You are here
Special Education Directors' Corner
Stakeholder feedback is being sought prior to two rulemaking hearings for the Administration of the Exceptional Children's Educational Act - 1 CCR 301-8 that will take place at the April State Board of Education meeting. The most current redline version of the Rules can be found here.
More information can also be found below in the What's New Section.
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 email@example.com.
- Technical Assistance Documents
- Upcoming and Archived Trainings
- (Special Education under "Topics" on the left)
- View CDE Publications
COVID Quick Links
Important Dates Coming Up
Year-at-a-Glance for SY 2022-2023 (PDF)
1-Mar 2021-22 High-Cost Reimbursement Applications Due to CDE (by upload to the Data Management System)
1-May 2022-23 IEP Record Reviews completed for all age groups in the DMS
1-May 2023-24 Federal Application Project Narratives (NEW) Window Opens
1-May SPED Discipline and SPED EOY open for 2022-2023
31-May 2022 Personnel Status Report Trackers - Phase 2 (5 or fewer staff issues), Phase 3 (6-10 staff issues) Deadline for
submitting error-free trackers
Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP)
- Special Education and Educational Surrogate Parents - Technical Assistance and Training Manual 2018 (PDF)
- Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) Guidance Memo, June 2018 (PDF)
- Assignment of an ESP Form 2022-2023 (PDF)
- Click here if you are interested in serving as an ESP.
Address Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP) questions to:
Submit form via FAX to:
Mail form to:
Colorado Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services Unit, ESP Assignments
1560 Broadway, Suite 1100
Denver CO 80202
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.
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.
Special Education Services Under the New UPK System
CDE will begin offering bi-monthly meetings beginning Tuesday, February 7th to share information regarding special education services under the new UPK system. These meetings will occur at 2:00 PM on the first and third Tuesday of each month. We will be working closely with the Consortium to determine what information you need and what questions you want us to address. CDE is inviting representatives from CDEC to sit in on the meetings.
We look forward to meeting and partnering with you moving forward.
All Meetings will be held from 2 pm – 3 pm and can be accessed by selecting the date below.
First Tuesday Meetings
Stakeholder Meeting for ECEA Rulemaking
CDE will be hosting two meetings to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to ask questions and provide input into the proposed Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act. The most current redline version of the Rules can be found here.
Please join the meeting by following the links below. You may register and join the meeting at the same time.
When: Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at 3:00 PM Mountain Time
Topic: Stakeholder Meeting for ECEA Rulemaking
Register here to join for the Wednesday, March 15th Meeting:
When: Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at 2:00 PM Mountain Time
Topic: Stakeholder Meeting for ECEA Rulemaking
Register here to join for the Wednesday, March 22nd Meeting:
PPRA Rule Making
In the State Board of Education’s February 2023 meeting, CDE staff requested the Board to conduct a rule making hearing for 1 CCR 301-45 - Rules for the Administration of the Protection of Persons from Restraint Act (PPRA). The primary purpose of the rulemaking hearing was to ensure alignment of the PPRA Rules with the requirements of House Bill 22-1376.
Please click here for the most current redline version of the proposed rules.
Please provide feedback by emailing comments to: ECEAStakeholderRules@cde.state.co.us. To provide CDE staff sufficient time to review and incorporate feedback into the rules for presentation to the State Board, we request comments be submitted no later than close of business on Friday, March 24th. The State Board hearing on the PPRA Rules will be held at their April 2023 meeting. Please visit the Colorado State Board of Education website for dates and times.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- New or Reorganization AU Application (Word Doc) - PDF Version Coming Soon
- Fact Sheet - Applications for or Reorganized Administrative Units (PDF)
- Instructions for Third Party Report (PDF)
- Additional Information from Existing Administrative Unit
Meetings and Conferences
ESSU 2023 Spring Meeting Registration Now Open -April 22, 2023
Registration is now open for the ESSU 2023 Spring Meeting. The meeting will be held Thursday, April 13th, and Friday, April 14th, and will be held at the Denver West Marriott, 1717 Denver West Marriott Blvd., in Golden. The primary theme will center on behavior with an emphasis on strategies, resources, and responses related to prevention, intervention, and post-intervention for students with exceptionalities.
Each administrative unit may initially register up to 1(one) person per AU for Special Education and up to 1 (one) person per AU for Gifted Education. Facility Directors may register 1(one) person per facility. Registration will close on March 22, 2023, which is also the last date to book your group rate for the Spring Directors meeting with the Denver West Marriott, reservations must be made through the link.. . The conference will feature a smartphone app that will hold the entire agenda, presentation materials, and evaluation opportunities that will be provided after registration. Attendees will be able to preselect desired sessions before the event using the app. For attendees who may require accommodation, please carefully note this on your registration.
CDE will no longer reimburse travel expenses for this event. Reimbursements must be submitted to individual districts.
The discounted rate for rooms at the Denver Marriott West will be $159 per night.
- Book your group rate for Spring Directors Meeting
- Last Day to Book: Wednesday, March 22
*If you try to book online and are unable to do so because the discounted rooms are full, email email@example.com and we can request additional rooms be made available if the hotel has additional space to offer, however this cannot be guaranteed, thus alternate lodging accommodations are suggested.
Other nearby hotels:
- Hampton Inn Denver-West/Golden; 17150 W. Colfax Ave., Golden,
- Courtyard Denver Golden/Red Rocks, 14700 W. Sixth Ave. Frontage Road, Golden.
- Residence Inn Denver Golden/Red Rocks, 14600 W. Sixth Ave. Frontage Road, Golden.
- Springhill Suites Denver West/Golden, 1315 Colorado Mills Parkway, Lakewood.
For questions or more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- Adoption of Extended Part C Option for Colorado (PDF) - April 2022
- Early Intervention Evaluation Responsibilities Transfer to CDHS/Early Intervention (PDF)
- K - 12 Resources for Afghan Evacuees (PDF)
- Potential Impact of the Family First Prevention Services Act on Special Education Students (PDF)
- Questions and Answers On Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations, and Reevaluations (PDF)
- Letter to State Directors of Special Education (PDF)
- Non-Regulatory Guidance: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care U.S. (PDF)
- Memo Notice of Change in Reporting Requirements and CDE Guidance for Measuring Indicator 13 Compliance (PDF)
- CMAS ELA Accommodation Policy Updated to Align with Colorado Academic Standards Expectations
- OSERS FAQ: The Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Charter Schools under the IDEA (PDF)
- OCR FAQ: The Rights of Students with Disabilities in Public Charter Schools under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (PDF)
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.
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 ESSU@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.
Connect With Us