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CDE Update

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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.

June 2017

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Alternative Education Campus Selection of Measures

By Friday, June 30, all Alternative Education Campus (AEC) schools must submit a selection of accountability measures form via Syncplicity with their district or authorizer's approval. The form must indicate any optional supplemental accountability measures, metrics and cut-points requested for AEC School Performance Framework reports. The form is available on the CDE website.

A close-captioned webinar recording with guidance on selection of measures is available in the resources section of the AEC webpage.

CDE is also hosting office hours to answer questions about the selection of measures process on Tuesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 22. Sign up for a 30-minute session via Sign Up Genius.

For assistance with this process or questions, please contact Jessica Knevals, or 303-866-6778, or Melissa "B" Sanders at or 303-866-2865.

Unified Improvement Plan template rollover

The Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) online system will roll over from the 2016-17 template to the 2017-18 template at the beginning of June. Schools and districts will be able to begin drafting their 2017-18 UIP at this time. Program requirements and grant information will be added to Section 1 on a rolling basis.

What's on the Horizon

Accountability and Family Partnership Contacts

If your district will have a transition with the assigned Accountability or Family Partnership contact for the 2017-18 school year, please remember that CDE will need information for the new representative. We will be sending out a survey for districts to update their contacts by the end of June.

Request to Reconsider

CDE staff will be available to assist schools and districts with the request to reconsider process this summer and fall. Exact dates have not yet been finalized for the process. However, if a district would like assistance reviewing any local data in the meantime, please contact Jessica Knevals at or 303-866-6778.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

June 30: All school code submissions for 2017-18 due.

June 30: Alternative Education Campus schools must submit a selection of accountability measures form via Syncplicity.

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, math, science and social studies that were given to Colorado students in the 2016-2017 academic year. The science and social studies tests were developed by Colorado, while the math and English language arts tests were developed in collaboration with other states through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers (PARCC).

In 2016-2017, Colorado administered the PSAT to 10th graders and the SAT to 11th-graders.

What's Happening Now

Assessment Results

State assessment results are expected to be available to districts and schools according to the timeline in the table below. Prior to the August State Board of Education meeting, all state assessment results will be embargoed and must not be publicly disseminated, distributed or published by any means. Districts and schools may use aggregated and individual student-level results internally for informational and planning purposes before that time. 

2017 Targeted Reporting Dates

Student Data Files

CMAS and CoAlt: Science and Social Studies

mid-June (6/9)

CMAS: Mathematics and ELA (final) 

end of June (6/26)

CO PSAT 10 and SAT


District and School Summary Files and Reports

CMAS and CoAlt: Science and Social Studies

end of June (6/23)

CMAS: Mathematics and ELA (final)

end of July (7/24)

CO PSAT 10 and SAT


Individual Student Reports (electronic)

CMAS and CoAlt : Science and Social Studies

end of June (6/23)

CMAS: Mathematics and ELA (final)

end of July (7/24)

CO PSAT 10 and SAT

mid-June (6/15)


PSAT 8/9 will be Colorado's Ninth-Grade Assessment in ELA and Math Starting Spring 2018

The College Board’s PSAT 8/9 will be given as Colorado’s ninth grade state summative assessment in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics starting in spring 2018. The PSAT 8/9 will be added to Colorado’s other high school assessments -- the CO PSAT 10 and the CO SAT.

This spring, the Colorado Legislature passed HB 17-1181 that amended the state’s high school testing requirements by replacing the state’s current ninth grade assessments with an assessment that is still aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards while also aligned to Colorado’s 10th grade assessment.  The 10th grade assessment is required to be aligned to the state’s college entrance exam. The intent of the legislation was to align Colorado’s high school ELA and math exams into a cohesive suite of assessments. When combined with Colorado’s existing 10th and 11th grade assessments, the PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and SAT will provide the state, districts, and schools with a longitudinal, evidence-based assessment system that measures growth in relation to essential college and career readiness and success outcomes from grade nine through grade 11.

On May 4, a Sole Source Justification and Certification outlining CDE’s intent to purchase the College Board’s PSAT 8/9 was made publicly available via the state’s VSS/CORE purchasing system. The posting was closed on May 11 and the Sole Source Justification and Certification was approved by the state’s purchasing director on May 15. CDE staff is working with the College Board to add the PSAT 8/9 to the existing state contract. More information, including anticipated test dates for spring 2018 will be shared with District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) as they become available.

Students in grades three through eight will continue to take CMAS ELA and math assessments. Students in grades five, eight and 11 will continue to take CMAS Science assessments annually and students in grades four, seven and 11 will continue to take CMAS social studies assessments on a sampling basis.

Process for Selection of New CMAS Contractor

CDE released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new CMAS contractor in March. This procurement includes administration of the CMAS and CoAlt: Science and Social Studies assessments starting in spring 2018. In 2017-18, CMAS: ELA and math assessments will be administered by Pearson under the existing contract and will transition in the 2018-19 school year to the contract executed as a result of this RFP. The RFP includes requirements to evaluate all of the CMAS assessments after the adoption of the revised/updated standards in summer 2018.

After asking superintendents, DACs, and the Association for Colorado Education Evaluators for nominations, a selection committee of approximately 15 voting members was established. The committee is made up of Colorado educators and CDE staff with experience in the areas of assessment development, administration, psychometrics, scoring, reporting, and technology. Two non-voting subcommittees were also established: one for item review and one for technology. 

Two proposals were received: one with Questar as the prime contractor and one with Pearson as the prime contractor. The selection committee made a final recommendation at the end of May. CDE will send an update through its communications channels when the Intent to Award is finalized.

Updates to CoAlt: English Language Arts and Math (DLM) Demographic and Invalidation Data

Districts have the opportunity to review and make corrections to demographic data (e.g., parent excusals) for the CoAlt: English language arts and math (DLM) assessments through CDE’s voluntary Student Biographical Data Review (SBD) process from Monday, June 19 to Tuesday, June 27.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

June 19-27:  CoAlt: DLM ELA/Math Student Biographical Data (SBD) verification window

Mid August: Public Release of State Assessment Results at the State Board of Education meeting

More Information

For more information on assessments, contact Joyce Zurkowski, Executive Director of Assessment, 303-866-6760,, or visit

Educator Effectiveness

Classroom teaching and school leadership are the strongest school-based factors impacting student achievement. CDE supports the state’s 178 school districts to attract, prepare and assist great educators as a part of meeting the requirements of S.B.10-191, the Great  Teachers  and Leaders Act.

What's Happening Now

End of Year Reviews and Final Effectiveness Ratings

One of the highlights of the evaluation cycle is reflecting on all that was accomplished during the year and thinking about goals for the coming year. End of year reviews should take place no later than three weeks prior to the end of the evaluation cycle and final effectiveness ratings should be agreed upon no later than two weeks prior to the last day of school.

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 on Educator Effectiveness, contact Mary Bivens, director of educator development, 303-866-5926, 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 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

Colorado's ESSA State Plan Submitted to USDE

After more than a year of work creating Colorado’s implementation plan for ESSA, CDE received approval from the Colorado State Board of Education to submit the plan to the federal government. Gov. John Hickenlooper also signed off on the plan. CDE submitted its plan to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on May 1. On May 9, CDE was required to resubmit with minor edits in order to comply with a completeness check. The full plan has been posted to the CDE’s website (DOC).

CDE also released a summary document of the state’s ESSA plan. This document provides a high-level overview of Colorado’s ESSA state plan and what it means for schools, districts, and students in Colorado. Read the ESSA summary document (PDF).

LEA Consolidated Application for 2017-18 ESSA funds

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) may now access the online Consolidated Application for 2017-18 ESSA funds. The Consolidated Application serves as both the LEA’s application for ESSA funds and the requirement that school districts have a local plan, as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The following ESSA programs are included in the consolidated application:

  • Title I, Part A
  • Title I, Part D
  • Title II, Part A
  • Title III, Part A
  • Title III Immigrant Set-Aside
  • Title IV, Part A
  • Title V, Part B

The Consolidated Application is customized to each LEA based on the ESEA funds accepted by the LEA. The Consolidated Application includes the LEA plan narrative questions, assurances, and budget, as well as additional signature documents, as applicable. The Consolidated Application, resources and information about training opportunities can be accessed at CDE's ESSA Consolidated Application webpage

For more information on the Consolidated Application, contact Brad Bylsma, Director of the Office of ESEA Programs: 303-866-6937 or or visit the Federal Programs webpage.

What's on the Horizon

U.S. Department of Education review of state ESSA plans

USDE will conduct a peer review this spring to evaluate portions of Colorado’s ESSA plan and provide written comments for the U.S. Secretary of Education’s final determination. CDE expects plan approval in late summer or early fall of 2017.

Learn more about USDE's plan review process.

Stay informed about ESSA next steps

CDE is committed to continuing conversations with our stakeholders by providing regular updates on the plan approval process and communicating any future opportunities for committee work or to provide input on important aspects of ESSA implementation. In addition, CDE continues to engage with key partners through existing committees like the ESSA Committee of Practitioners (CoP) and the EL Stakeholder group.

CDE will provide updates through the federal plan approval process. New information, resources, and updates will be posted on our ESSA webpages.

ESSA state allocations to be released soon

Congress passed the FY17 Omnibus bill and USDE expects to send ESSA program allocations to states. Once CDE receives Colorado’s allocation amounts, the Office of Grants Fiscal will work to ensure LEAs receive their allocations as soon as possible. Once completed, allocations will be posted on the allocations and fiscal files page for ESEA.

LEA Consolidated Applications Timeline

  • Local ESSA Consolidated Applications are to be submitted to CDE by Friday, June 30. Applications will be reviewed for “completeness” prior to a review of content. Completed applications will be given substantial approval which means that the LEA may begin to encumber funds. LEAs will need final approval of their application before they may receive reimbursement of their ESSA program expenditures.
  • LEAs may submit an extension request to submit local ESSA Consolidated Applications. Extension requests must be received by Friday, June 30. The extension request form will be posted on CDE's ESSA Consolidated Application webpage.
  • CDE will begin rolling reviews of Consolidated Applications in July but will not begin reviewing an individual LEA’s Consolidated Application until a complete application is received.  

For more information on the consolidated application, contact Brad Bylsma, Director of the Office of ESEA Programs, at 303-866-6937 or

Important Upcoming Deadlines

June 30: Local ESSA Consolidated Application or extension request due.

More Information

For more information, contact Patrick Chapman, executive director for federal programs, at 303-866-6780 or or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

Two Student Biographical Data collections (SBDs) will be completed this month. School Code change requests and READ have due dates at the end of June. There is a recommended deadline of Friday, June 30, for the Teacher Student Data Link as well.

What's Happening Now

Financial Transparency Public Website

The financial transparency public website, created by BrightBytes pursuant to HB 14-1292, is scheduled to go live to the public on Friday, June 30. Districts will have access to a password protected “preview window” from June 6 through June 23. During this time, districts are encouraged to explore the website to review their spending and revenue information in comparison to other districts’ financial data. The preview window is a good opportunity to craft or revise a narrative to provide context for the financial data presented in the public website. Additionally districts are able to review, approve, or modify data during this window.

For more information, please contact Adam Williams, financial data coordinator, at or 303-866-6843.

Student Biographical Data

Districts will have the opportunity to complete two Student Biographical Data (SBD) reviews and verifications. The SBD for the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), including CMAS English Language Arts and Mathematics (PARCC), CMAS Science and Social Studies, Colorado Spanish Language Arts (CSLA) and CoAlt: Science and Social Studies, was May 22 - June 1. The SBD for CoAlt: English Language Arts and Mathematics (DLM) will occur from June 19 – 27. 


The Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) is due Friday, June 30. All districts must submit files by Friday, June 16, at which time the cross Local Education Agency (LEA) validation process commences.


  • School code changes for the 2017-18 school year must be requested by Friday, June 30. 
  • LEAs must enter 2017-18 school calendar information by Friday, July 14.


Migrant regions may begin to enter summer enrollment records into the New Generation System (NGS) this month.

School Discipline and Attendance

The School Discipline and Attendance collection will close on Wednesday, July 12. 

Special Education Discipline

The Discipline Action file is available for districts to submit incidents. Administrative units may take snapshots after the Special Education Individualized Education Plan child and participation files have been updated. This collection will close Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Teacher Student Data Link/Student Standard Course Codes

The 2016-17 Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) interchange and snapshot collections are available for submission. Districts are encouraged to review and submit statewide standard course codes as soon as possible and before beginning the TSDL submission process. For TSDL, districts are encouraged to approve snapshots by Friday, June 30; however, the collection is open until Friday, Aug. 25. TSDL data collected this year will populate public reports due out Wednesday, Nov 1.

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open to administrative units. This collection will close Thursday, Oct. 5.

End of Year

2016-17 End of Year snapshots are available for submission. All districts should be working to resolve the errors in their Demographic, School Association, and Title 1 interchange files by Thursday, June 22.

What's on the Horizon

LEAs must enter 2017-18 school calendar information into the Directory Friday, July 14. School Discipline and Attendance will close in Wednesday, July 12.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

June 1: SBD for CMAS: ELA/Math/Sci/SS, CoAlt: Sci/SS, and CSLA closes

June 27: SBE for CoAlt: ELA/Math (DLM)

June 30:  READ due after duplicate student issues have been addressed

June 30:  Financial transparency public website view goes live

July 12:  School Discipline and Attendance collection deadline

July 14:  District calendars for 2017-18 due within Directory

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


Standards Review and Revision Committees

The Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) review and revision committees began work in May. Committee resources are available on the standards review and revision resources webpage.

The committees will meet again on Friday, June 16, at the King Center at Metropolitan State University of Denver. All meetings are open to the public. More information about the committees can be found on the CAS committees webpage.

Attend the June Standards Review and Revision webinar

Each month the Office of Standards and Instructional Support offers a webinar to provide progress updates about the standards review and revision process.  The June webinar will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, June 26. It will focus on the decision-making protocols the committees will be using to make recommendations for changes to the standards. This webinar will also provide an update on the English language proficiency committee work. No webinar will be conducted in July. Dates and links to participate in future webinars can be found on the CAS webpage.

For more information about the Standards Review and Revision process, contact Karol Gates, director of Standards and Instructional Support, at or 303-866-6576.

Early Learning and School Readiness

Register for Kindergarten Summer Training Opportunities

CDE’s Kindergarten School Readiness team hosts regional Kindergarten Summer Learning Labs throughout June to support teachers in learning about the MyTeachingStrategies™ upgrade, school requirements and kindergarten best practices and play. More information about the Summer Learning Labs as well as dates for each region is available.

Review the Updated List of Approved Kindergarten School Readiness Assessments

The State Board of Education recently voted to add HighScope COR for Kindergarten to the department’s kindergarten school readiness assessment menu. The list also includes Teaching Strategies GOLD, Teaching Strategies Kindergarten Entry Assessment, and the Desired Results Developmental Profile. Information about each assessment is available on the Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans webpage

This spring, CDE solicited Requests for Information for both kindergarten school readiness assessment systems and additional assessment tools for Colorado’s menu of Results Matter Early Childhood Assessments. Assessment systems were reviewed by teams of stakeholders, including teachers and administrators from various regions and programs in the state. Review teams used the assessment evaluation and criteria rubric to review and score each assessment. Recommendations for additions to the School Readiness Assessment Menu were presented to the State Board of Education on May 11.

Kindergarten School Readiness Funding Available for 2017-18

For the final year of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, CDE will be able to reimburse district-purchased kindergarten school readiness assessment subscriptions for the 2017–18 school year. The reimbursement process with be different from years past due to the approaching end of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant.

In June, district fiscal managers and school readiness contacts will receive a Grant Award Notification (GAN), and Request for Funds from CDE’s Grants Fiscal Office. The award amount will be based on the number of kindergarten student portfolios from the 2016-17 school year. Districts can submit their requests for reimbursement after they have purchased portfolios for the 2017-18 school year.  All requests for reimbursement for the 2017-18 school year must be received by the end of September to receive reimbursement. Information is also available on the Assessment Choices and School Readiness Plans assessment webpage.

For more information about the School Readiness Initiative, contact Emily Kielmeyer, Kindergarten School Readiness Program Manager, 720-822-0640, or visit the School Readiness webpage.  

The READ Act

Submit READ Data

The READ data collection remains open through Friday, June 30. The deadline to submit and verify data is Friday, June 30, which will enable the department to inform districts of funding levels by the end of July. With this year’s collection, CDE will implement a budget planning and reporting requirement from the READ Act as part of the annual READ data collection. The READ Act requires districts to provide the department with a plan for how they intend to use READ funds prior to receiving funds (section 22-7-1210(5)(c) C.R.S.). For districts intending to use READ funds for summer school or intervention services, information related to how the programs are based on scientific or evidenced-based research is necessary. 

The Office of Literacy has posted an informational webinar and an updated data collection timeline on the READ Act Data Collection webpage.  

READ Data Dashboard Available for review by districts

CDE launched a new web-based dashboard for analyzing state, district and school level READ data in May. The dashboard will allow district and school leaders, parents, educators, community members and other interested stakeholders to review annual and longitudinal data related to percent of students identified with significant reading deficiencies, including student characteristic groups. The dashboard containing data through the 2015-16 school year is available for districts to use. The Office of Literacy will collect feedback from districts through Friday, June 30, and incorporate recommended changes prior to public release. In July, the dashboard containing data through the 2016-17 school year will be made public.

For more information the READ data collection or budget reporting requirements or to provide feedback on the READ Data Dashboard, contact Whitney Westgaard, Literacy Data Analyst, at or 303-866-6421 or visit the READ Data Pipeline 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.

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