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Glossary of educational terms

Caroline County Public Schools has created the below PK-12 glossary as a resource for families and community members. Education has many terms of which several are associated by an acronym,  and this glossary will serve as a valuable resource. The glossary page will be routinely updated to reflect any new terms.

3E Ready: Term used to describe what every high school student should be upon graduation. Enrolled in higher education, Enlisted in the military, and/or Employed in a successful job.

504 Plan: A 504 plan allows children with special needs, but who don’t want or who don’t qualify for special education services to better access learning experiences and receive accomodations at school. Students with medical or physical disailities often qualify for a 504 plan.

Academic Socialization: The process by which parents use their own beliefs about education to influence their child’s educational success.

Accreditation: A school that meets the quality standards set forth by of the Virginia Department of Education

ACHEIVE 2027: The Caroline County Public Schools 5 year plan. This plan addresses 4 major goals designed to promote educational excellence in Caroline County Public Schools for the next 5 years

Advanced Placement Program: A program that offers students the opportunity to take select college-level courses and exams in high school and earn college credit from many colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world.

Alignment: Effort to ensure that what teachers teach is in agreement with what the curriculum says will be taught and what is on official tests

Asynchronous Learning: The process in which students access learning materials and engage in learning at their own pace.

At Promise: Students who have the potential to achieve at a higher rate than they are. Above Grade Level: Students whose performance on state mathematics and English/language arts assessments indicates above grade level achievement.

Balanced Assessment Plans (BAP): Plans for testing that allow opportunities to measure student achievement and growth on content, learning goals, and state standards

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP): A written plan that identifies strategies to be used to increase positive behaviors and decrease problem behaviors.

Below Grade Level: Students whose performance on state mathematics and English/language arts assessments indicates below grade level achievement.

Benchmark: Benchmarks are quarterly tests that enable parents, students, and educators to track a student’s progress.

Blended Learning: A method of teaching that uses technology and traditional teacher-led classroom instruction.

Bullying: Bullying is unwanted and often aggressive behavior(s) toward another person. These unwanted behaviors can be both physical and / or emotional.

Career and Technical Education (CTE): A set of learning experiences – both in and out of the classroom – that helps students gain the skills, foundation, and real-world knowledge they need to prepare for non academic careers.

Character Education: (Trait of the Month) Character education involves teaching students core universal values and accepted behaviors.

Child Study: A comprehensive study of a child’s developmental progress, including family background, medical history, cognitive/social emotional skills, and communication skills. The study is used to determine if a child could have a developmental delay or learning disability.

Chronic Absenteeism: Missing ten percent of the days in a school year is considered chronic absenteeism. This includes both excused and unexcused absences.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): An observation tool used in Preschool classrooms that measures teacher-student interaction. This tool assists teachers in improving the quality of their classroom.

Classwork: Any work done in the classroom to practice, or demonstrate understanding of skills taught.

College and Career Readiness Index (CCRI): The level of achievement students must reach to be academically prepared for success in entry-level credit-bearing college courses.

Common Assessment/ Common Formative Assessment (CFA): Tests developed and used by teachers across a specific grade level or in a particular content area to measure student learning on subject matter that has just been taught.

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP): A provision of the National School Lunch Program whereby all students are offered breakfast and lunch at no cost.

Computer Science Standards: In Virginia, the academic content standards developed for the study of computer use at different grade levels.

Cooperative learning: Grouping students so that the group may work together cooperatively on a joint assignment.

Core Instruction: Core instruction, (may also be referred to as Tier 1 instruction), is the initial instruction of a concept or skill in which all students participate.

Counseling: Professional advisement for children and/ or adults for improvement or prevention of problems that impact education.

Counseling Connection: Counselors meet the needs of virtual students through activities that foster relationships between home and school.

Credit Recovery: A variety of educational strategies and programs that give high school students who have failed a class the opportunity to redo coursework or retake a course through another means—thereby avoiding failure and earning necessary academic credit.

Critical Thinking Skills: The ability to look at given facts and information and analyze the content, as well as solve problems in an independent fashion.

Cultural Identity: Part of a person’s identity, related to nationality, race, religion, social class, or any group that has its own distinct culture.

Culturally Responsive Teaching: Instruction that incorporates students’ cultural identities and experiences and uses them as tools to better the quality of instruction.

Cumulative File: A file maintained by the school which contains a student’s family information, medical history, academic records, and other information as needed.

Curriculum: A set of planned instructional materials, such as lessons, labs, tests, and experiences developed to teach specific subject matter or courses in school

Differentiated Instruction: Instruction given based on the individual needs and varied learning levels of students.

Digital learning: Any instructional practice that uses technology to support student learning

Disaggregated data: Breakdown of educational data (test scores, grades, etc.) into subgroups of students (economically disadvantaged, ethnic groups, students with disabilities) allowing parents and teachers to measure how each student group is performing.

Diversified Studies: A program that allows students to choose from a broad range of various subjects and classes to fulfill degree programs.

Dual Enrollment: A program giving high school students the opportunity to be enrolled in high school and certain college classes at the same time,

Early Childhood Special Education: Educational services provided to children from birth to Kindergarten age who are identified as having special needs.

Early Warning Sign (EWS): Identifying students who may be at risk of failing to meet educational benchmarks such as reading at grade level, on-time graduation, and college readiness.

Efficacy: The belief in one’s ability to achieve a goal or an outcome. Students with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to be motivated.

Engagement: The amount of work and attention a student directs toward activities in the classroom and the level of interaction with those present.

English as a Second Language (ESL); English Language Learners (ELL): Programs that help students who are not English speakers to learn English

Equality: Belief that every individual should have the same opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents regardless of their race, their sex, where they come from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability.

Equity: The quality of being fair and impartial.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) : Subject content and teaching practices that create an environment where students are valued, respected, and have equal access to learning.

Exemplar: Examples of work chosen to be typical of various levels of quality. The examples are designed to help students understand skills, and content by demonstrating both good and bad examples of work.

Expulsion: The permanent removal of a student from his or her regular educational setting due to a severe or repeated violation of schools rules or policies.

Extended School Year (ESY): In special education, a provision that allows students to receive instruction during times when school is not in session, to prevent serious loss of learned skills.

Family Efficacy: The belief that a family can contribute to the success of the children and bring about successful educational outcomes.

Fluency: The ability to read text easily with accuracy, speed, expression and understanding.

Formative Assessments: Short frequent teacher-developed assessments which occur throughout teaching to determine student mastery of skills.

Four Core subject/academic areas: English, mathematics, science and history / social science for purposes of SOL testing.

Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): A part of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that describes the rights of students with disabilities to receive special education services that meet their specific needs at no cost to their parents or guardians.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA): A measure of student behavior that determines the nature of the problem behavior(s), the reasons why they occur and under what conditions the occurrence of the behavior(s) may be reduced.

Gifted Education: A program which provides additional educational support or enrichment for academically and / or artistically exceptional students.

Governor’s School: A special school serving gifted high school students who meet specific admissions requirements for advanced studies opportunities in areas including the arts, government, international studies, mathematics, science, and technology.

Graduation Rate: The percentage of students who complete high school graduation requirements compared to those eligible for graduation in any given year.

Growth Assessments: Virginia state assessment given in grades 3-8 that measure student growth and progress in reading and mathematics.

Guided Reading: Small group oral reading and associated activities designed to be on students’ specific reading levels.

Head Start: Programs that support school readiness in children of low income families from birth to age five.

Heggerty: The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum provides students with consistent and repeated instruction on phonemic awareness,which develops both letter and sound recognition.

Highly Qualified Teachers: A highly qualified teacher is one who is fully certified and/or licensed by the state.

Home Based Studies: Services provided in the home (or other agreed-upon setting) for students removed from school for disciplinary or other reasons – but not the result of a medical referral.

Homebound Instruction: Instruction provided to students who are confined at home or in a health-care facility for medical reasons. This confinement prevents normal school attendance and must be certified by a medical doctor or a psychologist.

Homework: A set of tasks to be completed outside the classroom to review and strengthen previously learned instruction.

Inclusion: A student with disabilities is given instruction and the opportunity to learn alongside other students in the regular classroom.

Identified Student Percentage (ISP): The number of enrolled students certifed for beneifts by Social Services.

In School Suspension (ISS): A form of discipline that allows students to do assigned work while they remain in the school setting, but are isolated from other students and the regular classroom environment.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP): An educational plan for students with disabilities which allows them to receive supports and services to help them be successful in school.

Instructional Technology: The appropriate use of technology, and technological resources to facilitate student learning and performance.

Intervention: An intervention is an alternative method of instruction used when a student is experiencing difficulty understanding a concept or skill.

Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures: Instructional strategies that promote cooperation and communication among students, thereby boosting their confidemce,and retaining their interest in classroom activities.

Learning Management System: is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, materials or learning and development programs.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): A legal requirement that states a student with a disability must be given the chance to receive instruction with non-disabled students to the greatest extent possible.

Level Literacy Intervention (LLI): Daily short-term intervention in reading and writing which provides additional small-group instruction to supplement classroom teaching.

Lotus Academy: The Alternative Education program in Caroline County Public Schools. This program allows students in middle and high school who are struggling in the regular classroom setting, due to behavorial issues or academic challenges, an alternative choice for completing their educational program

Manifestation Determination Review (MDR): A manifestation determination is a meeting where parents of a student with an IEP or a 504 and school staff review and determine the cause of a student’s behavior and its relationship to the child’s disability.

Matrix: A type of graphical picture used by teachers to display to students different choices of learning activities, behavioral expectations, or grading requirements.

Mindfulness: Focusing one’s attention to the present moment without dwelling on what has happened in the past or worrying about the future.

Morning Meeting: Classroom management practice used to address students’ social and learning needs. These morning meetings take place each day and are uniquely adapted to meet the needs of the students, but generally include 4 parts: Greeting, Sharing, Activity, and Morning message.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): A national test given in grades 4,8. and 12 that measures what students across America know in various subjects, including math and reading. Participating schools and students are selected by the federal government at random. The NAEP test is given every two years.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP): A federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools.

On Grade Level: The average skill level in reading and math at which most students at a specific grade level are able to function.

Online learning: Education in which instruction and content are delivered primarily over the internet.

On-time Graduation: The on-time graduation rate is the percentage of students in a high school cohort who earned a Board of Education-approved diploma within four years of entering high school for the first time:

Out of school suspension (OSS): A type of discipline that uses a temporary, complete exclusion from school.

Performance-based Assessment (PBA): A type of test that allows students to show what they have learned by completing a task or creating a product that shows knowledge, and understanding of skills and concepts taught.

Performance Matters: Student assessment software used to help teachers look at student information and identify any unfinished or incomplete learning. Using this information teachers create lessons for individual students as needed.

Phonemic Awareness: The ability to identify and say individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.

Phonics: A method of instruction that helps children learn to read by being able to understand the concept that words are made up of letters, and letters represent sounds.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS): A PK-3 statewide screening test for early signs of difficulty in reading.

Play Based Learning: Play-based learning is a type of early childhood education in which children develop an understanding of the world around them through play that includes exploration, inquiry, and interaction.

Positive Behavior Instructional Supports (PBIS): A type of discipline that shifts attention away from negative behaviors and rewards positive behaviors and successful learning.

PowerSchool: The student information system used by Caroline County Public Schools. This computer program houses basic student information, as well as testing and academic data. It also provides grade management for teachers, and grade viewing for parents and students.

Present Level of Performance (PLOP): In special education Individual Educational Plans, the Present Level of Performance details how a child is performing academically at the moment.

Prior Written Notice (PWN): A written explanation, sent to parents, of changes in the supports and services the school district wants to make,or refuses to make, in a child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

Progress Reports: A report of a student’s progress on concepts that have been taught noting areas of strength and areas where improvements may be needed.

Remediation: Remediation enables teachers to identify gaps in learning and quickly correct them through re-teaching. Remediation usually occurs when a student has been introduced to concepts previously but does not yet fully understand them.

Response to Intervention (RTI): Response to intervention (RTI) is a program that identifies struggling students early on and give them the supports they need to thrive in school.

Restorative Practices: A discipline strategy which seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged by bullying. It does this by developing a sense of remorse on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim.

Rigor: Level of teaching which requires students to use deep thinking and questioning; rather than memorization and recall.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): One of the most commonly used standardized tests measuring a high school student’s readiness for college. Many colleges and universities consider SAT scores as part of the admissions process.

School Food Authority (SFA): An organization that determines best practices for monitoring and managing foodservice programs for schools across the country.

School Health Advisory Board (SHAB): A state required group consisting of parents, students, health professionals, educators, and others who assist with the development of health policy, health education, and health services in the school division.

School Quality Profile: Online reports for each school that provide information about student achievement, college and career readiness, program completion, school safety, teacher quality and other topics of interest to parents and the general public.

Schoology: An on-line learning management system for K-12 schools, that allows teachers to create, manage, and share classroom content.

Science of Reading: The teaching methods and practices proven by research which can best teach children how to read.

Sight Words: Commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Learning that focuses on equipping students with emotional and interpersonal skills.

Specific learning disability (SLD): A disorder in which one or more of the basic thinking processes needed for using language (spoken or written) or to do mathematical calculations is not present.

Speech Therapy: Speech therapy is the process of identifying the cause of and remediating problems with speech.

Standards of Learning (SOL): Standards established by the state to identify minimum expectations for what students should know and be able to do in reading, math, science and social science at the end of each grade level or course.

STAR Tests: A series of short tests given on the computer in math and reading. The information from these tests is used to obtain an overall view of a student’s progress, achievement, and growth throughout the year.

STEAM Education (STEAM): An approach to teaching and learning that combines science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student learning, discussion, and problem-solving.

Student Information System (SIS): A software system that enables schools to mange student information online.

Student Study Team (SST): A team of educators whose purpose is to identify students who are in need of extra support if having difficulty functioning in the general education classroom.

Students with Disabilities(SWD): Students with emotional, intellectual, or physically challenging conditions which cause a need for assistance in the school setting.

Summative Assessments: Tests that evaluate student learning, knowledge, or success at the conclusion of an instructional period such as a unit of study, end of semester, or end of school year.

Synchronous Learning: Refers to learning in which learner(s) and instructor(s) are in the same place, at the same time.

Tiered Instruction: A type of teaching in which all students work on and learn the same material, but at differing levels of difficulty, so all students have a chance to find success and make progress.

Title I: A federal program that provides extra funding to schools with high percentages of low-income children.

Title II: A federal program that is the significant source of funds supporting professional learning for educators and leaders at the school, district and state levels.

Title III: A federal program designed to improve the education of English learners (ELs) by helping them learn English and meet state academic standards.

Title IV: A federal program designed to provide funding to states to ensure proper care for eligible children in foster care, and to provide assistance to eligible children with special needs receiving adoption subsidies.

Title IX: A federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding, which includes the vast majority of public schools.

Triennial Review: A meeting that occurs every three years during which the parent and the school Special Education team meet to discuss the student’s continued eligibility for special education services.

Unified Measurement System (PreK only): A quality measurment and improvement system for all publicly funded birth to five preschool classrooms.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Federal organization which oversees the various School Nutrition Programs.

Verified Credit: Certain course credits earned in middle or high school that are required for graduation. These course credits require a passing grade and a passing score on the corresponding end-of-course Standards of Learning test.

Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP): An alternative to the traditional state SOL test that is designed to evaluate the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Virginia Assessment Program (VAP): A set of state standardized tests in which students are expected to participate when enrolled in a tested grade level or specific content course.

Virginia Department of Education: A state agency that oversees public education in Virginia. It is responsible for creating education policy, collecting data and using it to determine student needs, identifying major issues in education, and enforcing federal education laws.

Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI): A program that distributes state funds to schools and community-based organizations in order to provide quality preschool programs for at-risk four-year-olds not eligible for the federal Head Start program.

Virginia’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: A range of measurable skills and knowledge a four year old needs to have to be successful when entering kindergarten.

Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP): A math and social-emotional evaluation given to students entering preschool and kindergarten.

Virginia Tiered System of Supports (VTSS): A system designed to use information about students to create the best, most effective, school learning environment.

Virtual Learning: Education in which lessons and content are delivered primarily over the internet.

Word Study: Small group spelling instruction. In Word Study students must sort words based on common features of how the words are spelled.

Work-based Learning: A supervised program sponsored by an educational or training instutution that links knowledge gained at the work site with a planned program of. study.

World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA): A series of English language proficiency assessments for Kindergarten through Grade 12. The WIDA tests and accompanying programs are designed to provide high standards and equal opportunities in education for those students learning the English language.