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CDE Update

CDE Update Special Edition

Special Editions of the CDE Update

Read the latest: Nov. 24

CDE Update

About the CDE Update

Welcome to the CDE Update! This e-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.

Draft recommendations from COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group

The stakeholder group continues to meet and discuss recommendations for assessments, accountability, and educator effectiveness that will be shared with the Colorado Commissioner of Education and state legislators. Legislators will consider the recommendations as they make decisions in these areas. 

View meeting materials and current draft recommendations on the stakeholder group webpage.

November 2020

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

School and District Accreditation

Due to the accountability pause, 2019-20 plan types are being rolled over to 2020-21 for continued implementation. The Request to Reconsider process is not available this year. District accreditation will be formalized by the State Board of Education, but local boards still hold responsibility for accrediting schools. While plan types will not change this school year, local boards will decide how to formalize school accreditation.

If you have questions about the accreditation process during the accountability pause, contact Lisa Medler at or Lisa Steffen at

Improvement Planning Updates 

2020-21 UIP Submission 

Schools and districts that were not required to submit a Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) in October but are identified for review (e.g., Priority Improvement, Turnaround, On Watch, and schools identified as Comprehensive under ESSA) must submit a UIP for review by Jan. 15, 2021, for the 2020-21 school year.

Check submission deadlines and eligibility for biennial flexibility within the pre-populated report in the Online UIP System or click here.

For questions on UIP submission, contact Kirby Stein at

Timeline Shift

At its October meeting, the State Board of Education approved shifting the UIP submission and public posting from April 15 to Oct. 15 permanently beginning in the 2021-22 school year. 

Additional information is available on the UIP Flexibility and Timeline Shift webpage

Accountability and School Improvement support available 

The school improvement and planning team has resources to support districts and schools for the 2020-21 school year planning expectations. This includes a COVID-19 impacts quick reference guide, the 2020-21 Changes Document, School Accountability Committee trainings and resources, and the Accountability Handbook. Webinars, office hours and other supports will be posted on the UIP webpage.

What's on the Horizon

EASI Applications due Dec. 4 

Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) applications are due Friday, Dec 4. For more information, visit, or contact your assigned support coordinator, Laura Meushaw at, or Kate Bartlett at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Dec. 4 - Deadline for EASI application

  • Jan. 15, 2021 – Deadline to submit UIP for review for schools and districts with Turnaround, Priority Improvement, On Watch plan types or identified as Comprehensive Support under ESSA.

More Information

For more information, contact Rhonda Haniford, associate commissioner of School Quality and Support,

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

New 2020-21 Substitute Authorization available

As a way to open the doors for more substitute teachers to be available, CDE has established the 2020-21 substitute authorization. It requires a substitute teacher to hold minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent and a cleared fingerprint-based history on file with CDE. The 2020-21 authorization is not district-, BOCES- or charter school-specific and does not require a verification form. This new process is ideal for college students and graduates, individuals between jobs or considering changing careers, and anyone interested in serving their communities and its students. During the application process, prospective substitutes will be required to confirm completion of high school or its equivalent.

Once issued, the authorization is valid through June 30, 2021, in any accepting Colorado school district, BOCES, charter or approved facility school. For additional information, visit the Become a Substitute/Guest Teacher webpage.

Improved educator licensing system available soon

A new and improved educator licensing system will soon be introduced that will streamline the licensing processes for educators applying for and renewing their credentials. It will also streamline processes for district staff, including superintendents and HR personnel, to access educator background information, track credential history, and download reports of educators within their school districts. The eLicensing applications and education lookup systems will be down for one or two days during the migration to the new system. This transition will occur in mid-December and as soon as the dates are solidified, we will widely communicate the days when the eLicensing system will unavailable.

Stay tuned to the CDE Update and Educator Talent e-newsletter for more information. 

Seeking feedback on Educator Licensure Rules

CDE seeks public comment on revisions to the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991. This rulemaking process has been initiated as a result of legislation passed in the 2020 legislative session, and includes rules related to House Bill 20-1128, HB 20-1312 and Senate Bill 20-158.

These rule amendments are intended to:

  • Update professional development requirements for the renewal of professional educator licenses.
  • Refine rule terminology to align with recent legislation.
  • Update the Adult Basic Education certification to align with Colorado Community College standards.

Two bills were passed affecting educator preparation and ongoing, recurring professional license renewal requirements:

  • HB20-1128: Concerning Education Requirements for Educators to Increase Awareness of Special Education Issues
  • HB20-1312: Concerning Behavioral Health Training Requirements for Educator Licensure

The legislation combines to create a 10 contact hour, recurring educator licensure renewal requirement. These 10 hours are part of the 90 hours already required for professional license renewal. The public comment period of 30 days will close on Friday, Nov. 13. Access rules documents and provide feedback via the Educator Talent Rules Feedback 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 Colleen O'Neil, associate commissioner at or visit


What's Happening Now

Apply for ESSER Funds

Districts that submit Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) applications in November and early December will be able to receive funding approval for continued COVID-19 relief efforts within one to two weeks. Applications received after Friday, Dec. 15, may take longer to review and approve due to holiday schedules and a mandatory furlough day for all state employees. Applications for the  are due on Thursday, Dec. 31.

Districts may request support with planning and receive answers to questions about the use of ESSER funds by joining weekly ESEA Office Hours on Thursdays at 1 p.m. or by reaching out to assigned ESEA Regional Contacts.

The ESSER Post Award Revision system will remain available until the end of the grant period to any district that needs to submit changes, edit budget line items, budget Supplemental ESSER funds, add the justification for the revision and/or submit the application to CDE for review and approval.

All changes to budget line items must still meet the purpose and intent of ESSER funds, which are to prepare for, respond to, or prevent spread of COVID-19, and must be allowable, reasonable, necessary and allocable in order to be approved. 

For questions, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or DeLilah Collins at

State assistance for broadband connectivity needs

Applications for funding to help districts and BOCES expand broadband access for low-income families and school staff are due Friday, Nov. 6. The Connecting Colorado Students Grant will give priority to applicants with a high percentage of students eligible for free or reduced lunch and a high percentage of students with little to no access to broadband. Funds must be expended prior to Sept. 30, 2022.

Applicants may apply for:

  • Up to $15,000 in funding for individual student and teacher connectivity; and/or
  • Up to $150,000 for projects to expand or create access for a geographical area, to help support the development of broadband infrastructure to connect students and teachers.

For more information, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or DeLilah Collins at

Feedback requested on U.S. Department of Education draft of ESSA state plan template

When in-person learning was suspended for Colorado public K-12 schools in the spring of 2020, CDE applied for and received approval to waive the assessment and accountability requirements under ESSA for the 2019-20 school year. 

Due to the absence of assessment data for the 2019-20 school year, CDE must make technical changes to its ESSA State Plan regarding how schools will be identified for ESSA support and improvement for the 2021-22 school year. The U. S. Department of Education (USDE) has developed a draft plan addendum document for states to request changes for their plans for the 2020-21 school year. Stakeholders have until Friday, Nov. 20, to comment on the draft addendum document. 

Once the template is final, states will have until Feb. 1, 2021, to submit any requested changes to plans for identification of schools for ESSA support and improvement in the fall of 2021. CDE will make its recommended technical changes to Colorado’s ESSA state plan in December. For more information, visit the ESSA webpage.

The draft state plan addendum document does not include the option to request a waiver for assessment requirements under ESSA for the 2020-21 school year. CDE encourages stakeholders to visit CDE’s ESSA webpage for more information and to provide feedback on the USDE template at   

What's on the Horizon

Upcoming ESEA networking meetings

The ESEA Program office will begin scheduling virtual meetings throughout the fall and winter. Meetings will begin in November. Additional information regarding dates, topics and connection information posted to the ESEA Regional Networking webpage in the coming weeks.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 31: ESSER application due

More Information

For more information on Federal Programs, contact Mark Kirkemier, executive director at or visit :

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Student October 

The legislated deadline for snapshot approval is Tuesday, Nov.10, at which time the duplicate count procedures will commence. 

Final approval is due Wednesday, Nov. 25. Local board secretary signature pages are due Friday, Dec 4.


The pre-ID extract for this assessment will occur Tuesday, Nov.10. Data will be pulled from October count snapshot files at that point. Please make sure that all English Learners have been identified in your district’s October count snapshot by this deadline. 

Pre-ID data for all other assessments will be pulled from final approved Student October count files.

Student End of Year  

The 2019-20 Post Cross LEA validation, which verifies transfers and dropouts within Colorado, will commence on Thursday, Nov. 19. Only Student Exit types can be changed. Districts will need to provide documentation for changes to their data during this time. The final approval deadline is Thursday, Dec. 3, and districts should work to review their rates prior to that deadline.

Kindergarten School Readiness   

The State Board of Education voted to relieve districts of the requirement to submit aggregate results of kindergarten school readiness assessments for the 2020-21 school year. This decision affects the reporting requirements to CDE and not the administration of the assessment.

For questions, contact Whitney Hutton at

Special Education December Count 

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) interchange files and staff interchange files may now be uploaded and snapshots may be taken for the official December Count collection. IEP/Staff/Student Interchange files must be uploaded by Wednesday, Nov. 25. The collection will close Thursday, Feb. 18.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files must be uploaded by Wednesday, Nov. 25. This collection and Educator Shortage Survey will both close Friday, Feb. 26.

What's on the Horizon

Non-public School Directory 

Non-public schools collection will close Friday, Dec. 4.


Newly elected school board members must be entered into Data Pipeline by Friday, Dec. 4.

School Discipline

2019-20 School Discipline is open and the extended due date is Thursday, Dec. 31.

December Finance

The 2019-20 December Finance collection is due by Thursday, Dec. 31.

Teacher Student Data Link

The Teacher Student Data Link interchange file is now open. There is only one interchange file to be uploaded as the collection has been redesigned. The statewide standard course code (SSCC) system is no longer being used. Instead, all data will be uploaded as part of the one interchange file.  

For the 2020-21 school year, all districts are required to only report TSDL data for students in grades 6-12. With this school year being a reportable Civil Rights Data Collection year, it is advised to also report all computer science courses as well for grades 6-12 as this subject is required for the CRDC file. 

Additionally, all courses are required to be reported for 8-12 grade migrant students. The TSDL snapshot will open Wednesday, Jan. 20, and is due Friday, Aug. 13.


Friday, Dec. 18, is the last day to enter all required data elements for all eligible migrant students recruited, counted and served by local programs for school year 2019-20. By Monday, Jan. 4, migrant regions should review their Consolidated State Performance Report (CSPR) data summary reports. These first level data quality checks require explanations for any student increases or decreases from the prior year greater than ten percent. 

Questions regarding migrant lists can be directed to local programs who coordinate and deliver services to migrant students. Visit the Migrant Education Program webpage for more information.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Nov. 10: 

  • Legislated deadline for initial Student October snapshot approval
  • ACCESS for ELLs Pre-ID file will be pulled from preliminary Student October data

Nov. 19:  Student End of Year Post Cross LEA validation approvals due

Nov. 25: Final Student October approval due date

Dec. 3:  Final Student End of Year final approval deadline

Dec. 4: 

  • Student October local board secretary signature pages due
  • Non-public School Directory due
  • Newly elected school board members must be entered into directory

More Information

For more information, contact Jan Petro, director of data services at or visit

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

Work-Based Learning Incubator Community of Practice Strand

The application for the Work-Based Learning Community of Practice is open. In this six-month community of practice, K-12 schools and school districts will develop work-based learning experiences for students, local industry partners and communities. The application to participate closes Monday, Dec. 7.

Click here for more information. Email Kelly Mitchell, consultant for CDE and the Colorado Workforce Development Council, at, with any questions.

Award nomination process open to celebrate 10-year anniversary of ICAP

Nominate your district or school by Wednesday, Nov. 2,5 for the 10th anniversary edition of the Individualized Career and Academic Plan (ICAP Awards). Access the nomination form via Google Docs. Awards will be given for ICAP teams in elementary, middle, high schools, charters and districts. Promising Practice awards will also be given for integrated student-driven processes that empower students for postsecondary and workforce readiness.

The ICAP Awards committee, composed of ICAP facilitators and previous award winners, will review the answers and stories, models and/or examples of the ICAP process submitted via the Nomination form. Honorees will be featured in the upcoming Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Playbook and in ICAP Birthday Showcases on 10th Birthday Tuesdays held every Tuesday from January through May 2021.

For more information, contact Robin Russel at

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 Misti Ruthven, executive director of Student Pathwayas, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Apply for the Dyslexia Pilot Program

CDE is initiating a Dyslexia Pilot Program to develop and pilot screening and identification processes and intervention strategies for K-3 students who may have dyslexia. The pilot will include up to five schools that will volunteer to participate in the one-and-a-half-year program. Pilot schools will receive no-cost training and support for K-3 teachers in using an identification process for markers of dyslexia. CDE will select schools for participation this fall with implementation of the pilot program beginning in 2021 and concluding at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Applications will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 30.

An informational webinar will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2. A link to the webinar and a recording will be posted on the pilot program webpage.

READ Act teacher training requirements

CDE is conducting outreach to teachers to ensure they know about the new training required for all K-3 teachers by the 2019 changes to the READ Act, and we ask districts and charter schools to also provide information about the requirements to their teachers. Please let teachers know that CDE is providing training at no cost to K-3 teachers. Participants can sign up for a virtual synchronous or an online asynchronous option on the K-3 Teacher Evidence-Based Reading Training Requirements webpage. Statute requires K-3 teachers to complete the training by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

CDE is working on a system for teachers to submit documentation showing they have met the training requirement. More information on that system is coming late this fall.

Options for teachers to meet the professional development requirements in the READ Act can be found on the Teacher Training webpage.

For more information or questions, contact Melissa Ahlstrand at

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Nov. 30: Applications for Dyslexia Pilot Program due. 

More Information

For more information, contact Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of Student Learning, at