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CDE Update

Nov. 30, 2020
For more information, contact:
[email protected]
Dear Superintendents and BOCES Executive Directors,

We hope you all had a restful and safe holiday break. 

In this special edition of the CDE Update, we've included a reminder that districts must notify teachers by tomorrow about the extended READ Act teacher training deadline.

Below there is also information about the updated COVID-19 cases and outbreak guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and news about the postponement of 2021 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) assessments. Finally, we've included information about the Governor's Back-to-School Working Group.


Past editions of the CDE Update, and all COVID-19 special editions, are available on our website. Visit the COVID-19 Resources for Schools webpage for additional resources.
 

Skip to any of the following sections:

 

READ Act


READ Act teacher training deadline extended; districts must notify teachers by Dec. 1
 
The State Board of Education granted a six-month extension for kindergarten through third-grade teachers to complete the training requirements in evidence-based reading instruction required by the READ Act. Teachers will now have until Jan. 31, 2022, to complete their training requirements.

The extension is contingent upon districts notifying all K-3 teachers of the requirement by Tuesday, Dec. 1. The department anticipates including an assurance that districts, BOCES, and charters schools have communicated the requirement as part of the annual READ data collection this spring.  Districts, BOCES and charters that do not meet the requirements will be ineligible for READ Act funds for the 2022-23 school year. 

Teachers have various avenues for completing the requirement, including a no-cost option provided by CDE.  

For more information about the training requirement, visit the CDE website, or contact Andreia Simon, in the the P-3 Office, at [email protected]
 

Public Health Guidance


Updated isolation guidance and decision tools for educators
 
CDPHE recently updated the decision-support tools for educators, to aid them in determining who needs to quarantine after an exposure in the classroom or school setting.

The update is based on outbreak data and stakeholder input and is expected to result in schools being able to maintain staffing and remain in-person to a greater extent. This update also standardizes the protocol no matter what phase a county is on the Colorado COVID-19 Dial.

For a list of detailed changes, visit the Archived Latest Updates: 2020-21 Planning Framework and Toolkit webpage.

For more information, visit the CDPHE guidance on cases and outbreaks webpage.
 

Assessments


National Assessment of Education Progress postponed until 2022
 
NAEP grade four and eight mathematics and reading assessments have been postponed through the spring of 2022 due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as decided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Commissioner, with support of the National Assessment Governing Board. 

Based on how NCES has approached sampling in the past, we expect that a new sample will be selected for 2022, meaning that schools selected for the reduced administration in 2021 may not be selected for 2022 and additional schools will be selected for the typical sized sample for 2022. 

The pandemic has presented a number of challenges that prevent a NAEP administration in the 2020-21 school year. Local restrictions on access to schools by outside personnel would reduce NAEP’s ability to validly, reliably, and safely collect and report NAEP data in 2021. In addition, the use of variable instructional models such as full-time online and hybrid instruction would have created administration challenges, such as requiring multiple sessions with smaller number of students within a school. Multiple NAEP administration sessions may create health and safety concerns for both testing proctors and students by increasing the risk of COVID-19 transition between NCES proctors and students, in part because the NAEP assessments are administered on NCES-provided devices. 

NCES continues to believe the exploration of educational experiences within the context of COVID-19 could be valuable to states and districts for the 2020-21 school year. NCES developed questions related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for inclusion in the school and teacher questionnaires, and is considering delivering them to teachers and administrators originally selected for the 2021 administration, despite the postponement of the NAEP assessments themselves. We will share more information on the questionnaires as it becomes available. 
 

Updates from Governor's Office


Back-to-school working group convened by governor
 
Gov. Polis recently announced the formation of a back-to-school working group to help plan the safe return of students to classrooms in January 2021.
 
The working group consists of teachers, other school staff, superintendents, elected school boards, charter school leaders, health officials and parents. The group will share perspectives and feedback with the governor, Commissioner of Education Katy Anthes and key public health leaders about school reopening.

The group held its first meeting on Nov. 25. For a list of group membership, read the governor's press release.

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Governor Polis Announces Back-to-School Working Group

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Conor Cahill |[email protected] 

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Durango school board keeps hands off controversial-topics policy

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Colorado school leaders say state COVID rules are hindering in-person learning

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School Reopening ‘Churn’ Distracting District Leaders from Focusing on Improved Remote Education & Student Engagement, Researchers Find

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CDE News Release: State Board extends deadline for READ Act teacher training Board grants DSST Public Schools appeal of DPS board's requirements

Nov. 19, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division, 720-668-6434

News Release

State Board extends deadline for READ Act teacher training

Board grants DSST Public Schools appeal of DPS board's requirements

DENVER – The State Board of Education agreed today to provide educators an additional six months to complete the teacher training required by the READ Act. Kindergarten through third-grade teachers will now have until Jan. 31, 2022 to complete their training requirements on evidence-based reading instruction. 

The board directed districts to communicate the requirement to all K-3 teachers by Dec. 1, 2020, and ensure teachers meet the new January 2022 deadline. Districts, BOCES and charters that do not meet the requirements will be ineligible for READ Act funds for the 2022-23 school year.

Only 40% of Colorado's third graders are meeting expectations on the Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests in English language arts, yet research shows that students need to learn to read at grade level by the end of third grade so they can read to learn in fourth grade and beyond.

The Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act was passed in 2012 with the goal of dramatically improving reading for our youngest learners. Since then, however, Colorado has seen only a 2% increase in third graders meeting or exceeding expectations on the Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests in English language arts. In addition, statewide data shows only a 1% reduction in the number of students identified with a significant reading deficiency.

The READ Act aims to ensure all students can read at grade level by the end of third grade. In 2019, the legislature made several changes to the READ Act to help educators support reading success among our state's youngest learners. Not all of Colorado's educators have had the opportunity to learn the science of teaching reading in their teacher training programs, so one of the changes to the READ Act required training on the latest evidence-based reading instruction strategies for all K-3 teachers. 

Teachers have a variety of avenues to complete the training, including no-cost options provided by the Colorado Department of Education. 
 
Board grants DSST Public Schools appeal
Following a formal hearing, the state board found the Denver Public Schools Board of Education's decision to delay the opening of DSST’s Noel High School from the 2021-22 school year to the 2022-23 school year is contrary to the best interests of students. The state board remanded the matter back to the DPS board with instructions to allow Noel High School to open in the 2021-22 school year and include Noel High School in the enrollment process opening Jan. 15, 2021.

The state board also found that it was not in students’ best interest for DPS to require improvement plans for Cole High School, Cole Middle School and Henry Middle School as a condition for Noel High School’s opening. The state board remanded this condition back to the DPS board with instruction to remove the improvement plan requirement.

 # # #

CDE News Release Commissioner, State Board of Education Chairwoman urge communities to do their part as department releases new funding to support school reopening $15 million in one-time funding will help schools struggling to reopen

Nov. 19, 2020
For more information, contact:
CDE Communications Division, 720-668-6434

News Release

Commissioner, State Board of Education Chairwoman urge communities to do their part as department releases new funding to support school reopening 

$15 million in one-time funding will help schools struggling to reopen

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Education today announced a new $15 million grant opportunity for school districts and BOCES that are struggling to return to in-person learning and need additional resources to safely reopen when possible.

Applications for the Safe Schools Reopening Grant may be submitted by districts and BOCES that operate public schools on behalf of any school, including charter schools. Applications are due Nov. 30 and funds must be spent by Dec. 30.


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