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Nov. 23, 2020

Standards and Instructional Support Newsletter

Welcome to the latest edition of the Standards and Instructional Support Office's monthly newsletter with topics focusing on review and implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards. Visit the 2020 Standards Implementation webpage for more information and helpful resources.

Updates prior to the next newsletter can be found in other CDE publications including The Scoop, The Spark Teacher Newsletter and the CDE Update for Superintendents. Visit the Communications Office homepage to read past editions or subscribe.
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General Announcements

Colorado Academic Standards Review and Revision Process

During the 2020 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly required the State Board of Education to review and revise approximately one-third of the Colorado Academic Standards content areas beginning in 2022 and an additional one-third of the content areas every two years thereafter. Previously, the review and revision process occurred every six years for all content areas. The prior revision cycle occurred in 2018. 

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support has begun its search for committee members for the upcoming review of specific content areas. More information is provided under the "Standards Review and Revision" section below.

For questions, contact Joanna Bruno, director of  Standards and Instructional Support, at

2020 Standards Implementation

Setting the Standard Webinar Series

Educators are invited to attend Setting the Standard webinars to learn about high impact instructional strategies, get resources for teaching and receive Colorado Academic Standards implementation updates.

Webinars are hosted by the Standards team on the first and third Friday of each month at 11:30 a.m.

  • Dec. 4: Best, First Instruction (3 of 3) - Disciplinary Literacy 
  • Dec. 18: Stories from the Field in 2020 
Register and find more information on the webinar webpage.

Setting the Standard Podcast

CDE's Standards and Instructional Support Office has its own podcast with topics that focus on teaching, learning, assessment, curriculum and academic standards.

Episodes include news, resources, interviews from the field, and tips for improving teaching and learning in schools and classrooms. Find more information on Anchor.

Standards Review and Revision

Applications open for Standards Review and Revision Committee membership

Applicants are being sought for review and revision committees in the content areas of social studies, dance, drama/theatre arts, music and visual arts. 

Applications are open until Jan. 11, 2021. Selected applicants will be notified in March. Committees will begin their work in May 2021 and conclude in June 2022. Access the application.

Find more information about the CAS Review and Revision process here.


A new resource, Arts Education in Colorado: Guidebook, is available to provide schools and districts with research-based information and ideas on ways to improve or expand their arts education programs.

Access the guidebook and find more details on the Arts content area webpage.

Career and Technical Education

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) oversees Career and Technical Education (CTE) for all students in Colorado. CCCS and CDE collaborate regularly on this important work to increase the postsecondary and workforce readiness (PWR) of all Colorado students through quality education programs emphasizing core academic content, PWR competencies and technical skills. The goal is to ensure a successful transition to further education or employment. Visit CDE's CTE webpage to learn more.

To stay up to date on CTE programming in Colorado, visit the official CTE website.

Comprehensive Health

The American School Health Association (ASHA) has released the publication Every School Healthy, which is a special open access issue of the Journal of School Health. With 14 invited articles and two commentaries, the issue offers a comprehensive picture of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child framework in action as a tool for equity in promoting healthy school environments for students.  

Computer Science

Upcoming Events
Computer Science Education Week is Dec. 7-13. Find ideas for fun ways schools and students can celebrate by visiting the official Computer Science Education Week website.

A webinar recording is available for educators about teaching Advanced Placement Computer Science courses. The recording features Chuck Powell, a computer science and physics teacher and president of the Colorado Computer Science Teacher Education Association, as well as Sean Wybrant, a computer science teacher who focuses on game-based instruction and who was the 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year. View the recorded webinar via YouTube.

Financial Literacy

The Personal Financial Literacy Resource Bank is available as a resource for educators to use throughout the year. The tool allows users to search by grade level for tools, standards-aligned lesson plans and digital programs to teach personal finance. Students and teachers can also search for scholarship opportunities and access online resources.


Tools for curriculum evaluation and adoption are now available. Resources are divided into three categories: first-person, second-person or third-person reviews.

For more information, visit the Mathematics webpage.

Physical Education

In response to the pandemic, CDE has curated resources from SHAPE America and other K-12 health and physical educators to assist teachers and they continue to provide high-quality, standards-based lessons despite the circumstances. View the resources on SHAPE America's website.

Reading, Writing and Communicating

The Reading, Writing, and Communicating content area of the CAS was written for all students using the content, concepts, skills and language conventions and structures found within the English language.

This does not mean students must be native English speakers, nor fluent English proficient, but by using the Colorado English Language Proficiency standards from the Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education, in tandem with CAS, educators can ensure that all English learners receive support and ensure all students successfully meet the expectations in the standards.

Review information about the Reading, Writing and Communicating standards on the content area webpage.


Science safety is always an important topic to consider for schools and districts. CDE has provided information on how to teach, learn and practice science lab safety. Find the full guide and links to additional resources on the Science Safety webpage.

Social Studies

Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Holocaust & Genocide Studies committee members have been selected. The group met for the first time in October and met again on Nov. 23.  View the list of committee members as well as meeting summaries.

Social Studies Review and Revision process
The Standards Review and Revision process is beginning and one of the first content areas to be reviewed is social studies. The application for participation in the committee is available via Survey Monkey until Monday, Jan. 11.


The University of Chicago has made available a resources to help identify and measures STEM schools and programs. "What is a STEM School?" contains STEM school taxonomy, program taxonomy, FAQs and more. Find the resource here.

World Languages

Resources to connect students with global learning opportunities are now available on the World Languages webpage. Links to organizations that help educators connect their classrooms to the world are listed here.

Important Deadlines
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11 - Completed applications due for Standards Revision Committee membership.
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