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The CDE Scoop - January 25, 2012

Note: These Scoop items may appear in a different order than seen in the original email publication.

The Scoop... - The CDE Weekly Newsletter

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Accountability & Improvement

Unified Improvement Plan Submissions, Reviews, and Feedback

Thank you to the districts that submitted school and district Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs) by the Jan. 17 deadline. The vast majority of districts required to participate in the January submission completed this step with ease and on time. For the handful of districts that still have plans due, CDE has contacted the designated Tracker contact via phone and email.

CDE is currently reviewing the approximately 350 plans that were submitted. As feedback becomes available, it will be uploaded in the Tracker system over the next six weeks. The feedback will include recommendations and specifications for required changes (if there are any). Tracker contacts will be notified once feedback is uploaded into their individual accounts of the Tracker system.

In the meantime, remind school and district personnel to continue implementing strategies articulated in the plans. This is a continuous improvement cycle; they should not wait for “approval” from the state.

If a district needs to upload updated or additional information into their Tracker accounts for either the NCLB Accountability or State Accountability Instruments, make sure to enter a comment into the system that describes the new information that has been added. Also select the option to have a copy of the comment sent via email to Jamie Baker ( when uploading additional information. Otherwise, CDE may not know that a version has been uploaded and the older version will be reviewed.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Lisa Medler
Phone: 303-866-6993

Awards & Recognitions

Green Ribbon Schools Application Now Available

The Green Ribbon Schools application is now available. The Green Ribbon Schools program was recently launched by the U. S. Department of Education to recognize schools that save energy and reduce operating costs, create environmentally friendly learning spaces, promote student health, and provide environmental education to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum.

To be eligible for this award, Green Ribbon Schools will have achieved or made considerable progress toward the three pillars established in the program: 1) energy efficient buildings; 2) healthy students and school environment; and 3) environmental literacy of all students. The combined achievement in these three areas will be the basis for the Green Ribbon Schools award. All schools must meet high college- and career-ready standards, be in compliance with federal civil rights laws, and all federal, state and local health and safety standards and regulations.

While the award confers no federal funds, winners of the Green Ribbon, like Blue Ribbon Schools, may experience national and local press coverage, re-energized staff and parents, enhanced community support, increased application rates, and new private financial assistance. Winners will be invited to participate in national and local recognition ceremonies.

Applications are due to CDE on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Up to four Colorado schools may be nominated by Commissioner Hammond to the U.S. Department of Education. For more information and to access the application, please visit the website below.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Lynn Bamberry
Federal Programs
Phone: 303-866-6813

Data Systems

Combining Data Collections

In an effort to reduce the data burden on local education agencies and be more efficient at collecting data, CDE is exploring the possibility of combining the Student October, Human Resources, and Special Education December Count into one annual collection.

In order to accurately capture all of the issues and identify potential risks and solutions, CDE will hold four focus groups. The first two will focus on the student portion of the collections and the last two will focus on the staff piece of the collections.

If you are an administrative unit or a local education agency and are involved with the Student October, Human Resources, and/or Special Education December Count data collections, please join us for one of the focus groups to discuss how to successfully combine them.

The focus groups begin in late February. To register, visit the link below.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Lisa Bradley
Information Management Services
Phone: 303-866-4902

Educator Effectiveness & Licensing

Learn More about CDE's E-Licensing System

To help you better understand and navigate the department’s new e-licensing application system, CDE’s Office of Professional Services and Educator Licensing will hold information sessions this spring:

Friday, Feb. 17 – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 17 – 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (for CASPA members only)
Friday, March 2 – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Friday, April 6 – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Friday, May 4 – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

All sessions will be held in the first floor board room floor at the Colorado Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave., in Denver.

Staff also will address such topics as status checks and the fingerprint process, and any other questions you may have.

For More Information, Contact:
Carrie Lavalley
Office of Professional Services and Educator Licensing
Phone: 303-866-3856

Exceptional Student Services

High Cost Application Under ECEA is Open

Audited expenditure data reported on the applications should be 2010‐2011 audited expenditures for both In Administrative Unit costs and Out of District costs. The thresholds for funding remain the same; each special education student submitted must exceed
• $25K for In Administrative Unit (IAU) costs: Only include costs incurred while placed WITHIN the Administrative Unit, Districts or BOCES.
• $40K for Out of District (OOD) costs: Only include costs incurred while placed OUTSIDE the Administrative Unit, Districts or BOCES.
• Students receiving services both Out of District and In Administrative Unit within the same school year should be reported on two separate applications (OOD and IAU). Do not combine totals. The student must meet the threshold $40K OOD and $25K IAU for each application.
• The High Cost Student Reimbursement Collection opened on Thursday, Jan. 19.
• Submission deadline for the High Cost Student Reimbursements will be 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1.

*NEW* Policy Approved by Special Education Fiscal Advisory Committee (SEFAC): If the Administrative Unit or BOCES has not completed its CDE Financial December Automated Data Exchange (to the Public School Finance Department) by March 1, 2012, that administrative unit or BOCES will not be eligible for high cost funding. For more information regarding the Financial December Data Collection

Technical Assistance
Technical assistance will be available between normal business hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, in observance of President's Day.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Elizabeth Macek or Judy Brown
Student Support Services
Phone: (303) 866-6736 or (303) 378-2296
Email: or

Federal Programs

Title IA Annual Report to the Public

For 2010-11 reporting, the Data Center in SchoolView ( holds the NCLB Annual Report requirements previously posted in the district and school profiles (

Currently, districts can access Adequate Yearly Progress data, a variety of assessment data and school and district improvement status data in the Data Center. Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objective data is also now available in the Data Center, although it is not a reporting requirement for Title IA.

The additional reporting requirements of highly qualified teacher data, licensure data, teacher education level data, and specific assessment and improvement data will be refreshed with the most recent data available in the next month.

We know districts are working to distribute their annual reports to the public now, so we wanted to provide some options for meeting the NCLB Title IA requirements.
1- Districts can report all the data themselves, gathering the information from the CDE website and district sources.
2- Districts can notify parents of the information that is available now and send out an additional notification when the rest of the data elements are posted in the Data Center.
3- Districts can wait to notify parents until all the information is available in the Data Center.

A sample notification letter and report template is available at the link below.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Alyssa Pearson
Phone: Federal Programs


E-resources and Educational Database Trials Now Available

The State Library is offering trials of several electronic information and educational resources and is seeking your input into what to consider. If ultimately licensed statewide, the cost would be far lower than most schools could obtain individually.

Products under consideration include many for K12 such as EBSCO, ProQuest, Scholastic, Gale/Cengage, and Britannica.

To test these, go to the "AIRS" database trials page. After reviewing these products, tell us which ones would be most valuable for your school and library. You’re the best judge of whether or not a given product contains the content and functionality your students need and will use.

Vendors will be selected based on what we hear from you. Being part of the trial does not guarantee being part of the program.

Trials continue through Monday, Feb. 6. Information on those selected will be distributed in April or May.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Eugene Hainer
State Library
Phone: 303-866-6900

News & Notes

Digital Learning Day is February 1

Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience.

Digital Learning Day will be Wednesday, February 1, and includes virtual, online engagement for participations - Start a conversation, Try One New Thing, and Share Your Expertise. Englewood, Colorado will participate during the National Virtual Town Hall Meeting at 11 a.m. This is a great opportunity to hear what is happening to support digital learning across the nation and in Colorado. Be sure to register for the Virtual Town at the link below.

As part of Digital Learning Day eNetColorado ( will also offer a free 30 minute webinar on Wednesday, February 1 at 4 p.m. and will highlight the "digital toolkit" of resources that has been developed to support Colorado educators, schools and districts. Hear how a partnership of organizations, regional service agencies (BOCES), and districts have come together to develop high-quality, low-cost access to resources that support teaching and learning statewide. Access the webinar live at:

eNetColorado salutes the following organizations who are working in this grassroots Colorado-based collaboration to bring high-quality digital resources to students statewide:
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Dan Morris
Phone: 303-917-3922

Race to the Top 3 Application Materials for Districts Now Available

Application materials to participate in the Race to the Top Phase 3 grant program are now available on the department's website. By Friday, Feb. 24, all districts that wish to participate in the grant must submit a signed MOU to confirm participation. Once districts have submitted signed MOUs, CDE will re-calculate funding allocations based on which districts opt to participate and will notify participating districts of their final award amounts by Wednesday, Feb. 29. Districts will then have until March 14 to submit scopes of work and budgets.

An informational webinar will take place on Monday, Jan. 30, from noon to 1 p.m.

To join the webinar meeting, please visit the following URL: and enter as a "guest." You will be prompted to join the audio portion of the meeting by calling 866-764-6750.
Click Here for Additional Information

For More Information, Contact:
Race to the Top team
Phone: 303-866-6274

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Colorado Department of Education
201 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303-866-6822 or 303-866-2334

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