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CDE Update

CDE Update Special Edition

Special Editions of the CDE Update

Read the latest: June 26


Read regular monthly editions below.

Please note the regular editions are on pause as we prioritize COVID-19 communications.

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.

CDE offers draft guidance for 2020-21 school year

The Colorado Department of Education working alongside school district leaders and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment developed initial and draft guidance for reopening schools in the fall. The 2020-21 school year will look different with new protocols for schools to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The Planning the 2020-21 School Year: Framework and Toolkit for School and District Leaders provides initial guidelines and ideas to help schools effectively manage all the new protocols and priorities this fall. The toolkit is a working document and will be updated to reflect any new public health orders, the status of our COVID-19 cases in communities across Colorado and any progress our medical community makes on treatment.

July 2020

Accountability, Performance and Support

What's Happening Now

Learn more about the 2020-21 Planning Framework and Toolkit

CDE will host weekly webinars on the 2020-21 Planning Framework and Toolkit designed to support schools and districts in their fall implementation plans. The sessions occur from 1 to 2 p.m. each Thursday, excluding July 2. All sessions include a deep dive into the toolkit, an opportunity to hear promising practices from the field and time to collaborate with colleagues across the state.

Register via EventBrite to save the dates on your calendar. 

Meeting topics may change with updated epidemiological data and feedback from the field.

  • July 9 - Planning and Communication: Teacher, Staff, and Family Preparation
  • July 16 - Policy and Funding: Funding Sources to Support Options
  • July 23 - Policy and Funding: Policy Decisions

For more information, contact Rhonda Haniford at

Accountability and Family Partnership Contacts

Districts that will have a new Accountability or Family Partnership contact for the 2020-21 school year will need to send CDE contact information for the new representative. To ensure that updates about accountability and improvement planning processes are being sent to the right person in your district, complete the survey by Tuesday, July 14. This will authorize accountability contacts to view student level data for accountability purposes.

For more information, contact Sharon Walsh at

Roll Over of Unified Improvement Plans to 2020-21

Thank you to all districts that submitted school and district Unified Improvement Plans (UIP) to be publicly posted this year. The plans have been published on The template rolled over from the 2019-20 template to the 2020-21 template in mid-June. Now, all schools that log into the system will log into their 2020-21 UIP. Districts will continue to have access to all past plans, but the district, school and AEC dashboards now default to the 2020-21 template.

As CDE reviews new state legislation and works with other programs, adjustments and enhancements to the template may be made over the summer. Customized directions will be made available in the pre-populated report by late July. 

For questions, contact Kirby Stein at

What's on the Horizon

UIP Submission Dates

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, CDE offered flexibility on the spring UIP posting submission due date, extending the deadline into fall 2020. As a reminder, for any school or district that took advantage of that flexibility, the new submission date is Oct. 15. For all other schools and districts, the typical deadlines apply – Jan. 15 for CDE review and April 15 for public posting. 

Given the positive response to the fall submission deadline, CDE and the State Board of Education are considering permanently moving the April public posting deadline to Oct. 15 beginning in 2020-21 for all schools and districts. If you have any feedback, contact Lisa Medler at

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Oct. 15 – UIP submission deadline for schools and districts taking advantage of COVID-19 flexibility

More Information

For more information on accountability and improvement, contact Rhonda Haniford, associate commissioner of School Quality & Support, or visit


What's Happening Now

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

What's on the Horizon

Fall SAT and PSAT/NMSQT Administration

CDE is pleased to announce that the department will pay for and, in partnership with College Board, support an optional SAT administration for 12th grade students and PSAT/NMSQT administration for 11th grade students enrolled in Colorado public schools this fall. The state-sponsored fall administrations are meant to provide interested eligible students with an opportunity to take, at no expense to them, the SAT or PSAT/NMSQT in place of the spring 2020 SAT and PSAT 10 school day exams that were not administered due to school closures that resulted from the COVID-19 public health crisis. Replacement administrations are not being offered for the canceled CMAS or PSAT9 exams.

The fall 2020 school day administration of the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT is not required by CDE. Colorado public districts and charter schools will have the option to administer these exams and students will have the opportunity to participate in the option that is chosen by the school. Results are intended for student and locally determined uses only.

Additional information will be provided to District Assessment Coordinators and School Test Coordinators in the coming weeks to help schools prepare for these administrations. Please note, due to ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, test dates may be canceled in the event of a local or regional closure. In the event of closure, it is not expected that additional test dates or options will be available.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

More Information

For more information, contact Joyce Zurkowski, chief assessment officer, at, or visit

Educator Talent

What's Happening Now

Principal Resources available for school leaders

CDE created a Principal Resources webpage that brings together internal and external resources to support principals and school leaders. Resources around planning for the 2020-21 school year, such as the Turnaround Network’s Launching Unfinished Learning and Virtual Hiring webinar series, are also available on the COVID-19 Resources for Principals webpage. Principals and school leaders are encouraged to visit these newly developed webpages and/or connect with CDE Principal Leadership Cross-Unit Work Group team members with any questions or ideas.

Reminder to submit 2020-21 Educator Effectiveness Assurances

Each year by July 1, Colorado districts and BOCES are required to submit assurances that they are implementing the State Model for Evaluation System or another evaluation system that adheres to the requirements in statute. The opening of the Educator Effectiveness Assurances was delayed to make necessary adjustments to support districts and BOCES working remotely.  Visit the Assurances for Written Evaluation Systems webpage for details on the updated assurances submission instructions and revised processes.

Please note that the assurances data collection link will be unavailable on Friday, July 3, due to scheduled site maintenance.

For additional information, contact Carolyn Haug 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 Colleen O'Neil, associate commissioner of Educator Talent, at or visit

Organizational Effectiveness

What's Happening Now

Data Pipeline


  • School code change requests must be submitted by Thursday, July 30. Requests submitted after this extended date will not be considered. 
  • Local Education Agency calendars for 2020-21 must be entered by Tuesday, Sept. 1. 

Student End of Year

The 2019-20 Student End of Year snapshot is open. The target date for having an error-free End of Year snapshot is Thursday, July 23.  By Thursday, Sept. 10, local education agencies must submit their initial Student End of Year snapshot.


The new Attendance collection is currently open and due Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Report Card March

The Report Card March collection is open and is due Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Special Education Discipline

The Special Education Discipline Interchange and Snapshot are both available. Thursday, July 23, is the deadline for every district to resolve Discipline Action Interchange errors. It is also the date by which every administrative unit must resolve all Individual Education Plan Child/Participation Interchange errors. This collection will close on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Teacher Student Data Link

The 2019-20 Teacher Student Data Link is open and available 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 through 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. 

​​Local education agencies are requested to have their 2019-20 migrant student course mapped and enrollment data reported no later than Wednesday, Sept. 30. However, 2019-20 is also a Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) year. CDE has not yet heard USDE plans for this collection. CDE will alert TSDL data collection leads as information comes in about CRDC.

Designated Agency

The 2019-20 Designated Agency Data Collection is open, and the deadline has been extended to Wednesday, Sept. 30. Designated agencies are encouraged to submit their data earlier because doing so will allow them to finish the 2019-20 collection prior to beginning to collect the data needed for the 2020-21 collection and avoid adding tasks to complete during the busy beginning of the next school year.

Special Education End of Year

The Special Education End of Year snapshot is open. Thursday, July 23, is the date by which AUs must resolve all 2019-20 IEP Interchange errors (Child File/Participation File) and at least one 2019-20 Special Education End of Year Snapshot created. This collection will close Thursday, Oct. 15.

School Discipline

School Discipline is open and the scheduled due date is Thursday, Dec. 31.

Competitive Grants and Awards

Funding status for fiscal year 2020-21 state competitive grants available

With the significant loss in revenue due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado legislature had to make a number of changes to state competitive grant programs to ensure a balanced budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. CDE has compiled all of the changes to state grant programs on its Competitive Grants and Awards webpage to enable school district leaders to see the status of each affected award program.  

Grant program managers will be contacting districts that have submitted applications for grants for the 2020-21 school year to provide information about the availability of funding and next steps for each program.  Districts with unspent funds for state grant programs from the 2019-20 school year may be able to use these funds during the 2020-21 school year consistent with the no cost extension that was issued previously, see grant FAQs.

The 2021 legislative session will start in January.  At that time, the discussions for the 2021-22 fiscal year will begin, and the department will have a better idea of the potential for this grant program to be funded for the next fiscal year.

For more information, please contact the grant program manager or Kim Burnham at

Health, Wellness & Nutrition

Mental Health Resource Bank available

Colorado’s Youth Mental Health Education and Suicide Prevention Act, House Bill 19-1120, directs CDE to create and maintain a mental health education literacy resource bank for Colorado with assistance from the Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Suicide Prevention, the Suicide Prevention Commission and the Colorado Youth Advisory Council.

Resources include programs that are evidence-based, research-based or promising programs. Visit the Mental Health Resource Bank to explore resources by age range, community type and language.

For questions, contact Alejandra Venzor at

Free and Reduced Meal Guidelines for 2020-21 released

The policy for determining eligibility of children who may receive federally free and reduced price school meals (or free milk) has been released. Local school officials should use the household size and income criteria to determine eligibility for free or reduced price school meals. To view the latest guidelines, visit the School Meal Eligibility webpage.

For questions, contact  Rachael Burnham at

What's on the Horizon

Watch for more information in next month's Update.

Important Upcoming Deadlines

July 30:  School Code change requests due

More Information

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

Postsecondary Readiness

What's Happening Now

Concurrent Enrollment website now available

CDE and the Colorado Department of Higher Education created a website to help Colorado high school students find information about how to earn college credit while they are still in high school. The website, which is required by legislation passed in 2019, contains information about dual and Concurrent Enrollment programs, early college programs, the ASCENT program, and Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses, as well as their costs, benefits and eligibility requirements. It is designed to help students get an early start on college classes while in high school and begin navigating their path toward college completion.   

Visit the Concurrent Enrollment section of the CDE website.

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, at, or visit