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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.

August 2019

Accountability, Performance and Support

CDE supports schools and districts in the continuous improvement process through its focus on implementing quality school and district support systems, accountability measures, improvement plans, federal programs and data analysis.

What's Happening Now

Academic Growth and Performance Framework Preliminary release

Preliminary frameworks are expected to be sent to districts in late August. As in the past few years, due to the public nature of the data, the preliminary files will also be posted on CDE’s website approximately a week later. ACCESS growth data was made available in early July. CMAS and PSAT to SAT growth data is expected in mid-August. This document, along with other 2019 framework resources, are posted on the Accountability Resources webpage.

Accountability for Alternative Education Campuses

The State Board of Education will review and approve applications for schools designated as Alternative Education Campuses (AEC) at its August meeting. The approved list will be published on the CDE website after the meeting. The department is currently reviewing submitted measures, metrics and cut points for the AEC School Performance Frameworks, and will follow up with districts as needed.

For more information, contact B Sanders, or 303-866-2865, or contact Jessica Watson at or 303-866-6778. Visit the AEC website for more information.

Submit your Accountability and Family Partnership Contacts

If your district will have a transition with the assigned Accountability or Family Partnership contact for the 2019-20 school year, please let CDE know as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Kirby Stein at or 303-866-6108.

What's on the Horizon

UIP and Accountability Fall Training

CDE will offer training sessions on the 2019 School and District Performance Frameworks and the Unified Improvement Planning (UIP) process in addition to support regarding the Accountability Clock. These sessions can be customized and delivered regionally upon request. 

To schedule a training contact Dan Jorgensen at 303-866-6763, or Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642.

Preliminary Pre‐Populated Unified Improvement Plans

The school and district pre-populated reports -- containing both state and federal expectations within the UIP -- will be updated in Section 1 of the UIP online system within two weeks following the release of the preliminary performance frameworks. 

For questions, contact Lisa Steffen at or 303-866-6676.

School Accreditation Forms and Requests to Reconsider

Based on the preliminary DPF and SPF reports, all districts must submit the School Accreditation Form indicating the district and local school board’s accreditation ratings for their schools by Wednesday, Oct. 16.

If a district wishes to request a different district accreditation rating or any of their school’s plan type assignments, the district must notify CDE of their intent to submit a request for reconsideration by Wednesday, Sept. 18. These districts will still need to complete the accreditation form and submit their complete request for reconsideration by Oct. 16. 

If a district would like specific feedback on a draft Request to Reconsider, those draft submissions will be due to CDE by Sept. 18 along with the letter of intent in order for CDE staff to provide adequate technical assistance. 

Accreditation ratings for schools and districts that are not participating in the Request to Reconsider process will be approved at the November board meeting. Ratings for schools and districts that submit a Request to Reconsider will be approved at the December board meeting.

CDE staff are available to assist schools and districts with the Request to Reconsider process this summer and fall. Office hours and guidance are posted on the Request to Reconsider webpage.

For questions on Request to Reconsider submissions, contact Jessica Watson at or 303-866-6778. For questions on the Accreditation form, contact Kirby Stein at or 303-866-6108.

 EASI Support Fair

CDE invites district and school staff to an event highlighting support and funding available through the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) grant process. The EASI application is intended for districts with schools identified for improvement through our accountability system. 

During the EASI Support Fairs attendees will be able to connect with CDE staff, learn more about support options available to districts and schools, and work with their teams to plan for the application process. CDE will also host a Provider Expo where district and school teams can meet with and learn more about support providers.

EASI Support Fair Schedule:

  • Monday, Sept. 16: San Luis Valley BOCES, Alamosa
  • Friday, Sept. 27: Tesla Center, Colorado Springs
  • Monday, Oct. 2: Arvada Center, Arvada

EASI Provider Expo

  • Monday, Oct. 14: Arvada Center, Arvada

For more information, contact Nate Goss at or 720-682-8535.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Mid-August (prior to the public release): CMAS and SAT growth data released to districts.
  • August 14-15 State Board Meeting:
    • Public release of CMAS Achievement and Growth results.
    • AEC Designation vote and public release.
  • Mid to End of August: Release of preliminary 2019 District and traditional School Performance Framework reports to districts for review.
  • September:
    • Release of 2019 AEC School Performance Framework reports to districts for review.
    • Release of preliminary pre-populated 2019 Unified Improvement Plans (Section I) in the UIP online system.
  • Sept. 18:
    • Deadline for districts to submit intention letter to participate in Request to Reconsider process
    • Deadline for districts to submit optional draft Request to Reconsider submission.
  • Oct. 15:  Districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type may submit revised UIPs for early feedback.
  • Oct. 16: Deadline for all districts to submit the School Accreditation Form and Requests to Reconsider submissions for district accreditation rating and/or school plan type assignments, if a district is choosing to submit.

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, 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 9-11.

What's Happening Now

Embargoed state assessment results

State-, district- and school-level assessment scores will be publicly released on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the State Board of Education meeting. Schools and districts received access to student-level 2019 state assessment results in June. Additional non-public data files and reports containing personally identifiable information were made available throughout June and July.

Hard copies of CMAS (all content areas) and CoAlt science and social studies individual student performance reports arrived in districts at the end of July. Prior to the August State Board of Education meeting, all CMAS, CO PSAT, CO SAT, and CoAlt assessment results are embargoed and must not be publicly disseminated, distributed or published.

However, districts and schools may share confidential individual student performance reports with parents upon receipt of the reports and may use aggregated and individual student-level results internally for informational and planning purposes before the public release of results.

Communication materials for assessment release available

A toolkit with sample materials to help districts and schools communicate with parents and students about the CMAS, PSAT and SAT scores is available on the CDE website. The materials are meant to be flexible. They can be used as is or the pieces that are most useful can be copied and pasted into district or school materials. Spanish-language versions of some of the documents will be added soon.

For questions regarding the communications materials, contact Jeremy Meyer at or 303-866-2334.

Dissemination of pertinent information to district and school staff

As the individuals who receive assessment information directly from CDE, District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) are asked to disseminate information, provide access to results to appropriate district and school staff, and to serve as the “go to” resource for assessment questions within the district. Because districts have local assessment policies and practices that do not necessarily apply across the state, questions within the district regarding assessments should be directed to DACs before CDE. Aside from superintendents or District Technology Coordinators (DTCs), questions received by CDE from other district and school staff will typically be referred to the appropriate DAC.

Appointment of new DACs and DTCs

Each year, district personnel changes may require the appointment of new DAC or DTC. To ensure that CDE’s Assessment Unit distributes information to the appropriate district staff, a formal appointment process has been established for each role.

To update DAC or DTC information, the superintendent should complete a DAC Appointment Form or a DTC Appointment Form. The forms must be signed by the superintendent and returned to Sara Loerzel at or faxed to 303-866-6680. When appointing a new DAC, please remember that this individual will have access to Personally Identifiable Information.

The forms are available through the following links on CDE’s website:

Educators needed for state assessment development

CDE continuously seeks educators to participate in several assessment development activities. Please share the following recruitment information with educators in your district.

The Assessment Unit is often asked how educators who administer state assessments can contribute to test development. The best way to influence assessment content is through participating in educator meetings held throughout the development cycle. CDE seeks educators with expertise in the concepts and skills reflected in the Colorado Academic Standards in mathematics; reading, writing, and communicating; science; and social studies at the assessed grade levels. Educators with expertise in special education and in working with English learners are also asked to participate.

To be added to the educator pool, interested educators should submit information through the Pearson Colorado Educator Database.

The following educator assessment development meetings will be held during the next few months:

  • Aug. 7: Social Studies Data Review
  • Sept. 4-6: CSLA Content, Bias and Sensitivity Review
  • Sept. 9-13: ELA Content, Bias and Sensitivity Review

Participating educators will be reimbursed for travel expenses to the meeting site. Those traveling more than 35 miles will be provided with hotel accommodations. Breakfast, snacks and lunch will be provided during the meeting, and participants staying overnight will receive a per diem for dinner. Schools will be reimbursed for the cost of substitute teachers needed to cover classes for participating educators. If a substitute is not needed because school will be out of session during the meeting, the participant will be paid an honorarium of $120 per day. Participating educators are also eligible to receive professional development credit.

Contact Nathan Redford at or 303-866-6849 for more information about educator meetings.

What's on the Horizon

2019-20 Assessments at a Glance



CMAS and CoAlt (DLM): Math and English language arts (including CSLA)*

*CMAS ELA and Math assessments are expected to include operational items developed specifically for Colorado.

Grades 3-8

CMAS and CoAlt: Science

Grades 5, 8 and 11

CMAS and CoAlt: Social Studies

Grades 4, 7, and 11 (sampling basis with approximately one-third of schools participating)


Grades 9 and 10


Grade 11


Grades K-12

Important Upcoming Deadlines

  • Aug. 15: Public release of state assessment and growth results.
  • Aug. 20: District Assessment Coordinator 2018-2019 Kick-Off Webinar. DACs will receive specific details regarding time and login information.
  • Sept. 30 - Oct. 10: ACCESS for ELLs and CoAlt regional administration training.

More Information

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


In May 2018, the Colorado Department of Education received approval of its state plan for the implementation of ESSA from the U.S. Department of Education.

What's Happening Now

2019-20 ESSA Consolidated Application

LEAs have until Friday, Aug. 30, to respond to feedback and submit changes to CDE for final Consolidated Application approval. Log into the Consolidated Application to review and respond to feedback. After final approval is granted, applicants can submit a request for funds to receive reimbursement for activities outlined in the application. View the Request for Funds Form (RFF) webpage for more information.

The Grants Fiscal Management Unit at CDE has moved from a paper/e-mail RFP submission process to an online submission process through Formsite. The online submission process will be more streamlined and reduce the number of errors in submission and processing, while also decreasing the time it takes for payments to be processed.

What's on the Horizon

School Identification for ESSA Support and Improvement

CDE is in the process of using student performance data from the preceding three years to identify schools for support and improvement under ESSA. Superintendents will receive a letter in September notifying them of their schools identified for improvement and eligibility for school improvement support and funding through the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) application. The application will open mid-September and will remain open until mid-November.

For questions pertaining to the methodology, data used, and timeline for ESSA identification, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, or Tina Negley at or 303-866-5243.

2019-20 ESSA Monitoring

The Federal Programs Unit is in the process of identifying LEAs for monitoring during the 2019-20 school year. LEAs will be notified by the end of August if they have been selected for monitoring. Selected LEAs will receive training and technical support, beginning in September, to help prepare for monitoring. The monitoring process will begin in January, via an online system for submitting documentation and evidence, and onsite visits will be collaboratively scheduled and developed for spring of 2020.

For questions pertaining to monitoring under ESSA, including the monitoring cycles, protocols and plans, contact Nazie Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205, DeLilah Collins at or 303-866-6850, Joey Willett at or 303-866-6700, or visit the ESSA Monitoring webpage

Fall Directors’ Meeting

A series of New Directors’ and Regional Networking meetings across five locations will be available in September. Locations include Littleton, Glenwood Springs, Alamosa, La Junta and Limon. This is a joint venture among the offices of ESEA Programs, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE), and Migrant Education Program (MEP). Local federal program directors, facilitators and staff will learn about program expectations for the school year. 

At each region, a half-day New Directors’ Meeting will provide an introduction to ESEA (Titles I through V including Titles IC and IIIA) program requirements, with a year-at-a-glance of the work to be done over the school year. This session is designed for any new ESEA, CLDE, or MEP directors, coordinators, or facilitators, as well as any district staff who would like a refresher on ESEA programs. 

An adjoining full-day Regional Networking Meeting will provide a deeper understanding of program requirements and opportunity to learn how other districts are implementing program requirements and delving into evidence-based strategies, interventions, and activities that leverage use of ESEA funds. 

For locations, dates, and registration, visit the ESEA Regional Meeting webpage.

Equity and Excellence Conference

Save the date for the the fourth annual Equity & Excellence Conference on Oct. 24-25 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Denver.

The theme of this year’s conference is strengthening historically underserved students’ opportunities through effective programs and practices. The goal of the conference is to provide district and school leaders the opportunity to deeply explore and learn about evidence-based practices in a collaborative setting and walk away inspired to advance equity.

Registration opens Monday, Aug. 5. For more information, visit the 2019 Equity and Excellence Conference homepage. 

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 5: Registration open for Equity & Excellence Conference

Oct. 24-25: Equity & Excellence conference

More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

Data Pipeline is a streamlined approach to efficiently move required education information from school districts to the CDE. Data Pipeline reduces data redundancy, captures closer to real-time data, streamlines the data collection process and allows districts to exchange information on transferred students. 

What's Happening Now

Superintendent and Principal Integrated Timelines

The Superintendent and Principal Integrated Timelines that give district and school leaders a month-by-month timeline of important implementation dates are available for the 2019-20 school year. The timelines can be accessed in the communications toolkit for superintendents.

For more information, contact Jeremy Meyer at or 303-866-2334.

2020 Census Count

This fall Colorado and other states will begin preparing for the 2020 Census count. Because the census determines federal funding districts receive, as well as Colorado’s voice in Congress, CDE has created materials to help superintendents, principals and teachers communicate with parents and communities about the importance of the census. View the toolkit of materials on CDE's website.
The census is important for many reasons. Population counts determine allocations of federal dollars to states, cities and counties; and they help citizens and policy makers understand demographic, economic and geographic trends needed to inform critical business decisions.
Population totals also determine how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The totals also are used to draw federal and state legislative districts. Based on projections, Colorado could receive an additional seat in the House of Representatives thereby increasing Colorado’s voice as Congress debates issues important to all of us.

Special Education Discipline

Administrative Units and districts must work collaboratively to generate a complete Special Education Discipline Snapshot dataset by passing all interchange and snapshot validations in preparation for report review by Thursday, Aug. 22. This collection will close on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Designated Agency

Designated agencies must enter 2018-19 candidates into the Designated Agency Data Pipeline collection by Friday, Aug. 30.


Tuesday, Aug. 30, is the last day to enter 2018-19 non-attending enrollment records for regular year and summer term. August is the month in which migrant regions should begin rolling over attending student enrollments in the state’s data student information system for the 2019-20 school year. 


The modernized Record Integration Tracking System (RITS) Pipeline now shows the 2019-20 school year drop down. LEAs, if they have not done so already, may begin requesting State Assigned Student Identifier Numbers (SASIDS) for the 2019-20 school year. Requesting SASIDS early will help expedite the process. 

Please be sure to use RITS READ in Pipeline if submitting large batches for new incoming students. For existing students, use RITS Batch in Pipeline. 

If using the RITS Web for smaller numbers of students, be sure to do a student search first so as not to create duplicate SASIDS. RITS/ Educator Identifier System (EDIS) training will be offered in August for district respondents. 

December Finance

The 2018-19 December Finance collection will open in August.

2019-20 Student Interchange and Student October

The Student Demographics and Student School Association files are now open and districts may begin uploading in data pipeline for the school year when they are ready.

The Student October Snapshot opens at the end of August.

What's on the Horizon

Student End of Year

Districts are encouraged to submit their 2018-19 Student End of Year snapshots by Thursday Sept. 5. Thursday, Sept. 12, is the deadline for LEAs to submit their Student End of Year snapshot. Cross validation procedures will commence after this date.

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open. Exception requests should be into CDE by Wednesday, Sept. 4. This collection will close Thursday, Oct. 3.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Aug. 29:   Special Education Discipline collection deadline

Aug. 30:  

  • Designated Agency collection due
  • Migrant regions must enter 2018-19 regular and summer term non-attending enrollment records

More Information

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

Postsecondary Readiness

CDE works to strengthen, coordinate and align programs and policies to support students through to success in entering college and the workforce.

What's Happening Now

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

What's on the Horizon

Register for the National Dropout Prevention Conference

CDE is partnering with the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) to host the 2019 National Dropout Prevention Conference, Gaining New Heights in Dropout Prevention, Oct. 5-8, in Aurora. 

The conference is a valuable opportunity for superintendents, administrators, counselors, teachers and any other stakeholders to network with colleagues from around the world. Come learn about proven strategies and programs to increase graduation and decrease dropout rates. Register online

Colorado participants can use code COED2019 to receive a 10 percent discount. Individuals who are able to demonstrate financial need can request a free registration request by completing this Google Form by Friday, Aug. 16. 

For questions, contact Fumnanya Camara at or 303-866-4812.

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

CDE continuously improves Colorado’s education system to provide students with the future skills and essential knowledge needed for success in a globally competitive world.

What's Happening Now

Office of Standards and Instructional Support

Professional learning modules available for 2020 Colorado Academic Standards

Sixteen learning modules are available to help build and support understanding of the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards.  These modules were intentionally designed to be delivered at the local level to support smaller and rural districts that may not have district-level content specialists. Nonetheless, any size system can use the training materials. SIS designed each learning module to be delivered in sequence.

For more information please contact Joanna Bruno at or 303-866-6571.

Visit the 2020 Standards Implementation webpage to view these modules

Office of Learning Supports

Colorado Model Bullying Prevention and Education Policy now available

Senate Bill 18-151, also known as Ashawnty's Law, tasked CDE to develop a model bullying prevention and education policy. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to school districts, charter schools and the Charter School Institute in their development of bullying prevention and education policies.

For questions about the model bullying prevention and education policy, contact Scott Ross at or 303-866-6853.

P-3 Office

READ Collection and Fund Distribution

The legislature made several important changes to the READ Act this year because Colorado schools and districts overall were not seeing dramatic increases in students reading at grade level by third grade – the goal policymakers and educators set when the law was created in 2012.

CDE anticipates distributing this school year’s funds the week of Monday, Aug. 12. Please note that READ Act per-pupil fund distribution will be less for the 2019-20 school year compared to previous years because Senate Bill 19-199 creates new provisions in the law. CDE anticipates per-pupil funds will be reduced by approximately 20 percent. 

SB19-199 also modifies allowable funding uses for students with significant reading deficiencies. They now include:              

  • purchase of core reading instructional programs that are included on the advisory list of instructional programming in reading and supporting technologies,
  • purchasing tutoring services in reading,
  • providing professional development programming to support educators in teaching reading,
  • providing other targeted, scientifically or evidence-based intervention services, or
  • operating a summer school literacy program.

For questions about the READ Act, contact Anji Gallanos at or 720-527-0497.

What's on the Horizon

READing Conference

The fifth annual READing Conference will be Oct. 10-11 in Grand Junction. The conference is sponsored in partnership between CDE's Office of Literacy and the Exceptional Students Services Unit. Registration is free and will open this month. 

For more information, visit the Colorado READ Act webpage. Contact Marisa Calzadillas with questions at or 303-866-6189

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