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Implement the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards

Colorado Academic Standards: All Students, All Standards

Implement the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards

During the Spring of 2018, the State Board of Education approved revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), as required by statute. This approval completed the first four phases of the standards review and revision timeline, moving Colorado into the final two phases ending in full implementation of the CAS. CDE's Office of Standards and Instructional Support is committed to supporting districts to take full advantage of the two-year transition period to the revised CAS, with appropriate and meaningful attention given to curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional learning, communications, and alignment of local policies and practices. CDE's support will include both online and in-person components with materials designed specifically for local school and district leaders to use with their teachers and staff.



Implementation Timeline Extended for the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards for Science 

Recently CDE solicited feedback on the option to extend the implementation timeline only for the science standards.  As a result, full implementation of the science standards will take place in the 2021-22 school year. The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) science assessments will transition to covering the 2020 CAS in science no sooner than the full implementation of the 2020 science CAS.


Transition to the 2020 Standards with CDE's Professional Learning Modules


Standards - broad goals articulating what students should know, understand, and be able to do over a given time period - are the foundation of teaching and learning. For students to achieve the goals set by the standards, teachers need to be standards-literate. This means they must:

  1. Possess working knowledge of the terms and categories that structure the standards;
  2. Effectively apply standards to develop and revise curriculum; and,
  3. Demonstrate best, first instruction through high impact instructional strategies inherent within curriculum aligned to the standards.

Learning Modules

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) has developed learning modules to build leaders' and educators' standards literacy in an effort to support their understanding of the 2020 CAS. These modules were intentionally designed to support smaller and rural districts who may not have district-level content specialists, however, any and all systems can use the materials.

The following values were drivers of this development:

  • All standards for all students
  • Designed for ease of use with small rural school districts
  • Takes advantage of the time available for a phased-in implementation approach
  • The principal and the principal’s supervisor as the unit of change
  • Implementation will be designed for the unique needs of the elementary and secondary levels

2020 CAS - Implementation Graphic - Modules 0-6

Modules 0-6

Transition Phase 1 includes the topics of disciplinary literacy and readiness.

0. Introductory Module: 2020 CAS Implementation

1. An introduction to Disciplinary Literacy (Featuring a Pre-Assessment to establish a baseline of teachers' standards literacy and the overall purpose and the definition of standards literacy and how utilizing these Modules will help to prepare educators to implement the 2020 CAS)

2. An introduction to Standards Literacy

3. A historical perspective of the development and revision of the CAS

4. Differences between the 2009/2010 CAS and the 2020 CAS

5. A close read of the 2020 CAS

6. Connections within the standards pages

Click on the green icon to be directed to the professional development platform. You may enter as a guest. Once you have successfully completed all modules in succession, you will have an opportunity to offer feedback.

2020 CAS - Implementation Graphic - Modules 7-11

Modules 7-11

Transition Phase 2 includes the topics of curriculum and resource alignment to the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards

7. Introductory Module

8. Interpreting the Standards

9. Mapping 2020 Standards to current curriculum

10. Gap analysis of current curriculum

11. Creating a plan to fill the gaps

Modules 12-17

Modules 12-17

Transition Phase 3 incorporates mapping instructional strategies to the innovations within the standards for Best, First Instruction.

12. Introductory Module

13. Best, First Instruction

14. High-Impact Instructional Strategies

15. Attending to the innovations within the standards

16. Classroom Instruction

17. Now Are You Standards Literate?