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October 25, 2018

Standards and Instructional Support Newsletter

Thank you for reading the Office of Standards and Instructional Support's (SIS) quarterly newsletter. Topics for this e-publication will focus on support for the implementation of the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards. Visit the SIS webpage for more information and helpful resources.

To receive standards-related updates prior to the next newsletter, read CDE's weekly newsletter The Scoop, The Spark monthly e-newsletter to teachers and the monthly CDE Update for Superintendents. Visit the Communications Office homepage to subscribe.
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Transition to the 2020 Standards with CDE's Professional Learning Modules

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support (SIS) has developed learning modules to support understanding of the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards.

Each learning module is designed to be taken in sequence with the learning leader of the school acting as a facilitator. It is recommended to use time available at staff meetings or set aside professional development days to work through these modules.

Modules begin with goals and objectives to establish a purpose for learning. Then the module will explore the skills, concepts and knowledge educators need to demonstrate their progress towards standards literacy as measured by a variety of formative assessments.

View the modules and complete details on the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards Implementation webpage.

For more information, contact Social Studies Content Specialist Stephanie Hartman at or 303-866-6577.

Computer science grant due dates

The Colorado Computer Science Teacher Education Grant Program was created by the Colorado legislature during the 2017 session to support professional development in computer science. The aim of this grant is to give computer science teachers an opportunity to provide quality learning experiences to their students.

With the passage of HB 18-1322, an additional $500,000 has been allocated to this grant. These funds are targeted to elementary teachers. As a result of the additional funding, the 2018-19 school year will provide two grant opportunities for districts to apply on behalf of their teachers.

District-determined option: Local education agencies (LEAs) apply on behalf of their K-12 teachers for computer science teacher professional development funds. Through this program, grant funds can be used for college courses and district-managed professional development. Approximately, $380,000 is available for this program. The application will be available until Tuesday, Oct. 30. Visit the Computer Science webpage for more information.

State-supported professional development: Through this program, LEAs can apply to send elementary teachers to professional development training sessions throughout the state. CDE is in the final planning phases for this option and approximately $500,000 will be available for support.

For more information, contact Science Content Specialist Joanna Bruno at or 303-866-6571, or visit the computer science webpage for updates

Arts Education in Colorado: Guidebook & Resources (2nd ed.) available

The Arts Education in Colorado: Guidebook & Resources was written to provide Colorado schools and districts with research-based information and best practices to support the ongoing development of their visual and performing arts programs.

Since the first edition was published in 2011, the arts have been increasingly recognized as an important strategy to keep students in school and prepare them for the workforce. The 2018 update of the guidebook compiles existing and new references to research studies, arts organization websites and other useful resources for strengthening a school or district arts program.

To view the guidebook or for more information, visit the Visual and Performing Arts webpage.

Survey for implementation of science standards

CDE is soliciting feedback on the implementation timeline for the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards for Science. The legislated timeline for districts to transition to the revised standards allows for two years, with full implementation to occur during the 2020-21 school year. 

Some considerations for the content area of science only, include keeping science on the same implementation timeline as the other standards, or delaying implementation to allow districts to prepare and for the state assessment system to adjust.

The survey for feedback will be open until mid-December. Access it via Survey Monkey.

For more information, contact Science Content Specialist Joanna Bruno at or 303-866-6571.

Gifted and Talented Arts Identification Toolkit

CDE's offices of SIS and Gifted Education collaborated with multiple gifted arts educators to develop resources that support educators in identifying students who are gifted and talented in the arts.

Talent aptitude tools include documents in visual arts, the performing arts of drama, speech and debate, as well as music and dance.  For more information, visit the Specific Talent Aptitudes webpage.

Ute Resource Guide

Nuu-ciu Strong is a resource for fourth grade educators to use to support teaching the history, culture and present lives of the Ute People. CDE helped develop this resource in collaboration with Colorado's Ute Tribes, the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA), History Colorado, Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum and educators statewide.  

Nuu-ciu Strong is from the perspective of the tribes. The generosity of Colorado’s tribes are in the stories, illustrations and traditions shared throughout the lessons.

The lessons in Nuu-ciu Strong are divided into five different units:
  1. Ute History
  2. People, Places and Environment
  3. Cultural Heritage and Diversity
  4. Cultural and Social Structures
  5. Citizenship
To download a copy of the Ute Resource Guide, visit the CCIA website.

What is Colorado doing for Personal Financial Literacy education?

In partnership with the Office of the Colorado Attorney General, the Colorado Jump$tart Coalition and many community partners, CDE has launched a statewide initiative to promote personal financial literacy (PFL) education. This includes implementation of the revised Colorado Academic Standards in the area of PFL, regional financial literacy teacher workshops and the Attorney General’s initiative, MoneyWi$er, which is designed to promote PFL education across the state.

To build upon the current efforts, CDE has hired Personal Financial Literacy Content Specialist Alyssa Wooten to provide leadership and guidance to districts in their implementation of the revised PFL standards. Contact her at or 303-866-6875 or visit the PFL webpage for updates.
For questions, contact Exectutive Director of Teaching & Learning Floyd Cobb, at or 303-866-6868.
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