Acronyms are used a lot in education. Below is a list of common acronyms and a glossary of terms intended to make it easier for our parents and community members to understand education jargon.
Common Education/West Ottawa Acronyms & Glossary of Terms
AASA – American Association of School Administrators
ACT – American College Test
ADA – American with Disabilities Act
ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
AED – Automated External Defibrillator
AER – Annual Education Report
AESOP – a substitute placement & employee absence reporting system
AFT – American Federation of Teachers
AI – Autistic Impairment
AMAO – Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
AP – Advanced Placement
ASBO – Association of School Business Officials
ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder
AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress
The notion that people (e.g., students or teachers) or an organization (e.g., a school, school district, or state department of education) should be held responsible for improving student achievement and should be rewarded or sanctioned for their success or lack of.
A test to measure a student’s knowledge and skills.
A set of college admissions tests; most colleges accept either the SAT or the ACT for admissions.
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
An individual state’s measure of yearly progress toward achieving state academic standards. Adequate yearly progress is the minimum level of improvement that states, school districts, and schools must achieve each year, according to federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. This progress is determined by a collection of performance measures that a state, its school districts, and subpopulations of students within its schools are supposed to meet if the state receives Title I federal funding. In California, the measures include (1) specified percentages of students scoring “proficient” or “advanced” on California Standards Tests in English/language arts and math; (2) participation of a least 95 percent of students on those tests; (3) specified API scores or gains; and (4) for high schools, a specified graduation rate or improvement in the rate.
Advanced Placement (AP)
A series of voluntary exams based on college-level courses taken in high school. High school students who do well on one or more of these exams have the opportunity to earn credit, advanced placement, or both for college.
The degree to which assessments, curriculum, instruction, textbooks and other instructional materials, teacher preparation and professional development, and systems of accountability all reflect and reinforce the educational program’s objectives and standards.
Ways other than standardized tests to get information about what students know and where they need help, such as oral reports, projects, performances, experiments, and class participation.
Students may be labeled at risk if they are not succeeding in school based on information gathered from test scores, attendance, or discipline problems.
A detailed description of a specific level of student achievement expected of students at particular ages, grades, or developmental levels; academic goals set for each grade level.
An in-school program for students whose first language isn’t English or who have limited English skills. Bilingual education provides English language development plus subject area instruction in the student’s native language. The goal is for the child to gain knowledge and be literate in two languages.
Instead of traditional 40- to 50-minute periods, block scheduling allows for periods of an hour or more so that teachers can accomplish more during a class session. It also allows for teamwork across subject areas in some schools. For example, a math and science teacher may teach a physics lesson that includes both math and physics concepts.
A method of borrowing used by school districts to pay for construction or renovation projects. A bond measure requires a 55 percent majority to pass. The principal and interest are repaid by local property owners through an increase in property taxes.
CAFR – Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
CAS – Creativity, Action, Service component of the IB curriculum
CBI – Community Based Instruction
CCSS – Common Core State Standards
CDX – Credential Data eXchange
CEIS – Coordinated Early Intervention Services
CEPI – Center for Educational Performance and Information
CEU – Continuing Education Unit
CI – Cognitively Impaired
CIMS – Continuous Improvement & Monitoring Systems
CMS – Cash Management System
CNAP – Child Nutrition Application Program
CNP – Child Nutrition Program
CRT – Criterion-Referenced Test
CSR – Comprehensive School Reform
CTC – Careerline Tech Center (OAISD)
CTE – Career and Technical Education
CTEE – Cultural Technological Environment Exchange
Funds from the state or federal government granted to qualifying schools or districts for specific children with special needs, certain programs such as class size reduction, or special purposes such as transportation. In general, schools or districts must spend the money for the specific purpose. All districts receive categorical aid in varying amounts. This aid is in addition to the funding schools received for their general education program.
School employees who are required by the state to hold teaching credentials, including full-time, part-time, substitute, or temporary teachers and most administrators.
A state-issued license certifying that the teacher has completed the necessary basic training courses and passed the teacher exam.
Publicly funded schools that are exempt from many state laws and regulations for school districts. They are run by groups of teachers, parents, and/or foundations.
School employees who are not required to hold teaching credentials, such as bus drivers, secretaries, custodians, instructional aides, and some management personnel.
Standards that describe what students should know and be able to do in core academic subjects at each grade level.
A teaching method in which students of differing abilities work together on an assignment. Each student has a specific responsibility within the group. Students complete assignments together and receive a common grade.
DCH – Department of Community Health
DD – Development Disability
DHS – Department of Human Services
DIBELS – Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
DIP – District Improvement Plan
DLEG – Department of Labor and Economic Growth
DOGS – Great Lakes Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students)
DPPD – District Provided Professional Development
DPR – Data Progress Record
This is also referred to as “individualized” or “customized” instruction. The curriculum offers several different learning experiences within one lesson to meet students’ varied needs or learning styles. For example, different teaching methods for students with learning disabilities.
The presentation of data broken into segments of the student population instead of the entire enrollment. Typical segments include students who are economically disadvantaged, from racial or ethnic minority groups, have disabilities, or have limited English fluency. Disaggregated data allows parents and teachers to see how each student group is performing in a school.
EAA – Education Achievement Authority
ECSE – Early Childhood Special Education
EDP – Educational Development Plan
EEM – Educational Entity Master (formerly SCM – School Code Master)
EEO – Equal Employment Opportunity
EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
ELA – English Language Arts
ELL – English Language Learner
ELPA – English Language Proficiency Assessment (replaced by WIDA)
ERIN – Employee Relations Information Network
ESB – Educational Services Building (OAISD)
ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act
ESL – English as a Second Language
ESSA – Every Student Succeeds Act (formerly NCLB – No Child Left Behind)
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Classes or support programs for students whose native language is not English.
Additional courses outside those required for graduation.
504 – Section of IDEA that a student may qualify if they don’t qualify for special education services
F/R – Free/Reduced Lunch Eligible
FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid
FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education
FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, federal
FID – Financial Information Database
FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST Robotics)
FLSA – Fair Labor Standards Act
FMLA – Family Medical Leave Act
FOIA – Freedom of Information Act
FTE – Full Time Equivalent or Full Time Equated (employee)
FY – Fiscal Year
A federal program that provides food for students from low-income families.
GAFE – Google Apps for Education
GASB – Governmental Accounting Standards Board
GATE – Gifted and Talented Education
GCSS – Grant Coordination and School Support
GED – General Education Diploma
GF – General Fund
GLCE – Grade Level Content Expectations
GRE – Graduate Requirement Exam
GLT – Grade-level Leadership Team
GRE – Graduate Requirement Exam
GSRP – Great Start Readiness Program
Accounting term used by the state and school districts to differentiate general revenues and expenditures from funds for specific uses, such as a Cafeteria Fund.
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
A program that offers supplemental, differentiated, challenging curriculum and instruction for students identified as being intellectually gifted or talented.
HH – Homebound and/or Hospitalized
HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HSA – Health Savings Account
IB – International Baccalaureate
IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP – Individualized Education Plan
IEPT – Individualized Education Plan Team
IFSP – Individual Family Service Plan
ISD – Intermediate School District (some are known as RESD, RESA, ESA)
A program that teaches children to speak, read, and write in a second language by surrounding them with conversation and instruction in that language. Note that English immersion may differ from other immersion programs.
The practice of placing students with disabilities in regular classrooms. Also known as mainstreaming.
Specially designed instruction in courses taught through a variety of delivery methods that complement traditional high school curricula and provide an accredited diploma.
Individual Education Program (IEP)
A written plan created for a student with learning disabilities by the student’s teachers, parents or guardians, the school administrator, and other interested parties. The plan is tailored to the student’s specific needs and abilities, and outlines goals for the student to reach. The IEP should be reviewed at least once a year.
Refers to the amount of time the state requires teachers to spend providing instruction in each subject area.
Refers to the practice of using a single theme to teach a variety of subjects. It also refers to a interdisciplinary curriculum, which combines several school subjects into one project.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
A rigorous college preparation course of study that leads to examinations for highly motivated high school students. Students can earn college credit from many universities if their exam scores are high enough.
JJI – Juvenile Justice Institute (OAISD)
A program that takes students into the workplace to learn about careers through one-day orientations or more extensive internships to see how the skills learned in school relate to the workplace.
K-12 – Kindergarten through 12th grade
LD – Learning Disabled
LEA – Local Educational Agency (local school district)
LEARS – Local Education Agency Review System
LEP – Limited English Proficiency
LRE – Least Restrictive Environment
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Federal laws require that disabled students be educated to the maximum extent possible with non-disabled students.
MACUL – Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning
MAEDS – Michigan Association for Educational Data Systems
MAISA –Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators
MAP – Mandated Activities Project (special education)
MAPSA – Michigan Association of Public School Academies
MAPT – Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation
MARSP – Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel
MASA – Michigan Association of School Administrators
MASB – Michigan Association of School Boards
MASPA – Michigan Association of School Personnel Administrators
MASSP – Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals
MATS – Midwest Academic Talent Search
MCL – Michigan Compiled Laws
MCTM – Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics
MDE – Michigan Department of Education
MEA – Michigan Education Association
MEAP – Michigan Educational Assessment Program
MEDS – Migrant Education Database System
MEGS – Michigan Electronic Grant System
MEIS – Michigan Education Information System
MEMSPA – Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association
MER – Michigan Educator’s Resource
MERC – Michigan Employment Relations Commission
MESSA – Insurance “arm” of MEA
MESTA – Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association
MET – Michigan Education Trust
MHSAA – Michigan High School Athletic Association
MI-Access – Michigan’s alternate assessment system, designed for students with cognitive impairments whose IEP Team has determined that general assessments, even with accommodations, are not appropriate.
MiBlSi – Michigan Integrated Behavior Learning Support Initiative
MIEM – Michigan Institute of Educational Management
MiGAL – Michigan Grants Available List
MILAF – Michigan School Districts Liquid Asset Fund
MI-Plan – School Improvement Planning System in Michigan
MIP – Member Investment Plan (retirement)
MMBA – Michigan Municipal Bond Authority
MMC – Michigan Merit Curriculum
MME – Michigan Merit Exam
MOE – Maintenance of Effort
MOECS – Michigan Online Education Certification System
MOU – Memorandum of Understanding
MPAAA – Michigan Pupil Accounting and Attendance Association
MPSERS – Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System
MRIC – Michigan Retirement Investment Consortium
MRF – Millage Reduction Fraction
MSBO – Michigan School Business Officials
MSBOA – Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association
MSDC – Michigan Staff Development Council
MSPRA – Michigan School Public Relations Association
MSRP – Michigan School Readiness Program
MSTA – Michigan Science Teachers Association
M-STEP – Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (online assessment program)
MSVMA – Michigan School Vocal Music Association
MTSS – Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (replaced RTI)
MTTC – Michigan Test for Teacher Certification
MVU – Michigan Virtual University
MYAF – Michigan Youth Arts Festival
A school that focuses on a particular discipline, such as science, mathematics, arts, or computer science. It is designed to recruit students from other parts of the school district.
The practice of placing students with disabilities in regular classrooms; also known as inclusion.
Michigan’s alternate assessment system, designed for students with cognitive impairments whose IEP Team has determined that general assessments, even with accommodations, are not appropriate.
NAEP – National Assessment of Educational Progress
NCLB – No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act)
NEA – National Education Association
NEOLA – Partner company to MASB to provide policy services for boards of education
NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards
NHS – National Honor Society
NMSI – National Math and Science Initiative
NSBA – National School Board Association
NSC – National Science Center
NSF – National Science Foundation
NUMATS – Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search
NWEA – Northwest Evaluation Association (educational assessment)
Partner company to MASB to provide policy services for boards of education
OAC – Ottawa Area Center (OAISD), special education
OAISD – Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
OASBA – Ottawa Area School Board Association
OCR – Office of Civil Rights
OEAA – Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability
OLR – Online Registration
OMA – Open Meetings Act
OMR – Official Membership Roster
ORF – Oral Reading Fluency
ORS – Office of Retirement Services
OSE-EIS – Office of Special Ed and Early Education Services
OST – Out-of-School Time
OT – Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy or Over-Time
PA – Public Act
PA 191 of 2000 – State School Aid Act (funding for schools)
PAC – Parent Advisory Committee (special education) or Performing Arts Center
PAR – Peer Assistance and Review Program
PATH – Program for Academically Talented at Hope College
PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention Support
PD – Professional Development
PELI – Pre-school Early Literacy Indicators
PERA – Public Employment Relations Act
PLC – Professional Learning Communities
PO – Performance Objective (special education) or Purchase Order
PPRA – Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
PSA – Public School Academy (Charter School)
PSAT – Preliminary SAT (Standardized Achievement Test, former called Scholastic Aptitude Test)
PT – Physical Therapist or Physical Therapy
PTA – Parent Teacher Association
PTO – Parent Teacher Organization
Peer Assistance and Review Program (PAR)
A program that encourages designated consulting teachers to assist other teachers who need help in developing their subject matter knowledge, teaching strategies, or both. They also help teachers to meet the standards for proficient teaching.
One way to compare a given child, class, school, or district to a national norm.
A collection of various samples of a student’s work throughout the school year that can include writing samples, examples of math problems, and results of science experiments.
Programs that allow teachers or administrators to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs successfully.
Mastery or ability to do something at grade level. California students receive scores on the California Standards Tests (CST) that range from “far below basic” to “advanced.” The state goal is for all students to score at “proficient” or “advanced.”
Students receive instruction in small groups outside of the classroom.
The total student enrollment divided by the number of full-time equivalent teachers. The pupil-teacher ratio is the most common statistic for comparing data across states; it is usually smaller than average class size because some teachers work outside the classroom.
REMC – Regional Educational Media Center
REP – Registry of Educational Personnel
RESA – Regional Educational Service Agency
RF – Reading First
RFP – Request for Proposal (grant)
ROI – Rate of Improvement or Return on Investment
RTI – Response to Intervention (replaced by MTSS – Multi-Tier Systems of Support)
Specially credentialed teachers who work with special education students by assisting them in regular classes or pulling them out of class for extra help.
A teacher who instructs children with various learning differences. Most often these teachers use small group and individual instruction. Children are assigned to resource teachers after undergoing testing and receiving an IEP.
Refers to a grading or scoring system. A rubric is a scoring tool that lists the criteria to be met in a piece of work. A rubric also describes levels of quality for each of the criteria. These levels of performance may be written as different ratings (e.g., Excellent, Good, Needs Improvement) or as numerical scores (e.g., 4, 3, 2, 1).
SAF – School Aid Fund
SAIL – Students Accelerating in Learning program
SAT – Standardized Achievement Test (formerly called Scholastic Aptitude Test)
SBCEU – State Board Continuing Education Unit
SBE – State Board of Education
SBLT – School Based Leadership Team
SCD – Student Count Date
SCM – School Code Master (replaced by EEM)
SDFS – Safe and Drug-Free Schools
SDFSCA – Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act
SEA – State Educational Authority or Agency
SEAC – Special Education Advisory Committee to MDE
Section 504 – See 504 under “F”
SET/SEG – School Employers Trust/School Employers Group
SID – School Infrastructure Data
SIOP – Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol
SIP – School Improvement Plan
SLT – Science Leadership Team (Statewide)
SMI – Severely Mentally Impaired
SOC – Schools of Choice
SOR – Sex Offender Registry
SRC – School Report Card
SRO – State Review Officer
SRRSO – State Reform Redesign School Office
SRSD – Single Record Student Database
SSW – School Social Worker
ST – Speech Therapist
STAR – Student Test and Achievement Repository
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
SWP – School-wide Assistance Plan
SAT (Standardized Achievement Test)
Also known as the SAT Reasoning Test (formerly called Scholastic Aptitude Test) – This test is widely used as a college entrance examination. Scores can be compared to state and national averages of seniors graduating from any public or private school.
A test that is in the same format for all who take it. It often relies on multiple-choice questions and the testing conditions—including instructions, time limits and scoring rubrics—are the same for all students; sometimes accommodations on time limits and instructions are made for disabled students.
TAS – Targeted Assistance School
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury (special education)
TC – Teacher Consultant
TMI – Trainable Mentally Impaired (special education)
TRIG – Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant
Teaching method in which two or more teachers teach the same subjects or theme; teachers may alternate teaching the entire group or divide the group into sections or classes that rotate between the teachers.
A system of due process and employment guarantee for teachers. After serving a two-year probationary period, teachers are assured continued employment in the school district unless carefully defined procedures for dismissal or layoff are successfully followed.
A unit of study that has lessons focused on a specific theme, sometimes covering all core subject areas. It is often used as an alternative approach to teaching history or social studies chronologically.
A federal program that provides funds to improve the academic achievement for educationally disadvantaged students who score below the 50th percentile on standardized tests, including the children of migrant workers.
Of the Education Amendments of 1972 – Provision provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal assistance….”
A common instructional practice of organizing student in groups based on their academic skills. Tracking allows a teacher to provide the same level of instruction to the entire group.
UFLP – Unfair Labor Practice
UIC – Unique Identification Code
USF – Universal Service Fund (E-Rate)
VEDS – Vocational Education Data System
WAN – Wide Area Network
WIDA – World-class Instructional Design & Assessment (formerly ELPA)
WOEA – West Ottawa Education Association (teachers’ union)
WOHS – West Ottawa High School
WOLA – West Ottawa Leadership Academy
WOTA – West Ottawa Transportation Association (bus drivers’ union)
WOW – West Ottawa Wonders preschool program
WorkKeys® – Job skills assessment system measuring real-world skills
YK – Young Kinders