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Instructional Council Glossary

Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative

AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress – a yearly determination about whether a school has met the targeted level for both reading and mathematics performance of all students and each identified sub-population in the school.   School districts and the state as a whole must meet the AYP targets set at the high school level for both reading and math.

Balanced Literacy – a research-based approach to teaching reading which consists of five major components – word identification, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing/ communication

CETE – Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation – the contractor with the Kansas Department of Education to develop the multiple forms for all subject areas tested as part of the Kansas Assessment system

CAT-6 – the California Achievement Test, Sixth Edition – a norm-referenced achievement test which schools across the country choose to use as a basis of comparing student performance on both an individual and school aggregate basis.   Several other nationally normed achievement tests exist (Stanford, Iowa Tests, Metropolitan), but the CAT is the test chosen locally for use in USD 253

Charter Schools – a process created by Kansas Statute which enables a school to focus on a defined mission and to measure its achievement against that mission.   The process allows schools to request waivers from some components of district and/or state policies

Curriculum Mapping – a method of determining the intended curriculum (content, assessment, and resources) in a classroom, school, or district.   The process was developed by Dr. Heidi Hays-Jacobs over ten years ago and is used in schools and districts across the US and around the world.

Differentiated Instruction – a process in which the teacher provides learning activities which vary from student to student based on the individual learning needs of the student (interests, prior knowledge, skills, abilities, needs, etc.) and which helps all learners to grow as much as they can.

ELA – English Language Acquisition – refers to programs that support learning for English Language Learners (ELL).   Other terms often used when referring to ELL instruction include:   ESL instruction (English as a Second Language), bi-lingual instruction, and dual language instruction (classroom instruction delivered in both English and the native language of the students – typically the amount of English increases each year and the native language support decreases until after about four years instruction is entirely in English).

Formative Assessment – testing during the learning process to determine if learning has taken place so that adjustments in instruction can be made (can be both whole class adjustments or for individual students)

Disaggregated data – a requirement of both QPA and NCLB to move thinking away from determining the level of learning through the use of building averages is to examine the performance of traditionally underperforming sub-populations (low socio-economic status [SES], minority ethnic, special education, migrant, and English Language learner [ELL] groups) to assure that all sub-populations are improving

Graduation Requirements – this specific list of high school courses in which a student must gain credit in order to be eligible to graduate.   The state has a minimum set of requirements and local districts have the option of having additional local requirements.   The current state minimum credit requirement is 18 (changes to 21 for the class of 2009) and the USD 253 credit requirement is 24.

Graphic organizers – a visual technique used by students (or demonstrated by teachers) to help make connections between several learning components of the same topic (examples include:   Venn diagrams, organizational charts, concept web, etc.)

IEP – Individual Development Plan – the learning plan developed to meet the individual needs of an identified special education student.   The plan is developed by a team of those who best know the student including the student’s parents, teachers, school administration, and support services who work with the student.   The student will attend when it is appropriate to do so. The IEP is based on current, measurable information.   Identification of students is based on questions of eligibility related to the presence of an exceptionality and the need for specialized instruction.

Kansas Assessments – the state tests for reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing (usually given between the end of February and the first week of April

KSDE – Kansas State Department of Education – the state agency responsible for overseeing public education in Kansas on a day to day basis.   Lead by the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Andy Thompkins.   Other top leaders are Deputy Commissioner, Dale Dennis and Assistant Commissioner, Dr. Alexa Pochowski.

KSBE – Kansas State Board of Education – the ten member, elected body who set the focus, rules and regulations for public education in Kansas .   The representative for District 9 (serving Lyon County and counties to the Southeast to Oklahoma and Missouri ) is Mrs. Iris Van Meter, 3800 120 Road, Thayer , KS   66776 , irisvanmeter@hotmail.com , 620-839-5612.

Learning Strategies – a method of thinking about or organizing thinking on a topic

Migrant – any student whose family moves due to the temporary nature of agricultural-related work or food processing work

NCA – North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement – the regional accrediting association of schools covering 17 states from Michigan to Arizona .   Their school improvement process is a continuous improvement model.   Schools choose to participate in this process or choose to use this approach to meet Kansas ‘ QPA process.

NCLB – No Child Left Behind – the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001 – includes the Title I program is a federal government entitlement program aimed at addressing the skills children of poverty typically come to school lacking, Title II is Highly Qualified Teachers and staff (professional development); Title III is English Language Acquisition; Title IV is Safe and Drug Free Schools; Title V is Innovative Programs.   All funding is distributed district-wide except for Title I which goes only to those schools which the district has identified as high poverty K-4 buildings.

PDC – Professional Development Council – the group of the teachers and administrators from every district building who oversee the professional training process in USD 253

Priority indicators – the specific curriculum indicators at each grade level identified as the most critical for further learning and/or which have been identified for assessment on the Kansas Assessments

Progress Reports (K-3) and Grade Cards (4-12) – a written record of student learning made in a formal fashion each quarter of the school year.   In grades K-3 the report is on the level of mastery for each important learning component for the particular grade level.   In grades 4-12 the report is a letter grade for each general subject area.

QPA – Quality Performance Accreditation – the name of the school improvement process in Kansas .   All schools must participate in this process.   QPA is a continuous improvement approach to school improvement.

Reading First – a competitive federal/state first through third grade grant program targeted at changing literacy instruction in Title I schools who have a high level of students not reading at grade level by second grade.   Schools receiving the grant must hire a reading coach and give specific literacy tests to measure the progress of students in the school (and a comparison school in the district matching the grant school must give the same tests).   William Allen White is a Reading First school and Timmerman has been identified as the comparison school

Results Based Staff Development – the process of implementing teacher training (professional staff development) in the classroom so student learning is positively impacted

Schools of Choice – in Title I schools which do not meet the AYP target for either reading or mathematics for two consecutive years a number of sanctions occur which restrict how Title one funds can be spent.   Another sanction is that students attending such a school can transfer to another district school, which has attained AYP, with transportation provided.   If they original school meets the AYP target for two consecutive years, students can remain in the School of Choice , but transportation is no longer provided.

Sheltered Instruction or SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) – an approach to instruction developed for English Language Learners (ELL, students may also be identified by in similar acronyms – LEP = Limited English Proficient and NES = Non-English Speaking or the ELL program may be referred to as ELA = English Language Acquisition) which allows students to gain both content and language understanding during the same lesson.   The strategies used for ELL students are applicable to and should increase the learning of all students.

SIT – Student Improvement Team – a site based group of teachers to whom any teacher in the building can discuss learning questions about an individual student and with the help of the team strategize possible interventions to assist the student to increase his/her learning.   The SIT team meets weekly in many buildings.   The SIT process is part of the regular education responsibility and must be completed before a student can be considered for special education services.

Standards-based math – an approach to mathematics education in which the math content is presented in a problem context and includes instruction in each of the four standards (number/number systems; algebra; geometry/measurement; and data).   It might also be described as a problem solving approach to teaching math.   The standards-based math series adopted in USD 253 include:   Math Trailblazers by Kendall/Hunt for grades K-4;Mathematics in Context by Holt for grades 5-8; and Core Plus Math by Glencoe for high school.

Standards, Benchmarks, and Indicators
– the hierarchy of curriculum content-

  • standards are big, general concepts to be learned – are identical from grade to grade (see examples for math above – an example for math is – Data-The student uses concepts and procedures of data analysis in a variety of situations.)
  • benchmarks are smaller concepts several of which are imbedded in each standard – tend to only be similar from grade to grade (an example for math is – Statistics-The student collects, organizes, displays, and explains numerical and non-numerical data sets including the use of concrete objects in a variety of situations)
  • indicators are the individual concepts taught at each grade level and may range from one to ten or more per benchmark – may be only slightly similar from grade to grade (an example for math is – The student communicates the results of data collection and answers questions based on information from horizontal and vertical bar graphs)

Summative Assessment – testing at the end of the learning process to determine the final level of learning which has taken place.   Usually a judgment about the level of learning is made.

504 Plan – refers to Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act of 1974.   This act requires accommodations to student learning when any life-function has been affected.   This act is broader than special education.

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