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Does the Praxis have to be combined with an approved course to fulfill the requirement?

No.  Passing the ETS Praxis Teaching Reading Elementary assessment with a score of at least 159 can serve as a standalone fulfillment of the requirement.

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Can districts use READ Act funds to pay for teachers to take the Praxis? 

No.  The cost for teachers to take the Praxis is not an allowable expense for READ per pupil funds.

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Which CDE endorsements will count toward being trained in evidence-based reading instruction? 

Teachers who have a Colorado Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist endorsement meet the training requirement.

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Are SPED teachers and interventionists also required to complete the required K-3 Teacher Training? 

Yes.  The READ Act rules define ‘teacher’ as the professional responsible for the literacy instruction of the student(s) and may include the main instructor for a class, an instructional coach, reading interventionist, special education teacher, Title I teacher or other personnel who are identified as effective in the teaching of reading.

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Is the CDE-provided K-3 Teacher Training limited to only K-3 teachers? Can pre-school, 4th/5th grade teachers, ELD teachers, administrators, etc. attend as well?

The state provided training for K-3 is limited to teachers in those grades.  At this time we are only enrolling teachers who provide reading instruction in those grades.  CDE will consider expanding participation at a later date. 

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With the disruptions caused by COVID 19, will the deadline for training K-3 teachers in scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction be revised? What is the process for applying for the year extension?

Senate Bill 19-199 requires that all K-3 teachers demonstrate that they have met the scientifically or evidence-based practice training requirement under the READ Act by the fall of the 2021-22 school year. The law provides districts the ability to request a one-year extension from CDE to comply with this requirement. Depending upon the length of the impact of COVID-19, the department may consider a blanket one-year extension for all school districts.


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Per-Pupil Funds/Budget

Will there be some flexibility of carryover of district read funds in light of COVID 19?

Yes. On April 1, 2020, Governor Polis issued an executive order that allows for districts to carry over more than the currently allowed 15% of unexpended READ funds into next year.

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Do we include this year’s carry over in the budget submission?

No.  The budget is based on last year’s numbers. CDE is considering a separate process for the carry over as we had put together this process before COVID 19.

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Can we use READ funds to pay a teacher stipend to participate in a required K-3 teacher training?

No.  The allowable use provisions for the READ Act do not allow teachers to be paid stipends to participate in the required K-3 teacher training.

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Advisory Lists: Instructional Programs & Professional Development

Where is CDE with the instructional program advisory lists?

The most current advisory list of approved instructional programming is now posted on the CDE website, linked here. This includes approved core, supplemental and intervention programming. Notices have gone out to vendors, and vendors whose programs were not approved during the review will have the opportunity to appeal. Because of the disruption caused by COVID 19, some submitted programs have not yet been reviewed. We are working to complete the process, and additional approved programs will be added to the list as reviews are completed.

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When do you anticipate a full list of approved professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement will be posted?

The application for vendors to submit professional development to meet the K-3 teacher training requirement was released on March 16, 2020, and complete submissions are due from vendors on April 17, 2020. CDE will begin reviewing submissions for professional development after the application deadline and anticipate the review process to take several weeks.

Note: The restrictions brought about by COVID 19 may cause some disruptions to the review process. Access to vendor provided materials and the inability to pull together groups of people to complete the professional development reviews may change the way the reviews are completed. CDE is currently working to create a plan that addresses these challenges.

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If a school continues to use a core program that was not approved, will there be guidance on how to best supplement the program?

If a district has already selected a program that was on a previous advisory list but is no longer approved, CDE can support the district with guidance to help supplement the program for an interim period. Guidance will not be provided for programs that have never been on the advisory list and are not currently approved.

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Some core programs on the list are only approved for certain grades (K-2 or K, 2, 3). Why are some grades not approved?

The rubric for instructional program review contains specific criteria for each grade, based on the continuum of skills learned at each grade level in each area of reading. Each submitted program was reviewed at each grade level. Some programs met rubric criteria at certain grade levels and not at other grade levels.

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What is the process for an off-cycle review of an instructional program?

If an instructional program was not submitted for review during an official review window, or the vendor makes dramatic changes to a program between official review windows, vendors can submit the information for a review of their programming for use in an individual district. The district would request the review via email to CDE, and the district should communicate this request with the vendor. Then the vendor would submit their program for an off-cycle review. If a program has been already reviewed and was not approved/accepted, CDE will not conduct an off-cycle review.

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Can a district use READ funds on a program that is currently under review or may be submitted for review in the future based on the assumption that it may be approved?

READ Act funds cannot be used on a program that is not approved and on the Advisory List of Instructional Programs. If the program has not yet been reviewed or approved, this is not an allowable use of READ Act funds.

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Does CDE have recommendations for teachers seeking a Reading Endorsement through a university program? Are there certain programs that teachers should explore?

CDE does not make recommendations of this nature. The content knowledge and skills requirements for the K-3 teacher training can be made available for teachers to use in considering university programs.

Does core literacy programming in 4th and 5th grades have to be on the approved list? 

READ Act statute addresses instructional programming for Kindergarten through Third Grade.

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Will CDE be publishing the reasons particular programs were not approved as core curriculum for the updated advisory lists?

Completed rubrics will not be posted to the website. Once the review process is complete, including the window for vendor appeal, districts can request to review a completed rubric on a specific program

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Are schools responsible for progress monitoring students on READ plans during this time when they're providing remote learning?

Schools and teachers are encouraged to do the best they can to provide services to students during this unprecedented time, which could include developing a plan to continue progress monitoring. This may or may not be an option, depending on the technologies available in a particular district. Districts may contact the vendor of its approved READ Act assessment for ideas on how progress monitoring might occur through remote learning.

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READ Plans and Services

What are the guidelines or legal obligations for delivering read plan interventions during this remote learning time?

COVID 19 has created unprecedented challenges for schools in meeting the needs of students. The remote learning environment impacts the ability of schools to deliver instruction in the way they would in a regular classroom. At this time, schools and teachers are encouraged to work to provide learning opportunities for students on READ plans aimed at accelerating reading growth to the extent practicable by the constraints of the current learning environment.

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Parent Communication

What is the guidance for parent communication regarding READ Plans, retention, and other READ Act related topics during this time?

School districts need to make decisions in how they are communicating with parents during this remote learning time. READ Act statute requirements for parent communication are still in place. Clear communication via phone, email, etc to discuss READ Plans, retention, and other READ Act related topics is important. Follow local school board policy in alignment with READ Act statute when considering retention as an option for specific students.

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