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News: COVID-19 News and Info

CDE Update: From 032520

Wednesday, March 25, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Peter Mason
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Colorado Department of Education

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March 25, 2020

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Dear Superintendents and BOCES Directors,

Today we are sharing new guidance and resources to support you during the Coronavirus 2019 outbreak, including how to obtain a waiver for teacher-pupil instruction and contact hours as well as guidance about special education and graduation requirements.

CDE has created a drop-in letter template for district leaders to use to communicate with parents and families about instructional time, special education and graduation requirements.Download the drop-in letter (DOC).

Watch for future editions of the Update with important news and guidance and, as always, you can view COVID-19 resources on our website. We also have a single place on our website just for guidance and changes to education policies.

View past editions of the CDE Update, including special editions.


Skip to any of the following sections:



Instructional Time

Guidance for instructional hours


Gov. Polis on March18 ordered all P-12 schools to suspend in-person instruction until at least April 17, and there is a likelihood the order will be extended through the rest of the school year in order to limit the spread of Coronavirus 2019.

CDE waived the minimum number of school days and teacher-pupil instruction hours normally required. Districts must make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time.

Visit theCOVID-19 Instructional Guidance for Colorado Schools and Districts webpage for more information and resources.

For questions, contact Melissa Colsman, associate commissioner of Student Learning,



Graduation Considerations

Considerationsfor 2020 Colorado high school graduates

CDE has provided options for local education providers as they consider the process of graduation for the Class of 2020. The department is working to help ensure alternative learning opportunities for students during this unprecedented time.

Graduation requirements are locally determined, meaning there is flexibility for school districts and charter schools to adjust their graduation requirements. As far as commemoration, Gov. Polis has asked schools to find other ways to celebrate this important milestone if in-person options are not available.

Information on implementing local graduation requirements, planning alternative celebrations, a graduation policy checklist and more resources are available on the CDE website.

For questions, contact Misti Ruthven, executive director of Student Pathways,



Emergency Childcare Centers

Request for emergency childcare sites

The Office of Early Childhood at the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and CDE are partnering to support efforts to provide emergency child care for essential workers. We are asking district leaders to contact Child Care Licensing at CDHS if you are willing to use existing licensed facilities within school buildings, whether operated by the school district or in partnership with a community provider or contractor, to assist in this effort.

Please have the following information available:

  • School district name and contact information.
  • Location of possible sites for emergency childcare.
  • Information on whether these sites were previously licensed to provide preschool or school-age childcare.

For more information contact Child Care Licensing by emailing licensing operations manager, Tanya Estrada-Trujillo,



Learning at Home

Resources available for at-home learning


In an effort to help schools plan for educational continuity while the suspension of in-person learning is in effect, we have curated a list of best practices for remote learning and teaching including free web-based resources to help keep students academically engaged.

CDE has collected and organized material by content area and grade level that may be useful as educators develop plans for their students. View the resources on our website.

For more information, contact Joanna Bruno, director of Standards & Instructional Support,at


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