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News: COVID-19 News and Info

CDE: Instructional hours and attendance (070820)

Thursday, July 9, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Peter Mason
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Colorado Department of Education

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July 8, 2020

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Dear Superintendents and BOCES Executive Directors,

In this edition, we have included information about CDE's Policy on Instructional Hours and Attendance for the 2020-21 school year. We also want you to know about the open comment period regarding the equitable distribution of funds for non-public schools under ESSER funding.

Remember, you can find all past editions of the CDE Update on our website. Visit our COVID-19 Resources for Schools webpage for additional helpful resources.


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Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Instructional hours and attendance

Colorado state law establishes interconnected requirements concerning school calendars, instructional hours, student attendance and school finance. As a result of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, CDE has developed a CDE Policy on Instructional Hours and Attendance in order to maximize flexibility for districts in school schedules and attendance policies as needed to provide instruction during the pandemic, while still meeting the larger policy goals of allocating funding consistently and equitably and continuing to monitor student engagement during these times. Additionally, we have developed FAQs to accompany this Policy as well as an Addendum to the 2020 Audit Resource Guide.The Audit Resource Guide describes the funding and audit documentation requirements for Student October Count. The Addendum will provide clarification for the 2020-21 school year in light of the CDE Policy of Instructional Hours and Attendance.

For more information, visit the School Auditing Office’s Pupil Count webpage.

For questions about the Policy on Instructional Hours and Attendance, contact Jennifer Okes at questions about the Addendum to the 2020 Audit Resource Guide, contact Rebecca McRee at




Public comment open regarding equitable services for non-public schools

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) is accepting public comment through Friday, July 31, on an Interim Final Rule issued last month regarding the calculation of equitable services for non-public schools for the CARES Act Elementary Secondary School Emergency Relieve (ESSER) fund.

The new rule that became effective on July 1 directs local education agencies (LEAs) to calculate the proportionate share for equitable services to non-public schools based on how they intend to use ESSER funds within their districts. LEAs that intend to use their ESSER funds to support all schools must base the calculation of equitable services based on the total population of students in non-public schools in the LEA. If the LEA intends to use its ESSER funds only for Title I schools, then the calculation for equitable services must be based on the proportion of eligible students in poverty in the Title I attendance areas.

CDE will adjust its ESSER application to calculate proportionate share based on how the district intends to use the ESSER funds. LEAs should prepare to modify their budgets and adjust conversations with non-public schools, if necessary.CDE will work with LEAs who have already submitted their ESSER applications to assist with any adjustments that may be necessary to meet the new USDOE rule.

Public comment must be received on or before July 31, 2020 and submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail to Amy Huber, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3W219, Washington, DC 20202. Instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under “How to use”

For more information,visit the CARES Act ESSERF webpage. Contact DeLilah Collins, assistant director, ESEA Programs Office at with questions.