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Special Education Directors' Corner

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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.

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COVID Quick Links

Important Dates Coming Up

Year-at-a-Glance for SY 2022-2023 (PDF)

January 2023

1-Jan     Federal Application Project Narrative Amendment Window #2 opens

31-Jan   Federal Application Project Narrative Amendment Window #2 closes


1-Feb    2022-23 Budget Revision Window #1 Opens

3-Feb    A complete and error-free December Count Snapshot is due

24-Feb  December Count Student and Staff Snapshot closes

28-Feb  2022-23 Budget Revision Window #1 Closes

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.

ESSU Newsletter

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.

What's New

New Process for Changing Student Assignment to a Building or Campus

A change in building or location that is not a change in educational placement must now include meaningful parent participation and consider the impact of the change on the child’s total educational program. A change in location may be accomplished without convening the child’s IEP Team and does not require reevaluation and prior written notice if the change does not also constitute a change in educational placement.  The administrative unit’s special education director or designee has the authority to make the final decision about the location where the child’s IEP will be implemented subject to the new requirements for parent involvement and due consideration of how the change impacts the child’s total educational program.

New Admission and Enrollment Procedures for Public School Choice Options

When a child applies for admission or a transfer through public school choice options, the AU may no longer inquire about the transferring child’s IEP or disability status until after the child has been admitted, unless the transfer is part of a centralized districtwide admissions process. If the transfer is part of a centralized districtwide admission process, the AU must ensure that it does not use the information collected until after admission has been completed.  An AU that uses such a process must also inform the public that a child’s IEP or disability status will not be used as part of the admission process to the school of choice.

The AU continues to be responsible for ensuring that all children within their jurisdiction who are eligible and served through special education receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) and, therefore, may convene the child’s IEP team after the child has been admitted to the school of choice to determine if FAPE may be provided at the school of choice.  If the IEP team determines that the child’s IEP cannot be appropriately implemented at the school of choice, the AU may assign the child to another campus or building where the child’s IEP can be implemented as developed by the IEP team.  If the AU assigns the child to another building, it must provide parents with meaningful participation and consider the impact of the location on the child’s total educational program.

If the IEP team determines that the parents’ school of choice is not an appropriate educational placement, it must include a specific explanation of its determination in either the IEP or a separate prior written notice that meets the requirements of 34 C.F.R. § 300.503.

Link to Fact Sheet and FAQ

Annotated Version

ECEA Rules

FY 2022-23 Supplemental Allocation

On June 8, 2022, CDE posted the FY 2022-23 Preliminary IDEA Part B Allocation and the FY 2022-23 Preliminary IDEA Preschool Special Education Allocations.  The total formula allocation column of each of these charts includes the AUs standard allocation as well as the supplemental allocation each AU will be receiving for FY 2022-23.  Based on increased federal funding, savings realized due to the termination of the state IEP contract, and savings realized by reducing the number of positions within the Office of Special Education, the CDE can provide a supplemental allocation of $1.3 million to the field in IDEA Part B funds and $500,000 in Preschool Special Education Funds.  A new chart breaking out the supplemental allocations for each AU is now available for review. 

Funds provided through the supplemental allocations may be expended on any IDEA allowable activity, including the purchase of an electronic IEP software solution, if that activity has been approved in the AU’s current Federal Application Project Narrative.  In addition, these funds are available for the full 27-month funding period.  (Please click here for additional information on Understanding the IDEA Part B State Grant Funding Cycle and Different Fiscal Years.)  If an AU needs to amend its current Federal Application Project Narrative to gain approval for a new project activity, it may do so now through August 31, 2022.  Please contact Cindy Petersen ( if there is a need to amend the AU’s exiting Federal Application Project Narrative. 

AUs are reminded that the CDE will continue to make every effort to provide supplemental allocations to AUs.  However, supplemental allocations are subject to the availability of additional funds that may be used for this purpose.  Availability of funds are subject factors that are not within the control of the states.    

Meetings and Conferences

ESSU Spring 2023 Meeting

WHO:  Facility Schools, Gifted Education, and Special Education Leaders

WHEN:  Thursday, April 13 - Friday, April 14, 2023

WHERE:  Denver Marriott West, 1717 Denver West Blvd, Golden, CO 80401

  • Please watch for more information about registration and the agenda in the Exceptional Student Services Newsletter, and emails from ESSU Listservs beginning in early January.


Beginning in 2023, CDE will no longer be reimbursing travel expenses for events, reimbursements will need to be submitted to individual districts.

We have secured a discounted rate for rooms at the Denver Marriott West:

Cost: $159 USD per night

*If you try to book online and are unable to do so because the discounted rooms are full, please email

Other nearby hotels:

For questions or more information, please email

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


Supporting Displaced Special Education Students

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.

Contact Us Icons

Dr. Paul Foster
Executive Director

Email Paul Foster
Phone: 303-866-4093

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