Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory


* * CDE will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 for the Christmas holiday. * *

CDE Update

CDE Update

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! Each month, this 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.

December 2017

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

School plan types and district final accreditation ratings 2017-18

CDE presented the final district accreditation ratings under the Education Accountability Act at the November State Board of Education meeting. Final school plan type ratings will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the state board meeting. After the board approves the school plan types, the School Performance Frameworks and District Performance Frameworks will be posted on SchoolView

Release of Student Course Participation and Achievement Reports

To address the significant and chronic achievement gaps in the state, legislators passed House Bill 14-1376 to provide access to information about student course-taking patterns and their relationship to performance. The password-protected Student Course Participation and Achievement report has been updated with 2015-16 data in CEDAR for designated school and district staff. A public report is scheduled to be released in December. School and districts are required to conduct an analysis of the course enrollment data in their Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs) and identify actions if disparities are discovered.

Additional information about the report and a guidance document is available on the CDE website. For questions, contact Melissa "B" Sanders at, 303-866-2865, or Lisa Medler at or 303-866-6993.


What's on the Horizon

Unified Improvement Plan Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated UIP by April 16, 2018. Districts and schools with a performance plan type may submit plans biennially. Plans may be submitted at any time through the online UIP system and publicly posted. Schools and districts with a priority improvement or turnaround plan type must submit by Jan. 16, 2018, for CDE review. View more information

Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado Survey

The Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) Survey, formerly TELL Colorado, will be launched in January.

This is a statewide survey of teachers and building leaders on their perceptions of the teaching and learning conditions in their schools. Participation is voluntary and anonymous. The new survey is estimated to take 15 minutes to complete, which is much shorter than past surveys. Survey results can be used to address improvement efforts.

CDE would appreciate your help in encouraging high participation in schools. In the past, districts and schools have found that the following activities helped: send out informational materials, such as flyers and emails; send a joint letter of support from the superintendent, association president, or board chair; provide staff with time to take the survey during a team meeting; sponsor a competition to encourage 100 percent participation. Templates to support you in promotional efforts for the survey will be provided in next month's CDE Update and in The Scoop.

For more information, contact Lisa Medler, executive director of Improvement Planning, at, 303-866-6933, or Lisa Steffen, project coordinator, at or 303-866-6676. Find more information on the TLCC at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Early December – Updated DISH will be released through SchoolView

Dec. 6 – EASI Application (for school improvement funds and services) due

Dec. 13 – Anticipated presentation of final District Performance Frameworks to State Board of Education

Jan. 16 – Deadline for schools and districts with a priority improvement or turnaround plan type to submit UIPs through the online UIP system for winter UIP review from CDE.

Jan. 24 - Feb. 23 – Survey window for TLCC

April 16: All school and district UIPs must be submitted to CDE for posting on SchoolView

Spring 2018:  TLCC Survey data available for schools and districts that have at least 50 percent participation and five respondents.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner of Accountability, Performance and Support, 303-866-6855,, or visit


Assessments administered by the unit include summative content assessments, English language proficiency assessments, college/career ready assessments, and alternate content assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) are the state tests in English language arts (ELA), math, science and social studies.  In 2017-2018, Colorado will administer the PSAT to ninth- and 10th-graders and the SAT to 11th-graders.

What's Happening Now

CMAS deadlines

By Friday, Dec. 15, District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) must:

  • Notify CDE of district or school intent to use paper-based testing as the main testing format for CMAS administration. The form was provided to DACs at regional trainings.

  • Notify CDE of district-request extended or early CMAS and CoAlt administration window (i.e., extended computer-based assessment window for ELA and math based on device capacity and early high school science window.) The form was provided to DACs at regional trainings.

  • Submit Unique Accommodation Requests (UARs) to CDE. UARs are required for accommodations that may change the construct being measured by the assessment (e.g., reading of the reading assessment through text-to-speech or oral script and using a calculator on the non-calculator section of the math test). Completed 2017-18 UAR forms, together with the appropriate supporting data, should be submitted securely through Syncplicity to the CDE Assessment Unit by district staff. All UARs must be approved by the CDE Assessment Unit before the unique accommodation can be assigned and provided to a student. CDE will assign the corresponding forms in PearsonAccessnext, where needed, in January.

ACCESS for ELL materials

ACCESS for English Language Learner (ELL) materials arrive Thursday, Dec. 14, through Monday, Dec. 18. The additional materials order window opens on Friday, Dec. 15.  

Pre-ID data pulls

Pre-ID extract data for the CMAS, SAT/PSAT and CoAlt (including DLM) assessments will be pulled from final approved October count files in mid-December. These data will be used to populate vendor online systems and to provide Pre-ID labels for paper tests.

What's on the Horizon

ACCESS for ELLs testing window

The ACCESS for ELLs testing window will open on Monday, Jan. 8. The five-week window closes on Friday, Feb. 9.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 4:  PearsonAccessnext Training Site unavailable due to version 4.3 upgrade

Dec. 7:  Technology-focused CMAS office hour with Collin Bonner from 3-4 p.m.

Dec. 14-18: ACCESS for ELLs materials arrive in districts

Dec. 15: ACCESS for ELLs additional materials order window opens

Dec. 15:  Completed Unique Accommodation Request (UAR) forms due to CDE (submit through Syncplicity)

Dec. 15:  Notify CDE of requested extended (online CMAS math and ELA) and/or early (high school CMAS science) testing windows

Dec. 18:  PearsonAccessnext unavailable due to version 4.3 upgrade

Mid-December: Pre-ID extract data pulled from finalized October count files for CMAS (including CSLA), CoAlt (including DLM), and PSAT/SAT

Jan. 8-26:  Confirm student registrations in PearsonAccessnext for initial CMAS and CoAlt orders

Weekly Starting Jan. 11:  CMAS Office Hours from 3-4 p.m. on Thursdays

Feb. 19: School Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Coordinators submit PSAT and SAT accommodations requests are due through the College Board’s online system

More Information

For more information on assessments, contact Joyce Zurkowski, executive director of Assessment, 303-866-6929,, or visit

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

New process for active or expired license verification or Letter of Good Standing

Upon request, the Educator Licensing Office will provide a statement of verification or letter of good standing indicating the validity date(s) and the endorsement area(s) of the license(s) or authorization(s) held by an educator. To obtain such a statement, please complete this simple request form. State-specific forms may be uploaded and attached to the request form. Please note that all verifications are subject to the information contained in our current database and that older certifications or archived records may not be available. There is no charge for this service.

For questions, email or Tanya Klein at or 303-866-6628. 

Alternative pathways into licensure - grow your own teachers 

Alternative teacher preparation programs are ideal options for districts to “grow their own” teachers. Any individual who holds at least an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, clears a background check and can demonstrate content knowledge may qualify. Presently, there are 22 approved alternative teacher preparation programs in Colorado, many offering in-class and online options to suit individual needs. For more information about alternative teacher preparation and how it can help districts fill educator needs, visit the Alternative Teacher Candidates: What You Need to Know webpage

For questions, email or Tanya Klein at or 303-866-6628. 

For designated agencies and district HR staff: Changes to the alternative teacher Statement of Eligibility

When it comes to the alternative licensure process, the Statement of Eligibility (SOE) has always been a point of confusion, especially for candidates. Many candidates receive an SOE but never continue the process to obtain an alternative license.  Some wait a couple of years to pursue an alternative preparation program and become frustrated because their endorsement area has been discontinued.

To address these and other legal issues that continue to arise from the SOE, effective Dec. 1, 2017, CDE will cease providing a SOE letter to applicants. Instead, after applicant’s qualifications are verified, a new status of “alternative license pending employment/program” and the corresponding endorsement area will be reflected online in three places: the applicant’s personal eLicensing account, the district eLicensing Verification Access account and the public educator credential search. For more information on these options, visit the Educator Credential Search webpage

Once the status of "alternative license pending employment/program" has been assigned, the candidate will have one calendar year to secure employment and enroll in a program. Upon hire and enrollment the candidate must log in to their eLicensing account to submit the requisite documentation and CDE will issue an alternative teacher license upon review.

For questions, contact Tanya Klein at or 303-866-6628. 

Notice of Rulemaking for the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991

At its October meeting, the State Board of Education approved a notice of rulemaking for the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991, 1 CCR 301-37. The rulemaking hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 201 E. Colfax Ave., State Boardroom. View a copy of the proposed rules, accompanying memo, and the associated crosswalk on BoardDocs.
The proposed amendments are in response to recent legislation, Senate Bill 17-052, as well as changes requested by the Office of Legislative Legal Services. The proposed changes are all technical in nature. Technical rule changes are typically initiated by the Office of Legislative Legal Services and are usually minor corrections to align with state statute or current practice and do not result in substantive changes. Written comment to the rules can be provided via an email to The recommended deadline for written comments is Wednesday, Dec. 6, to allow adequate time for staff to review and incorporate comments into the rules.  However, we will accept written comments at any time up to and including the day of the hearing. 
For more information please contact Colleen O’Neil, at or 303-866-6945.

What's on the Horizon

Colorado Troops to Teachers Second Career Seminars

Troops to Teachers, a grant-based program within the Educator Talent Unit, has Teaching as a Second Career Seminars scheduled for Feb. 20 at the United States Air Force Academy, Feb. 21 at Pikes Peak BOCES and Feb. 22 at Buckley Air Force Base.

Over the last few months, the Troop to Teachers program has helped several applicants enroll in certification programs as well as placed several qualified teachers and support personnel in Colorado schools. Visit the Colorado Troops to Teachers webpage for more information about the Troops to Teachers program and Teaching as a Second Career seminar details. A list of workforce events with dates that the Troops to Teachers staff plan to attend in upcoming months, is also available on the website.

For questions about Colorado Troops to Teachers contact John Scheuer at, 719-526-1201 or Korey Brown at, 719-526-2208.

HR Snapshot export available in RANDA 

Did you know the Colorado Performance Management System (COPMS) or RANDA has an export option for the Human Resources Snapshot? This option allows all evaluation data for educators evaluated for the 2016-17 school year to be exported directly from RANDA and put into the file format required for the HR Snapshot. This report is only available to those logging into RANDA using the SI/AS/HR role. To run this report, click on reports, ensure the 2016-2017 Academic Year is checked, and that the report type is exports. Then, in the report dropdown menu, select HR collection template. Running this export will allow a district/BOCES/charter school to connect the data with the other information required to complete this collection.

RANDA does not connect directly to Data Pipeline or push information to CDE. Additional information such as the Human Resources timeline file layouts, business rules, templates and guidance for completing the Human Resources Collection is available on the Data Pipeline Snapshots - Human Resources webpage. 

For questions, email or contact Josyln Robich at or 303-866-6221. 

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Colleen O'Neil, executive director of Educator Talent, 303-866-6945, or visit


In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replacing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Colorado in May submitted its state plan to the U.S. Department of Education on how it intends to implement ESSA in Colorado. Find more information on the state plan on CDE's ESSA webpage.

Subscribe to the ESSA E-Newsletter - "ESSA in Colorado."

What's Happening Now

ESSA state plan approval update

In December, CDE expects to receive feedback from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on revisions to the state's ESSA plan that were submitted on Oct. 23. The resubmitted plan clarified a number of points as requested by USDE, as well as a few policy updates. Most notably, the State Board of Education directed CDE to count students who don't participate in state assessments, in excess of 5 percent, as non-proficient for the purposes of calculating achievement rates for federal reporting only.  Feedback received will be posted on the ESSA webpage.

EASI applications for School Improvement are due Dec. 6

Forty-seven of the eligible 78 LEAs have requested access to the ESSA Application for School Improvement Funds and Services (EASI). The application is due by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. 

New resources have been added to the EASI website including an updated budget and EASI Online System Handbook, which will assist LEAs in completing the online application. 

For information on EASI and technical assistance opportunities, visit CDE’s EASI Application page or contact Laura Meushaw at 303-866-6618 or

District applications for ESSA funds and post-award revisions

CDE's Federal Programs Unit has completed the initial review of all submitted 2017-18 Consolidated Applications for ESEA funding. Of the submitted applications, 84 percent of local educational agencies (LEAs) have received final approval. Modifications to the Consolidated Application were due in November. CDE staff is continuing to work with the remaining applicants to receive final approval. Once the LEA has received final approval, it may submit a request for reimbursement to the Office of Grants Fiscal by using the FY17-18 Request for Funds Form

The post-award revision (PAR) process permits LEAs to make additional updates or changes to the 2017-18 Consolidated Application budget after receiving final approval. The PAR platform will open in December after all applications have received final approval. The Office of ESEA Programs hosted a webinar regarding the PAR process last month. The recording will be posted soon. To access the recording, as well as additional information and resources, please visit the Consolidated Application webpage.

For more information, please contact Colleen Brooks, Title III English language specialist, at, 303-866-3897.

Comprehensive and targeted identification information

CDE staff have developed a document to summarize the methodology, criteria and data used to identify schools for support and improvement under ESSA in 2017-2018. Although these methods and criteria are pending final approval as part of Colorado’s ESSA State Plan, any required changes would be implemented starting in 2018-2019.

For more information about school identification, please contact Nazanin "Nazie" Mohajeri-Nelson at, 303-866-6205, or Tina Negley at, 303-866-5243.

ESSA reporting - State and local report cards update

CDE's Federal Programs Unit provided training on public reporting requirements under ESSA, including state education agency and local education agency reporting requirements. CDE shared plans for the ESSA State of the State report, formerly known as the No Child Left Behind State Report Card, and gathered input on how CDE can better support schools and districts in preparing and publicly disseminating their public reports.

The recorded webinar, ESSA Reporting Requirements, can be found on the Federal Programs webinars page.

For more information about ESSA Reporting Requirements, please contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205.

What's on the Horizon

Program Evaluation Training in Early 2018

Starting in late January or early February, CDE will be providing training on program evaluations and using evaluation findings to inform federally-funded programs. Announcement of training dates will go out in the CDE Update and The Scoop.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

More Information

For more information about Federal Programs, contact Pat Chapman, executive director of Federal Programs, at 303-866-6780 or or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

There are many important dates in December for data collection, including due dates for the Directory, Student October, Student End of Year, Kindergarten School Readiness, Migrant and December Finance. Also the extract for CMAS, DLM, CoAlt, CO SAT/PSAT assessments will be executed from approved Student October files on Friday, Dec. 15. 

What's Happening Now


Non-public schools and newly elected school board members must be entered into Data Pipeline by Friday, Dec. 1. Districts may begin requesting school codes for the 2018-19 school year.


Friday, Dec. 1, is the last day to enter all required data elements into New Generation System (NGS) for all eligible migrant students recruited, counted and served by the migrant program for the 2016-17 school year. Migrant regions should review Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) data summary reports. Data quality checks require explanations for any student increases or decreases from the prior year greater than 10 percent. Friday, Dec. 15, all migrant regions must be at final approval.

Student October

Student October signature pages are due Wednesday, Dec. 6.  This information is embargoed from public release until Tuesday, Jan. 9.

Student End of Year

The Student End of Year post cross LEA validation processes are complete and the final approval deadline is Thursday, Dec. 7. LEAs should review their rates prior to that deadline. The 2016-17 Graduation and Dropout rates will be released on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Kindergarten School Readiness

The new Data Pipeline Kindergarten School Readiness data collection will close Thursday, Dec. 7. Data reported to CDE will be from the initial fall assessment window. The initial assessment is to be completed within the first 60 calendar days of the school year as required by House Bill 15-1323.


The pre-ID extract for CMAS, DLM, CoAlt, CO SAT/PSAT assessments will occur Friday, Dec. 15.  Data will be pulled from approved Student October files so local education agencies do not need to alter Data Pipeline files on or near this date. 

2016-17 December Finance

The December Finance collection is open. Please note that the Fiscal Year 2016-17 submissions, audits and related material are due to the department by Friday, Dec. 29. If this deadline cannot be met, please file for an audit extension with the Office of the State Auditor. 

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be taken. Please note that there is a recommended Thursday, Dec. 21, deadline to have all staff data included in the interchange files and be error free. The collection will close Thursday, Feb. 15.

Special Education December Count

Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and staff interchange files may be uploaded. The December Count collection is open for snapshots. All IEP Child/Participation and Staff Profile/Assignment level 1 interchange errors must be resolved by Thursday, Dec. 21. The collection will close Thursday, Feb. 15.

Teacher Student Data Link

The 2017-18 Teacher Student Data Link interchange is now open and files may be uploaded. 

Designated Agency

The 2017-18 Designated Agency collection is now open. Designated agencies may enter 2017-18 candidates into the Data Pipeline between now and Aug. 31, 2018.

EDAC Data Burden Survey

With a desire to reduce local data burden, the Education Data Advisory Committee (EDAC) desires to assess burden, relevance and usefulness of various collections. A one-time voluntary survey has been disseminated to quantify the time designated submissions/collections take, determine the value/relevance and measure the usefulness to inform policy/research. Results will be disseminated to the State Board of Education as well as to the General Assembly. The survey is due Friday, Feb. 9. Access the survey on CDE's EDAC webpage.

What's on the Horizon

Student October results will be released Tuesday, Jan. 9, and 2016-17 End of Year results will be released a week later on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 1:  Last day to enter all required 2016-17 migrant data elements into New Generation System (NGS)

Dec. 1:  Directory non-public schools and newly elected school board members entry deadline

Dec. 6:  Student October signature pages are due

Dec. 7:  Student End of Year deadline

Dec. 7:  Kindergarten School Readiness approval date

Dec. 15:  Migrant Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) final approval

Dec. 15:  Pre-ID extract from approved Student October files for CMAS, DLM, CoAlt, CO PSAT 10 and CO SAT

Dec. 31:  Fiscal Year 2016-2017 December Finance submissions, audits and related material are due

More Information

For more information on data pipeline, contact Jan Petro, director of Data Services, 303-866-6838, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Early Learning and School Readiness

Kindergarten School Readiness data reporting

Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), requires the annual reporting of the kindergarten levels of school readiness. The data collection is open for the 2017-18 school year and will close on Thursday, Dec. 7. Online training and virtual support is available. Information about the kindergarten school readiness data collection and training can be found on the school readiness webpage.   

For more information about the School Readiness Initiative, contact Emily Kielmeyer, School Readiness and P-3 Manager, 720-822-0640, or visit the School Readiness homepage.

The READ Act

READ Act Rules updated

The State Board of Education voted in October to revise the Colorado READ Act rules, bringing the rules into alignment with House Bill 17-1160 relating to assessment of English learners. The changes to the rules can be found primarily in section 3.0 (Administration of Interim Reading Assessment and Determination of a Significant Reading Deficiency). The revised rules will be posted on the READ Act webpage by Wednesday, Dec. 15.

For more information about early literacy support, contact Alex Frazier, senior literacy consultant, 303-908-1096,


State Board

In December, the state board will hear updates on the proposed revisions to the science, visual arts and world languages content areas and an overview of proposed voluntary high school computer science standards. This informational item will give members of the board an opportunity to learn more about the work of the standards committees, their decision making process for recommendations and the themes of public feedback that led to proposed revisions.


On Thursday, Dec. 21, the CDE standards team will host a webinar highlighting a summary of the presentation that will be shared at the December state board meeting. Find the link to participate, upcoming webinar dates and links to past recordings on the standards review and revision webinar webpage.


On Monday, Jan. 8, all publicly collected feedback will be published for review and be provided directly to the committees to inform final recommendations for revisions to the standards. That week, committees will meet again for the fourth committee meeting. Meeting details can be found on the individual committee pages.

For more information on the standards review and revision process, contact Karol Gates, director of Standards and Instructional Support, at 303-866-6576 or

Stories of Promising Practice: Peyton School District

One-quarter of Peyton High School's students take part in the school's Woods Manufacturing Program, a woodworking career and technical education program that started only two years ago. The program's founders look to expand the idea to districts across the country. 

Read the full story and watch the video on CDE's Colorado Education Highlights webpage.

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 Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of Student Learning, 303-866-6737, or visit

Quick Links


Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing 

WCC Access