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I Matter Program renewed, now extended through June 30, 2023

In May 2022, the Colorado State Legislature renewed I Matter, a program that provides up to six free counseling sessions for any Colorado youth. With the new funding, the program will extend until at least June 30, 2023, and could continue until June 30, 2024, depending on how quickly funds are expended.

Learn more about the program's renewal in the Colorado Department of Human Services' press release. A digital toolkit is also available to share I Matter in your communities. Download the digital toolkit with social media posts and a platform overview that explains what to expect when utilizing the website and services.

Free I Matter materials can be ordered through the program’s online ordering form. Visit IMatterColorado.org or YoImportoColorado.org to sign up for services in English or Spanish.

Join BrainSTEPS CO

Increase your administrative unit's capacity to meet the complex needs of students who have experienced a brain injury by joining BrainSTEPS Colorado. BrainSTEPS teams assist students with all severities of brain injuries, including concussions. All training, materials, coaching/consultation, and support will be provided at no cost to districts in the program.

For more information and to download the application, visit the BrainSTEPS Colorado webpage.

Applications are due Friday, Sept. 2.

Don't wait to make a plan to complete K-3 teacher evidence-based reading training

All kindergarten through third-grade educators who teach reading and literacy skills in Colorado must complete their evidence-based reading training requirements by Monday, Aug. 1. Documentation that they complied with the K-3 evidence-based reading training requirements should be submitted by Monday, Aug. 15.

CDE offers a free self-guided training to all K-3 educators.

Learn about the requirements to complete this training and the completion options available for K-3 teachers on the teacher training webpage.

Professional Development Needs Survey

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support invites all Colorado educators to participate in a voluntary survey so that the department better understands the needs of the educators currently in the field. Please share this with others who can contribute. The Professional Development Needs Survey will be open through the end of June.

Teaching and Learning CoLabs

This summer, teachers and leaders are invited to attend Teaching and Learning CoLabs, a new kind of no-cost event that brings together stakeholders from districts, higher education, professional teaching and other organizations and CDE. The dates and host sites for this summer's CoLabs are:

  • Thursday, June 2, hosted by Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction
  • Wednesday, June 8, hosted by the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley
  • Tuesday, June 21, hosted by CSU-Pueblo in Pueblo

Schools are encouraged to attend a CoLab in teams, with teachers representing multiple grades and/or content areas. Focus content areas for 2022 include English language arts, health and physical education, mathematics, science and computer science. Leadership-focused sessions will be provided for principals and other school leaders.

For more information and to register, see the Teaching and Learning CoLabs website.

TEACH Colorado will host "Shape the future as a teacher" event

TEACH Colorado is hosting a “Shape the Future as a Teacher” virtual event for high-school students at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. This event will be an informative and inspirational opportunity for students to learn about teacher preparation programs and concurrent enrollment opportunities across the state. Discussion topics will include how students can "try teaching," and high-school students are already on a pathway to a teaching license will share their experiences.

Help share the event with students interested in teaching as a career by using the promotional toolkit.

For additional information and to register for the event visit the TEACH Colorado website.

Temporary Educator Loan Forgiveness Program application open

House Bill 22-1220 created the Temporary Educator Loan Forgiveness Program for K-12 licensed educators and counselors working and living in Colorado. The application is open through Wednesday, June 15, and is the same application as the Colorado Educator Loan Forgiveness program. To apply, educators must submit an initial interest survey and receive a link to fill out the detailed part of the application within 72 hours. If they previously submitted an interest survey, contact [email protected] to have the link re-sent.

Priority will be given to applicants early in their careers and working in rural Colorado or in a content-shortage area anywhere in Colorado. Applicants will be eligible for up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness annually. This is a two-year program. Applicants must re-apply in the second year to be considered for an award in that cycle. Applications submitted for consideration of the Educator Loan Forgiveness program between Dec 15, 2021 - April 15, 2022, will be reviewed for eligibility for this program as well. There is no need to submit another application.

For technical questions including password resets, help uploading verification documents, and having a detailed application link re-sent to you, contact [email protected].

TEACH Colorado Summer Scholarships

TEACH Colorado is excited to announce several new scholarships to be offered in the coming months, in addition to the $1,000 Summer Classic Scholarship. These scholarships are designed to encourage applicants to pursue teacher preparation programs in Colorado. Districts are encouraged to share this opportunity with future teachers using the promotional toolkit.

Visit the TEACH Colorado website for for additional information on scholarship opportunities.

Applications being accepted for ESSER transportation assistance grant

CDE recently released the ESSER Transportation Assistance Grant Program that will provide funding to help students attending low-performing schools in chronically low-performing districts access high-quality learning at a higher-performing school in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years.

Colorado school districts, BOCES, charter schools and nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for this two-year program. Potential forms of transportation assistance could include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct transportation;
  • Coordination of transportation services; and
  • Reimbursements for actual transportation costs incurred by families through reimbursement or gas cards.

The Intent to Apply is due Tuesday, May 31. An applicant webinar will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31. The Intent to Apply is encouraged, but not required to apply.

Applications are being accepted through Tuesday, June 21. All applicants will be notified of their award status by Friday, July 1, in order to implement the program for the 2022-23 school year.

View the ETAG Program webpage for additional information on the program, including eligible applicants and the online application form.

Schools invited to apply for STEM Education Scholarship Program

The National Lieutenant Governors Association has opened the application period for the Lt. Governors’ STEM Scholarship Program, sponsored by ACT, to award up to $1,000 to 12 schools nationally to support STEM-related activities for youth. Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, May 31, with award recipients announced and funded in Summer 2022.

All public, private, and tribal schools in the 50 states and five U.S. territories are invited to apply at nlga.awardsplatform.com. Funding will be awarded to schools to support STEM-related activities, programming, curriculum, equipment, and other expenses.
Applications will be reviewed in June 2022, with award winners announced at the NLGA Annual Meeting, July 20-22.

Additional information on the STEM Scholarship Program, including instructions for applying, can be found on the NLGA website.

Apply to be an advisor on the Colorado Department of Early Childhood’s Rules Advisory Council

Advisors are needed for the Colorado Department of Early Childhood's first Rules Advisory Council. This 15-member RAC will advise the CDEC executive director on developing rules to guide the functions, programs, and services that the new department will oversee. The RAC will represent a range of voices and perspectives from urban, suburban, and rural settings, and who represent diversity in race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, and language. Learn more about the RAC on this flyer.

Apply by Monday, May 30, to be considered for this opportunity.

Colorado Legislature passed House Bill 22-1202

Colorado House Bill 22-1202, signed into law on May 4, aims to revise the at-risk funding formula creating new measures to identify students who are at-risk of below average academic outcomes because of socioeconomic disadvantage or poverty. The new measures will include the expansion of direct certification to consider medical assistance and a neighborhood socio-economic status index that weighs student needs based on factors included in each student’s census block.

As part of this legislation, CDE will be required to apply to the USDA’s Direct Certification Medicaid Pilot Program. CDE’s School Nutrition Unit is in the process of completing the application and anticipates the addition of Medicaid data in the direct certification system no later than School Year 2023-24. More updates on this project to come.

For questions, contact Benjamin Wetherbee at [email protected] or 720-607-3434.

Healthy Meals for all public school students legislation update

On May 10, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 22-1414 to fund free, healthy school meals for all students. This means, in the fall voters will get a chance to approve long-term funding for free, healthy school meals.

View the Healthy Meals For All Public School Students bill for more details.

New nondiscrimination statement and requirements

On May 5, the Food and Nutrition Services’ Civil Rights Division issued a memorandum on Bostock v. Clayton County and its application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's FNS Programs. The memorandum informed FNS program recipients that the prohibition of discrimination based on sex in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act includes gender identity and sexual orientation. The changes impact the USDA Nondiscrimination Statement and the And Justice for All posters.

All documents, pamphlets, websites, etc. must be updated as follows:

  • Websites must be updated by Wednesday, Aug. 3.
  • Documents, pamphlets, brochures, etc., using 2015 NDS language must be updated when current supply on hand is exhausted or by Sept. 30, 2023.

Additional information on the updated And Justice for All posters is forthcoming. The updated statement and memos can be found on the USDA website.

The Affordable Connectivity Program lowers internet costs for eligible families

The Federal Communications Commission announced that 20 of the nation's internet providers have committed to lowering costs for low-income households, a step that will essentially provide free high-speed internet for those participating the Affordable Connectivity Program. For Colorado residents to get their share of the funding, families need to sign up for themselves.

The Foundation for Excellence in Education has developed resources to assist districts in sharing the program with families who may qualify for this free/reduced-priced internet service. The flyers and social media images in the toolkit are designed so districts are able to place their logo on both the Summer and Back to School campaigns before sharing.

See the Affordable Connectivity Program website for additional information.

Visit the Affordable Connectivity Program website for additional information.

Call for peer reviewers to review educator preparation content endorsement standards

CDE seeks peer reviewers for the endorsement standards content of educator preparation programs.

Reviewers should have knowledge in one or more of the following content areas: principal, administration, CLD, CLD bilingual, early childhood, early childhood special education, elementary, English/Language Arts, science, social studies, instructional technology specialist, middle school math, reading teacher, reading specialist, school counselor, special education, school audiology, school social worker, school occupational therapist or world language.

Peer reviews will be conducted virtually during the week of July 11. Reviewers will have access to a training video and the review itself can take between 2 to 5 hours. Educators from school districts throughout the P-20 educational system, internal CDE content experts as well as higher education faculty are invited to register for the reviews by completing this form no later than Tuesday, May 31.

Time is running out for teachers to complete evidence-based reading training

Colorado’s educators who teach literacy to K-3 students must submit proof that they completed their evidence-based training in teaching reading by Monday, Aug. 15.

Teachers must complete the training by Monday, Aug. 1.

Teachers may submit evidence of successfully completing an undergraduate or graduate course in teaching reading for CDE to review to determine whether it meets the statutory requirements. This application closes on Wednesday, June 1.

Please note that the READ Act training requirement is not mandatory to maintain a teacher’s license status in any way. The benefit of adding the READ Act training designation to an educator’s license is that the proof of completion will stay on the educator’s Colorado credentials for future years as they may change grade levels, schools or districts.

View the K-3 Teacher Evidence-based reading training requirements webpage for additional information.

Improvement planning training videos

New on-demand training videos are available on the Unified Improvement Planning and Accountability training webpage:

  • “Early Literacy UIP Requirements”: an overview of UIP requirements related to the READ Act, including requirements related to data analysis and action planning to support struggling readers.
  • “How to Use Strategy Guides in the Improvement Planning Process”: a brief introduction to CDE's Strategy Guides.
  • “Implementing an Early Learning Needs Assessment”: a summary of what an Early Learning Needs Assessment (ELNA) is and how to incorporate it into the UIP.
  • “Small N Analysis & Data Analysis for Disaggregated Groups”: guidance for schools and districts on how to conduct analysis for public reporting on small student populations.

Technical Advisory Panel: At-Large Membership Opportunity

CDE seeks one additional member to serve on the Technical Advisory Panel for Longitudinal Growth. The seat will be at-large and appointed to a person who has the requisite technical background and experience. The TAP serves as an advisory body to CDE regarding the implementation of the Colorado Growth Model and the Educational Accountability Act. Further responsibilities are outlined in Colorado Statute (22-11-202). The 14 TAP members serve three-year terms without compensation. 

Meetings are typically held on a quarterly basis at CDE.

Candidates must submit a letter of interest and a resume by Friday, July 1. Applicants must demonstrate some level of expertise related to assessment, educational research, the Colorado growth model and/or educational accountability. The selected candidate will be notified prior to Friday, July 15.

View the TAP webpage for additional information.

Colorado Digital Learning Solutions summer courses and expanded opportunities

Thanks to Federal CARES funding, Colorado Digital Learning Solutions is able to offer summer term courses to all districts at a much-reduced rate of $50/student per course.

Summer Semester information can be found on the CDLS Website.
View the Summer Catalog of Courses here.

CDLS is also providing students with access to on-demand homework help and course support along with scheduled targeted tutoring sessions, at no additional cost.

Contact Dan Morris at [email protected] if you have any questions on how to access these summer term options for your students.

Visit the CDLS website for additional information.