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Office of Standards and Instructional Support
The Office of Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) consists of full-time and part-time staff of content specialists with expertise in all areas within the Colorado Academic Standards. This team is committed to supporting education professionals across the state in implementing the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) for student success. The team provides guidance and expertise through technical assistance, both internally and externally, related to standards implementation and instructional support.
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Standards vs. Curriculum, What's the Difference?
Standards are broad learning goals articulating what students should know, understand, and be able to do over a given time.
A curriculum is an organized plan of instruction, comprised of a sequence of instructional units, that engages students in mastering the standards. Resources such as instructional materials and textbooks support curriculum.
In Colorado, standards are developed by Colorado teachers and go through a public feedback process before being approved by the State Board of Education. Curriculum decisions are left to local school districts.
For further explanation, review this Standards vs. Curriculum fact sheet (PDF).
Standards Review and Revision Process
The State Board of Education is required by state statute to revise approximately one-third of the standards beginning in 2022 and an additional one-third every two years thereafter. Through this updated process, the standards have been divided into three groups. Groups contain content areas that are each reviewed by a committee of education stakeholders and the public before recommended revisions are considered by the state board. One-third of the standards that were adopted in 2018 began the review and revision cycle beginning in fall of 2020.
Learn more about Standards Review and Revision
News and Announcements
Timeline and schedule announced for reviewing Colorado Academic Standards
Commissioner Katy Anthes announced the timeline and schedule for the statutorily required review of the Colorado Academic Standards. Statute requires the board to review and approve each content area in the standards every six years. The board approved revisions to the social studies and arts standards in 2022, and districts are required to implement the revisions in the 2024-25 school year. The second set of standards to be reviewed will include computer science, English language proficiency, physical education and world languages. CDE staff will begin the process later this spring by comparing the standards to national and international benchmarks. After reviewing this report on the benchmarks, the board will determine the extent to which these standards should be updated. If the board determines revisions are necessary, a process will be created with stakeholder engagement to review and recommend updates to the board. The board will review and approve the standards by June 2024, and districts must implement the updated standards by the 2026-27 school year. The third set of standards to be reviewed will include math; reading, writing and communicating; science, and comprehensive health. The same process for reviewing these standards will begin in spring 2025, with approval by the board by June 2026. Implementation will be required in the 2028 school year.
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Resources in Response to COVID-19
The Office of Standards and Instructional Support has contributed to resources that support educators during these unprecedented times. The following are the most requested areas to find answers to frequently asked questions. In addition, a frequent question our office receives is in regard to priority standards. Our office implements legislation and current legislation does not prioritize specific grade-level expectations in any content area. Therefore, we operate to assist districts in implementing standards that are adopted by the State Board of Education in all content areas. Curricular decisions are made at the local level.
NEW! (August 2021) How should schools use COVID relief funds to make long-term investments in curriculum and instruction? This short guide has recommendations about investing in personnel, using evidence to select high-quality curriculum materials, implementing strong PD programs, and more.
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