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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.

December 2019

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Final SPF and DPF Ratings

The State Board of Education approved final performance ratings for 1,664 schools, and CDE released the final ratings for 167 districts for 2019. The board will approve final ratings for the remaining schools at its Wednesday, Dec. 11 meeting, including ratings for 133 schools that asked the department to reconsider the preliminary ratings they received in August.

The commissioner will report on the final ratings for the remaining 18 districts that requested a reconsideration. Final framework reports for all schools and districts will be posted in December following the board’s approval of ratings for those schools and districts that requested reconsideration of their ratings.

Unified Improvement Plan Trainings and Technical Assistance

CDE Accountability and Continuous Improvement specialists are available to support schools and districts on the performance frameworks and Unified Improvement Plans through in-person training and professional development. To schedule an in-person training contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763, or Erin Loften at or 303-866-6642.

Small Systems and Combined Unified Improvement Plans

Districts with fewer than 1,000 Students
As a reminder, districts with fewer than 1,000 students have the option to write one combined plan that incorporates planning for the district and all schools within the district. These districts do not need to request permission to write a combined plan but must be sure to incorporate all planning requirements for the district and member schools. For example, if a school within the district is assigned to a Turnaround plan, the combined UIP must include the turnaround requirements for that school. All combined plans should be written using the district-level template with the pre-populated report (Section I) for each school attached to the plan. 

Districts with fewer than 1,200 Students
Districts with 1,000 to 1,200 students may request to write a combined plan for the district and schools. These districts must request permission from CDE each year to write a combined plan. Requests can be sent to Kirby Stein at or 303-866-6108.

After district enrollment grows greater than 1,200 students, the district is no longer eligible to write and submit a combined UIP.

What's on the Horizon

TLCC Survey 2020

The Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado, or TLCC, educator perception survey will be available to all school-based staff in January. This anonymous online survey of all licensed educators (including non-licensed professionals in charter schools) promotes discussions in schools and districts about instruction, planning time, professional development, school improvement and related policy issues. The survey window will be announced soon. Typically it starts in late January/early February and is open for four weeks. 

For updates, access to previous survey results, and guidance, visit For questions, contact Lisa Steffen at or 303-866-6676.

Feedback sessions for Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Accountability Indicator

CDE staff members will meet with education stakeholder groups during the next few months to obtain feedback regarding legislated changes to the postsecondary and workforce readiness indicator within the performance framework reports. To schedule an informational or feedback session regarding this work, contact Dan Jorgensen at or 303-866-6763.

Unified Improvement Planning Submissions Dates

Every district and school must submit a revised/updated UIP no later than Wednesday, April 15. Districts and schools with a Performance plan type may be eligible for biennial submission. Schools and districts “On Watch” or with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type must submit a UIP for CDE review by Wednesday, Jan. 15. Feedback on the plans will be available in the online system in early March.

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

Parent notification requirements for districts with schools on the accountability clock

Districts with schools on the Accountability Clock (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround) are required to notify parents with information about the school’s plan type, UIP process and about the required public hearing. CDE will monitor the notification process this year.

Communications can be emailed to or attached to the school’s UIP. This will also help CDE provide assistance if needed. Additional information will be available to districts with identified schools. 

Schools that are “On Watch” are not required to notify parents and hold a public hearing. For more information, review the Parent Notification Instructions (PDF). For questions, contact Lisa Steffen at or 3030-866-6676.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 15

  • Deadline for schools and districts with a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan types 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. 31 – Deadline to indicate a school is seeking Alternative Education Campus (AEC) designation for the first time or after a break in designation. Email B Sanders ( to notify CDE of intent .

Late January – The Request to Reconsider survey will be available for districts that participated in the request to reconsider process.

More Information

For more information, contact Lisa Medler, executive director of Accountability and Continuous Improvement, 303‐866‐6993, 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

Upcoming CMAS Deadlines

By Sunday, Dec. 15, District Assessment Coordinators (DACs) must notify CDE’s Assessment Unit of the following districts and charter school administration decisions:

  • By content area and grade, district or charter school intent to use paper-based testing as the main testing format for CMAS administration. CDE will use this information to indicate paper-based testing for the identified schools/grades/content areas in the initial spring testing registration file. Additional information was provided to DACs during regional training sessions.
  • District-selected CMAS and CoAlt administration window. DACs should submit requests for:
    • extended computer-based assessment window for ELA and math
    • early 11th grade (science) CMAS testing window

Additional information was provided to DACs at CMAS training sessions. Dates corresponding to the extended and early windows are available on the General Assessment Information webpage.

By Sunday, Dec. 15, DACs must submit Unique Accommodation Requests (UARs) for CMAS to the CDE Assessment Unit. UARs are required for accommodations that may change the construct being measured by the assessment (e.g., reading of the reading assessment through text-to-speech or oral script and using a calculator on the non-calculator section of the test). Additional information about UARs is available on the Accomodations Traiing Webpage.

For additional information about CMAS deadlines, contact Sara Loerzel at or 303-866-3266.

Pre-ID Data Pulls

Pre-ID extract data for the CMAS, PSAT/SAT and CoAlt Dynamic Learning Maps Consortia (DLM) assessments will be pulled from final approved October count files in December. These data pulls are used to generate the initial registration files for all assessments.

Pre-ID extract data for the ACCESS for English language learners assessments was pulled from the October count snapshot files.

What's on the Horizon

ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Window

The ACCESS for English language learner assessment window opens on Monday, Jan. 13, and closes on Friday, Feb. 14.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Week of Dec. 12: ACCESS for ELLs materials arrive in districts

Dec. 15:

  • Deadline for submitting CMAS paper testing mode for inclusion in initial registration file and CMAS and CoAlt early/extended administration window requests to CDE
  • CMAS Unique Accommodations Requests due to CDE

Dec. 17: ACCESS for ELLs additional materials order window opens

Mid-December: Pre-ID extract data pulled from finalized October count files for CMAS (including CSLA), CoAlt, and PSAT/SAT

Jan. 6–24: Confirm student registrations in PearsonAccessnext for initial CMAS and CoAlt orders

Jan. 13: ACCESS for ELLs testing window opens

More Information

For more information on assessments, contact Joyce Zurkowski, Chief Assessment Officer, 303-866-6760,, or visit

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

Request for Applications: Quality Teacher Recruitment Program Grant

The Quality Teacher Recruitment Program authorizes CDE to award grants to organizations collaborating with school districts or BOCES to recruit, select, train, and retain highly qualified teachers in areas that have had historic difficulty in attracting and keeping quality teachers. The Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2020-22 grant cycle is now available. A total of $5.92 million is available for this grant program to be used over the two-year grant period. Year Two funds are contingent upon meeting reporting requirements and available appropriations from the Colorado Legislature. Applications are due April 9, 2020. 

Register for an informational webinar at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan 14. Visit the program web page for more detailed information, including a link to download the most recent grant cycle report on the work of current grantees.

For more information, contact Jennifer Simons at 303-866-6793 or

New Resources: Capitalizing on Flexibilities for Local Evaluation Systems

A new online resource has been created to help districts/BOCES learn more about areas of differentiation and efficiency that can be used for local educator evaluation practices. Based on feedback from the field, this online tool was designed to provide resources and ideas around finding time in evaluations, differentiating evaluations, considering measures of student learning/outcomes and engaging stakeholders as part of the educator evaluation process. 

Promising practices from Colorado school districts/BOCES about innovative evaluation practices are also available. This new resource will support refining local evaluation practices and provide opportunities for learning about what others across the state are doing around educator evaluations.

To learn more, visit the Local Flexibility for Educator Evaluation web area. For feedback or questions, visit the EE Contact Us webpage and connect with your regional specialist. 

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 of educator talent, 303-866-6945 or


What's Happening Now

Program evaluation training

Training has been created to help districts conduct program evaluations on the effectiveness of federally funded programs at the local level. The training, created in partnership with CDE's Federal Program Unit and the Regional Educational Laboratory assigned to Colorado by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed for district personnel who would like to either conduct evaluations at the local level or to become partners in, and better consumers of, local evaluations conducted by program evaluation experts. Districts are encouraged to send a team of ESEA program leads (e.g., Titles I, II or III) and other key users of program evaluation results, as well as any staff responsible for conducting local program evaluations.  

CDE staff and REL representatives will provide training across the state at five locations. Space at each location is limited, so register as soon as possible by visiting the ESEA Regional Networking Meeting webpage.  

For questions regarding the program evaluation training or to request additional information, contact Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205.

Comprehensive and Targeted Improvement Planning​

A webinar has been posted on ESSA improvement planning requirements in preparation for the 2019-20 Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) review cycle. The webinar includes information on the ESSA Improvement Plan Rubric and lessons learned from past UIP reviews. The webinar, which was recorded and posted by the Office of ESEA Programs, is recommended for Consolidated Application Authorized Representatives, District Accountability Coordinators, UIP contacts or any other school or district staff who support schools identified as needing Comprehensive Support (CS) in the development of their UIPs. 

For questions, contact Tammy Giessinger at or 303-866-6992, Laura Meushaw at or 303-866-6618, or Nazanin Mohajeri-Nelson at or 303-866-6205.

What's on the Horizon

2019-20 Local ESSA Report Cards

Each school and district within the state is required to develop and publish an ESSA Report Card on the school’s website that includes a number of required data elements. CDE must collect all of these report cards and publish them on CDE’s website. CDE will continue to develop and publish reports that meet ESSA requirements on behalf of Colorado schools and districts. The most recent local report cards can be found on the ESSA Local Report Cards webpage.  

2019-20 ESSA Consolidated Application

The Post-Award Revision (PAR) process is an opportunity for districts and BOCES to adjust and revise the activities and budget that were approved in the initial consolidated application. The PAR window is open now through April 30. Guidance about when to submit a PAR and guidance about how to do so is available on the PAR webpage.

For more Information, visit the Consolidated App Training Center webpage. For questions, reach out to your Regional Contact

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Jan. 15 - UIPs from schools that have earned a Priority Improvement or Turnaround plan type and have also been identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS) under ESSA are due.

More Information

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

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Non-public School Directory

Non-public schools must be entered into Data Pipeline by Tuesday, Dec. 3.


Newly elected school board members also must be entered into Data Pipeline by Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Student End of Year

The 2018-19 End of Year final approval due date is Thursday, Dec. 5, and districts should work to review their rates prior to that deadline.   

Kindergarten School Readiness

The Kindergarten School Readiness data collection will close Thursday, Dec. 5. Data reported to CDE will be from the initial fall assessment window. The initial assessment is to be completed within the first 60 calendar days of the school year.


Friday, Dec. 20, is the last day to enter all required data elements for all eligible migrant students recruited, counted and served by your program for school year 2018-19. Migrant regions should have reviewed 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%. 

Districts can access their Migrant Student List through Data Pipeline. Monthly, LEAs can access a Cognos Report in Data Pipeline entitled “Migrant Student List”, which can be pulled by school year and district and is located under the “Cognos Report Tab, Student Profile Tab, Migrant Student List Tab”. The district must have the LEAUSER or LEAVIEWER role in order to see the Cognos Report. The COGNOS Migrant List/Report has the following columns: SASID, Last Name, First Name, Birth Date, School Code, Migrant Arrival Date and Migrant End Date. The report can be downloaded into Excel and from there imported into the district’s Student Information System (SIS). Please ensure your district has uploaded a current Student School Association file (SSA) to receive the most up-to-date migrant list.

For questions regarding the migrant list, reach out to local migrant education programs that coordinate and deliver services to migrant students by visiting the Migrant Education Program webpage.

December Finance

The 2018-19 December Finance collection is due Tuesday, Dec. 31.

CMAS, CoAlt ELA/Math (DLM), CoAlt Sci/SS, CO PSAT, and CO SAT

The pre-ID extract for CMAS, CoAlt ELA/Math (DLM), CoAlt Sci/SS, CO PSAT, and CO SAT assessments will occur in December after Student October is finalized.  Data will be pulled from approved Student October files so local education agencies do not need to alter Data Pipeline files on or near this date. 

Special Education December Count

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) interchange files and staff interchange files are currently being uploaded by Districts and Administrative Units. Many AUs have started taking December Count Snapshots. Wednesday, Nov. 27, was the first deadline of the collection by which one set of Staff Interchange files and one set of IEP Interchange files should be uploaded by this date. Thursday, Dec. 19, is the date to have all Staff and IEP Interchange errors resolved. A complete Snapshot prior to the duplicate phase is due Thursday, Jan. 23. The final close of the collection is Thursday, Feb. 20.

Human Resources

Staff interchange files may be uploaded to the Data Pipeline and snapshots may be created. The Educator Shortage Survey may also be completed at this time. The collection and Educator Shortage Survey will both close Thursday, Feb. 27.

Teacher Student Data Link

The Teacher Student Data Link (TSDL) interchange files is open. All districts are required to report TSDL data for students in grades six through 12 as well as teachers for all courses in mathematics, English language arts/literacy, science and social studies. With this school year being a reportable Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) year, it is advised to also report all computer science courses as well for sixth to 12th grade students as this subject is required for the CRDC file. 

Additionally, all courses are required to be reported for eighth through 12th grade migrant students. In preparation for the TSDL collection, all previously mapped local course codes have been replicated for each district in the State Standard Course Code System (SSCC). These courses can be deleted, modified or added to within the SSCC system. The TSDL snapshot will open in January and is due Thursday, Aug. 13.

Designated Agency

The 2019-20 Designated Agency data collection is open in the Data Pipeline to enter 2019-20 candidates until Monday, Aug. 31.

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Dec. 3: 

  • Non-public School Directory is due
  • Newly elected school board members must be entered into directory

Dec. 5: 

  • Final Student End of Year final approval deadline
  • Kindergarten School Readiness closes

Dec. 20: Migrant regions should enter data for all eligible migrant students recruited, counted and served in SY 2018-19

Dec. 31:  December Finance due date

Jan. 14:  2018-19 Student End of Year release

Jan. 23:  2019-20 Student October release

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

Preschool through Third Grade 

Kindergarten School Readiness data reporting

Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K) requires the annual reporting of school readiness for the kindergarten level. The data collection for the 2019-20 school year will close on Thursday, Dec. 5. Online training and virtual support is available. Information about the kindergarten school readiness data collection and training can be found on the school readiness webpage.

For more information about the School Readiness data collection, contact Tara Rhodes at 303-866-6243 or

Rulemaking process begins on READ Act

The State Board of Education voted in October to begin the process of bringing rules related to implementation of the Colorado READ Act into alignment with House Bill 18-1393 and Senate Bill 19-199. The changes to the statute were substantial, as are the proposed changes to the rules. Details can be found on the 2019-20 READ Act Rules Changes webpage.

For more information about the Colorado READ Act, contact Anji Gallanos at 720-527-0497 or or visit the Colorado READ Act website.

Standards and Instructional Support 

Computer Science Education Week

The annual Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) takes place Dec. 9-15. It was created to raise awareness about the need for computer science education at all levels of education by engaging students and teachers, as well as the computing community at large, with a wide diversity of events and activities to advocate for computer science education. 

Please consider hosting an event at your district. For more information and resources, contact Chris Summers at or 720-648-3909 or visit the CDE Computer Science 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,