Educational Acronyms


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statute which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. A 504 plan is an individual education plan for a special-needs student.


American College Test - An assessment taken by students as a precursor to college/university admission.


Americans with Disabilities Act

(also AD/HD)

Attention Deficit Disorder - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A condition that interferes with a person's ability to concentrate and control impulses and behavior.


Academic Intervention Services; CR 100.2 (ee) Planned additional instruction or services that supplement regular classroom instruction and/or support services that enable students to meet State learning standards. The intensity of such services may vary, but must be designed to meet the specific needs of students as identified through State assessments and/ or district -adopted or district-approved procedures that are consistent throughout the district at each grade level.


Annual Measurable Objective as a statewide standard set separately for elementary, middle, and high school language arts and math.


Advanced Placement. A program that enables high school students to complete college-level courses for college placement and/or credit.


Adaptive Physical Education. Adaptive physical education program which may be adapted to address the individualized needs of students who have gross motor development delays


Annual Professional Performance Review. A section of Commissioner's Regulations (CR 100.2(o)) that requires teachers to be evaluated annually.


Assistive Technology. Any technological device that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities.


Adequate Yearly Progress. All public schools throughout the country must measure and report AYP as outlined in the federal No Child Left Behind law. AYP measures the yearly progress of different groups of students at the school, district and state levels against yearly targets in reading and mathematics. Target goals are set for attendance and graduation rates as well.


A formalized plan that targets specific behaviors for alteration and that follows from a functional behavioral assessment. Usually appended to a student's individualized educational plan, a public school district must attempt such a plan before changing a student's placement to a more restrictive environment (unless there is an emergency situation).


Board of Cooperative Educational Services


Board of Education


Career Development and Occupational Studies; One of the seven curriculum areas.


A Cooperative Service provided by BOCES that has been approved by NYSED as per the submitted program description and proposed budget. Each BOCES program and service must have it's own COSER


Committee on Special Education - In its most common usage: A committee of the local education agency which has responsibility for determining a student's eligibility for special educational services. If the student is found eligible, then the committee is also involved in developing the needed individualized program for the student. The CSE usually has a special education administrator, the district's psychologist, and a few other professionals on it. The composition of the actual committee for any one student is a function of what school the student is in and what their needs are. The child's teacher and parents are part of the committee for the student. In some states, the CSE is known as the ARD or PPS.


Child Study Team - Team that works together to identify student's learning strengths and needs, puts strategies into action and evaluates their impact.


Career and Technical Education


Document-Based Question - Assessment technique that involves presenting students with historical documents and having them analyze and answer questions about them.


Emotional Disturbance - A clinical diagnosis of feelings and behavior that interfere with the student's ability to learn or participate in school activities.


English Language Arts - Academic subject previously known as English, but now includes reading, writing, listening and speaking.


English Language Learner


English as a Second Language. A program model that delivers specialized instruction to students who are learning English as a new language.


Family and Consumer Sciences


Free Appropriate Public Education - Federal legislation (IDEA) mandates (requires) that students who qualify for special education services receive FAPE.


Functional Behavioral Assessment - A collection of tools, scales, observations, and interviews that are tailored to the needs of a specific student whose behavior is particularly problematic and/or jeopardizes their educational placement. The purpose of the FBA is to determine under what conditions the (problematic) behavior occurs, what drives it, what reinforces (maintains) it, and what time of day or other patterns can be detected. This assessment is then used to create a Behavior Intervention Plan for the student.


Federal Educational Rights Privacy Act


Graduate Equivalency Diploma is a high school equivalency certificate awarded upon successful completion of a test. The GED measures academic skills in five areas: writing, social studies, science, interpreting literature and the arts.


Highly Qualified Teachers as determined by NY State


PL 101-476 (formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act). IDEA was amended in 1997 as Public Law 105-17 as is usually just referred to as "IDEA" or "IDEA '97." This piece of federal legislation is the heart of entitlements to special education. IDEA also empowers parents as partners in their special needs child's educational planning.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This federal law, reauthorized in 2004, is designed to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.


Individualized Education Program. The IEP is a written statement for a student with a disability that is developed, at least annually, by a team of professionals knowledgeable about the student and the parent. The plan describes the strengths of the child and the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child, and when, where, and how often services will be provided. The IEP is required by federal law for all exceptional children and must include specific information about how the student will be served and what goals he or she should be meeting.


Individualized Home Instruction Program


Impartial Hearing Officer


Intelligence Quotient - A score obtained from an intelligence test that provides a measure of mental ability in relation to age. The most popular intelligence test for children, the WISC-III, is normed so that an IQ of 100 represents "average."


Learning Disability (also: Learning Disorder, Learning Disabled, Learning Disabilities) - A physical cognitive, neurological, or psychological disorder that impedes a student's ability to learn.


Language Other Than English


Least-Restrictive Environment - A setting where students with disabilities can be educated along side their peers without disabilities to the maximum extent possible.


No Child Left Behind. NCLB is the 2002 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and represents a sweeping change in the federal government's role in local public education. NCLB's primary goal is for all public school children to be proficient or above in reading and mathematics by 2013-14. Title I schools that do not meet certain student achievement standards face sanctions under this law.


New York State Education Department


New York State Testing and Accountability Reporting Tool is a website that provides authorized users with reports on New York State standardized tests, administered to K-12 students.


Other Health Impairment (classification category under IDEA)


Occupational Therapist/Occupational Therapy


Professional Development


The Professional Development Plan is intended to improve the quality of teaching and learning by ensuring that teachers participate in substantial professional development in order to remain current with their profession and meet the learning needs of their students.


Pupil Personnel Services




Pre-Scholastic Assessment Test. Normally taken by high school juniors as a practice test for the SAT.


Physical Therapist


Parent Teacher Association


Response to Intervention - A process of implementing high-quality, scientifically validated instructional practices based on leaner needs, monitoring progress, and adjusting instruction based on the student's response.


Scholastic Aptitude Test - The SAT is often taken by high school juniors and seniors as a precursor to college/university admission. It assesses a student's verbal, mathematical and writing skills.


The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act was passed by the New York State Legislature and signed into law by Governor George E. Pataki on July 24, 2000 to address issues of school safety and violence prevention.


Shared Decision Making. A process in which all the stakeholders within a school are engaged and meaningfully involved in the planning and decision-making processes of the school.


State Education Department (New York State)


System for Tracking Education Performance. Reformulation of the State Education department's LEAP Reporting System.

Title I A

Title I is the largest federal education funding program for schools. Its aim is to help students who are behind academically or at risk of falling behind. School funding is based on the number of low-income children, generally those eligible for the free and reduced price lunch program.

Title III

Title III is the section of No Child Left Behind that provides funding and addresses English language acquisition and standards and accountability requirements for limited English proficient students.

Title IX

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 bans sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds, whether it is in academics or athletics.


Universal Prekindergarten


Violent and Disruptive Incident Report is required under NCLB Title IV and SAVE legislation as an annual summary to NYSED by the superintendents of schools indicating the number and types of incidences that occurred in the school district which determines their school violence index.