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* * CDE will be closed on Monday, January 21 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 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.

January 2019

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Final 2018-19 School Plan Types & District Accreditation Ratings Approved

The final school plan type ratings as required by the Education Accountability Act were approved during the December State Board of Education meeting. CDE staff made recommendations to the board for changes in preliminary plan types due to request to reconsider submissions.  Please visit the Request to Reconsider homepage for a summary of district accreditation and school plan type decisions. The final district accreditation ratings were previously approved during the November meeting. Now that all plan types and accreditation ratings are official, the school and district performance frameworks have been made publicly available and are posted on SchoolViewExcel flat files with performance framework results by year are posted on the results webpage.

Contact Dan Jorgensen, 303-866-6763 or, or Jessica Watson, 303-866-6778 or, with questions.

Alternative Education Campus First-time Status Designation Notification Deadline

Schools that would like to apply for an Alternative Education Campus (AEC) designation for the first time, or apply for AEC designation after a lapse in status, must contact B Sanders at or 303-866-2865 by Friday, Jan. 25.

Notification can be sent by email with the CDE school code included in the body of the email. Once notified of intent to apply, your school will be given access to the AEC Data Pipeline collections, which open in March. Details are available on the AEC Collections webpage.

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Schools and districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type must submit by Tuesday, Jan. 15, through the UIP Online System.

All districts and schools must submit a revised/updated UIP any time before April 15 for public posting. Note that districts and schools with a Performance plan type may submit plans biennially. For more information regarding submission, visit the Submitting UIPs webpage.

UIP Winter Review Process

CDE will review and provide feedback on close to 200 Unified Improvement Plans throughout the winter for districts and schools on the Accountability Clock (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround). CDE uses the UIP Quality Criteria to guide the reviews, posted on the UIP Resources webpage. Feedback based on the UIP Quality Criteria Rubric (including program specific requirements) will be made available through the UIP Online System in the "Collaboration" tab as it becomes available. 

Parent Notification Requirements for Districts with Schools on the Accountability Clock

For districts with schools on the Accountability Clock (i.e., priority improvement, turnaround), CDE is collecting the notification sent to parents with information about the school’s plan type, UIP process and about the upcoming public hearing. Communications can be emailed to or attached to the school’s UIP by Tuesday, Jan. 15. 

For more information, contact Lisa Medler, or 303-866-6993, or Lisa Steffen, or 303-866-6676.

What's on the Horizon

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated UIP no later than April 15. Note that districts and schools with a Performance plan type may submit plans biennially.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 15:

  • 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.
  • Deadline for districts with schools on the Accountability Clock to send parent notification communication to CDE.

Jan. 25: Deadline for districts to notify CDE of new schools they serve which intend to apply for AEC designation for the first time or after a lapse in AEC status.

More Information

For more information, contact Alan Dillon, associate commissioner, 303‐866‐6202, 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. The PSAT and SAT are administered to high school students in grades nine through 11.

What's Happening Now

ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Window

The ACCESS for English language learner assessment window opens on Monday, Jan. 14, and closes on Friday, Feb. 15.

Thank you to districts

The Assessment Unit wishes to extend thanks to districts for submitting Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) testing format and window selections, Unique Accommodation Requests (UARs), and PSAT and SAT off-site testing plans last month.

Confirm CMAS (all content areas) and CoAlt (science/social studies) student registrations in PearsonAccessnext

CDE registered students for CMAS math, English language arts, science, and social studies and CoAlt science and social studies assessments in PearsonAccessnext based on October Count data in Data Pipeline. Districts can update and make changes to student registrations within PearsonAccessnext until Friday, Jan. 25. Initial material orders (e.g., paper tests, accommodations, test administrator manuals) for districts and schools will be automatically created based on student registrations in PearsonAccessnext as of Friday, Jan. 25. Orders for accommodations requiring special materials (e.g., Colorado Spanish Language Arts and oral scripts) should be indicated in PearsonAccessnext by Friday, Jan. 25.

Assessment Office Hours

CDE hosts online office hours for District Assessment Coordinators (DACs). Weekly office hours focusing on the following topics are available to assist District Assessment Coordinators as they prepare for state assessment administration:

  • Testing students with disabilities
  • PSAT/SAT administration
  • CMAS administration

Online access and call-in information for office hours are sent directly to DACs.

Optional Essay for the SAT

House Bill 15-1323 provides 11th grade public school students the opportunity to take the optional SAT essay at state expense when they take the SAT this spring. Students choosing to take the SAT with optional essay will do so on the school test date Tuesday, April 9, or make-up date Tuesday, April 23. Adding the optional essay to their SAT exam is a student choice; schools and districts should not make policy decisions that would either encourage or discourage student participation in the SAT essay. Students who want to take the SAT essay will need to add it to their school-day registration using their College Board online account from Jan. 15–Feb. 12.

College Board will provide specific directions for schools to share with students. In the meantime, schools are encouraged to be sure that their students know how to set up their free online College Board accounts. A variety of student planning resources, including the link to create or log in to their College Board account can be found on

Vouchers for Online High School Students to Take SAT

In December, Colorado public online high schools that are not establishing test centers for the state-sponsored SAT received vouchers for their 11th-grade students to take the SAT on the March 9 national test day instead of the state school-day administration in April.

To use the voucher, students will register for the SAT via College Board. The voucher can be used to register for the SAT or for the SAT with Essay and is valid solely for the March 9 national test date. Students must have a College Board online account in order to register for the exam. The deadline for students to register for the national SAT using a voucher is Friday, Feb. 8. Voucher registration opened for students in mid-December. 

Vouchers will not be required for students attending brick-and-mortar public schools who opt in to take the SAT with the optional essay; these students will still take the SAT during the school day administration. Similar to previous years, all schools, including online schools, will have to establish testing centers for the PSAT in grades nine and 10.

What's on the Horizon

Assessment Administration Preparation Activities

Before spring testing, District Assessment Coordinators and District Technology Coordinators should refer to the information provided during training sessions, documented in manuals and communicated by CDE to ensure that districts are prepared for administration. District Assessment Coordinators and District Technology Coordinators should contact the relevant Assessment Unit specialist(s) included in the table below with any questions.



Phone Number


CMAS and PearsonAccessnext

Sara Loerzel



Jared Anthony


CoAlt and accommodations for students with disabilities

Mindy Roden


ACCESS for ELLs and accommodations for English learners

Heather Villalobos Pavia


Technology, NAEP and international assessments

Collin Bonner




Important Upcoming Deadlines

Now through Feb. 3: ACCESS for ELLs additional orders window

Now through Feb. 8: ACCESS for ELLs additional materials order window open

Jan. 7-25: Confirm student registrations in PearsonAccessnext for initial CMAS (all content areas) and CoAlt (science and social studies) orders

Jan. 14 - Feb. 15: ACCESS for ELLs testing window

Jan. 15 - Feb. 12:  Window for students to add the optional essay to their SAT school day registration through the College Board online system

Jan. 22 - Feb. 1: School coordinators review SAT material order counts

Jan. 24 - Feb. 19: PSAT/SAT accommodations request window leading to college reportable scores

Starting Feb. 1 - Districts create CMAS test sessions after indicating all special forms in PearsonAccessnext

Feb. 8: Deadline for online students to register for the Mar. 9 national SAT using a voucher

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

Starting Feb. 26: Districts finalize CMAS computer-based test preparation activities before testing

March 18 – 27: ACCESS for ELLs Student Biographical Data Review (SBD) tentatively scheduled

More Information

For more information, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer, 303-866-6760,, or visit

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

Access to Educator Effectiveness Metrics refreshed with 2016-17 data

The Educator Effectiveness (EE) metrics data on your superintendent/BOCES leaders’ website has been refreshed to include the most currently available data at this time, 2016-17.

Based on feedback, the full suite of Educator Effectiveness metrics in SchoolView is accessible only to people with the secure link provided here and a CDE Identity Management (IDM) log-in with district/BOCES leadership rights. After clicking the link, you will be prompted to enter your CDE IDM username (email address) and password. This is the same log-in you use for CEDAR, RANDA, etc.

Please note that the public EE metrics site has not yet been refreshed with 2016-17 data; however, the data will be refreshed and made publicly available in February.

For more information about the EE Metrics and directions for access, view the EE Metrics resources. Please remember that these metrics and the data they represent are preliminary. The metrics that are currently available reflect the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years. The metrics have been reviewed by CDE staff and validated in the aggregate, but we must rely on districts to further investigate metrics at the district level because only you know the ins and outs of data.

The purpose of Colorado’s Educator Effectiveness System and the accompanying metrics is to provide valid and actionable information to enable districts, schools and stakeholders to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their educators. We are committed to supporting the continuous improvement of this system. With that in mind, please provide feedback on the metrics themselves and the reporting of the metrics using this online feedback form. We plan to continue to develop and improve the Educator Effectiveness metrics and hope you will continue to engage with us in that effort.

For more information on the Educator Effectiveness Metrics, contact Carolyn Haug, director of research and impact, or 303-866-6923.

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, 303-866-6945, or visit


During the 2018-19 school year, CDE will implement its State ESSA plan that was approved by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2018. Accordingly, schools have been identified for support and improvement under ESSA and districts have been notified of their identified schools. Several ESSA requirements go into effect this year, and the CDE Update will be used to inform superintendents of these requirements. This month’s issue will outline improvement planning, monitoring, and reporting requirements under ESSA.

What's Happening Now

2018-19 Consolidated Application     

CDE is finalizing the Consolidated Application review for the 2018-19 funding year and preparing to open the Post-Award Revision (PAR) window. The PAR process provides an opportunity for districts and BOCES to adjust or revise the activities and budgets that were approved in the initial consolidated application review process.

Virtual training on the PAR process and revisions is available on the Post-Award Revision website. Applicants are permitted to submit requests for application changes and budget revisions through Tuesday, April 30.

For questions about the PAR process, contact your ESEA regional contact.

Upcoming WIDA Workshops

Professional learning opportunities for content and classroom teachers are available through WIDA:

More dates and registration links can be found on the Statewide Support Professional Learning Opportunities webpage.

What's on the Horizon

Requirements for Schools Identified for ESSA Support and Improvement in 2018-19

Schools identified for support and improvement under ESSA must develop an improvement plan that addresses the reasons for identification. Improvement plans from schools identified for Comprehensive Support (CS) and Improvement must be approved by the school, district and CDE.

In Colorado, the Unified Improvement Plan (UIPs) will be used to meet ESSA requirements for CS schools (CS Improvement planning requirements). CS improvement plans, or UIPs from CS schools, are due Tuesday, Jan. 15, for schools with a School Performance rating of Turnaround or Priority Improvement.

CS Improvement plans are due Monday, April 15, for schools with SPF rating of Improvement or Performance.

CDE will review UIPs from CS schools for ESSA requirements using a rubric that was developed by reviewing 2018 UIPs. The ESSA Planning Requirements rubric and explanations are available on ESSA Planning Requirements. The 2019 UIPs will be reviewed and approved for the first three indicators on the rubric. The fourth and fifth indicators will be phased-in for the 2020 UIP process.

Plans submitted in January will be reviewed for ESSA requirements through March and those submitted in April will be reviewed through June. Feedback will be provided to districts of those schools. If any changes to the plan are necessary in order to meet ESSA requirements, CDE staff will work with the district to establish a plan and timeline for submitting changes.

For additional information, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, or Laura Meushaw at or 303-866-6618. 

ESEA Regional Network Meetings - Series 2

The second series of ESEA Regional Network Meetings will be scheduled during February. These sessions will focus on planning for use of 2019-20 ESSA funds.

Tentative meeting dates are:

  • Metro Region - Wednesday, Feb. 6
  • Northwest Region - Wednesday, Feb. 13
  • Northeast Region - Thursday, Feb. 14
  • Southeast Region - Tuesday, Feb. 19
  • Southwest Region - Friday, Feb. 22

Final dates, locations and registration information will be announced through email, The Scoop and posted on the ESEA Regional Networking Meetings webpage.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information on Federal Programs, contact Patrick Chapman, executive director, at 303-866-6780 or or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Student October

Student October information will be publicly released Thursday, Jan. 24. The release date for this information has been pushed back due to school district holiday schedules. 

Student End of Year

2017-18 Graduation and Dropout rates will be publicly released Wednesday, Jan. 16.


By Monday, Jan. 14, migrant regions should review 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 10 percent. Migrant regions must pass all edit checks and receive final approval by Thursday, Jan. 31.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be taken.The collection will close Thursday, Feb. 21. This is the date that districts are required to have their snapshot error free and finalized. 

Special Education December Count

Individualized Education Plan interchange files and staff interchange files may be uploaded. Snapshots may be taken for the official December Count collection. Administrative units must have created a complete snapshot and verify that the staff and student data submitted are valid and reliable no later than Thursday, Jan. 31. By Thursday, Feb. 14, all duplicates must be resolved and a snapshot recreated. Final approval is required by Thursday, Feb. 21.

Designated Agency

The 2018-19 Designated Agency collection is open. Candidates can be entered into Data Pipeline until Aug. 31.

Teacher Student Data Link​

The 2018-19 Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) is open for reporting data for districts with migrant students. All other districts are also able to report TSDL data; however, it is not required. To clarify, all districts do not need to submit the course instructor file. 

For districts with migrant students:

  1. Local courses codes must be mapped,
  2. course enrollment file must be uploaded for any eighth-12th grade migrant student receiving partial or full credit and, 
  3. the snapshot must be created and finalized for migrant students. 

For districts without migrant students:

  1. Local courses codes do not need to be mapped,
  2. no TSDL data file is required to be uploaded and,
  3. the snapshot does not need to be created or finalized. 

School Nutrition Unit

Making sure all students have access to nourishing meals that support the whole child continues to be a priority. Accordingly, School Nutrition will send out a voluntary survey to all school nutrition program operators in mid-January. This survey will be used to collect data on opportunities and barriers to increase participation in and access to the following federal child nutrition programs: National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program and Afterschool Snack Program.

Ensure your district’s food service director is aware of this survey, as it will play an integral part in reducing hunger in Colorado, specifically within our educational institutions.

For more information Carrie Thielen, or 303-866-6759.

Partial Federal Government Shutdown Information

Here is an update on the partial federal government shutdown as of Jan. 7, 2019. 

Funding for the U.S. Department of Education was finalized in September; therefore, the partial shut down will not impact funding for education programs. 

Funding for the US.. Department of Agriculture, including Child Nutrition Programs, is not impacted at this time. The Child Nutrition Program includes the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, and the Special Milk Program. The USDA issued a press release that states that the Child Nutrition Programs will continue operations into February, as meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis 30 days after the end of the service month. School Food Authorities should continue with food service operations as usual at this time, including submitting claim reimbursements.

CDE is in full operation and available to answer any program or funding questions. As more information becomes available, CDE will keep districts updated. For more information about school nutrition programs, contact Brehan Riley at 303-866-6299 or  For more information about federal grant funding, contact Jennifer Austin, at 303-866-6689 or

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 14:  Revised Migrant region CSPR data summary report 10 percent change from prior year explanations due

Jan. 16:  Revised 2017-18 Student End of Year release

Jan. 24:  Revised 2018-19 Student October release

Jan. 31:  

  • Administrative units must complete a snapshot
  • Revised Migrant region CSPR data summary final approval due

Feb. 14:  Administrative units must resolve duplicate issues

Feb. 21: 

  • Human Resources collection close date
  • Special Education December Count final due

More Information

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

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

Updating ACCUPLACER scores on the Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options

This month, colleges in Colorado (two-year, four-year and technical colleges) will administer an updated version of the ACCUPLACER assessment. The Classic ACCUPLACER will be replaced with the Next Generation ACCUPLACER.

Next Generation ACCUPLACER scores have been added to the Classic ACCUPLACER scores in a Draft Update to the Graduation Guidelines Menu of Options (PDF). These minimum scores are aligned with College Board and the Community College System, and they indicate that a student will place into a 100-level college course with a co-enrolled course, also called co-requisite Supplemental Academic instruction, or SAI. Read and review the Draft Menu of Options and the Draft ACCUPLACER Guidance (PDF).

Students from the class of 2021 who have already met/or will meet the Classic ACCUPLACER scores can use those scores to demonstrate readiness.  

Also take note of two clarifications: 

  1. The ASVAB score listed on the menu is called the “AFQT” score.  Look for the location of that score on this sample ASVAB student report (PDF) and review the ASVAB guidance.
  2. The SAT scores were updated in January 2017 to reflect the 2016 (newest) version of the test. Students from the class of 2021 who took the test before March 2016 and who met or exceeded scores from the earlier version of SAT can use those scores to demonstrate postsecondary readiness.

For questions or comments, contact Robin Russel at or 303-866-2908.

Nominations for the Fifth Annual ICAP Awards

CDE is looking for nominations for the Fifth Annual Individualized Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) Award. The awards will honor those who best demonstrate a meaningful ICAP process within a school or district. Educators will have the opportunity to nominate administrators, school counselors and teachers for awards in each of three categories. Nominate your school or district via Google Form by Friday, Feb. 8. Winners will be honored at a school or district event this spring and on the CDE website.

For more information about ICAP and to view past award winners, visit the ICAP Awards webpage.

Contact Robin Russel at or 303-866-2908 with any questions.

ASCENT training and webinar

CDE will host a 2019-20 ASCENT (Accelerating Schools through Concurrent Enrollment) program webinar from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Webinar access, call-in number and handouts will be sent via the Concurrent Enrollment/ASCENT Google Group toward the middle of the month. LEP ASCENT coordinators, audit and October Count staff are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Mary Anne Hunter, Postsecondary Readiness coordinator at 303-866-6596,

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 Pathways, 303-866-6206,, or visit

Teaching and Learning

What's Happening Now

Preschool through Third Grade Office


READ Plan Working Group Feedback Survey for READ Plans

House Bill 18-1393 created a READ Plan Working Group to review the creation and use of READ plans under the READ Act. The Working Group is comprised of educators in grades K-3, upper grade teachers, parents, principals, district leaders and literacy experts representing districts from across the state, including small rural/rural, urban and suburban districts.

The Working Group will develop recommendations of changes to regulations and the department's level of technical assistance and communication to local education providers. Once complete, these recommendations will be submitted by the Commissioner of Education to the State Board of Education and the education committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate. These recommendations must be complete on or before Feb. 1, 2020.

In an effort to improve support, a voluntary survey for feedback was developed to provide the Working Group with information about areas to improve use and effectiveness of READ plans. The survey will be open from Wednesday, Jan. 9, to Friday, Feb. 8. Visit the READ Plan Working Group webpage for a link and more information.

For questions, contact Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of student learning, at 303-866-6737 or

Standards and Instructional Support

Application now open for free elementary teacher computer science training ​

School districts, BOCES and charter schools can now start recruiting their elementary teachers interested in free computer science training. The goal of the training is to promote the computer science professional learning of elementary teachers who teach or wish to teach computer science. District must apply online on behalf of their teachers for the two available opportunities by Thursday, Feb. 28. 

Option #1: Free regional elementary teacher professional development administered by the Colorado School of Mines

The Colorado Department of Education has selected the Colorado School of Mines as the partner to offer free statewide computer science training for elementary teachers. All regions across the state will have at least one training in their area. Participating teachers will qualify for a stipend up to $250.

Districts must apply on behalf of teachers by submitting an online application, including the number of training slots and an assurances page. If awarded, a registration link will be sent to the district and regional training date(s) must be selected by participating teachers at least three weeks prior to the event. 

Districts can apply online via Survey Monkey by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28. An informational webinar will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, via Zoom.

Option # 2: District-determined elementary teacher professional development grant

A second option for the Computer Science Education Grant for elementary teachers is district-determined professional development. BootUp and mindSpark Learning are the two organizations that meet qualifications for the Colorado Computer Science Education Grant for elementary teachers. Districts can choose to engage with these organizations directly to provide professional development to their teachers or choose other providers better suited for their district needs.

Districts can submit an online application via Survey Monkey, a complete budget and assurances form by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28. 

Elementary teacher interested in computer science professional development opportunities, must notify district administration. Districts must apply on behalf of teachers for these opportunities.

For more information on the Computer Science in Education Grant, contact Joanna Bruno, at 303-866-6571 or visit the Computer Science Grants for Teachers 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 Floyd Cobb, executive director, 303-866-6868, or visit

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